But despite the white noise, my son still wakes in the night and often asks if I'll come sit in his room while he falls asleep again. After many years of this, I now know what supplies I'll need. I bring my computer and my headphones and a blanket, and I plop myself down in his bean bag chair and get very cozy. I'm always tired and wishing I was still asleep in my bed, but I make my situation better by indulging in one of my guilty pleasures — binge-watching shows.
My son's extreme sensitivities didn't come from nowhere. I can't stand violence, horror, or anything too angry or ugly. So I stick with whatever fun, delightful, romantic shows I can find on Netflix or Amazon prime. And over the years, I've watched many. Here are some that I've loved.
Jane the Virgin: A spoof of a telenovela, about a family that loves telenovelas. Funny, ridiculous, sweet and yes... romantic. I love the chemistry between Jane and Michael, and the relationship Jane has with her family.
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: They do show murders, but it's usually right in the beginning of the episode so I can close my eyes and ears. Miss Fisher is an unconventional detective in 1920's Australia. Just the costumes alone are worth watching for! She's a great character and I developed a massive crush on the police inspector she teams up with. Because... well, here's a photo so you can see for yourself!
The Paradise: A historical drama about the staff and owner of an early department store in London. That sounds kind of boring, but the characters are wonderful and I ended up cheering them all on.
Mozart in the Jungle: First of all, Gael Garcia Bernal. That's really all I need to say. Such an amazing actor. He was in The Motorcycle Diaries, which, if you haven't seen it, is a wonderful, must-see movie. Mozart in the Jungle is another show that sounds a bit strange at first. It's about a wild and eccentric conductor who takes a job with the New York Symphony. But the characters are wonderful, the story line whimsical and the music is gorgeous. As is Gael Garcia Bernal...
When Calls the Heart: A wealthy young woman takes a job as a school teacher in a remote Canadian mining town. She falls for a gorgeous, stubborn mountie... need I say more?
The Crown: Okay, so this is not as romantic as these other shows... in fact, it's unromantic really, because it shows the early marriage of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip and apparently they got off to quite a rocky start! But it's fascinating to learn about the queen of England's early life, and what it must have been like for her to become queen at such a young age.
Hart of Dixie: You've probably seen this one... I was late to discover it. But if you haven't, give it a try! Southern romance, silly humor and eccentric small-town characters galore. And very handsome heroes too!
Cedar Cove: It's based on a series by Debbie Macomber and watching it is so relaxing. It all unfolds in the most gorgeous small-town setting. When the story feels slow (and it does sometimes) just hang out and take in the scenery!
Grace and Frankie: It's not romantic, really, but the friendship that grows between Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin's characters is just lovely. And it made me laugh out loud many times! So actually, it's not great to watch when you're trying to help your child get to sleep.
And of course, if you haven't watched Parenthood, or Friday Night Lights, they are epic, and so wonderful that they're sort of in a class of their own.
Are you a fan of any of these shows? Or are there others you like to watch? I'd love to hear your recommendations. Because I have no doubt that the future will bring me many more late nights, nestled in the bean bag!
Oh, and completely unrelated to this blog post... I wrote a story for Harlequin's Free Online Reads and it's available here. I hope you enjoy it!