There are only two ways I defragment, generally speaking.
One is to watch Japanese anime. The other is to watch British television.
My current indulgence is a series called Downton Abbey. The production is gorgeous, the characters are engaging, and if everything else failed, there’s still Dame Maggie Smith (resplendent in a purple satin frock with a matching hat and feather).
(On a side note, the fact that a 77-year-old woman can walk in a purple frock, let alone wear it, is cause enough to award her several Emmys.)
(On another side note, what is it about British actors that allows them to put their audience in stitches without a word? John Cleese and Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith do it all the time.)
My only problem with Downton Abbey is its brevity. I’m at the seventh and final episode of the series’ first season, and it seems like its second season has only seven episodes as well. All of which means that I’ll need to start looking for something else again. (Why Downton Abbey even happened is because Game of Thrones doesn’t resume until spring next year and I couldn’t get episode six onwards of The Book of Bantorra.)
(Contrast Downton Abbey’s pithiness with Jewel in the Palace—a 54-episode monster that gave me enough material to weep about for several weeks. To this day, I stand by this Korean masterpiece as one of the best television series of all time. Given that I was working in the corporate world when I came around to watching it, one of its messages—as articulated by one of my friends—resonated particularly well: “Kahit top maid ka na ng palace, maid ka pa rin.” I really couldn’t have said it better.)
So if anyone’s got any suggestions in the British or Japanese genres (HBO’s also fine), I’m game.