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December 19, 2012 8:59 AM   Subscribe

Prepping for a five hour layover in Houston (and lots of other holiday traveling in the next three weeks). What are your favorite movies or shows to watch while traveling?

I anticipate lots of time spent in airports* and on planes in the next 3 weeks. Prepping for this by loading up my laptop and/or Nexus 7 with great movies & shows to watch!

Some requirements:
- Doesn't necessarily have to be travel or holiday themed, but I'll take 'em. (Might feel a little hokey day of. I don't know.)

- No nudity, please! Minimal gore & violence. The movie doesn't have to be G or PG rated, but I don't want to have to shield my screen from the six year old who will inevitably be kicking my seat and peeking through the seats.

- Not action-heavy. I suffer from motion sickness (though I'll be taking dramamine). Nothing to make it worse please!

- Nothing that takes enormous brain power. 12+ hours is a long time to kill. I do NOT want to fall asleep (don't want to mess up my sleep cycle too badly). The easier to follow the better. I'm okay with guilty-pleasure stuff. This thread is actually pretty handy, but I'd like some variety. (Plus I've seen some of those lots of times already...). Easier psychological thrillers, perhaps?

- I haven't seen a lot of movies in the past 3 years or so. No need to self-limit just because "Oh, but everyone's seen THAT."

- If you have a favorite (regardless of my requirements), I want to hear it anyway! (Just let me know if it breaks rule #1.)

- Tears or fears okay. I have no problems with weeping on the plane. Emotions are good.

- I think TV shows are the perfect length, but I've had really bad luck with rewatching shows. Most recently watched "Whites" on hulu and really enjoyed it (to my surprise). Would definitely require subs on a flight, though.

I'd like to arm myself with a variety and then pick and choose day of based on mood. Purposely haven't listed too much about the stuff I like to keep things open. I usually have absolutely no problems with indie films or subtitles, but I don't know how great they'll fare while traveling. SUGGEST AWAY!

* I don't have high hopes, but is there anything exciting to do in IAH during my layover?
posted by mittenedsex to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't love connecting through Houston. As I remember it, it's kind of gross.

Here's a website that will help you plan it all out though:

Houston InterContinental

I've done a lot of flying in my day, here are things I like to do with long layovers.

1. Have a nice meal. If you have time, sit down and have a big salad, with some lean protien. Too often we eat like crap in transit and over the holidays. Find a place that looks like it might have a very nice, fresh salad and munch out. Drink a ton of water.

2. Books. I like to read, so I fill my ereader with neat new books. I'm a sucker for chick-lit, you can read them like potato chips. Light, crunchy and not memorable.

3. Movies. I'm not too big on this. But if there's a flick I might enjoy, that would be good, but in-flight with the headphones and their screen. This is so rare though. Now Simpson's Episodes might be a thing.

4. Puzzles/Games. I like crosswords, Scrabble, stuff like that. Download some game aps to your phone/tablet.

5. Spend a couple of bucks and hang out in the Crown Room, or whatever. Quieter, comfortable. Catch a nap.

6. Benedryl. For a nice snooze.

7. Water. Can't say it enough. Drink Water.

8. Snacks. In case you get stuck on the tarmac for hours and hours. Cashews and Good n Plenty are my weakness.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:32 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I really like classic screwball comedies for this kind of time passing. Things like Bringing Up Baby or His Girl Friday. More titles here and here.
posted by agentmitten at 9:42 AM on December 19, 2012

I'll just say that I totally didn't just kill six hours on Saturday re-watching the first season of 30 Rock.

Definitely not.
posted by General Malaise at 10:19 AM on December 19, 2012

Best answer: If you like romantic comedies, there are a lot of easy to watch ones while you travel: Easy A, Carolina, Bring it on*, Music with Lyrics*, Bride and Prejudice, Bend it like Beckham. I loved Love Actually and (500 days of) Summer, but both fail your nudity test rather a lot.

For T.V., I think watching the entire run of Wonderfalls would be enjoyable (can't remember if there's any nudity along the way). Also, and please forgive the name, Cougar Town -- there are two seasons on DVD (it takes about 6 episodes to get the whole cougar thing out of the way, so if it bugs you, start either mid-season or the start of season 2). This show is really hilarious, basically a hang-out comedy of adults who drink a lot of wine and mess with each other. It has gotten me through a number of trips.

I'm fairly sure there's nothing that would make you queasy in these, because that effects me as well. (I can't watch the opening sequence of Doctor Who, for instance.)

