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Whatcha Watching?

I’ve done a few of these over the years, a nice change of pace from the usual Sturm und Drang, and sometimes a true nugget is uncovered enriching the lives of everyone. A few years back JimK turned me on to SOA, something I would not have discovered on my own, now I can’t wait for season 8 (the last one).

The other day I was over at HotAir and I came across a guy who was complaining about how Netflix rolls out their premium content;

This weekend I took some time out to watch the first few episodes of the second season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix. To be specific, I watched four episodes on Saturday in between taking care of other tasks. OitNB isn’t the first of their original programming I’ve watched and enjoyed. I’ve seen all of Lilyhammer, and most of the first season of House of Cards. (It’s not that I didn’t like it. I got distracted and kept meaning to go watch the rest, but just haven’t gotten around to it.) But before you begin to think this is a review of their programming, that’s not the point here.

The issue which I was discussing with a few friends this weekend was a fairly simple question: why in the world does Netflix release an entire season of shows at one time? I’d love to talk to the marketing magnates at Netflix who came up with this brainstorm, because I really can’t think of a profit or market driven justification.

Here’s the deal, I like what Netflix does, they don’t need the money from advertising, they just have their customers to please, and I am pleased. But I will throw the topic out there for the rest of you. The author seems to prefer a weekly series, one that builds momentum over time, and one that he can discuss with his buds as it unfolds. Personally, I don’t like the wait. Probably why I don’t watch weekly TV shows. I don’t like the commercials but I also don’t like to have to wait a week to find out what happens. Am I odd?

This year I started watching TURN ( an AMC series of Washington’s spies during the Revolutionary War, a good show) and the new 24, but after 3 episodes of both I decided I will wait until the end then On Demand all the episodes at once, watching at my leisure. I can delay gratification, knowing that the payoff will be viewing on my schedule. I did the same with GOT. At the end of a season I subscribe to HBO for a month, watch all the episodes, then drop them, like the lib loving progressive pushing cabal that they are.

But eventually everything comes to Netflix. The last season of Dexter came about a week after it premiered on Showtime, Netflix has all of Dexter now. With a super fast internet connection they can provide a boatload of content.

The article mentioned OITNB, this is a great show and I hardily recommend it. I watched the first season of House of Cards (another good show) and was looking forward to season 2, but the characters are so despicable (typical DC politicians, the scum of the earth) that with no one of any social redeeming value, I did not care about any of them and lost interest. Ditto with Breaking Bad, I got halfway thru season 3, but could not root for any of them so I lost interest (should I revisit the series? My kid thinks so, I’m thinking about it).

Stuff I would recommend on Netflix;

It Is Always Sunny In Philadelphia- stupid people are really funny, and these guys are as stupid as they come

The League- a comedy about a group of guys that are all in the same fantasy football league. Even if you don’t like football, this show is a winner. The banter back and forth about all things male, not only do I like these guys but it’s stuff I would talk about (and stuff I have said, many times).

Chuck- an older series, but really, who can get enough of Yvonne Strahovski?

The Walking Dead- shooting zombies, what’s not to love?

So, what should I be watching? Any shows grabbed you, either on network TV or Netflix? You can also opine about shows that either sucked or regulars that let you down (Dexter, I’m looking at you :()

14 comments

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  1. InsipiD says:

    Funny that there’d be such overlap. I love Always Sunny, Sons of Anarchy, and The League on Netflix. Since there’s such overlap already, I’ll just throw my other go-tos out as possible time fodder for you.

    Louie: Louis CK playing a fictionalized version of himself. I love this character, because I don’t think that Louis himself has ever done anything that he wasn’t ashamed of. It didn’t keep him from doing it, but he’s ashamed all the time of everything. I can kind of relate to that. (Best ep: Subway/Pamela)

    Wilfred: A probably mentally unwell young man is led down the road to perdition by his neighbor’s dog. Hilarity ensues. (Best ep: Pride)

    Archer: I can’t begin to describe how fun every different nerd in me finds this show. (Best ep: Un Chien Tangerine)

    Shameless (UK): A British dramedy about a family living off of every type of public assistance possible. This is sort of the ying to the yang that is a show like Louie. People who have everything to be ashamed of somehow escape that. (Best ep: New Romances)

    Saxondale: A funnier and less involved Britcom than Shameless, imagine the most arrogant person you know, make him a little worse, then imagine he’s a current exterminator and former roadie. Unable to feel shame.

    How It’s Made: When I can’t come up with anything else to watch, or if I’m sick and need something that requires little attention, How It’s Made can provide distraction that’s neatly served in small chunks.

    Honorable mentions: Trailer Park Boys, Creature Comforts USA, The Rockford Files, Top Gear (UK).

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  2. bgeek says:

    These are the ones from the past few months, but I usually fit some others in periodically.
    Stuff I’ve been watching with the kids lately (That I like or can stand).
    Last Airbender/Legend of Korra
    Justice League
    Scooby Doo Mystery Inc.
    Zig and Sharko
    Adventure Time
    My Little Pony Friendship is Magic
    Star Wars The Clone Wars
    Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting (for the zen fro)
    Iron Chef (The original from poor quality torrented files. Mejor que nada.)

