Sunday, October 2, 2022

It's coming on comfort season, and that's okay.

 I bet you thought I forgot about Mabon, didn't you? Well, you would be wrong.

vika-mermaid | Deposit Photos
(I wish I could say it was Tigs in this photo, but it's not. My cat would never be so cooperative as to pose on a plaid afghan with a carefully arranged book, leaf, and cup of coffee nearby, and he certainly wouldn't be so chill as to fall asleep while so artfully posed. Tigs will never be a model.)

Mabon -- also known as the autumn equinox -- was a little over a week ago. It coincided with a fairly abrupt change of season here in northern New Mexico of the sort that rarely happened when I lived in the mid-Atlantic. Today, the DC area is shaking off the remnants of Hurricane Ian -- the one that caused so much damage and misery in Florida last week. I remember what that kind of weather feels like: sticky and dreary. Here, monsoon season is just about over; we had a thunderstorm this afternoon, but the high temperatures are forecast to be in the 60s this week, and people I chatted with today complained about how cold it felt.

Maybe that's why I've been in the mood for comfort TV these past few days.

I've recently picked up the habit of watching television nearly every night, after decades away. It used to be that I'd turn on the TV only when there was something I definitely wanted to watch. My excuse was that after working for many years in broadcasting, I knew too much about how the sausage was made to watch TV for fun. 

But lately, I've been turning on the tube (although I guess it's not a tube anymore) even when I'm not looking for the latest episode of a specific show. Oh, sure, I'm keeping up with certain series; right now it's She-Hulk, Rings of Power, and The Great British Baking Show. And I'm eagerly awaiting the new seasons of several shows, most notably three Star Trek series: Discovery, Picard, and Strange New Worlds. Then there's Ted Lasso (I assume another season is coming) and season two of Good Omens. I've also watched a couple of series that didn't get such great ratings but that I'd like to see more of: Upload and Moonhaven, both on Amazon.

I dunno if you noticed, but there's not a lot of serious drama in that list. There's definitely nothing that counts as a thriller or a police procedural (okay, I did watch Dark Winds -- it bugged me). My list is also missing grimdark fantasy other than Rings of Power. I'm skipping House of Dragons -- I didn't watch Game of Thrones past the first episode, and I expect House of Dragons has the same charming features (sex and violence for the sake of sex and violence) that turned me off of GoT

I've been hunting up lighter fare in movies, too. Some have been pretty terrible. (There was this one absurd flick set in a ski resort town with a woman who falls into a job as a housesitter for a guy who turns out to be a European prince. Of course he abdicates for her.) But I've also watched Roxanne with Steve Martin and Darryl Hannah for the first time. And I saw a movie the other night that I'd never heard of: Elsa & Fred. It stars Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer, Marsha Gay Harden, Scott Bakula, George Segal, and James Brolin, among others. Prime viewers gave it a 4.4, but it got just 32% on Rotten Tomatoes. Screw Rotten Tomatoes -- I liked it. It came out in 2014. What was I doing in 2014 that I missed it? Who knows?

Anyway, it strikes me that my chosen fare these days is what GoT creator George R.R. Martin has called "comfort TV". I don't think he meant it as a pejorative, and I'm not taking offense. In fact, I'm embracing the term. This is a good time of year for comfort TV, as we turn to the darker half of the year. It's maybe even a good time of life for it, what with the country's political mood and the continuing conservative sideshow.

That's not to say that politics aren't important -- they are. (Roevember is coming, y'all.)

But it turns out that these days, I'm okay with kicking back in the evenings with my knitting and watching some compelling -- and sometimes some completely ridiculous -- TV. 


These moments of comfy blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Stay safe!

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