Your Summer Viewing Guide
You know what the best part of summer was growing up? The mandatory summer reading. BEAR WITH ME GUYS. You have to be a little bit of a nerd to read a blog about TV, so stop throwing shade. Our lists were divided into different categories and there was a variety of options from which to choose. I invariably read way more than I needed to, and never regretted the lost time in the sun. I look forward to applying that same principle to my current medium of choice: television.
Watercooler Must-Watch/ Must Read
Orange is the New Black. I deliberately scheduled work/ picking up a foster dog this weekend to force myself to be a normal human being for a few hours before dedicating myself to the second season of this great, great show. Spoilers ahead: Pennsatucky is not in the trailer, but she has to be alive right? Laura Prepon is only in 4 episodes this season but indicated she’d be around for Season 3 (which was recently given the green light!). Jenji Kohan has stated this season would be “darker, more fractured”. Ruh Roh.
Pair with: Anything by Audre Lorde, but I would highly recommend From a Land Where Other People Live, her third volume of poetry. Complex identities, injustice, intersectionality. It has it all.
Things you missed this semester and want to catch up on
I’m already behind on the conversation, but hopefully it’s not too late to catch up on True Detective. Since I’ve committed to being a relatively functioning member of society, I’ve had some things spoiled for me, but I can’t wait to get all the references reddit keeps making.
Accompanying reading materials: The King in Yellow seems the obvious choice, so I’ll also add Civilwarland in Bad Decline by George Saunders. It’s heart wrenching, and set in a dystopian future in which America has become little more than a theme park in terminal disrepair (basically today).
Classics (of the HBO variety)
Will this be the summer that I FINALLY watch The Sopranos? I think yes. Mostly because I paid for HBO dammit, and I’m getting tired of admitting that I’m from Jersey and I’ve never seen the show. Getting deeper into the mob scene? Read Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires by Selwyn Raab. For the more academic route, the Sopranos chapter in Alan Sepinwall’s book, The Revolution was Televised is illuminating.
Classics (International Edition)
Blackadder. Rowan Atkinson at his absolute finest. You get to learn about the English Civil war in the best possible way (the only way that doesn’t end with you drooling and asleep). And, if you’ve never read anything by P.G. Wodehouse, you are missing out on some finely crafted, grade-A precision WIT. Anything with Bertie Wooster and his delightful butler Jeeves is worth reading, but particularly The Inimitable Jeeves.
So if anyone calls you out on wasting your time indoors watching TV, just tell them it’s homework for what would be the best class in the world. Also, send me suggestions!! It’s my dream to curate a TV club.