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TV…

An abysmal well from which I could draw bucket upon bucket of writing sustenance to quench the thirst of an army facing a season of hellish desert combat is the subject of television. The reason I have not done this (at least I think I haven’t) since starting this little blog is partly because back then, I used to actually watch a lot of television. So much in fact, the most important advent in technology was the larger capacity DVR provided by my cable carrier at the time. This is in the time of the iPhone 4 coming out- and I was concerned with having more space in my Tivo… That should tell you something. Suffice to say- I didn’t want to expose to the world how much TV I actually did watch. Because though I enjoy it to no end, the fact I can always see more than one side to a situation told me, that’s pretty damn couch potato to watch that much TV, or it would at least appear to be to the reader I thought, so I refrained. Am I saying that I regard critics of other mediums as their negative stereotypes might suggest? The food critic being a fat ass that eats too much? The tech critic or reviewer a recluse socially inept nerd that got along better with his electronics than he did his peers in his youth? Yes, I am. And mainstream media agrees I think. I’ve not seen the depiction of a skinny food critic or a socially adept tech writer unless it’s a woman to this day. And remember- I watch some TV.

What’s different now? I’ve long since cut my cable and pocket that monthly sum, a move I consider both convenient and frugal, as well as defiant to the ridiculous charges we, well all of you pay for simply turning on the television to stay in sync with your friends and co-workers, or to indulge in some entertainment, or both. If someone did a study I’m willing to bet they may find that a larger percent of the population puts more money into having cable than they actually put in their savings accounts each month. A premium package costs anywhere between $80 (with the less desirable and bad weather susceptible satellite service) to upwards of $200 a month with a mega media conglomerate like Time Warner who puts nothing but frustration into their brand of customer service (if you judge by their service).

In any case I’m not here to go over the injustices of American media- there are plenty people writing about that and when they end up disappearing I won’t be on that bus to no where. I’m here to snap off some quick reviews of some shows I still do watch. Because I do still watch shows of course. How? Well I download everything I want to watch. Yes I subscribe to both Hulu and Netflix periodically. I don’t maintain a consistent subscription because I’m proud to say- I’m not riveted to the television anymore. It’s not winter either, so I’m not home directly after work hiding from the elements. Between subscription months though I download shows from a popular torrent sharing site I won’t mention here. If you want to know more you can google the very word “torrent” or search for a show’s name with the word “download” and it won’t take you long to find the same resources I use. I will say the site I use is Kick Ass in how it does it’s thing and I have no need of another. I use the app Vuze to manage downloads as well as convert and stream any media from my laptop or desktop to any device that’s networked. Yes- think about that. It’s incredibly convenient. You move a file around by dragging and dropping it in the right section of Vuze and your device, Playstation, XBox, NDVD, whatever it is that’s attached to both your router and your TV can see Vuze and it’s content- and show it to you.

Now I may not be watching True Blood with you on Sunday night, but I’ll be watching Monday night that’s for sure. And the other part of this being my current viewing habit is because it affords me the control I need when setting entertainment like TV at it’s appropriate priority level in life. Have you seen how many shows are on, on a Sunday night? Right now, if you wanted to stay current for Monday morning water cooler chit-chat let’s see…

You’d be watching in no particular order;
True Blood
Masters of Sex
The Last Ship
The Strain
Falling Skies
The Leftovers
and
Ray Donovan.

All very good shows in their own right. They may not all be your cup of tea, but if you even watch half that’s 3 hours of your evening… You’re done. Seven hours of viewing time if you like it all… all of which start after 8PM… So if you do watch it all- you’re going to bed at 3AM- IF they let you, because they don’t all start at 8 or 9. Some are on at 10, so your second choice can only be seen at 11, third at 12, etc. It’s ridiculous. Why? Because if you’re like most people, don’t you have to go to work Monday morning? and sure- sure you say that’s seven shows, I can watch one a day till it all comes back around again- but no. Because that’s just on one day. Monday’s got a couple shows you like, Tuesday too, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and Saturday too. There’s too much TV on unless you bank it in a DVR for a binge watch, if you have a DVR that big, or save up to wastefully buy the DVD set when and IF it comes out, or subscribe to one of the services mentioned earlier- or be the sucker at the table who missed it. Network shows for example, most likely will not be put out on DVD. They may be repeated nowadays, but only during the season or on rerun when they’re off season. Try scheduling that. They might be recast on Hulu… but maybe not?

And by the likes of shows like Lost, The Black List, Elementary and The Mentalist, we can’t discount network for it’s quality. They’re still competitive for sure, and they’re worth tuning in for.

Lastly, not that I’m trying to get anyone else to cut their cable and put that money in a savings account for a well deserved vacation or anything, that decision is on you… But even I forget one of the bes things about going of grid like this so to speak… It’s the fact that I don’t watch commercials people. The shows I download are com-plete-ly commercial-less. Black screen to next scene. So whoever is providing these for their fellow share-ers out there is kind enough to omit all commercialism from them. An hour show is in the 45 minute viewing time zone. Not only do I enjoy not having my brain trained to have ADHD or whatever it is every 5 minutes, but I’m saving time in whatever I choose to see anyway. Sure- premium cable shows don’t have commercials, you’re right. But you paid for that, and I’m watching it for free. Basic cable does have commercial interruption, and I don’t pay to miss those either.

