My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘TV Shows’

The Struggles of Binge-Watching a Show For the First Time that Literally EVERYONE Has Already Seen

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So there’s this little show called Breaking Bad, some of you may have heard of it. It didn’t get much attention, didn’t win any of those fancy shmancy awards, and there are most definitely NOT any pop culture references to any of the characters.

I’m totally kidding of course. BB was probably one of this generation’s most iconic television shows. It ran for a solid 5 seasons on AMC, and tells the story of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who learns he has terminal and inoperable lung cancer. After hearing his diagnosis, he teams up with one of his former students, Jessie Pinkman to start securing his family financially for when the time comes that he’ll no longer be there for them. Walter and Jessie decide to do what anyone does when looking to raise a little money: open a very profitable and lucrative lemonade stand.

And by lemonade stand I mean they began to criminally produce and sell meth. Hard core.

So there’s that.

Despite it’s nitty-grittiness, raw vulnerability and somewhat dark subject matter, BB became one of America’s most watched and talked about shows. Actually, it was probably because of these reasons that it did so.

BB aired it’s last episode on September 29, 2013…

…annnnnnnddd I just started watching it a few weeks ago.

I know. I know. I’m a bit [fashionably] late to the BB bandwagon, but when it was on TV, I never really took an interest in the show. In all honesty, I had watched the first episode and decided I wasn’t so much of a fan. I didn’t like how dark it was. And was it just me or did seeing Malcolm in the Middle’s dad as a cancer-stricken drug dealer just weird the beans out of you? After some thought (and serious boredom), I decided to give it another go. What I found was that BB was kind of like a good wine; it only got better with time.  I just finished the series a few days ago and am heart broken. Not just because the show is over and I can no longer look forward to enjoying a pizza and glass (or two) of wine with Walter, Jesse, Skyler, and Saul every night, but when I try to talk about my utter heart brokenness with my friends, they look at me like I have three heads.

In their defense, they’ve all had a good two years to get over it. They’ve gotten through all seven stages of the grieving process, they’ve come to accept that BB is over, done, kaput. But for me, the pain is still very real. Just one of the struggles of binge-watching a show for the first time when literally everyone and their second cousin twice removed on their mom’s side has already seen it.

Here are 13 more reasons why this can be just all of the worst:

1. No one wants to talk about the show. No one. But that’s literally all you want to do in life right now.

2. Spoilers. Spoilers, spoilers everywhere. They weren’t a huge problem before you started watching the show, but now that you know the characters’ names, everything is a spoiler. Everything. *Cries in a heap as far away from the interwebs as possible.

3. You’re terrified to even mention that you’re watching the show to other people for fear that they will pull the ‘ol, “OMG have you gotten to the part where____happens?!”” Ear muffs.

4. Or, you’ll get that well-meaning person who just can’t help but accidentally spoil it when they say, “OMG I was sooooo sad when____ died! I cried for days.” Bullet-proof ear muffs.

5. And then of course you get the fun experience of assuming that anytime something minorly not-so-great happens to one of your favorite characters, that’s the moment that they’re going to kick the bucket. Oh, they missed the bus? This must be it. They decide to walk home and get run over by a moose. Cool.

6. If the show you’re currently binging on is well past its expiration date, people will look at you like you’re crazy for just watching/finishing it. I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to PLEASE TALK ABOUT THAT BREAKING BAD ENDING THOUGH!!

7. When someone asks you what your favorite show is, you may feel a little weird saying Seinfeld, considering it went off the air 17 years ago. But to be fair, Seinfeld is timeless so…

8. Oh, that actor that you’re totally obsessed with? They’re now 16 years older and have three kids so your fantasies about you casually running into them at Trader Joe’s and falling madly in love in the produce section are far less likely than if you had loved them when the show was actually airing. Not impossible, just a little less impossible. I will never let go, Jonathon Taylor Thomas, I will never let go.

9. When something huge happens on the show, very few people are still interested in freaking out about the fact that Jack, Sawyer, Kate and the rest of Oceanic flight 815 WERE NOT DEAD THE WHOLE TIME?!?! Nope, scratch that. Everyone is still freaking about that Lost ending. It will always be too soon for that one. Always.

10. You’re constantly recalling old celeb gossip while watching, which makes you a tad paranoid. Hmmm, didn’t this actor go to jail at one point and have to leave the show? When did that happen? OMG are they going to be written out of the show before they get back together with____?

11. You want to recommend the show to everyone, share the brilliance, the magic, the amazingness of it all! But everyone has already seen The Sopranos. Everyone. Except you. And maybe your grandma. Nope, even she has seen it.

12. Everyone and their mother is going to claim that they once told you how great that show was ages ago. And they’re going to want you to concede full credit to them. Boogers.

12. When you know that a show was unexpectedly canceled and ended the cliff hangers to beat all cliff hangers, you have a mini crisis trying to decide if you should stop watching at the point when things are mostly wrapped up, or if you should stick it out and risk the utter torment of an unresolved ending. RIP Firefly. RIP.

