Archive for August, 2011

Television is Getting my On-Demand Attention Again

August 24, 2011 Leave a comment

I guess you could say I lost faith in television.  I didn’t trust it.  When it came to sitcoms, I didn’t get it anymore and for a guy who’s easily amused, it has to be really bad for me to feel that way.  When it came to action or drama, I was rarely interested.  So often we see the same kinds of dramatic characters every year maybe with a different police unit, hospital or courtroom.

To be fair, I wasn’t much of a courtroom, hospital or police unit kind of guy anyway.  However, the reoccurrence of these kinds of shows year after year resembled something that many entertainment viewers say today…Hollywood is out of ideas.

And when you’re not a fan of the genres I just mentioned…where do you go?

Fortunately after running away from TV for many years, good shows I didn’t know about have found me in other ways.  They’ve made it fun to be an episodic viewer of SOMETHING again.  Here’s how it happened:

WORD OF MOUTH.  My brother and sister- and-law hounded my wife and I to see a show called The Big Bang Theory for weeks.  My brother especially knew that I would love these characters because I too love Star Wars, superheroes and geeky-themed stuff.

However, I also love the writing, the humor, the actors and the quality of each and every one of them.  Needless to say, my wife and I have seen every episode and are anxiously awaiting the new season.  I actually interviewed Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler) for my September 15 podcast and it was an interview I couldn’t wait to do.

AT THE MOVIE THEATER.  I’m sure many of you have those days where you just get out and want to just go see a movie…even if it means getting to the theater and just randomly pick something.  That was me when Ichose to see a movie called Serenity.

What can I say?  I LOVED it!  Then I found out this was an extension of the cancelled Fox TV series, Firefly.  I couldn’t wait to go get the complete set and enjoy these characters again.  This is a show that should have never been cancelled.  It’s brilliant.  It’s sci-fi done right in so many ways.  Nathan  Fillion talks about the fun of getting into that browncoat and holster and you can’t doubt his sincerity.  Captain Mal is as good as they get when it comes to sci-fi coolness and he’s got a great cast and creator to back him up.

ON DEMAND.  To be honest, I was a little late to indulging in on-demand.  After all, I had little faith in TV.  What was I going to watch?  However, I genuinely want to have something to watch.  So, I started searching.  Have I found some really bad shows?  Yes.  More often than not that has been the case in fact.  However, I’ve also found gems like Legend of the Seeker.   No pun intended, but I don’t actively SEEK out dragons, wizards and swords…but I love this show.  The cast is solid.

I absolutely love Bruce Spence’s character, Zedd.  Nobody else could have played that part like him.  I also can’t take my eyes of the beautiful and talented Bridget Regan.

I like my share of Britcoms and I was very pleased to have Netflix introduce me to a cute and quirky little show called The IT Crowd.  Not every show is hilarious, but the characters are fun.  This is especially true of the character named Moss.  I will say there is one episode that was the funniest of the entire run and that was when they go to the theater to see a play called GAY.

Whether it’s on demand, catching it in real time or seeing it on the web, I find myself looking for ways to have faith in television again.  It’s nice to have shows to love and look forward to.  There have been hits and misses along the way, but I’ve really enjoyed the hits.

As a result, I plan on taking my newly renewed interest in TV and see if there are any shows in the 2011 fall season that can make me a fan from day one.

I have to admit, it’s better than avoiding it all together.


Don’t Trash Harry Potter Fans, They’re Not the Problem

August 13, 2011 Leave a comment

I saw a news story point out the ways grieving Harry Potter fans can handle life after seeing the last Harry Potter film ever.  The story basically highlighted how Star Wars and Star Trek fans had managed to handle similar situations.  I myself am a big Star Wars fan and I feel the pain of the Potter loyalists.  However, it actually wasn’t the story itself that generated an emotional response…it was the comments people left at the end of it all.

I hate to admit that too because it’s rare anything intelligent is ever written in the comments section of most things (except here of course).  It was there that we found the usual barrage of comments taking cheap shots at Harry Potter fans who love the books, characters and movies so much.  You know what I’m talking about:

“America is doomed”

“It’s just a movie”

“And people wonder what’s wrong with our country”

“Another sign of the Apocalypse”

This really ticks me off because my fellow Star Wars fanatics hear this crap too.  Yes, they wait in long lines for a movie.  Yes, they sometimes dress up like characters from the movie.  Yes, sometimes they’re at a convention playing card games that are mainly targeted at kids.  Yes, they can recite the whole dialogue of every film and even impersonate all the character voices.


We have people in this country interested and obsessed with things that literally kill and harm other people.  There are crazies in the world who think they’re the second coming of Christ.  Many folks know neighbors, colleagues and associates who enjoy doing and saying things to anger others and make the people around them miserable.  The point is there are much worse things people could be interested or even obsessed about. So, shut up and leave them alone!
I remember when Star Wars Episode I came out.  I couldn’t wait to see it.  Star Wars was a huge and meaningful part of my childhood that has been a part of me ever since, and I was thrilled to see it come back.  No, I didn’t camp out or anything, but I didn’t blame those who did.

At the time, I was working for a media company and we were all watching a news story about the excited fans.  As they showed video footage of the dressed-up, face-painted and lightsaber wielding fans outside the theater, a co-worker kept yelling, “Get a life!”

Believe it or not, many of these folks have a life.  Some of those people in line probably a more meaningful one than the co-worker yelling at them.  After all, where are you in life if a group of movie fans get you all riled up?

The most common phrase heard is that it’s, “just a movie”.  You know what?  That’s not entirely true.  Water for Elephants is just a movie.  It doesn’t rake in millions, inspire generations, give people of all ages a means to escape the stress of the real world, it doesn’t give us characters to love the rest of our lives, it doesn’t give us dozens of scenes to quote from, it’s not great enough to hold conventions and celebrations all over the world and so on.

You should also consider the fact that that was the CONDENSED version of what people love about movies like Harry Potter, Star Wars and Star Trek.

Movies are supposed to provide escape and some do it better than others. The fact is, every once in a great while we’ll get a movie series that does more than that.
When that happens, is it a surprise that in a world filled with war, violence, rough economic times, terrorism, natural disasters and other depressing things that people will indulge heavily in it all?

Not to me.

Potter fans, keep your wands, broomsticks and heads head high.  You have every right to enjoy something you love the way you want to and escape the more annoying things in life.
That includes the clueless people that criticize you.