Bingeing on TV

By admin
20 January 2014

From Downton Abbey to Elementary, our TV blogger watched series after series during her holiday, and is high-fiving herself after managing to spring-clean her PVR.

Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson in Elementary Joan Watson and Sherlock Holmes in Elementary

There’s something satisfying about working your way through a full PVR, a PVR on 90 per cent that’s pretty much unable to record anything else. After giving up on some shows and “accidentally” erasing a few of my husband’s recordings (I know that wasn’t nice but I wasn’t thinking clearly amid series overload), I finally went on holiday in December and started spring-cleaning the PVR.

First up was Elementary as I had quite a few episodes of season one to get through and season two had started in December, and I needed to start PVRing that too. I processed the shock of finding out Moriarty and Irene Adler were the same person but there was no time to admire that genius move or how well the role was played by Natalie Dormer (remember her as Anne Boleyn in The Tudors and Margaery Tyrell in Game of Thrones?) as I needed to keep going and delete a few more percentages on the PVR.

Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler in Elementary Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler in Elementary

Elementary is fun and addictive and I almost missed out on it after first thinking it would never compare with the excellent British version, Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes. I watched the first few episodes and I liked Jonny Lee Miller’s recovering addict private detective; I also liked that they made Watson a woman (well played by Lucy Liu) and paused to admire her cool wardrobe but I wasn’t ready to commit. There were too many flashbacks to things that happened not even five minutes ago and highlighting of items or moments to show how smart Holmes was and the obvious being pointed out to hapless cops, which all became a bit much. But a friend and Twitter comments persuaded me to give it another go. And I’m glad I did. After the first few episodes the flashbacks were tightened up, Sherlock is still mouthy but it’s not so over the top and the cops get to be snarky after he points out something that’s clearly for the audience’s benefit. I also admire that the creators resisted any urge to make the two a couple or add sexual tension. It’s smart to not go there and make it something it shouldn’t be. I’m now on season two so I don’t need to record it and use valuable PVR space.

The cast of Downton Abbey The cast of Downton Abbey

I also caught up on season three of Downton Abbey and needed time to recover from the finale (just in case others haven’t watched it yet, I shall not spoil)! I also worked a bit on Breaking Bad and Homeland and giggled as I caught up with The Mindy Project.

I find more and more that watching only one episode a week of a series isn’t working for me. I need back-to-back episodes every night for at least a week. And when we get lucky with toddler babysitting offers, an entire afternoon spent watching a series is absolute bliss (made even better with a nap in between). I don’t want to wait any more to see what will happen in the next episode; I want it all now so it helps to let a few episodes back up, then binge.

I didn’t get to everything I wanted to see during the holidays (it’s recommended that one go outside and spend time in the sun). I’m now slowly catching up with Banshee, Revenge and Blue Bloods but I made great progress and the PVR is on a healthier 50 per cent. I’m still working on it as 30 per cent would be ideal but I suspect getting to 40 per cent will be seen as a victory.

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