Doctor Who

2021: The Year of TV

For many, many years I’ve been saying I’m terrible at watching TV shows and generally speaking I am but that did change in 2021. I still haven’t watched many of the “big” shows like Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, The Wire, Succession, The Boys, Outlander – you name it, I probably haven’t seen it.

But in 2021 I watched more TV shows in their entirety than I have ever before in one year. In fact, I watched 31 different shows. Only two of them were continuations of shows I’d starter before 2021; Cobra Kai and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and one was a rewatch; W.I.T.C.H.

Here’s a list of all the shows I watched last year. they’re sort of in order of when I watched them though if there’s been a gap between when I watched various seasons of the same show, I’ve included it on the original listing. Like Cobra Kai I watched on 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021 – started and ended the year with my new favourite disaster man Johnny Lawrence.

– Cobra Kai season 3 and 4
– Derry Girls series 1 and 2
– Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 6 and 7
– Superstore season 1-6
– WandaVision
– The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
– Loki
– 9-1-1 season 1-4
– 9-1-1: Lone Star season 1-2
– Shadow and Bone S1
– Batwoman season 1-2 and first half of S3
– The Gifted S1-2
– Ted Lasso S1-2
– Mare of Easttown
– W.I.T.C.H. S1-2
– Chernobyl
– Turner & Hooch
– Big Shot
– What If…?
– Only Murders in the Building
– Doctor Who: Flux
– The Equalizer S1
– Jessica Jones S2-3
– Luke Cage S2
– Iron Fist S2
– Daredevil S3
– The Punisher S2
– Hawkeye
– Superman & Lois S1
– The Wheel of Time
– Alex Rider S1-2

My favourites that I watched this year were Chernobyl, Superstore, 9-1-1, Ted Lasso, Superman & Lois and, of course, Hawkeye (which I reviewed over on JumpCut Online). But really, I enjoyed pretty much everything I watched this year. I will say I found the first series of Alex Rider a bit of a slog but the second series was great and more than made up for the first.

I also finally caught up with and watched all the seasons of the various Marvel Netflix shows I’d just left by the wayside. That was something I’d definitely been talking about catching up on for years and I’m pleased I’ve finally done it. It was nice to revisit those characters and stories again after so long.

I think in 2021 the pandemic sort of caught up with and it was in 2021 when I found it difficult to concentrate on things like a two+ hour film or a 400-page book. So that’s why I turned to TV. A lot of the stuff I watched is around the 45-minute mark per episode if not shorter and I just found it easier to watch a few episodes in an evening than have to focus on a film. Plus, as I was working from home for the vast majority of the year, I would also watch an episode (or two depending when I got up) before work or during my lunch hour. So that definitely helped me watch more TV than normal.

As for what my TV-watching will be like in 2022? Well, I do want to make reading more of a priority this year so naturally films and TV may take a bit of a backseat which I’m fine with. I want to carry on with the shows that I’ve started, when the next series starts here in the UK so that’s Batwoman, Ted Lasso, 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star, Derry Girls, The Equalizer and whatever else might have a new series air at some point in 2022. I’m still kind of annoyed that the final season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine still hasn’t been aired here yet but at least that’s something to look forward to.

I’m not sure how many new-to-me shows I’ll end up watching in 2022. The thing is with the likes of Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime and the bog-standard TV channels, there’s so many shows out there that it is overwhelming. One new show I do have my eye on (and will maybe renew my subscription to Apple TV+ for it) is The Afterparty, that looks like fun and it has a lot of people I like in it.

Looking at what I’ve watched and enjoyed this year, if there’s any shows you’d recommend whether they’re new for 2022 or not, please do let me know. I won’t make any promises that I’ll watch them – especially if they’re in their fifth season with 20ish episodes a season (that’s super intimidating) – but as there’s so much out there it’s hard to know what’s good or not or where to begin. And who knows, I might like a show to fill my lunchbreaks again.

