Life, TV

This is now a judgement-free zone

I don’t really think of myself as judgmental – however, I did tend to look down on people that watched a lot of reality TV. It just always seemed ridiculous to be so invested in the lives of pseudo-celebrities.

But this summer, something happened. I got bored. Like really bored with what was on TV. All my regular programming was on hiatus until the fall. The Olympics were fun but I only watched a handful of events. I got so bored that I actually started to watch The Bachelorette. This is normally the type of show that I would roll my eyes at but I started to watch the premiere and then I was hooked. I found myself going out of my way to watch the show and learn the names of the guys competing for JoJo’s heart. I didn’t agree with her choice in the end, by the way.

Once the season ended, I said, Okay I’m done with the whole Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise. This was just a one-time thing. No one needs to know. Suddenly, I see previews for another show called, Bachelor in Paradise. And I realize that a few of the guys I just watched on The Bachelorette were going to be featured on this program. I decided to check out an episode and I was hooked. Each week, the show aired two days in a row. The first night always ended with a cliffhanger. So those crafty editors made damn sure you were going to tune in the next night. This stupid excuse for a reality show became my obsession for the remainder of the summer. I would watch both episodes each week, and also tune in for the live after show. I also live-tweeted and followed a few of the contestants on Twitter. I found myself actually rooting for some of the couples and betting against some of the contestants. I’ve seen every episode twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I know everyone’s name, I know who broke up, I know who’s engaged. It’s crazy. Three couples got engaged. They look really happy. I don’t think any of them stand a chance of actually making it but it was entertaining to watch. They’ve spent only a couple weeks together in a resort in Mexico, it’s just not the real world. But who knows? Maybe at least one of the couples make actually make it.

So yes, when I wasn’t working 60 hours a week, I spent my free time watching reality shows this summer. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. I get it now. I get the appeal. The future of this country is in rough  shape. It’s downright scary. Depending on how the presidential election goes, we may have a lot of problems ahead. On a more personal level, this year has been a struggle for me financially so I’ve been working a lot and not spending much time online or doing anything relaxing. But my reality TV programs served as a nice distraction. While I was watching Evan and Carly form a weird but romantic relationship and while I was watching Bad Chad make an even bigger ass of himself, I temporarily forgot about my bills. I didn’t think about the fact that this country is not in a great place right now. I didn’t think about how much I hated my job. I wasn’t stressed or worried, I just let myself be entertained.

Reality TV is a great way to escape reality.

 

 

 

P.S.  I see that Nick is going to be the next Bachelor and I WILL be watching.

Advertisements
Standard
General, Life, TV

American Greed

Hello again, my neglected blog …

There are people out there who love true crime and I never saw the appeal. But then a few years ago, I became obsessed with a certain type of true crime. White collar crime.

I can’t explain it but I can’t get enough of CNBC’s American Greed. I live tweet a lot during the show. I even won a free American Greed t-shirt. Yes, it’s that serious.

Maybe it’s because I’m in sales that I have this fascination with white collar criminals. I never miss an episode of American Greed. I’ve seen Boiler Room 5 times and I’ve seen Wolf of Wall Street 8 times. Now don’t get me wrong, I, in no way, want to become like that. I just like getting the whole story. I like to see how it all began. I want to see that moment when the criminal decides to cross that line.

 

The Wolf of Wall Street was entertaining in a funny and raunchy kind of way but when you actually watch the American Greed episode featuring Jordan Belfort’s story, you realize he was a greedy asshole. As a salesperson, I sort of admire his way with words and how he was able to sway so many people into giving or earning him millions. He had charisma. He always had the right words. On the other hand, I’m disgusted because so many honest and hard-working people lost their savings because they trusted that Belfort had their best interest at heart. He created an entire company of employees just like him at his firm, Stratton Oakmont, and then threw them under the bus to the feds. I don’t believe he’s reformed and I don’t believe he’s paid all the money back like he’s claiming.

Sometimes, I’ll watch American Greed and point out where the criminal went wrong and how he/she could have gotten away with it. At times, I’ll make jokes about what my own ponzi scheme might work. Of course, I would never do such a thing. It might make for a good story though. Hmm …

Standard
Reviews, TV

TV review – Broadchurch

From here on out, I will be referring to the week I was sick as The Purge.

So during The Purge I had plenty of time to watch hours and hours of Netflix while dining on Pedialyte. One of the shows I discovered was a UK import called Broadchurch.

I heard of the show because Fox recently aired a mini series called Gracepoint. Gracepoint is the American remake of Broadchurch. I love a good mystery so I decided to start with the original.

Broadchurch is an 8 episode miniseries about a boy who is found murdered in a small town. I absolutely loved this series. I love a good mystery.

David Tennant (Doctor Who) stars as the lead detective, an outsider with a tainted reputation. He partners with a detective from the small town. The two have a rocky partnership for various reasons which only adds to how great this series is.

