It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Reading and Watching in 2017

In my Sundance reflection I posted over the weekend, I promised to catch up on my recent pop culture ventures since I’ve neglected my duties of late (full-time jobs really just hinder this whole recreational blogging thing).

So, in an effort to stay true to my word, here’s a quick glimpse at all the popular stuff I’m consuming these days. Spoiler alert: I’ve become kind of savage with things I don’t like, so you’re in for a treat.


Books

At the moment, I’m on my sixteenth book of 2017, but I doubt I’ll be finishing it any time soon. I’ve returned to the Outlander series with the fourth installment, Drums of Autumn. I’m at the 200-page mark in an 880-page saga, so who really knows when I’ll finish or what shenanigans I’m in for along the way. Thankfully, Diana Gabaldon doesn’t let me down and keeps things entertaining and unexpected, unlike many books I’ve started and stopped recently.

I’ve given up on two books so far in 2017, which generally provokes a sense of relief, while also being a big ol’ bummer. I don’t like to dislike books, especially when I spend 100 pages of effort on something I end up tossing aside. My rejected novels were Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked, which I bought on a whim at a used book store, and Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible. I didn’t have harsh feelings about The Poisonwood Bible—the same cannot be said of the former—but I just didn’t feel it going anywhere. To be fair, I started the novel and read a good chunk on my way to Sundance and didn’t really pick it up again until returning, so I was struggling to readjust. But at over 500 pages, I wasn’t feeling compelled enough to trudge through, so I put it aside. This is one I could see myself returning to in future, just not any time too soon.

Other quick reading notes: I’ve already crossed off 3 of the authors I planned to read in 2017, have made progress on 2 others, and have completed 2 other reading goals for the year. I read Rupi Kaur’s poetry collection milk and honey in about 12 seconds over the weekend and enjoyed it. I read a collection of Emily Dickinson’s works and consumed something like 700 poems in a week. I also recently read the Russian novella The Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk after seeing the film adaptation at Sundance. The novella is fun, but the film is far better.

I’ve basically been reading Drums of Autumn exclusively, but fairly soon I’ll double up with something else, likely Romeo and Juliet in my goal of reading four of Shakespeare’s plays this year. I don’t want to pair Drums of Autumn with another novel, so I’ll keep the balance with other plays or short story/essay collections for a while.


Movies

I’ve seen a fairly ridiculous number of movies in 2017—forty-three, to be precise, which is just two short of the number of days in the year thus far. To be fair, I did start the year at a film festival, but I’m also just in the kind of mood that basically involves at least one movie a day.

You can read my Sundance post to hear about what I liked there, but there have been plenty of other fun things I’ve seen on my own time. Arrival was the most recent Best Picture nominee I saw (I still haven’t seen Hidden Figures or Hacksaw Ridge) and I loved it way more than expected. Other things I’ve really liked include Sing Street (2016), Grey Gardens (2009), Y Tu Mamá También (2001), Temple Grandin (2010), The Handmaiden (2016)and Fifty Shades Darker (2017). Yes, the last one is kind of embarrassing, and yes, the last two have something very specific in common, but I’m fine with that.

Here’s hoping I reach 50 films—which is 1/2 of my goal for the year—by the end of the month (but honestly, it will probably happen by the end of this week).


Television

TV has been unexpectedly complicated for me in 2017. TV tends to be my breeziest medium, but I’m having a very difficult time finding something that clicks for me this year. To be fair, I’ve still completed 7 series this year, but each of those has been under 20 episodes, so I haven’t had to really commit.

My biggest surprise was my lack of interest in The Americans, a show I started expecting I would love it and planned to catch up before the new season comes later this spring. I watched the entirety of season 1 and the premiere of season 2, and just kept finding myself underwhelmed. This is the show every critic says is totally underrated and deserves nominations it rarely receives, but nothing about it really hooked me. I kept watching in the hopes that would change, but I finally decided to stop. It was a decision accompanied by a surprising amount of turmoil, but I really haven’t thought about the show at all since, so I think I made the right decision.

I’m finally committed to a new project with Flight of the Conchords, though this show is only 22 episodes overall, so again, it’s fairly temporary. It’s silly and strange and I like it. Same goes for Moone Boy, which I watched very quickly a few weeks ago.

There is a handful of shows currently airing/soon to return that I’m keeping up with, including: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Mindy Project, Girls, Legion, and Bates Motel. It’s nice to have a few things to rely on, especially when I’m not particularly inclined elsewhere.

