Monday, November 06, 2006

A Little TEEVEE Talk

I was pretty bored a couple of weeks ago, so I signed up for Netflix. Bored, and the nearest movie rental place has a poor selection. Over the weekend I finished watching Season Four of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Can't wait for Season Five to arrive now. I laughed out loud for three hours. If you've never seen this HBO series, you owe it to yourself to rent the DVDs, beginning with the first season. I have a cousin who didn't like "Seinfeld" (can you imagine?) yet loves "Curb" so don't let the fact that it's written by the "Seinfeld" creator turn you off to it, unless, of course, you just don't have a sense of humor. I think it's the funniest TV show I've ever seen.

My adorable friend, Mary, recommends "The Wire," which is a crime/drama series that's also by HBO. The first season's DVDs are in my Netflix queue, so I'm excited to get to watch them soon. I'm also looking forward to the last season of the Sopranos. Talk about funny. Yeah, a murderous mafia series that's so over-the-top you just have to laugh your head off at least once an episode. I'm so in love with the show, I've searched for articles about it and read extensively about the series. Yeah, I am a little obsessed.

As for network television, I haven't found much I like to watch anymore. I do watch Nip/Tuck every week, and think it's another over-the-top show that makes me laugh. It doesn't even pretend to be real, which is why I like it so much. Nevermind the fact that Julian McMahon is the prettiest man ever to breathe on this sweet earth, oh yes, sister he is. Just go HERE and look and then tell me what you think.

I really need to stop now and get to work. I'm supposed to be writing a paper on digital libraries. Anyone know what a digital library actually is???


Miz S said...

I hope you like The Wire. Josh and I are midway through season 3 right now. Part of its appeal for me is the fact that it's Baltimore, and Baltimore is an amazing city. Gritty, troubled, beautiful, vibrant. I wonder if that appeal will translate to someone who is not from Maryland.

Julie said...

I love The Wire and since I actually live in Baltimore that was definitely some of its initial appeal.

But The Wire is able to do some amazing things with the story it tells. It's a story that pretty universal to any large or middle sized American city. It could just as easily be Oakland, or St Louis, or Detroit, or Syracuse as Baltimore. At its most basic it's the interwoven story of a group of drug dealers and a group of police officers who are trying to stop them. Yet it's far more than that.

It's a big, sprawling, engrossing story. It allows you to find a sympathetic side to characters who are not sympathetic. It looks at things like the loss of manufacturing jobs and middle-class flight and the effect that it's had on our cities. It looks at how complicated the web of drugs and drug sales are and how far-reaching the money is. It's a look at the hypocrisy and futility of the war on drugs. It looks at how hard it is to change any system (drug sales, policing, politics) in a meaningful way.

First and foremost it's a great story with great characters, but it also provides a lot of food for thought.

For something lighter I would look at Weeds, a sort of dark comedy about a suburban housewife who is widowed unexpectedly and turns to selling pot to make ends meet. It's a Showtime show but the first season is on DVD.

Six Feet Under is also a very satisfying series, again darkly comic. And I personally love Sex and The City. Both of them are a good reason to have Netflix.

And I agree, Curb Your Enthusiasm is great!