Treme/TV Themed Open Thread

Treme – HBO’s hot anticipated series by writer/producer/personal patron saint David Simon (The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Street) premiered last Sunday to exTREMEly glowing reviews from Simon fanboys and television critics alike.

Hank Stuever at WaPo says:

Will it be as good as “The Wire”? Three episodes in, I’m willing to say “Treme” (the title is two syllables; it rhymes with away) has the potential to be better than “The Wire.”

Them’s probably fightin’ words to fans of The Wire.

While I appreciate The Wire I am an old school Simonite. Treme evokes Homicide: Life on the Street in terms of character development and tone than it does The Wire, which if you know anything about me is the best news ever.

Treme tells the story of NoLa (New Orleans) in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and honey, they have brought it in terms of casting: John Goodman, Melissa Leo (H:LOTS, Frozen River), Wendell Pierce, Michiel Huisman, Khandi Alexander, Steve Zahn, Kim Dickens and Clarke Peters. I expect there will be cameos and guest appearances by many other bright stars in the Simon universe.

I am hoping against hope Treme finds a loyal audience and is showered with the praise it so richly deserves. And while the recent unexpected passing of co-producer and Simon’s frequent collaborator – the undercover black man himself – David Mills is a somber moment in an otherwise exciting time for Simonites, my enthusiasm refuses to be dampened.

I know Simon’s gonna do right by his road dawg and NoLa.

So are you excited about this show or other new shows? This is a TV THEMED open thread. Have at it, Shapelings.

140 thoughts on “Treme/TV Themed Open Thread

  1. I am watching it with my parents, along with the pacific. we have a really sentimental attachment to New Orleans, especially the music scene. I heart steve zahn, and I love WWOZ as well. LOVE THIS SHOW’!

  2. I can’t actually afford HBO but I’m considering cutting back my Netflix account to swing it. I won a Treme tote bag at work (I work for a satellite TV company and the HBO people come by and give us swag for selling their programming package) and weirdly enough, that got me excited about the show.

  3. I don’t have HBO or TV at all, but I am able to catch episodes at a friend’s house, since in most cases it’s unlikely I’d be able to wait until it’s released on DVD.

    I’m also catching up on No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Loving Miss Jill Scott on that!

    lemonadeandlemoncake – how is Pacific? I am seriously looking for new shows to watch. So far with the exception N1LDA, everything else has been a dud. I had high hopes for campiness on Spartacus: Blood and Sand, but it takes itself waaaay too seriously and there just not enough naked people to make it worth my while.

    So I’m sticking to older shows I missed due to the lack of TV: Prison Break, Weeds, Grey’s Anatomy, Kidnapped, Leverage and BSG.

  4. I’d probably watch, if I could afford HBO.

    You know, I was going to let this one go until I realized you posted a comment to Kate’s entry about the iPad, which I’m pretty sure costs more than HBO, yet your oh so nuanced class analysis was noticeably absent.

    Class, access to programming and the stratification of viewership along class lines is a valuable discussion and extremely close to my heart and activism (being a pop culturalist and all), however, this doesn’t seem to be your intention.

    If you actually have anything besides snarky, silencing, unproductive thoughts in regards to class, access and TV programming I would love to hear them, but otherwise you’re gonna need to give that passive aggressive foolishness a rest.

  5. A Sarah – I freaking love HBO for putting fat people back on TV in roles, which have nothing to do with their fat! Jill Scott and Goodman being two I can immediately think of.

  6. Knowing what a fan you are of the Simon oeuvre SnarkyMac, I was hoping you would be doing episodic reviews of Treme in one of your many fine blog spots.

    I too am a fan of Simon’s work and have spent quite a few vacations when I was in my 20′s in NOLA. Treme is, of course, a dream come true for me. The first episode is on my Tivo and I have been trying not to watch it till I get 3 or so backed up. I prefer my Simonstuffs in chunks.