And speaking of my lack of interest, my roommate and I have developed an exciting and cut-throat habit of “canceling” movies and books and TV shows (aka we deem things “canceled” when we stop liking them, and they cease to exist). So The Americans? Canceled. Together we tried to start back on Penny Dreadful, having both watched the first season when it aired, but that only lasted 14 minutes before cancelation. I also canceled The Leftovers after watching 19 minutes and feeling like I never needed to return. I have a lot of random things on my TV list for the year, and I expect some of them to be canceled as well. At least I’m giving them all a shot.

Of the things I have actually watched, I would most highly recommend A Series of Unfortunate Events because it is just delightful, and I also had fun watching Chewing Gum, Looking, and Glitch in January. And seriously, Moone Boy is super sweet and charming if you’re looking for that type.


Now I’m off to go finish a movie I started this afternoon and enjoy some quality reading time. Next time I write, I fully expect to have canceled a few more things.

I can’t wait.

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When the only things in life that matter are Hamilton and Manic Pixie Dream Girls

Hello, world.

It’s March. What? I haven’t written anything very substantial here since my Sundance reflection, but I can’t believe more than a month has gone by since then. Apparently teaching and writing a thesis require more of my attention than blogging.

Speaking of those things… yes, my life these days is about scrambling through the last bits of writing on my thesis (defense is March 24 and I’m currently sitting on 101 pages, no biggie) and teaching English to two classes of college freshmen. Both are at times infuriating and exhilarating. I’m incredibly thankful for a semester that allows me two things to focus on that inspire me, but boy, do I yearn for a day to just watch TV without feeling guilty.

Thankfully, I’m enjoying a bit more free time this week with spring break. Since I pride myself on my reading and watching skills, here’s a quick update on the things I’ve been enjoying lately.

Books–Because I’ve been preparing for my oral exam that comes with defending my thesis, lots of my reading this year has just been rereading. I’ve also done a pretty significant number of plays lately. I love reading plays anyway, but I think this choice is more representative of my short attention span as I start to worry about the other things I should be doing rather than recreational reading.

As for things I’ve really liked, I completely loved reading the Collected Sonnets of Edna St. Vincent Millay for my oral exam. I’ve never been a poetry reader, so the fact that I enjoyed this so much feels like real character development. I also really loved reading Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play ‘Night, Mother and definitely bawled my way through the final 10 pages when I finished it yesterday morning. I have plans to read Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go now, which I’ve already started, but I’m having a hard time concentrating with the other things floating in my head. Hopefully I’ll make more progress soon. As of today, I’m 20 books into 2016, so I think I’m doing okay regardless.

TV–Since finishing Pushing Daisies and season two of Transparent in February, I haven’t started a new streaming show (again, too many other things to be concerned with). I’m also in a happy place with the TV that’s currently airing–I’m keeping up with Bob’s Burgers, Girls, Last Man on Earth, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Broad City, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson. The upcoming returns of Outlander, Veep, and Game of Thrones also have me ridiculously excited, so I’m hoping time moves a little quicker in April.

Movies–Starting the year at Sundance certainly helped my film-watching this year; I’ve already seen 36 new (to me) films so far. Nothing recently has been too exceptional except for The Witch, which is just so fun and weird you can’t help but enjoy it. I also rewatched Room last week after first seeing it in January and enjoyed it even more the second time. I’ve been thinking about it often since, and I think that says a lot about its quality.

Now that I’ve written this, I’m realizing that life has been pretty quiet for me lately–except when I’m blaring the Hamilton soundtrack in my car, which is often. If all goes well, I’ll be writing again in a few weeks, having finished my thesis (!!!) and enjoying the downward slope toward graduation.

See you soon!

Spring Break

Don’t get too excited — this isn’t going to be a post chronicling all the exciting adventures I’ve had in my days off. Actually, my spring break has primarily been spent sitting on my bed with either a screen or book in front of my face. This, of course, is my little version of paradise.

My spring break was made a little sweeter since we got an extra two days off because Kentucky has been a haven for major snow fall in recent weeks. Two weeks ago, we had a week off school for about a foot-and-a-half of snow and ice. Last Wednesday and Thursday, we received another 21-23″ that closed the university two days early for spring break. Now it’s 60 degrees. Things have been a bit odd in the weather department, to say the least.

Since it’s been a few weeks since my last post of this sort, I thought I’d take a few minutes to do another update. Here’s what I’ve been watching and reading lately.

