Friday 5: Tubular

  1. What TV series have you watched every episode of? There are a few, especially since they’re so easy to access now. The X-Files, Lost, Weeds, Queer as Folk, Firefly, Blood+, Cowboy Bebop, 30 Rock, Arrested Development, and a few others I’ve worked through over the past couple years. I just can’t remember them. As a bonus, the only one of those I actually watched every episode of when it was on is Lost. I only missed a few, and I caught them either in a rerun at another point in the week or online the next day.
  2. What are your favorite instrumental and vocal TV theme songs? The only one that stands out is The X-Files.
  3. What’s a TV series you stuck with even when it got bad? It would be easier to name shows I gave up on, because unless I know I don’t like it from the start, I tend to stick everything out. There’s only one show I abandoned recently, and I don’t even remember what it was called. It was a British comedy from the ’80s-ish that just had really creepy, kind of sleazy jokes about men watching/targeting/preying on women that was more unnerving than funny for me, and I gave it a full season before I quit. But I’d say The X-Files is a good example, because although the later episodes are better than they’re often given credit for, the show did run past its prime. I swear The X-Files isn’t gonna be my answer to all of these.
  4. What supporting TV character would you like to have seen featured in his or her own spinoff?  If you’re feeling creative, what would be the premise of that series? I honestly don’t know, because everything either got a spin-off (uh…The X-Files) or I just don’t find any other characters to be worthy of one.
  5. What is the single funniest moment on TV you have ever seen? I don’t know that I’d say this was the funniest ever, but at least the funniest of recent memory–my fiancé and I tackled all the Bob’s Burgers on Netflix, and there was an episode where Linda’s sister, Gayle, was reciting some poetry she’d written or something. One of the lines was, “Little cat, you’re just like me/You go outside and squat to pee.” I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard.

I had a ton of vacation days to use–I’ve since lost most of them because I just had too many to use before the cut-off date–so I gave myself a nice, long weekend about two weeks ago. I took Thursday off to get to the gynecologist, pretty much just to get back on birth control, and then took the following Monday off just to use up days.

My mom had been wanting to clean out my bedroom at their house. We’d originally planned to do it before Christmas, but it got moved since I had to reschedule with said gyne since he decided he wants to deliver babies now and needed training for it. Anyway, my mom and I spent a decent amount of time that Friday going through things and decided what to ship back with me now, what I can take later, and what I’d like to keep there until I move into a permanent home, like some of my guitars and nicer things. Her long-term goal is to sort of rotate rooms and move furniture into there temporarily to really clean and repaint the other bedrooms, eventually turning it into a guest room/office.

When we finished up, I went to Paul’s, we tried a Chinese buffet in Greensburg Saturday, and I went to my writing group Sunday, which once again went well and yielded what one of them declared is their favorite piece I’ve presented so far. It was about Bill Clinton and is currently waiting on a decision for publication, along with I believe two other pieces.

Aside from venturing out for food and occasional other necessities, Paul and I have been having lazy, largely Netflix weekends–at some point in our relationship, likely pretty early on, we decided to watch various shows and movies together. Some of the ones we’re on now are new to both of us, like Archer and Bob’s Burgers, and others are shows one of us loved and wanted the other to see. Currently on my end, that’s showing him Bob’s Burgers, and his gift to me was originally the anime Cowboy Bebop, which was short and we finished not too long ago. Which is terrible since we started it when he was still in school. The DVD set was one of the first gifts I ever bought him. It was one of those things where either we’d forget to watch it when I visited, or he’d come home or to my place and not bring it with him.

So, anime seems like it has this reputation for being a very nerdy niche but also not very high-quality. Apparently, Adult Swim disagrees, as they show some of the better, more beloved series, and despite growing up without cable, Paul managed a couple times to be in the right place at the right time and catch some gems (with Cowboy Bebop, Terra’s brother Dom caught it, showed it to her, and when she heard Paul wanted me to see it, she supported it–especially since it’s pretty similar to Firefly and she’d shown me that in college). Paul’s basically become my anime filter–if I have to watch it at work, I ask him about it and if he’s never heard of it, it’s usually a bad sign. Part of his goal has been to not just share shows he loves with me but to expand my horizons and show me really solid foreign TV.

Which leads us in our most recent anime quest, Blood+. If you like vampires, government conspiracies, sketchy pharmaceutical companies, excellent ensembles, and tight, well-plotted writing, this show is excellent and perfect for you but you’re shit out of luck because as of today, it’s no longer available for streaming.

Basically, we found out early in January that we’d have until today to finish the whole thing, and we were only about halfway through. The good news is that good, serious anime is structured very differently from American shows–instead of seasons running for forever to be cash cows for the networks and running the risk of getting shitty, Cowboy Bebop and Blood+ both had short, limited runs where the story arc had a definite end point. And if you’re a fan of high quality, this is excellent because it means the writers can wrap everything up and focus on telling a really solid story and then it’s done. So Blood+ was only 50 episodes, which was truly all it needed, although I loved it so much I’d be fine with more.

I’m not a fan of binge-watching anything. I think it makes me feel lazy, like there’s something else I should be doing, so I have a really hard time watching more than an episode or two of something at a time. The one advantage to this is I love thinking about things and I love the anticipation build-up, so drawing out Blood+ in the beginning was fun. But then we didn’t have that luxury anymore, so we started doing two at a time and then decided to split whatever was left up between the last two weekends of the month, in part so we wouldn’t be doing a whole binge on the very last day we could but also so that in case something came up to where we couldn’t squeeze in whatever was left over a Friday night and Saturday, we only had to worry about a few episodes. It ended up working out well in that we had seven left and did three Friday night and the rest Saturday as soon as we woke up.

Basically, our weekends have involved a lot of, “We need to watch this show now while we can.”

And although I’ve done some fun stuff in between all that and haven’t turned into a total Netflix zombie, Blood+ is officially one of my favorite shows of all time. I don’t know that Paul totally realizes what he’s done, but I do think he’s proud of himself regardless.

It helps that I’ve cried at the end of both Cowboy Bebop and Blood+. Not that he wants to see me cry, but part of him definitely enjoys the fact that I got invested enough in the characters and story for it to happen.