Two Binge-Worthy TV Shows Based on Books

It's that time of the week again--Friday! :) Normally, on Fridays I give you a Friday Read pick. But the last two weeks have required me to do things that involve intense concentration (going through copyedits, checking for typos, getting everything ready for By the Hour's release, etc.) So after hours of doing that, my brain can't face more printed words. So, I've been doing some TV binge watching in evenings to give myself a break. And I've found two totally binge-worthy shows to recommend. And bonus, they're both shows based on books!

First, is Big Little Lies on HBO. This series is based on a book by LIane Moriarty. I haven't read the book, but I was intrigued by the premise and the show had a great cast, so I gave it a try. I'm so glad I did. This show is dark and suspenseful, yet it's not hard to recognize people you may know in the characters. The perfectionistic mom who really is trying to hold it together. The couple that every one envies because they seem so in love, but no one really knows what the relationship is like in private. The single mom who's just trying to do best by her kid but has her own demons. So it's relatable in that way. And no character is purely "good" so everyone is very layered. 

What I liked best about the show is that it's a fully contained story in 7 episodes. You get a wrapped up ending and aren't committing to some ongoing series. I really enjoyed it and found the ending satisfying. I also liked that it's very focused on the female characters.

I'm not sure if you can get it regular streaming, but I assume it's on HBO streaming and you can get it on Amazon with a free HBO trial.


Next up is one I mentioned on Monday. I chose the new Netflix show Thirteen Reasons Why for my "watch" portion of April's Read and Watch Challenge. The premise of the show is a high school girl has committed suicide, but she left behind 13 cassette tapes where she narrates her reasons why. The tapes get sent to a certain list of people whom she picked to hear them. So the narrative jumps back and forth in time, showing you everyone before and the main character listening to the tapes in the present. There's a big element of suspense in the show because you don't know how everyone played into the suicide and Clay, the main character listening to the tapes, doesn't know what role he played and is bracing for hearing it on the tapes.

I started this week and am three episodes in, so I can't speak to the whole show yet. But what I can say is that so far, the show is really well done and very compelling. I read the book years ago, so I can't remember the details of the story, which is making this all new to me again. It's definitely one that when one episode ends, I immediately want to click "play next episode". Fair warning, I know this was a YA book but the show does have language and some brief nudity. it's a TV-MA rating, so be aware of that if you have kiddos around.

All right, that's what I've got for you this week. Hope you have a great weekend!

What I'm Watching: Something Funny, Something Scary, & Something Sentimental

One of the things that has gotten pushed to the back burner since I began a serious writing career (and had a child) is TV watching. A lot of people assume that since I work from home, I must get the chance to watch a lot of TV. But truth is, when I'm home during the day, I'm in my office, working. I can't remember the last time I watched TV during the day on a weekday. And in the evening, it's family time and dinner time and dishes time. So when I get that hour or so with the hubs after kidlet goes to bed, I have to choose shows wisely. And lately, I've gotten pretty lucky. Here's what I'm watching:

Something Funny:

Jane the Virgin

Jane the Virgin (The CW)- Okay, so I'm not up to date (so don't tell me any spoilers) but I started a Netflix binge of this at Christmastime and am a good way into the first season. It's funny and silly and over the top. All the characters are interesting and the structure (kind of tongue and cheek about telenovelas) is fresh and entertaining. If you're not watching this one yet and like a show that will make you laugh (and has some romance and hot guys), then check this one out. 

Something Scary:

Killing Fields

Killing Fields (Discovery Channel) - This is a true crime show about a cold case from 1997 in Louisiana that happened near LSU. The show itself is creepy because of what it's about, but it's particularly chilling for me because I was at LSU during the time of that murder and the serial killer that was murdering students. One of my grad school classmates was a victim (though her case also remains unsolved, most assume she was part of the serial killings). So this whole story hits very close to home for me and brings me back to a very scary time. However, the show is well done and compelling. I don't know how it will end (and they apparently taped it in real time), but I'm really hoping they solve the case. 

Something Sentimental:

American Idol (Fox) - I have watched every season of American Idol from the beginning, which was when I married hubs. So it's been an annual part of our routine from the start. I'm sad that this is the last season because I've never really taken to the other singing shows like I have this one, but I get that everything comes to an end. Hopefully, it will be a good one.

 

So that's what I'm watching? What's on your TV lately? Any recommendations?

 

Must Watch Wednesday: A Rockumentary directed by Dave Grohl

So I won't lie. I have a hard time resisting documentaries about music. I used to be slightly obsessed with Behind the Music on VH1. So when hubs clicked on Palladia the other night and saw that a rocumentary directed by Dave Grohl was starting, we were both in. And I'm so, so glad I watched this one. It was a fascinating peek into the music industry and the evolution of it told via the story of one famous recording studio. (And it also has a lot of relevance to the book industry regarding the huge shift digital caused, not just in putting out the music but in producing it.)

Plus, if for nothing else, I just love watching artists be passionate about what they do. 

SOUND CITY is currently playing on the Palladia channel and I believe it's also free on Amazon Prime Streaming, so go forth and watch. : )

Here's the trailer:

 

Has anyone else seen this one? Any rockumentary recommendations?