Books — I haven’t accomplished as much reading over break as I’d hoped, but I’ll try to remedy that in my last days off. Earlier this week I finished Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, a book I’d read partially several years ago, but came back to after borrowing it from my roommate. Didion’s nonfiction is relatable and comforting, especially if you’ve recently lost a loved one.

Last night, I finished Cecelia Ahern’s Love, Rosie, previously published as Where Rainbows End. I got it as a cheap Kindle download from Amazon, and knowing it was from the same author as P.S. I Love You (which I haven’t read), I hoped it’d be a decent book. I found the writing incredibly weak and the overall story rather boring and frustrating, so that was a pretty giant waste of time, unfortunately.

Now I’m turning back to my assigned school reading. My plan is to begin reading John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces today. The book isn’t due for a few weeks, but since it’s long and, I’m assuming, fairly dense, I want to have ample time to finish it. I’ve also got some Flannery O’Connor short stories to read for classes next week, so I’ll try to get a head start on those. O’Connor is always a pleasure, so that’s something I’m excited about.

Movies — I haven’t watched much recently that’s very noteworthy, but I’m at least happy to be making progress on my intended watch list for the year. I rented two Redbox movies this week, Chasing Hearts and Men, Women & Children. The first was really lame; because Jamie Dornan is the film’s star, the distributors apparently tried to milk his Fifty Shades success, but the movie was mostly boring.

I rented Men, Women & Children because I really like Jason Reitman, but his movies have been rather off lately, especially since this was the first film he directed following the ridiculous Labor Day. The movie’s cast is good, but the story is rather melodramatic and depressing; it presents the dark side of a society controlled by technology. I was interested enough in the story to keep watching, but it’s not a film I’d watch a second time.

I also watched the film adaptation of Love, Rosie, which is thankfully far better than the book. The film’s writer and director took lots of liberties with the book’s story, and ended up producing something much more entertaining. It’s a pretty formulaic romantic comedy, but those can be fun, so I’d recommend it if you looking for something of that type.

TV — I think most of my viewing time this break has been spent on TV-bingeing. I started watching Teen Wolf on a whim just over two weeks ago, and I’m currently watching the final episode so I’ll be caught up when season five begins this summer. It isn’t a great show by any means, but it’s fun and entertaining, and I’m glad to have something to watch during the dry months of summer TV.

My mom and I also started watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. We got through the first five episodes in one sitting, but haven’t returned to it yet because our timing hasn’t really worked out, but I think I’ll plan to finish it now that I’m done with Teen Wolf. Once that’s done, I’ll return to Lost, since I paused in the break between seasons two and three.

As for on-air TV, I’m SO excited that Bates Motel returned this week. It looks like things have officially gotten inappropriate this season, so that should be loads of fun. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Broad City, and Girls will all be reaching season’s end in the next week or so, so that should lighten my TV-watching load a bit (though I’m sad to see them all go). Otherwise, I’m still keeping up with Jane the Virgin, Reign, and Scandal, and I believe I’ll wait until the summer to binge on the current season of Broadchurch with my mom, so that will slowly begin building up on our DVR.

Now back to real life. Here’s to soaking up my last moments of no obligations before school and all those pesky deadlines and assignments return.

Snow Days

I couldn’t be happier to be writing this from the comfort of my bed, snuggled under a pile of blankets with snow falling outside my window. My semester got off to a busy start, so I thought I’d take this moment of reprieve to write a quick update of my pop culture life these days.

Books — School reading obviously takes precedent over any leisurely reading, but I’m still free enough that I’m able to maintain something for myself. After forging my way through a book of William Inge plays, I took a sharp turn to reading Daniel Handler’s The Basic Eight, a fun teen novel about murder (I guess it doesn’t sound that funny, but it really is). My latest Southern lit reading assignment was Erskine Caldwell’s Tobacco Road, a super strange and darkly comic book chronicling the strange lives of a group in Depression-era rural Georgia. It’s a truly entertaining read. This past weekend I finished My Ideal Bookshelf, a collection of lists made by various celebrities of the handful of book they’d put on their “ideal” bookshelves. It was especially fun to read the lists of celebrities I like (like James Franco), and the book provided me with several books I’ve added to my own reading list.

Currently, I’m in the middle of reading Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles and I’m enjoying the experience tremendously. I’ve also started Ernest Hemingway’s short story collection In Our Time, a book I’m required to present about in one of my classes next month. This snow day (which just might turn into two snow days) is giving me the perfect opportunity to stay in and read guilt-free.

