2000s – TV abroad and a suitcase full of DVDs (Before Downloading)
Bearing in mind I spent 2003 to 2008 working abroad, I’m still catching up on a few of the ‘classics’, I have recently finished watching the whole of the Good Wife, West Wing and Entourage and over the last few years I caught up on Big Love and Friday Night Light both brilliant first few seasons then a terrible last one and US crime dramas Medium and Mentalist (went downhill when they caught Red John). I’m still watching Criminal Minds and NCIS and the latest seasons are just as good without Morgan, Hotchner and Dinozzo. Gutted that Criminal Minds is finished for good.
Being away from home this is when my box set binges started, Oh Man 24’s Jack Bauer was very addictive and so was Lost even thou I feel I wasted part of my life getting lost watching it (I still don’t get it). I was living in holiday resorts for 6 summers so the majority of my time was work, go out, sleep and repeat. However, when the money started to run out and the liver started to hurt, I went back to my faithful friend – the telly. This was a time before streaming and iPads, hey kids imagine a life without Wi-Fi, Sky, Netflix and Amazon prime and all you had to watch was the news and Jerry Springer style programmes in Spanish.
Ibiza 2003 -2005
I can’t really remember much of the first season part from a lot of Vodka Red Bull and fake Smirnoff Ice (but the same price has the real thing). The few nights my flat mates and me stayed in we would watch Peter Kay – Live at Top of the Tower, Phoenix Nights and the film Kevin & Perry Go Large on repeat. The catchphrases from these 3 DVDs were repeated all summer ‘gallic bread’, ‘can you hear me now’, ‘sad act’ and ‘ginger pubes’.
My second summer was when I met Monsieur X and my then work/flat mate had Sky installed, he would let us watch what we wanted on one condition when the football is on we either watch it with him or go out. A summer working in Ibiza and we were watching Big Brother! A flat full of Sad Acts!
For my third and final Ibiza season I had enough of it all, the island, the drinking and the job. No Sky installed this season so I would watch my Friends and ER DVDs, I wouldn’t lend them out as over the past two seasons most the time I never got them back. My fellow work mates negotiated a swap of my ER box set for their Shameless one. I think I watched all the ERs up to when George Clooney left and the storm drain episode in series one does keep jumping because it’s been over played.
I came to Salou prepared with a new laptop and loads of DVDs as I was bored of the ‘going to bars on a school night’ lifestyle. I was living with Monsieur X for most of the season and we were both broke so we bonded over Lost series 1 and 2 and I introduced him to Shameless. I remember us huddled over the lap top not making a sound as the volume on my laptop was so low. I had a big collection of films, all the Little Britain shows (it was funny back then) and Desperate Housewives series 1 and 2 on dodgy copied DVDs. It was back when play.com was really good and would deliver overseas with free postage.
One of my managers said to be before I flew out to Orlando ‘you will have an amazing time, loads of free theme park passes and lots of cable channels.’ In reality we could go to the Disney and Universal parks once for free and the loads of cable channels were the American version of Freeview. There was round twenty channels and most of them were news channels. The holy-land of entertainment and there was nothing to watch on the box.
It was Orlando where I first got into Bones but it was a summer of reality TV shows (none of them in this book); being a rock chic I loved Celebrity Rap Superstar (as Sebastian Bach was in it and won) and Rock of Love with Bret Michaels from Poison. Rock of Love became the talk of the office would he pick Jes or Heather and that Lacey was a right b*itch. My work/house mates were obsessed with Hulk Hogan’s show Hogan Knows Best and I think we all based our summer decisions on ‘what would Terry and Linda do?
During my time in Orlando I would be sent over to a few Caribbean islands to complete Health and Safety hotel checks. Yes I stayed in some amazing hotels and went on lots of excursions however when my evil boss sent me to Jamaica during hurricane season and then I have to stay in Sandals hotels on my own looking like a jilted bride on honeymoon I kind of hid in my hotel room and watched a lot of Americas Next Top Model.
‘You can be in the most beautiful place in the world, but if you haven’t got any one to share the moment with its nothing’ said my first work/flat mate who when back home after a week leaving me with a crazy new work/flat nutter and Friends in black and white speaking Italian. Sicily was beautiful but I was lonely and homesick and all I had for company was Jack Bauer I think I watched the first four ‘days’ of 24 within two weeks maybe less.
2010 – Back home and back to reality…but not those shows.
Back home and back in the dull routine of work, sofa, bed and repeat, thank God for Sky Box Sets and Netflix. I loved the Les Revenants (The Returned) and The Tunnel due to my French obsession. More English brilliant dramas watched Broadchurch, Vera, Sherlock, Luther, Silk, Happy Valley, The Fall and Peaky Blinders are named in this book along with the Welsh comedy Stella and the Ireland’s Mrs Brown’s Boys. Then there is the Americans (the country and this spy drama), loved Nashville, Homeland, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Leftovers and Scandal also gutted the Following finished after only its second series. Kevin Bacon can do so much more than selling mobile phones. At least I still have the Walking Dead.
With these shows named in the book Mad Dogs, Revenge, Falling Skies, True Detective, How to Get Away with Murder, Fargo, Under the Dome, Newsroom, Hannibal they didn’t live up to my expectations and I either switched off before they ended or struggled to watch them to the end hoping they would get better – they didn’t.
I’m sure this post will be updated with shows and memories I have forgotten about when I read this book again and catch up on their box sets on Sky and Netflix.