Tag Archives: Books

You Win, Bravo

I watch too much Bravo. It wasn’t always this way. When I lived alone, I couldn’t afford cable, so I stuck to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Phantom of the Opera. But now that I have Bravo, I find myself completely invested in the lies and lives of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

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My dad, the reluctant Netflix provider.

I hate myself for it, really. There are so many good shows out there — smart shows I tell myself I *should* be watching, books I *should* be reading, or comedians I *should* be studying. But when I come home from a long day of dog walking and find myself hangry beyond the point of return, all I want is a tall glass of wine and 30 minutes of women screaming their truths.

I’m a total mess when I watch the show. The kind of person you absolutely hate to watch TV with. The kind of person who criticizes everything about the show, self-righteously huffs and puffs at the hypocrisy of it all, and then calls you up at 8:00 next Tuesday to do it all over again.

I tell myself it’s educational. That I watch this so I know how to be a good friend. So I know how to conduct myself – and how NOT to conduct myself – in public. A few weeks ago, I turned to my roommate and said, “You know, if there’s one thing this show has taught me, it’s to be really careful with my words. Like, never say anything you wouldn’t want repeated.”

And then I went out and called someone a “lil bitch ass.”

“Maybe if I read more,” I tell myself, “I’ll lose interest in this smut and grow into the pretentiously well-read person I’ve always wanted to be.”

So, I started reading Anna Karenina. I think it’s a cool name, and I’d like to keep a copy by my bed to intimidate people.

“My God! A Tolstoy fan! How impressive and also arousing!” my male suitors will say.

Jim Jam

My current bedside set-up. It’s neither impressive nor arousing. 

Apparently, Anna Karenina (did you hear? I’m reading it) is one of the greatest books ever written. Which is why I want to like it – I really, really do. But alas, Bravo, has ruined me. Where I’d hoped to lose myself in the intrigue of times gone by, I am instead judgy as shit. Anna Karenina, to me, is a no more than an unabridged season of Housewives:

“Will new-girl Kitty ever find her voice? Can Anna – former fan-favorite and Housewife veteran – survive her most dramatic season yet? Will Vronsky stop being a lil bitch ass and move the f on? Find out this season on Anna Karenina.”

See? I’m ruined.

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For the Game of Throners

Spoiler alert! This post includes spoilers for Game of Thrones and, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, Harry Potter.

I have a bone to pick with Game of Thrones readers. Or, as I’m sure they’ve already jumped to correct me, with “A Song of Ice and Fire readers.”

Sunday night, after witnessing what can only have been the most traumatic, gruesome and aesthetically elaborate death scene in the history of time, I made the mistake of checking Twitter to see how my fellow Game of Throners were reacting. But instead of finding comfort and solace in the mutual grieving of my peers, I found a steady stream of horrid remarks from diehard Game of Throne readers (fine, f*@cking Song of Ice and Fire readers!)

As it turns out, those who read the books many years ago were rejoicing in the fact that we simple-minded HBO folk had stumbled upon a horrifying truth they’d known to be true for many years — that Prince Oberyn Martell, the arguably best (looking) person in Kings Landing, was doomed. With tears streaming down my face and into my goblet of Malbec, I read tweet after tweet from these people who were mocking – and even reveling in – my shock and despair. Really? Is it not enough that my heart has been shattered into a million pieces? And that, should my depression progress, I now know what it would sound like to explode? Is it not completely and utterly gut-wrenching that I’ll never again peacefully enjoy a Bells Oberon* Ale? Or chin straps? Or grapes?

To these people, I say shame on you. With such a feeble upper body and inherent asthmatic disadvantage, I am not one who would normally pick a fight. But (from behind the comfort of my computer), I am compelled to put my foot down this once.

I am allowed to enjoy the HBO series, Game of Thrones. I am allowed to cry, to mourn, to scream and sometimes, to exhibit mentally unstable behavior when one of my favorite characters is killed off. 

Visibly shaken from Game of Thrones and FaceTiming with my boyfriend who, bless his heart, does his best to sooth me.

Visibly shaken from Game of Thrones and FaceTiming with my boyfriend who, bless his heart, does his best to soothe me.

It’s true. I did not swing from the womb reciting Dothrakian poetry, nor am I able to screenprint a map Westeros with my left buttocks. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy and appreciate one of the greatest (albeit craziest) TV productions of our generation. Seriously, what’s the harm?

Don’t get me wrong, I am an avid reader. In fact, I am currently reading the Song of Ice and Fire series (aha! I am your equal!) Yes, you got to it before me, but can I not still enjoy it? Can I not discover the books on my own even though (GASP!) they’re suddenly trendy?

I’ll compare it to this: When I run into someone who hasn’t read the Harry Potter series, I am certainly taken aback by their poor judgment and complete disregard for fine literature (really, who doesn’t like Harry Potter?). But I am nonetheless encouraging. “You have to read the books!” I tell them. “They’re so much better than the movies!” I gush. I want them to experience Harry Potter and love it as much as I do (which I’ll admit sounds super creepy as I’m re-reading this). And yet in all my years of diehard Harry Potter fandom, never once did I find joy in watching movie-goers who hadn’t read the books realize a character’s unlucky fate. Sure, I knew it was coming, but I didn’t point and laugh at them when Dumbledore died. Or worse, when Hedwig died. I didn’t scoff at their tears when they realized that Snape, who they’d come to hate for years, turned out to be Harry’s greasy guardian angel. If anything, I comforted them. I cried with them, mourned with them. I welcomed them into my wizarding world with open arms and a slightly uncomfortable attempt at a smile. It is my way.

So while I realize this is a bit of an angry post (I’ll blame the Malbec), and that this insensitive behavior doesn’t come from all longtime “Song of Ice and Fire” readers, I needed to get it off my chest. George R.R. Martin is an incredibly creative, twisted and talented author with one of the most impossibly imaginative minds of our time. And his work is for all of us to enjoy.

*Yes, I realize the actual spelling of his name is Prince Oberyn.