Ever since I discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer at age thirteen, I’ve harbored a deep and lasting love for well-made serialized television dramas. You know–the ones where there isn’t a reset button at the end of each episode, where characters develop over time, where there’s a storyline of some kind that progresses throughout the season or series. They’re the kind of series that require (and reward) dedicated viewing.
They’re also the kind of series you’ll keep watching even if they get stupid, because it’s much harder to abandon a serialized narrative than one with self-contained stories in each episode (at least for me.) That’s what happened to me with Lost, which I think had a lot of potential in earlier seasons, but squandered it toward the end. (I made a post about it a while ago.)
Once Upon a Time could have gone the way of Lost for me, too–the shows even share a writer or two. But while it’s far from perfect, and I watched some of the episodes perfunctorily, I think Once Upon a Time is the far better series. Why? Well, so far, most of the plotlines and mysteries it raised have been resolved. It has not stretched things out to the point of absurdity for the sake of drama and tension, and it has not been afraid to develop its characters progressively, instead of circling back to previous characterization because Status Quo is God. It’s not the best TV series I’ve ever seen–not by far–but it does have one of my favorite characters in fiction: Regina Mills.
It snowed yesterday in my hometown–the last full day I’ll spend at my parents’ house before starting my journey north, to college. It doesn’t snow that often here anymore, and when I got up, my mother said, “It snowed for you!” I couldn’t help but think it did.
I’ve lived most of my life in the Patagonian steppe, with its howling winds, wide-open skies, and scrubby vegetation. I love seeing huge swathes of the sky, whether it’s sunny, cloudy, or full of stars. My Patagonia is a place of more subdued beauty than others–no intense and varied colors, no lush greenery, no gorgeous historical buildings. But to me it’s beautiful anyway.
Some of you might be going through the same thing I am: making a final choice for college next fall. If you are, or if you’ve already gone through this experience, I don’t have to tell you how hard it can be.
Maybe you had a first choice from the beginning, and were lucky enough to get into the college you liked the most. Maybe one choice stood out from all the others.
For my part, I did a lot of research before applying to college, and narrowed my choices down to four. I applied to those four and got into all of them, and ended up spending the month of April making comparison lists, comparison charts, comparison spreadsheets, and doing a bunch of dithering and self-doubting. I liked all four schools for different reasons–choosing the best for me felt like that old adage. Apples and oranges and all that.
Each school had its pros and its cons, and nothing overwhelmed anything else. Nothing jumped out at me, saying “pick me!” (or the also useful “don’t pick me!”) And for the longest time, I really had no clue how I would ever make a choice. Continue reading →