Netflix Stress

Not just Netflix; that’s a bit harsh. It should be TV stress. Since retiring daily stress is almost entirely evaporated. Enter cold nights (totally miss the warm evenings outdoors in Florida) and hibernation tendencies and – voila! TV time.

We hate cable. Not just because the companies are nasty (all three of them) but commercials are the worst. Then we discovered Netflix and Roku and commercials became a thing of the past. (All I have to do now is avoid the annoying pop ups all over the internet). But the shows that appeal to both of us (less comedy and romance; more action and suspense) are, in a word, stressful.

Homeland (very difficult to find on any Canadian streaming option) was our first binge. We are hooked on Carrie and Saul. But the thought occurred to us that the writers for these shows have to get their material from somewhere. It’s obvious that Harry Potter is the lovely figment of Ms Rowling’s imagination, but Homeland is eerily like watching the news. Which we avoid because it’s never good news.

Do we have a built in need for TV stress? Adrenaline rush? Are humans required to ingest a dose of fear as part of the daily nutritional regimen? Hmmmm.

We moved on from Homeland (hoping and waiting for another season) to House of Cards. It played perfectly into our cynical view of the political landscape. Corruption. Murder. Deception. Fake loyalty. And a power husband and wife at the centre of everything contrived. The Clinton’s? Great conversations after each instalment. Could they sink any lower? Then real life got in the way and Kevin Spacey took a giant swan dive into oblivion. Show’s not the same.

Someone recommended The Good Wife. There’s a bunch of shows out there that make you almost embarrassed to admit you haven’t watched. Downton Abbey for one. Greys Anatomy. Mad Men. Just to name a few. We aren’t huge TV watchers. But the Good Wife sucked us in. Alicia Florrick is an interesting character. Good wife or wilfully blind? Again. Great conversations. It’s also fascinating to watch people lie without flinching. A skill I haven’t developed. Lying, it seems, is job requirement in politics. Fictional reality.

While in Florida we tuned into Bosch; highly recommended by my sister and we love the author who’s books the series is based on. Entertainment for sure. I’d heard about The Americans but was unsuccessful in finding it in Canada. Also riveting and a skewed look at the 80’s when we were more concerned with big hair than KGB.

Then came Dirty John. Stress level 11. Enough said.

Flash forward to this week. Previously planned programming is juggled due to NHL playoffs. Good chance for me to squeeze in Dr Foster, a BBC show that Rudy can’t tolerate. It’s salacious. And a concept that’s on every married woman’s mind at one time or another. Dr Foster faces a crossroad – sink or swim. She decides to swim. More like surf. On a tsunami.

Since we had such luck with Bosch we’ve decided to try out another author and so our newest binge is Jack Ryan. It’s nonstop action and suspense. Stress level 10+.

I’m looking forward to summer when evenings are spent star gazing and listening to the waves roll in. I can’t handle the stress of TV for much longer.

There’s always reading as a fall back. Quite into my two books at the moment: Chef by Patterson (easy bedtime read) and Bear Town (for the bathtub). Retirement is great. How did we ever find time to work?!

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