Movies — I’m well on my way with my 100 movie goal for 2015, having watched 23 new movies this year. Some recent favorites include the classic Pulp Fictionwhich I hadn’t seen until recently, and Still Alice, the movie for which Julianne Moore is likely to win an Oscar. Admittedly, I also got really into this Lifetime movie called Restless Virgins that I watched on Netflix, so I guess that should make the list as well. Sometimes you need something mindless to watch, I guess.

TV — I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so busy with TV-watching as I do now. I’m making pretty good progress on my rewatch of Lost (I’m currently watching episode 2×15), but I’m also kept very occupied by all the normal TV shows I watch that are airing. This list includes: Downton Abbey, Girls, Bob’s Burgers, Jane the Virgin, Parks and Recreation, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Broad City, Scandal, Reign, and How to Get Away with Murder. It’s both sad and a little stress-relieving that Parks and Rec and How to Get Away with Murder will be ending in the coming weeks so my watch list can be pared down a bit. However, Bates Motel, Game of Thrones, and Veep will all be returning soon, so the madness continues, I suppose. For now, though, I’m content to stay in my bed and enjoy my cozy day inside.

Year in Review: Top 10 TV Shows of 2014

If there was a way to get a degree in TV-watching, my life would be complete. Really, though, school work might get in the way of my TV time, but I’m still kind of a pro. Though I’ve started watching Black Mirror, I doubt I’ll be starting a big new TV project before 2015 begins, so here’s a quick rundown of my TV life in 2014: I completed 21 TV series (though some of them were started in 2013) and watched 841 episodes of TV (though that doesn’t include anything I watched on TV in real time). Maybe I should be embarrassed by this, I’m pretty excited about it. Here are my 10 favorite shows I watched in 2014.

Broad City

“Broad City” was the last new show I watched in 2014, and it’s safe to say that I really, really enjoyed it. First of all, I really like when I can watch an entire season of a show in one sitting, which totally happened when some friends and I sat down to watch “Broad City” a few weeks ago. Apart from that, I love having another female-centered, incredibly funny show to enjoy. And season two starts so soon! Happy times.

Cheers

After finishing the first three seasons of “Cheers” rather quickly at the end of 2013, I set a goal of completing the series in 2014, which was no small feat considering I had to watch over 200 episodes of it this year. Even with such a daunting task in front of me, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the show, and was even a bit sad when I didn’t have the promise of more new episodes ahead of me.

The Comeback

My desire to watch “The Comeback” peaked when I learned of the show’s second season pick up (just a short nine years after the first season aired), so my mom and I made it a priority this summer. Like “Broad City,” it took next to no time to watch this show. It’s funny, charming, and often cringeworthy, but totally worth the time if you’re a TV fanatic like me. In my opinion, the second season has been even better in many ways, and I’m so happy to see the lovely Valerie Cherish (played perfectly by Lisa Kudrow) finally getting some recognition.

Deadwood

A big part of my interest in “Deadwood” came from the fact that the show is set close to where some of my family lives in South Dakota, so I decided to start the show early in 2014. If you’re squeamish or easily offended, “Deadwood” is not for you (I’ve become quite desensitized to lots of terrible language because of it, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing). If you can handle it though, “Deadwood” is a great show that was canceled too soon. I challenge you to watch it without falling in love with Calamity Jane.

Friday Night Lights

I never would’ve expected “Friday Night Lights” to be one of my two very favorite shows I watched this year, but it most certainly was (more on the other favorite soon). After lots of peer pressure, I finally decided to start “Friday Night Lights” in August, and it was one of the best decisions I made all year. The show is funny, heartbreaking, sweet, and so wonderful I had an incredibly hard time pausing it when the real world was calling my name. If I’d never watched it, I wouldn’t have realized my love for Taylor Kitsch, and now I can’t imagine a world without him. Sigh.

Hannibal

Here’s my personal recommendation for watching “Hannibal” — don’t watch it while eating. This was a mistake I somehow made over and over again, so take my advice and prevent yourself from that unfortunate experience. Otherwise, it’s a really entertaining (though incredibly twisted) show that’s difficult to stop watching once you’ve started.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

I sped through all nine seasons of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” in an embarrassingly short amount of time this fall, but I’m so glad I did. This show is basically the antithesis of any network comedy, but it might make you feel better about yourself when you see how stupid the gang is. Thankfully the next season starts soon, so I’ll be kept thoroughly entertained in what is normally a dull time for TV.