  7. @mcm. I definitely want to recap Treme! I’m trying to figure out how squeeze it into my schedule. I agree with your assessment on Simonstuffs. What’s making Homicide a treat to recap is knowing how each piece contributes to the whole pie.

    Still there is nothing like the thrill of a new entry from Simon.

    So far they are doing such a great job giving NOLA a chance to speak for itself. I am loving the character interactions, the writing, the direction and the solid use of Goodman and Leo. I am a little angsty because I know so much of this was Mills’s baby and I realize his passing is going to affect certain aspects of the show – namely some of the authentic POCs voice, peppering both Homicide (he wrote the ep Bop Gun) and The Wire.

    Also, while I respect the work of Eric Overmyer, in some ways I feel he’s the weakest link (which still makes him way more talented than the writers on other shows) given what I know of his work, specifically as it relates to St. Elsewhere, Law & Order and H:LOTS.

  8. I introduced my mom to Desperate Housewives because I think the show is hilarious but I hate watching it alone. She loves it so much that we watch 1-3 episodes every night (not counting weekends.)

    Watching it this much has made me realize that every time there’s a fat person on the show, it’s to make them a joke (or a mean mean person). Dear Marc Cherry, you are fat! Have some pride man!

    Sigh.

  9. I’m another non-TV-having person, but I was introduced to the awesomeness that is CSI when at home visiting my mum. I finally decided to actually purchase a ‘season set’ of dvds (and then another, and another…), and I’ve discovered why people like watching tv shows so much this way!
    The things I hate most about television — the ads and PSAs, both designed to make people feel ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ about themselves, their behaviour, and their lives — are totally absent from the dvd-series, and it’s SO NICE! I find myself so relaxed while watching, knowing that I’m not suddenly about to be assailed by loud, rude, inappropriate/offensive commercial content — “ASK YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT THE NEWEST BIG-PHARMA SNAKEOIL FOR THIS INTIMATE PROBLEM . . . Side-effects may include death.” Ugh.

  10. Vidya: I saw an ad for fish oil recently that literally said, “You ABSOLUTELY need fish oil if you experience one of the following: 1. Concern about your joint health. 2. You *sometimes* feel tired. (yes they seriously said that) 3. Concern about your heart health.

    Oh gee guys, looks like I need fish oil STAT!

  11. @ducky — Lol.

    Seriously, as a fat person, a vegan, an only non-animal-tested-stuff user, a teetotaler, a non-car driver, a non-pharmaceutical user, a celibate person, and a generally un-moneyed student, there is probably no more than one or two commercials out of a hundred that could even possibly be selling something I would ever consider buying. Watching TV ads does little more than constantly remind me of my sociocultural ‘otherness’, which is frustrating as heck.

  12. While acknowledging that the show can be problematic, I’m pretty excited to have Glee back on. And next week will be all Madonna!

  13. @Vidya

    It’s weird, despite being a huge TV person, I didn’t exactly grow up watching it. My mom didn’t mind the content of shows, but she didn’t care for the commercials. It wasn’t until we were overseas, thus watched Armed Forces Network (we weren’t military) that we had TV and watched it. (no commercials).

    Then when we moved back to the states we had TV, but didn’t watch it much cause we’d be conditioned to find commercials annoying, thus couldn’t really watch the programming with its “new math” of a 1/2 = 22 minutes.

    It’s shocking when you get a TV on DVD and see how much of that “hour long drama” is eaten away by commercials! 20 minutes! Yeah, I’m a little afraid of TV. And all the older shows are badly edited (e.g. Golden Girls, Miami Vice) because they were from a time when the 1/2 and hour show (respectively) were closer to an 1/2 and hour than shows running now.

    It’s pretty chilling.

  14. I’ve been watching ‘The Pacific’ with my husband. It’s not bad. Not great – it’s too cautious for that – but not bad, and with some very good moments mixed in, and willing to dial down on the reverence now and then. I *am* disappointed that it only follows the 1st Marines, though, and thereby sticks mostly to well-known and well-celebrated battles. I’d’ve liked to have seen a dramatization of Truk, but, well, *shrug.* I do like the chap who plays Leckie, James Dale.

