Charm School (***1/2 ) – A cute Mexican foreign film about an adventurous college student who is sent to charm school by her politician dad to help his chances of being endorsed by a key local businessman. Yes, the movie is cliched and a bit sexist — despite supposedly being against sexism. Still, it’s a fun girl-power, pop-culture kind of movie that made practicing Spanish enjoyable. As a bonus, it introduced me to several Mexican pop singers that were fairly easy to understand. (Saw this on Netflix Instant Viewing.)
Doctor Who (series 2,3) This show saved me from summer allergy boredom. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out. It’s very fun and something you can watch with everyone in the family.
The basics: In 2005, the BBC retooled its classic show with better sets and special effects. The Doctor, the last of the Time Lords of Gallifrey, seeks out new experiences across time, in any part of the universe he wants. To keep from getting lonely, he invites a human companion (occasionally a couple of them) to ride with him in his spaceship, the Tardis — a big blue box that looks like a British 1950’s police box. You don’t need to have seen the older shows to understand it and don’t really even have to watch it in order either. I watched the first 3 series (British seasons) on Netflix Instant Viewing.
Doctor Who in a Nutshell– Basically each episode goes something like this:
1) Wow! Look at this cool planet/point-in-time.
2) Hmmm… something is not right.
3) Let’s try to figure out what’s going on.
4) Oh no! We’re in terrible trouble! Run!
5) Ack! We can’t. Fight!
6) Oh my God! We’re going to die in seconds if we don’t do the thing that seems impossible to do.
7) Yay! We figured out a way to do the impossible.
8) Whew! That was close.
9) What a fantastic adventure. Where should we go next?
10) Lather, rinse, and repeat over 4 seasons with 2 different doctors, 3 different companions, and numerous different planets, periods in time, and interesting details.
Weirdly, my life often follows this pattern too– just in a more mundane way. It’s quite comforting to see someone else go through problem-solving steps in a way more fun and adventurous way.
Added Notes: A number of the stories play out over two or three episodes, especially near the end of each season. While the tone is often fun and adventurous, there are some thoughtful and sad episodes too.