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If you were wondering where I’d been lately and considering sending out a search party, you wouldn’t have to look too far. Throughout the holidays and now for hours each night after dinner, I’ve been sitting on the giant red couch in my family room watching the telly. In fact, I was watching so much TV after Christmas my children became alarmed.

“You’re STILL watching television?” my 23yo son said incredulously when he peeked his head out of the kitchen on Dec. 26 to find me sitting on the couch in my pajamas mid-day powering through my fourth hour of Netflix.

I have to admit, I found this reaction to seeing me do what he – and all of his siblings – do all the time quite hilarious. Throughout the fall, when he wasn’t networking or going on job interviews, the guy was sitting in my basement ploughing through, like, a million shows and yelling at the television while playing PlayStation4. My youngest daughter watched all five seasons of Mad Men during her winter break and my 13yo somehow squeezed in an entire season of Parks and Rec on Sunday while was supposed to be scraping stickers off his bedroom door.

But apparently they are not used to seeing their mom do the same. I guess it was weird to see me bingeing on a TV show. But, like a big box of CheezIts, it was hard to stop after just one helping of Jessica Jones. As each episode ended and the little box in the corner came on indicating the next was about to start in three … two … one … I was like, “Okay, just one more.”

What is this Jessica Jones, you ask? Well, number one, it’s super-violent. Like, limb in a Vitamix, violent. There’s sex. Even, kind of, superhuman sex. And it’s very dark. Jessica is a private investigator who’s a rape survivor with some superhuman strength and gets through her days slugging whiskey (sometimes straight outta the bottle). She’s the chick who played Jesse’s druggie girlfriend on Breaking Bad who chokes on her own vomit (with the help of Walter White) in bed. So, I guess things have picked up for the actress a little in this new Netflix-original series because Jessica would kick Walter White’s ass for trying that shit. Please try to get to the end of the first episode and not immediately need to watch the next one. The ending is a doozy.

But things really get good when Jessica’s former captor and all-around-bad-boyfriend Kilgrave – played by the super-sexy David Tennant – comes on the scene in the third episode. He is so bad. Terrible. And funny and strangely likable. I couldn’t believe he was the same actor who played one of the lead detectives in Broadchurch (another series you can, and should, binge on Netflix).

I was sorry when I finished the final episode and despondent that there were no serious plans for a second season. Somehow, the series is linked to the other Marvel Comics-inspired Netflix series Daredevil, but I haven’t taken the plunge to watch that yet, frankly because I’ve been watching way too many other shows.

I’m embarrassed to tell you that I’ve watched these other series in the last month:

  • Sherlock: I never got the whole Benedict Cumberbatch thing. I saw him in a few movies and was like, “Huh.” And then I started watching Sherlock and was like, “I totally get it.” He’s wonderfully nutty and weirdly sexy in a high-functioning ,crazy-person way. Each 90-minute episode is so densely packed, it’s kind of hard to binge on more than one or two at a time. There are a couple of really good bad guys and some twists that I didn’t see coming (although that’s not that hard since I am terrible at seeing things coming). I recommend you watch the three-episodes of each of its three seasons slowly because a fourth isn’t expected to be released until 2017.
  • Mozart in the Jungle: Honestly, I never heard of this series on Amazon until it received a couple of Golden Globe nominations. And because I like to be in the know about these kinds of things, started watching with my daughter while she was home on break. It’s the young ingénue oboist trying to break into a fictional New York symphony and winding up instead the assistant to their new young and kind of eccentric maestro. I wish there was a little more music but it is like a sneak peek behind the curtain and – for godssakes – it has the fabulous Bernadette Peters (who makes 67 look beyond fabulous) so what is not to love? We quickly gobbled up all 10 half-hour episodes of the first season and are now on the final two episodes of the recently-released second season and now that the show took home two Golden Globes (for best musical/comedy series and best actor), I bet lots more people will actually know what an oboe looks like.
  • Flesh and Bone: This Starz original series has pretty much the same premise as Mozart in the Jungle. Just substitute ballet for the symphony and throw in a crazy homeless guy for good measure. But unlike Mozart, they cast real-live dancers for Flesh and Bone and there’s a ton of really beautiful dancing. There’s also a ton of Black Swan-like drama and super-skinny bodies but when the eight, hour-long episodes are over, that’s it. Apparently there are no plans in the work for a second season, so you can have some closure on the fate of the company.
  • Master of None: My kids fell in love with Aziz Ansari after bingeing on Parks and Rec but I never really found him appealing. I thought his character was kind of jerky. But I kept reading a lot about his new Netflix series, on the tail of his recent book investigating modern romance that I thought was fascinating, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Interestingly, after inhaling the whole series and finding it adorable and poignant, I encouraged my kids to watch and each one told me they tried but couldn’t get into it. I think it’s because they’re too young. It’s really aimed at folks old enough to have pondered what it means to commit to one person for the rest of your life as well as the clarity to know when they’re being jerks to their parents. I don’t know if I ever needed to see Aziz simulating having sex with someone but other than that, I really enjoyed all 10, half-hour episodes (well, not so sure about the first, but all the rest).
  • Making a Murderer: I watched the first episode while Googling all sorts of shit on my laptop and soon realized that – much like Homeland – you really have to be focused to know what’s going on. So I held off watching any more and now I’ve read there’s so much controversy over the series, I don’t know if I’m going to continue. What I really wanted was for it to be like the TV-version of Serial, last year’s much-talked-about podcast that thoroughly examined the murder of a high school girl in Baltimore in 1999 and whether her former boyfriend who was convicted for killing her was wrongly imprisoned. I binged like crazy on that – listening in my car while my son played soccer or at the kitchen table during dinner – before the final episode and thought the producers/creators looked under every single rock in their investigation. Instead, I think I’ll turn the TV off and catch up on the new season of Serial, which examines the case of Bowe Bergdahl, who allegedly deserted his Army unit and was held captive by the Taliban for five years. I’ve already listened to a couple and it’s very compelling. So much so that while listening on a two-hour drive home from my dad’s over the holidays, about 15-minutes in my 13yo yelled from the third row, “Hey Mom, can you turn it up?”

Maybe we’ll all give our screens a break and just listen to a story for a while.

If you need a break from bingeing, read me instead! Sign up to get all of my latest posts sent right to your inbox by typing your email into the box below. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter. 

 

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