    The first episode of ‘Treme’ was so tasty and there are so many good people in it, I’m really looking forward to the rest. I adored ‘Homicide,’ and you’re right, it’s closer in tone and approach to it than to ‘The Wire’ … which I liked, but not to the extent I’d go out of my way to catch an episode on broadcast. I think I may do that for ‘Treme.’ I especially like that it couldn’t be set anywhere else, that it’s New Orleans through and through – not Nowhere in Particular in the Fancy Suit.

    I’m also really looking forward to ‘History Detectives,’ which won’t start until June … but it’s going to have a segment in my town here, Santa Rosa, and all they’ll say is it’s about an early lesbian memoir. I am on tenterhooks.

  15. Every single television season I fall in love with a show that no one else watches. Then I have to mourn it when it does not get picked up. This season it is Trauma. I believe that I am the only person in the entire US watching the damn show and *sniff* I will miss it when it is gone….

    I am starting to think that I should start every show at season 2.

  16. I just can’t watch HBO or Showtime anymore. If I want to watch porn, I will watch porn, but I can’t follow a story line if every 15 minutes they have a huge sex scene complete with screaming and moaning at top volume. “Oh, crazy mystery to solve, neat. Oh, now they’re fucking, still fucking, ok, some more fucking. What? What mystery, I thought this was a fucking show, oh that’s right mystery. Nope, back to fucking.”

    I can’t take it anymore, no more tits bouncing or asses thrusting in the middle of my shows. It sincerely bums me out, because there are so many shows on HBO and showtime that are really good.

    I just simply cannot take another male gaze lesbian makeout scene, or rape fantasy scene on those damn networks. Though if this show is different, I’d love to know, because it sounds good.

  17. I grew up without a telly, and probably wouldn’t bother with one if I lived alone, but my housemates have one, and I occasionally join them when they’re watching something good. I couldn’t watch a plot-driven series: I’d miss too much. Usually I watch Dave, so I get a lot of out-of-date topical comedy. “Mock the Week”, “Have I Got News for You”, and the genius that is “QI”.

    All come heartily recommended.

    TRiG.

  18. Interestingly, my broke ass cannot afford not to have HBO, unless I was to choose not to have TV at all. I get a deal with HBO that winds up costing me less than regular cable without it. By about $50 a month.

  19. OMG..just watching the Behind the Scenes: Treme on HBO this morning made me drool. Learning how Treme was initially a plantation sold off and purchased by recently freed slaves, who then set out to “honor” the heritage of the land’s pre-white man takeover residents (Native Americans) with a parade (Mardi Gras) representing their tribes in all their glory a regalia…..well consider me schooled and hooked. Add to that, the literal destruction of the neighborhood via Katrina and the series’ depiction of the return of its residents and rising up message makes me want to inhale every second of it. Add to that the quote I heard from that behind the scenes show….let me “get my ears dirty” just walking down the street hearing the creative and passionate music that is New Orleans.

  20. I hit a patch of nothing lighthearted and fun to watch, and it’s driving me a little batty. I was riding high on seasons of Charmed* and whatever Hulu threw me that aired recently, now all I have is Wire in the Blood. Now, I love Wire in the Blood, but it’s about as grim as shit gets, and all I really want is to watch some sisterly girl talk and for evil to banish with the flourish of a rhyming couplet.

    I love that my library will loan me whole seasons of stuff, I hate that I have to fight with the entire greater service area to get it. If I don’t get an infusion of fun soon, I’m going to slide back into very bad downloading habits.

    Charmed spoilers ahead:
    *By the way, end of season 4, The Seer got a raw deal. She’d have made an excellent Source, and I’m pissed off about it. Seriously: opportunistic, powerful, knowledgeable, and she has her own built in Deus Ex Machina ability to see danger coming and thus elude the Charmed Ones indefinitely. Wtf was with all the “power behind the power” and needing to have the Source’s baby?

