My Top 5 TV Shows of 2020

This month I’ve been joining Kim and Tanya of Girlxoxo.com for their annual event A Month of Faves, at least for a few topics and throwing in a few of my own. At the beginning of the month, I posted “My End of Year Bookish Plans.” Two weeks ago, I posted “These are a few of my favorite moments in 2020“, “These are a few of my favorite things (at home) in 2020,” and “These are a few of my favorite (Christmas) things.” Last week, I posted my favorite fiction books read this year and then my favorite nonfiction books read this year. In between those two posts, I threw in my own topic “The Series That Didn’t Stick For Me In 2020,” with series either I read the first one or abandoned in the middle of the first or sometimes second one. Now I finish up with my top 5 TV shows from this year.

This year, five shows stuck out for me, either ones we returned to again and again or ones that were “one-offs” and just fit the mood at the time. My first pick at No. 5 was one of those…

5. Teenage Bounty Hunters, Season 1

Sadly the show has been canceled by Netflix but the first season is worth a watch.

4. Staged, Season 1

This is one of the few shows shot during, and peripherally, about the pandemic that actually was good. And a second season is coming out next week. It also had great cameos as evidenced below (just be warned, it is uncensored).

3. The Last Dance

As a huge Chicago Bulls fan, I looked forwarded to this ESPN documentary when it came out on Netflix and it didn’t disappoint. It also didn’t shy away from a less than flattering portrayal of Michael Jordan, which made it all the more real. Yes, there were some glaring omissions, but all in all, it was worth the watch. I even got my wife, who isn’t into “sportsin'” as she calls it, to watch a few episodes.

2. Schitt’s Creek, Season 6

I won’t lie. I was a latecomer to this show, but once my wife showed me the last episode of the second season, I was all in.

1. What We Do in the Shadows, Season 2

My wife and I both loved the movie, but a TV show based on the movie? YES! That is the answer, especially after this second season, which has seen the vampires, shall I say it? yes, I shall, soar to new heights. Watch the movie and stick with the series.

So what are your favorite shows from this year or ones that you discovered this year? Please share in the comments.

In The Chill Out Tent to end the weekend

This is where I am/was as I end/ended this weekend. I thought it was a good place to leave off for both my Thankfully Reading Weekend and what probably will be my last weekend before I head back to work after being off for a few weeks with covid.

Unofficially, I began the Thankfully Reading Weekend Wednesday night reading The Big Bamboo, the eighth in the Serge Storms series, by Tim Dorsey. On Friday, I finished it. On Saturday, I dipped into an audiobook version of A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton, but found both the narrator and the story borrrrring. The rest of the day, I got stuck in a marathon of CSI, which I slowly am making my way though (I’m on Season 10). Today, I began the day reading The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths in an ebook collection of the first three books in the Ruth Galloway series. I’ll be dipping in and out while I listen/watch The Chillout Tent.

How was/is your weekend? Reading, watching, listening to anything worth sharing? Share away in the comments.

Mostly fair to middling

As I mentioned in my last post, my wife and I had (have) COVID-19. I won’t reiterate everything I said there since you already read, or can go read, it. As for how we’re doing now, I’m still not feeling great, but Kim is feeling better and already is back to work (a 911 dispatcher). This morning, I’m just trying to decide what I might read and/or watch today.

With both my reading and TV watching, I feel like I’ve just been going through the motions. This past week I finished Castle Skull by John Dickson Carr, the first book I’ve finished this month. It wasn’t great, it was okay. That’s also how my TV watching mostly has been going: fair to middling. I watched Season 1 of Wayne on Amazon Prime, which I realized about Episode 6 that I wasn’t feeling, but since the season only had 10 episodes, and I couldn’t focus on making a decision on what I wanted to watch, I finished it. I liked the lead characters of Wayne and Del, and their chemistry, but I felt the plot petered out toward the end. I then watched Series 1 of an Icelandic crime drama The Cliff. It only had four episodes and I realized in about the second one, it wasn’t going anywhere but I continued to watch it too. Out of the two, I’d recommend Wayne more, if you don’t mind language and violence.

I started one other series this week, Before We Die, a Swedish crime drama, on PBS Masterpiece and this one is better than fair to middling. I’m only three episodes in into the eight-episode first season, but this one, I actually want to see more of. I’ll probably watch this some this afternoon while my wife is asleep (she works a 12-hour shift starting tonight at 8 p.m.).

Otherwise, I might try to read a little from a collection of the first three Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths that I picked up on my Kindle earlier this year. I dipped into it once before but it didn’t grab me, but based on lavish praise from Amanda of the blog The Zen Leaf I’m giving it another try.

In honor of my and my wife’s 24th wedding anniversary coming up on Monday, Nov. 23, I’ll leave you with this Cat Power version of an Otis Redding classic that I just heard on Sleepy Hollow on XPN:

Gone ‘Til November

Earlier this week, my wife invited me to a news blackout on Election Day, and I accepted. To help in that endeavor, I also am taking vacation days on Monday and Tuesday that week. And now since I already have voted, and I don’t need or want to hear anything more on the election, I have decided to extend the news blackout backwards to start tomorrow. Along with that, I’m signing off here on the blog and on Instagram for the rest of the month until after the election.

So what will I be doing if I’m not thinking about the election or the news?

On the literary front, I have choices with plenty of books I already own on Kindle from which to choose and a few books I’ve checked out from the library, including Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden and the third, fourth and fifth books in the Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells.

On the cinematic front, I am thinking about a rewatch of the sixth season of Schitt’s Creek and continuing to watch the best episodes of Cold Case on The Roku Channel before the show expires at the end of the month. I miss Drunk History, but I’ll drown my sorrows with Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax movies.

On the musical front, I am hoping that Lana Del Rey drops her new album Chemtrails over the Country Club before the end of the month and if not, I’ll continue to listen to Taylor Swift’s latest album folklore over and over again as I pretty much have been doing since it was released in late July.

I also will be continuing an online six-week introductory course for Christian Meditation that is being hosted by a group in Houston, Texas and to which I was invited by Deb Nance of the blog, Readerbuzz, and host of the weekly Sunday Salon. The group is part of The World Community for Christian Meditation. I admit that on the night of the election, I will be skipping as (my wife and) I will be “meditating” over a big bottle of wine or other alcohol-based libation.

…after the election (when hopefully we won’t have to move to Celine’s country).