In my opinion, what makes a mystery into a great whodunit is a writer who uses misdirection.  And the writers got it right with this show. The viewer has so many different characters to suspect but not too many characters to the point that it becomes overwhelming.

When I finally got to the finale, I gasped when the killer is revealed. I love when that happens. I easily get bored and disappointed when I can predict the ending. It’s terrific when the killer is hiding in plain sight.

Add it to your queue. And use the subtitle option because their accents are a little difficult to understand at times.

Standard
TV

Sons of Anarchy

Contains spoilers!

 

This was by far my least favorite season. I had a hard time staying with the show. Last season (season six) we all watched in horror as Jax’s mother, Gemma, brutally killed Tara, his wife. Up until the last five minutes of the episode, it looked as if everything was going to have a happy ending. We should have known better. Damn you and your evil genius, Kurt Sutter.

This season was difficult because it was the last season and because we (the viewers) all know who killed Tara. However, thanks to Gemma, Jax goes on a rampage, killing innocent people, betraying alliances, etc. It was hard to root for him.

Each week, it got harder and harder. Plus, the episodes were entirely too long. I just couldn’t sit through 90 minutes of wrongful accusations and deaths anymore.

I finally did get caught up. I will admit it was difficult to watch Juice die, although he did have it coming. I even felt a little sorry for Gemma but then I reminded myself that in addition to killing Jax’s wife, she also killed his father. I felt bad for Unser but he was probably better off.

Even though, I didn’t care for the season as a whole, the last two episodes were definitely worth it. Great finale. I was glad he made sure to get Wendy and the kids out of Charming, and told the truth to Abel about his real mother.

The way Jax goes out is almost poetic. He meets his end the same  way his father did. I loved the smile on his face as he accepts his fate. He was finally free.

I love forward to watching it again whenever season 7 hits Netflix.

Standard
Reviews, TV

TV Review – Lilyhammer

I can’t explain it but there’s something that excites me about watching Steven Van Zandt on the small screen. This is one talented guy. If you liked him in The Sopranos, you’ll probably like him in Lilyhammer. Even if you never watched The Sopranos, you’ll enjoy this.

Lilyhammer is a Netflix original series. I love it. I’ve already finished season 3.

Van Zandt plays a mobster known as “Frankie the Fixer” living in New York City. He ends up working with the feds and gets into witness protection. The feds ask him where he wants to go. He choses Lilliehammer, Norway. It’s not a city that many are familiar with, even the feds are like, “Where?” He chooses that particular city because of how much he enjoyed the Winter Olympics when they were held there in 1994.

So he ends up relocating to Lilliehammer, and listens to Norwegian tapes during his trip there.  Of course, since he is in Witness Protection with a new name and identity, he is obviously supposed to keep a low profile. But once a wiseguy, always a wiseguy. He soon starts stirring things up, creating a posse, buying a nightclub, bribery, threats, all that good stuff. To make matters worse, his next neighbor is the police chief.

I won’t spoil the whole series. I recommend watching it, especially since my of our network shows have had their winter finales and we’re all waiting until January for some new programming.

 

Standard
TV

I heart Netflix

I really love Netflix. There’s only a handful of shows on TV that I NEVER miss. They are: The Good Wife, The Blacklist, Scandal, and newcomer How To Get Away With Murder. When those shows aren’t on, I also watch Sons of Anarchy, Once Upon a Time, Chopped, Shark Tank, and what ever interesting history piece is on PBS, History Channel, or Military Channel. There are some good summer shows: Drunk History and Motive.

Anyway, I love Netflix. I don’t usually find the movies I want but they have a good selection of shows. There’s nothing I really watch on Wednesday nights and I was pleased to see that Chopped finally made its way onto Netflix. It’s a great show. I learned to make puree just from watching. I sometimes experiment in the kitchen with whats in my pantry after any given episode.

If you’ve never seen it, it’s a cooking competition show but not over the top and dramatic like Hell’s Kitchen. Each episode features four different chefs competing. There’s always three judges that rotate each time. Amanda Freitag is, without a doubt, my favorite judge. She’s bright, she’s positive, she knows good food, and she’s my woman crush. I also like Aaron Sanchez. He gets excited about spicy dishes and Latin cuisines and is usually pretty positive. The rest are okay. I absolutely cannot stand Scott Conant. He’s a dick. I’d like to throw a red onion at him. If you regularly watch the show, you might chuckle at that.

Standard
General, TV

more TV talk

The Blacklist was great last night as usual.

Tonight is another run of The Simpsons, but I’m not really feeling this round of episodes. I’m not crazy about the new ones. So I flipped through the channels and found reruns of Community. And my absolute favorite episode of Community is on “Remedial Choas Theory.” It’s hilarious to me. It starts with a simple roll of the dice and just as Abed predicts, it creates six different time lines. But at the same things happen at the beginning of each one like Britta trying to belt Sting’s “Roxanne” and Jeff rudely cutting her off.

Standard