TV, Hair, People, Life

Today feels like a good day to reach across the table and pull towards my chest piles of words on various subjects tangentially related, if only so I can deal them out to you rapid fire like a poker dealer under pressure. You are in for a treat. We’ll start with an update on my TV watching progress, briefly discuss alarming manscaping trends in Hollywood, rant about weird people on social media, and close with my plans for the blog.

I’ve gone from never watching TV to watching The Walking Dead, Fringe, Sleepy Hollow (recommended to me by a student), Tudors, and Hell on Wheels. Movies are still hit and miss, though I did watch several excellent miniseries over the spring and summer. You can read my post on that here. [Spoiler: watch Arn: The Knight Templar]

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The Walking Dead I continue to watch, even though it’s teetering on the ridiculous for me now. Confession, and this annoys my husband to no end, I usually get bored with TV shows after the 3rd season. I’m at that point with The Walking Dead. Last week’s episode with the wall of walkers and the outbreak in the sick ward had redeeming qualities, so I’m not giving up. I had to watch while pacing the room in a panic, which is what I expect from a show about a post-apocalyptic world.

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Fringe is a show my husband loves thanks to your recommendations. I started off loving it, but we’ve hit the 3rd season so my interest is waning. I don’t see where the series is going once they wrap up this plot line, and I can’t see how they can extend the current plot line much longer with any success. The show was cancelled this year, so maybe I have my answer.

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Sleepy Hollow is interesting and sometimes scary as hell. The dialogue is excellent. One of my 7th grade girls recommended it to me and I try to watch everything the students recommend. One, I’m honored they care enough to recommend to me a favorite show. Two, it gives us something to talk about. Three, it helps me understand what they might like in a book.

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The Tudors. Oh, The Tudors. I didn’t even make it to the 3rd season! Never have I hated so many characters in my life. King Henry, that trollop Anne, the Cardinal, every other person in Henry’s court…endless. I spent most of my time in a low simmering rage telling myself disturbing things like, Well, at least Anne ultimately gets beheaded.

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More than that, though, I found the nudity disturbing–but not for reasons you suspect. The nudity was your usual titillating cable variety. (Not necessary, in my opinion, but whatever. Maybe I’m a prude.) What I couldn’t stand was the sight of all those men so perfectly, freakishly groomed. Bleached teeth, spray tans, and the waxing, my God, the waxing. Hollywood studios sure do like their men hairless. Theories (because you know I’ve thought about this): better lighting/they look more muscular; easier to apply body makeup; look more youthful.

Whatever the reason, it creeps me out. A man who naturally lacks body hair: no problem. A man obviously groomed to a smooth prepubescent finish: problem. A TV show must now meet The Tudor Rule in order to stay on my watch list.

At least 85% of the cast must maintain unaltered in appearance an amount greater than or equal to 52.5% of the genetic material housed within their nuclei for two or more scenes.

Breast implants? You better follow that up with the ability to move your forehead. Body like a Peruvian hairless dog? So help you God if your teeth aren’t beige. [Henry Cavill grew out his chest hair for Superman. This actually made the news, and it was funny.]

Sadly, I will probably revisit The Tudors. Maybe. We’ll see.

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This brings me to Hell on Wheels. This is my favorite show right now, but those of you who know my love of historical fiction can’t be surprised to hear I love a show about the transcontinental railroad in post Civil War America. The third season finished in October and–gasp!–I look forward to watching the 4th season. (The show hasn’t yet been renewed, but it will be.) I know many of you haven’t watched it, so I won’t go into the controversy surrounding the season finale except to say I loved it, but I also loved the ending to Gone Girl. Never underestimate death by paper cut.

I have one huge problem with Hell on Wheels, but it’s a diatribe worthy of its own post scheduled for another day.

Oddly enough, Hell on Wheels inspired me to watch Supernatural because Anson Mount–one of the few actors I follow on social media and the first actor I bothered to engage on Twitter–has a large female fan base. Since this is the first time I’ve participated in social media this way, I didn’t realize it was de rigueur to tell a man you don’t know you want to sop him up with a biscuit.

