My top 10 TV shows – for winter boxset & pyjamas evenings
Don't get me wrong – I love reading. But there's something delicious about scrambling into pyjamas and collapsing on the sofa with a glass of red wine, for a bit of boxsetting.
I love finding out recommendations from blogs for new, worthwhile programmes to watch. So in the spirit of paying it forward, here is my list of my 10 top TV shows. (By this I mean the programmes I've enjoyed in recent years. Not at different times of my life – otherwise this would be a list of things like Bagpuss and Degrassi Junior High and TJ Hooker.)
All these are available to stream on Netflix et al right now, with the exception of Babylon 5 which you'll have to buy on DVD!
I'm getting right in with one that most people would consider cheesy. But I have a passion for Charmed, ever since I saw the pilot back in the 90s on a flight to New York. (This was back in the days when I worked for a magazine and got flown to the USA to review nightlife for travelogues. Nowadays I spend my weekends clearing up lego and playing monopoly. Well worth it though. Loving this mothering an eight year old and all that. My goodness I'd better stop digressing or I'll never get through this list.)
2. Babylon 5
I bought the entire box set on DVD (remember when we used to buy DVDs instead of streaming?) and it was really expensive. It was a becoming-a-father present for Chiswick Daddy and we spent nights and nights awake during the first few months, working our way through this while I tearfully and exhaustedly breastfed and Chiswick Daddy fed me bits of roast lamb and other culinary delights he lovingly made for me.
I got on the Lost bandwagon pretty late (ie after everyone else had watched it), and it was the first thing we boxsetted after we moved to Chiswick. I think it set the bar for modern, television with long ranging story arcs, quirky plots lines, and multiple main characters.
4. Battlestar Galactica (the remake, not the older version)
I loved the strong female leads in this remake – and the excellent plot lines with their modern day parallels of fear and prejudice. I had severe withdrawal symptoms when we finally got to the end.
5. Just add magic
This is like Charmed for tweenies. And it's a slightly sneaky addition to this list as I only discovered it with Chiswick Boy a couple of weeks ago – but we're enjoying boxsetting through this tale of cookery and witchcraft. Actually made for Amazon, remarkably. (It shows how the landscape of TV production is changing that streaming companies are now actually making original programming.)
6. The Gilmore Girls
I stayed at home with Chiswick Boy for the first three years, and I'd turn this on in the nursery at 2:15pm each day – it must have been on UK living or something like that. It seemed to bounce around a bit so I didn't see them in sequence. I'm now making Chiswick Daddy watch them with me from the beginning. Charming and intelligent characterisation makes this a delight to curl up and watch in bed on the macbook.
7. Game of Thrones
Okay, not original but I can't not include this. It's the first time that we've watched something in sync with the rest of the world, rather than catching up a few years later. It's been so strange waiting a week between episodes, and then a year between series. Like being back in the 90s all over again.
8. Dr Who
We've been boxsetting these with Chiswick Boy, working our way through the David Tennant incarnation and are now in the Matt Smith years. It's not one for watching near bedtime as it can be very scary! (And not just for Chiswick Boy!). Although watching Chiswick Boy dive unbidden behind the sofa, just like I used to do when I watched the daleks with my parents, was endearingly funny.
This is an absolutely gripping French series – and remarkably it's an original production for Netflix. Proof that the streaming powerhouse is actually a force to be reckoned with. Gerard Depardieu is superb as the French mayor locked in a war with his scheming former protégée.
I would be disingenuous if I left this list without mentioning my guilty pleasure. I think everyone needs to have a solo boxsetting mission. Something that they don't share with anyone – not even their partner. This is mine. Yes, it's trashy. Yes, I should know better. But I'm hooked. And when I'm in bed early, and Chiswick Daddy is still up. Or when I'm in bed ill but just well enough to watch something… this is what I do. Shhhh
I've used covers of boxsets to illustrate this list as I believe that boxset covers – as with book covers – can be used for features to publicise the books/shows. Hope I've got that right. Having the copyright police bash down my door when I'm on the sofa boxsetting would be a sad end to this list.