Review: Cable Girls (Las Chicas Del Cable)

Netflix first Spanish project is Cable Girls (Las Chicas Del Cable). I’ll review the 8 episode season 1 of this female-powered drama. Minor spoilers ahead.
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Brain Dump: Call the Midwife, Mary Kills People, Scandal

The brain dump for this week involves short thoughts on Call the Midwife, Mary Kills People, and Scandal. Let’s get right into it, shall we? Continue reading “Brain Dump: Call the Midwife, Mary Kills People, Scandal”

Guest Post: A Last Tango in Halifax Fan Speaks Out

[Recently I wrote that after such a long delay between season 3 and 4 of Last Tango in Halifax, I thought Caroline (Sarah Lancashire) might be ready to move on to a new relationship. The lesbian fan base I thought would respond to this idea did respond – they hated it! After several lengthy comments telling me why my idea that Kate (Nina Sosanya) could be replaced was wrongheaded, I asked one of the commenters to write a guest post explaining her position in detail. Meet guest writer Drea, who describes herself by saying, “I’m just an outspoken person who hates injustice in all of its forms and I refuse to be quiet about it.”
– Virginia
] Continue reading “Guest Post: A Last Tango in Halifax Fan Speaks Out”

BBC’s Clever Treatment of Previews for New TV Season

Check out the BBC’s brilliant treatment of previews of the coming seasons for many of our favorite shows. Mixed among the previews are clips of shows from the past and present.

I predict a rush to copy this style of preview sharing by all the networks. It’s a fantastic way to use the technology. They may not all be lucky enough to get Benedict Cumberbatch doing Shakespeare to hold the narrative thread together, but you can bet they’ll try to equal this.

I’ve only mentioned Call the Midwife in passing, but it’s excellent. You can catch up with several seasons on Netflix. Mostly women characters and wonderful ones at that. It’s also on PBS.

There’s a clip from Happy Valley but no preview. As far as I know they haven’t started shooting series 2 of Happy Valley.

The clip from The Fall is different from the two I’ve already published here. Gillian Anderson is simply outstanding in this show. Don’t forget Archie Panjabi is also in the cast.

And Last Tango in Halifax! what’s up with Gillian (Nicola Walker) in what looks like a wedding dress? And Alan (Derek Jacobi) in a tux? All the while Caroline (Sarah Lancashire) changes a tire in a very nice pair of heels. Is Gillian getting married?

Binge Watching VS. One Hour a Week

I rewatched all of season 3 of Lost Girl on Netflix. I was surprised to see many clues to what happened in season 4 that I’d forgotten about in the months between the two seasons. Now I’m rewatching Lost Girl season 4 and having an epiphany about binge watching.

Check this out
Kenzi from Lost Girl

When I watched season 4 on a weekly basis, I spent a good part of the time bitchy and irritated because the answers weren’t coming fast enough. When I look back over my recaps of season 4, the annoyance shows through. I cared about the characters and I wanted to know what was going to happen to them – and, by damn, I wanted to know right now!

Binge watching season 4 is much less aggravating. Well, true, I know what happened. But also true, I can rewatch episodes of Lost Girl with as much enjoyment as I felt the first time through. I experience it all again. Knowing that I can play the next episode immediately, where more will be revealed about Rainer or The Wanderer or the time on the train or Bo’s strange behavior makes a huge difference. It changes how I feel about the slow reveal of the clues, the seeming detours into things like bird-women who sing opera that don’t turn out to be detours after all.

alan and celia
Alan and Celia from Last Tango in Halifax

When I have to wait a week to see the next piece of a show I love, the wait seems insurmountable. Having to wait for season 2 of Last Tango in Halifax to reach PBS sent me into an absolute tizzy. Especially when it was available on the BBC, on YouTube, on every freakin’ place but legal American TV. Geographic restrictions are another horrible annoyance.

Orange is the New Black cast

I distinctly recall the feeling I had when I reached the last episode of Orange is the New Black. I wanted 1000 more episodes and I wanted them right now! But I’d just spent 13 hours with Orange is the New Black in a big gulp. Even though I wanted more, I could wait. The binge filled me up in a way that a weekly dose of something doesn’t.

I have a friend with no TV. She comes to town for a meeting every couple of months and stays at my place. We watched Orange is the New Black during each visit, a couple of episodes at a time spread out over several months. I started noticing flaws. Flaws! It wasn’t as wonderful when there was a gap in my viewing. The binge has power.

The Fringe cast
The Fringe

I didn’t watch Fringe until it was off the air. When I’d tried watching it weekly, I lost interest. When I could binge watch, I was fascinated. When I look back at the things I binge watched the past year: Orange is the New Black, The Fall, House of Cards, Bomb Girls, Call the Midwife  – I realize that those shows are some of my favorites. Is it because they are truly great shows, or is it because I could watch them in big chunks? “Do I love you because you’re beautiful, or are you beautiful because I love you?”

I still love Lost Girl and The Good Wife and Scandal, Orphan Black and Covert Affairs and other shows I only get to see once a week or in dribs and drabs throughout the year. This is the way TV has always been and I’m willing to go with it. But if I could get a full season of these shows all at once, I would leap at it like a coyote on a cottontail.

Conclusions?

Binge watching is so inherently satisfying. It’s instant gratification taken to its highest level. My conclusion is that more and more shows are going to release ready to binge watch. Television is going to change because of that. Electronic storytelling, streaming storytelling, is going to change.

I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I know it’s going to happen.