by T. Mack
During the recent winter break in the network TV season, I found myself with quite a bit of downtime. My shows weren’t broadcasting new episodes and I was in a “show hole” on Netflix. So I decided to try a few shows that I’d been ignoring up to that point. Incredibly, I was pleasantly surprised and instantly hooked by each one.
Reasons I Hadn’t Watched: It wasn’t that I didn’t think Arrow would be good. It was just that I knew it to be quite dark and extremely different from the comic book character it is based on. The CW intentionally didn’t name it “Green Arrow” when they began because even though it was based on that character, they tried to give it a dark and gritty Batman vibe. Plus, my hayday with the CW (and former WB) were years past and I figured the show might miss the mark with me (since their key target demographic is something like ages 14-28).
Reasons I Started Watching: I’ve been watching this show’s spin-off series, The Flash, for a season and a half and I absolutely love it. Despite my doubts, the CW has proved they do superheroes right. Also, I had every intention of watching the newest member of the CW superhero canon coming in January. Since the new show is a spin-off of both Arrow and The Flash, it just made sense to watch the show and be familiar with the foundation it laid for Legends of Tomorrow. Also, the show had previously been recommended by Sister Geek, Jen P. And the recommendation of my sisters carries a lot of weight.
Reasons I Kept Watching: Yes, the series starts out pretty dark. However, it is also compelling and intriguing and humorous in its own way. I immediately fell in love with Felicity Smoak and became an Olicity shipper (avid supporter of the Oliver + Felicity relationship). Also, Stephen Amell spent a lot of screen time shirtless early in the series. It was totally worth the price of admission.
See what I’m talking ’bout?
How Much I Watched: To get caught up to current, I had to watch three and a half seasons of the show. At about 42 minutes per episode with 22 episodes in the first three seasons plus 9 episodes in the first half of season 4, I spent around 53 hours of watch time, give or take a half hour or so. Of course, now that the show has returned in 2016, it would take a bit more than this to catch up to what’s current now. However, if superheroes are your thing, you might just find it’s worth it. I certainly did. **Seasons 1-3 currently available on Netflix**
MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER
Reasons I Hadn’t Watched: Honestly, there is no good reason I hadn’t yet watched this show. Agent Peggy Carter is a supremely awesome character. She was great in the first Captain America movie and Hayley Atwell plays her splendidly. If anything, I should have watched the show on principal simply to support the one time Marvel has seen fit to feature a female character. Not tuning in to this show before now was just pure laziness.
Reasons I Started Watching: I should have been watching all along. The show was recommended by Sister Geek Dani a year ago. And with the second season was getting ready to premiere, it seemed the right time to step up and catch up.
Reasons I Kept Watching: Peggy Carter kicks ass. She is strong, independent, clever, and stylish. She doesn’t allow herself to be pushed around by the misogynistic buffoons who surround her and she demands to be taken seriously in a time when women simply weren’t. She is a character that all women and girls can and should look up to.
So stinkin’ badass!
How Much I Watched: The first season of this series is only 8 episodes, so to get caught up to season 2 takes less than 6 hours of watch time. Be like Nike with this one. Just do it!
MYSTERIES OF LAURA
Reasons I Hadn’t Watched: I actually did watch the first three or four episodes of this show when it premiered because I still have love for Debra Messing from her Will & Grace days. Also, Josh Lucas is always fun to watch because… yum! The show seemed underwhelming, though, and I figured it wouldn’t make it past the first season. I let it go and didn’t pick it back up.
Reasons I Started Watching: The show surprised me by getting a second season. I figured maybe I’d judged it too quickly. The entire first season was simply sitting on Netflix so it was easy enough to give it a second shot.
Reasons I Kept Watching: Debra Messing is funny. Her character, Laura, is relatable as a hard-working Mom trying to raise rambunctious boys and deal with a cheating ex-husband. She is strong and fierce and smart. The show is basically just another unremarkable police procedural. However, the main character, her remorseful ex-husband begging for another chance, and men constantly competing for her affection make it a fun time anyway.
The hotties just can’t get enough of her!
How Much I Watched: Twenty-two episodes in season 1 plus 11 episodes in the first half of season 2 totals about 23 hours of watch time. If you’re really serious about your procedural shows, this one may not be for you. But if you’re more into characters, give it a shot. **Season 1 currently available on Netflix**
I know everyone doesn’t devour television like I do. I was actually amazed at how many hours I spent on Arrow and Mysteries of Laura once I did the math. But I can’t say I regret it. While some of my Sister Geeks stay up late into the night pushing through chapters of books, I choose to keep my eyes pried open for TV episodes instead.
Yes, reading is better for the brain. But I seriously love television. And I won’t apologize for my obsession. Now that I’ve logged the watch time to catch up on all these series, I’ve got three more shows on my weekly rotation. And I couldn’t be happier about that.
Have you ever binge-watched to catch up on a TV series or a movie franchise? Or is there any show or movie series that you wish you’d started watching at the beginning but are unwilling to try and play catch-up now? Do you or have you watched any of these shows? What do you think of them? Let me know in the comments.
*CORRECTION: Agent Carter was a single season, not one and a half. So it was actually 6 seasons, not 6.5. However, the guesstimations for watch time totals were listed correctly–82 hours in all (3.4 days).