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Why I’m hooked on Bloodline

BloodlineSeason1The Netflix Original show Bloodline has totally sucked me in (I'm sure there's a pun in there somewhere). This dark drama is absolutely binge-worthy with its slow-release tease of mystery, family secrets, lies, betrayals, and short flashes that promise a sordid ending.

The actors are excellent (Kyle Chandler, Sissy Spacek, and Sam Shepard to name a few), and the setting alone—the Florida Keys—is enough to keep me on the hook. Characters are multi-faceted and interesting and often straddle the line of good and bad. There's no black and white here, only lots and lots of murky gray.

The show's writers don't tell you anything. They just roll things out as needed and let you figure it out for yourself. And I do mean roll. This is not a lightning-paced action show, but it's absolutely riveting in both story and presentation.

Excellent cinematography rounds out the series into 13 episodes of quality viewing that gets better with every episode. And word is, there's a second season in the works.

I don't spend a lot of time in front of my television, but Bloodline has joined The Americans, House of Cards, Game of Thrones, Marco Polo, True Detective, and Sherlock—and a few more I'm forgetting—on my list of must-watch shows when I do take a break on the couch.

What's your latest TV craving?

No duh, Sherlock

I don't watch a lot of TV, but I'm always willing to sit still for BBC One’s version of Sherlock. Loving this show is a no-brainer.

To start, the writing is good. Every episode—each 90 minutes, like a short movie—takes me by surprise, but without leaving me feeling duped or confused. The best endings are the ones that make sense, but you never see coming. I love a good twist!

The show also has an excellent cast. Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect as Sherlock Holmes in the modern era. I might even like him more than RDJ’s movie version (shh, don’t tell Robert). And Martin Freeman does a great job as John Watson, blogging about their adventures, and putting up with the genius’s pure nuttiness and lack of tact.

I love that this version is a modern adaptation. It’s fun to rethink Holmes in the age of smart phones, texting, the Internet, and modern forensic science.

The show is a good mix of mystery, fun (not outright comedy, but humorous moments), and danger.

I’ll admit that I don’t have a long history of loving Sherlock Holmes. I own the complete book of Doyle’s original stories, but I opened it once or twice and never picked it up again. I tend to like modern works set in historical times, but not so much historical works that were modern in their time.

But somewhere along my family tree I supposedly share a branch with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, so I’m delighted that I’ve found a way to connect to his most famous character.

And I’m even more delighted that Sherlock will be back for a third series, even if BBC One hasn’t announced a date. Too bad I’ll have to wait until it’s out on DVD.

Do you like Sherlock? Is there some other show you’re obsessed with right now? Got any recommendations for similar shows?

Must-see TV

Once I started writing–just over a year ago–my television viewing dropped off dramatically. Other than a few shows my husband and I have watched for years, I almost never turned it on.

But now that I'm looking for insight into organizations like the DEA and military special ops, I find myself hunting for good viewing material everywhere. For example, I found a great show on Hulu that used to air on Spike TV–the network for the testosterone-fueled set–called DEA. Well, perfect! It's like COPS but it follows around DEA agents. I have two whole seasons of badness to plow through.

Today I watched The First 48 (A&E) for the first time while sweating on the cross-trainer. I may not stick to this one, but I started recording it, just in case. It's all about real-life detectives trying to find a suspect within the first 48 hours after a murder victim is discovered. I also added Manhunters to the DVR list so I can get some insight into tracking fugutives.

Netflix provided a boon of documentaries from the likes of National Geographic, Nova, and others about the DEA, FBI, special forces, and the secret service (though I do have a contact for that one). Unfortunately, they're not all available on instant play, so I put them at the end of my queue to move up when I'm ready.

Yes, I still watch fiction. I love my CSI (Original) and Heroes (although it may have jumped the shark this season), and we usually watch movies on the weekends. But now, if I feel like watching TV, I can still work on my writing.

For me, that's the best of both worlds.

Write on!