Friday, 6 December 2013

What I'm watching #4:

Source: here
Parks and Recreation is currently my most favourite thing, and I don't just mean my favourite thing on TV.  Although I'd seen a few episodes before, Craig and I recently opted to start watching the show together from the beginning, which was an excellent decision.  Parks and Rec follows the day to day dealings of a small city council parks and recreation department in Indiana, USA.  Doesn't sound very exciting or funny, does it?  Well, it is.  For a start, the show stars Amy Poehler - who is a truly hilarious lady - and a whole host of other amazing comedic actors.  All of the characters are brilliantly written, and although I love every one of them, Ron Swanson has to be my favourite.  Parks and Rec gets better and more silly with every season, so get it watched!

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I've written about the American Horror Story series before (in my very first 'What I'm watching' post) but because each season has its own story, I thought number three deserved its own mention.  American Horror Story: Coven is quite different to the earlier seasons.  The story follows a small group of witches as they deal with some strange goings on in modern day New Orleans.  We move back and forward in time a lot, as the coven has a rich and spooky history, but this isn't as confusing as it might sound.  

This third series is fairly gory and has some disturbing themes (which you should probably expect from a horror TV show!) but the psychological horror element I've come to expect from the franchise has disappeared.  It might be embarrassing to admit, but I had nightmares after watching seasons one and two of American Horror Story.  Actual wake-up-sweating-because-they-are-so-scary nightmares.  This time around, I'm more concerned with finding out how the mysterious plot is going to unravel, which means I'm no longer absolutely terrified.  It works for me, but hardcore horror fans might be a little disappointed.

Source: here

American political drama House of Cards wouldn't normally be my cup of tea, especially when you compare it to the rest of my usual TV choices.  Still, after one of my uni tutors suggested watching it as an easy way to learn more about the structure of US government, I decided to give House of Cards a shot.  What I've come to realise about myself relatively recently is that I should never limit myself because of genre.  In reality, I pretty much enjoy every film or TV program I watch, as long as it is well made, and House of Cards certainly ticks that box.  It's a Netflix original series, and only one season exists at the moment.  I got sucked into the show, and watched all thirteen hour long episodes much faster than I thought I would!

Kevin Spacey stars as Congressman Frank Underwood, and season one follows his personal campaign to move up in the White House.  We see a lot of the seedier side of politics, and I really enjoyed never quite knowing if any one character involved was a goodie or a baddie.  They all do unspeakable things over the course of the season, but they do some really nice things too.  It's very confusing!

I was intrigued to find out that House of Cards was actually based on a short BBC TV series of the same name, made in 1990.  It might be interesting to watch the original show (which is also available on Netflix) and compare the similarities and differences between UK and US politics.  But, to be honest, my grasp on American politics still isn't too hot.

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