Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Scheming politicians, Russian spies, and a doctor who eats human organs

WHICH TV SERIES to watch during a three-week rationed break is a major decision medical students need to make.

TV series are good sources of entertainment sans the irritating commercial ads. They are more fast-paced and require less concentration power compared to reading a book. But they consume time, both in the watching and the downloading. On the average, one season has about 10 episodes, each episode lasting for 30 minutes to an hour. Depending on the internet speed and the number of "seeds," a 300 MB file can be downloaded from 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Do we want our series light and funny, or serious and dramatic? Do we want to try out new series or finish the ones we had started?

The choices have to be made somehow, the end goal of which is to obtain the maximum relaxation given the limited time. I think of my TV series as investments for my well-being. (I hope my mother, who complains that I spend too much time in front of the computer, never gets to read this part.)

If you haven't made your mind up yet, I have a few more recommendations. Below are the shows I'm currently watching.

House of Cards

House of Cards revolves on Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), the scheming, manipulative congressman from South Carolina, as he climbs up the political ladder at the White House.

Kevin Spacey is brilliant. His Southern drawl is too authentic, too American. He takes on a different meaning of evil. He shows the many gray areas in politics. Principles are bended, people are stepped on, rules are violated for him to achieve a place in history. He was born to take on this role.

I like it when he breaks the Fourth Wall, as when he fondly talks about his father in church while telling us, the viewers, that he doesn't care about his dad at all. My favorite line of his: "I love that woman like a shark loves blood." And I was so fascinated with the iced tea they're drinking I had to Google how to make authentic ones—with the tea bags.

The Americans

Set during Cold War period, it's about two Russian spies masquerading as a typical American couple in the suburbs. Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, played by Keri Russel and Matthew Rhys, are KGB operatives, ready to infiltrate American intelligence to protect and advance Soviet causes. To complicate matters more, an FBI agent (Noah Emmerich) moves into their neighborhood and suspects that something is off.

Matthew Rhys has a peaceful vibe to him, like the typical suburban dad who likes playing with his kids in the late afternoons, but he excels at hand-to-hand combat. I've always found Keri Russel attractive, regardless of whichever wig she wears, even in the days when she had played Dr. Cameron in House. I've only gotten past the third episode, the final three minutes of which moved me.


If you've seen the film, you're familiar with the story. Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), the psychiatrist who eats human organs for dinner. The hunt for the serial killer is headed by Will Graham (Hugh Darcy), an autistic profiler who has extraordinary insight into Dr. Lecter's motives. Will doesn't like talking to people very much; he hates interacting with humanity in general, which makes the series interesting. The scenes are bloody and gory but nothing too shocking. Can't wait for the second episode.

Do you have other shows to recommend? Post them in Comments!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first two are interesting, especially the Americans. I agree that TV series('s) are way-big investments in watching time and hard disk space.

Aside from The Big Bang Theory (which I still download each airing week), the only drama series I followed was "FlashForward". I liked it, but got disappointed upon learning they cancelled it after Season 1.

Thu Apr 18, 09:37:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Lance said...

First time I heard about FlashForward. But I know the feeling of having your favorite shows cancelled. That's happened to me many times: Emily Owens MD, Pushing Daisies . . .

Big Bang Theory is always fun to watch, too. It bothers me, though, that some friends compare me to Sheldon Cooper. Surely I don't talk like him at all.

Fri Apr 19, 04:45:00 AM GMT+8  

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