Supernatural came into play because of this book on the show’s overzealous fans. I started watching the show because I wanted to know what it is that has so many women losing their minds (and marriages, jobs) for Sam and Dean. Or Anson Mount, Charlie Hunnan, Norman Reedus, etc. I’ve watched several episodes and still don’t get it, but maybe I’m too pragmatic for fanaticism.

Or maybe I’m too polite and compassionate. Too shy? Introverted? I’m something, because I don’t care if Anson Mount can kick start a shut down ovarian system with his steely-eyed gaze and leave it humming like a Vespa in Florence: tweeting him or any other celebrity provocative comments is weird. One, directing those comments at a man doesn’t make them less objectifying. Two, what on earth is your goal? Let’s say your male celebrity of choice is in Kentucky on business and found your tweet offering “hugs…and stuff ;-) ;-)” original, witty, and irresistible. He now wants to take you up on your very generous offer. Congratulations, @horseluvr, you lassoed yourself a winner! Nothing says quality like whatever it is you just scheduled in less than 140 characters, including emoticons.

Maybe I’m too pragmatic for hookups, too.

Hold on, I know what I am. I’m smart. What happens online usually stays online, and I try to tweet wisely. I fail magnificently most of the time, but only when it comes to feminism, politics, and hipsters. Sex tweets: totally under control with the exception of dinosaur literature, which I will not link to again because what has been seen cannot be unseen. I’m also fair. My husband absolutely, positively refuses to participate in any sort of social media, but I act as if we’re linked and he can read everything I write. I would hate for him to read something questionable from me to anyone, celebrity or not, when I know if he were to do the same I’d have him singing falsetto in 10 seconds flat.

This is good, because the students the other day were surprised to hear I was on Twitter and Instagram. They immediately wanted to know my name. I immediately went and marked everything private and set age restrictions–and I still didn’t give them any of my profile names. Good thing I have a blog name that makes no sense, eh?

I decided that, because they are tweens, they will find me. Tweens are like miniature CIA Agents, only better with computers. My plan is to stop blogging here, hopefully early 2014, and establish a book-heavy blog with PG content. I won’t limit myself to young adult/children’s literature, though I’ll probably feature it often since I’m around it so much. Books, TV, things I’m obsessing over for the moment. I don’t have plans to blog about the boys since my goal with a new blog is to give them privacy.

That’s today’s plan. Come back tomorrow for what I’m sure will be an entirely new plan.

Comments
54 Responses to “TV, Hair, People, Life”
  1. Jeannej says:

    Just read your blog and allowing myself no time to really reflect since I need to get off the couch and start the school routine. But, a quick thought from the younger sibling perspective, which I am….if you start giving the boys privacy, will you have given Mikey more blog time in his life than you gave Nico? I always got the short end of the stick as the youngest. If they like being featured or will think it was cool later in life, will Mikey have gotten more “air time”. Maybe this is a stupid thought and feel free to say as much. Just wanted to share it from the viewpoint of the youngest. Which never had many advantages I have to say. Will read you whatever you do. You have a great voice.

  2. Allana says:

    I’ve picked up a couple of TV series thanks to your last TV post and especially loved the recommendations in the comments. We recently cancelled our cable and being able to get into a series on Netflix has really helped during the rainy fall weather we’re having.

    I will admit I will probably watch North and South again this winter, despite the great recommendations for something new!

  3. Amy says:

    Ooh, I had no idea that’s what Hell on Wheels was about . . . I must give it a try!

  4. Thanks for the recommendations! I’m not much of a TV watcher, but I do like to occasionally, especially when I’m working on a project. We only have Netflix (no cable, no Hulu), so it’s got to be on there. Because I rarely watch TV, I haven’t seen most of the stuff there. A few years old doesn’t matter to me. Have you tried Damages? First season is great–hooked me from the opening. Now in third, and, yeah: Interest waning fast and hard.

