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I Like to Watch 

by Geralyn Ruane

As gardener Chance innocently notes in 1979’s Being There, written by Jerzy Kosinski, “I like to watch.” Like me, he is referring to watching TV. 

Specifically, I like to watch romance. A few days ago, Barb and Jann blogged about what writers read while working on works in progress. For me, it’s more about what I’m watching. And I know I am not alone. 

Take, for instance, ABC’s Castle, created by Andrew W. Marlowe. I hear romance writers refer to this Nathan Fillion treat pretty frequently. The show reminds me of one of my eighties favorites, Remington Steele, co-created by Robert Butler and Michael Gleason,  with its by-the-book crime fighter and charming rascal of a sidekick motif. Despite Castle‘s silliness, or maybe because of it, the light cop drama keeps me hooked. So, don’t miss tonight’s Season Finale. As they do at the end of every season, the writers bring up Kate’s mother’s murder. But I’m really hoping that this year, Kate and Castle finally get together. And on screen, if you don’t mind! I cannot stand it when a show builds sexual and romantic tension all year or over several years, only to have the two characters finally unite during summer hiatus! (See The Office and the second time around for Doug and Carol on ER.)

This week is also the premiere of Masterpiece Mysteries Season Two of Sherlock, the tales of the adventures of Holmes and Watson in 2012 London. An alternate title could be Sherlock Holmes Meets The Internet.The show fascinates, galvanizes, and positively tickles. And, as February Afternoon Speaker Jennifer Ashley pointed out, Sherlock is an amazing creation to watch for tips on how to make a character unforgettable. And yes, Jennifer Ashley specifically referred to this modern Sherlock, recreated by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat and played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Martin Freeman’s Watson is equally awesome. This week’s episode, A Scandal in Belgravia, is fraught with sexual tension and unequalled in the series for its sheer brilliance.

For a more classic romance, Masterpiece Classic recently aired Birdsong, based on the novel by Sebastian Faulks and written for the screen by Sebastian Faulks and Abi Morgan. While in the trenches, a British soldier in World War I remembers his pre-war affair, and one day while on leave in a small town in France, he catches up with the life he left behind. What begins as a lush tale of romance juxtaposed with the heart-searing agony of warfare evolves into a profound story about life, death, love, camaraderie, and hope.

And if you are ever in the mood to “watch a contemporary romance novel,” one both delightful and satisfying, check out Chad Hodge’s I Want to Marry Ryan Banks, a television movie gem starring Jason Priestly, Emma Caulfield, and Bradley Cooper. A down to earth bookstore owner gets pushed into starring on a reality show that will determine which lucky contestant is to be the bride of gorgeous movie star Ryan Banks. The movie is light, romantic, sexy (but no sex), and fun, as our girl-next-door heroine finds answers and true love in the most unexpected places. 

Watching romance delights me, inspires me, and makes me consider options.

What have you watched lately? And what does it do for you?

Geralyn Ruane has been avidly watching television since she was very young.



  • Anonymous
    on May 11, 2012

    Nice review of 'A Scandal in Belgravia'.

    For a different look at this episode, check out my review .


  • Anonymous
    on May 8, 2012


    Indeed, the similarity to Remington Steele is what kept me watching past the pilot. I watched initially to see what my Firefly guy Nathan Fillion was up to, and the pilot was okay…but let me just say, Kate Beckett is no Laura Holt! Nathan Fillion, with his charm and utter watchabilty…

    Have you seen Upstairs, Downstairs? It has some of the original cast members, and the story world has progressed about the same amount of time as the real world has since the show was last on. It, like DA, is awesome.


  • Anonymous
    on May 8, 2012

    Dear Jean,

    I know what you mean about this new Sherlock! Like you, I am having my dear allegiance to the brilliance of Jeremy Brett's Holmes challenged. And Martin Freeman's Watson, with his humor and compassion, is unequalled in the realm of Watsons.

    And yes, the Brits are absolutely fabulous at drama. Have not seen Land Girls, but will check it out. Thanks for the tip.

    Years ago, I was flipping channels one day, and came across a BBC show called "Love Hurts." As it turns out, I happened upon the pilot episode. I addictively watched the entire series! And have you ever seen the Miss Marples from the eighties with Joan Hickson? Ooh-la-la!

    Thanks for checking in and dishing about British drama!


  • Anonymous
    on May 8, 2012

    I love to watch, too, and Castle is one of my favorites. I hadn't thought of the thematic similarity to Remington Steele until you mentioned it, but it makes sense.

    And yes, the Brits do drama like no one else. I adore Downton Abbey. So glad there will be a Season 3.

  • Anonymous
    on May 8, 2012

    The new Sherlock is totally different from all others gone before. He's challenging my preference for Jeremy Brett. This Irene Adler is a powerful gal! Have you been watching "Land Girls"? The Brits do drama like nobody else!

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