I hate to admit it but I don’t read or write 24 hours a day. Sometimes I need to just put my feet up, and veg out. To my hubby that means sitting in front of the television. Me, not so much. Where hubby was raised in a family whose life revolved around the television (a color television set with cable), I was raised in a household with a black and white set with a set of bunny-ears that could pull in only two channels, occasionally three though the third was usually in French. (My parents didn’t get a color set until after I was married.) What I’m getting at is, hubby tends to plonk himself down in front of the television and watch whatever is on, and if he doesn’t like it, he channel surfs. Me? I’m more likely to not have the television on, but have a book in hand. Or these days, my iPad in hand. But even then, I can only read so much before my brain shuts down and I turn to the television.
What we’ve both noticed lately is that other than a few gems like Big Bang Theory and Castle, we’re both finding the selection of shows on regular television these days to be…poor. The shows that we are watching tend to be on HBO or a specialty channel. Shows like Game of Thrones or The Newsroom. Of course those shows tend to have shorter runs and have longer hiatuses. In the meantime, we’ve been scrambling to find something to watch that isn’t totally mindnumbing.
What we’ve discovered is shows that we missed the first time around. Or we’re coming in part way through and are now glomming up the first few seasons that we missed.
Shows like White Collar. We love this show — the writing is crisp, there are layers to the characters, and character growth. It’s sort of a modern day play on the Catch Me If You Can theme. Neal is a white-collar thief extraordinaire — expert forger, cat burgler, you name it. He got caught by FBI agent Peter Burke (twice) and got sent to jail for four years. But Peter realizes he can use Neal’s expertise in solving some of his open cases, so Neal is set to work as an FBI confidential informant. Neal is charming and brilliant and when he robs people they come away smiling. Until they realize they’ve been robbed. Sometimes with the help of Neal’s friend Mozzy. LOVE LOVE LOVE Matt Bomer’s character Neal, but I think my favorite character is Mozzy (I loved the episode where they explain how Mozzy got that nickname.)
Another show we’ve started to watch is Grimm — which reminds me an awful lot of my all-time favorite author Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega worlds. Grimm is based upon the Brothers Grimm fairytales, where monsters and fae live amongst us. The main character Nick Burkhardt is descended from the Brothers (I think that’s how it works) and inherits the ability to see behind the glamor that werewolves and fairies and nasty creatures (and nice ones) hide behind. I especially love Nick’s friend Monroe, a werewolf who reminds me an awful lot of Adam Baldwin’s character on Firefly. No, Monroe’s nicer, for a werewolf who can turn vicious anytime, but he’s got that quirkiness that I love. Same as Mozzy in White Collar. What’s good about Grimm is that it’s on regular TV and doesn’t require a subscription to a special channel the way White Collar does. So we can PVR it instead of having to buy or borrow a DVD.
We’ve caught up with both shows so we started watching Chuck the other day. We’re only five episodes in, but it’s growing on us. The main character Chuck (played by Zachary Levi) works for the Nerd Herd (think Best Buy’s Geek Squad). In the opening episode, Chuck is sent a file by a friend (ironically also played by Matt Bomer) who is a CIA rogue operative (at least that’s what they’re claiming). He opens the file and is bombarded with a series of pictures that imprints on his brain. Trouble is those pictures contain top secrets about terrorists, so now the CIA is using him to help catch the bad guys. Oh and while we’re talking about Adam Baldwin from Firefly, Adam’s actually in this one, playing an NSA operative who is one of Chuck’s handlers, and he’s not happy about it.
But since we watch a couple episodes an evening, we know we’ll run out of episodes of it to watch soon too. So we’re asking our friends for their recommendations. I found White Collar and Chuck through Anara Bella. My sister is hooked on Once Upon a Time, which is similar to Grimm from what I gather. So we’re going to look into it.
I have several friends who have told me that these days they don’t watch a show until the entire season is done then watch them all at once. It’s sort of like what happens when readers decide not to read a series until the author says the series is done. A publisher goes on book sales to determine how many more books in a series to buy. So if an author plans a series to arc over six books but no one buys them, waiting for the series to be complete, the publisher might cancel the series at book 2 or book 3. It make me worry about shows that should make it, that should continue but may not because people are watching television differently these days. It makes me wonder if the networks are scrambling to find a new way to track how people are watching before they decide to cancel a show due to bad ratings. I sure hope so.
Have your television watching habits changed? Got any shows you’ve recently discovered that you missed the first time around? Any to recommend?
(Oh, and I am on a strict deadline for a new secret project, which is why the evening television watching has become a ritual lately. But it means that I won’t be around much on social media — FB or Twitter – during the day. I need to concentrate on finishing these books. So the blog may be quiet too. In case you’re wondering where I’ve gone…)