    Looking forward to seeing what you do with a new blog. Of course I enjoy this one, but I think you’ve been heading in a direction for awhile now.

    • Jules says:

      No, I’m also not a TV watcher. I actually made it a goal in the last couple of years to watch more shows because my husband is a big TV watcher, and I thought it might be something we could do together. If I don’t watch with him, he’ll just keep working until bed time. :-/

  5. Susan says:

    The instagram / twitter thing is funny – you go from blocking kids everywhere to suddenly needing to follow them when your kids are in high school so that you can track your own children. (It is more than sort of horrifying, the documentation of high school stupidity.) I look forward to the book discussions, since I’ll have two in that age bracket!

    • Jules says:

      I will absolutely be following my kids and all the kids who follow me on IG! If I see one seductive picture or duck face they’re going to hear it from me.

  6. Catalina says:

    I get your wanting a new direction, and I respect it, but I love the mix of topics that your blog has now. I love the WMP, which I understand you want to fade out, but I also love your small anecdotes and I love how we as readers know you without you telling anything too personal.
    I think you are very respectful of your family’s privacy. However, I totally get that having such an online presence with your students googling you isn’t the best. Making this blog private wouldn’t make sense either because it isn’t exactly a personal blog, or at least I don’t see it that way.
    So, I guess this is just to say that I will mourn the loss of my favorite blog, but I get and support the direction you want to go in. I also think that this blog has been a passion of yours for some time. Working in the library is a new passion for you, an unexpected one, and I think it’s great that you’re adapting other aspects of your life (blog included) to it. It’s a worthwhile investment, you could say.

    • Shannon says:

      ^^^^^^What Catalina said!!!!!!!!!!

      I haven’t had enough coffee yet to articulate my response in a better way. ;)

    • Jules says:

      I’m sure I will still have anecdotes at the new blog. Mainly, though, I want to step away from these archives, which can be salty and personal–at least more salty and more personal than I would want 12 year old students reading.

      I’ve been trying to think of a work-around, but I’ve made the same conclusions you have above. Thanks for understanding. Who knows–maybe it will end up being the same blog over there as it is here, but without links to dino porn. :)

  7. Nicole says:

    I have to admit that my first thought to your blog plans was NOOOOOOOOOO! Don’t leave us!! But then I re-read and realized you’re just going to write elsewhere and calmed down. :)

    I never got into Walking Dead, but had the same Fringe & Tudors thoughts as you, so had to share… we really loved the BBC miniseries (I think technically they’re seasons, but only a couple of shows long) Luther & Sherlock.

    And “Tweens are like miniature CIA Agents, only better with computers.” – SO funny! Can’t wait to see what direction your writing takes!

    • Rachel says:

      I second Luther. It’s an excellent series full of complex characters who try to do good but do so in a morally complicated way. Plus, the title character is played by a black man, and since it’s a British series, the colour of his skin has NOTHING to do with the story line and there’s no “very special episode” where his race is addressed in a overly sappy, “meaningful,” awkwardly PC way…he’s a strong character with a complex life, who just happens to be black.
      I know it’s available free on Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus, but not sure about Netflix. I can’t wait for the fourth season to become available.

      • Jules says:

        Plus, the title character is played by a black man, and since it’s a British series, the colour of his skin has NOTHING to do with the story line and there’s no “very special episode” where his race is addressed in a overly sappy, “meaningful,” awkwardly PC way…he’s a strong character with a complex life, who just happens to be black.

        #win

        I’m going to start watching for sure just based on this comment.

  8. Debbie says:

    I love your blog. I don’t comment a lot, but I read it faithfully. I will miss this blog, but if you leave a forwarding address, I’ll follow. Your blog is always a good read.

  9. Kates says:

    If you started out liking The Tutors you should look into the Starz series The White Queen. It’s based off of the time just before the Tutor dynasty. It involves the time period of the War of the Roses and I really enjoyed the series. There are only 10 or 11 episodes to the whole series and it left me with wanting more. They are based off the books by Philipia Gregory The White Queen, The Red Queen and the King Makers Daughter. But she has more books in that series as well. I read all the books and watched the series at the same time and they mainly followed the books…however bunching in years during one episode. I highly recommend it!

