Well, Happy New Year and here is to a great 2013. I know its been a while since my last post but we have been busy moving house, moving location, in fact.. moving interstate... but, enough about that...
With my partners current fascination with all things Downton Abbey..if you could see our joint Facebook and Twitter
account you would see a theme or two appearing. Seems a lot of people are following DA, even the American Presidents wife Michelle Obama. Apparently, Michael Moore has even tweeted about watching DA, yet the show doesn't do much for me. For someone whos family
had staff, don't think of Upstairs Downstairs though, it's surprising that my better half wants to watch this series, you would think she'd have enough tales of woe without it. Maybe it's the costumes, location, characters or aspirations? I don't know but
it has become a talking point amongst many. My partner seems to know the ups and downs of the show, the actors and who else is watching. What does this tell you about her? By the way, she's loving Revenge
as well. Let's talk about themes...
Does what television you watch tell you a lot about yourself? Well, from one who has viewed a lot of what free-to-air television
has provided over the years, I should know a lot about myself..right?! Well, I can say I have been entertained, informed, disgusted, saddened and even misguided by the idiot box at times. I love documentaries about war and crime, also panel discussions on
politics, philosophy and lots of stuff about current affairs. I am somewhat eclectic in my tastes or perhaps just a confused individual in that I usually prefer British comedy but American action and Australian drama. I don't like reality television, I think
its just voyeurism for the lowest common denominator and have, for the most part, tried to avoid shows like Big Brother etc... However, recently I watched the whole series of Big Brother 2012. It certainly is addictive
once you get dragged in. Really..What was that with Michael and Estelle??? ARGH!!! I'm disgusted with myself for mentioning let alone watching it.. quite frankly!!
some of the programs that have stayed in my mind over the years have been:
Dexter – I am a big
fan of this tv series but i havent read the book that started it. Ah, the dark side! The total antithesis of hero and yet we want him to live? What better expert in blood spatter for the police than a vigilante serial killer? After watching Season 4 &
5 on DVD, I read a great book on this series called “The Psychology Of Dexter” by Bella DePaulo. I am now looking forward to Season 6 and beyond..No
On a side note: Why is there a difference in release times for shows in America and Australia?? Why do we have to wait so long for these shows to
be released here?? Heres a question for the Networks: Isn't this delay just promoting piracy?? Given that the production companies and networks are now releasing every television series ever made on DVD and they cost.. it's probably not surprising that many
are preferring to download these shows rather than waiting for their release elsewhere or the dvd to come out!
Gothic- Recently finished watching the box set of this short run mid-nineties series.. it's a cult classic - good versus evil with a supernatural edge. Somehow the evil seems to prevail in this one. Someone's at the door.... just kidding! Got to love the
town of Trinity and Sheriff Buck (that's Buck.. with a B).
Supernatural – There was a time when I was into
this series.. all about two brothers fighting demons and sometimes each other. This followed on from..
the Vampire Slayer – I usually don't admit to previously watching this series but here i'll put my hand up! Who wouldn't like Sarah Michelle Gellar kickin arse with a few snappy lines? Apart from vampires of course...
Charmed – Hmm.. witchcraft? What can I say?! There was a time when I liked the three lead actresses. This series lost it a little after
Shannon Doherty left.
So far, I see an interest in the dark side of humanity, the so-called good versus evil even if it comes with supernatural overtones
and adult themes. Surely for an Atheist like me this shouldn't be?? Staying with the themes of crime and justice or ultimately good versus evil...
Underbelly - The essence of cool and a great exploration of Australias criminal past. I have read much and seen many documentaries on the characters
of the first three series. I missed 'Razor' totally but am looking forward to sometime watching it on dvd, did catch 'Badness' and there's a new one being promoted now called 'Squizzy'.
Silent Witness – A sort of British version of CSI with a little more grit and a bit less glam but nevertheless compelling viewing for those into forensic investigation.
CSI – The American forensic police drama set in Las Vegas. Now everyone thinks that's how crime investigation is done. I
just wish they'd kept Grissom... The thing is I am not a big fan of the spinoffs such as CSI: Miami or CSI: New York. They have their moments but theres nothing like the original.
