I am famous among my friends for not having binge-watched anything. When we finally got a Netflix-enabled tv in our bedroom, I started Orange is the New Black (and made it through two episodes).
The Other F Word is the exception, though! I watched all of Season 1 (read my blog here) and — today– fit all of Season 2 into one afternoon! Woo hoo!
Before my observations, here’s the trailer so you get a sense of who we are talking about:
What Is The Other F Word?
This is a series that extends beyond young people and caricatures to represent life for people whose age corresponds to “the other ‘F’ word” – forties, fifties, etc.
It’s a little hard to talk in detail about the six episodes without inadvertently giving away spoilers, so I decided to share ten aspects of the series that stood out to me. I hope they encourage you to watch too!
I loved the music! I especially was besotted quickly by “It’s Just Me” by James Madx. (Listen here.) Here are the lyrics that especially spoke to me:
“Open your heart …. and let me start to be a part of your story.”
So many of us in mid-life are seeing our stories re-written, either by fate or by choice. This song spoke to that, in my perception.
Being the Mom Who Filled Out All the Forms
It’s not a spoiler to say that one character, Amy, finds herself at a loss after both children have moved out (oh, and her husband chose to manifest his mid-life crisis by spontaneously deciding to quit his job and go to humanitarian work overseas for a year.)
“I filled out so many forms,” she says.
Me too, sister, me too.What to do now that there are less forms to complete and there’s still more life to live?
Dealing With Elderly Parents
One character (Orly) is having to cope with her parent’s obvious decline (long distance). Yep, been there done that (the decline part, not so much the long distance part).
Big big big props to The Other F Word for including the dilemmas we face when our parents age.
*** AND (oh my gosh) …. Holly Cate, who plays Orly, was Janice on As the World Turns, which my mom (and then I) watched for decades. Thanks for mentioning that, IMDb! ***
Dealing with Kids’ Crises
College-age daughter with a crisis? Check! College-age daughter who is over said crisis by the next conversation (after hours of mom futilely texting to see if she’s okay)? Check. Check. Check.
Most parents who have ever raised a college-aged child can relate to the realistic scenarios depicted in this show.
I have never been to a “Passion Party” but this one looked fun!
This is such a micro thing but my goodness, Orly’s gynecologist has amazing delts!
(She also assumes Orly needs a perimenopause box …. you really need to watch all the episodes to see what the doctor can give her that will better suit her situation.)
These are character David’s way to characterize life milestones: “Before Children” and “After Divorce.”
Sounds typical for midlife.
About our intimacy choices:
You know, my life experience is pretty vanilla in some ways about the choices I have made. Still, I loved this line and understood (intellectually at least, LOL), the conundrum:
Since sex got easier, love got harder to find.
You know a show is a little edgy if you have to look at least one thing up in the Urban Dictionary!
Again, maybe this hearkens back to my vanilla life (but remember I had some pretty racy conversations as a counselor on the Florida AIDS Hotline back in the day).
There was one term in the six episodes I had to look up in the Urban Dictionary.
(Find out what term it was by clicking here. Did you already know what this meant? Be honest!).
When is it the wrong time to reinvent yourself?
One of the parents (at least) is a *bit* overbearing (think Tiger Mom). When her daughter starts to waver regarding her desire to keep doing crew (the activity that is ostensibly going to fund her college education), mom nearly goes off the deep end. What does she say?
“It’s way too late to reinvent yourself.”
The hilarity of saying this to a teenager is not lost on me. BUT, I spent my share of time being an overbearing gym mom with visions of college scholarships dancing in my head. I can see saying something so outlandish (or I could see pre-perspective crazed gym mom Paula saying it).
Those of us in our forties and fifties though? I vote for as much reinvention as we see fit!
Is there an “F” word for reinvention?
How about FUNDAMENTAL? Fundamental to this time in our lives, fundamental to our souls, and, occasionally, downright FUN!
Want to find out for yourself?
Click here to watch!!
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.
Dr. Margaret Rutherford says
Sounds like a great watch! I’ll have to check it out for sure. (We’re getting our TV hooked up for Netflix as well — not sure if it’s a good thing or a bit scary… lol..)
Paula Kiger says
If you’re like me (on the Netflix), it won’t substantially change your habits. Anyway, would love to hear your thoughts on TOFW after you watch it! 🙂
Anita Irlen says
Well this sounds pretty interesting, a little peek into a life I really haven’t had. Not much family at all, no kids, no forms. And I knew what that one term was… I think it was in Fear of Flying, the Erica Jong book? 🙂
Paula Kiger says
Ding ding ding on the Erica Jong reference! I definitely felt out of the loop not knowing that one! And I want to make sure you know the show isn’t ONLY for those of us who “filled out all the forms.” Another of the characters chose NOT to have children or a family but to pursue a career in non profit theater management instead — and she grapples with the pros and cons of her choice too. Would love to hear your thoughts if you have an opportunity to watch.
Amy Z says
Love that each episode is short and yet packs a lot in. Much easier to watch. I took struggle with binge watching. Can’t devote that kind of time! This was much more manageable. Lots to identify with too as you mentioned. Really enjoyed – thanks for putting this show on my radar screen!
Paula Kiger says
I *totally* struggle with binge watching. I should get some sort of partial credit for binge watching Game of Thrones, which Wayne binge-watched while I sat in the same room, working. BUT IT ISN’T THE SAME! Brief episodes are definitely easier to consume. I’m really glad you enjoyed it and could relate.
Thank you for posting this. I have been wanting something new to watch and this sounds like something I would like very much! I will add it to my list to watch. So much to relate to. The biggest is REINVENTION! Will definitely watch and follow your blog.
Paula Kiger says
Yes – reinvention is big – and I laughed and laughed when the one mom character told her 16 (?) year old it was “too late.” Craziness!
Suzanne Fluhr says
If the definition of “binge watching” all the episodes of a series at one sitting, I’ve never done it. The most I’ve accomplished is 2 episodes of Downtown Abbey–and I think my husband and I watched 2 episodes of the first season of Homeland seriatim. We don’t have Netflix and I’ve never watched even one episode of Game of Thrones which makes me feel culturally illiterate at times.
Paula Kiger says
I hear you. I am in SO many conversations (real life AND online) where I put a neutral look on my face and act like I’m keeping up about a binge-related discussion…..when in actuality I have no clue and don’t want to admit that!