Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Gay Popcorn Movie 6 - And Netflix Binge Picks

2/20/2014 Update: Just watched Cloudburst on Netflix. With Olivia Dukakis, Brenda Fricker, Ryan Doucette (eye candy). This is a cool lesbian film. Dottie and Stella have been together for 31 years and due to family interference in their lives as Dottie's health fails, the two decide to go to Canada to get married. This all takes place in our neck of the woods - well close enough - Maine and Nova Scotia, with some great filming locales. Olivia is brilliant as usual. And there are some priceless lines and a little male frontal nudity for good measure. Don't expect a great artistic film - it is very outrageous, the character of Stella is over the top and there are some stupid scenes, but it is certainly entertaining on a cold winter day.
Satellite Reception on a Stormy Day
We pulled the plug on our our Satellite TV in December and cut that bill by 100%. (which was about to go up to over $120/mo for 5 thousand channels of mostly crap).

Now we have no Cable, no Dish, no Direct, no Uverse, no PAY.

We get 30 or more channels over the air and that includes the major networks, PBS, and a few sub-channels like COZI, Create (love Lydia Bastianich) and others that offer mindless entertainment and old TV shows like Maverick, McMillan and Wife, etc.

The only thing we really miss is HGTV (Homo and Garden) and USA (White Collar and a few others)

Leon purchased a TiVo for $49 special offer which does require a modest monthly subscription ($15) for your local guide and is configured for Netflix, YouTube, and a bunch of other streaming sources. This allows you to record several programs at once IN HD (unlike AT&T Uverse) while watching TV or streaming Netflix. Obviously you cannot record a Netflix show.

We have had Netflix streaming (currently $7.95/mo) for several years and while they do not offer a great selection of movies, they do have a number of award winning TV shows.

What makes watching TV shows on Netflix nice is the ability to "binge" - that is watch back to back episodes until you can't take it anymore. Doing this during the long, long, brutally cold winter makes the practice somewhat forgivable.

This winter we have been hooked on three shows in particular that we binged on: Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards. Leon has a couple of others, mostly UK shows that I often find I can't follow because of the language barrier.

The three I mentioned have something in common that disturbs me. We watched them, like we did OZ and Dexter, and Damages, thinking we must be sick and depraved to be watching, to be wanting to see more.

It is very disturbing to find one's self routing for the serial killer (Dexter) or the sexier prisoners (OZ) or the less bad bad guys vs the more bad and the most bad bad guys (Breaking Bad). There is something disturbing about one's fascination with ugly power and corruption (House of Cards, Damages) or the power of corruption to break someone (Orange is the New Black).

What does our addiction say about us? What do these dramas say about our world? How much more cynical can we become? Yes, these stories are fiction (mostly), but there is some truth running through them all. And it is scary. They are the New Horror Shows.

I'd hope these TV shows would have a chilling effect - one that helps us put a brake on those whose money and power has got us by the balls, but I don't think that beyond "entertainment" these shows really have an impact. That is sad, if true. I'm not really sure how I feel about watching these Hollywood depictions of the world, but disturbing is the best I can come up with.

For a little less serious tone or when you need a break from the intensity of power mongering and criminality, we've binged on The Glades (eye candy), The Finder (eye candy, but if you make it to the last episode, you will be pleasantly surprised I think), Emily Owens, MD, Bomb Girls, Land Girls, (kind of chick flicks) Orphan Black (sci-fi) and a few others that we watched in previous seasons, United States of Tara, Drop Dead Diva, among others.

OMG we watch a lot of TV. Can't wait till all this snow melts and we can get outdoors a bit more in the evening. We just looked out the window and the 2 feet of snow is now covered with a nice sheet of ice, as is the driveway and the cars.

Back to the TV, I guess.


  1. I know what you mean about watching episode after episode back to back on Netflix - pretty cool, and a good way to fill up a cold winter's night or two.

    I dropped cable 20 years ago and do not miss it at all. Though I would pay a fee equivalent to Netflix if I could just get HomoGarden, the Food Network, and Turner Classic Movies.

    My friend M.P. got some great deal with his cable company to where he can now stream Netflix and YouTube and cable all into his giant five-foot TV in the den. And also record anything he pleases. Don't know what it costs him, but that is the way to go.

    A far cry from the days of just 3 channels.

  2. House of Cards was awesome. The raw power displayed was amazing. And he killed TWO people now. One was a crime of opportunity while the other was a premeditated crime.

    And then about the third episode to the end when Meechum and the Veep and his Wife go at it. Whoa!

    And Breaking Bad - watching a meek chemistry teacher become the most badass drug lord was fantastic.

    And yes, Oz for the eye candy. '

    I think a lot of it with those shows is that they actually tell a story. And I wonder - Oz was an HBO production right? I have an HBO Go account setup so I'll have to see if it's available on there.

  3. We really miss Netflix! Wish we had it in Spain!



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