Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

My Thoughts and the First DVR Casualty of 2014 Fall TV Season

It doesn't get much better than NBC's "Blacklist."
I'm not the kind of guy who is a slave to TV. I don't have to be. Thank-you DVR.

There was a time, children, when you actually had to be home watching TV on the very night a favorite show aired. If you wanted to find out exactly who shot JR, you had to be at home, watching on a Friday night. Yes, and once upon a time dinosaurs roamed the earth.

If you could afford it, figure out how to set the clock and program the damn thing, a VCR offered some relief from must-see-TV nights, but here the sophistication of the VCR tuners, tape length and shows not always airing within their scheduled time parameters conspired to reduce VCR effectiveness. Not to mention that each recording had to be manually set. I grow weary just thinking about it.

The DVR is a giant leap forward from the rickety VCR. As a subscriber to ATT Uverse, my provided DVR can record four shows simultaneously and store hours of HD programming until I get around to watching. With my travel schedule, I usually have 30 or 40 hours of stuff piled up to watch at my leisure.

So, no, I'm not a slave to TV, but I do record and watch some shows I wouldn't if not for the capacity and capabilities of my DVR.

I tell you all of this as a way of saying that I have to really not like a show to stop recording it. Usually it's the realization that I don't like the cast that inspires hitting the “Delete” button. However, it can be other things: sometimes political or simply poor writing.

The half-hour Fox comedy “New Girl” attained stop-recording status last season. As much as I like the quirky Zooey Deschanel, who is the “new girl,” I suddenly realized I didn't like any other regular character in the series. I simply didn't care what happened to these people. I might go three episodes without cracking a smile. That's not my idea of a comedy. Delete! Although I liked the characters, I reached the same point with “How I Met Your Mother” in season three or four because it became tiresome and predictable. It degenerated into mostly slapstick. Delete! “Two Broke Girls” suffered the same fate. Delete!

Escapism TV at its finest: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Still securely ensconced in my recording schedule are a number of returning can't-miss fall shows for me: “Blacklist,” “Hell on Wheels,” “Revenge,” “Person of Interest,” “Blue Bloods,” “Elementary,” “Agents of SHIELD,” and so forth. “Big Bang Theory” and “Modern Family” are among the half-hour comedies I also follow.

Among the shows that premiered this fall that I'm recording and watching: “Madame Secretary,” “Scorpion,” “Forever” and “Gotham.”

I started out also watching “How to Get Away with Murder.” I lasted about five episodes. I have no clue what this show is really about. Here's the premise as far as I can tell: A flawed, in-demand defense attorney with what seems to be a very healthy client list and court schedule, somehow also manages to find the time to teach a graduate law-school class. She has five or six of these students interning at her law office. They troop around with her at all hours of the day and night, virtually ignoring their other classes and studies, providing research and creative defense gimmicks in her court cases. Each week's episode revolves around one of her court cases. The back story inspiring the flashbacks (flash forwards, really) show this attorney/professor's interns covering up the murder of her professor husband, who may also be the murderer of a coed on their campus. Following me so far? 

Viola Davis (right).
After the fourth or fifth episode, I concluded that, not only is the whole situation contrived, I didn't like the attorney/professor played by Viola Davis. If you have your doubts about lawyers, wait until you get a load of her. Mean, nasty, philandering, manipulative and, maybe, psychotic. And, that's just the tip of the unlikable-characters iceberg. There isn't a likeable character in this thing. Well, the Wes Gibbins character played by Alfred Enoch isn't too bad, but one good guy can't redeem this mess. Delete!

So, there you have it. My first “Delete” of the new fall season.

Rock on.

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