OK! So I don’t watch as much TV any more and I keep the habit inconvenient enough to be managed to an acceptable level, and convenient enough to be streamlined and at my fingertips when I call on it, not the other way around. I’m not forcing myself to watch a show because the DVR will erase it if I don’t, I’m not choosing to watch a show based on what the DVR will allow me to because it’s busy recording three others, or missing a show because it conflicts with other recording times or they’re just not streaming it via any service at all. It’s all under my control now and if I get to it when I get to it.

Allllll that being said… want to know what I have bookmarked for download?

Get ready. Because the last person who asked me what shows I like to watch almost shot themselves as the list went on and on. But again, keep in mind, I’m not watching all this every day. Some is off season, some is on season but I’m letting it pile up, and some, very little in fact, I choose to watch before bed after a long day at work, the gym and school. And come to think of it, looking at the list now… some of it is even cancelled, or they are shows I haven’t even downloaded to watch yet- but I’ll indicate each as I go down the list, and give a quick little recommendation if not a review, which is why we’re here.

Rectify – Excellent thought provoking drama
Dominion – Slightly cliché but compelling theologically based action drama.
Gang Related – I’m currently letting this one pile up for a binge viewing (DLPU)
Satisfaction (US) – Somehow this “real people” drama came to my attention- DLPU
Graceland – Highly recommend this undercover police drama. Good actors and decent writing.
Extant – Giving this a try. Sci-Fi, so I have to… so far not liking the attempt at suspenseful endings.
Suits – Excellent legal drama with an absolutely likable and attractive cast- all of them.
The Bridge (US) – Excellent quirky police detective drama.
Covert Affairs – I was with this for the first season, and have been letting it pile up since – lost interest.
Perception – Big fan of the main character actor, but it’s piling up- will definitely catch up one day.
Under the Dome – A Stephen King story, so I have to see where this goes. I think he’s a bit overrated.
Longmire – Pretty good modern day western police drama.
True Blood – Last season of this silly show. It’s fun.
Masters of Sex – The entire show is piling up.
The Last Ship – I’m a military show buff, so I must see this. So far not bad.
Halt & Catch Fire – Totally missed this show and binge viewed it in one night. Great nerd drama.
The Strain – This is going places I didn’t expect. Sci-Fi sort of fantasy horror kind of thing. Intrigued.
Falling Skies – Big fan of Noah Wiley- Ended up liking the show through my doubts.
Ray Donovan – The quintessential tough guy takes on the world drama. Love it.
The Leftovers – This seems indulgent to the spectating of the main character- but interesting so far.
Hell on Wheels – I grew to really like this old western drama about the building of the trans continental railroad.
Power (2014) – Co-workers asked me to watch this- I’m feeling it’s a low brow partner to Scandal
The Killing – I’m a sucker for the darkness perfected in this murder mystery detective drama.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – I can’t keep up with a nightly show like this but it’s fun when I do.
Real Time With Bill Maher – Feed the high brow- no pun intended.
The Daily Show – Feed it some more, but again, it’s Daily, so I can’t keep up. Brilliant though.
The Soup – Feed the low brow. Hilarious and scary at times.
UFC Fight Night – When I can keep up with the evolution of pugilism I do.
24 – I mean to see this entire series, but it seems neurotic to me in it’s attempt at action.
Hemlock Grove – When I can be tolerant of the extremely strange, I’ll get through this horror online series
The Ultimate Fighter – Pugilism 2.0
The Art of… – just a very cool “how do they do it” kind of show.
Californication – This show is finished actually, last two seasons weren’t 100%, but overall a lot of fun.
Penny Dreadful This show is well done horror. Love it.
Nurse Jackie Love this character drama. One of the few at the top of my must see now list.
Orphan Black – Season two awaits the opportunity for viewing. Interesting, but a little cliché.

I’ve got to take a break right now and get back to the rest later… This is my second seating trying to get this post done… It’s easier to download and watch a show here and there it seems, than to actually chronicle them all. In total there are 128 shows on this list. There are some good ones down there I’ll add descriptions or opinions to next time. I’m considering taking this a little more seriously too and maybe starting a page on TV reviews, but we shall see.

Crisis
The Pete Holmes Show
Fargo
Game of Thrones
Vice
The 100
Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey
Turn
Orange is the New Black
Last Call with Carson Daly
Tosh.0
The Writers’ Room
Silicon Valley
Comedy Underground with Dave Attell
Hannibal
Revolution (2012)
The Mentalist
Saturday Night Live
Grimm
Elementary
Reign
Suburgatory
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Person of Interest
Chicago Fire
The Blacklist
Hawaii Five-0 (2010)
Blue Bloods
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Bates Motel
The Tomorrow People (US)
Resurrection (2014)
Vikings
The Following
Community
Scandal
Being Human (US)
House of Lies
Shameless (US)
Bitten
The Walking Dead
Talking Dead
Helix
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Mr. Selfridge
Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory
Wahlburgers
Episodes
Black Sails
Banshee
The Bachelor
True Detective
House of Cards (2012)
The After
White Collar
American Horror Story
Dracula (2013)
Sleepy Hollow
Sherlock
Hostages
Strike Back
Real Husbands of Hollywood
Homeland
South Park
Sons of Anarchy
Boardwalk Empire
The League
Eastbound & Down
Hello Ladies
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Low Winter Sun
Talking Bad
Breaking Bad
Dexter
Satisfaction (CA)
Siberia
The Newsroom (2012)
Do No Harm
Joe Rogan Questions Everything
The Glades
Magic City
Luther
Doctor Who (2005)
Southland
Monday Mornings
Last Resort
Hunted
Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew
Damages
Hit & Miss
One Man Army
Comedy Central Presents

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