Saturday, November 17, 2012

Commitment Day 17: TV Shows I Love

A tangential note: A comment on my Youtube video for the Forever 21 Knock-Off Scarf brought an interesting point to my attention. The pattern I provide is much more a stitch pattern than it is an actual scarf pattern, at least in my eyes, yet I never named the pattern. I am proposing that we name this stitch the Crossed Clusters Stitch. What do you guys think? Do you have any suggestions for a better name?


Welcome to Day 17 of 30 Days of Commitment!

Today, some classmates and I are getting together to watch a few episodes of one of my favorite shows, Doctor Who. What better day to talk about some of my absolute favorite TV shows?

Read on if you'd like to see! :)


1) Sherlock

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If you knew me in person, it would be very difficult for you not to hear about Sherlock. This is genuinely my favorite show ever. Aired on BBC, this show stars a modern-day Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, played by the gorgeous and talented Benedict Cumberbatch and the amazing, amazing Martin Freeman, respectively.

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It takes very little time at all for you to be sucked in by Sherlock's genius and his off-putting personality, by John's loyalty and forthrightness. The cast is quite incredible and the acting just superb. The cases are fascinating, and the writing that goes behind this show is indescribable.

Oddly, each of Sherlock's two seasons is only three episodes long. Each episode is 90 minutes long, so essentially Sherlock consists of six full-length movies!

The only bad thing about this series is time. There was a full year between the first and second seasons, and currently it is projected that the third season will not air until fall next year (ie. a year-and-a-half long wait!!!). The Sherlock fandom is pretty incredible and die-hard faithful though. We will wait, however long it takes...

2) Doctor Who

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This is a long-running BBC show about an alien called a Time Lord, who looks human (or, as he would say, we all look Time Lord), known only as the Doctor. He travels through time and space in a spaceship called Time And Relative Dimension in Space (TARDIS). Whenever he travels, he has a companion with him, and they go on amazing adventures, saving worlds and battling his ancient enemies!

Periodically, the Doctor "changes". When Time Lords die, they have the ability to regenerate as someone new. Thus far, there have been 11 Doctors, all with slightly different personalities and quirks. My personal favorites were 10 (David Tennant) and 11, the current Doctor (Matt Smith).

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I love this show. There was a long break after the eighth Doctor (last aired in 1989), with a revival of the series in 2005. Granted, I have only watched the most recent seasons (the seven that have aired starting in 2005) starring Doctors 9 (Christopher Eccleston), 10, and 11, but what I have seen of this show is really fantastic. It's witty, funny, imaginative, and touching, and it will take you on the grandest adventures you could possibly dream of.

3) A brief homage to anime and Japanese shows

Just like in the "Books I Love" post, I'm going to group my favorite "things of Japanese origin" into one, just because I think a lot of people will not end up sharing my interest in these.

As far as the world of manga and anime goes, I generally prefer manga over anime (ie. the books over the TV shows). But one of the few anime that I actually like a little better than the manga is Ouran High School Host Club. It's very short and easily accessible; all 26 episodes can be found on Youtube (here is the link to Episode 1, in Japanese with English subtitles). It's the story of a girl who owes a debt to the Host Club (a group of attractive men who entertain their female classmates), and thus begins dressing as a boy and acting as one of the hosts. I have laughed out loud and uncontrollably at so many points in this show. You can't help  just feeling happy when you watch this.

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Making a reappearance is Inuyasha, my first anime series and thus forever dear to my heart. It tells the story of a girl who falls back in time, to a time where demons and monsters still haunt Japan. She teams up with a half-demon, half-human named Inuyasha, in order to gather up the pieces of a dangerous, magical artifact. This story is funny and romantic and features plenty of fun action. The original anime was cut short of the original story in the manga; eventually they aired a second series, Inuyasha: The Final Act, to finish out the story.

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In the realm of Japanese TV shows (not just anime), there are two that I have seen and truly loved. The first is called At Home Dad, the story of a proud, macho-type man who suddenly loses his job and finds himself playing the role of a stay-at-home dad, taking care of the house and watching his young daughter while his wife works. He is befriended by his neighbor, another stay-at-home dad, and through the combined stories of their families and their neighbors, the show explores the hardships and blessings of being the homemaker and the breadwinner. It's hilarious and touching, and their children are insanely adorable. Highly recommended!

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The other drama I recommend is called Mop Girl. It stars Momoko, a slightly ditsy young woman working at a funeral services company. She possesses a strange power: sometimes, when she touches the belongings that carry the emotions of someone who has died, she is able to travel back in time and try to prevent that person's fate from coming true. Often heart-wrenching, unfailingly funny, and thought-provoking.

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4) Game of Thrones

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How do I describe Game of Thrones? It's complex, bloody, epic, filled with traitors and warriors and lovers. It tells the story of a realm (the Seven Kingdoms) and its neighbors, and the deadly, intricate battle for the Iron Throne. I highly recommend this show to adults (definitely NOT to children!). It's not your everyday plot either...your favorite characters don't always survive. Sometimes, the people you hate are victorious over the people you love. His characters show incredible depth, and overall the show (and the books) are definitely worth your time!

As a caveat, I do kind of recommend watching with subtitles. There are a lot of names and title and locations thrown around, all being spoken in a number of accents, so having it spelled out for you can really help, particularly for those who have not read the books.

5) Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra

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Now for a complete turnaround from Game of Thrones! Both of these are children's/young adult cartoons, set in a world where certain people are born with the ability to control (ie. "bend") one of the four elements: air, water, earth, and fire. The Avatar is a person who is able to bend all four of the elements, and is charged with the duty to maintain balance in the world. When the Avatar dies, he or she is reincarnated into a new life.

The Last Airbender tells the story of Aang, a young airbender who comes to his duty during a time of war between the Fire Nation and the rest of the world. Traveling with his companions to master the elements, he ultimately must defeat the leader of the Fire Nation and end this war, or else all freedom and balance will be lost. This show is three seasons (or "Books") long. Do yourself a favor and skip the live-action movie. It was genuinely terrible.

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The Legend of Korra takes place many years later. Korra, the reincarnation of Aang, is the new Avatar, and faces an entirely different threat that endangers all benders. This series has only aired its first season so far, and I'm very excited to see what the next season will bring!

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Phew! That was quite a list to put together! I hope you guys enjoyed this look into the various things that Annie loves.

So tell me: what are some of your favorite shows? Do you love any of the shows I mentioned as much I do? Do you hate the shows I mentioned? Let's hear your thoughts! ^_^

-Annie

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