    And don’t get me started on how practically the only time you see anyone of color in that show they’re a frickin demon! A demon who gets a messy on screen “vanquish” in thirty minutes or less, ’cause there’s no problem at all with three powerful middle class white women literally obliterating POC. *facepalm*

  21. I miss #1 Ladies’ detective agency. Does anyone know if they’ll film another season? Other than that, I’m looking forward to True Blood and saw some ads for a new show called Happy Town on ABC that looked promising.

  22. I’ve kind of hit a wall, TV wise. Still watch the news every morning and in the late afternoon, and then have the TV on for the rest of the evening. But I’m running out of things I want to watch, really. I’m thinking of making headway through some films I have and I really need to re-watch season one of heros/get through season 2 which is gathering dust on my shelf…

    @TRiG: Dave, man I love Dave. And they’re recently started showing black books, which is one of my favourite shows.

  23. snarky’s,

    the pacific is great. however, i watch it with my dad and the sex scenes are awkardly graphic. i don’t mind sex scenes when i’m not watching tv with my dad.

    we watch it because my grandfather was a PT Boat commander in ww2, so the pacific theater is really sentimental for us.

    it’s really, really good. even if you don’t like war movies. i am a psych nerd big time, and it means something that they’re touching on PTSD not meaning that you are less of a man or soldier. Esp in the forties, it made you less of a man to have flashbacks, and you were ostracized. That’s my soapbox, though.

    It focuses on the issue without isolating the war nerds, either, and without making it cheesy.

    the characters are based on real people, which makes it all the more awesome. a couple of episodes have brought tears to my eyes.

    oh, and hey snarky, i’ve got a wordpress question for you. i just moved my blog over here, but i can’t find out how to change my tagline from ‘just another wordpress blog.’ i know it’s not tv themed but help?

  24. I have is Wire in the Blood. Now, I love Wire in the Blood, but it’s about as grim as shit gets, and all I really want is to watch some sisterly girl talk and for evil to banish with the flourish of a rhyming couplet.

    Godless, I have this in my queue, and I know I will like it once I watch it but I swear I can’t imagine the kind of day/mood I’d need to be in so I’d be willing to invest time in the series.

    If you’re looking for a lighthearted, but still has some astute social criticism, Barney Miller’s on Hulu with the first four seasons. It’s my “fall asleep” show and I find it both snarky and innocent – Alibelle, this might work for you too, as well as St. Elsewhere if you want something dramatic and gritty and titty free – but really entertaining.

    Friends often laugh when they see me watching it, but after like an episode they are hooked. They think shows like H:LOTS and L&O invented the concept of cop shows where nobody chases anything or shoots guns and mostly just does paperwork.

  25. lemoncake – go to your dashboard and scroll down to settings, it should give you some choices and click “general” and I think it’s about the third choice down and you can fill in the tagline.

    Also, sweet content!!!

  26. thanks – did you read the ABCs of fat-shaming one? the magazine i was writing for didn’t so much like the fat activism so i left there and uploaded content to the blog.

  27. thanks – did you read the ABCs of fat-shaming one? the magazine i was writing for didn’t so much like the fat activism so i left there and uploaded content to the blog.

    I did and commented. I really enjoyed it!

  28. I haven’t seen Black Books yet. My housemates don’t watch it, and I almost never turn the telly on myself. I might look out for it, though. And yes, Dave is brilliant.

    I now finally have speakers for my computer (and radio headphones, so I can iron while listening to podcasts). This may help to alleviate my BBC Radio 4 withdrawal symptoms.

    TRiG.

  29. I can’t take it anymore, no more tits bouncing or asses thrusting in the middle of my shows

    Alibelle, THANK YOU FOR SAYING THIS! I gave up on True Blood (season 1) for that exact reason. I became extremely annoyed with Sookie’s brother (The sex would go on for like, half the episode! Bor-ing!) by episode 3, and have not been back since.