13. You finally start understanding certain references that have made their way into pop culture, and you want to use them all the time. But if you throw “Legen…wait for it…dary!” into conversation, people are just going to think that you just need to move on already!

Yep. I think I need to just start watching shows in real time from now on.

There’s this little show called Mad Men that I’ve been meaning to get around to watching. Apparently it’s like, the best.

Wait. What?! MAD MEN ENDED EARLIER THIS YEAR?!?

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Why Chasing Life is the best show you’re not watching (but need to!!!)

Okay guys.

So apparently I’ve been living under a bush the past year because HOW DID I JUST FIND OUT ABOUT THIS SHOW?!?!?

If you, like me, are just being introduced to the amazingness that is Chasing Life, don’t worry. The first season of this ABC Family’s sleeper of a hit has just been made Netflix official which means you can binge watch all 21 episodes right.now. And trust me, you won’t be able to stop at just one so just go ahead and get comfortable, stock up on popcorn and peanut M&Ms (and tissues—lots and lots of tissues) and settle in for the greatest rollercoaster of emotions of your life.

Chasing Life follows April Carver, an eager young professional trying to make her way up in the rankings as a reporter with a Boston newspaper. While juggling her career, she’s also attempting to balance her family life (she lives with her super sweet but over-protective widowed mother Sarah, rebellious little sister Brenna and her grandma) and her love life. Just when the puzzle pieces of her life are finally beginning to fall into place, she is thrown a devastating curve ball: she has cancer.

This show will grab you from the very start, pulling you in to the rawness, the honesty, the humor and relationship dynamics of life that I believe we all have felt at some point.

Here are just some of the reasons why Chasing Life is the best show you’re not watching (but need too!!!):

1. Tackles the subject of cancer in an honest and raw (yet humorous) way. I think we all have been affected by this terrible disease, whether we have personally had cancer, or have known or lost someone who has. One of the things I really like about this show is that it realistically chronicles not just the physical journey that a person with cancer takes, but the emotional journey as well. You begin to empathize with the story line, with the characters. It’s most definitely a lesson on the realities and struggles of those with cancer and the impact it has on those closest to them. Cancer isn’t a light subject matter, but Chasing Life tackles the topic in a way that makes it easier to talk about, bringing light to the realities of this disease in a way that makes you think, cry, and at times laugh. It may seem counter-intuitive, but this show illustrates how important it is  retain your positivity, your sense of humor and most importantly, hope in the most difficult of times.

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2. Illustrates the power of friendship. The relationship that April has with her best friend Beth is the epitome of BFF status. They’re the kind of friends that will tell each other anything, be there for each other and share a million laughs, smiles and tears together. Beth is exactly the type of person you want on your side during a difficult journey, because she’ll listen, offer helpful advice, and then make you laugh when you need it most.  Besides Beth, April forms a very special bond with the people in her cancer support group. While at first hesitant, April begins to let her guard down and see how powerful these strong friendships are, how the love and support given and received can really help to get you through even the hardest of life’s experiences.

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3. And the importance of family. There is a certain comfort that comes with knowing you have someone who will always have your back, who will be your biggest cheerleader, who will love you unconditionally and be with you through the good times and the bad. That’s what family is all about. And while April’s is certainly not perfect (what family is?) and has it’s ups and downs (what family doesn’t?), she discovers how lucky and incredibly blessed she is to have them, through thick and thin. This show also does a great job of showing the affects of April’s cancer through the eyes of those closest to her: her mom, her sister and her grandma.

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4. Features positive and strong female role models. April (played by the amazing Italia Ricci) is one of my favorite leading ladies, and for good reason. While some TV characters simply react to what’s happening around them or rely on others to save them/fight their battles, April proves that it’s possible to be proactive about getting what you want while still remaining sympathetic. For example, after learning that her chemotherapy might prevent her from having children in the future (a common side effect of the chemo therapy is infertility), she arranges to see a fertility doctor to discuss her options even though it requires delaying her treatment against her family’s wishes. She remains strong in her convictions, willing to do whatever it takes to make her dreams come true. She’s strong, intelligent, kind and has a huge heart. Can we just be BFF’s already?!

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5. Michael Scott Foster. ‘Nuff said. I’ve always been a fan of Michael’s since his days on another one of my favorite ABC Family shows, Greek, but his work on Chasing Life takes my crush on him to an all-time high. Michael plays Leo Hendrie, the only son of Boston gubernatorial candidate Bruce Hendie and a member of April’s cancer support group. Diagnosed with a brain tumor, he has only three to four months to live, which allows him to appreciate every moment he has left while teaching April to do the same. Michael’s charisma, charm and excellent comedic timing bring a certain warmth to the show. You can’t help but fall in love with him. Plus, he’s cute. Like, just really, really cute.

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