Prime Time Entertainment?

11/26/08 at 12:13 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

For the last few months I have started to watch some prime-time network TV. Over the previous 15-20 years there has not been much to hold my interest on TV besides sports, news and an occasional movie. The only network show I watched with any regularity was “American Idol”, as I did not have to worry about offensive content (besides the bad singing and judging). Lately there is something on four out of the seven nights that I’ll tune in. They all look good on the high-def TV too. We only have basic-basic cable at the Taterbed, so the 4 shows we watch are pulled in with a homemade antenna.

Sunday night starts the week with Amazing Race, where teams compete to finish silly tasks in various locations around the world. The tasks typically involve various forms of transportation and require an ability to interact with others in a foreign culture. It’s a “Survivor”-type of race where teams are competing for a million dollar prize at the end, and the team coming in last goes home each week. The kids like it, and it gives us a chance to talk about stuff going on outside of the US.  This is its 13th season

Monday night is Heroes time. I had been resisting this for two years, as it looked somewhat silly yet I have an attraction to superhero stuff. I finally decided to immerse myself in Heroes’ third season. It’s “awright”, and fortunately they do not do too much time traveling (one of my pet peeves for any sci-fi/fantasy entertainment). I have to excuse the 10 y.o. to the other room due to its graphic content. The powers that some possess are a little over-the-top, but that’s Hollywood for ya. It has been getting more comic-book like, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the storyline has evolved into a bad guy seemingly trying to take over the world with his group, while the good guys try to thwart him. Like recent comic books, there are more shades of grey for the good/bad players in “Heroes” than just Superman:good, Luthor:bad.On Tuesday night my wife likes to watch Biggest Loser, but I get bored with it quickly as they tediously draw out the weigh-ins of people letting their blubber hang out. Yech. Wednesday night finds us busy with church. By the time we get home it’s all I can do to recover from dealing with a dozen “special” boys before going to bed.

On Thursday night Survivor comes on, the grand-daddy of them all. While I watched a little bit of the first season, I didn’t like how mean it could get and would project my “Christian sensibility” into wanting everyone to get along and help each other out. This season we have watched it, and the kids really like it. I’ve come to appreciate the social politics, group interaction, and surviving on minimal resources.  Funny how I started watching it after being on for 17 years.

Friday night is the jewel of the week when Crusoe airs. It looks great on HDTV, has had good stories so far, and it’s something I can enjoy with my ten year old. Again, it’s a story on how someone survives on minimal resources, forging a tight friendship with someone who appears totally different on the surface, and using your wits and talent to accomplish an ultimate goal (for Robinson it is returning home). I don’t know if this show can last longer for more than a few years, as it could tend towards “Gilligan Island” silliness of things happening to someone deserted on an island. For now it is solid entertainment.

For now we have not missed many episodes of any of the shows, even though we are “deprived” and do not have a DVR. I’ll probably get a digital tuner sometime next year in order to save a show on the DVD player/recorder, but I’m not in any big hurry. Maybe with all of those “stimulus checks” (i.e – free government money) I keep hearing rumors about …

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