Desopilar is important.
This is a super great – and untranslatable – word in my mother tongue Portuguese that means: “to help forget the tensions of the day”. My favourite way of “desopilar” is to get home and sit and watch a couple of hours of TV. I prepare dinner and for those few, precious hours I am able to shut my brain down and just let go. And because recently, I have been so busy and so stressed, I have found myself watching a LOT OF TV.
Thus, I just wanted to share some of my recent faves – spoiler free – in case you have an urgent need to desopilar too.
I wrote about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend before for my Best of TV from 2016. At a first glance, this is a comedy with singing and dancing numbers, following the adventures of Rebecca Bunch as she moves to West Corvina, California to be near the man of her life. It’s super diverse, feminist, funny, entertaining as hell.
And it is also, a pretty dramatic, tense look at Rebecca’s ongoing relationship with herself – a voyage of self-discovery that in the latest episodes in season 3 has taken a turn to the very serious as Rebecca confronts her own mental illness. This is not a dark turn out of the blue for a sitcom. In fact, it has been years in the making, foreshowed as early as episode 1 (plus, the show constantly looks at the meaning of the world “crazy” for example being very self-aware of its own title) – and it has finally reached a point where Rebecca has been diagnosed and has started treatment. There is still nothing easy about it and the show has dealt with this aspect of Rebecca’s arc with great care and sensitivity.
One Day at a Time
Netflix’s One Day at a Time is a show that makes you laugh until cry then makes you sob until you feel like you are dehydrating in Every. Single. Episode. It follows a Cuban-American family in the USA and it is hilarious, heart-warming and uplifting.
It features a family spear-headed by women: single mother Penelope, an army veteran who takes care of her family working as a nurse and who has been struggling with PTSD and depression, trying to keep up with her job, her studies, her home life and doing it with the help of her mother – Lydia, who emigrated from Cuba to the US when she was a teen. Lydia is played by Rita Moreno and I swear to God, this is hands down the most hilarious character right now on any show. The eldest child, a young teen girl – Elena – is a queer social justice warrior/activist and who on season 2, starts dating Syd, a non-binary character and their relationship is THE CUTEST. I have never seen anything like this on TV.
This is also a show that takes no prisoners as it addresses head-on:
– Sexism and patriarchy
– The Gender binary
– Depression, anxiety and PTSD.
Season 2 landed just last Friday and I have already watched all of it and I want more. *sobs* *laughs*
The Good Place
Hands down my top new show is The Good Place. Not only because it is a Speculative Fiction show cleverly disguised as a sitcom. Not only because its cast is diverse as hell. Not only because it has a super great found family at its core as the characters get to know and depend on one another. Not only because it’s genuinely funny and exciting, and romantic and clever. But because it is a show that continuously and remorselessly destroys its own status quo and reboots its own story to become something new and different every time.
It’s also one that can’t be spoiled so I won’t say anything about the plot or the characters but please GO WATCH IT. IMMEDIATELY.
So these are some of my recent TV loves – how about you? Have you watched these? Do you love them as much as I do?