    Stuff I’ve been watching lately for me.
    Game of Thrones
    House of Cards
    Mad Men
    It’s Only Sunny
    South Park
    Reno 911
    True Detective
    Venture Bros
    Metalocalypse
    Walking Dead
    Welcome to the NHK
    Trigun

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  3. CM says:

    Definitely keep going with Breaking Bad, just root for Jesse Pinkman.

    Loved True Detective, can’t wait until Season 2. Love It’s Always Sunny, especially the gun control episode in the most recent season. Currently watching Parks & Rec from the start, The Good Wife (highly under-rated) and Justified. Looking forward to the final SOA season as well. I watch everything in bulk, except for GOT. And for the first time I’m remembering the joy of anticipation of having to wait. I also enjoy getting onto the AV Club and reading the review and comments over the following days.
    Also a Walking Dead fan, and I recommend the Us version of Shameless.

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  4. Seattle Outcast says:

    I used Netflix to get hooked on Longmire, and to show a friend on mine what the hell he missed by not watching BSG when it was on. Mostly I use it for movies I didn’t catch at the theater.

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  5. Hal_10000 says:

    I watch very little TV these days, between the new kid and work. I think Doctor Who, Game of Thrones and Cosmos are about it. I’m currently also working my way through the old Twilight Zone episodes and the recent Bible miniseries. Just finished the Wire.

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  6. Xetrov says:

    I cut cable last year, so my content comes from Netflix, Amazone Prime Videos, or buying it somewhere.

    Right now my favorites in no particular order:

    Sherlock. Third season just came to Netflix, so you can now watch the whole series there (all 9 90 minute episodes, each one is like a mini movie). The only crappy thing is waiting until 2016 for more – and they might not even make more, which would suck.

    Big Bang Theory. Being a geek at heart, the humor in this show makes me laugh. Jim Parsons is a genius.

    Top Gear (UK). If you like cars and British humor, it’s the best show on TV ever.

    TED talks. There are dozens of them on Netflix. Some are fantastic.

    I’ve gotten through the third episode of House of Cards’ second season. i find I’m having to force myself to watch it at this point, not sure I’ll watch another episode.

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  7. InsipiD says:

    Xetrov, I loved House of Cards. Why do you find it a struggle to watch?

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  8. Hal_10000 says:

    Ah, I forgot Sherlock. That is a great series.

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  9. Dave D says:

    “Big Bang Theory. Being a geek at heart, the humor in this show makes me laugh. Jim Parsons is a genius.”

    Me too! The geek/gaming/scifi culture hits home with me and I know LOTS of poeple like the characters on that show. It is my favorite right now.

    “Sheldor is afk”

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  10. Xetrov says:

    Rich said it well by saying there’s no redeeming characters on the show at all, it just kinda pulls you down. Plus a House Whip/Vice President killing people? While politicians are despicable, it is a little hard to stretch the suspension of disbelief that far for me. And watching the F’ers make back room deals on screwing over the American people just raises my blood pressure in regards to our current leadership in Washington.

    I love Kevin Spacey, and the other acting in the show is fantastic. Just not sure the storyline is my cup of tea.

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  11. ilovecress says:

    A few British gems that you may or may not already know about

    Luther – a crime drama that’s the definition of gritty.
    Peep Show – A show that’s so British it’s awkward
    In memory of Rik Mayall, rewatch all the Flashhart episodes of Blackadder

    Also – it always amazes me that the US doesn’t do comedy panle shows. they make up a huge percentage of British TV, and are consistently pretty funny. If you can find them, try Would I lie to you. 8 out of 10 cats, and of course QI.

    If you want an audio version, try the podcast of Radio 4′s The News Quiz (might be a bit liberal though, so proceed with caution)

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  12. Section8 says:

    Mostly Science Channel shows.

    How the Universe works (reruns but still watch),
    Through the Wormhole,
    and whatever else they happen to be showing like Survivor Man (more reruns),
    How it’s Made
    and Myth Busters.
    Don’t care much for the shows on UFO sightings or government cover-ups.
    Most of their stuff is high level, and wish they would get more detailed but oh well. Better than anything on TLC that’s for sure.

    GOT
    Walking Dead
    Been watching some of the mob bios on Biography lately.

    Watched Storage Wars there for a while, but could never figure out how overpaying for something was screwing over the other bidder.
    Kinda like someone expecting to win a getting kicked in the nuts competition, you already lose just for playing.

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  13. AlexInCT says:

    When I watch, which doesn’t happen too often, I watch mostly the Science channel, History channel, Smithsonian channel, and anything that’s educational/documentary in nature. Sometimes the stuff is great, and at other times it is outright propaganda or agenda driven pap, but it is fun to watch. I also do some sports, like the Scifi channel for the occasional stuff there, and do some of the shows on a the premium channels such as Game of Thrones, Da Vinci’s Demons, and True Detective. Finally there are the occasional movies, mostly because I refuse to pay premium dollar for them at the movie theater. I admit that I happen to have cable and buy the premium package. Yeah, it is a lot of money, but I have very few vices and this one is mostly harmless, and I am not giving up anything to have it.

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  14. Miguelito says:

    If you like SciFi at all, I’ve been enjoying Continuum. Canadian show.

    Falling Skies isn’t too bad either.

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