Sunday, May 04, 2014

Family viewing

First, a word about Natalie.  We were most annoyed when NPR decided to show the most recent season of Sherlock immediately after Downton Abbey earlier this year.  Natalie was, if anything, more excited for the former than the latter.  Being too cheap to have a DVR, we did the only natural thing:  we had my mom record it. However, mom accidentally recorded over it.  I feared that Natalie would be pissed, but no.  She was entirely satisfied that I bumped the Sherlock discs up to the top of our Netflix disc list.

Problem was, so many people wanted to see it that it was months before they could get the discs to us.  No problem.  Natalie, unflappable as ever, was cool with waiting.  She expressed it like this: "I figured that if we didn't get it by my birthday, I could ask for the discs as a birthday presents."  How the ever so slightly neurotic Mary and I (OK, I'll just speak for myself) could raise such an emotionally balanced young lady, I struggle to explain.

Act II.  The Discs Arrive

So this week, we got both the Season IV discs in the mail. Graham, who has by now heard a lot about this version of the show, and has of course read all the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories, was game to watch them.  So we settled down and watched the first one we hadn't seen.  Very good indeed, and Graham was into it.

So I suggested that he and I go back to the beginning of the series and watch from there.  And last night, we did just that, going back to the first episode:  "A Study in Pink."  Now, I forget plots pretty easily, but it turned out this one was pretty disconcerting, involving a series of connected apparent suicides.  I won't say more, but I do recall that of all instances of death, suicide was the most disconcerting to me as a child.  It was very hard to wrap my brain around it.  Still is, frankly. Graham's word for things of this sort is "creepy," and he found last night's episode creepy.

So, despite the fact that it was well after his bed time, he asked if we could read a little before turning out the light.  I said sure, and we did.

Now, while all of this was going on, Natalie and her two best friends had returned from a shopping trip to a distant mall to buy graduation dresses.  After eating some pasta with butter and parm (I like it too!), they settled in to watch Frozen.  Regular readers will recall my initial assessment of this film, which, when I look at it again, was rather gentle and politic. But I watched a little of it again with them, and found myself much more forgiving of it.  It's a nice little movie, even the songs are pleasant and well-crafted. Natalie sang along.  How happy we should be that she is into this and not obsessed with some nasty movies about supernatural bloodsuckers and meth dealers.

And, in the morning, Graham asked if the girls had been watching Frozen.  I inquired if it had kept him up, and he said that, quite the contrary, it had helped him go to sleep, because he was still creeped out by the Sherlock, but when he heard the song "The First Time in Forever," it calmed him.

Score another for Disney.

As an aside, we really do need to read Ron Suskind's recent book Life, Animated, about how Disney provided a common language for communicating with his profoundly autistic son and helped him learn to function in the world.  The outtake in the Times Magazine was amazing.

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