  30. I have to admit it – the only show I watch is Dancing With the Stars.

    Anyone else? What do you think of Niecy Nash and her commentary about her “jiggly bits”?

  31. Barney Miller always reminded me of my dearly departed dad. He loved that show. Have not done much exploring on Hulu, will have to look for it.

  32. mcm, my husband and I both watch Trauma, so you aren’t alone!

    My own favorite show is Criminal Minds and I’ve been sad that its been going downhill this season, until last night’s show; that one has more of the actual analysis of the bad guy in it than the several previous episodes. I was seriously unimpressed with the spin-off intro they had week before last. Heya, the only woman on the new team is a young lady geek; how I long to see some older women with experience as continuing characters on these shows. Ones that actually do investigation and have wrinkles and gray hair (like me!). Not that I don’t love Penelope, I do, she’s awesome; but she’s enough female geekness for anyone.

    Then the new L&O Criminal Intent shows up and they get rid of my favorite character! How can it properly be CI without Bobby! At least the new young lady on this show has an interesting background, why *does* she know Urdu?

  33. So. Wire fan here. Yes indeed. Like, the only non-FA, non-explicitly-feminist blog I read is The Wire Re-up at the Guardian.

    And I am so happily prepared for Treme to be as good as or better than The Wire. More TV I want to watch will not make me complain. Bring it, Simon et al!

    Sadly, I don’t have cable and so will have to find a streamy site somewhere, or wait till its on DVD to watch.

    Snarky’s: AFN- lacking in commercials, but heavy on the hilarious PSAs. We were in Germany when “loose lips sink ships” style ads involved shady communist spy-evoking baddies, or Ricky Schroeder. Sadly, never a PSA with the two together, though…

    Also, Doctor Who is good good good. I am so enjoying it. Please continue to be good, Eleven!

  34. I’m straddling the fence that separates forlorn and pissed b/c I missed the series finale* of Ugly Betty…never mind that I fell off around the latter half of season two, missed three entirely, and only caught *counting on fingers* maybe two whole episodes of this last one. Eh. I presume I can catch up with same on the Hulu as needed?

    *aw crud! see also King of the Hill, missed that one too. geez. **shaking fist at daughter’s penchant for Qubo marathons and wearing out my Sesame Street: Old School Volume One box set**
    (sigh. gotta get out more, man; or cop the Fawlty Towers set once and for all.)

    Oh yeah, fellow Barney Miller fan here: co-parent was shocked (shocked, i say!) when I told him that Abe Vigoda is still alive. I was going to add that Jack Soo’s the only cast member that I know of (Gregory Sierra, aka Chano? big ole question mark for me.) who’s no longer living, but I think dood’s head would’ve asploded all over mah room…

    ____

    as for Treme, I’ll be waiting for the DVD, or perhaps an invite from a friend/loved one with cable (ok, I confess: the latter is very unlikely). I’m quite patient in the teevee department and go/have gone without cable by choice *shrug*.

  35. I haven’t seen it yet myself – I don’t have TV, let alone HBO, and haven’t managed to track down a functional BitTorrent yet. But I live in NOLA, and the bits and pieces I’ve seen – as well as the word I’m hearing on the street – are all ultra-positive. This is said so often that it’s cliched, but it’s true: New Orleans is a truly unique city, with a truly unique deep, multifaceted culture and history. After spending the last 5 years learning everything I can about the city I still have much to learn, and I imagine I would feel the same after another few decades.

