Tuesday, December 11, 2012

#614: Up all night

A year ago or so I did a piece on TV-watching where I basically admitted 2 only looking at the box on Mon nites -- when I was addicted 2 the entire evening's worth of televised events, specifically WWE's MONDAY NIGHT RAW & the crazy English car guys of BBC America's TOP GEAR ... along with an occasional glance at CNN, usually while waking up & trying 2 force down a couple cups of coffee.
Things have changed a bit since then. I'm now watching about 2wice as much TV as I used 2 -- usually during my "weekends" -- & I'm finding most of it 2 B pretty great.
I broke away from my WWE addiction awhile back & am finding it suprisingly easy NOT 2 return -- after surrendering 1/2 of my Mon nites 4 most of 4 years 2 the work of John Cena, Randy Orton, CM Punk, etc. But I DO miss TOP GEAR....
Lately tho, it's mostly the dramas that have roped me in. Police-procedural dramas, especially. I've long been addicted 2 NCIS, & now refuse 2 miss it on Tues nites. I've never seen a bad episode, & most of them grab me with just the opening trailer. I think it's the best continuing drama currently on TV.
It took a few episodes B4 I grew 2 like NCIS: LA -- at 1st I just thot it was a cheap new-location version of the original -- but I've since been sucked-in by its occasional moments of quirkiness & its cloak&dagger CIA/FBI/Pentagon-intrigue back-story. & Linda Hunt, who plays station director Hetty, has always been great.
I've also recently been sucked in by RIZZOLI & ISLES and THE MENTALIST -- both shows I was kinda cool 2 4 awhile. A rerun of THE MENTALIST in which hero Patrick Jayne helps a co-worker (an aging coroner) die with dignity had me crying like a baby at the end, & I've seldom missed an episode since.
Lotsa great acting here, especially Tim Kang as the stone-faced Oriental investigator on the CBI team. & is Patrick Jayne ALWAYS RIGHT? That would B hell 2 live with. Does he REALIZE how annoying he is? I'd like 2 see 1 episode where he's wrong -- just 4 a change of pace....
Not sure why I resisted RIZZOLI & ISLES. It's gotta great cast, & Angie Harmon is marvelous as the put-upon Detective Rizzoli. Still getting 2 know most of these characters -- & I should probly check-out the Tess Gerritsen novels the series is based on. She's got a great reputation.
Have caught a few other episodes of some other series' I originally blew-off: LAW & ORDER: SVU is always compelling, as is the original. Have also caught a few CSI's -- always solid. Was hooked on CSI: MIAMI for awhile, a couple of years back. CRIMINAL MINDS is also a twisted high-quality whodunnit with very compelling crime stories -- have always liked Mandy Patinkin's acting.
Was also shocked 2 catch an episode of LEVERAGE a week or 2 ago that featured a highly subversive critique of a thinly-disguised WalMart-like department-store chain. Small-town residents approached Timothy Hutton's team & whined about how the new megastore would destroy their town's way of life -- & the team went in & shut down the new store within 48 hours, shaking up the new store's management team on a variety of fronts, everything from environmental scares 2 rumors of unionizing & strikes, 2 accidental massive-sale giveaways.
2 see this kinda story presented on commercial TV -- especially during the holiday gift-buying season -- struck me as Xtremely subversive, a very pointed critique of modern capitalist society. Hope you had a chance 2 catch it, Bcos I wonder 4 some reason if it'll ever B re-run. Also probly no suprise that WalMart didn't run commercials during the show....
Topping off my evening's TV watching is the always-reliable David Letterman (some pretty good new music acts on that show, occasionally -- also sometimes some stuff that leaves me wondering how it ever got on the air) ... & my favorite late-nite loony, Craig Ferguson, whose show makes me laugh like an idiot.
I don't love everything, I still think there's a ton of garbage out there. I tried 2 like VEGAS, but it's just 2 slow-moving & sludgy, despite the good actors. I WANT 2 like Dennis Quaid, but coming after the high-tech NCIS & NCIS: LA, his show probly can't help coming-in 3rd-best. I tried 2 like 2 BROKE GIRLS, but it just ain't funny. & I'd like 2 C MIKE AND MOLLY again, but somehow I keep missing it.
I occasionally still catch episodes of AMERICAN PICKERS, PAWN STARS, HARDCORE PAWN, DUCK DYNASTY (hilarious!), STORAGE WARS & others -- but I missed the Ultimate Episode of the PICKERS, where they met the guy with the 20,000 record albums in his garage....
My most recent round of TV addiction started this past summer with LONGMIRE -- great acting, great writing, & at least 1 totally unXpected fall-out-of-bed shocking suprise in every episode! They just got me hooked & reeled-in every week when the series STOPPED! & now I just hope A&E brings it back....
Tho the puzzles on these cop&crime shows R usually of intrest -- & R sometimes really compelling -- the shows that stand out 4 me R the 1's with moments of humor, or quiet moments where some of these characters can let down their guard & act like themselves. It's moments like that which convince me that these characters could almost B Real People.
& dramas that don't include moments like that just don't measure up.

1 comment:

Perplexio said...

I gave up watching wrestling shortly after Bret Hart retired. I went through the motions for a little while after that but I felt watching to be more a chore than a source of enjoyment so I threw in the towel once and for all.

Much like you, I've found NOT going back to it to be easy. Most of the wrestlers I grew up with are either dead (Curt Hennig/Mr. Perfect, Rick Rude, Earthquake, Yokozuna, Chris Benoit, Brian Pillman, Adrian Adonis, Andre the Giant, Randy Savage, Davey Boy Smith, Brian Adams/Crush, Hawk from the Road Warriors/Legion Of Doom, and Owen Hart) or retired/semi-retired (Bret Hart, Ricky Steamboat, Tito Santana, Scott Hall/Razor Ramon, Kevin Nash/Diesel, the Dynamite Kid, Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Snuka, etc.) So I don't see much point in it.