Seinfeld

Like “Cheers,” “Seinfeld” was one of my long-term projects I started in 2013 and finished over the summer. It’s always good to enjoy such a classic show, and I’m happy to feel like an in-the-know person when it comes to one of the most iconic comedies in TV history.

Sherlock

When I said “Friday Night Lights” was one of my favorite shows of the year, “Sherlock” was the second show I was referring to. I can’t really say what pushed me into watching “Sherlock,” but I clearly remember lying on my bed in the first days of January and feeling an immediate fascination with the show once I’d started. Now I’ve watched all nine episodes (it’s a crime there are so few) multiple times and I’ve written two big papers related to Sherlock. I might be a little obsessed, but you’re absolutely missing out if you don’t partake of such a fabulous show. GO WATCH IT!

A Young Doctor’s Notebook

If you know much about me, you probably know that I have a lot of feelings about Daniel Radcliffe, so it makes sense that I watched this show, starring Radcliffe and Jon Hamm. The show is bizarre and a true dark comedy and I really wish there were more of it to watch (though to be fair, I haven’t yet watched season two).

I’ll likely be starting 2015 with a fairly short TV list, but I’m hoping that means I’ll make good progress and watch some things I’ve been interested in for a long time. Happy watching!

November.

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Though November is pretty much my favorite month of the year, it’s also an undoubtedly busy time. I’m eleven weeks into the semester, which means that things are generally winding down, but also that finals and exams and presentations and papers are all happening. This is really the first time I’ve been behind in any classes, which is a pretty good accomplishment (and probably a reason why I shouldn’t be sitting here writing this instead of reading Hamlet). Sometimes you just need a break.

 

TV  — Thankfully, I’ve still managed to keep up with my pop culture fun to a certain extent. On Monday, I finished my viewing of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” because Netflix was kind enough to add the ninth season just a few days after I finished season 8. I thoroughly enjoyed myself watching thisshow, and I’m very excited FX is already showing a preview for next season.

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As for my other TV viewing habits, I’m just trying to keep up with the influx of fall shows. I’ve only added two new shows to my schedule this season: ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” and The CW’s “Jane the Virgin.” “How to Get Away with Murder” provides the same melodramatic fun that I love about “Scandal,” and “Jane the Virgin” is adorable and funny and totally worth watching. I’m also keeping up with returning shows like “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” “Scandal,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Reign,” and “America’s Next Top Model.” I’m waiting until Thanksgiving/Christmas break to binge the new season of “Homeland” with my mom. We’ve seen the first two episodes, but decided it would be easier to wait than to try to catch up little by little, so don’t spoil things, please!

Movies — As of yesterday, I’ve completed my goal of watching 125 new movies in 2014! I haven’t seen many in theaters recently, apart from Gone Girlwhich you really all should have seen by now because it’s wonderful. I’m definitely looking forward to the onslaught of awards season movies that are starting to roll out now; I’m specifically excited for Birdman, Nightcrawler, The Imitation Game, Foxcatcher, Wild, Into the Woods, and seeing Whiplash again. As for the movies I have seen recently, some favorites have included Obvious Child, In A World…, and Scream 1, 2, and 3. Netflix doesn’t have Scream 4 right now, which is fairly frustrating. I also had the distinct pleasure of watching the notoriously bad Showgirls recently which was certainly an experience.

Books — Most of my reading has been focused on completing my reading assignments for class, which is pretty understandable considering I’m in an English Master’s program. My biggest projects there have been Hamlet (which I’m behind on) and Antony and Cleopatra (which our professor removed from the reading list, but since I’m already three acts in, I want to finish it). I’m also working away at reading lots of Edgar Allan Poe short stories since I have a class specifically dedicated to Poe. For my final class, most of my reading has been from a very helpful book called Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide that goes in-depth on various critical theories used to analyze literature. It’s great for lit nerds, not so great for the casual reader.

For my own funIMG_0667.JPG reading, I’ve only done three noteworthy reading projects of late, but all of them are worth mentioning. Early in October I bought and read Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, which I enjoyed (if you’re interested, I’m on Dunham’s side in this “sexual abuse” situation, but I also don’t want to start a debate). Though it wasn’t my favorite read ever, there were many laugh-out-loud moments and I thought it was a very true representation of what Dunham has always claimed to be. I also read Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot in October in my quest to read all the important drama literature. The play is frustrating and sad, like lots of those written in the absurd style. Currently, I’m reading Amy Poehler’s Yes Pleasewhich is of course entertaining and funny. I expect to finish it this weekend, so look out for a post with my review.IMG_0683.JPG

And to cap it all off, Taylor Swift’s newest album, 1989, was released last week, meaning that I won’t really be listening to any other music until at least January. My favorite songs at the moment are “Blank Space,” “Style,” and “I Wish You Would.” But I basically adore the entire album because Taylor is a goddess and I’ve worshiped her for six years.

