I kind of feel like an idiot presenting these two things to you, readers, as New! and Amazing!, because surely you’re aware of one or both already, but as usual, I’m way late to the party and only now just discovering them, and as such, wondering why it took me so long to get with the program — in one case, quite literally — and hoping if, by chance, you’re not privy to these two things, you’ll fall in love with them, too.
(I probably committed all kinds of gruesome crimes of the grammatical nature in that last sentence. Onward!)
Thing One, aka New Girl
On the whole, I try not to make a judgment about a TV show until I’ve given it a fair shake. I didn’t immediately fall in love with Mad Men, Breaking Bad, or Downton Abbey, but I made myself watch at least three episodes before giving up, and lo and behold, I would rank all three of those shows in my top 10.
Admittedly, I pre-judged New Girl based solely on the casting of the, well, new girl. I’m just not a huge Zooey Deschanel fan. Her singing in those cotton commercials makes me want to gouge my eyes out. Sometimes she’s just … too cutesy, what with those bangs and adorable dresses and … OK, FINE. Maybe I do like her! Basically, what I’m saying is, I decided I didn’t like New Girl without having watched an entire episode, simply because she was in it.
But, a lot of my blog friends kept talking about the show on Twitter, and then Roth, of all people, suggested we give it a try. We’ve been testing out Hulu Plus (via Xbox Live) for the last few weeks, and two weekends ago, we managed to watch EIGHTEEN episodes of New Girl. Sure, each episode is only 23 minutes, but still: that’s like seven hours (not in a row, mind you) of Schmidt.
Oh, you don’t know Schmidt? He’s only one of the funniest characters on TV right now.
Thing Two, aka The Civil Wars
Given my undying adoration and affinity for The Swell Season, I’m quite surprised I didn’t discover its American counterpart The Civil Wars earlier. That’s a lie, actually. I’d seen this duo listed on many a “if you like this, then you’ll like that” list, but for some reason, I never gave them a listen, which, now that I know what I’ve been missing, is so sad.
I finally downloaded their album Barton Hollow (which was released in early 2011), and uh yeah, one listen through and I’m hooked.
Compared to The Swell Season, I think The Civil Wars’ sound is more … pretty? The two singers’ voices blend and harmonize far better than do the voices of Glen and Marketa. And, their overall style is more folksy, which explains why they won a Grammy earlier this year for Best Folk Album. Clearly I’ve been living under a rock since I missed that entirely.
Do you know the magic that is the music of The Civil Wars? If not, I hope you’ll check them out.