Tag Archives: Television

Is Binge TV Watching a Sin?

You know you’ve done it.  You know that you’ve had a friend suggest that you watch a show because they know that you will like it.  For whatever reason, you didn’t watch it the first time it was on and thanks to Netflix, Hulu, Xfinity, Amazon Prime, whatever…you can stream it and just binge on it.  If you have an addictive personality, it can be very dangerous.

Supernatural is my latest binge fest.  I know it’s not one of the “hot” shows right now but you know what.  I don’t care.  I knew five minutes in that I was going to be sucked in hook, line, and sinker.

supernatural

Here’s how it went down:

Stage 1: Ok, it’s kind of like X-Files.  I dig this.  I love the X-Files. They are like funny Mulder and Scully and brothers.  Cool.  I like it a lot.  Oh look, they even make references to X-Files.  Awesome.

Stage 2: Tragic back-story, made even more tragic by the fact that they are somewhat beautiful yet broken.  Ok – fangirling may be commencing….

Stage 3: First season ends with a cliffhanger…nope…click right into the season 2 premiere – tears may have been shed.

Stage 4: Even more references to other wonderful occult shows start to make their way into the stories.  Fantastic.  Even better – actors from said occult shows begin to make appearances.  Or “actresses” who meet their demise and I may have actually cheered a little when that one happened…

supernatural_paris_hilton3

Stage 5: Comedic Relief.  These episodes are amazing.  You will never hear “Eye of the Tiger” and keep a straight face again.  Then there’s the “Changing Channels” episode…

Stage 6: Angels. That is all. Just Angels.

Castiel_(supernatural)

Stage 7: Must keep watching.  Cannot stop watching.  #TeamFreeWill.

Stage 8: Imdb’s recent searches shows the tv show, the actors in the tv show, shows that the actors have been in other than said tv show.  Internet searches may have been done for GIFs that were created because while stalking your other fandoms (::Cough,cough::Doctor Who::cough::Cough::Sherlock::Cough::cough) you couldn’t help but see them and wonder what they meant.  Now, you know them all…

It’s a slippery slope, but one I will gladly slide down.  I cannot get enough of it.  It’s like putting your life on hold to watch all the episodes.  Each one, pushing you deeper down the rabbit hole, afraid for when it’s going to end because you know you’re going to get depressed when it’s over, the same way you get depressed when a series of books you love ends.

As my binging continues, I will just keep reveling in the sheer entertainment value of it.  Guilty pleasure you say?  Maybe.  It’s fine.  We all have them.  Mine just happens to one of biblical proportions.

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TV This Year is Tough

We are well into the Fall TV schedule and most of the new shows have started.  Now it’s time to weed out the ones that aren’t really living up to expectations.

My Sunday line-up is pretty solid.  Once Upon a Time is pretty good so far this season.  I had to come to terms with the fact that Peter Pan is in fact a big, bad meanie – something my inner child just does not want to accept still, but let’s face it.  He is.  He steals the souls of children to continue to stay young.  It’s pretty awful.  I do feel that there is a lot going on though and I hope that they can make it flow a little better and not get lost with all the different story lines.  It get too confusing.

Homeland is back and is as crazy as ever.  I cannot handle Dana though.  I’m done with her.  I don’t really care about her so whenever she shows up on the screen, I’m indifferent and find myself checking Facebook or something, anything, to avoid listening to her whine.

homeland

Monday isn’t too bad either.  The Voice is back and even though I did like Shakira more, Christina seems to be a little better than the past seasons.  Cee-Lo is just as wacky but that’s ok.  We all know everyone watches for Blake and Adam.

Agents of Shield was a complete and utter let down for me.  I had such high hopes for this show. Coulson was the best and yet here he is surrounded by the caricatures of CIA/Spy characters.  Ming-Na is such a good actress but she plays Melinda May so hard, there’s so little emotion and even though you know there’s some kind of back story, it’s hard to care because she’s just so hard.  Then there’s the mole who works for the Red Tide or whatever the bad guy group is called (see I don’t even remember the name of the bad guys!) and that seems pretty predictable.  It’s sad.  I was hoping this would be the hit of the season!

agents of shield

Castle is changing gears and the jury is still out as to whether or not it has jumped the shark.  I mean, I love that Castle and Beckett are taking things to the next step, I miss the dynamic of them working in the precinct.  Hopefully this will turn around.

Sleepy Hollow, however, is pretty good.  Being an English major, I have read the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  This is nothing like the story I read.  It’s like they mashed up Rip van Winkle and Sleepy Hollow with the American Revolution and threw in a few Salem witches and bam!  There’s the TV show.  Oh yeah – and sprinkle on some of the supernatural like the four horsemen of the apocalypse. It’s good though.  I like it.

