"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves." --Rainer Maria Rilke (©julenisse/Fotolia)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

TV: When it's Good, it's Very, Very Good

Three shows in the last three days remind me of why I love TV. I know, it’s inconsistent and unpredictable--a rogue sibling we love but can’t count on to behave at family gatherings. Television is like the little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead, as my mother used to recite to me (Moi!?). “When she was good, she was very, very good… but when she was bad, she was horrid!”

Forget the horrid, I’m captivated by the very, very good.

There’s been so much said already about Downton Abbey that I’ll simply say: It’s pure joy. I’m in withdrawal. I can’t wait for Season 3. If you don’t know why, you’re not watching. I love the clothes, the carpets and the wallpaper. I’m glad I wasn’t a woman then, but I can still fantasize what life was like. Lady Mary, indeed.

Bravo Bravermans! NBC’s Parenthood continuously amazes and makes even jaded old me cry. Yes, those Bravermans are a bunch of busy bodies, butting into each other’s business like there’s no tomorrow. (Especially Kristina. Doesn’t she have enough to do with a new baby, a job in politics, and a child with Asperger’s?) This week, between teen mom Zoe’s labor and delivery of Julia and Joel’s baby (pul-ease don’t change your mind, Zoe…) and Amber’s loneliness and disgrace after her coitus interruptus (thanks to Aunt Kristina) with her candidate/boss. Actress Mae Whitman’s finesse as 19-year-old Amber speaks to my heart every single time, probably because I have a daughter the same age. A creative, free spirit like Amber, my daughter straddles that same line between fierce independence and reliance on her parents. This week, a humiliated Amber crawls into bed with Sarah, not necessarily to talk, but just because she needs her mom. I was undone.

Music aside, Glee is not so gleeful this week, with an extremely thoughtful treatment of teen suicide. From LGBT issues to unplanned pregnancy, creator Ryan Murphy and company aren’t afraid to tackle teen sexuality. Their ongoing gay plots are educational and exceptionally poignant, no more so than in this week’s heartbreaking , and ultimately redemptive, storyline. Sadly, Glee’s happy ending isn’t the reality for a lot of ridiculed, bullied LGBT teens. But we can hope… Oh! And there’s an “oh shit” cliffhanger at the end, thanks to texting and driving…

Parenthood’s season concludes next week… Glee returns in April… Downton Abbey Season 3? Not soon enough.

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