R is for Rose Tyler

My introduction to Doctor Who was way back in 2005, when the first episode, titled “Rose”, of the new, rebooted series aired. Instantly I loved the whole concept, the Doctor and, of course Rose Tyler. My love of Doctor Who has faded a bit over time but series one-four aka the Eccleston and Tennant eras, still hold a place in my heart.

Rose Tyler is still my favourite companion. I love how normal she was. She was just a teenager, working in a shop with very few qualifications, and living with her mum but when given the opportunity she was incredibly brave and resourceful.

Rose is good for the Doctor because she questions things – including him – and she is also very observant, sometimes even noticing the little things the Doctor might’ve missed. Those things were often to do with the people (humans or aliens) that they were helping, Rose was often a lot more caring and more personable than the Doctor, getting people to open up and would really listen to them.

I loved Rose’s wit and how she could stand up for herself and the people she cares for. Her relationship with her mum is one of my favourite things because they feel like a proper mother and daughter. They bicker but they also protect one another and it’s clear they love one another so much.

The end of “Doomsday” never fails to make me cry. I was a wreck when I first saw that episode and while now I’m older I can see that Donna Noble’s fate is so much worse/sadder, as a Doctor/Rose shipper (before I even really knew what shipping was) I was devastated they were parted like that. That being said, I do like how Rose took on a role as protector of the Earth in her parallel universe, and used all the things she learnt from her adventures with the Doctor to make the world a safer place.

Becoming apathetic to shows I once loved

(Like yesterday’s blog, this is inspired by Sherlock – although there are no spoilers this time.)

Do you ever become disinterested or apathetic towards something that you once loved? I’ve found that happening with me recently and more often than not it’s towards TV shows.

I’ve watched and enjoyed Doctor Who since it returned to our screens in 2005. Christopher Eccleston was my first Doctor, Billie Piper as Rose Tyler was my first companion. Rose has continued to be my favourite companion (followed by Donna Noble and Sally Sparrow) and David Tennant became my favourite Doctor almost as soon as he appeared on the screen – that’s not saying I didn’t like Christopher Eccleston, he’ll always have a special place in my heart for bringing Doctor Who to my attention.

However over recent years and series I’ve found myself watching Doctor Who out of habit rather than interest or enjoyment. First I thought it was because of Matt Smith as the Doctor but while his take is certainly different to the ones I’m used to I don’t think it’s that bad. After much thought I think I’ve found the reason for my disinterest – the stories. I just don’t like them anymore. They are often convoluted and full of plot holes and the story arc is usually huge and incomprehensible the first time you watch it. I miss the subtle stories arcs of “Bad Wolf” and “Torchwood”. But even though I am now quite apathetic towards the show I still watch it. I am looking forward to Peter Capaldi as the Doctor but a new Doctor most probably won’t change the writers need for huge convoluted stories where there’s no “ordinary female character” – they must all be “special and impossible and in love with the Doctor”.

But like I said I’m sure when it appears on my TV screen again I’ll be watching it. I’ve found that I was kind of the same with Sherlock. I really enjoyed the first two series but with the third just finished I felt that I was watching it because it was on and not because I really wanted to. I’m not sure if my feelings towards Sherlock was due to the fact it had been off air for two years so my love for the show had waned over time or if it was again due to the stories. I’ve ended up just watching a show out of habit before with Heroes.

I do know that I have a relatively short attention span when it comes to TV shows. I find it difficult to keep up when I’m at Uni and have to remember to watch the show on iPlayer and if it’s an American show I tend to just wait for the UK air date as finding a streaming site that isn’t blocked by the University can take forever. Case in point Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D – I’m probably going to be waiting till it’s back on Channel 4 in March to continue watching it. I think sometimes with TV shows that have been on air for a while you have X amount of series with between 13 – 24 episodes to watch and that’s quite daunting when you can watch a film in two hours or just sit and read a book for a while.

I do feel a bit sad that I don’t love something like a TV show as much as I once did but I suppose it’s all a part of growing up and how our tastes and interests change. But for some reason I feel as if I should keep watching even if I don’t love it so much – maybe it’s because I think it might go back to what I loved or maybe (and this is most likely) it is just habit.