Friday, September 12, 2014

Knitflix

I do all my best knitting by the gentle glow of Netflix, so I thought it might be worth rounding up some recommendations. I have several simple rules for my knit-viewing:

1. Must be in a language I am fluent in (so, er, English. *shameface*)
I can knit plain stockinette without looking, but it's much easier to drop a stitch or split plies or otherwise make a silly mistake. Plus, I'm not often knitting only stockinette with no shaping for long periods. So subtitles just aren't going to happen. (Which is a shame, because I used to really enjoy foreign flicks and now I never get to watch 'em.)

2. TV Shows > Movies
If you pick a TV show, especially one with many seasons, you don't have to stop and find something new to watch nearly so often. Which is important when you're knitting several hours a day, and are terribly indecisive about movies, like I am.

3. It can't be too complex, or too visual
You want something dialogue-heavy with relatively little action-that-you-actually-have-to-watch. You want to be able to keep track of the plot without actually seeing every detail that happens on screen. This manifests in obvious ways (action flicks aren't great) but also less obvious ones- while I did watch Sherlock while knitting, their reliance on text messages was a pain in the ass and I did a lot of rewinding. Pretty Little Liars had the same issue, except that the characters frequently read the text messages out loud, so that helps. Knitting is a great excuse to watch guilty-pleasure tv, because you need your brainpower for things other than following the plot.

4. It must be available on Netflix Streaming
.... 'cause we cancelled our DVD plan and I ain't paying for Hulu as long as they insist on making you watch the same ad 10,000 times even though you are a PAID MEMBER, DAMMIT.


Without further ado, a few of my recent picks:


Once Upon a Time
Kind of low budget and the acting isn't great but somehow it's still SO GOOD. Basically, fairy tale characters in exile in Maine. Beloved Disney characters doing untoward things. Evil Queens being sasstastic.


Parks and Rec
This show is just objectively good. It's funny, it's adorable, it's feminist-friendly, and has the perfect balance of curmudgeonly characters and lovable idiots.



New Girl
Aww I know everyone kinda hates Zooey Deschanel a little but this show was kind of cute.


Don't Trust the B-- in Apt 23
This show is seriously underrated. It probably got cancelled because it has the WORST NAME EVER. But it features Krysten Ritter being amazing and James Van Der Beek as (an alternate version of) himself. If you watched Dawson's Creek as a kid it'll probably make you really happy.




Desperate Housewives
Okay fine it's not the BEST show, but it's addicting and it's like a million seasons long. It will entertain without distracting you for many, many hours.


My Name is Earl
Another underrated, cancelled-too-early gem. When this was on the air I assumed it was something dumb and trashy but it's actually pretty fantastic. Plus Joy Turner is pretty much my favorite tv character ever.

Also here's a song about eating crabs:

Respect The Meat from Livia Gondim on Vimeo.



Bridalplasty

However, if you ARE interested in dumb and trashy, I have for you the reality show to end all reality shows. Brides competing for plastic surgery! I'm actually not 100% convinced that this show wasn't designed to be a parody of other reality shows... it's just so unreal, and oddly engaging.


Skins
Do you like shows about fucked up teenagers who have way more dramatic lives than you do or probably ever did? Are you into sex, drugs, violence, and the folly of youth? Would you prefer it all with a side of Britishness? Step into my office.


I'm kinda getting all sentimental and feeling like rewatching them all now, man. There are, of course, many many more. I'm trying to avoid the obvious hits (OitNB, Whedon stuff, etc... Parks and Rec was pretty obvious but oh well) and the amazing-but-slightly-too-action-packed-or-complex-to-be-ideal (American Horror Story comes to mind) but I'm sure I can dredge up enough for a second installment.

How 'bout you guys? Any knit-able shows that I should definitely not miss?

33 comments:

  1. Greys Anatomy. Total trash, a million seasons, and the drama is so over the top as to keep me totally engaged while also not caring if I miss a minute or five.

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    1. Noted! It's hard sometimes to start the shows with a ton of seasons but it really does make the next month or so relatively decision-free, and that's nice.

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    2. Also, How I Met Your Mother. Although it went all Friends towards the end, with the characters becoming caricatures of themselves. Still great comedy.

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    3. LOVE HIMYM! Watched that one as it aired. The ending was kinda dumb though :-/

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  2. I personally love Psych. I love My Name is Earl and New Girl. I can rematch episodes of Ally McBeal forever and ever, it takes me back. *sigh*. Oh and Drop Dead Diva wasn't too bad and pretty similar to Ally. IDK if you get Amazon Prime or not but Workaholics cracks me up and is available on there.

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    1. re-watch* not rematch...blasted autocorrect.

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    2. I've seen a few episodes of Psych and liked it (the Twin Peaks one! AH!), I should get on that train one of these days.

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  3. I looooooooved skins. I wish Misfits were on Netflix because YOU NEED TO WATCH MISFITS.

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    1. GET ON THE BALL NETFLIX. Also please get season 3 of American Horror Story kthx.

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    2. I was also going to suggest you watch misfits. All the episodes are on Hulu, but yeah there are ads. It's so good though. It's a bit actiony though so maybe not the best for knitting. Watch it anyway.

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    3. I'll have to see if they let me watch it for free over there. I ain't payin' for ads, dagnabbit.