Sleepy Hollow on Fox

Sleepy Hollow on Fox

Tuesday is the night from hell.  Literally.  The CW is home to my guilty pleasures.  The Originals picks up some of the characters from The Vampire Diaries and moves them to New Orleans where we all know vampires swarm like rats and live lavishly like Lestat. Since I was hooked on the Vampire Diaries, this was going to clearly hook me since it was full of established characters.

The Voice night two – still good.

Supernatural.  Oh Supernatural.  I was hooked on you late in the game.  I wish I had started watching you years ago.  Then I wouldn’t have had to binge on the past 8 seasons.  I am not completely caught up but I am DVRing this season so that when I’m done ignoring the rest of my life and have watched the first 8 seasons I can continue on without interruption.

Then at 10…man…the juggling…Chicago Fire complete with its hot eye candy; Person of Interest with my crazy team of players tracking numbers; and of course Sons.  Sons of Anarchy is intense this season.  Wait, it’s intense every season.  I cannot get enough of these murderers on bikes.  The tragedy of their flawed lives, the violence of a lifestyle choice that they willingly would die for themselves…it’s such an amazing show.

I feel like I seriously could go through every night of the week, but then I realize that I watch WAAAAAY too much television and you might think that I have no life.  Wait, you might be right…oh well.  I like TV.  I’m not ashamed.  I like a good story and right now, there are so many good stories on TV it’s hard to not watch.  It’s a nice way to unwind and if you can find a show that really entertains you then go for it.

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Syndicated Television Rules

It is late and I am happy that 30 Rock is syndicated. I forget why I never watched it the first time around but, better late than never!

As I laugh at the jokes, I realize that syndicated shows are wonderful. Friday night in the summer is the night that NOTHING is on tv. They assume that we are all out partying on a Friday night. Sadly, my party is on my couch, watching tv. In the summer, my party is sad. Of the three hundred channels, there was nothing on tonight, not even on the movie channels!

That is when I try to find a syndicated show. They are just perfect. As a bonus, it gives me the chance to see shows that I might have missed.

Criminal Minds at 9 am while eating breakfast? No time is too early to see Derek Morgan in action! Everybody Loves Raymond while cooking dinner? Why not? 30 Rock while I figure out the daily blog post? Most definitely!

Syndication is not where tv shows go to die, but really gives them a second life. And for a mom who has the most boring quiet Friday night with no new shows on, syndication is awesome!

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An Idiot Abroad – Missing the Marco Polo

I love Karl Pilkington.

I love watching him get tortured as he is sent on all-expense paid trips around the world, albeit in very sub-standard accommodations and modes of transportation.  His insights and moments of clarity are truly amazing and I cannot count the number of times I have cried laughing at what he has to say.  In short, Ricky Gervais is a genius for creating “An Idiot Abroad.”

Karl at the Pyramids

Season one saw him visit some of the seven wonders of the world – the Great Wall of China (which he doesn’t believe is really that great), the Taj Mahal (which, according to our round-headed guide, was built out of guilt), and other wonderful and exotic locations.  Almost everywhere he went, he was miserable.  The normal person would enjoy the experience and relish the mere fact of being in the presence of these wonders.  Not Karl.

An-Idiot-Abroad

The second season sent Karl on a Bucket List trip.  The thing is, it’s not his bucket list.  He chooses items off of a list that would be considered a normal person’s bucket list.  Once again, Karl does not disappoint.  The Trans-Siberian Express might be one of the best episodes of that season simply for the fact that he allows himself to get buried alive and said it was the best part of the trip so far. On Route 66, he takes part in a cuddle party – another priceless moment.  Never in my life have I laughed so hard.

Karl on the Trans-Siberian Express with a man who is a human magnet.

Karl on the Trans-Siberian Express with a man who is a human magnet.

When the third season was announced, I had high hopes that Karl would find himself in more odd situations in gorgeous locations throughout the world.   Though, after the first two episodes of this apparently shortened season, I am not feeling the same way about this season.

First, Karl is no longer alone.  He is accompanied by Warwick Davis (aka Willow or Professor Flitwick).  While I enjoy the fact that Karl now has someone else with him enjoying the world, I feel like some of the magic is taken away.  When Karl was alone on the other seasons, he had no one else to commiserate with.  Now, he spent a his time complaining more about his traveling companion.  Also, it wasn’t fair that Warwick was treated like a star when it came to his accommodations.  He should have had the same as Karl.  That would have been more funny.

At an Indian circus - Karl and Warwick

At an Indian circus – Karl and Warwick

Second, the season was waaaaay too short.  Seriously – only four episodes and then a commentary?  They hardly went anywhere!  Karl didn’t get nearly as ragged as he did on the previous two seasons which meant he did not get jaded and tired of traveling to have the hilarious insights on his voyage.

Third, they didn’t really do anything that exotic.   I mean in China, eating the various testicles was nothing after watching a few episodes of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.   Ok, the spider twins – they were kind of odd, but this is coming from someone who has to look away when they show contortionists because I get a little queasy when I see that.

