Binge-Watching

Being confined to home and bed by illness and my car getting in an accident without me in it, I didn’t have many other choices this weekend than to try binge-watching a TV show.  I had been meaning to check out the ABC show Quantico since I first saw ads for it this last summer.  But I didn’t get around to it until now.  So, I watched eleven episodes this weekend and am now basically caught up to the present.   And also, basically, hooked for life.

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I started this, of course, by telling myself that if the show was no good, I would know that after the first episode, and I wouldn’t have to continue.  But I had already learned the hard way that the uncritical critic in me can get caught up in really bad TV shows and learn to enjoy them.  My son in the Marines gifted me with a subscription to Netflix on the promise that I would watch the show he was addicted to on Netflix called Supernatural.

Honestly, I had to suffer through four or five episodes of monster-of-the-week with that show before I got seriously hooked.  It was a klunky-dumb show with a macho-dumb-guy main character, until it began weaving stories together into a main story arc and then dipping into the well of self-referential humor.  You could see them getting better and better with each episode, and by now I have watched ten seasons worth of episodes… and the thing is somehow still running.  I have to write a future post about that show too.

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But this post is about a show that I actually watched eleven episodes of in two day’s time.  Quantico is an FBI mystery series where they are running two parallel plots at the same time, the training of the main characters before the big attack, and the manhunt for the main character played by beautiful Priyanka Chopra after the big attack.  It is a fascinating exercise in story-telling where no character on the screen is one hundred percent guilt-free, and the story seems to focus on a different perpetrator each episode.  After eleven episodes and the deaths of two characters, I still don’t know who is guilty.  At one point I even thought the main character herself was guilty and pulling the wool over our eyes the whole time.  It has the pull and intensity of a really good Sherlock Holmes’ story with twists and turns and double-backs galore.  I may have to re-watch all eleven episodes to get it straight.

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And it just keeps me going with a need to know more about each and every one of these intricate and well-developed characters.  I am astonished that a plot-driven entertainment like this is capable of developing different over-all themes in each of the episodes.  And I am thoroughly impressed by the level of intelligent creativity exhibited by program creators on a consistent basis.  It is almost too smart to be popular with the viewing public.  It is the same thing my son encountered with the Supernatural TV show.  There isn’t anywhere to turn to find people who have watched it and understood it well enough to discuss it with me.  Most of the people I know don’t want to actually discuss themes and ideas from TV shows with me anyway… but especially not brain-intensive shows.

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So feel free to tell me in the comments how awful you think the show is and why I am so terribly terminally wrong about it.  Or not.  I am an uncritical TV critic and you can’t spoil something like this for me no matter how many syllables are in the bad words you use.

 

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Filed under humor, TV as literature, TV review

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