TCO is very excited to have Amanda Meuwissen on the blog today, in celebration of her newest book, A Model Escort, talking about her favorite TV shows. I’ll admit I haven’t seen a couple of these show, but with all the snow that Minneapolis has gotten this winter (I live in the Twin Cities too!), I can absolutely see hunkering down and binge watching a few of these. What are your favorites? Congrats to Amanda on her latest release!
Shy data scientist Owen Quinn is brilliant at predictive models but clueless at romance. Fortunately, a new career allows him to start over hundreds of miles from the ex he would rather forget. But the opportunity might go to waste since this isn’t the kind of problem he knows how to solve. The truth is, he’s terrible at making the first move and wishes a connection didn’t have to revolve around sex.
Cal Mercer works for the Nick of Time Escort Service. He’s picky about his clients and has never accepted a regular who is looking for companionship over sex—but can the right client change his mind? And can real feelings develop while money is changing hands? Owen and Cal might get to the root of their true feelings… if their pasts don’t interfere.
Top Five Currently Running TV Shows
As an author, it’s no surprise that I was a voracious reader as a child—and that I spend time every single day either reading or writing something. But that in no way means I’m not also a lover of visual mediums like TV and film.
In fact, I created my second major in college combining my favorite things about creative writing, theater, and film to look at the nature of adaptation and what causes a story to be told differently depending on its medium.
There are so many outlets for consuming TV now, most of which have nothing to do with a normal network. Regardless of where I can find my favorite shows, there are some similar things I look for, namely, a good story, good characters, and unique takes on old tropes.
So here are my top five currently running TV shows (or serials on streaming services) and why I love them.
The Good Place
To be fair, I didn’t start watching this NBC show until season 1 was on Netflix, which I then binged, and have been keeping up with it ever since. This is a half-hour sitcom that I kept hearing about (thankfully, without spoilers) and decided to give chance. 5 episodes in a row later, I realized I needed to show my husband and stop watching it without him.
The show takes a humorous look at both the afterlife and moral philosophy, and while I can’t go into much detail, since spoilers abound, the creator describes what success looks like best, asking with each episode:
- Is it funny?
- Are the characters being developed?
- Does the episode ask and answer a question about ethics?
- Is it compelling?
- Is it consistent with the long game?
- Are we making use of the premise?
Those specific questions aren’t relevant to every story, but they create an important template for how every writer should look at their progression.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
An Amazon original, this is an hour-long comedic drama that carries a lot of the charm of a sitcom while never skimping on tough topics.
This show pulls you in and keeps every character so robust, you can’t find fault with it. Set in the late 1950s, the setting and costumes can be just as much a star of the show, but it never leans too much on historical context or real-life people, because the original content and characters shine the brightest.
If someone told me I’d one day love a show about a 50s housewife turned standup comic, I doubt I would have believed it, but this show lives up to all its hype.
The Haunting of Hill House
Now for a Netflix original. Again, hour-long, but this is nothing like the comedic series I’ve addressed so far. This is horror drama at its best. It strikes a unique balance of storytelling between characters and also different versions of those characters because we jump between past and present, seeing both child and adult versions of the main family.
A fault with a lot of horror in visuals mediums today is overuse of jump scares without atmosphere. This series will still make you jump, but it gets under your skin in the best way, while also telling very touching and emotional vignettes and ending in a way that I think a lot of horror shies from.
It’s just refreshing that, despite being horror, I was left with the most amazing sense of catharsis. Stories come to their natural conclusions when told well. Not everything needs to be 10 seasons or 7 books long.
I guess I’m in a laughing mood a lot lately, because here’s another sitcom, this one originally on Fox and now on NBC as one of several shows to hit a new trend of fans saving their favorite stories by petitioning when they’re about to be cancelled until another network or service picks them up.
In this case, having watched it on both Fox and NBC, I can say that nothing has been lost or changed from switching networks (which can’t be said for predecessor Supergirl that moved from CBS to The CW).
Like The Good Place, this show manages to by uniquely funny with a wonderfully diverse cast, and never disappoints, often surprising you with how much heart it has. Comedy does not mean easy or simple or lesser, something I’m glad we’re seeing more of these days.
Yep, yet another show nearly cancelled that was picked up by someone else – this time from Fox to Netflix, which is still upcoming as its slated for its season 4 Netflix release later this year.
It’s rare that I have a show I cannot miss when it airs, but this was a first where that remained true through three seasons. Some of my favorite shows had really strong seasons 1 and 2 and then declined in quality (Supernatural, The Flash), but Lucifer never once disappointed me or had a dud of an episode.
It’s drama, action, humor, romance, but even more than the fun premise of having sympathy for the Devil himself is the focus on friendships. Between women, men, across genders, across ages and species, always over the romance angle. It’s also a cast of entirely 35+ for the main characters.
I daresay, Lucifer is a flawless show, and I hope its switch to Netflix doesn’t mar its perfection.