So the odd part of the one-word prompt, the simplicity of such a loaded word like Feast, is that it didn’t inspire me to write about one of my favorite topics: Food. Don’t get me wrong. I love the hell out of food. I eat it every day. Salty, sour, sweet, some bitter, it’s all good (well, except for boiled cabbage, asparagus, sea urchin, natto, kale, butter pecan ice cream, durian, liver-and-onions, most casseroles…and the things I simply won’t try like lutefisk, haggis, Vegemite, balut, etc…). However, food isn’t on my mind, not even right now as I write a little intro about it.
Instead, this fool (points at self) has found a lovely timesuck on the binge-service that is Netflix, and she has gorged upon it over the past several months… (Funny how words like “binge” seem to be associated with TV-watching and not affiliated much with food consumption these days).
Lately, I’ve been hooked on a few shows…
Stranger Things (created by Matt & Ross Duffer)
A wonderful homage to everything worthwhile about ’80’s pop culture, from Steven Spielberg to Stephen King with a little John Hughes tossed in for good measure. Even ’80s veterans Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine have prominent roles in the show, as if to remind us. The show centers around a small town where the kids hang out playing their D&D games, the teens sneak in and out of each others’ bedroom windows, and the adults are broody and smoke a lot of cigarettes. When one of the kids quite literally vanishes, his mother, along with his older brother, the local sheriff, the neighborhood D&D gang (the kids in this are absolutely stellar), and a couple of lovestruck teens eventually band together to find him. Throw in a girl with superpowers, a nasty monster, and a collective of shady government types and you’ve pretty much an addictive night or two or three in.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (created by Rachel Bloom & Aline Brosh McKenna)
Okay, I know this musical-comedy has been on TV for the past year, but I’ve been a bit slow to catch up (I blame HBO and AMC for this). The multi-talented, adorable Rachel Bloom, the co-creator and star, plays plucky stalker-nut attorney Rebecca Bunch, who up and walks out of her unhappy NYC life in order to chase an old summer fling to his hometown of West Covina, California (“Two hours to the beach…well, four in traffic…”). Its self-mocking tenor, tenderhearted moments, quirky musical numbers (and I cannot stand musicals), and hilarious cultural jabs make for entertainment gold. Don’t believe me? Take a peek at “The Sexy Getting Ready Song” (NSFW):
Bloodline (created by Glenn & Todd Kessler, Daniel Zelman)
You know you’re in for quite a ride when a series opens with the line “We’re not bad people, but we did a bad thing.” Bloodline, while not a mystery per se, has a story rife with dark secrets. A Key West family, the Rayburns, encounter all sorts of trouble when the sociopathic black sheep, eldest brother Danny (played with perfectly snake-like intensity by Ben Mendelsohn), comes back into their lives for their father’s award ceremony. Season 2 picks up right after the events of the first season, and I’d wondered how the showrunners were planning on keeping that suspense brewing to the boiling point because it seemed as if all that was going to happen already happened in the first season. I was pleasantly surprised and horrified that for every action a Rayburn performed in season two, it simply made their ever-increasing situation much, much worse.