If you are curious, watch it but don’t expect it to be as good as the first two seasons.  Sadly, Marco Polo probably had funnier observations on this trip route.  If you really want to laugh, stick to the first two seasons (season two is my favorite)!

I still love Karl though.

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A Tale of Technology Trouble

For Christmas I was a very lucky person.  I got some pretty cool gadgets.  After loading in my apps and learning about the Cloud, I was faced with a dilemma.

I want the Daughter to be up to date on technology and know how to use a computer and all the other gadgets that are eventually going to become the tools she will use throughout her education.  But I am still a little unsure of the best way to do this and still have her benefit from knowing how to use these devices.

A year ago, when my mother got her iPad, she loaded a few educational apps for the Daughter to play with.  Needless to say, the Daughter loves playing with Nana’s iPad.  Then the Husband got an iPad and he loaded some different apps on to it, all educational, and the Daughter excels at those apps too.  So, when she saw my Christmas gift, she wanted to know what apps I would get for her.

I found myself apprehensive.  It was my gift wasn’t it?  I was being greedy and didn’t want to share.  But then I thought about how these apps are built and created to help children read, learn math, learn foreign languages, and so I began my search through the thousands of children’s apps in the App store.  After all, I wasn’t going to have the iPad mini welded to my hand was I?

Let's pray we don't get to number 10.

Let’s pray we don’t get to number 10.

After purchasing a few of them, I have realized that there are benefits from the Daughter using the iPad.  She knows how to use it for starters.  She can turn it on, find her apps, turn her apps on, find her name/username, and the start of the game.  She then can play (most) of the games that are provided for her.  She can navigate the screens, type in letters, and take amazing self-portraits (sans that god-awful duck face pose).  She is slowly learning to read and write.  She is learning basic math skills.  She is learning.

So now the dilemma is trying to figure out what the appropriate usage time for this treat.  I am thinking that it now becomes part of the allotted television time.  If she wants to use the iPad, it comes off that block of time that we usually allow for “her shows.”  Even though the iPad has more educational functions, it’s still a screen and it’s still just sitting and looking at a screen.

What do you do with your youngsters and technology?  Do you let them use the educational side of it and limit the usage or do you have a different plan of attack when it comes to the new technologies that are eventually going to be a key part of their life?

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Relaxation, I Remember The Word

It’s been a busy week, at least it feels like it has been.  I don’t know that I have much to show for it though.

Friday night is here and the weekend has begun.  Relaxing on a Friday night usually means catching up on the DVR.  Tonight, we watched last week’s episode of Sons of Anarchy (the season finale), The Walking Dead (mid-season finale), and the Vampire Diaries.

Yes you read that right, we, yes the Husband watches too, watch the Vampire Diaries.  It’s cheesy.  There’s way too much drinking, sex, and skipping school for it to be even remotely realistic. Oh wait, the vampires probably take care of the suspension of  reality aspect don’t they? Oh well.  We’ll just chalk it up to a guilty pleasure.

All joking aside, it’s quite a way to unwind with the Husband after a long week.  We started the night off watching the Club take out one of its biggest threats, the fate of one of its own now hangs in the balance, and Gemma is being Gemma.  This season felt too short which just shows how good a season it was.  A recent article with the show’s creator, Kurt Sutter, talked about how it really takes Hamlet and brings it to a different theater, with more players and a few more sub-plots.  It’s one reason I enjoy it, seeing the Shakespearean theme played out on Harleys with hardened criminals, the women that stand behind them, the lives they destroy in their quest to find peace for themselves at any cost is so captivating.  Now we have to wait months to find out the fate of the Club and everyone else under the Club’s umbrella.  (There is so much more I want to say but I don’t want to post spoilers since I hate it when people do that to me!)

We then go from one type of monster to another.  The zombies in the Walking Dead are my kind of zombies, they move slowly.  I feel like if I had to face those kind of Zombies in a zombie-pocalypse, I might actually stand a chance.  Though, if I end up in a camp with someone like the Governor, I might reconsider my chances in the woods surrounded by walkers.  That man really creeps me out.  Everything about his little Stepford town is just creepy, not to mention the fact that Merle is close to being in charge is more than enough to make me turn the other direction.  I also am still wondering about Michonne and her background.  What made her so hard and what is with her attachment to that katana?  I haven’t read the comics though, I must admit that I am very close to picking them up. I am interested to see how things will develop and play out after the mid-season finale.

I also have to confess that I’m kind of annoyed with all these mid-season breaks.  I suppose if the trade-off is more amazing television then it’s ok but it’s still a little annoying.

So watching all this violence and monsters, we spent a relaxing night in, suspending our reality for a little while and feeling completely entertained.

This post is part of a month-long series of posts with NaBloPoMo.  Check it out! Today’s prompt was “What’s the best way to relax after a hard day?”  Be sure to read the other blogs that are participating!

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