My Kind of R and R

When you’re in need of some R and R, and you conside watching a TV show or a movie to help you chill, what would you watch? After an exhausting week involving cooking for a birthday lunch for one friend and an emotionally draining visit to the emergency room with another, all while attempting to meet my curriculum deadline (and failing to write a word of fiction during all of this), my go-to for relaxation was . . .

Drum roll please . . .

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series . . .

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. . . and anything Batman related

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Perhaps my choices seem surprising. They were to me. I would have thought something soft and feminine like a Hallmark movie would suit me like an angora sweater. Well, at certain times of the year (Christmas), I’m all over those movies. But lately, nothing relaxes me like men and women leaping about with lightsabers, clones steering sleek starships out in space, or a tortured man running about dressed like a bat.

   Clone Pilot ValeriaDiRomaAngoraOrange

Clone pilots are the new angora. . . .

While some aspects of characterization on Clone Wars are grating, I still watch the episodes. I wish I totally understood why I feel so relaxed, especially when every episode is about an aspect of war. But having grown up with the Star Wars movies, I have to say I find George Lucas’s incredibly realized world very inspiring.

And then there is Batman, whose film noir life has some unsettling aspects. Yet watching many of the DC direct-to-DVD releases are as restful as a mug of warm cocoa. I don’t mean they put me to sleep. I just find them almost as comforting as the chapters in Fellowship of the Ring where the hobbits, after being terrified by Old Man Willow in the old forest, find safety in the house of Tom Bombadil. (Another comforting chapter is a one in The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame where Mole and Rat find safety in Mr. Badger’s house after a frightening trip through the woods. But I digress. . . .)

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I’ve seen many episodes of The Clone Wars and the Batman animated shows and movies at least ten times a piece. They’re great background for my crocheting projects. And I’ve got ten hats to crochet in the next few weeks.

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Jordie is killing time watching The Clone Wars, Season 5. It was either that or Video Game High School on YouTube.

Perhaps some of the relaxation stems from my love for cartoons, which dates back to my watching Saturday morning cartoons with my brothers. They had bunk beds, so we’d climb to the top bunk and watch the TV in their room. We called this gathering our weekly bed club. Ah, such bliss.

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Watching criminals trying to shoot Batman or General Grievous fight Obi-Wan Kenobi is a far cry from the cartoons I used to watch when I was a kid. But after a trying week, they offer the kind of rest I need.

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Here’s lookin’ at you, Obi-Wan!

Batman animated image from power-animals.com. Angora from nancyelizabethdesigns.com. Top Cat from gifsoup.com. Bunk beds from beds2udirect.com. Obi Wan Kenobi from simplywallpaper.net.

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41 thoughts on “My Kind of R and R

  1. I tend to watch Doctor Who, for a bit of Sci-fi switch off. I’ve also started to rewatch all of the Hammer films that I loved when I was a kid (yes I was a blood thirsty kid) but they’re not my wife’s thing so that tends to happen once she’s gone out, or to bed. There are a lot to go through-and I’m just eight movies and four tv episodes in!

    • How do you feel the Hammer films hold up? I loved them as a kid, but I have hard time watching them now (with a few exceptions… Horror of Dracula, Brides of Dracula, and Curse of the Werewolf still hit it). The pacing is typically glacial and I feel like each movie is composed of the same 3 or 4 sets (the castle, the inn, a bedroom, inside a stage coach) cycled over and over. They’re still pretty to look at, but when Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing are not on screen, they drag. Just my modern experience, which may be different from yours.

      Now back to your regularly scheduled blogger…

      • Yeah they tend to vary from film to film. These days we are spoiled with the modern special effects, and in comparison films seem rather tame (or laughable, in the case of Doctor Who) but on the whole I still enjoy them. Set wise they use to re-use the same stuff, always trying to cut back budget wise, but that was Hammer for you. Cushing and Lee dominate when they are on screen, but there were some other great actors who appeared in Hammer productions. My affinity grew in childhood (and the likes of the Karnstein Trilogy had everything a teenage lad could want 🙂 ) and so for pure nostalgia I’m revisiting.
        Same thing with Who. It’s a totally different show now-faster for the young ones who can’t focus their attention for long storylines, great, believable effects, etc, but for me Tom Baker remains the definitive Doctor.

      • My cable company offered Twins of Evil free on demand in October, I was surprised to see. Hadn’t watched it in ages. I confess to fast forwarding through parts, but this film came pretty late in the Hammer horror cycle, when their quality had dropped off considerably. Still fun to revisit, though.

      • Don’t think I’ve seen that one. Do you still like it just as much? Some movies I’ve revisted were a little disappointing. But others are just as wonderful as the first time I saw them. 🙂

      • I agree about Tom Baker, Andy. And to be honest, I think it’s sad that the plots have gotten thinner as the special effects budget has increased. Sigh. I’m not saying they have to go back to the six-episode arcs. But they could add more “meat” to the storylines.

      • Re: Twins of Evil (I’m trying to reply to Linda’s question, but the reply button is at the top of the thread)… It’s the final film in the loosely connected “Karnstein Trilogy,” the others being Vampire Lovers and Lust for a Vampire. They’re tame by today’s standards but pretty sexed up for Hammer. Peter Cushing plays supporting parts in two of them. Twins of Evil is assembled in a workmanlike rather than artistic fashion, but I should give props to Damien Thomas, who is appropriately flamboyant and over-the-top as the vampire Count Karnstein.

