TV Worth Watching and My Thoughts on Drugs

I watch very little TV. To be honest, I should probably watch more to try and switch off.

There’s a few series that I would recommend as worth watching though.

Modern Family

I’m a huge Modern Family fan. I LOVE this show.

(I also credit the show with saving my nephew’s life… Okay, I know… bear with me here…. my sister was told by the hospital that she was having a miscarriage and told to go home to deal with the bleeding, (hospitals in north Wales are not the best…). Naturally she was devastated.  I bought season 1 and 2 on a friend’s recommendation so that she would have something funny to watch. She couldn’t stop laughing at the whole thing. I’m not sure what happened but it later transpired that my nephew was still alive and he was born a few months later 🙂 )

Narcos

While waiting for season 8 of Modern Family to come online, I started watching Narcos thanks to Tim Ferris recommending it. The series alone is worth signing up to Netflix for.

It is violent, and I couldn’t bring myself to watch some parts, but don’t let that put you off. I think you get de-sensitised to some of the violence as the series goes on…

It’s an amazing story based on a true one, and the production values and acting are superb!

I’ve been reading about Pablo Escobar ever since – trying to figure out what actually happened, and where artistic licence was used. Both seasons 1 and 2 are worth watching. Season 1 was probably the best. I think season 2 sticks less close to the facts.

(I’ve never been into drugs, despite having friends promise me that they’ve had the best times of their lives on ecstasy and cocaine.  I don’t smoke, and snorting powder and taking pills never appealed to me. (I saw too many people get messed up by drugs when I was younger. Also, what is it with medics and drugs? Most medics I’ve met have been addicts and are pretty unhinged…).  After watching Narcos I would definitely never take coke, if only on ethical grounds. The show really makes you think about the drug trade and the arguments for legalising it.

Having said that, I’ve always been curious about drugs, especially LSD. It would be fascinating to figure out what goes on in people’s brains while they’re on these substances. I’ve read a lot about psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms and LSD, and it’s uses as therapy for post traumatic stress and addiction which is interesting. I’d be curious to try that one day although author and neuroscientist Sam Harris’ material has put me off:

I cannot account for why my adventures with psychedelics were uniformly pleasant until they weren’t, but once the doors to hell opened, they appeared to have been left permanently ajar. Thereafter, whether or not a trip was good in the aggregate, it generally entailed some excruciating detour on the path to sublimity. Have you ever traveled, beyond all mere metaphors, to the Mountain of Shame and stayed for a thousand years? I do not recommend it….. For the next several hours my mind became a perfect instrument of self-torture. All that remained was a continuous shattering and terror for which I have no words…. An encounter like that takes something out of you. Even if LSD and similar drugs are biologically safe, they have the potential to produce extremely unpleasant and destabilizing experiences. I believe I was positively affected by my good trips, and negatively affected by the bad ones, for weeks and months.” – Sam Harris, Drugs and the Meaning of Life

Silicon Valley

The other series I’ve really enjoyed is Silicon Valley. It’s ridiculous and crude but I find it hilarious! I love all the characters and can’t wait until season 4 starts online. The trailer’s below, although the trailer doesn’t do it justice!

West Wing

I loved the West Wing.  The characters are great and tragically, a far cry from the fiasco currently playing out in the real White House.  The writing is superb, but did lose its magic when Aaron Sorkin left, (around season 4). I love the relationships and the camaraderie between all of the characters.

The Wire

The Wire is a work of art! The writing and acting is amazing. It takes a while to get into it and you’ll get more out of it if you watch it with subtitles, but it’s worth persevering. Some series are better than others – I must admit to getting bored with a few episodes, but it’s worth watching them all for the final series.

Mad Men

I still haven’t watched season 5 and 6 of Mad Men although I’d still recommend it. It can take a while to get into it – some of my friends didn’t enjoy the first couple of episodes but it’s worth getting past those. The acting and writing are brilliant, as is the soundtrack. It really captures an era.

Seinfeld, and Blackadder 

I don’t know why Seinfeld wasn’t bigger in the UK. It was huge in Australia, as well as the US. I got fed up listening to Seinfeld and Blackadder jokes that I didn’t understand which led to watching the whole series’ while riding an exercise bike every day for a few months, (I lost a lot of weight that year!).  Some episodes are better than others but the writing’s great in both. I was sorry when I ran out of episodes to watch.

 

The Thick of It, In the Loop and Veep

Armando Iannucci is a genius! Some episodes are better than others (it took me a while to get into Veep for example) but it’s worth persevering.  The characters are hilarious.

Sex & the City

I grew up with this show and can’t not love it. Somehow I have managed to watch every season twice… (I’m not sure if I should be proud of that…!)