I Should Be Working in My Shop Instead by
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Every time I click the remote for just one more episode, I’m wracked with guilt.  June is hard at work at the student health clinic, and I’m sitting here in front of the tube instead of going out to my shop and using the $15,000 worth of equipment out there to make something out of all the wood that is waiting to be turned into sawdust and shavings.  But nevertheless, I click.

By halfway through the episodes, I found myself recalling a lot of the vocabulary from my French A class back in 1967-68.

It’s not all bad.  In past years, I binged “Breaking Bad” – June opted out after seeing one episode – and “One Tree Hill”, made here in Wilmington, NC.  And I loved “Veronica Mars”,  a terrific show about a teenaged girl who could do it all.  It pissed me off, though, when they canceled that show about two episodes short of reaching a logical ending.

I didn’t feel guilty at all about indulging in all of the episodes, as well as the short historical clips, of “Un Village Français”, as I learned more than I had ever known before about the Nazi occupation of France and the collaborators and resistance fighters who engaged with each other and with the Germans in that period.  My only regret was that there were a couple of individual stories that were left hanging at the end.  I stayed with it even though the series was entirely in French, with subtitles, of course.  By halfway through the episodes, I found myself recalling a lot of the vocabulary from my French A class back in 1967-68.  I really really recommend this series.

After that, however, I wasted way too much time on “The 100”.  I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories and movies, and this one started off well.  Soon, however, it turned into a tale of teenagers who, whenever they were faced with a decision about how to keep the human species alive, invariably made the wrong choices.  Even at that, it would have been a reasonable waste of my time if they had ended the series after the first book, but they continued it into a really goofy and disappointing ending.

Then there was a great short series, “Hidden”, about a Welsh female detective trying to find a serial killer of young women.  Some of the dialog was in Welsh, but there were enough clues to what was going on that this actually added to the enjoyment.

One that was recommended by a classmate is “The Expanse”, an epic science fiction story about the strife among the inhabitants of Earth, Mars, and the asteroid belt.  The CGI on this series is pretty amazing.  I have now reached the point where I have binged all of the existing episodes and am forced to wait until a new episode is released every Wednesday.

What’s next?  Probably “Queen’s Gambit”.

Profile photo of Jeff Gerken Jeff Gerken

Characterizations: right on!, well written


  1. Marian says:

    Nice, list, Jeff, and very new to me, so if I’m in the mood for something different, I’ll check out your recommendations.

  2. Suzy says:

    Very interesting and different list, Jeff. I watched (did not binge) all of Breaking Bad back in the day, and saw a few episodes of Veronica Mars. My daughter was a big fan of One Tree Hill, but she watched it on her laptop so I never saw it. But I have never heard of any of the other shows you mention. Thanks for adding some new ideas.

    And don’t feel guilty about not working in your shop! Sometimes you just need to veg out in front of the tube.

  3. Thanx for the tips Jeff! I’m not a sci-fi fan, but the French village and the Welsh detective sound intriguing!

    A few years ago we watched the wonderful series TREME, set in post-Katrina New Orleans, fine acting, well-drawn characters and great music!

  4. Laurie Levy says:

    Thanks for some new ideas, Jeff. Like Dana, I am intrigued by the Welsh detective.

  5. Who knew there even was a “Welsh” language? (Not me!). That one sounds especially intriguing.

  6. Betsy Pfau says:

    Our series do not overlap at all, Jeff, but you’ve given me some ideas. Thanks.

  7. I highly recommend Queen’s Gambit!

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