Although I’m a theatre person (study– and workingwise) a really enjoy watching TV series.
I’m obsessed with the dramaturgical concept of series – there are longer and shorter story lines and dramaturgical arches at the same time and I’m really in love with those dualisms.
So here comes a small list of what I enjoy(ed) watching in reverse order of me starting to watch:
First of all: I cannot believe how good Claire Danes’ acting is. She’s crazy good. I haven’t seen an actress being so pretty and having so much courage to be ugly at the same time on my TV screen (read: my Laptop screen) in a long, long time. On top of that I’m really in love with her character: Carrie loves Jazz and the bad boy (who is comparably handsome) and she’s not very stable when it comes to her mental state.
Second: Especially the first episodes of both seasons satisfied my love and my longing for the middle east. After the first episodes of season two (which are set in Beirut) I had a kind of ‘homesickness’ regarding Israel and I couldn’t tell why then I spend some time google-ing and tadaaa: The Beirut scenes were shot in Haifa. Which is – kind of – my Israeli ‘hometown’.
And last but not least: Good Lord, the writers know how to build arches filled up with suspense. Like, crazy. They do.
Again: What’s not to like? Ballet, a freaky ammount of Tony award winners and the creator of Gilmore Girls – I mean: Hello? Although Sutton Foster’s character Michelle oftern reminds me a little too much of Lorelai Gilmore I like her (I means after all: It’s Sutton Foster!). A close friend of mine and I started watching it around the same time and we would text each other freaky stuff while watching – like which Gilmore Girls character we spotted (I remember watching that episode with that barista-guy appearing first and I went crazy and texted her: KIRK!).
3) Will and Grace
It’s like 15 years too late or something but I started watching it after I came across a lot of “Debra Messing Will and Grace stuff” and since she’s – in my opinion – one of the funniest actresses I HAD to watch it. I liked it, I liked all that gay-stuff around (it’s kind of like my life. I had crushes on SO MANY gay guys it’s not even funny anymore). Nevertheless I stopped somewhere in the middle of season 8 – because suddenly it kind of had no point anymore. In other words: I just got bored.
Best things about that: Debra Messing as Julia (I love Julia and I feel like I AM Julia), musical theatre and Christian Borle! Borle is sometimes even funnier than Messing is (because, let’s be honest here her character got beaten more than enough in season 1 and the beginning of season 2 – so: not enough room for being funny) and he’s a great musical theatre actor – I love when he sings. I guess season 2 needed a little too much time to adjust to the new creative team and all that three (Off-)Broadway-shows stuff was a little too crazy but for now I feel like it got its act together again. Sadly it seems like it won’t get another season…. 😦
Although I loved the first season I kind of lost track on the second one about three episodes ago and I don’t really feel like catching up again. Maybe…someday….I don’t know.
6) Gilmore Girls
I loved it. Single mom raising her child in her crazy way. Sounds kind of like my own childhood plus the rich grandparents. And I love Luke. And Rory’s love for books. And writing.
7) Criminal Minds
I think probably Emily Prentiss was one of my favourite characters ever (again: a hilarious actress!). I was very sad when they ‘killed’ her off – then very happy when they brought her back and then very sad again when she left. But somehow I lost track of the current season right at the beginning – because I kind of wasn’t able to deal with all that crazy stuff, violence, psycho-terror, torture and abductions. Now one of my bosses who is a voice actor is the new character’s (I don’t even know her name…) German voice and I really, really wanted to watch (aka: listen to) her, but: I can’t.
For me NCIS is kind of a fluffier version of Criminal Minds. I don’t really care about the cases (usually I would watch an episode and two hours later I can’t remember the case) but I really like the characters. I like the Ziva-Tony-chemistry and again: sometimes it satisfies my longing for the middle east. 😉
then there are some German shows I really enjoy(ed) – because unlike many people (people who enjoy watching TV series) I think that there are some people in German TV who actually CAN write/direct/produce series. They are rare, but they exist. Here they are, again in reverse order of my start of watching.
1) Die letzte Spur (The last trace, from the second season on aired as Letzt Spur Berlin/Last Trace Berlin)
Many people say it’s very similar to the American series “Without a trace” but since I’ve never watched that I can’t tell. So I like the main characters (and the actors portaying them), there are “nice” cases and some team-drama – the first season started with an ex-boyfriend of the teams youngest officer joining the team (yay! Ex-relationship-drama!). I think the episodes are very well written and I as a aspiring dramaturg and a kind of former writer enjoy watching and learning about how a crimi story is build.
Regarding that series people say it’s like “Lie to me” but again: Didn’t watch that, cannot tell. But – Flemmings gathers a incredible ammount of great German (theatre) actors: Above all Samuel Finzi as Flemming (psychotherapist and psychological adviser for the Landeskriminalamt (like…I don’t know….state office of criminal investigations?)) and Claudia Michelsen as his ex-wife (again: relationship drama!) and police officer. They are SO SO SO great. And again: well written. Most every episode is nice. For now there have been three seasons and I read somewhere that it won’t be renewed for a fourth one. Too sad.
3) Der letzte Zeuge
(The last witness) A series that started airing in 1998 and although I was only 7 years old back than I think I remember watching some very early episodes back then. It was written by the same writers who later started Flemming and basically it’s very similar to Flemming but the last witness (played by the great actor Ulrich Mühe who died a couple of years ago) is a pathologist and solves the cases by finding some crazy chemical stuff on/in and around dead bodies.