    But the word on the street, even from natives, is that Treme really gets it. The characters are drawn from real life: John Goodman’s character is based on a famous local blogger (now deceased) by the name of Ashley Morris, and from what I’ve heard portrays him well. There’s a chef based on a famous local chef, and a WWOZ (local independent radio station that is the soul of NOLA) DJ, and they’re including real-life local musicians, including the beloved Kermit Ruffins. I happened upon their filming of a recreation of the 2006 Krewe du Vieux parade and all the signs, costumes, and floats were so precisely recreated that I recognized it immediately (actually, come to think of it, Ashley Morris played a prominent role in that parade – I hope they have John Goodman’s character acting that out). They even consulted Mardi Gras Indian chiefs to help in development of the Indian chief character, and I hear that many Indians are happy with the portrayal. Given the long and secretive (not to mention controversial) history of the Indians, that’s really saying something.

    I can’t wait to see it. Back to searching I go…

  36. Anyone else? What do you think of Niecy Nash and her commentary about her “jiggly bits”?

    Oh. my. god. “I can’t be losing my jiggy bits or you’re gonna get hurt.” is my new favorite saying. I love me some Niecy!

    My own favorite show is Criminal Minds and I’ve been sad that its been going downhill this season,

    I tried watching the first few episodes because I really adore Mr. Patinkin – in dirty naughty ways he must never know about – but the level of violence was a bit distracting and eventually I abandoned the show. Bring on the titties but be judicious with the violence is my motto. Sex doesn’t bother me, but violence tires me out, mostly because its general victims on TV are marginalized folks and I’d just rather be kept in the dark about the various ways that women, trans people, pocs and the likes can be tortured/abused/murder.

    That said, Thomas Gibson is doing some of the best work of his career on that show! The best thing I’m seen him in since “Love and Human Remains”!

    Then the new L&O Criminal Intent shows up and they get rid of my favorite character! How can it properly be CI without Bobby! At least the new young lady on this show has an interesting background, why *does* she know Urdu?

    My favorite was Eric Bogosian and so you know I’m pissed. Bobby was a favorite character and while I didn’t watch the show as much, I loved my mom calling me on saturday mornings to tell me everything Bobby had been up to and what was going on between him and Rita Moreno.

  37. John Goodman’s character is based on a famous local blogger (now deceased) by the name of Ashley Morris,

    I was wondering about this. I figured it was a combo of Morris and John Kennedy O’Toole. Thanks for clarifying this!

    Oh yeah, fellow Barney Miller fan here: co-parent was shocked (shocked, i say!) when I told him that Abe Vigoda is still alive. I was going to add that Jack Soo’s the only cast member that I know of (Gregory Sierra, aka Chano? big ole question mark for me.) who’s no longer living, but I think dood’s head would’ve asploded all over mah room…

    Yeah I think Soo’s the only person from the cast no longer living. He died before season four or five. Like 1978. Oh I loved him. Vigoda is alive and well and according to a site I check daily, he had soup for lunch.

  38. Snarky’s: AFN- lacking in commercials, but heavy on the hilarious PSAs. We were in Germany when “loose lips sink ships” style ads involved shady communist spy-evoking baddies, or Ricky Schroeder. Sadly, never a PSA with the two together, though…

    OMG. Operation OBSEC!!!! My favorite PSA went something like this:

    "I just got sent to Europe, a brand new life for me, a modern car, VCR and remote control tv…" it was some kind rap touting all the reasons why one shouldn't write checks when their account is empty.

    I remember those. Did you watch "Gasthaus"? that shitty community interest show?

  39. I’ve been watching television a lot more this past year because I’ve been unemployed. I’ve found 2 ways around the commercials: watch OnDemand (if you have it) or watch on Hulu. There are still commercials but not quite as many. I also like having the closed captioning since my hearing isn’t what it used to be.

    What I’ve been watching: CSI (LasVegas only if you please); The Good Wife; Glee; Modern Family; Community; V; and FlashForward. Another new fave is The Inbetweeners on BBCAmerica. I just think they are all adorable.

    HBO does have some of the best series on television, but I just refuse to pay for it since the rest of their programming sucketh mucheth. OZ, The Sopranos, Deadwood, Carnivale and The Wire were all amazing.

