If you read my last post, you might think I have an “all work and no play” attitude, even when I’m sick. But that’s not the case – I spend plenty of time on non-intellectual pursuits as well! I especially love movies, TV series, radio series, and podcasts. They keep my mind occupied without overtaxing it, which is perfect for when I’m feeling bad enough to stay in bed, but not quite bad enough to sleep (or try to).
One-off movies and programs are great, and I have enjoyed many, but I especially like series, so I can be engaged in the same story over a long period of time. Here are some of my favorites.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, seasons one and two (radio program). Classic absurdist science fiction comedy. There have been a few film and TV versions of HHGTTG, but I don’t think they compare to the brilliance of the original radio program. I listen to this every few years, and it always cracks me up. Seasons three, four, and five were produced after Douglas Adams’s death; I haven’t heard them yet, but they’re on my list.
Firefly (TV series) and Serenity (movie sequel to the series). This show has a hug cult following, and it’s not hard to see why – the television series is imaginative, strongly character-driven, well-written, and well-acted. It only ran for one season, with a movie following a few years later. I suggest giving this a try even if you don’t like science fiction; it’s made a lot of converts.
Indiana Jones (movies). I love the slightly campy side to these movies, and the subtle nods to adventure films of the 1930s and 1940s. There’s nothing especially deep in any of the films, but there is a great deal of charm, and they stand up well to multiple viewings.
Pride and Prejudice (BBC miniseries). I know it is a bit of a cliche for an American woman to love this series, but I don’t care. It gets everything right – the humor in Jane Austen’s most famous book, the romance, and the social commentary. The casting, acting, and dialogue are all stellar. As an aside, this is an especially wonderful series to watch with friends.
Sherlock (BBC series). Another great BBC production, Sherlock has a marvelous premise: that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, is living and solving extraordinary cases in modern-day London. It’s very clever, and absolutely intriguing – the kind of show you have to talk about after seeing. Each episode is about ninety minutes long, as long as a shorter movie, so there’s enough time with each one to get completely sucked in.
Do you have any favorite series that have helped you through tough times? Share them in the comments!