Thursday, October 13, 2011

Come Fly With Me...

In the past couple of months years or so, I haven't been watching much television, mainly because there hasn't been anything worth watching. Reality shows bore the tar out of me. I mean, if I have to make a decision between watching Nancy Grace tip-toeing her way through "Dancing with the Stars", or reading a good book, the book will win every time. I have been paying a fortune to rent movies on Video on Demand, because ... well ... it's better than keeping up with the Kardashians. I have never seen a group of more intellectually challenged, one-dimensional people, as exist in that family. Why in Heaven's name would I want to *keep up* with them? How do these people even get on television, and moreover, who watches them?  So I was extremely happy to discover a whole raft of new television shows this year, of great quality, fabulous actors, and wonderful performances.  Each one of them is like watching threatre-quality productions.  So, here, in no particular order, is a list of television shows that I highly recommend:

1.  Boardwalk Empire with the absolutely fabulous Steve Buscemi. This is actually its second year, but I just discovered it.

2.  Harry's Law with Kathy Bates.  Yes, that Kathy Bates.  On television.  I would pay to watch that show.

3.  Revenge with the wonderfully wicked Madeleine Stowe. She's scheming, she conniving, she's fabulous.

4.  Body of Proof with Dana Delaney.  It's sort of CSI with high heels and great clothes ~~ and wonderful acting.

5.  Unforgettable with Poppy Montgomery.  This is based on the story of a woman who has total recall, and one of the advisors on the program is Marilu Henner, who has total recall.

6.  Terra Nova with Jason O'Mara, an extremely talented, Shakespearean-trained British actor.  The executive producter of Terra Nova is Steven Spielberg, and it is top-notch quality.

7.  Pam Am with Christina Ricci ~ yes, that Christina Ricci.  The show is about  a group of Pan Am stewardesses ~ yes, stewardesses ~ in the early 1960s.  It's so well-done, you can hear Sinatra singing, "Come fly with me..." in the background.  We get to go to London, Paris, Rome, New York, Berlin ...  Fasten your seat belts.

When I come home in the evening and plop myself into my big cozy chair, I don't want to turn on the television and watch some poor, unfortunate person in some cat and rat-infested home being evicted because he or she can't get rid of all the hoarded junk.  And I don't want to watch all the Z list ex-celebrities (Lindsay Lohan's father...?) throwing hissy fits on Dr. Drew's Celebrity Rehab.  And I certainly don't want to watch anyone else's children.  I want escape.  I want to be entertained.  I want to be transported to 1920s Atlantic City, or 1960s Rome, or even 85 million years BC.

Come Fly With Me...


Bruce Coltin said...

Can you take me to 1960s Rome with you?

Jo said...

Bruce, meet you at the Trevi Fountain...! :-)

Bruce Coltin said...

Will Marcello be there?

Jo said...

Which one? :-)

Sincerity said...

My mother loves Pan Am, my father loves Person of Interest with Jim Caviezel, and I love The Mentalist. Okay, okay, I might watch the shows my parents like once-in-a-while too. :)

But I'm with you in that I much prefer to read a book. I can only handle two hours of TV a week. And I'm very picky about what movies I spend a few hours watching. There aren't many decent stories in them anymore.

Life is so short and I want to be certain I'm not wasting what time I'm given.

Jo said...

Sincerely, oh yes, I forgotten about Person of Interest with Jim Caviezel, also one of my favourite actors. And The Mentalist, yes...!

Meryl Baer said...

I am a Harry's Law fan. The best invention is On Demand - we watch the shows after initial telecast and can zip through commercials. You get to watch your favorite shows and still have time to read your book!

mrsnesbitt said...

Jon loves documentaries - I love cookery programmes!

Glenn Littell said...

Jo, Love your observations. Regarding reality TV shows: A few years ago while on a book promoting tour Alan Alda said he had just been at the Emmie Awards. A "Reality" show won for something and 13 writers got up to accept...

Mia said...

Answer to the trivia question: The family in the first picture is watching the Facts of Life.

JeannetteLS said...

