Movies and Television; What Else?

Well, the daughter and I will go stand like lemmings in the line to see The Dark Knight this weekend along with everyone else. I don’t mind going to see the movie, I just hate crowds. But, I can’t wait to see it and thus will suffer what I have to. I’ve only stood in line for a few things in my life; a roller coaster ride at Six Flags over Mid-America, Jaws when it premiered in 1974, and a Beach Boys concert (in which the concert was shorter than the wait standing in line!). I will stand if I have to and if it’s worth it and The Dark Knight looks like it might be worth it and not for the creepy motive of “let’s see what Heath does” after his untimely death either. Poor guy.

My husband is going to see a baseball game with my sister this weekend because, well, I dislike baseball and would rather drill into my eyes with a drill bit than sit in 90 degree heat and watch people toss a little ball and bat around. Of course baseball isn’t a REAL sport like football is….. (I just threw that out there to annoy the baseball monkeys). πŸ™‚ So everyone has plans for the weekend. Then next weekend, I will be doing the canoe thing I mentioned in a previous post with my old high school chum while my hubby, son, and daughter go check out Portland, Oregon for kicks (I think they are jealous of my Hungary trip). But that’s ok. Don’t you love summer?

Television used to be a vast wasteland in the summer season because no one thought people still watched TV during those months. But I beg to differ. Now with the invention of TiVo, what’s not to watch??? When all my regular shows go on hiatus, the summer season rolls around and is almost as good as the Fall season. The Closer started last Monday and I haven’t watched it yet, but it’s safely tucked away on TiVo. It’s a good show but still an Americanized version of Prime Suspect, the best cop drama ever! Eureka starts soon. This quirky little show is only saved by its lead actor, Colin Ferguson. You see, I like shows that think outside the box and don’t think its audience is too stupid to get intelligent plots and dialog. There’s a lot to be said for reality TV and watching people make fools out of themselves publicly, but I like the unusual shows. Pushing Daisies comes back on in late July as well and that is definitely unusual. Where else can you have a restaurant called the Pie Hole and be believable? Besides Chi McBride is in it and he’s been a favorite of mine since Boston Public, Roll Bounce, and Let’s Go To Prison.

I think the one television show I look forward to the most is the recent Emmy nominated Mad Men. Excellently written and acted, this show is what network TV wishes it could do if it weren’t restricted by network wonks. It tries to portray the real world of Madison Avenue ad men in the 1960s including the clouds of smoke and back room deals and womanizing. It’s a lesson for the ladies about how far we’ve really come since then! It’s stylish without being fake kitschy. I highly recommend it. Kudos to AMC for taking on the project.

Did I mention that I’ll be inside a lot this summer?? No? Well, this week portends 90+ degree heat and humidity and when that happens, I’ll be cooling off with my good buddy the TV tube. TaTa.

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Who’s The Mole?

Ok, I love television shows and I really like a few choice reality TV shows. I’m a big Survivor and Amazing Race fan. I can’t miss Dancing With the Stars and I even gave Real Housewives of Orange County a try before I gave up on their dense obsession with their own looks and money. I’ve watch (semi-faithfully) shows like Iron Chef America, Ace of Cakes, and Miami Ink, and LA Ink. I love Ghost Hunters (and yes, I know they could be fake!). It doesn’t matter how scripted they may be, I love the strategy people employ to win games involving other people who may be just as devious as they are. It’s like life in a microcosm. πŸ™‚ Others are just downright fun to watch.

Since I’m always on the lookout for good shows during the summer because all my old standbys have had their season finales, I thought I’d try The Mole. I’d never seen this show before and it looked like a cross between all three of my favorites (I’m including the short-lived Treasure Hunters from two summers ago in this lot). Unfortunately, I must be really obtuse or something cause I did NOT get the strategy of it at all. I get that someone’s being paid to lie and sabotage everyone else’s game. I get that you are supposed to figure out who the mole is, but what I don’t get is the way they single people out to run the game for everyone else. What does this do? Who cares how Marci divided up those who would get real money or fake? What in Zeus’ name would that reveal? And what’s with the dumb quiz at the end? All that does is single out who you already thought was the mole to begin with. That’s not news! I don’t know. I may give it one more look-see next week, but right now it has none of the conniving of Survivor and none of the fun of finding clues to move on to the next level, but all the annoyance of people with no personality. I might have to keep looking for a fun summer replacement show. Although Mad Men starts soon and even The Closer is premiering soon!! Woohoo!

