Saturday, May 20, 2006

"Normal" TV

Subject: TV
Now that I'm back, I have an open evening to watch whatever I want. But I'm still not quite ready to watch any of my anime backlog yet; something that probably will evaporate by the time the night is over. I'm behind on "The Sopranos", so I watched one of those. I think I'll save my comments about that until we get to the end, which is coming up really soon.

When I was back in Massachusettes, I watched a few shows I wouldn't have otherwise seen, so I thought I'd make a few quick blurbs about them:

"Bones" -- sort of a "CSI" wannabe on Fox, about a woman who specializes in reconstructing a person's identity based on their skeletal remains. What a poorly written pile of crap! Bleh. And the political BS that seeps into it, the shoddy strawmen of the actual arguments and issues; it was so hilariously typical for Fox that I was pretty much dumbstruck by it all. Literally. Struck dumb. *sigh*

Another wannabe is "Jag", about Navy investigators solving crazy crimes and trying to prevent terrorists from wreaking havoc, but finding that the system is just set against them because of some sort of political correctness run amok. Not on Fox but CBS, and still just as jingoistic. *sigh*

And speaking of "CSI", I don't remember which ones I watched (there's like 3 versions or something), but boy-howdy, if you haven't been following it enough to keep an interest in the characters, the whole execution of the thing is really shoddy. The production values are pretty good, but the writing and performances were pablum. *sigh*

That was about it for the networks. I watched a lot of my mom's favorite home remodelling shows on HGTV, DiY, and the like, and they're all a blur. I also watched quite a bit of the various versions of the History Channel and saw enough Civil War reinactments and "DaVinci Code Debunked!" programs to last me the whole summer.

Out of the whole soup of cable-surfing, there were three intertesting programs I thought I'd mention in closing:

"The Dog Whisperer" on the National Geographic network -- neat, it's about a guy in LA who shows owners how to manage their dogs, especially if they're troublesome. He's able to take really difficult personalities and bring about some common sense about how to be the "pack leader" and stop transmitting your own anxieties on the pets. A lot I never realized. Makes me a little more comfortable with the idea of possibly owning a dog of my own someday.

"It Takes A Theif" on Discovery -- a couple of reformed theives recruit hapless homeowners to allow them to "test their security", essentially by setting up a bunch of hidden cameras and then breaking into their house and stealing their stuff. Of course, it's followed by them giving the stuff back and hooking them up with a brand new spiffy security setup. But it's crazy -- they totally trash the places just like they would if they were on a real caper. It's a little bit over-sensationalized in that the odds are the "victims" probably wouldn't have been robbed otherwise, but it's still fascinating. And unfortunately a little paranoia-inducing.

Finally, "Cash Cab", also on Discovery -- seems kind of silly: a game show that takes place in a New York City taxi cab, where the driver surprises their fares when they sit in the cab, and has them answer silly trivia questions to run up the meter in their favor while they ride to their destination. It's such a simple formula, and it seems so novel, that I got hooked. It's not my usual "fare" (*cough*), but it was pleasantly entertaining and distracting during the past couple of weeks.

That's about it for now. I still haven't decided what to watch yet, but I'll probably be going to bed early, so it won't be much. The MP3 player was playing a lot of the "MADLAX" OST once I got closer to home, so I was tempted to go there. I don't think I'm quite ready for that kind of commitment yet, though. Maybe just this "Read Or Die" disc that showed up while I was gone. Or some of the ".hack" backlog... Hmmm...

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