Now, back to the real world. It’s the weekend and after spending the afternoon at our homecoming football game, I know I should be thinking about completing the homework that’s been accumulating on my to do list. Right now, though, the idea of curling up in a blanket on the couch watching movies for the rest of the night sounds so, so much better. A girl can dream, I guess.

 

 

 

 

 

Homework and pumpkin candles — I guess that means it’s fall

It’s a bit hard to believe we’re already nearing the end of September. Unfortunately, this time of year is when homework and classes always seem to shift into high gear, a truth that is taking shape in my life these days. In fact, writing this is my reward for power reading through a big chunk of Moby-Dick, half of which I have to have read by tomorrow evening. Let’s just say that there are several more hours of reading ahead of me before that’s crossed off my to do list.

My life generally has been pretty good, as of late; for the most part, I’m staying on top of my homework and work load, and I still have some time to do fun things. The first hints of fall are in the air, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve been burning fall-scented candles all weekend, and I bought my first Reese’s pumpkins on Friday. Tis the season, and all that jazz.

Here’s a quick overview of what I’ve been reading and watching lately. If fall isn’t the best time to cuddle up to watch movies and read, then I don’t know what is (just kidding, I do this all year).

TV — Despite having lots of homework this weekend, I managed to squeeze in some quality TV-aydnwatching time. Friday night, I watched the first season of “A Young Doctor’s Notebook,” a quirky dark comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm as the titular Young Doctor (Radcliffe plays the younger version. Hamm the older) in early 20th century Russia. It’s a very strange little show, but highly entertaining, and sometimes sad. The first season is on Netflix for anyone who’s interested, and it only lasts about 80 minutes in total, so give it a watch! I’m waiting to start season 2 until I can watch it with my mom, but I’m excited to see what the new season brings.

Sunny

I’ve also started watching “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” a show that comes highly recommended from several of my friends. As I write, I’m just starting season 2, so I feel like I’m accomplishing a lot (even though I’m really only on the eighth episode). I’m excited to get into season 2 since Danny Devito joins the cast. My goal is to finish season 2 by the end of this week, so I’m hoping I can find some moments of free time to devote to watching TV, rather than reading about whales.

OutlanderLast on my TV radar is “Outlander,” which I’ve been thoroughly enjoying since it premiered last month. The fact that there’s only one episode left before the midseason hiatus begins is very upsetting to me and I don’t want to talk about it. Last night’s episode (“The Wedding”) provided the long anticipated marriage between Claire and Jamie, and let’s just say that I was more than happy with the outcome. In fact, I don’t really see why Claire is still so conflicted over her time travel problem; as far as I’m concerned, the choice between staying with Jamie or trying to get back to Frank is a no brainer (I mean, have you seen Sam Heughan?). I don’t think many people are watching “Outlander,” but I am happy to recommend it to anyone looking for a new TV project. Plus, I like having people to talk about TV with, so join me!

Books — Like I mentioned, I’m spending lots of time reading Moby-Dick these days. I’ve got about 120 pages to make it through before my class tomorrow night, so hopefully I’ll make a big dent in that before the end of the day. The second half of the book (which thankfully is a slightly shorter reading assignment) is due next week, so I’m planning to be a bit better and not procrastinate all my reading to the day or two before the assignment is due.

My next reading assignment for my Shakespeare class is Much Ado About Nothing, which I (unintentionally) started and finished Friday afternoon. I saw the play at the Globe Theatre while visiting London in 2011, which definitely helped me understand the plot of the play. I’ll be watching Joss Whedon’s recent film adaptation of the play in class Tuesday, so I’m excited to see how it differs from the written play.

As long as I can keep afloat this week (amidst reading, a presentation, a conference, and meetings), life should go back to normal for a week or two. In fact, next week is my fall break, a very welcome opportunity to relax for a day or two. The best news is that by the time I’m on fall break, Gone Girl will be in theaters, and that just might be the highlight of the month of October (at least I hope so).

Now, back to work. Enjoy your Sunday, everyone!