Time Travelers, Tigers, and Queens: Oh my! by
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Let me just clarify at the outset: I have been stress knitting for months now, ever since this lockdown, shelter-in-place, doomscrolling life we are living began. I need something to look at so my eyes don’t cross (or close) while I’m knitting away. I say this because I have binge watched a staggering amount of television these past few months.

I have covered the gamut from Tiger King to The Queen’s Gambit with plenty in between.

A couple of things I haven’t seen mentioned in other posts are British game or panel shows that I’ve been watching (beside the GBB show): one is called  Task Master,  which pits comedians against each other in creative and ridiculous ways. Very amusing and droll. The other show is called  Only Connect,  which pits two teams against each other in a battle of wits that covers music clues, picture clues, math, word play, trivia, and British royalty. It’s hard to describe, but worth checking out.The host is saucy and takes no nonsense.The categories for clues are listed as Egyptian hieroglyphs (“I’ll take twisted flax, please”). This should tell you something about the difference between this show and Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader! (Shameless plug: my son has been pitching questions and has had a number of them accepted.)

I finally got around to watching The Durrells in Corfu, which I loved. The actor who plays Prince Charles on The Crown (Josh O’Connor) is Lawrence Durrell in this series, based on the books written by his little brother, Gerald. It’s a charming story, and I tore through it rather quickly. Beautiful scenery and memorable characters, and Corfu.

Another new (to me) show I’ve been enjoying is Somebody Feed Phil, which checks many boxes: travel, food, history, humor, and dad jokes. Phil visits places I will never see as well as a few I have seen, and every episode has been a delight. If you don’t mind watching a guy eat LOTS and LOTS of food, check it out.

Because I can’t knit and watch things with subtitles, I had to take a break for Call My Agent, which is in French. Very enjoyable and a great cast with cameos by many famous actors. And: Paris!

I blitzed through Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, both of which feature singing and dancing and clever writing. Much fun, but both deal with some serious issues as well.

Yes to Outlander and Ozark, the new Perry Mason and even a few episodes of the old Twilight Zone and West Wing. Back when Quibi made its brief appearance, I even watched a couple of their shows– which were surprisingly good– with Christophe Waltz playing yet another smooth villain. I made it through Succession, and watched Last Chance U Season 5 , which focused on the local community college football coach and his roster of complicated  and challenged players. It isn’t really about football; it’s about relationships. If you are adverse to F-bombs every two seconds, this may not be for you. But I loved it. Also loved watching Cheer on Netflix. Both of these shows are about so much more than the sport, just as The Queen’s Gambit is about so much more than chess.

I also watched Away, The Undoing, Hollywood, and Never Have I Ever, Mrs. America, The Last Dance, Russian Doll, Schitt’s Creek… and I have barely scratched the surface of all the wonderful stuff in Master Class. My favorites so far are Ken Burns, Neil Gaiman, and Ron Howard–but there are so many more great people to watch! Actors, musicians, directors, artists, chefs, and Steph Curry. Lots more to see here.

Trust me, I have produced prodigious amounts of knitted items during all this. The knitting brings me to the couch and keeps my hands away from the popcorn, but the bingeing keeps me there. Who needs a sweater? Or a bee?



Characterizations: funny, well written


  1. Suzy says:

    Risa, this is wonderful! You describe many interesting shows that I haven’t even heard of, and that sound intriguing. Where does one find those British game or panel shows? I’m ready to match wits with them! Also, I’m delighted that the array of shows you spewed out in your penultimate paragraph included Never Have I Ever. Yay! Oh yes, if you are giving away sweaters . . . or adorable bees . . . I’m there!

  2. Brava Risa!
    I could use a sweater!

  3. Marian says:

    I LOVE the incredible artistry of the visuals here and what you are bingeing, Risa. Each part of the story complements the other parts so well. I admire people who can knit or crochet and keep their hands busy. You’ve inspired me to check out those British game shows.

  4. Betsy Pfau says:

    I’m with Suzy. I’ll have to find those British quiz shows. Thanks for telling us they are on YouTube! I love that you knit and watch TV at the same time. That’s talent. And you certainly have run through quite a variety of shows. I’m impressed.

  5. Glad to see you also mentioned Master Class…I’ve taken a few of the writing and cooking classes which I thoroughly enjoyed but am not sure I actually learned anything new. I’ve found they’re mostly just a pleasure to watch as they’re so beautifully produced and the instructors are so fascinating to watch and listen to. Trying to decide whether to re-up for another year. Anyway, thanks for all the great tips…and your bee is adorable!

    • Risa Nye says:

      Thanks, Barbara! I like to knit critters as well as articles of clothing just for the variety! My biggest challenge was a robot from a pattern I bought in New Zealand years ago and finally got the nerve to make. The grandchildren like it, so it was worth the frustration!

  6. Laurie Levy says:

    Lots of new suggestions fo me to binge, Risa. I need things to watch while I’m texting one of my granddaughters, whose sometimes goes on a text binge with me as the lifeline.

  7. Nice sweaters and cute bee! I’m glad you’ve found such a nice simultaneous combo of sedentary and busy–fully occuping the hands, the eyes, and the mind.

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