Sunday, September 30, 2018

Late Night Viewing Parties with the Newborn: My Watchlist

Life with a teeny-tiny newborn (well, not so tiny-I've already had to start putting away his size "newborn" clothes!) is an adventure. One of the big, unpredictable experiences that comes along is nighttime wakings. Some nights he sleeps really well, and other nights have been fairly terrible. Currently, he likes to stay awake for an hour or two during one of his wakings! I previously talked about how I've been using these nighttime hours to dive into prayer, but let's be honest: I also have been using them to watch shows. I think there is definitely a place for both prayer and "Netflixing."

When I had my firstborn, my main three shows were Doctor Who Season 6, The Walking Dead, and Downton Abbey. This time, I've been trying out a couple different things. Let's see, shall we? 

Doctor Who, the Amy & Rory Edition
Just as with my firstborn, something about Amy Pond and Rory Williams fits really well with the whole "embarking on the adventure of having a newborn." It makes sense: their story arc walks through their engagement, marriage, and perseverance through struggles (and becoming parents). And the Eleventh Doctor is just awesome, as is River Song. So, I've gone through various episodes from seasons 5 & 6, and next I'll move onto the first half of season 7. It's nice for when I want something engaging at 4 a.m. that doesn't take too much intense focus or brainpower, since I've already seen the show. 

Canadian Chess Show
When I read the premise of Endgame, I knew that I had to watch it. Arkady Balagan, chess grandmaster, is staying at a luxury hotel with his fiancĂ© when she tragically dies. Balagan is so shell-shocked by the experience that he becomes a bit of an agoraphobe, unable (and unwilling) to leave the hotel. As Arkady faces the reality of hotel bills that he can't afford, he is presented with a case that needs to be solved. Over the course of the series, Arkady continues in this detective-role, solving mysteries from the comfort of his suite with the assistance of the hotel bartender, a chess-obsessed college student, and one of the hotel cleaning ladies. This is a really quirky show; while it deals with heavy topics like infidelity, abortion, and death, the tone of the show is pretty lighthearted. It's very hard for me to categorize it precisely. I really enjoyed the show for the most part; there is not very much onscreen objectionable content except for the second-to-last episode, which was about some Satanic rock n' roll group( I wound up skipping most of the episode, since it largely consisted of drunken orgies, and I found that there was only 1 plot point relevant to the rest of the series that could be gleaned from the episode). I was really sad when the show ended, because the final episode lands on such a crazy note-tons of wild stuff happens! Cliffhanger!-and the show was not renewed for another season. So sad. 

Japanese drama
When Amazon "suggested" some "j-dramas" to me, I was intrigued. Japanese tv shows? I like anime, so I decided I would give one of these a try. Fukuyadou Honpo-Kyoto Love Story follows a family who owns a sweets shop in Kyoto. The 17th generation to run this 450-year-old shop, the Proprietress (as everyone calls the mom) is determined to ensure that the shop will continue in their family by telling her oldest daughter she'll inherit the store and marry Ken, one of the men who works there. But wait! Hina, the daughter, wants to marry another guy instead, so Arare, the next girl, should marry Ken, right? Arare is tired of always getting her older sister's castoffs, though, so tensions flair. And there's also a cheesy middle-school romance plot with the third and final sister, Hana, and a boy she meets. The camera and filming style of this show took a little while for me to get used to, and it wasn't necessarily the type of show I'd go for-it was kind of soap opera-y, kind of Hallmark-y, and I have to confess that the main reason I started it is because I love dessert. And then I kept watching it, because I had to see what ultimately happened (though it's kind of predictable). I was not happy with all of the resolutions in the story, but it was still a sweet show. I also was really intrigued by the emphasis and tensions that had to do with keeping a store that had been in a family for so many centuries. As an American, I have no comprehension of this reality-that there could be a family who owns and passes down a shop for four hundred years. That's just mind-boggling, so I love how the show explored that concept and the role (or non-role) that the children have in the decision to carry on the store. 

Even though I'd rather be sleeping at 4 a.m., the early-morning snuggles and viewing parties have still been enjoyable. After I finish my little jaunt into Doctor Who, I plan on pulling out Firefly sometime, for it's been far too long since I've watched that show. Also, season 3 of The Man in the High Castle comes out soon, and I am extremely excited to watch that. I also hope to watch Wives and Daughters at some point in the coming months, since I really enjoyed the book. And if my little newborn still isn't learning how to sleep after all that...well, I may have to find some more shows, too ;) Only time will tell! 

I don't have Netflix, but I DO have Amazon Prime, so if you have any recommendations for awesome shows, please pass them along! 


  1. If you want something just lovely try Larkrise to Candleford. Think similar to Downton, but less drama full and set earlier in history. I loved it!

    1. Thanks for mentioning that! I watched the first couple episodes several months back, but it was quite a bit slower than what I was in the mood for at the time-but now that my life is a whirlwind of chaos most days, the time might be right to revisit it :)