Get the tivos set or make sure you get Body of Proof "on demand" because it's opposite Unforgettable, which I find MOST annoying. Why don't they consider ME first, since I DO rule the universe? Last week I chose to watch Unforgettable because my cable co. didn't offer it on demand. I don't have the high priced package, so this still works for me. I'd pay for Harry's Law as well. It's so good to see shows that have, well, actual WRITERS who can write!

I almost lost my coffee at your reality show descriptions. As for yours and bruce's conversation, well, I think that I had best just not look at that, lest I speak to your spouses... spice? Never mind.

:) Fun entry.

JeannetteLS said...

I mean the entry was fun. My father just smacked me upside the head from Heaven. "FUN may not be used that way, as an ADJECTIVE!" Yeah, yeah, whatever Dad.

It was a FUN entry.

Jo said...

MerCyn, what a great idea! I'm going to check if I can get that. I do get both the eastern and western feeds, however. And I love Harry's Law. :-)

Denise, I love documentaries too, and the CBC has some great ones.

Glenn, what a great story...! I think probably the writers are the only ones who make money on those shows. :-)

Mia, I didn't notice that. Thank you! (That was one show I never watched. *heh*).

Jeanette, I noticed "Body of Proof" and "Unforgettable" were on at the same time too. Argh...! I get two feeds, however, so I can see them at different times. Yay!

Leslie: said...

I'm loving Body of Proof, Unforgettable, Pan Am (SO much fun and intrigue, too!), Harry's Law. I'll have to take a look at Revenge as I do like Madeline Stowe. But I do still enjoy DWTS...sorry! lol

Leslie: said...

Oh and I thought I heard that Person of Interest was being cancelled. Am I right?

Raevyn said...

"Reality TV" is not anybody's reality, I thing. Seriously, who wants to go maroon themselves on a remote island with a bunch of strangers to win a prize? That's not "reality" that's a freaking game show. I think writers have just lost their imagination and don't want to have to come up with scripts or sketches anymore, hence most of what's on these days, both on TV and at the movies is either "reality" or a remake of old stuff. I will set my DVR for 4 shows: Extreme Makeover Home Edition, NCIS (my not so secret crush is Mark Harmon), NCIS Los Angeles, and The Big Bang Theory (what can I say, I'm a geek at heart and I think geeks are funny). There are other things that I'll pay some attention to if they're on, but most of the time my tv is on for background noise and not actual WATCHING (except the aforementioned 4 shows).

Paula said...

We love Harry's Law, Pan Am, and the Mentalist. Unforgettable and Person of Interest are good, also, but we have dropped them from the taping schedule and kept The Mentalist. We are developing a lower and lower tolerance for shows that always include murder.

We never watch reality shows and have never seen the Kardashians people keep talking about. The offerings are so bad that we only have a few favorite shows at a time and always record them to watch on our own schedule. We have a nice library of OLD TV shows and movies that we like, and hey, there's always books and hobbies.

Sextant said...

We have watched almost no TV for years now. A few exceptions, I am stuck with Dancing With The Stars as it seems to be a condition of my continued marital bliss, which in all other aspects is quite good. But somehow when I groan during yet another pre-staged phony crises of tears and drama-trauma on DWTS, I get the look. Somehow in our pre-nuptial agreement signed back in 1977 watching DWTS was part of my husbandly duties, along with changing the cat liter and taking out the garbage. I prefer the latter. I have managed to slip out of the results show successfully. Why everyone must be voted off the island for a show to be successful is beyond me? Another question I ponder is what it the physics of time dilation that 12 minutes of dancing requires 5 hours of network prime time?

We did watch Harry's Law for a while but the editorial content got to be a bit much and her antics of dressing down everyone in the criminal justice system from God to Tommy Jefferson just started to strain our common sense. Kathy Bates is one hell of an actress though and can make up for some loose in the head writers.

Terranova is great, but I wonder about the production costs.

Just kidding about the prenuptial agreement. Both my wife and I married into poverty. The prenup was fairly simple, if anything happens to our blessed union, God forbid, the husband keeps 100% of the union's assets and the wife keeps 100% of the union's assets. Impossible you say? Well 100% of nothing is nothing. Quite easy to share and share alike. Fortunately we are deeply in love and have never had to divide up our wealth.

