So… what the heck do you do all day when you can’t run or walk or do anything fun with anyone ever? Watch TV! And sometimes read. Here are some of my more notable discoveries made over the last 6 months:
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – From the CW, available on Netflix – This is my spirt animal TV show. It is amazing. It follows a New York City lawyer who moves to California to be close to her ex-boyfriend from summer camp. It’s cheesy, and funny, and has short random musical numbers that are hilarious. Also, I deeply identify with the main character. Does that mean I’m a crazy ex-girlfriend? Maybe. I don’t know. Shut up!
Below Deck: Mediterranean – Bravo, available on Hulu and probably on-demand from your cable provider – This is one of those Bravo reality shows that might not be up everyone’s alley, but if you enjoy the occasional reality show you might also enjoy this one – there are beautiful people saying and doing ridiculous things, plus some fighting (but not nearly as much fighting as The Real Housewives of NY). Plus, it’s all set on a yacht in the Mediterranean, so the scenery is great, and the people who charter this expensive boat are for the most part horrible, so that’s fun, too.
Man in the High Castle – Amazon – I kinda forced myself to watch this one. It’s based on a novel by Philip K. Dick (the same SciFi wizard who gave us The Minority Report and Blade Runner, among many others), but the show desperately needs more action and/or a more ruthless editor, since the entire season would have made about 2 decent episodes of TV. Still, if you dream of a world in which the Nazis won WW2, then you’ll love this show.
Stranger Things – Netflix – This was the big summer breakout show, described as Goonies meets Steven King set in the 80’s. All of that sounds super promising, but for me it failed to deliver. It suffered from huge character ability/motivation plot holes, shrill, irritating, one-note acting (I’m looking at you, Winona Ryder), and general sluggishness. If I were you, I’d pass.
Girls – HBO – I really thought I was going to hate this show so I was surprised when I suddenly found myself binging all 5 seasons a few months ago. It follows horrible, self-involved young women who live in Brooklyn doing stupid millennial things, but somehow it’s very watchable to this almost-40 single women doing nothing but sitting on her couch and eating. The show includes a fair amount of normal-body nudity, which helped me feel better about myself.
Game of Thrones – HBO – I read the entire Song of Fire and Ice series several years ago and enjoyed it (the key is to not worry about all the names and relationships but to just let the story wash over you — you’ll remember the important characters because he repeats them), but when I first tried to watch the TV show I quickly grew bored of what ironically felt like a flat version of the book (the Imp is a marvelous character, and Peter Dinklage is a terrific actor, but without his internal dialogue I felt like it was missing something). But, after being so seriously sidelined with this injury, I gave it another go and ended up watching all 6 seasons in about two weeks. I’m now caught up with the show, which is actually beyond the books at this point, so now I’m waiting for more TV and for more books, which is a little frustrating to this double-GoT-junkie.
Catastrophe – Netflix – I’m only halfway through season 1 of this 2-season show but so far it’s pretty funny, and quick, and easy to watch. It’s a comedy involving an American and an Irishwoman living in London, so it’s fun to watch all the weird stuff the Brits do and the unending patience the obviously more advanced American has for all their funny ways (hahaha, just kidding… 😮 ?).
Westworld – New on HBO – I just started this show and since it’s new there are only 2 episodes available, so you can’t binge it yet, but I had to mention it because I’m already in love with and obsessed with this show. It’s a SciFi show where people pay a bunch of money to visit an Old West theme park populated by hyper-realistic androids. The “guests” do various horrific things to the androids, but every night the park is re-set and the androids go back to square one (like a video game). But of course things go wrong, and that’s wonderful – for us, the viewers. I hope this show stays as amazing as it started. (Note – this show has more nudity and violence in its first episode than Game of Thrones had in its first season, but what did you expect from HBO?)
Some shows I watched before I got injured but continue to enjoy include The Last Man on Earth (so surprisingly good), Modern Family, The Walking Dead (although I’m enjoying that less and less, to be honest), and every naked reality show ever.
I really enjoyed Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, who wrote Prep and various other novels that weren’t as good as Prep or Eligible. I also finally read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, which I enjoyed but not quite as much as I enjoyed the Gone Girl/Sharp Objects/Dark Places series by Gillian Flynn. (Oh god, maybe I really am a crazy ex-girlfriend…) I also read A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, which was kinda cute and a little sad but obviously meant to be heartwarming. As far as nonfiction goes, I recently read Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool, but I think you could get almost as much out of it by simply reading a summary.
I just started Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, because that is a book you read after you finish a depressing book about WWI (Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks), while sitting on the couch eating popcorn and drinking gingeraid kombucha.
What do you like to do for long periods of time when you can’t move? Any books or TV shows I should avoid? What are your feelings about kombucha? Share in the comments!