The Sunday Afternoon Abyss


You ever find yourself sitting on the couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon just flipping through channels hoping you’ll find something to watch on TV? You go to your favorites first, ABC, CBS, NBC maybe FOX and then you start hitting the cable channels from there. You know what I’m talking about, the channels like TBS, USA, and FX. That particular list could go on forever – I know. (I’m sure there are plenty of others out there – like AMC etc.) If you don’t find anything on those channels and you’re paying for the higher ups, you’ll start surfing through HBO, Showtime, Encore, Starz and Cinemax to hopefully find something. I’ve noticed that more often than not, I decide to watch a film I’ve probably already watched at least a few times, if not more, and I will sit my butt down on that couch and watch it all over again till the credits roll.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this. There are probably those of you out there who are reading along and nodding your heads in agreement. I don’t know about you – but I get sucked in. I can’t escape the draw of a film that I’ve already seen. Heck, half the time it’s not even considered to be a “good” film. That doesn’t mean it won’t entertain me for the next two hours in which I have nothing better to do with on that Sunday afternoon.


What is it about these movies that draw us in? You know the ones I’m talking about right? For example, one I could easily mention is Shawshank Redemption. Who hasn’t watched that movie, or parts of it, at least a dozen times by now? I think for a stint of probably 6 months it played on TBS or TNT every weekend, begging viewers to lose themselves in Morgan Freeman’s narrative overlay. You could come into that film at any time, not care that you’ve missed everything to that point, and watch, eyes fixated to the TV as Andy Dufresne tried to escape from prison. What’s even better is that we sit through all the damn commercials too!

Let me highlight a few of these movies that seem to be the ones I always allow to suck me into the depths of what I’d like to call – the Sunday Television Abyss!

Silver Linings Playbook

I have now watched Silver Linings Playbook 2 times in 2 weeks because of the abyss. As I am flipping through the satellite guide on screen, my eyes are directed by some unknown presence to the title of this movie. Then without warning, my thumb moves ever so carefully towards the “ok” button on the remote, presses firmly to make it’s selection and then I’m trapped. A scene with Bradley Cooper running down a street with a black waste bag over him plays out and Jennifer Lawrence comes in from no where and surprises him with some witty banter and I can’t look away. I ask my wife, who at the time could be doing a number of things, if she could hand me a bag of chips because I know that I’ll be here for awhile.

Seriously the writing and performances compliment each other so well in this movie – it’s an easy one to watch over and over again.


the 5th Element

So who hasn’t seen this movie? I’m surprised I actually saw this one in the theater back in 1997 – wait, should I admit to that? Though, with as much time as it gets on TV I doubt that I would have ever missed it. A beloved sci-fi epic adventure, the 5th Element has done much better out of the theaters than anyone would’ve anticipated. The cult following behind this movie is awesome, and the fans that continue to come out in troves at Comic Con (and others like it) do an awesome job paying tribute to the film. I’m sure that if you were to go hunting for it on your TV this week (be wary of Sunday) that you would find it.


As Good As It Gets

Melvin, you’re my hero. I know I’ve caught this movie at least 5 times at random points during it’s air time on TV and have never been able to turn to another channel. It’s so easy to watch Jack be Jack at his best. Lines like the gif above, are delivered on point so many times, that you can’t even fathom that the Oscar would’ve gone to anyone else that year. Not only that – but Helen Hunt did such a great job – she nabbed one too! 2 Oscar worthy performances in one movie? Well my Sunday afternoon is shot.


A Time To Kill

In my opinion, this is the first example of when Matthew McConaughey showed the world who Matthew McConaughey can be as an actor. Then for whatever reason, he took what he did in this film, bottled it up, and waited for about 15 years before he decided to show us those talents again. Either way, if you tune in to one of the cable channels out there, I’m sure that you’ll be able to find A Time To Kill about every other weekend. For good reason too. Sam Jackson delivers some much needed anger in a movie that would have you believe that the crime will never receive it’s punishment. Coupled with an early Sandy B. and Ashley Judd and it’s an easy sell to anyone looking to spend a few hours in front of the telly. Now I never read the book, nor do I plan on it, but I have seen this movie countless times, and I’m sure that I’ll see it many more.

What movies do you find yourself coming back to again and again? Wait, maybe I’ve got a problem and I just need to find something else to do with my time on Sunday afternoon.

Nah, that can’t be it.


Hey guys & gals, my name is Lucas Tetrault and if you like this post or any of the others I’ve done – please feel free to venture over to my Blog and take a gander at some other stuff I write about. I promise I don’t intend to waste your time.

I work as a Creative Director and spend time away from my job with my wife and son, writing for Unreality, and trying to be creative with my own personal projects.

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    1. Ah yes, the European crowd … sorry, I’ve got no idea what’s on your regular rotation over there. 🙂 I assure you – I’ve seen all that I listed mentioned many a weekend.

      Thanks for the comment all the same!

      1. We get a lot of Lethal Weapon and Terminator 2. Also rewatchable.

        Btw, did you comment on the Rain article before? I totally had an answer for you, but the question disappeared :p

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