  10. Carey says:

    Fringe is awesome and there is an actual impending storyline and ending, don’t give up on that.
    Sleepy Hollow I’m still give or take. It’s only spooked me once- I think the first episode where the demon hits the mirror as Abby is looking into it, but otherwise, I’m just kind of eh. It’s missing something for me (emotional engagement maybe?), but this last episode was better than the others so far.

    My husband is the same as you- he gets bored in the 2nd, 3rd seasons leaving me to watch shows on my own. Unless it’s Big Bang Theory or How I Met Your Mother. Those he’s stuck with.

    If you’re not watching The Blacklist you should. It’s not my typical cup of tea, but the story is engaging enough and even though the main characters connection *seems* glaringly obvious, I think there will end up being way more to the story.

    I don’t think there is anything here that a middle schooler would find offensive. Don’t worry too much :)

    • Jules says:

      In this post? I hope not because I edited the hell out of it last night. THE HELL OUT OF IT. I’m not worried about the middle schoolers. I’m worried about the middle schoolers’ parents. The middle schoolers find very little offensive. ;)

  11. Zakary says:

    Chances are those kids went home and Googled you and they probably already read your entire blog.

    The kids will find you. I almost fell off my chair when Zoe’s friends started following me on IG. I didn’t block them, Zoe would have been mortified.

    • Jules says:

      I don’t think I’m going to have that reaction with Mikey–at least not now. True story: Mikey and his best friend were waiting for me outside the library and a 6th grade boy leaving class kept asking, repeatedly, to follow him on Instagram. Like, yelling at me as he’s walking down the hall to his next class, saying “pleasepleaseplease” etc. Being cutesy, you know?

      Mikey and his best friend were not impressed.

      Mikey’s best friend said, “Ohhh-kay…” while Mikey just stood there and shot Ninja stars at the kid with his eyeballs. Secretly, I was a little thrilled. Mister Cool as Ice “Whatsup Mom” Mikey getting a little jealous?

  12. Susan says:

    Knowing how you get riled up over feminism and politics (and that you love good TV) I thought you would enjoy this clip from Scandal. I admit I haven’t started watching it yet, but its next on my list. She hit the nail on the head in describing the insidious sexism that pervades politics and shadows powerful womens’ portrayals in the media. I must have watched it like 5 times yesterday.

    http://www.upworthy.com/a-sexist-reporter-tried-to-box-her-in-but-she-took-everything-and-threw-it-right-back?g=2

    • Jules says:

      That was awesome.

      (Although part of me kept waiting for Phoebe to grab a guitar and start singing a song about a smelly cat.)

      • Susan says:

        Oh yes, the smelly cat song! I can’t imagine how difficult it was for her to break out of that character.

        I tried to pick my favorite line, and I couldn’t. I loved it all. It’s everything I want to scream at the TV during election season and use when I call people out on b*s sexism they don’t even realize they are promulgating. Although I do love it when she said “that’s what you say to the nice neighbor lady who invited you in for cookies” :-)

        On another note, I’m looking for a book recommendations. My 30 year old male cousin is going in for his second open heart surgery and asked for classic books to be downloaded. My first thoughts are To Kill a Mockingbird, Outsiders and Tom Sawyer. Suggestions?

  13. Kate says:

    I absolutely love Once Upon a Time. It’s not earth shatteringly smart television (it is network television, after all) but I love how the writers connect and make sense of the fairy tales and characters. It’s very clever and fun. I’m watching the 3rd season now using Apple TV (I liked it enough to buy a season pass – the only other show I’m willing to do that for is Downton)

    As for the Tudors, I binge watched all the way through and it really didn’t get much better. In fact, it just got gorier and more sensational – which seems to be historical accurate but difficult to watch. I loved the Anne of Cleves character as well as the Queen Catharine Parr (Joely Richardson did such a great job with the role) but otherwise, it was just awful.

