Thursday, November 29, 2012

Looking for something to watch?

Bird Feeder Update: Since we last spoke, I have seen four tiny birds eating from my feeder.  They are not feasting there just yet.  From what I have observed, they have been fly-by eating rather than flocking and feasting.  I have put black oil sunflower seeds in the feeder which is a favourite of many Ontario birds according to multiple websites.  Hopefully the feeding picks up as the weather gets cooler.

In the time I have been off work, I have gone through quite a few Netflix tv-series and some movies as well. I will list them now with brief reviews:

Bones: I watched this show years ago when it first started but I stopped during the writer's strike of '07-'08 when I also got very busy with teaching.  Netflix currently has Seasons 1-6 which is great for playing catch-up (Bones is now in Season 8 so I still have some watching to do).  I like Bones becasue of its mix of science with character development and humour.  If find the cases interesting and I love the emphasis on experiments to find the answer.

The Office UK: A very funny look at office life in Britain.  Of course, this was the inspiration for the Office US and it shares similar characteristics: documentary style, awkward boss, rediculously out of control colleague, engaged-receptionist/office-worker love triangle.  This show is much more awkward and inappropriate than its American counterpart.  I found it very funny, but my sense of humour does tend to veer into the realm of mean, British and inappropriate.  If this isn't your cup of tea, you should stick to the American version.

Sherlock:  There are only a few episodes of this great show available.  I understand that more are in the works.  It stars Arthur Dent...I mean Martin Freeman (who forms one third of
 the love triangle in the Office) as Dr. Watson and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and takes place in modern-day London.  I'm pretty sure this is the inspiration for the American series Elementary that takes place in NYC (also worth watching).  Like the Sherlock Holmes stories, each case is a complex puzzle that often involves interesting science and leaps of logic.

Lie To Me: This one ran for only three seasons.  I think it could have gone longer.  Tim Roth plays Cal Lightman, a behaviourist who specializes in detecting lies based on minute facial changes.  This is a case-by-case crime show that has good characters and lots of humour.  My favourite part was the relationship between Cal and his teenage daughter Emily.  Imagine having a dad who is a human lie detector!  As a side note, Monica Raymund (Ria Torez, naturally talented at lie detection) now stars in Chicago Fire on Global (here in Canada).

Better Off Ted: A sitcom that ran for two seasons.  Ted is an executive in charge of R & D for a multinational corporation.  The corporation has an evil soul but the people don't.  Because of the R & D component there is some science stuff in this show too--albeit much less plausible science than in Bones.  It's humour style is similar to Arrested Development and it even stars Portia De Rossi  as Ted's boss. There is also a sweet-ish love story in it and being a sucker for romantic comedies, it made the show even better for me.  It's certainly worth the watch!

Life: A cop is put in prison for triple murder of his best friend, his wife and their son.  After twelve years, when the case is re-opened, Charlie Crews is declared innocent and awarded a huge settlement package that includes re-joining the police force as a detective.  Between solving regular homicide cases, Charlie tries to work out who murdered that family and who set him up to take the fall.  Watching this show was like reading a very good book--I wanted to find out what happened but I didn't want it to end. The characters are solid and the Zen attitude that Charlie found in prison adds just enough quirkiness to be hilarious.

Running Wilde: This one didn't make it to one full season.  I watched it because it stars Will Arnett and I was feeling nostalgic for Arrested Development.  David Cross (aka Tobias Funke) also makes some appearances.  This show is narrated by a girl named Puddle whose mother, Emmy, is a really big hippie trying to protect an ancient culture in the jungle of Peru.  Arnett's character Steve is Emmy's high school sweetheart and she and Puddle end up living in the treehouse on his property so that Puddle can attend regular school.  This show has some funny moments and isn't a bad option if you're looking for a 20 minute episode to fill some time.

MI-5: A British spy show about the lives and loves of agents in Her Majesty's Security Service.  Since the show is British, the seasons are shorter but the episodes are slightly longer (50 minutes instead of 43 minutes).  I am currently partway through the second season.  I am enjoying this show immensely.  It features many things that one expects from spy shows: awesome spy music, neat spy gadgets and great walking-away-from-things-after-tense-moments scenes.  There are fewer walking-with-guns scenes in this show than in American cop/secret agency shows.  I find a this bit nice--I always just imagine how silly the actors must feel during all those walking-with-gun scenes.  This show explores the issues of living life as a spy with a consealed identity which is interesting to consider.  The lead character, Tom Quinn is played by Matthew MacFayden who also played Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy (!) in the newer rendition of Pride and Prejudice (need I say more?).

I think I'll leave the movies I've watched for another day.  I don't want you to think I'm long-winded or something.

Are there any Netflix shows you would recommend?

Sweet Streams,

PS: You may notice some lame-wad themes in my tv show is likely to become much lamer when I tell you the movies I have been watching...

PPS: All images have been pulled off the net, I was hoping that by adding them by url, a link to their sites of origin would be automatically was made.  I was wrong but now its supper time I am too hungry to bother re-tracing the internet steps and make proper links.  I do not intend to steal copyrighted information, and I do value and admire the work of the photographers who created these images.

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