A week in film: week 20

I won’t lie: this post should be called ‘a week in TV’. TV has always been a huge part of my life (my Timehop app – I know – has proved this to me by throwing up years of tweets about this) and, as I’m in the final exhausted weeks of my undergraduate degree, it’s mainly what I’m in the mood for.

Watching TV isn’t always a relaxing experience. For example, I chose this week to make a return to Once Upon A Time, finishing up the fourth series with a mighty one-evening binge that I DO NOT RECOMMEND unless you want to have pseudo-fairytale dreams all night afterwards. I was so reluctant to love Once Upon A Time because even before I jumped on board I knew that it was ludicrous and that it was soapy, and a whole other bunch of narrow-minded and stupid reasons. I take it back. It IS ludicrous and it IS soapy, but it’s also SO MUCH FUN. The end of the fourth series is, like a typical Once Upon A Time finale, utterly demented. There are alternate realities (meaning changed characters, one of whom made my day) all over the place and a brutal cliffhanger – which, thanks to my binging tendencies, I haven’t had to deal with in quite the same way before. After this cliffhanger, I melodramatically shouted that ‘I hate this show’ (well, that’s a cleaned up version of what I actually said) because it made me really, really sad. I was wrong: I don’t hate it, despite it hurting me. It’s going to be a long wait until the next season starts.

Trying to introduce my housemates to Daredevil – with varying levels of success – also wasn’t particularly relaxing, as we’ve only reached episode three. As you’ll know if you’ve seen it, the image of bowling ball will never be the same, and you’ll never again trust any nighttime scene in which there is a fight around a spiky fence. It’s grim, and it gets worse in the next episode (we haven’t got there yet) with a car door. So, I’m learning that consuming this show in a massive burst wasn’t in fact the terrible idea that I initially thought it was. It means that you can become absorbed in the characters and the narrative, rather than sticking on the grim bits. The stop/start approach isn’t working for me.

Still, I LOVE Jane The Virgin, and the weekly consumption thing is working out in the sense that it’s always leaving me wanting more. It’s completely ridiculous but the performances are universally wonderful, and it feels like every episode brings in a new crazy storyline that I would have no clue how to resolve. If you’re not watching it already, you should be.

I’ve also started watching Empire, after seeing LOTS of editorials about it recently. Fortunately, right now all the episodes which have aired on the UK are all still up on AllFour – a service which, though great on paper, gets really bloody grating when you see the same advert three times in a row – so I’ve made a start on it. One episode in – I’m continuing to lie to myself by saying that I’m going to pace myself – and I’m feeling like it’s worth my time. Certain bits are infuriating, but they’re infuriating for plot reasons rather than any other, and I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen. The only awkward moment came when I noticed that they were juxtaposing a decision about which child would inherit the company with a party on a boat, and I was forcibly reminded of Arrested Development. Probably not the intention.

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