Today’s (incredibly long) post is brought to you by Kayla, Jo’s “other” daughter. I’m the one who lives farther from home than I would like, sews a little, and knits and crochets a lot. I work full time as Family and Consumer Sciences teacher to middle and high school students and go to grad school as well. I also serve as Mom’s resident houseplant and television consultant.
I recently had far too much time to “research” my role as television consultant. I’ve been in bed since Thursday with influenza, entirely missing Christmas. Today (Tuesday) I thought I felt better and started dusting house plants but wore myself out before I even got to the African violets. I’m at least well enough to sit upright and write a guest post. Earlier in this bout I could only lay down and watch TV.
Although I am quite sick of it now, I generally love television. I think it is actually that I love needlework and need something to do at the same time. Every time I talk to Mom I have a new suggestion for to her to watch (or to not waste her time with) and she has asked me for a guest blog post because she thinks many of you seem to have similar tastes.
I don’t like gratuitous sex and violence (although I make an exception for Peaky Blinders-on Netflix), I like most any period piece, and I love anything WWII related. Although I’m not an Anglophile, most of my suggestions come via BBC because American primetime is generally too “saucy” for my liking. I also can’t figure out how so many conventionally good looking people exist in a single show. I really need to connect to characters to enjoy a show. They need to be believable.
I hope the New Year is finding you healthy and happy, but if not, settle in with this list of great television shows to keep you company.
I’m not much of a sweet eater, but I love watching SweetAmbsCookies on Youtube. Her videos are so relaxing! My students who are slime-makers say they like to watch slime videos because they are so “satisfying” and I get a similar feeling watching cookie decorating.
Living with the Amish is a docuseries of British kids who spend time with different Amish families. It was interesting to learn more about the different orders. I also appreciated that the Amish people are shown as the good kind people that I know instead of the strange caricatures portrayed in most media. I found the first family especially endearing because the husband reminds me of my brother-in-law Craig.
Wartime Farm is one of my favorite series ever. Two archaeologists and a historian spend a year running a farm in Britain is if it was during WWII. I absolutely love learning about the WWII homefront. Ruth Goodman is awesome and is in several more Farm series. I liked Victorian Farm because it is similar to when I worked at Living History Farms as a historical interpreter. Today I started Edwardian Farm.
My favorite series that we have watched as a couple is Peaky Blinders. It is about a family gang in Birmingham, England in the 1920’s. It is much more violent than anything else I watch. The main character is definitely an anti-hero and is not kind to anyone. The plot, characters, soundtrack; everything is just so well done I can’t resist.
Spencer and I have really enjoyed The Crown, which is a drama series based on the early rule of Queen Elizabeth II. It is amazing to see how much the world has changed just during her rule. The latest season overlaps more with American events so that has been especially interesting.
Broadchurch is our favorite crime series. I used to love Law and Order SVU until it all became “ripped from the headlines.” Braodchurch takes place in modern times in a small English town. Each season of Broadchurch focuses on a single crime which makes more sense than a single episode. It also allows the complexity of the characters to come through. Ellie tops my list of favorite female fictional characters.
Land Girls and Bomb Girls are series on the WWII homefront. Bomb Girls is based in a munitions factory in Canada and Land Girls on a farm in England. They are a bit lighter than other series I have watched but I have enjoyed them very much. The same franchise does Cable Girls, but it is based in Madrid and I can’t keep up with the Spanish.
On Amazon Prime:Home Fires is one of my favorite series ever. It is a little too sweet, more in the vein of Bomb Girls and Land Girls, but I still love it. It is wholesome while still being suspenseful and interesting. The knitwear is to die for. I found the vintage patterns for many of the sweaters on the show and nearly convinced myself that I could pull off a 1940’s wardrobe. Here’s a wardrobe sudoku I made using the sweaters.
I love, love, love, Grantchester. It is a Masterpiece series like Downton Abbey but I can’t figure out why it didn’t get the same buzz. Grantchester is about a (young, attractive) vicar who helps his detective friend solve crimes. I haven’t swooned over a fictional character like him since my 8-year-old heart fell in love with Laurie (aka Christian Bale) in Little Women. His “special friend” Amanda has excellent 50’s costuming.
Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope you are in good health and have no time to make use of this list…well at least not enough time to watch as much television as I’ve had. Life on the couch gets old after a bit!
Please chime in with other suggestions. I still have a bit more of couch time to do before I’m feeling all the way better. Influenza is the worst!