First the really good. I cut the cable cord (not literally) and made a spare computer into our movie and TV server. I’ve joined the growing percentage of online Americans who watch TV online. Thanks to Netflix, Hulu (I don’t pay for Hulu Plus … yet), iTunes, and Amazon Prime I have more digital media at my mouse click than I have time to view. After all, World of Warcraft has been sweetening the pot for us returning “vanilla” players with new locations and monsters, and tangible reality is sweeping in with its own set of geocaches. But the ability to pick and choose what I watch pretty much when I want to watch it does actually entice me to watch a lot more TV than I would via broadcast. This is the great TiVo idea implemented in a way that finally makes sense to me – in part because I don’t really have to plan ahead but can pick and choose as the fancy strikes me. So, keep thinking up ways to deliver content to me over the Internet – I’m happy to pay a little for the privilege of choice and flexibility.
Supernatural season 6 was good enough to make me go back (thanks to Netflix) to prior seasons to put the latest season into perspective. Watching season one after season six shows how far the show’s concept has grown, all for the better, in my humble opinion. The writers rock and are delivering what I’d hoped for – and did not get – in the last season of LOST. We still have a great story line, favorite characters, and a compelling narrative arc. I can’t wait to find out what Castiel is going to do now that all that power has rushed to his head. Yea, I know, you planned it that way …
Bones also keeps pulling me back despite — can it be?? — six seasons of creatively dead people. The chemistry between the actors makes the show interesting even if, as is often the case, I can’t remember who died or who killed them by the end of the show. Nor at that point do I usually care. I’m sure that many anthropology departments hate the fact that forensic anthropology has become a Hollywood major (as a student advisor at a local college names these TV careers), but I am greatly enjoying watching the sharp, witty investigative team work together week after week. Although I have to admit that I do miss Zack Addy occasionally, the stream of interns has proven highly amusing, especially to a grad student who does NOT get yelled at by her supervisors (thanks, guys).
Fringe. Don’t get me wrong, I love the show. I wasn’t keen on it when I first watched season one, but it came on near the defunct Heroes, so I started watching it and got hooked. Going between the universes has been excellent, especially since this affords a nuanced view of good vs. evil (philosophy undergrad here) – both sides of the conflict have their rationale for their actions and are making the best decisions that they can, given the information they have (or that fits their preconceptions of the “truth”). The problem is that the end of the season started to feel as rushed as Fauxlivia’s pregnancy. Were they getting ready to cancel the series and decided to wrap things up, a la Smallville, in case there was not a season four? The last episode felt like a semi-colon – unsure of its position in the overall life of the series. After following the debate about ending cult shows over at Henry Jenkins’ blog, I’m trying to keep an open mind here, respecting the voices of all who create the show, but I’m hoping that season four does not head way out into uncharted territory by eliminating the very character that caused the conflict in the first place.
Dying twice in the same season on two separate shows, Sebastian Roché went out both as Balthazar in Supernatural and Newton in Fringe – impressive. However, “there is more than one of everything” in the Fringe universes – just hoping the writers remember that. I really enjoyed seeing Kirk Acevedo in the alternate universe and Seth Gabel popping up the main one. Along with spotting all the differences in names and locations and watching for our friends in the fedoras, guessing the next cross-over is a Fringe fan hobby.
(And yes, I’ll be missing Leonard Nimoy‘s occasional appearances as well.)
The (not so very) snarky.
As a huge sci-fi fan, details that get dropped annoy me. One reason I still watch Babylon 5 was their fanatic attention to detail even when – especially when – it was “off screen”. In this case, can we get some of the backstory on the shape shifters in Fringe’s season four? Or at least some mention of their place — or lack thereof — in that world? I found it odd that no one on the other side mentions them at all, despite the fact that we’ve got to be talking multi-million dollars worth of R & D and production as well as the fact that, with all of them lost, the other side is now functioning blind.
Little details — or maybe not so little. The whole premise of Blade Runner was the problem of androids in human society – just sayin’ that it is worth throwing in a line or two to acknowledge the can of worms.
I’ll be watching, waiting, and hoping that next fall brings me more reasons to sit on the ol’ exercise bike each evening. If not, well, all I can say is I will still probably be set for old movies and TV shows if the new ones do not look promising.