One of the things mentioned was that while being in this mood, she was still feeling drawn towards TV series having to do with forensics and paranormal stuff, even though not feeling quite sure this was the best way to improve her dark mood. This triggered me to a comment; and then I kept thinking about it, so decided to expand a bit upon it in a blogpost of my own.
Now someone might be expecting a "you are what you eat" post recommending a TV diet excluding this or that, but that's not quite what I had in mind. Instead, what came back to me was memories of an extremely hot summer four years ago, when I had to undergo surgery in the midst of the season's worst heat wave, and after a few days in a hospital ward lacking air condition was also confined to spend some equally sweaty weeks indoors in my own flat, doing pretty much "nothing". I was only just about able to stand on my feet for as long as it took to get myself some food and wash the dishes; and sitting was not comfortable either, so most of the time there was not much else to do but lie flat on the couch and watch TV/DVD.
In that kind of weather and circumstances, you might think that I'd want to watch something cool and soothing. I might have, in between; but what I remember is a real craving to watch other people sweat!
What I longed to see was people fighting their way through deserts and rainforests, suffering dramatic pain and heat, and one way or the other walking that thin edge between life and death. So I watched films like African Queen, Out of Africa, Lawrence of Arabia, Ben Hur, Gone With the Wind, Anna and the King, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Green Mile, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Bridges of Madison County. (In the last ones, not so much wilderness, but still a lot of sweating!)
Mary Stuart Masterson in Fried Green Tomatoes
And somehow, mentally, I actually found that helpful. It created a sort of distance to my own situation, while there was still some identification involved.
Bridge on the River Kwai
I think it might also have been around that time that I watched one or two daily TV series about superheroes hunting for mysterious and more-or-less magic old treasures, in Indiana Jones-like circumstances. I know there was one (super)woman (the kind with very little clothes on but able to kick her way through just about anything)*, and one man (ordinary-looking but of course with Special Gifts making him not so ordinary at all)**; but I can't even remember now if they were in the same series or in two different ones. Probably two different ones. I can see them both in my head but no names come up! Anyway, they were both that kind of series that makes you ask yourself ever so often: "Why am I watching this?" And you still find yourself not wanting to miss a single episode.
Personally, and especially lately, I really can't watch anything "forensic". I still like a good old mystery (Agatha Christie kind, free of bloody details), but spare me the mortuaries and forensic labs, please! But maybe those series do kind of the same job for someone else, as the fighting-our-way-through-the-jungle movies did for me. Who am I to say?! (I, by the way, would never ever endure a real jungle even for a day. Not even when I was younger.)
By the way, I'm 2/3 through the first series of M*A*S*H now - and loving it. Mercifully, back in those days, they never really felt the need to pretend to show the messy details of surgery, but kept the camera well above the operating table; content with showing some blood stains and an occasional passing of a pair of forceps.
But it contains a lot of inventiveness when it comes to fighting boredom and meaninglessness!
So - what are you watching?
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* P.S. I managed to track down the female super-hero.
(Or should that be super-heroine?)
(Or should that be super-heroine?)
Tia Carrere played archeology professor (!) Sidney Fox in Relic Hunter (series from 1999-2002).
** P.S. 2 One should never give up! Here is the other guy:
Adrian Pasdar played Declan Dunn in Mysterious Ways (series from 2000-2002); an anthropology professor teaming up with a female psychiatrist (played by Rae Dawn Chong) to investigate various miraculous and unexplained events.