Who needs family when you have streaming television?

Did everyone have a decent Thanksgiving weekend? I was lucky enough to venture out on Black Friday in search of new sneakers. On Sunday, I finally got some. I managed to find some shoes that are good for my feet and don’t make me look like a douche. I should probably send Michael Ian Black an email. That, somehow, was the most eventful part of my weekend. With everyone out of town and not much else to do,I hopped on the internet train and watched me some streaming TV. Spending countless hours in my bed, spooning with my lethargic cat, I bathed in the glow of contemporary television and not much else.

I’m probably among the last people in the world to be sucked into JJ Abrams’ Lost universe. I never felt compelled to see Lost when it was first on the air in 2004. My mother loved it and, like most cocky 21 year olds who act like they’re hot shit because they go to a private liberal arts college, I thought if my mother loved it, then there’s no way it could possibly be that good. You can imagine how stupid I felt when I needed to click “next episode” after each mind-blowing cliffhanger in season one. No, this doesn’t mean I should start watching CSI or the Housewives. Since Suzanna, my cultural confidant, was out of town, I felt a little guilty about proceeding with season three of Lost on my own. I was able to work past my guilt issues and finished the season in a little less than three days. Over all, this season panned out to be a sandwich of frustration, meandering in the middle with some episodes that really had no bearing on the storyline or mythology. We are left with some certainty that (SPOILER) they will get off of the island, but not too much confidence in Jack’s sanity. I’m so not so sure why the Others do what they do. Will this be answered in season 4? I guess I’ll find out this week.

After receiving plenty of recommendations, I also began Deadwood. HBO is guilty of one of my pet peeves: including less than 4 episodes on a dvd. I was only able to watch the first two episodes of season one and so far I’m still on the fence. Like True BloodDeadwood has a long, boring montage for the opening credits on top of horrible music. They really need to fire this guy. Now, I haven’t seen any other HBO shows, but I get the feeling that they all have these opening sequences. Deadwood’s first episode dragged and, as I expected, was just a reason to hear “cunt” and “cocksucker” excessively. That said, the casting is incredible. Ian McShane is brutal as Al Swearengen, in a much better role than he was given on the ill-fated Kings. Timothy Olyphant, sporting a killer Van Dyke, is also interesting to watch as the no-nonsense, man-of-few-words Bullock. The ensemble is sprinkled with all sorts of familiar faces, like Jeffrey Jones, of Ferris Bueller and Howard the Duck fame, and the guy who did Chuckie’s voice in all of the Child’s Play movies. Episode two was much more exciting than episode one because they didn’t need to establish too many more characters, so it was easier to follow. Hopefully we’ll get more of Bullock’s story along the way. I’m going to need a lot of patience for this one. Perhaps I shouldn’t be reading Blood Meridian while watching this. Cormac McCarthy’s brilliant prose overshadows anything that is minutely relevant; but that’s neither here nor there.

Season 4 of Dexter is finally starting to pump the blood—pun intended. The problem with this season is that with Dexter’s narration and his conversations with his dead father, who’s now his conscience, little is left to the viewer to figure out on their own. All things considered, I watched this week’s episode last night over some Jack in the Box tacos and was quickly reminded of why I enjoy watching this. Unlike the rest of the season, as well as all of season three—which I actually have no recollection of—last night’s episode picked up the pace, and instead of focusing on the mundane lives of the peripheral characters, Dexter and Arthur Mitchell (John Lithgow) were dead center. They captured the suspense of season two, which was the best season in my opinion. Things just haven’t been the same since Doakes was incinerated. With only a couple of episodes left, I hope the writers step up to the plate and leave us on the edge of our seats. I don’t get much out of watching Dexter other than pure entertainment. When put up against shows like Lost or Mad Men, Dexter is really only as good as an okay TNT show with a lot of blood and some random boobage.

Speaking of boobage, I finally got caught up on season three of Californication. Nothing can really compare to season one. I really can’t pinpoint what’s missing. At first I thought it was because Hank Moody (Duchovny) wasn’t getting laid as much in season two. Then he started doin’ it again. It got better, but not for long. Season three has Moody caught in a love pentagon which keeps getting him in sticky situations, literally. Living with his fifteen year old daughter doesn’t help matters either. Like Dexter, I’ve watched this show enough to care about what happens to the characters, but it’s just become a way to kill time. I predict Californication will be completely unwatchable in the fourth season. After watching this, I wonder if simulating sex with numerous women is really the best way for David Duchovny to overcome his rampant sex addiction. Food for thought.

Taking a break from my Lost binge, I checked out what hulu had to offer. I found the new episode of White Collar. I thought this show was going to be as bad as Royal Pains, but it’s withstood the four episode test. The premise: A dapper and savvy art thief teams up with a by the book FBI agent as a way to keep out of prison. Plus, they solve crimes along the way. There’s also paperwork mentioned. Paperwork! I’m still not tired of the premise, but I also need to give the show a chance in order to keep Tiffany (Amber) Thiessen employed. She plays the middle-aged FBI agent’s inexplicably hot wife. I can roll with it. I’ll just come out and say that White Collar is a fun show. It’s something I can watch while cracking jokes and searching for better jobs on the craigslist. The saving grace of White Collar is that they’re bold enough to stick to an overarching plotline. While not much is put into tracking down “the Ghost,” a master counterfeiter introduced in episode one who I predict is Kelly Thiessen, they keep us up on the latest clues regarding the whereabouts of Neal’s (the art thief) long-lost girlfriend. White Collar is an excellent alternative to, say, Leverage, and you won’t feel embarrassed when you watch it or blog about it. I don’t.

Weekends like this one are why I love the holidays. While everyone is off spending time with their friends and family, I spend some time getting to know my fictive kin. I think that’s this new wave of excellent television definitely makes me proud the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock and enjoyed an evening of streaming videos with the Native Americans. God bless us, everyone…or something.

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2 Responses to “Who needs family when you have streaming television?”

  1. mom Says:

    CSI is not all that bad, you might tryi it one day when your bored and run out of lost episodes…

  2. Nancy again Says:

    Listen to your mom. We’ve watched CSI (the original one) from the beginning – and I think it’s probably gotten weird enough for even you to like it. :-)

    On the other hand, I can’t follow her on any LOST episodes – just could never get into it.

    Sorry I never got back to you – things got a bit hectic and the inbox suffered (still does)…

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