        The funny thing about the Hammer films is how ultimately conservative they are and reaffirming of Father Knows Best values, with sinners being staked or burned and the drab, obedient characters surviving. I always end up rooting for the villains. 😉

      • Wow. How many films did Peter Cushing make? (Come to think of it, how many did Christopher Lee make? They’re both such icons!)
        Sometimes I root for the villain because I’m irritated with the “heroic” characters.

  2. I’m happy to hear you’ve gotten some much deserved rest and relaxation, L. Marie. You know me, I’m all about the Hallmark movies, oh and The Flintstones! 🙂 I always wanted bunk beds when I was a kid. Enjoy your weekend!

  3. Fun memories! I have many memories watching Gilligan’s Island and Happy Days with my siblings. These days, relaxing t.v. must make me laugh. (Think Big Bang Theory, The Goldbergs and the new sitcom Blackish).

  4. I usually just grab something random out of the anime or TV section of the DVD collection. Last time was Season 1 of ‘Jericho’. There are times I just put on the Supernatural/Bones/Castle episodes that TNT tends to run throughout the day. It’s usually something I don’t pay much attention to because I’m resting and only want background noise.

    That DC Direct-to-DVD part reminds me of the one movie I keep wanting to see, but never find for rent. The 2009 Wonder Woman animated film. At least I think that’s the one I found clips of on YouTube.

  5. My kids love that Video Game High School series, which is now on Netflix, too. Action heroes have never interested me. I’m a sucker for reality-type shows, like Restaurant Impossible and Cupcake Wars.

  6. 70s and 80s horror films are my comfort viewing. I wouldn’t mind revisiting some old Doctor Who. I stopped watching after Tom Baker and didn’t pick it up again until Matt Smith (of course, I long since went back and caught up on the reboot. How else could I be such a staunch Martha defender?).

      • I know I’m in the minority here, but I don’t feel like the reboot got it’s proper footing until series 3 with Martha and then 4 with Donna. Most of my favorite David Tennant episodes are in those two series, although the “Empty Child” double and “Girl in the Fireplace” are pretty great.

        I honestly don’t get the appeal of Rose Tyler. Billie Piper performed her well, but the character was appallingly selfish. She treated Micky like garbage, didn’t care about what happened to her mother, kept interfering with timelines and causing all kinds of problems that others had to put back in place. If I were the Doctor, I would have dropped her off on the Lost Moon of Poosh and left her there.

      • I didn’t like how she handled Mickey either. I would have liked to see the Doctor travel more with Mickey, but not Mickey as the clown. I loved the heroic Mickey in the episodes with the Cybermen.
        I’d like to see the Doctor with a male companion. I’m probably in the minority on that aspect. But I’m tired of the Doctor flirting episodes. Don’t get me wrong. I loved the River Song episodes. But I just want stories with adventure now, since the Doctor’s relationshps always seem to end.

  7. “Clone pilots are the new angora.” LOVE that. Also, bed club=awesome! For me lately, it’s re-runs of Gilmore Girls. But depending on my mood, it could also be old episodes of Buffy or Supernatural. The idea of watching Buffy or Supernatural seems related to you watching Clone Wars. I might be digging a little deep here, but I think that there is something very satisfying about seeing characters fight evil — and win. Especially at times when I’m surrounded by so much that I cannot control.

  8. “…a Hallmark movie would suit me like an angora sweater”. I love that! Don’t even overthink it, the fact that watching these movies brought you joy and comfort is good enough. Your brain was craving some good chilling. 🙂

    • I’ll be glad when the Hallmark Christmas movies start up. My sister-in-law and I usually text each other during those. Sometimes we try to predict what people will say or how the plot will go. 🙂

  9. “Clone pilots are the new angora. . . .” I love that! I’ve been watching almost nothing but Doctor Who lately. I think we are drawn to certain things for a reason, and I usually just go with it. Your mind knows what it needs to chill. 🙂

    • Which season are you in? The current one? The old ones? I watch episodes of the rebooted seasons over and over. Just watched the Christmas special–David Tennant’s first episode–the other day. Such a fun show! But then I promptly returned to Clone Wars.

      • I just finished the first 7 seasons, so I was probably into season 7, maybe at the end of season 6 when I commented. I’m sure I will watch some of them over and over again too. It’s funny, but I so loved Christopher Eccleston that I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about David Tennant. Then I fell for him and was so sad to see him leave. But Matt Smith stole my heart too. They’re all wonderful. The writers for that show are amazing. Heart and humor and killer suspense.

      • I felt the same way, Stephanie. When I saw Christopher Eccleston, I loved him as the Doctor right away. I was disappointed that he only wanted to do one season. Then David Tennant was awesome and Matt Smith was too. I would totally love to write an episode of the show!

  10. I usually just watch something on my DVR–How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal, Elementary, Castle. I watch things like that before bed to get sleepy.

    • Wow! What a lineup! I’m probably the only person on earth who has never seen a single episode of Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, or Elementary. Never saw Breaking Bad, Downtown Abbey, or Game of Thrones either for that matter. I’m really behind on the popular shows.

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