First of all: Congrats to Jaime Morrow, winner of my One, Two, Three Giveaway! A giftcard for DonorsChoose.org is on its way to your inbox!
So, I don't know what normal human beings do between the time everyone in the house is home from work and bedtime, but in our house...it's mostly TV. Both my husband and I manage to be big readers somehow, but that evening time is pretty much reserved for TV. We're big TV watchers--and in the summer, we get a chance to catch up on shows we've missed during the regular season.
(Warning: some of these shows lean pretty hard into their adult content. Do your homework before watching. That said, all videos posted here are clean.)
So far this summer:
Bob's Burgers: While we try to do heavily serialized things that really benefit from binge-watching, this was the first one we tried out and I'm really glad. I had avoided it thinking it was the kind of show that would go in for the shock factor of a South Park or the misogyny of a Family Guy and I could not have been more wrong. Tina Belcher--the oldest kid--is a nerdy, awkward, boy-crazy, horse-loving, fan-fiction-writing middle-schooler, and the show loves her! There is no cynicism in Bob's Burgers--the dad isn't an incompetent boob, the mother isn't a joyless nag, the kids are unmistakably kids--this is a delightfully weird family and the show celebrates that. Linda Belcher might be the most realistically enthusiastic mom I've ever seen on TV--even when her kids aren't on board with her made-up songs or goofy schemes, she just keeps doing her in that slightly oblivious, 100% confident way that I totally recognize from many, many of the moms in my life. And it turns out that that is a really awesome thing. (Example: a household that shall remain nameless in which the youngest child is 23 but Santa still brings the presents and anyone who wants to argue with that just won't get any presents, understand???)
I also don't want to overlook middle child Gene--I'll let him speak for himself:
This is a new-ish show, so it only has one season. It's about a ragtag group of computer programmers who stumble upon the Next Big Thing and then have to prove themselves over and over as the season goes on. I liked the show, but I loved Zach Woods in it. (You might know him as Gave from The Office--he is even more bizarre in Silicon Valley.)
We've just gotten caught up with this one--it's only three episodes in--and so far I like it a lot more than I usually like things that are universally described as grim. I think the music might have a lot to do with it, particularly the use of the song "Retrograde" by James Blake. The music sets the tone in a lot of ways; that particular song is haunting and lovely but other music cues work in different ways.
Orange is the New Black:
Continues to be great; while it is still nominally the story of Piper Kernan (an affluent white woman who participated in a drug trafficking operation and went to prison for it) the other inmates quickly become just as important, if not more so. My favorites are Taystee and Poussey. I cannot talk enough about how great they are. (And then I have like seventeen next-favorites. Sophia. Suzanne. Sister Ingalls. Red. The list goes on.)
If you are not watching this: what are you even doing with your life. Yes, it is about clones. No, I don't care if that's not usually your thing. Watch anyway: Tatiana Maslany plays I've-lost-track-of-how-many characters and she is a genius. Don't believe me? Watch her shoot a dance party with herself.
Another great performance from Zach Woods, but here it's the ladies who stand out. A great, goofy show about female friendship.
But taking the gold in the "great goofy show about female friendship" category is Broad City. It's unapologetically raunchy, sometimes gross, and very New York City, so it may not be for everyone (which is ok! We're finally getting to a point in entertainment where not every ladies' comedy for ladies has to be for ALL ladies! Hooray for that!) but I love it so hard. I guess this was more of a spring show, but it's too good not to include. One of my favorite sequences depicted the process for picking up a package once you've missed the delivery guy (I swear I have done this.)
What are you watching this summer?