  40. “I tried watching the first few episodes because I really adore Mr. Patinkin – in dirty naughty ways he must never know about – but the level of violence was a bit distracting and eventually I abandoned the show. Bring on the titties but be judicious with the violence is my motto.”

    You and me both on Mandy, oh my!

    As for the violence, I’m a gorehound, but only fake gore. The gore and violence on that show is a little too real for all the reasons you mentioned. They also have the habit of showing flashs of gore with shrieking noises and that’s something I can’t take. The show is watchable because of Mandy, it got less good once he dropped out, same with Dead Like Me. He’s weird that way, leaving good shows randomly.

    I’ll have to check out those shows you mentioned though, I do like grit without gore which I’m assuming those are. When there’s blood involved it’s best if it’s campy, seriousness and blood don’t mix well, it really is too tiring.

    “Alibelle, THANK YOU FOR SAYING THIS! I gave up on True Blood (season 1) for that exact reason. I became extremely annoyed with Sookie’s brother (The sex would go on for like, half the episode! Bor-ing!) by episode 3, and have not been back since.”

    True Blood was exactly what I had in mind when I said that, it was the worst of them. I don’t mind sex scenes if they are reasonable and actually further the plot, but the sex scenes in most shows might as well be uncomfortable commercials for all they do for the story line. They waste so much time, means I can’t stand watching with my family and are very hetero-male oriented. Pass!

    If anyone is looking for a good show with very little sex, a fun/scary mystery and mostly off screen gore I recommend Harper’s Island. It’s all on watch instant on Netflix, and it was strictly one season with the mystery solved completely at the end. I had so much fun watching it, even though I am one of those horrible people who has to know the ending to everything right away (yes I read the last page of suspenseful novels first, I’m disgusting) and wasn’t surprised by the surprise ending since I checked IMDB after watching the first episode.

  41. Gasthaus! Oh yes! My friend K was a clogger (!!!!) and got to be on Gasthaus in some sort of American Culture Meets Dirndls thing. My favorite PSA was set in a “generic bar” ie “the Gasthaus set” and had some guy going on and on about troop movements and such. There was a pair of Mysterious and Sinister Hands taking Leather-Gloved Notes at the next table. Someone at AFN had seen The Third Man and mistaken it for Germany ca. 1986.

    Those were the days.

  42. So, do movies-from-books count as TV? No, probably not. But since I watch TV and Movies on a laptop, I am blurring my lines. The reason I ask is, my mom and I went for a walk today, and she asked me… “so… Everything Wasn’t Illuminated…” and we had a chat about the book-movie Everything is Illuminated.

    Not understanding, or not being sure one understands, is a lovely thing when you can go on a walk and compare opinions with someone else.

  43. Gasthaus! Oh yes! My friend K was a clogger (!!!!) and got to be on Gasthaus in some sort of American Culture Meets Dirndls thing. My favorite PSA was set in a “generic bar” ie “the Gasthaus set” and had some guy going on and on about troop movements and such. There was a pair of Mysterious and Sinister Hands taking Leather-Gloved Notes at the next table. Someone at AFN had seen The Third Man and mistaken it for Germany ca. 1986

    Wait, where were you in 86? I was in either Wiesbaden or on my way to Ansbach.

  44. I watch TV only randomly, because we only have basic cable (actually, we only just recently acquired a TV at all… it’s not a class thing or a privilege thing, I’m just freakin’ cheap) so we only get about 15 channels and of those 6 are in Spanish, which I don’t speak well (though Teh Cubano (aka Marido) enjoys them immensely, because Teh Ladeez dress so nice). Lack of channels notwithstanding there is occasionally something worth watching and for a while I would catch a show called “Kings” every now and again and was enthralled. I didn’t follow closely enough to see if they really played out the whole Shakespearean experience in it’s full glory, but Ian McShane was lovely (almost made me forgive him for his part in the Dark is Rising debacle called “Seeker”) and Dylan Baker seemed requisitely creepy as the brother in law from hell. And it was seriously the best role I’d ever seen for Macaulay Caulkin (which isn’t saying much… it was probably the ONLY role I’d ever actually seen him in since I haven’t darkened the door of a movie theater since before he was born). Don’t know if anyone else caught it, but I’d be curious to hear opinions.

