Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Marathons on Discs

Turns out I prefer watching my favorite Television shows on DVD with back-to-back episodes (one season after another) rather than waiting a week for the next episode. This year (which is almost up!) I did exactly that. I was trying to recap some of the shows I caught on DVD this year and was quite surprised by how many of them turned out to be fairly engaging. Here's the list (with my ratings):

Awesome: John Adams, Rome (Seasons 1 & 2) and Carnivale (Seasons 1 & 2).
I am not sure whether to applaud HBO for the great series or to be mad at them for cutting short  Rome and Carnivale. The second season of Rome was rushed to cover a greater timeline while Carnivale didnt really offer much closure (or got around to showcase its dense mythology) - neither of which I am happy about.

Pretty Good: Entourage (Seasons 1 - 6), Six Feet Under (Season 1), Top Chef (Season 5), Coupling (Seasons 1 - 4), Mad Men (Seasons 1 - 2)
Entourage until season 4 was pretty good but I am not going back for more considering how poor seasons 5 and 6 turned out to be (Ari Gold carried me through them!). Six Feet Under had a very satisfying first season and considering I know "it has a proper ending" I must have been tempted to stay through for more - somehow I never really cared for any of the characters and didnt make it beyond the first season. And Top Chef probably became my next favorite "reality competition" show after Survivor (I am still surprised at why they continue to have Hells Kitchen, Chef Academy and other such nonsense that sell characters and drama in the name of cooking). Coupling (the UK version, obviously!) was surprisingly not a F.R.I.E.N.D.S remake as I was led to believe and turned out to be funny most of the time. Mad Men surprisingly fell short of my expectations towards the second season and its great cast and spot-on sets/costumes or the invoking nostalgia parts weren't enough for me to go in for the third.

Average: Survivor (All Stars, Pearl Islands), Chuck (Season 1)
Two blah seasons of Survivor - one with the infamous Johnny Fairplay and a blah winner; the other whose jury members must have been relieved after the current Samoa's jury took over their "most-bitter-survivor-jury-ever" crown. (Side note: one look at the All Stars season's DVD set and I was furious - that DVD design team needs to be fired immediately if not already. How extremely creative of them to place pictures of those eliminated in the next set of episodes on the corresponding DVD cover! And I was worried about chancing on spoilers everywhere else.) I really liked Chuck, but it was just like Prison Break or 24 for me - by the end of the first season I was so used to the writing that the show stopped being interesting (may be I shouldn't be watching these shows as a marathon, but a little too late for that!); and that ridiculous season finale pulled it down several notches to the "average" category.

Skipped: In Treatment (Partial first season)
It had an interesting premise which I seriously thought I would go crazy over, but didnt do anything for me. I still stuck around for 3 weeks before exchanging the shrink for some freaks during the dust bowl .

That is definitely a lot of TV-on-DVD for a year but considering I hardly watched much otherwise (except for Survivor, which I continue to watch semi-religiously) and considering I haven't had cable since the latter half of the year, it is probably still within limits.

Btw a big thumbs up to the Cincinnati Public Library for changing their holds policy this year!
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Procrastinating pleasure

Guilty as charged!

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