Law and Order: SVU – While I liked the other Law & Order series and spinoffs, I especially liked the characters dynamics and storylines in this one. Seeing Ice-T (the old gangsta who I
once saw performing live) as a cop was a surprising strength.
Death in Paradise – Recent
British show about a Detective Inspector on a tropical island.
Magnum PI– This is now old skool but with
Tom Selleck as an American private detective on a tropical island. Go figure.. i like detective stories and tropical islands?!
Touch of Frost – The English detective who's married to the job. David Jason is sooo good in this. See more of him in Open All Hours with Ronnie Barker.
I guess some of these shows form part of the reason I got into criminology?
For some Australian documentaries and panel
discussions I like:
Q&A– See my previous blog post titled “the show must go on”.
Insight – A lot of interesting topics explored.
Four Corners – See my blog post titled “An end to live exports”.. just an example of their work.
To break up the serious stories, give me some comic relief...
News Week– Well, it was comedy but the news gets satirised. Did lose a lot when it went across to the commercial Channel Ten. I even saw them live once at Southbank Piazza in Brisbane, they swore a lot more there.
The Chasers War on Everything – These lads look like ex-Uni grads looking for their
next gig but they really took controversy head on and made me laugh.
Show – An American talk show which was good to watch for the shock value and laughing at the stupidity of others. I was always left wondering if the people who got on his show were paid actors? This was a good comic relief for me when I was at University,
it fitted with my timetable as it was usually on at lunchtime.
Lets keep with the comedy theme for now. Growing up, I watched a lot of television and a lot
of British comedy such as the following.
Porridge – Ronnie Barker as an experienced jailbird,
what a classic.
Open All Hours – Ronnie Barker again as a stuttering shopkeeper and David Jason who later
went on to 'A touch of frost'.
Fawlty Towers – John Cleese at his comic best. A bit of British slapstick
In the eighties and nineties there was.. Who else remembers these American classics?:
BJ and the Bear – A good trucker who fights the bad guys and always gets the girl.
The A-Team – A bunch of military mercenary misfits who fight the real bad guys.
Rider – The car (KITT) is central but please don't Hassle the Hoff. Another hero with a car who battles wrongdoing and comes out on top. I have the best of Knight Rider on dvd.
21 Jump Street – Undercover cops.. in school? Not Kool! actually it was. An early Johnny Depp...
Macgyver – Such creative solutions.. amazing what Richard Dean Anderson could do with a piece of gum and a paper clip.
MASH – a comedy about the Korean War and Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals.. imagine?
To bring comedy more into the present and keep American..
The best comedy about nothing that I have ever seen. It's those little things that friends would sit around and talk about at a coffee shop. The characters worked well together and they finished the series on a high note. Of course, the audience wanted more
but.. we still have reruns to keep us going.
Big Bang Theory – A bunch of extremely
intelligent nerds, the girl next door and their adventures, what could be more fun than that?
– An adult cartoon about kids in a small town, filled with craziness but seemed to be very up-to-date social commentary.
Simpsons – In the same vein as South Park but a very disfunctional family. What almost ruined my interest in The Simpsons was that a couple of my work colleagues at the time kept quoting lines from the show over and over again.
Last but definitely not least, i'm liking the recent Australian drama/comedy..
Husbands - These guys are cool but not in a traditional sense. Of course, it's about manhood and the modern day.
So you see, when watching the tube i
like action and comedy but not romance or so-called reality tv. Sometimes the lines are blurred and exceptions are made but generally the ones i've talked about are on my personal favourites list. A good indicator of a show being on the favourites list is
that you could watch it again and still be interested and/or entertained by it. I like good v evil even with supernatural themes but as you will see in my next blog post, the big fantasy movie series like Twilight, Harry Potter or Lord of the
Rings does nothing for me.
Stay tuned for my look at the silver screen in 'Movies that moved me'...followed by my thoughts on Americas 'Gun culture'..