Jo said...

Leslie, isn't Pan Am a hoot? And Revenge is wonderful. I'm not sure about Person of Interest being cancelled, but I know the Playboy club was ~~ thank goodness. It was awful.

Raevyn, I know so many people who LOVE The Big Bang Theory. It's very strange. I guess people either love it or they don't... And yes, Mark Harmon is gorgeous. :-)

Paula, yes, murder gets a bit old after a while, doesn't it? Y-A-W-N. :-) I do love Pan Am, though, and Revenge. It always has a wonderful twist to it.

Sextent, well, so glad to her about the prenup...! *heh* One would hate to think that a TV show could break up a wonderful mariage. *heh* And yes, I was beginning to wonder about Harry dressing everyone down too. I suppose that is part of her hard-boiled character, but still... As far as reality shows like DTWS or Survivor, etc., I would rather sit out doora and watch the grass grow than watch any of those. To me, it would be far more exiting. :-)

Jo said...

I meant "doors". But you knew that. :-)

Paula said...

I probably would not watch Harry's Law if not for Kathy Bates. It is a little quirky. The "willing suspension of disbelief" in the matter of the shoes is not possible for me. Who ever heard of a person renting an office and not clearing out the stuff from the previous tenant?

Jo said...

Paula, yes! I love Kathy Bates. She doesn't even have to speak, she just has to do that thing she does with her face ~~ wonderful expressions. But the show is a little quirky. However, I worked for law firms for 20 years, and there are some quirky ones out there. :-)

Cloudia said...

nothing wrong with entertainment!

Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Jo said...

Cloudia, yes, especially this year when there is so much good entertainment. :-)

kenju said...

I'm watching #'s 1, 3 and 7 and loving every minute.

Jo said...

Judy, oh yes, those are my three favourites too. Isn't Revenge wonderful...??? Oohhh, I wonder whose will be next...!? :-)

NightlySun said...


Jo said...

Tame Lion, thank you. And I LOVED your stay of execution joke...! *heh*

Rob-bear said...

Sorry, Jo, but none of the shows you described interests me in the least.
I think I'll stick with The National, The Weather Network, blogs, and books (with a smattering of Facebook).
And checking up on the Occupy Movement.

Russell said...

Hope you and Bruce have a good time in Rome.

I confess. I have no idea who the Kardashians are. Are they Russian jugglers? Seriously, I have no idea who or what they are.

That is probably because I have not had cable or satellite TV for over a year.

I did like the TV in the first picture. And I loved the rug.

So tell me. Exactly how long have people been watching COLOR TV??

Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

Same here. Television fare. Yuck... To put it mildly.

Only one of you list, we've tried, is "Terra Nova." But have been sampling some others, not on your list. Sadly, not many have I wanted to keep watching.

But we do have our list of favs, and that's enough. And books fill in, very nicely. :-)

Oh and soon (Oct. 23) comes a kind of a fairy tale I've been awaiting... "Once Upon A Time." Set in present, with lovely flashbacks. :-) I have high hopes. With luck, they won't be dashed. :-)

Gentle hugs,
"O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away."

- Robert Frost, October

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I watch so little TV that I haven't even heard of some of these shows before. Steve Buscemi is an excellent actor, I LOVE Kathy Bates and have watched her show. Unforgettable intrigues me because I have total recall, but didn't realize it was so rare. I've never heard of Terra Nova, but with Jason O'Mara (and Steven Spielberg producing,) it must be great. I do not watch reality TV, ever. It is not my reality.

Jo said...

Rob-bear, oh you must watch the CBC Doc Zone...! I love that show. :-)

Russell, you make me laugh right out loud...! I can just see you sitting in your little dark corner with your black and white TV with the rabbit ears, watching Ed Sullivan. :-)

Auntie, I love the poem. LOVE Robert Frost. And yes, I am looking forward to "Once Upon a Time" too. It looks like great fun, doesn't it?

Susan, I am still gobsmacked that you have total recall. I have never known anyone who has that, and I think it's just incredible and amazing. And yes, I love Kathy Bates. She could read the phone book, and I would sit and watch. :-)