Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Netflix on My Mind

I started a different post a little while ago, but I'm way behind, so catching up seems more and more daunting the longer I let it go. Not because I haven't been watching movies, but because I've been watching them instead of writing about them. I'm glad that you found Holy Rollers, John, because now this post can be a little shorter.

I know you hate Facebook, John, but it's a easy way to share what I've been watching with a much wider audience than I'd get by just posting on the blog. I want to be able to do both, but Flixster is fast and easy, and I can always come back to it to mine and expand upon my reviews for the blog.

I've been kind of addicted to Netflix lately. After seeing it in action on my friend's iPad, and seeing the amazing selection (yes, it's more recent films, but there are a TON of foreign and special interest films and TV shows), I decided it was well worth $8 a month. I'm definitely getting my money's worth out of the free first month! My biggest problem is that I'm watching stuff I've discovered on Netflix and still putting off the films from the library that will need to be returned soon. I've told myself that I won't sign up for the DVD option until I've caught up with what I own and what I've got from the library. At this rate, that's going to take a while. But it has cured me of impulse buying $5 DVDs at WalMart, so that's something anyway.

One thing Netflix has opened up for me is its wonderfully wide variety of TV shows- there's really a lot of good stuff there, John, and not just South Park and The Office. Since I can't review TV on Flixster, I'll give a brief rundown of the shows I've dabbled in:

Beavis and Butthead- I didn't see enough of these as a teenager. It's nice to know I can finally catch up with my generation. I love Mike Judge's work, pretty much across the board.

The League of Gentlemen- only watched one episode and was intrigued. British TV comedy is so superior in many ways. They're always pushing the boundaries, and this show is no exception.

Man v. Food- I've watched two episodes and was thoroughly entertained. I don't think it could sustain me over the course of three seasons, but it's nice to be able to pick and choose the cities that are interesting to me. Syracuse is in there. He eats at Dinosaur Barbecue, of course.

Bunny Shorts- If you haven't seen these, you'd get a kick out of them. They're 30-second humorous recaps of about a hundred popular films from the last thirty years. All starring bunnies.

Whale Wars- I watched the first episode with Ethan. There are a lot of shows like this that are educational and family-friendly. Also a decent selection of National Geographic documentaies.

Man vs. Wild: Alaskan Mountain Range- see above

Little Britain, series 1- My whole family has been watching and loving this. It's a sketch show, but with recurring characters. It doesn't always work, but has been good for lots and lots of laughs. We've had to skip over certain skits that push the boundary a bit too much for my son, but for the most part it's been good family entertainment. Watch for the Scottish hotel owner with the flute. We're almost done with the first series, and there's a second, too.

Blue Mountain State- I don't know how I got hooked on this show about a division 1 college football team, because it's offensive to me on several levels- it pretty much rides the stereotype of the college jock and his sex, drug, and alcohol-fueled excesses to a ridiculous extreme. But it's mindless entertainment and the humor is solid. It's all very tongue-in-cheek, and the writing has gotten better over the course of the show. The second season has been probably twice as good as the first. Guilty pleasure for sure.

Drawn Together- I watched the first episode of this Big Brother inspired reality show involving cartoon characters. It's all right, and the episodes are short. It will probably prove to be another Blue Mountain State type distraction.

30 Days- This is one of the kinds of shows that really makes Instant Watch worth what I'm paying (or will be paying- I've still got about 20 days left of my free month). Morgan Spurlock of Super-Size Me fame hosts this show about people on different sides of a number of controversial issues spending 30 days with the other side. It's really an incredible show, and I've been impressed that even the staunchest advocates of a position can move toward the other side if they have even the slightest openness towards it. It's something that I can watch with my family, it's education, socially relevant and very aware, and entertaining. So far we've watched the episodes on illegal immigration and eco-consciousness. I highly recommend it.

Life After People- After reading The World Without Us by Alan Weisman, I got really excited when I saw this Discovery channel show advertised. It's a little unfocused and a little melodramatic, but I love the subject matter, which involves exploring what would happen to the world over time if humanity instantly disappeared. I watched the first episode and will definitely be finishing the season.

I'll get to my movies eventually. Or you could check out my reviews on Facebook ;).

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