    I guess Jonathan Rhys Parr is now in a network show called Dracula. I’ll be interested to see that when it comes to Netflix. He made a tyrannical King Henry worth watching.

    • Jules says:

      The Tudors is slightly historically accurate. There are some issues with chronology, but that’s common in television.

      Carey and Kendra (my FB chat partners in crime) LOVE Once Upon a Time. I keep meaning to watch it so I can join in on their conversations.

      • Another favorite blogger of mine used to write about Once Upon a Time quite often, so I tried it. Three times. Just couldn’t get hooked. Not sure why. It sounds so clever and just my thing, but it wasn’t. :-(

      • Kate says:

        I don’t think I worded my comment well: I think the Tudors got bloodier and more tyrannical as time went on (both the show and the people), I don’t know how accurate the show is – my knowledge of that time period is scant. My history knowledge in general is awful – which is sad.

  14. KellyM says:

    Well selfishly I love the blog as it is right now. I haven’t found so many bloggers that I seem to line up with the point of view as well. I enjoy the salty things. I love the book reviews/recommendations. I understand your reasons for change to a degree, and I totally agree with your statement about not offending kids, it’s the parents you have to worry about that can make your life miserable. As far as TV…I’ve watched through the first season of House of Cards(netflix) Kevin Spacey is at his best!!! Makes me wonder what the point of voting is at all…scary realistic look at how things are accomplished in Washington.

    • Jules says:

      House of Cards! Another show I need to watch. At my new blog I’ll talk about books, TV, pretty much everything I do here but with less emphasis on the boys.

  15. Leigh Kramer says:

    If I wasn’t so repulsed by all things zombie, I’d give The Walking Dead a try, if only to understand what the fuss is about. You reminded me that I wanted to try The Tudors so I’ve requested the first DVD from the library. Fringe is on my list, too. But I’m really focused on watching Friday Night Lights right now so I don’t want to add too many shows in to the mix.

    I cannot imagine tweeting any celebrity and saying such things! Do people have no self-respect? I might joke to a friend about a hot actor I’d like to “befriend”, so maybe I’m no better because I see how that’s objectifying too. But posting anything of that ilk on social media just seems inappropriate.

    Best of luck figuring out the blog stuff! I do love your book posts (and can appreciate your privacy concerns) so it makes sense. But I do hope you can continue to work posts like these into the mix.

    • Jules says:

      I talk about hot celebrities all the time with my friends (Carey, Kendra) and blog readers on FB (hello, Phaedra/Lydia!) but I would never in a million years @ a celebrity on Twitter and say “Happy Birthday! You are SO HOT. If you were in town @ [friend’s name] would give you a threesome as a present!!”

      I’m not kidding. That was an actual tweet. Another girl I sort of know said that what she was looking forward to about @celebrity’s name next movie was the chance to see him naked. O_o <—-tell that to your girlfriends, not the actual celebrity!

  16. Phaedra says:

    oh man. You know I will be following you (stalking if I have to) ;) your new/other blog, but I will miss the fabulous stories about your boys. That being said, I COMPLETELY understand the need/desire to allow their lives to be more private as they get older.

    TV: I loved the Season 3 finale of HoW myself. It was a lovely full circle & if they happen to not renew the series it’s a good stopping place & if they do? Yay! A wonderful place to move on from.
    The Tudors? We binged on this show like candy. I did have a laugh out loud moment reading your thoughts on the overly tan, groomed men (and women). Every Single Time I read or watch any historical fiction I think, ‘these people are way too clean & perfect’. I never let it stop me from enjoying scenery (again, Henry Cavill. helloooooo!) The Tudors were a hot mess, but after also binging on The White Queen (series & set of books) I read some non-fiction about the time frame of the War of the Roses & Tudor period and now I feel I have a much better understanding of Henry et al. and why they were all cray cray & always positioning & backstabbing. (and sadly, I don’t see that much has changed in the political arena these 500yrs later. But that’s for another day)
    By the way, I LOVED North & South! (something else I binged on a couple weekends back. I did try to do a few productive things around the house to offset the sheer indulgence of watching it start to finish)

    I sign of saying that this line “Tweens are like miniature CIA Agents, only better with computers.” is the best thing I’ve read in a while. Bahahahahahaha.. TRUE THAT!

