I Went on a Summer Binge ….
with my tv!
I realize summer isn’t officially over until September 22 (according to a calendar), but since I’m officially back to school next week & have been setting up my classroom the past two weeks, summer is over for me. With that, I wanted to share the shows I binge-watched on my summer vacation, especially if you’re someone in search of something new to start before all the fall shows return!
I had been dying to watch this show since I read the book by Liane Moriarty back in 2015. However, my husband & I are cheap and didn’t get HBO until just this month (for obs Game of Thrones reasons). I think I may really struggle discussing this show because I don’t even have words for how amazing it is …
The premise is that a murder takes place at a elementary fundraising event and you spend the entire series (and book) trying to figure out who died and who the killer is. The story revolves around three main women: Celeste (Nicole Kidman), Jane (Shaliene Woodley), and Madeline (Reese Witherspoon). There are minor characters as well including the three women’s husbands, overbearing Renata (Laura Dean), and hippie Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz).
Here is what I said on Goodreads about the book when I read it: “What a quick read! This book was insanely entertaining, many times humorous, and part tragic. I kept thinking, ‘Which character am I most like?’ Plus, for someone who can usually foresee endings, I was shocked here with the murder and the Saxon Banks reveal!”
This may be the first ever novel to film adaptation I’ve seen that barely changes the plot of the novel, plus perfectly casts each character (okay maybe The Outsiders is first but BLL is obviously second!). The series is completely taken over by Kidman, Woodley, & Witherspoon, not just because you may be cheering for their characters, but because they become the characters and you’re completely sucked into their world.
The series is only seven episodes, about 50 or so minutes long, so it’s quick to binge, plus it was nominated for eight Primetime Emmys! Last, the soundtrack to this show is UNBELIEVABLE! For some reason, Witherspoon’s first grade daughter (in the show) has amazing taste in music and the music really directs the storyline. If you have HBO, go watch Big Little Lies NOW! If you’ve watched it, let’s dissect.
I’ve already covered this show on the blog (you can read it here!). However, two of my favorite podcasters @girlwithnojob & @JackieOProblems just watched and loved this series, plus I got one of my besties to binge (and love) it, thus making me want to include it on this list.
I feel like I’ve been watching this show forever and I’m so glad I finally finished it! The Crown follows the current Queen of England starting with her father passing and then her starting her reign as queen (that’s Elizabeth II). This show won the Golden Globe for Best Television Drama in 2017, Claire Joy (who plays Elizabeth) won the Golden Globe for Best Actress TV Drama, and the show has an 8.8 rating on IMDb (which, if you follow that site, you know is amazing). The show is also nominated for 8 Primetime Emmys.
When I first started watching, I felt the show was extremely slow; usually I want to binge a show (like the two above) that surprises me each episode, keeps me coming back for more because there is unfinished business in the plot, or I need to know “who done it.” The Crown is not this. But, I’m fascinated with history and while watching, you learn so much. For example, did you know Winston Churchill hated a famous painting commissioned of himself around his 80th birthday, apparently leading his wife to burn it? Or, who knows about Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret’s whirlwind romance with Peter Townsend and all of the drama it caused the sisters?
Who knows exactly what is for sure true in the scripted series as the show alludes to marital problems between Elizabeth and Philip, Winston Churchill covering up a stroke (on top of being unpleasant), and Prime Minister Eden’s drug problem.
My favorite thing about the show though, is the feeling you get when watching, like I immediately want to be taken to England 1954 after I finish an episode. I’ve always been fascinated by the Royal Family (my husband still recalls when we were dating & I set an alarm in the middle of the night to see Kate & William wed) and this show has deepened that interest. It’s more than just the family; it’s the setting and scenes of the show. This show is shot beautifully! It’s no wonder because according to IMDb, the “series is Netflix’s second most expensive project.”
Vanity Fair wrote a great article on The Crown and it’s transition into Season 2 if you’re interested in reading more on it. I look forward to not taking as long to finish Season 2 when it’s finally out on Netflix!
If you’ve watched any of these three shows and have thoughts or opinions, hit me up on social media or leave a comment on this page! If you have any other binge-worthy suggestions, please share those as well!