*One scene with suggestive but not full nudity
posted by Margalo Epps at 10:28 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Ride the shuttle between the terminals. If you need the exercise, you can walk a portion of the tunnel that the shuttle runs through. There is nothing to see down there, but you will be out of the weather. It is not much, I know, but when you have to kill hours and hours at IAH, this is one of the options.

I have a favorite park, about 10 miles from the airport. If you found a way to get to Mercer Arboretum, you might enjoy it.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 10:33 AM on December 19, 2012

Best answer: I watched New Year's Eve on a plane and it was perfect. It kept my attention without requiring too much of it.

Am thinking of re watching all of Madmen during the holidays.

And was going to recommend 30Rock.

But personally, my favorite for plane/airport tv watching is cooking reality tv, à la Top Chef.
posted by Milau at 10:36 AM on December 19, 2012

This breaks the non-violence rule, but I once watched an entire season of Breaking Bad in the Houston airport and it was the best layover of my life.
posted by silvergoat at 11:43 AM on December 19, 2012

I often sleep, doze or what have you while travelling, and don't always have power on all segments. So I'll often turn off the screen and just listen to television. For that I do comedy based on conversations rather than physical - it helps if you've seen some episodes, just to have a mental image of the characters.

Shows I've found to work well: Archer, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Scrubs (sort of), and Arrested Development (sort of).
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:23 PM on December 19, 2012

Best answer: Don't watch anything that's too dialogue-heavy or has intricate plot points. I remember trying to watch an MST3K movie on a bus; if the sound isn't perfect, you miss a lot. And you KNOW you'll fall asleep sometime or other :)

Comfort material is the best. Try shows and stuff you've already seen but haven't watched in a long time.

Two fantastic, fantastic TV shows are The It Crowd and Father Ted. Father Ted is the perfect show for feeling in a nostalgic kind of mood but still feeling a little ridiculous inside. I can and have watched them over and over and over in a row.

Trailer Park Boys is an incredibly stupidly hilarious show that has a ton of cursing but no visual issues. Well, aside from Randy being shirtless all the time... This is another one I can just keep watching one after the other.

Freaks and Geeks... so good.
posted by Madamina at 12:41 PM on December 19, 2012

I travel more than I'd like to, and I'm going to second something Ruthless Bunny said above - have a nice meal, and drink plenty of water. Also, walk enough to stretch your legs.

I always load up my laptop with movies and reading and work, but for my recent long layover in Philly, all I did was (a) nice meal at Legal Seafoods, (b) Christmas shopping at the airport mall (but the free gift wrapping looks like it was done by drunk ferrets - wtf? Practice definitely not making perfect here...), (c) played a few casual games on my iPhone (solved another Angry Birds level, lost a game to Shredder Chess), and (d) read the last couple of chapters of my paperback (so 20th century, I know).

Dialog-heavy or intricate movies don't work well for me either when I'm on the road. But since you asked - if I really wanted to watch a movie in an airport, I'd probably go back to my James Bond favorites, where I know every scene already. From Russia With Love, Casino Royale + Quantum of Solace back to back (sorry, action heavy), or maybe even The Living Daylights or GoldenEye. Or maybe Inside Man, or my lonely hotel room favorite, Lost in Translation.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:22 PM on December 19, 2012

Best answer: Since weeping is OK, I'll suggest Love Actually. It's a lovely set of intertwined stories that are set around Christmas. There's nothing visually risqué and the plots are simple enough to follow with interrupted concentration.
posted by workerant at 1:29 PM on December 19, 2012

Animated TV and movies (mostly) would probably be safe for kids eyes but not necessarily too sweet. A watch or re-watch of Daria perhaps? Or maybe a film like Iron Giant.
posted by itsonreserve at 2:06 PM on December 19, 2012

I would definitely recommend starting in on a TV series you've been wanting to watch, as it's a great way to make time fly while traveling.

If you like dramas - what about Mad Men, Downton Abbey, The Good Wife, Lost, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights, Revenge, Enlightened, or The West Wing? If you like comedies - what about 30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Freaks and Geeks, Happy Endings, Arrested Development, Parks and Recreation, Community, or Louie?

I would also HIGHLY recommend Breaking Bad and Homeland and if you haven't seen them, but Breaking Bad can be somewhat violent, and Homeland has small doses of boobies and violence as well.
posted by emily37 at 3:20 PM on December 19, 2012

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