    • Jules says:

      HENRY CAVILL. Holy cow. And his whole not waxing stance is working quite well for him. I might have to start Tudors again just for him.

      In re N&S: did I not tell you about those last 5 minutes? You can watch them on Youtube, which I have done quite often.

      • Phaedra says:

        I haven’t started re-watching those last 5 minutes yet, but I don’t rule it out. ;)
        and Henry Cavill is reason enough to watch the Tudors. Sadly he’s in the episodes less towards the end, but still… HENRY CAVILL! That is a beautiful thing right there.

  17. Val says:

    You need to watch Ripper Street. Like, tonight. Seriously, do it.

    And also, totally understand the blog change, but I do hope some of the random lifestyle stuff continues every now and then.

    • Jules says:

      Random life stuff like what? (Curious, not an argumentative question.)

      • Val says:

        Like, “Hey, I threw this random dinner together and it was good and I took some photos,” or “I hate this stupid sofa and I might buy this one or this one, but I am paralyzed with indecision,” or “The house plants look better here, right?”

        Just your usual stuff every one in a while, instead of strictly all books all the time (which is also cool).

        • Jules says:

          That’s what I thought you meant. There’s no way I wouldn’t blog about stuff like that. I’m too much of a blather mouth! Besides, anyone who follows my blog knows I couldn’t stick to one topic if I had a gun to my head. :-/

  18. jo says:

    ripper street is goood.
    i love the bbc series whitechapel (hello rupert penry-jones!) and luther is great, although i really struggle with the amount of blood & gory deaths. delicate little flower that i am.

    look forward to seeing the new direction the blog takes.
    jo

  19. Jodi says:

    Good for you for going into a new direction. I fully support your plan to give your boys privacy. But like Catalina said (not the dino porn comment- the other one), I will also mourn the loss of my favorite blog. I love your slice-of-life stream-of-consciousness writing style. Your informality and clever wit has endeared you (or at least your online personality) to me. Best wishes for your new venture!

  20. LauraC says:

    Glad to see I’m not the only one to recommend Once Upon A Time. Your friends are so right, I LOVE it! (Rumpelstiltskin is my fav). My husband enjoys it with me, so it’s not just a chick thing. Anxiously waiting it to start again! We didn’t enjoy Fringe, tried the first couple of episodes and it wasn’t for us. Also, I won’t watch any zombie anything, so the Walking Dead is out, but I sure have heard a lot about it. Damages and Revenge I’d recommend. We also watched House of Cards, but while it started out good, I got frustrated with it towards the end. But that’s just me. I also got addicted to Orange is the New Black and watched it all in a few days/a week. You have seen Sherlock, the new one, right? You HAVE to. :) I’m disappointed I didn’t check in yesterday; the most recent Apple update changed my favorite sites so they don’t automatically show updates. So this comment is kinda late, sorry.

  21. LauraC says:

    Oh, and you’ve seen White Collar, right? I watched it a couple years ago, and Josh is just watching it now, so I’m rewatching it. LOVE it too – I think Mozzie is my all time favorite character, period. He is fantastic. Nobody can touch his genius nor his adorable underdog-ness. So great. Happy Friday! :)

  22. YJ says:

    Call the midwives! I think you’d like it! it’s on netflix! From bbc, historical and just fab!

Leave A Comment

Hi! I’m Jules.

I used to be an attorney, but it made me grumpy. Now I write about life, sweet and savory, as a wife and mother to two small boys. My knowledge of dinosaurs knows no bounds.

You can read more, including the meaning behind the name Pancakes and French Fries here. And, yes, I really am phenomenally indecisive.