Themes and Memes

It’s very hard to find a theme in WordPress that expresses exactly how you wish to convey your thoughts on the web. Some themes seem very harsh, some seem too soft. Others too dark and others too light. How do you choose. I like variety. I am one of those people who changes their screensaver and desktop image at least once a week, so is it surprising I get bored with my theme? I’m a woman of volatile tastes; in themes, religion, spirituality, and television.the closer

Speaking of television, I watched the two hour season premier of The Closer last night and while I love the characters in this show, the episode isn’t one of their best. My hubby and I were laughing because we couldn’t keep up with the plot. Between his mind going and my back going out, who will take care of us when we are old. πŸ™‚ I really enjoy watching this show and hope they live up to last season’s caliber of excellent writing and characterization.

Mid-Season TV Musings

Well, it’s mid-season in TV land, meaning that the new schedules run from October-December and then February-March. I hate that. We used to watch The Sopranos until we got rid of HBO because the hiatuses would be so long, you no longer cared what happened on the show. Not only that, they cancelled Carnivale which clinched it for me. Lost and Dancing With the Stars are on hiatus, which is fine, because I need a break from both. Ghost Hunters is also on hiatus again. Good grief, can they show MORE than 5 shows per season???!!! My favorite crime drama, The Closer, will be returning December 4 with a two-hour season premier, ruining the weird TV schedule even more. Thank goodness for TiVo or I’d never be able to find all the premiers myself on DirecTV!

I finished watching The Monastery last Sunday and was very pleasantly surprised at the monks living in Christ in the Desert monastery. They were fun, loving, articulate, and very well educated in human psychology and theology (of course). I would like to spend some time there myself, trying to get my head together and soak up the silence (if you haven’t noticed, I’m developing a “thing” for silence). The series was too short for my taste, but 40 days is a long time to be at a monastery!

Amazing Race 10 has become old hat, as has Survivor but I still watch because you never know what might happen. πŸ™‚ Supernatural just keeps getting better and better and my son and I have the same crush on Jensen Ackles. (shhhhhh. Don’t tell my husband!) πŸ™‚

Bring Back Summer TV

Usually television viewing in the summer is a vast wasteland of no possibilities, but this past summer proved to be a very good season. Now that cable TV stations aren’t wedded to the strict Sept.-May TV season, they’ve experimented with new shows and new time slots. the closerOne of the new shows that I couldn’t get enough of was The Closer on TNT, starring Kyra Sedgwick. Not just another cop show, this series boasts a very talented cast and such involved plots the writers should get an award for creativity, something usually not found in television writing. The dialogue is believable, witty, and has the usual twists and turns, but coupled with Sedgwick’s give-it-all-she’s got performances, this show is a winner. I can’t wait until it comes back on.

Another show I became “addicted” to was Treasure Hunters. NBC put this show on for light summer fare and I’ll bet this is what Amazing Race was meant to be. treasure huntersIn Amazing Race, the only point is to get from A to B with a minor challenge thrown in, usually physical. But in Treasure Hunters, the puzzles were mental and involved some pretty creative mental gymnastics. You could say it was a blatant advertisement for the insurance company that shelled out the money to the winners, but it was entertaining television nonetheless.

Finally, summer’s heat didn’t get any hotter than world famous chef Gordon Ramsey’s series Hell’s Kitchen on Fox. Even though they get the most obnoxious contestants on this show, it’s worth all of the venom just to hear Gordon shout “You donkey!!!” to someone you can’t stand. Humiliation that is more fun than American Idol because at least we don’t have to hear anyone sin. Bleck. GordonAlso check out BBC’s Gordon’s Kitchen Nightmares where he takes a failing restaurant and tries to turn their business around. Enlightening for anyone wanting to go into the restaurant business. He’s got a genius for food and entrepreneurship.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by TV this summer, something that hasn’t happened in a long time. I think producers and sponsors are finally getting the picture that our TV viewing habits are changing and that we won’t necessarily wait around for a year and a half to see what happens to Tony Soprano. I know I didn’t.