Stories I devoured during my reading slump!

Oh yes! A reader’s worst nightmare and a time a little more annoying than periods. Actually, scratch that. I’d take a reading slump over periods any day! Thank you PCOD!
Coming back to one of the worst things about being a reader (or the only worst thing about a reader?) – the dreadful slump. I’ve been in one for about two years now. More than two, honestly. Lost all interest and the excitement I had for books and stories after I lost Mr. Doughnut. Not that I haven’t read anything at all since then, I do go through some reading material and I have picked up some books (mostly non-fiction and a few fictions) but it hasn’t been the same, you know? Let’s say it hasn’t been as exciting as it was before which also made me enjoy blogging and vlogging!

Being in a slump for this long really changes one’s relationship with reading and books and stories, and I just hate the feeling! No matter how much I have tried, things just won’t go back to how they were. Having said that, after trying for more than enough times, there is something I realised – I don’t want to keep trying to go back to how things were. How could they, right? Things change and no matter how difficult it is, one must embrace it. And so that’s something I’m working on now instead of chasing my past self and interests. This also doesn’t mean that I don’t find books or reading interesting anymore, I know I still love it but it’s just time to welcome a different relationship with them and the ways to read/consume stories. Now, I read when I really want to and not because I want to read 60 books in a year like before or because I want to have content for my blog and Instagram. Subconsciously, it was becoming like that. Now that I have recognised it and approaching the situation with alternative solutions, I am finally enjoying blogging all over again! And again, I write when I truly want to share something – light or serious – and not to keep up with some algorithm.

This shift in perspective is what made me notice the different ways I continued to be a part of different stories! Earlier, I would avoid watching series online tagging it as a waste of time but now that I see it differently, I did watch some quality series and enjoyed different storylines. Just different media.

And here I am, sharing the silver lining with you! This is the “Series Edition” – I’ll share my list of 10 shows that I watched and loved.

  1. Modern Love

An American Romantic Comedy Anthology, Modern Love is a TV series based on the weekly column published in The New York Times.
I never really knew about the original short stories before I saw the series on Amazon Prime but I immediately fell in love with the show from the get go! A multi-starrer series, each episode is a new short story exploring different areas and versions of Love – the complexities and simplicities of it. I’ll give a lot away if I begin describing each story but what I’ll do share is that the one with Anne Hathaway is my favourite! But I also love all the other episodes. Yes, I’m indecisive and I have trouble picking just one!

But I’m definitely going to read the stories soon!

“It’s amazing what trusting one true friend in your life can do. Once I told Sylvia, it seemed like the cat was out of the bag. I rang old boyfriends from over the years, colleagues I had just stopped calling for no reason. It was cathartic, strangely healing, how forgiving and understanding they were. And how little credit I had given so many people. And I promised myself no person would not know the full story of me.”

2. This is Us

Oh this beautiful, beautiful show!!! I don’t even know what else to tell you, just that it’s an AMAZING show and I LOVE JACK!!!!

I shall compose myself now.

This is Us follows the lives of the “Big Three” – three siblings – and their parents. The episodes go back and forth to their past and present lives, introducing us to each of their flaws, inhibitions, strengths and love. The complex individuals and their relationships are presented with such simplicity, it’s worth every minute!

“We’re their parents. We do the best we can. But at the end of the day what happens to them, how they turn out, that’s bigger than us.”

3. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

You have probably heard of Amy Sherman-Palladino if you know and love Gilmore Girls. Well, here’s another great show by her! Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is set in the late 1950s, around a housewife in New York City who, amidst her separation, discovers her talent in stand-up comedy and begins to actively pursue it as a career. A female stand-up comedian in a time when any career for a woman was tagged “un-lady like”, Mrs. Maisel – better known as Midge – breaks all patriarchal barriers!

I absolutely love the series! I haven’t watched the latest season yet but can’t wait to.

“Comedy is fueled by oppression, by the lack of power, by sadness and disappointment, by abandonment and humiliation. Now, who the hell does that describe more than women? Judging by those standards, only women should be funny.” 

4. Bless This Mess

There was a time when I was (somewhere, still am) utterly obsessed with Kristen Bell and Dax Shepherd as a couple and family and when I saw the latter in a poster for Bless This Mess, I was intrigued. However, on seeing a few scenes I just assumed that it’ll show some animal abuse since it features a farm life. But after a few weeks, I decided to give it a go and not decide something without knowing anything about it. Turns out, I really liked it. I obviously do not like how everyone normalises animal abuse but I do like the small incidents where the characters develop and express emotions, sensitivities, and empathy towards some farm animals and I really hope people pick on that and realise things before putting their lives on their plates. (Yes, I’m that vegan. The one who understands that animals are unable to speak for themselves in a world dominated by human race that lacks humanity, and so I shout for them and their freedom.)

Bless This Mess is based around a couple – Mike and Rio – who have decided to leave their New York lifestyle and jobs to move to a farm in Nebraska that Mike inherited from his great-aunt. Things, however, didn’t turn out as they imagined and they findd themselves in a neglected, broken to bits farm house with a land not fit for any life. However, fighting all odds and their fear, they begin rebuilding the place and working out a way to renew their land for some agricultural.

