What We're Watching, Vol. 2

At The Attic on Eighth, we are obviously a multimedia bunch, with our regular reading discussions and film lists. It seems the topic we rarely bring up is television, an odd feat considering some of our very first interactions as friends were excitedly messaging scene for scene reactions to some of our favorite shows across oceans and time zones. In this monthly series we paraphrase group chats surrounding our most recent views. We love television, and as the internet has come to prove, nothing keeps us together like binge-watching together, even if we’re not in the same room.

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Olivia Gündüz-Willemin

Netflix has been a balm for me this past month, allowing me to cozy up and watch something. Exhaustion seemed to be the name of the game in May, and so my husband and I spent a lot of time watching the ridiculous chaos that is Riverdale. I haven’t really watched any teen shows since Gossip Girl ended (which will always have a place in my heart for being that teen show where the characters are actually your exact age), but Sabrina came along last autumn, and we binged the first season of Riverdale in preparation. It’s too much as a show (to the point where we’ve stopped at many points), but we love it for it. It feels like a satire of a teen drama at times, and its over-the-top qualities remind me of all the comfort I got from binging hours and hours of One Tree Hill as a teenager. Overall fun. Otherwise, we’ve slowly been watching Frasier for literal years – it’s a favorite because after all these decades, it’s still extremely good and has aged so much better than its 1990s contemporaries. (It was created by gay men, and its jokes don’t have the cringe-factor that so many of Friends’ do.)  Plus, it’s extremely calming. When Riverdale got to be too much a couple of weeks ago, my husband suggested we switch to Frasier so that I could calm down and literally the first line of the episode we started was “Have you noticed there are fewer hazelnuts in these biscotti?” – how is that not the most calming thing you can watch?

The most consuming thing I’ve watched recently though is Fleabag. I gave it a shot a couple of months ago, and I hated the first episode so, so much that I stopped it and didn’t go back until this past week. The breaking of the fourth wall was too much. I hated the characters. It felt like it wasn’t for me. And that continued through much of the first season. I questioned whether it was worth pushing through and I really wasn’t convinced – I could critically see that it was good, but I don’t love to watch things I don’t enjoy just because it’s prestige television – until Raquel very helpfully told me that the first season is like a tragedy, and the second season is the romantic comedy. One sets up the other. Who am I not to push through to see my favorite genre on screen? I’m glad I did because she was totally right. The second season was very much my cup of tea and put the first in necessary perspective – one had to happen so that the other could grow. I don’t need to say more because the internet’s obviously flooded with Fleabag think pieces, but I’ll just say that if you can’t decide whether to keep watching it, it does get better!

Raquel Reyes

Ugh, Fleabag. I love it so. While I fully recognize Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s talent and deserved accolades, I was a little sad at all of that crazy attention. Remembering how I felt about the first season years ago and loving the second (and how the two work together) so much more now I very much wanted to keep it all for myself in a small selfish way. Following I don’t even know which numbered rewatch, I switched over to her first production, Crashing, a tragically short Friends-type comedy that involved a group of misfits becoming family over the course of their shared untraditional rental situation. I actually discovered this one before finding Fleabag, back when it first aired and was acquired by Netflix here in the States. While initially cringe-y, it also quickly develops like Fleabag into a gut-punch of a love story and I have no idea how many times I’ve lovingly rewatched that one either. With Waller-Bridge additionally playing the main character there, it’s easy to imagine it as an alternate universe, where a younger Fleabag has more people who lovingly embrace the manic pixie dream girl she isn’t.

After bingeing the entirety of Good Omens in about a day and falling for Anathema Device’s aspirationally quirky contemporary meets Victorian style, I found myself rewatching Sabrina for some supplementary style nostalgia. No, not that SabrinaSabrina the Teenage Witch, that formative show from our early teens that aired on *actual television.* I fast forwarded to the university and post-university seasons specifically, remembering the initial years as full of 90s flares and color-blocked tank tops I didn’t care to re-live. While her sitcom career hijinks and boyfriend troubles seem more far fetched to me now than they did interesting and cosmopolitan to my own teenage self, her perfect early aughts New England Bohemian witch style thankfully holds up. I’m in no rush for summer to end but I already know I’ll be looking to these two witches for my main style inspiration come autumn. (Good Omens was entirely up to the hype too, by the way! I was just so distracted by the costuming that that’s where my mind has remained since watching.)

What’s next?

Olivia – Well after that, Good Omens for sure. I also really want to get back to Schitt’s Creek. I watched the first two seasons last month and loved it but was overwhelmed by it – some things hit a little too close to home. But now I’m very ready to watch the rest of it. I love the way the characters in the show actually grow and develop, and I’m excited to see where it goes in the last few seasons! And to get more of the jokes Raquel and Lee make in reference to it.

Raquel – I've got Season 2 of Killing Eve at the almost top of my queue, but I'm most looking forward at the moment to get into Tales of the City, Netflix's newest original based on Armistead Maupin's work of the same name. Growing up with semi-regular trips to San Francisco, shows set there speak to my heart as much as New York or Los Angeles, and I'm also just generally in love with these stories so I'm excited to see them live on.

Olivia Gündüz-Willemin is Editor-in-Chief of The Attic on Eighth. She is dedicated to reading her way through the world and trying to stay as calm as possible.

Raquel Reyes is Creative Director at The Attic on Eighth. She enjoys styling photo shoots, dramatic hair accessories, and old fashioned cocktails.