Our TV Viewing Habits, Part Two

In part one of Our TV Viewing Habits, I detailed what I’m calling our First TV of the day, and the shows that have sustained us through the past 12 months. Now let’s take a look at some of the other titles we have enjoyed along the way. All of them are limited episode series, many of them have been with us for years, but some of them were new to us when we first started watching them in the last 12 months. Here’s our list!

Lost in Space – Loosely based on the popular 1960s show of the same name, Lost in Space details the plight of the Robinson Family as they try to survive against all odds in the hostile environment of space. Of course, with the technology available today, the on screen dangers are much more real than they were back in the 60s, and although not huge SiFi fans, we did enjoy this series. We started watching it a couple of years ago, and there were 30 episodes of this series available on Netflix, that we sadly finished watching way back on March 23rd, 2020. According to sources, there will be a final season coming in 2021!

The Kominsky Method – Staring Michael Douglas, Alan Arkin, and hundreds of faces you will recognize, the series has so far produced 2 seasons with 8 episodes per season. The Netflix series, follows the exploits of Sandy Kominsky, a not so successful actor and aging Acting Coach, and his very successful best friend/agent Norman. We’d been watching the show for several years, and sadly we finished the second season on April 2 of last year. There will be a third and final season produced, but unfortunately without Alan Arkin, and the date of release is just given as “2021”.

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan – Based on the character created by Tom Clancy, and that has been played in the movies by people like Alex Baldwin and Harrison Ford, this version on Amazon Prime stars John Krasinski and Wendell Pierce, and debuted in 2018. There have been 16 episodes produced over its first two seasons, and sadly we finished season two back in early May of 2020. A third season has been promised, with no release date, but most likely we won’t see a new season till 2022.

Bosch – This Amazon Prime series is based on the Harry Bosch books, written by Michael Connelly, and debuted back in 2014. Always a huge fan of the Connelly books, I actually started to watch season one before I left the house in the morning, way back before I retired from WABC! After I watched the entire first season, Susie thought she might be interested in it, and we watched the entire first season together, and she was hooked. Starring Titus Welliver as Harry, the episodes follow the life of an LAPD Homeside Detective as he interacts with the politics of the LAPD as it affects his life’s creed, “Everybody counts, or nobody counts.” If you are into binge watching, this is the perfect series, as there have already been six seasons released, with 10 episodes per season. We finished watching season six mid-May of 2020, and season seven (the last season of Bosch) is likely to be released in the Spring of this year. Also, just got late news that although this is the last season of Bosch, IMDB TV has announced that it has picked up a new spin-off of Bosch, and it will follow Harry as he enters into a new chapter of his life, and will still star Titus Welliver! Can’t wait for season seven, and the spin-off!

Grace and Frankie – Let me start by saying that we have loved this Netflix series starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston since it debuted in 2015. To date, there are 78 episodes comprising six seasons, with a seventh season expected to start filming in June of this year. Sadly, season seven will be the last for this beloved series, and from what I’ve read, that seems to be more of a Netflix decision than the folks working on the show. Of course, all the actors are getting older, and honestly, perhaps its an audience that Netflix doesn’t really want, but based on all the streaming services out there, perhaps it will continue somewhere else! We finished Grace and Frankie one day after finishing Bosch last May!

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Like many others, we were smitten by this Amazon Prime series right from episode one back in 2017. Staring Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Tony Shalhoub, and many others, the series follows the life of the newly divorced Midge Maisel, as she tries to make a career in the world of stand up comedy in the last 50s and early 60s. Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino (who also created the Gilmore Girls), there have so far been 26 episodes released over the course of three seasons. Although filming was delayed during the pandemic, hopefully season four will debut sometime in late 2021, which means we will have had a year and a half wait to see what happens next, as we finished season three mid-May of 2020!

Sweet Magnolias – We had started to watch this Netflix series, that follows the lives of 3 South Carolina women, best friends since high school, back during the summer, but for some reason stopped. We did, however, pick it up in the fall and watched the last of 11 episodes in December. A new show, season one ended with an incredible cliff hanger, so although it has been renewed for a second season, when exactly we will see that season is a mystery. The show, based on 11 books written by Sheryl Woods, is expected to start production on season two sometime this year.

Virgin River – This Netflix series, is based on a series of 21 books written by Robyn Carr, and deals with the changes in the life of a nurse practitioner, who moves from LA to a remote Northern California town after the death of her husband. To date, there have been two seasons of the show, with 10 episodes each. Reflecting on the age we all are in 2021, the cranky old Doctor in the series is played by Tim Matheson and his equally frankly and eccentric wife by Annette O’Toole. Season one was released in 2019, and season three, which has already been given a green light by Netflix, may be available late in 2021. We finished season two, just after the beginning of January 2021.

