The Family That Views Together…

The weekend was insane. Again. Some day soon, I’ll come to the realization that all weekends spent with a family of seven boys are insane, but today is not that day.

One upside of the aforementioned-and-ongoing insanity, however, is that it brings the highlight of the weekend into sharp-and-grateful relief:

Watching the first few episodes of Season Two of Nickolodeon’s “The Legend of Korra.”

I plan to write at length about the show in the near-future. It’s a wonderful show — even, perhaps, a great one, when paired with its predecessor,  – but today is not that day, because the real reason for this weekend’s pleasure was not the details of the show itself, but the experience of watching it with the entire pack of Susanka Boys.

It began on Saturday night, when the boys remembered that Friday had been “Premiere Night,” and excitedly asked if the newest episodes were on Hulu. I had to break the news to them that it was not available yet, and was not going to be appearing on Hulu any time soon, as in year(s) past. Long faces ensued, and the troop trooped slowly back to resume their “Kung-Fu Panda” viewing. Sad.

…which quickly gave way to cries of surprise and joy as I used the iPad to stream Episode 1 from Nick’s website directly to the AppleTV box (and over the much-inferior “Panda.”) Pandemonium.

I love watching with the whole group, because they bring such a wide range of emotions and responses to the table. Dominic (#1), for example, is very workman-like. He’s interested in plot points and in moving the story forward. He enjoys the whole experience, but it’s very linear and straight-forward for him.

Sean (#2), on the other hand, barely cares about the story, focusing instead on character motivations and the political and moral repercussions of their actions. Which means that he always wants to know if/why people are good or bad, and since the show rarely tips its hand on that front, he’s always on the edge of his seat. (An aside: one of the most promising things already on display in this nascent season is the show’s interest in pitting the traditions and spiritual elements of its past against the more material, technologically-progressive elements of its present — a dichotomy as relevant to us as it is to its characters.)

David (#4) and James (#5) tend to respond to the humor, and tolerate the rest. Which means that they’re pretty much sitting around waiting for Bolin to say something. (The  “Like a boyfriend? Or like a slave?” “Mmm..yes, Win me prizes.” line is already in heavy rotation between the two of them, and brings on gales of laughter with each recounting. Infectious fun.)

Mark (#3) is betwixt-and-between. His laughter at the “Why are you initiating physical contact with another woman?” line raised my eyebrows slightly — It’s actually pretty harmless in context, but I’ve got my eye on you, Mark! — but he’s also the one who queried me about the similarities between Miyasaki’s style and the angry spirits of “Korra’s” first two episodes. He’s always more thoughtful than I realize.

OK, so Cormac (#6) was mostly looking for food. As usual. But he was having a great time being around everyone else. He just wasn’t looking at the TV that much.

It’s going to be a fun season. And I have no intention of watching it alone.

About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.


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