It’s a hilarious roller-coaster of a show and I adore the characters! Also, they sort of adopt a Hen and name her Priyanka!

“In New York we had an equal partnership. We were both independent, capable people, and now you just expect me to break out the lemons and the corn starch and make lemonade for you and Rudy?”

5. Big Little Lies

Okay, don’t judge me/hate me because I didn’t read the book and went straight to the series. It doesn’t change anything for me, even if you do though, but it’s just a nice thing to not do. Makes sense? Makes sense!

If you have seen Big Little Lies and read the book, let me know if it’s worth reading it even if I’ve seen the show?

And if you don’t know, Big Little Lies is an American drama/ light thriller series based on the book written by Liane Moriarty. It’s a multi-starrer show with all big ones like Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, and Zoe Kravitz. The second season brings Meryl Streep in a character I have never seen her in before and it’s so good!

If I tell you anything about the show, I’ll give away a lot. But if you like light mysteries and thrillers, mixed with drama and rich people losing their sh*t, and some good cliff hangers then this the series for you!

“It’s because a woman’s entire self-worth rests on her looks,” said Jane. “That’s why. It’s because we live in a beauty-obsessed society where the most important thing a woman can do is make herself attractive to men.”

6. Younger

Another one based on a book that I didn’t read! But I didn’t know about the books before I watched the show. But oh how I love this series! There’s something about watching a series based in and around books, you know? Feels like to be in your comfort zone.

Younger is a comedy-drama-romantic series based around a 40-year old mother, divorcee and an avid reader – Liza Miller – who fakes her identity as a “younger” woman to get a job in publishing. The series highlight various art and art forms and different characters, one of which is played by Hillary Duff, with their diverse stories, lifestyles and love interests. Most of which is a reader’s delight!

“Dreams we have as a child, dreams we pack in a box for college, dreams you unpack when you move into your first apartment, who you’ll meet, where you’ll work, who you’ll fall in love with. Think you have it all figured out. Life has better ideas. A bigger imagination takes bigger chances than someone like me a year ago moving through her forties in a cloud of old ideas. Life gives you more than you thought but maybe not in the package you expected. It’s deeper than that. It’s what you need underneath the want. It gives you what you can’t breathe without. So go ahead and plan, just know when all your scheming, and planning, and hoping is done, life plans back.

7. Jane The Virgin

Okay, i just love Gina Rodriguez’s work! She acts so realistically and naturally, it’s amazing to watch.

Jane The Virgin is a Rom-Com/ Dramedy. As far as I know, it’s loosely based on a Venezuelan telenovela with a similar title. The story of Jane the Virgin is set in Miami and it’s pretty much a soap opera on steroids. High quality steroids! Initially, I didn’t think the show is my type – it just had too much drama and some really over-the-top dramatic characters – but eventually I just fell in love with the series! It just makes you love love, love vulnerability, stories and books and writing and art and being who you are. In one of my older blog posts, I think I mentioned how the narration in Sex and the City inspired me/ made me want to start writing articles and experiences, Jane inspired me to explore the idea of writing a novel. This was actually helpful in guiding me towards a direction that I think will be right for my Elephant story project – The book I’m writing and illustrating on May.

 “I love you because you’re my best friend and I want to grow old with you. And right now, I am confused about every single thing in my life, except you.”

8. Carmen Sandiego

Since I’ve been studying art for some time now, I’ve been more and more interested in animated series. Not that I wasn’t before, but it’s definitely increased in its intensity. Carmen Sandiego is another one with Gina Rodriguez where she’s the protagonist’s voice.

Based on an old television game show for children, the 2019 Netflix show is an episodic journey of a young girl who was adopted by an institute and trained to be nothing less than a villain.

We follow her journey and the events that become a turning point of her life. And I followed her to study scene compositions and colour theory! XD

9. Atypical

It’s so good to have such series on popular platforms!

Atypical is a coming of age series based around an 18 year old boy with autism. One thing I’m not completely sure about is if the autism is correctly depicted in the show, but what I didn’t like was that no autistic actors were featured in the series.

However, the storyline and how he explores his life, particularly his love life, is pretty interesting and refreshing.

“Whoever said practice makes perfect was an idiot. Humans can’t be perfect because we’re not machines. The best thing you can say about practice is that it makes…better.”

10. The Crown

Oh the fascination with royalty! Crown is a historical drama highlighting the life of Queen Elizabeth the second. It starts a little before her wedding to the present day and I’m really interested to see how they highlight Princess Diana’s life in the upcoming season!

“That’s the thing about unhappiness. All it takes is for something worse to come along and you realize it was actually happiness after all.”

And that’s it for now! I’m still trying to get back to reading for most of my day, however, I’m glad that stories are still a priority no matter what the medium may be 🙂

Have you watched any of these shows? I’d love to know your favourites in the comments below!

Thank you for tuning in with me.

I’ll see you in my next one.

Love,
Gee.

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