Weekend Spare Time: Scandal, Downton Abbey, and The Strand Bookstore

Scandal

Oh weekends, how I love thee.

Since I spent Thursday night groovin’ at The Public Theater’s Here Lies Love and then catching up on the American Idol finale, I wasn’t able to watch the season finale of the hopelessly addictive Scandal the night it aired. So after attending a fascinating discussion with my partner at the Social Therapy Group in Brooklyn on how Drama and Social Therapists approach sexuality, gender and development, we came home ready to dive into the world of Olivia Pope and company, and see how Shonda Rhimes was going to bring this crazy season to a close.

Though I think the season hit its creative peak around the halfway point (it would have been next to impossible to top the President killing a Supreme Court Justice with his bare hands), this season has been a total thrill ride, and I couldn’t wait to see how it was going to end, or what cliffhanger they had lined up for us. And I wasn’t disappointed in the almost absurdly fast-paced finale, as the hits kept coming…and coming…and coming (murder attempts! heart attack! blackmail! torture!) It seemed inevitable that Olivia and the President were not actually going to wind up together, at least not yet, but Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn charted the naivete, the excitement, and the reality setting in brilliantly. Having their affair come out in public in the last minutes of the show will be an exciting gamechanger for next season, setting up the mystery of who revealed the information. And though I think they overcomplicated all of the mole stuff in the second half of the season, the revelation that the shady CIA operative that’s been lurking around the past several episodes is actually Olivia’s father is sure to add interesting complications to next year’s festivities. I still don’t love (or totally buy) Quinn as the mini-Huck, and will be sad if adorable Scott Foley doesn’t get to return to the show in some capacity, but overall I found the episode to be a very satisfying conclusion to an almost impossibly entertaining season.

On Saturday we spent some time at The Strand Bookstore, which may just be one of my favorite places in New York City. I could literally spend all day there, browsing the stacks, reveling in all of the knowledge that exists in their thousands and thousands of tomes. I love being in a bookstore — there seems like so much possibility, so much potential. It took great restraint not to fill my arms with books I wanted to buy, and I considered picking up Andrew Solomon’s Far From the Tree and Augusten Burroughs’ Running with Scissors, but the former was 900-pages and $35, and my partner informed me we already had the latter at home. So, I wound up taking home Michael Chabon’s Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands, which was available for a steal at $6.95. As soon as we left The Strand I already wanted to go back. Maybe next weekend.

We had some friends over last night, but before they arrived we watched the season finale of the first season of Downton Abbey on Netflix. Yes, you read that right — the first season. We’ve verrrrrrry slowly been making our way through the series, and finally arrived at the seventh episode. And it was a doozy — Mary’s ambivalence about Matthew’s proposal sank her relationship with him, and she found out it was Edith who had ruined her reputation, causing her to in turn sabotage Edith’s marriage proposal; O’Brien caused Lady Grantham to have a miscarriage; Anna saved Bates’ job by finding out information on his past; and, in the final moments, it was announced that England was at war with Germany. The more I watch the series the more I’m invested in these characters, and appreciate the complicated nuances in the dynamics between them. Though the tone and pacing is entirely different, it’s actually not that far removed from the exploits on Scandal — there are lies and backstabbing, murder attempts and character assassination. But those British accents really do lend it an air of class!

So, that’s been my weekend spare time in pop culture so far. Did you watch or experience anything interesting this weekend? Let me know!

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About allinsparetime

Thoughts on TV, movies, theater, books and more from an opinionated pop culture addict
This entry was posted in Books, General, Television and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Weekend Spare Time: Scandal, Downton Abbey, and The Strand Bookstore

  1. Can I get a spoiler alert hunty?! Damn some people are only on episode two of Downton Abbey.

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