I have written before about how stressful I find December. I had my last class yesterday, and our department office is decorated for Christmas. But I am so not done with the term–still lots of grading, an exam to give, other work, Christmas shopping, etc. etc. etc. I am not in the Christmas, or even Advent, spirit, and I don’t want to think about it yet, because when I do panic sets in.
So while many people I know are tweeting about the Christmas romances they’re reading, I’ve been in the mood for mystery and romantic suspense. Perhaps I should binge on the Christmas novellas languishing in my TBR come June? Otherwise, they may stay there forever.
After reading actor David Sutcliffe’s comments on loneliness (linked in my last post), in the intervals of grading I binge-watched the 13 episodes of Cracked available on Netflix. (It’s a Canadian show, so I suspect for once geo-restrictions worked in my favor). It’s a fairly conventional cop show in which Sutcliffe plays Aidan Black, a troubled detective with PTSD who is assigned to the “Psych Crimes” unit and partnered with a forensic psychologist. Thinking about Sutcliffe’s words about his own loneliness added depth and poignancy to his portrayal of a lonely character, and was part of what kept me watching. [Also, to be honest, it's the kind of show designed to hook female viewers into thinking, "Let me help with your loneliness, handsome sad character. I can fix you!" I'm not immune to this sort of thing. At all. If I wrote fanfic it would be about Mary Sue Me and dudes like this.]
I had mixed feelings about the portrayal of mental illness on the show: on the one hand, it’s sometimes sensitive; on the other, they’re the Psych Crimes unit, so, you know, there are a lot of violent mentally ill characters featured. The two main characters may be attractive white people, but the core cast is really diverse, and I also liked the color blind casting of minor characters (like a veteran named Kovacs played by a black actor). I wanted more. Continue reading