My Perfect Sunday

One major change I’ve noticed in my post-college life is my favorite day of the week. Back in elementary and high school it was Friday, the standard flashy pick. Back then it was a day to slack off in class, hang out with your buddies, play video games and order pizza, and then eventually to grab a 30 rack and hang out in the park till we heard about a party that night. It was a great, exciting release from the boredom of the school week.

In college, it was a tie between Thursday and Saturday. The school week was less boring and monotonous, so Fridays lost some appeal. Thursday nights became the biggest party night of the week. The bars always had the best deals and people either didn’t have class on Fridays or didn’t care enough to show up. Then Saturdays always brought the best day parties, whether tailgating in the fall or making up for the lack of tailgating by throwing the biggest ragers in the spring, Saturdays always brought something big to the table.

However, my new favorite day of the week has appropriately landed on the day of rest, Sundays. I used to dread Sundays as a kid. Between dressing up in uncomfortable clothes, to sit on uncomfortable wooden pews, and listen to a man that made me feel uncomfortable for an hour and the reminder that the weekend is over, Sundays sucked. Nowadays I’m too tired from the work week to make Fridays truly count on a weekly basis and while Saturdays bring a fair share of day parties/brunches it does not bring the same level of joy as Sundays.

What was once Sunday’s weakness, being the end of the weekend and beginning of another week, is now its strength. I appreciate Sundays because it is my last chance to enjoy the weekend before another monotonous week begins. It brings higher stakes to everything that I do. Do I want to release some more steam before I go back to work? Then it is time for a boozy brunch and swing by my favorite beach bar, Big Dean’s. Do I have more errands I need to run? Well, let me think about if it will improve my life in a significant way, otherwise I’m not going to waste my Sunday. I could get some extra activities in, play tennis, golf, go for a run, hit the beach for some volleyball, or pump some iron on the Bowflex in the garage.

Sundays make me think about what is important to me and make sure I accomplish that before the weekend is over, even if that means accomplishing sitting on my couch doing nothing while I catch up on all the TV I missed during the week. Speaking of TV, Sunday has the best of the whole week. Between 10 straight hours of non-stop football in the fall and prestigious cable television at night, Sunday TV brings it all year round. And at this moment is my perfect Sunday TV lineup.

Currently playing on Sunday nights is my most exciting show on Television, Game of Thrones. As thrilling as it was to watch Walter White cook his last batch of crystal blue persuasion and as mesmerizing as Harrellson and McConoughey were for the 8 week stretch of True Detective, no show matches Thrones as far as thrills. It’s really unfair to compare it to any other show because it is at such a higher scale. There is a vast number of characters that are intertwined in a complicated plot that I have no idea where it is heading. The anticipation of what is going to happen next and how everything is going to come crashing together seals it as the most exciting show on television.

Also playing on HBO on Sundays is my current top comedy on television, Veep. Certain shows may give me bigger laughs, but none is more consistently enjoyable. Julia Louis Dreyfus is his a Grand Slam week in and week out. I never would’ve bet on her creating a more iconic character that Elaine Benes, but as far as I’m concerned she has done it. Dreyfus is first ballot TV Hall of Famer and it is a pleasure to watch her work week in and week out and Veep would be great if it were just her surrounded by a crap cast, but luckily for TV viewers the cast around her more than holds their own. “My Girl” Anna Chumsky wipes away all traces of her child stardom by playing the constantly bitter Amy Brookheimer. Speaking of breaking away from past characters, despite playing another character with attachment issues Tony Hale’s Gary Walsh is nothing like Buster Bluth. Phenomenal blogger and big time Chicago Bears’ fan Matt Walsh is pitch perfect as sad sack Media Specialist, Mike McClintock. And Timothy Simons Jonah Ryan is the comedic gift that keeps on giving.

Rounding out my Sunday lineup is my favorite show on television, Mad Men. It may not be the most exciting show or the funniest, but there is no show that is more of a pleasure to watch. Don Draper is the most fascinating character to grace television screens since Tony Soprano ordered onion rings for the table. Last week I talked about what I want to be when I grow, the focal point of everyone’s life. Don has that same desire, which is why he constantly reinvents himself. He’s searching for what will get him the attention and praise that he so covets.

It is a shame that Jon Hamm will most likely never win an Emmy for this role. He is up against the stiffest competition in Male Lead Actor Drama Series history. The winners since Hamm became eligible, Bryan Cranston (2008-2010), Kyle Chandler (2011), Damian Lewis (2012), and Jeff Bridges (2013). Cranston’s Walter White will most likely be the more remembered character in the annals of TV History, but Hamm’s performance is more impressive. He brings so many layers and can deliver a well of emotion with a subtle look.

People like to throw around the term, slow, when referring to Mad Men, but what that really means is that the plot movements linger in order to delve into how it affects each character. Rather than ripping through plot developments, Mad Men lets its characters breathe. It allows the audience to gain a greater understanding of each’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions, which is a good because these characters are all complicated and none is very easy to understand. I know that I’m in the minority, but I’d gladly do away with thrills in order to get more three dimensional human characters rather than vessels for dramatic, action packed events.

Mad Men is the perfect cherry to my current ice cream “Sunday” of a lineup.

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