Here’s an update to my viewing habits with hopes that others will point me into new directions.
I cut the television cable cord several years ago. With digital indoor antennae, I receive signals from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS. We have a Roku and a ‘smart’ television and subscribe to Acorn TV, Amazon Prime, HBO Now, Hulu and Netflix streaming.
It’s easy to binge through a year, a season, or a series. I’m constantly on the hunt for new offerings. I like intelligent police procedurals, good British black humor, and…well, intelligent and interesting shows.
Acorn is often one of my favorite sources. They don’t have a large catalog but they manage to pull in good finds from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. I already raced through ’19-2′, which is an entertaining series but a little uneven. Right now, I’m watching ‘Deep Water’ at the painfully slow pace of one new episode a week, and ‘Raised by Wolves’, restricting myself to one of those per night.
I’m on my last episode. I’m bracing for withdrawal. That series is just too short.
Over on Amazon Prime, I’m finishing up on the excellent ‘The Night Manager’. Based on a John Le Carre novel and staring Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston and Olivia Coleman, it has a terrific supporting cast and is tremendously well written, acted, directed and plotted. High marks all around. I’ve already completed ‘Goliah’. I began ‘Fleabag’ but disliked and dismissed it after one episode. However, a dinner companion the other night told me to persevere because it gets better. We’d been comparing shows and books (I’ve convinced her to attempt Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet again as she gave up reading ‘My Brilliant Friend’) so I’m inclined to trust her. She also recommended ‘Good Girls Revolt’. It’s been added to my Amazon list.
Viewing is pretty shallow on HBO Now. ‘Westworld’ is the main draw…. I watch ‘Tracy Ullmann’ or whatever it’s called and that has some enjoyable skits. Her talents still amaze me.
I returned to Hulu for a reduced price after a few months off of them. Sadly, there’s not much that I see as quality from this consortium of major corporations. I’ve watched ‘Casual’ but the characters remain too self-absorbed and shallow, with thin and slightly recurring issues for it to remain an interesting show. I’m watching ‘The Musketeers’ but it’s popcorn for dinner when you wanted lasagna. Someone recommended ‘Blind Spot’ the other night so I’ll give it a go. I’m a Jeffrey Donovan fan so I’ll also try his new offering when it arrives in December. I’ve also started ‘Aliens’ but it’s not holding my interest. We’ll see.
Netflix continues to pull something out of the bag for me. After ‘Orange is the New Black’, ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Grace and Frankie’, and ‘River’, they gave me the final season of ‘The Fall’. I’ve also enjoy ‘Luke Cage’ on there, and to a lessor extent, ‘Dark Matters’. The last perplexes me with its industrialized vision of future travel, where keyboards remain the rage. (Or is it an alternative universe?) ‘iZombie’ was finished as far as the episode list was concerned. It’s suffering some growing pains. ‘Longmire’ has been completed to date and we watch ‘The Crown’, but their offering of Queen Elizabeth II seems so diffident, weak and unsure that we’re taken aback. We also spend much time searching for information about how much of it was true and what’s being dramatized to provide better theater. Now I’m enjoying ‘Paranoid’ and ‘Doctor Foster’ although I find neither unqualified viewing success. ‘Paranoid’ disappoints me because it features so many actors I enjoy (like Leslie Sharp, who was terrific in ‘Happy Valley’) but I’m not overly fond of the characters, especially Nina, who I consider too flaky. Her flakiness is inconsistent and I detest character inconsistency. It’s one thing if they develop as inconsistent and are known to be so but this seems to be used a device to pad the episodes and provide extra tension, basically weak and lazy writing.
And that’s where I stand, on the precipice of a viewing gap. That’s not bad, if that’s the worse matter happening in my personal life, and it is. Besides that, several interesting movies are now out (I’m thinking of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ and ‘Arrival’) to go see, and I have several stacks of novels to read.
But if you happen to have something else worth watching, please, please…share.