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  4. I heard that Gilmore Girls is going to be on Netflix soon. I watched it when it was on-air and it's not action packed but is heavy on the wordy and witty banter. I still like to watch the re-runs when I'm looking for something mindless to knit through. If you liked Dawson's Creek you'll like Gilmore Girls, I think.

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    1. I've had friends who looooooved it, I've never seen an episode though. Definitely worth a look!

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    2. October first for Gilmore Girls. Confirmed by several sources, and the internet is about to implode from waiting.

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  5. The IT Crowd - funniest show on Netflix (IMHO).
    Better Off Ted, also _very_ funny.
    I "watched" (listened to) all the seasons of Damages & loved it. Glenn Close is mesmerizing.
    And for a trashy show, I have to admit I enjoyed The Witches of East End.
    Have you seen Derek? It's surprisingly sweet, which I wasn't expecting from Ricky Gervais.
    Finally, & I know it's a car show, but Top Gear. I could care less about cars, but it's just such a fun show & they have a great sense of humor.
    ~dana

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    1. Oooh thanks, I haven't seen any of these!

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    2. I just finished the Witches of East End... I didn't want to admit how much I loved it. Especially after my boyfriend looked up what network it's on. Lifetime :/
      A bit of trivia... Wendy, who is the aunt on the show, also played Shelly in the Twins Peaks series!

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    3. Sometimes you just need a little Lifetime. I should check that one out, I like witchy stuff - just rewatched The Craft today since it's basically halloween now ;-)

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  6. This week, I just finished watching all three seasons of Call the Midwife on Netflix

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  7. Disclaimer though: Although I maintain this show is excellent, beware of the episode in which the characters are knitting a crocheted blanket. Humorous and sad at the same time.

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  8. Oh god, the IT Crowd is HILARIOUS!

    I have been tearing through Orange is the New Black whilst knitting. Why did it take me so long? A TV show full of women's stories. That aren't about pining over a man. Women that aren't all thin and white and young. This show made me realise how sucky the lack of diversity on TV is.

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    1. OitNB is fabulous! I haven't seen the second season yet because my husband wants to watch it with me but has like, no time to sit down and do it. I'll give him til the end of the month, then I'm doin 'it without him.

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  9. Your rules for Netflix are basically the same as mine. I solved the Sherlock problem by watching each episode twice. It was worth it.

    I did a Twin Peaks jag while knitting a big project. Loved it, even more than I did when it originally aired.

    Scandal is a good romp, at least season 1. Loved Call the Midwife, too.

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    1. I need to rewatch Twin Peaks one of these days- I'm dead set on having an elaborate theme party but I can barely remember it...

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  10. Big fan of Grey's. Like I think I'm on my third or fourth time through the series. Love love love Haven, but you kind of have to pay attention when the music starts getting dramatic. The special effects are good. I love Skins, although I haven't had the time to myself to watch the seventh season (Boston Husband doesn't watch my shows). We watch a lot of Top Gear, because he loves cars and I love Richard Hammond. I suggest "finding a way" to watch Misfits (it might be Hulu+ exclusive by now), not that I endorse pirates or whathaveyou, but it is such a great show. Also The Booth at the End is fabulous, and pretty much just dialogue. Perfect knitting TV, but Hulu exclusive--not sure if you can watch for free or if you'd have to shell out for it. Doc Marten is good, too, but I can't remember if it's on Netflix. Now I want to watch Misfits again. Excuse me.

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    1. A dramatic music cue sounds really handy, haha!

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  11. I started rewatching Gilmore Girls again recently. Great dialogue and super easy to knit along to. Plus the music is pretty cool. Also love Friday Night Lights. Don't let the whole football thing scare you away because there is so much more to it. The writing and characters and who can resist hot young guys in tight football pants.....

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  12. Since we clearly have similar taste in Netflix, you might like Being Human (the BBC version): vampire, werewolf, and ghost shack up and it's way better than any recent vampire stuff out there. Also love another BBC show

    Wilfred (about a guy who sees a giant irreverent dog nobody else sees) was surprisingly entertaining for its utter weirdness. Pushing Daisies may or may not have been on your list (loooooooooove Lee Pace) and also involves Zooey. And I'm currently totally into The Mindy Project... it's hilarious and rather sasstastic itself.

    Oh, and if you liked My Name Is Earl, you will probably also like Raising Hope. It's about a sort-of-trailor-trashy family and their crazy stupid hijinks but the show itself is really smart. And I second the Psych recommendation.

    Along the vein of Once Upon a Time, I've heard Arrow is really good (about Robinhood) but haven't watched it yet. I can wholeheartedly recommend Merlin (about the whole Camelot storybut from a slightly different angle, Merlin is the same age as Arthur). I really love the actors in that.

    If you're into guilty-pleasure-college-kid-dramadies, I can recomment Undeclared (lots of seasons!) and a BBC similar (but funnier) show Fresh Meat (which might only be on hulu but just in case).

    Ok, that's enough TV out of me.

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    1. That line "Also love another BBC show" was going to reference Fresh Meat but by the time I remembered its title, I had already added it to the bottom of my post.

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    2. Yaaaasss these sound up my alley. I feel like I know some stuff about Arrow just from all the dang tumblr gifs I've come across, though I didn't realize it had anything to do with Robin Hood, haha.

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