Saturday, May 07, 2016

Weekend Wildcard - TV with my Daughter

The Pink Heart Society is delighted to welcome back Jessica Gilmore as she talks about revisiting her favourite tv shows with her daughter...
Raising a daughter is (usually) a joy. Yes, she nicks my hairbrush, I can never find a bobble despite buying more weekly, her bedroom floor is a hazard, her taste in music distressing and I spend far too many hours dropping her off, picking her up or waiting for he but she’s also funny, opinionated, sparky and really good company. 

She’s also been the perfect excuse to delve back in time and rediscover some seminal nineties classics. 

It started with Buffy – the dark purple and green boxsets always had a pull for her but they were forbidden, not just because of the vampires, death and blood but also because of the series six boinking while the house collapsed around them episode (and the season four Riley shagathon but it’s best if we all forget that ever happened *shudders*). 

Last year the ban was lifted and, just like a Victorian family might gather around a piano, we gathered around the TV for ‘just one more episode…’ only to emerge blinking into the light and realise that somehow we had worked our way through seven series in just under a year. 

But even seven, mostly glorious seasons of Buffy can’t compete with the brutally curtailed perfection of My So Called Life. Nineties fashion! Early Claire Danes' cry face! Jordan Catalano… oh, Jordan Catalano. Monosyllabic, guitar wielding, curtain haired, intense eyed Jordan how we both crush on you. You’re too old for her and too young for me but when you lean in and stare into Angela Chase’s eyes we share a heartfelt sigh. 

My So Called Life is girl time, watched when her father is elsewhere and dated it may be but it’s been a really good way for me to broach some tricky issues which normally would have her escaping in utter mortification. The intensity of teen friendship, underage drinking and drugs, families, that mothers are human too with their own worries, fears and pressures. Sex and sexuality. That it’s okay to be yourself, but it can be really hard too. That growing up is difficult for everyone. 

There are only nineteen episodes and we are perilously close to the end. No binge watching this show, every episode savoured and enjoyed, phones down, all attention on the screen. Maybe it’s better this way, no tricky fourth season (Adam. Riley. Did I mention Adam?), no shark jumping, no writers taking it off in the wrong direction (yes, Season 7 of the Gilmore Girls, I am looking at you). 

We have the Gilmore Girls lined up next and I’m looking forward to returning to my spiritual homeland of Stars Hollow but right now, a Pennsylvanian High School full of tartan shirts and hennaed hair is exactly where I want to be.  

What 90s television shows make you feel nostalgic?  And what shows would you introduce your daughter to?  Join in the discussion in the comments!

Jess' latest book, the first in her Life Swap series, In the Boss's Castle, is out now:

Falling for her new boss!

Maddison Carter is determined to build her perfect life—one that provides the security she’s always craved. But arriving in London for a six-month job swap, she’s tempted by a man who’s totally off-limits—her delectable boss, Kit Buchanan!

When Kit whisks Maddison to his Scottish castle, she discovers the secret pain behind his easy charm. Only by helping Kit confront his demons does Maddison realize that no one has a perfect past. But with Kit by her side, she wonders if they could have the perfect future…together! 

An ex au pair, bookseller, marketing manager and Scarborough seafront trader selling rock from under a sign that said ‘Cheapest on the Front’,  Jessica now works for a regional  environmental charity. 

On the rare occasions that she is not writing, working, reading or trying to twist her daughter’s hair into the perfect ballet bun (alas, still elusive), Jessica likes to plan holidays she might have the time and money to take one day, meanwhile she uses her favourite locations in her books. She writes deeply emotional romance with a hint of humour and a welcome splash of sunshine.

To find out more about Jessica Gilmore's writing, check out her website and blog, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. My So-Called Life is one of my favorite shows ever, the writing and the acting were just perfect, that's so great that you're sharing it with your daughter. The creators of My So-Called Life did another show called, Once and Again, it's about divorced families, there is some really realistic teen content with Evan Rachel Wood, but it's focused on the adults a lot too, so I don't know if your daughter would be into it, but you should try it if you haven't already.

  2. Vernoica Mars? (i liked the first 2 seasons)

  3. Oh I love Veronica Mars! I think I have a thing for bad rich boys called Logan... I've never seen Once and Again but will definitely look out for it, sounds just kind of show!