The Undoing – Called a modern twist on a classic “whodunnit”, staring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant and Donald Sutherland, this six episode miniseries on HBO really kept us guessing right up until the last moment of the last episode. We were captivated by the whole story, and had a hard time waiting till the next episode to see what was going to happen next! It was very interesting to see Hugh Grant play a much darker and sinister role than his usual fair, and how his relationship with the other characters changed during the series. Released by HBO on a weekly basis, we started in October and finished it at the end of November, 2020. Thanks to Susie’s sister Barbara for the recommendation!

Big Little Lies – Another HBO series staring Nicole Kidman in addition to Reese Witherspoon, Zoe Kravitz, Laura Dern, and in season two Meryl Streep, the 14 episodes over two seasons concern the relationship of a group of 5 mothers at a prestigious elementary school in an upper class California Beach Town. You see their lives unravel as infidelity, abuse, rape, and bankruptcy crack the surface perfection of their upper class lifestyles, and how friends turn on friends. Thanks again to Barbara for the suggestion to watch this show. As disturbing as it is, we enjoyed it and if they were to do a third season, we’d gladly watch it. We finished watching this show mid-February.

Firefly Lane – Susie and Krissi loved the book by the same name from author Kristin Hannah, so when we saw this Netflix show was being released on February 3rd of this year, it was a no brainer! Staring Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke as the main characters Tully and Kate, the book and the show deals with the lives of two very different best friends. The story line jumps back and forth between their teenage years, their college years, early work years, and their present day lives. I’m not a huge fan of Katherine Heigl, but think she’s doing a good job as the adult version of Tully Hart, the career obsessed media woman who is still dependent on her best friend Kate Mularkey to ground her in the real world. It’s a show all about relationships. There were 10 episodes in Season One, which we just finished at the end of February. It hasn’t officially been renewed for a second season, but the cliffhangers that ended season one, will make every fan want more! In fact, I downloaded the book to my Kindle, and I am now enjoying the original version of Kate and Tully’s adventure!

Good Girls – This NBC series, starting Christina Hendricks, Retta, and Mae Whitman deals with the lives of three suburban mothers, as their lives take turns they never in a million years could have predicted! The show debuted in 2018 and there are so far 34 episodes over three seasons available for viewing. Season four debuted on NBC on March 7th, so the girls will continue into new uncharted waters for at least one more season! We’ve been watching the older seasons on Netflix, but have the DVR set for the new episodes, which we will get to when we finish season three. From grocery store holdups, to smuggling, counterfeiting, and even murder, you really never know where the next episode will take the girls, as they go through their very complicated lives! We’ve just finished the last episode in season three, and recorded episode 1 in season four on the DVR! We’ve yet to decide if we watch it weekly, as any other current show, or store up a few episodes, so we cab watch them daily.

Other Things We Watched Along The Way:

Story of God with Morgan Freeman – We really liked season one of this, but found that season two didn’t captivate us quite as much. Part of the reason seems to be that Morgan Freeman did less of the interviews in season two, and we really liked his style with people. There is now a third season of the show, but we stopped at Episode 3 of Season two. Not sure we’ll go back.

Barry – The story of a Midwest hit man, who moves to LA and tries his hand at acting, while still fulfilling contracts for hits. It stars Bill Hader and a lot of recognizable folks, but we never made episode 4 of season one. There are 18 episodes over its two season run on HBO, and although a third season was approved, the pandemic has so far caused production to not resume. I’m gonna say that the plot just wasn’t our cup of tea.

The Imagineering Story on Disney+ – Let me start by saying we only have Disney+ because son Kenny is paying for it. Back when I worked for ABC, if I couldn’t get an ABC product for free, I had no desire to have it! As a Disney Retiree, for much the same reason, I won’t pay for it myself. This series is made up of six episodes, and its purpose is to pull back the curtain on the Walt Disney Company through interviews with historical Disney folks (we’re really called Cast Members) who were there when it happened. We’ve enjoyed the 3 episodes we’ve watched, and will get back for the rest.

Cheers – The story of the iconic Boston Bar, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name,” was on NBC for 11 seasons and 271 episodes, and although we knew about it, we’d never watched an episode during its original run. It’s a half hour show, and sometimes that’s all you are looking for. Staring Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, Shelly Long, Kirstie Alley and so many more talented folks, we were in the middle of season 5 when we put it on hiatus. I have no doubt we will get back to it, as we haven’t seen Shelly Long leave and Kirstie Alley arrive yet!

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