Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I want to go to there...

It's inevitable that with wintry temperatures comes increased TV viewing. When it's 12 degrees outside, it takes a pretty momentous occasion to pry me away from my cable box and Netflix library. Factor instant viewing into the mix, and well, you've lost me forever. While the majority of television has lost me recently (Heroes, really?), there's still a steady amount of programming to be seen. Here's a little run-down of what I've been watching in the past few weeks.

  • LOST. It's back. I've missed it so. The increasingly large gap between seasons always makes it tough to get back into the swing of island life- I had to re-watch the season finale, as well as those handy-dandy recap specials just to remember all the painstakingly bizarre details they threw at the viewers. I'm happy to report that after week 2, I'm obsessed once more. Sure, the plot lines are getting a bit tough to sort out- are they in the past, the future, or what? Who IS the white-haired lady? Why is Hurley throwing Hot Pockets? I'm willing to look past these things, and will wait with bated-breath for my weekly encounter with The Others. Perhaps the funniest recap of the show can be found here.
  • 30 Rock. The title of the post sums my obsession up completely. Some claim that it has its off-weeks, and while I wouldn't consider each of this season's episodes home runs, there's a consistency to Liz Lemon and crew. Tracey Morgan's hysterical stereotypical Tracey Jordan makes the show worth watching on it's own (I'm still waiting for a clip from "A Blaffair to Rememblack"). The season has been overwrought with guest stars, some good (Peter Dinklage), some not (Jennifer Aniston), but the regular cast remains solidly funny. Next week's Jon Hamm cameo might just make my TV explode in cult-TV euphoria.
  • Damages. I'm new to the show, having missed out on season 1. I'd been hearing about the show's first season for a while now, and I thought I'd give it a shot. It's well-written, full of dark twists and vindictive characters. I must admit, however, that without the necessary background, I'm not getting the full potential of this show. I've caught a recap or two, but Glenn Close's evil veneer has me intrigued, so I'll keep tuning in weekly.
  • The West Wing. I know, its an old show. The joys of the interwebs have provided me a venue with which to catch up on something I'm really sad that I missed initially. When the show first aired, I imagine that the fictitious Commander-in-Chief provided a stark contrast to the real regime in power. Sure, its a TV show, but when fictitious Bartlet administration has more fans than the one dominating the news, there's something to be said about the quality of the show.
So, there you go. I watch too much TV. I won't deny it. In our crippling economy, its TV that keeps me from spending money that I don't have. So, thank you network TV, for remaining the mainstay of my budgeting technique.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

One Satisfied Customer

Every year at Christmas, I inevitably get a multitude of gift cards. I guess I'm "hard to shop for". C'est La Vie. This year, after receiving the usual Barnes and Noble fare, I was finally able to purchase the object of my gifting lust for years now- The Complete Monterey Pop Festival film. It's directed by D.A. Pennebaker, the genius behind Don't Look Back, the glorious film chronicling Bob Dylan's 1965 UK tour- another staple of my collection. Maybe I'm getting a little worked up over a DVD, but this is no ordinary concert. The Monterey Pop Festival, which took place in the summer of '67, marks the springboard for such talents as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Otis Redding.

I ran home (translation- I took a bus, walked 3 blocks, got on a subway, and arrived home 40 minutes later) and popped that bad boy right in to the DVD player. As I cooked dinner and listened to Janis Joplin sing "Ball and Chain", I was reminded why I've wanted this for so long. In my opinion, the music prevalent at Monterey represents the height of modern music. The Who, Simon and Garfunkle, Eric Burdon and the Animals, even Laura Nyro. Nearly every act went on to establish themselves as leaders in their genre- in any genre. I bask in their musical greatness.

While I relish in my glorious purchase, enjoy Otis Redding, singing "I've Been Loving You Too Long".