Matilda was one of my favorite characters growing up. Matilda’s family always ate dinner in front of the TV and Matilda was way too smart for that crap, but she still sat there and ate with them. They chided her for reading books instead of watching TV. When I was a girl I wanted to be Matilda-bookish and magical. I abhorred her parents and eating dinner in front of the TV seemed to emblematic of their dysfunctional family and lazy lack of goodness.
Well, you wanna know what? In our house, we have a lot of TV dinners. At first, it felt indulgent. But if I’m being 100% honest, we watch something during almost every dinner–sitting at the table has become the exception rather than the rule. When I was nine months pregnant, we rewatched seasons three and four of Game of Thrones and it was glorious. I wanted nothing more. Now that I’m a mom, I feel kind of guilty about it. I mean – James is asleep by the time we are eating dinner, so it’s not like we’re subjecting him to Game of Thrones’ world of beheadings and sexual depravity or the frightening moral compass of Frank Underwood. But Dan and I aren’t taking that time to really be with each other.
In our defense, we do do breakfast at the table and a long coffee hour every morning. Also, let’s face it, TV is churning out great content. But mostly, we’re TIRED. Dan has been at work all day, I’ve been changing diapers, putting him down for naps all day (and still not really sleeping through the night). Is it so wrong to want to lean back and veg out at the end of the day? What would I have thought if those meanies the Wormwoods said to Matilda: We’re tired girl! (Did they say that?)
Now, when my kids are up for dinner, I am confident this we’ll have a steadfast dinner-at-the-table policy and save any TV for when they are in bed. In the meantime, I’m just going to ask you if you’ve seen any good shows lately. So: have you?
Here are our current favorites:
Bored to Death: Seriously underrated comedy on HBO about a flailing writer turned unlicensed private detective. He and his two buddies get into all kinds of nutty situations, usually stoned. Ted Danson is hilarious!
The Honorable Woman: Eight episode miniseries about a woman from Israel whose father’s business manufactured arms and was hated by the Palestinians. Her father was murdered when she was young and she’s trying to turn the company’s money to bring peace between the two nations. A kidnapped child, a mysterious past, a complicated present. One of the best things we’ve watched on television.
The Good Wife: Is there anything better than drinking red wine with Alicia Florrick? I wish I could be as smart, bad ass and sexy as her.
Game of Thrones: What can I possibly say that hasn’t been said about this show? I was slow to take to this one – it’s so dark and f’d up! But it really is the best, isn’t it? I’ve now read all the books and have a small obsession. (For fans, watch this.)
Girls: I was tepid on Girls at the beginning – although One Man’s Trash in the second season was a favorite. Seasons three and four are excellent. This show really nails what it’s like to be in your 20s: confused, arrogant, searching, trying so hard to make the wrong guy fall in love with you, saying things you think are smart but are actually embarrassing, the wonder and despair that comes with following your passion. My hat is off to Ms. Dunham on this one. (Dan loves this show too now! Guys, it’s not just for Girls.)
Bloodline (on Netflix): Randomly clicked on this when I was insanely tired one day. Addicting story about a well-to-family and their troubled past that leads to an even more troubled present.
House of Cards: Obsessed with Robin Wright on this show. How can I love/hate a character the way I love/hate Carrie Underwood?
If you haven’t already: Broadchurch, Top of the Lake, True Detective, The Wire, Friday Night Lights, Parks and Recreation
What are your thoughts on eating dinner in front of the TV? (And again – seen any good shows lately?)