    Other than that I’m currently just spending all my free time with my precious and few imported full length dvds of Lewis (I am cheap, but apparently not so cheap I wasn’t willing to sacrifice a small scsi dvd player to region 2, even though I currently live in the States, just so that I could see them in their entirety as PBS cuts about 10 minutes out of all it’s BBC/Masterpiece productions in order to add their chow chow (TM Snarky) introductions on to the show). After reading all of Snarky’s H:LOTS recaps, I am planning a vid fest soon to relive them all. I watched it the first time around, but hadn’t really thought of it since. Still, while I am not a huge L&O fan, I did vastly prefer SVU after Richard Belzer and Ice-T teamed up, so revisiting H:LOTS will take me back to a happy time.

  45. I met Mandy Patinkin in… 1993 or 1994 or maybe 1995. He was performing in my hometown and my friend and I had previously been in a production at that same facility so we just walked into the green room after the show. We didn’t actually think he’d be there. He was awfully nice considering how boorish and presumptuous we were being. So I’ve always thought of him fondly and also kind of wanted to apologize. My friend was into musical theatre composition at the time, and he gave her a phone number of some guy in New York. She never called, but then in fact she did go on to be a musical theatre professional in New York, and then one night she was at some production or other and went out into the lobby and… there was Mandy Patinkin with his wife Kathryn Grody and their sons Isaac and Gideon. She didn’t interrupt them or anything, but it seemed very Circle of Life to me. Ahhh.

  46. I’m excited ’cause I’m finally buying the dvds of Tenko, my favourite show that no one seems to have heard of, even though 18 million people watched the Christmas reunion special when it aired in the UK! It’s set in the Japanese POW camps for allied women in WWII, and it does a pretty good job (for the 80s) with abortion, homosexuality, “good” captives vs. “bad” captives, the discrimination of white British vs. half-Chinese British (I may never get over Christina singing “Loch Lomond”), the ethics of “fraternising” with the enemy, the humanity of the camp guards/leaders (while not hiding the often horrific cruelty), and the wearing wearing wearing of the constant battle to stay alive.

    The cast is 95% women and I have never seen another show that has even a quarter of this number of developed, fully human, wonderful and awful and in-between female characters. They are some of my favourite tv people, and it is never afraid to tell the complex story. I could watch it forever. So if anyone’s looking for some awesome television to pick up, that’s my recommendation. There are only three (short) seasons and since it’s so old it’s pretty cheap.

    Criminal Minds owned my heart (and my femslash brain) til Paget Brewster got bangs. I am apparently exactly that shallow. ;) Legend of the Seeker is my new ridiculous suspend-brain-watch-purely-for-the-pretty-girls show, mostly so I can understand the squeecaps.

    I’m usually years behind everyone else in the tv stakes because I don’t have cable so I end up waiting til enough people have told me a show’s awesome and then I buy the dvd boxsets. I will watch BSG someday soon though. *determined*

  47. Um… Ramstein 75-79 and Wiesbaden 85-88 (Aukam Housing, WAMS and General HH Arnold…) My bestie in Wiesbaden had been in Ansbach before her fam moved to town.

    *cue it’s a small world after all*

  48. WARRIORS 85 – 87ish, 88 – 89. So then you know of the “Bad Children’s Theater” down by the PX on Heinneberg???

    Oh snap! Yeah I did WAMS, direct from Mainz Elem then left for Ansbach came back and did a year at H.H. Arnold!!!

  49. @Caitlin – i haven’t seen much of Tenko, but i agree its very good :)

    Anyway, cheers for the heads up on Treme – have been a massive fan of ‘Homicide’ even before the series because the book is really good. The Wire is fab too, my mum and dad are practically evangelising it to everyone in the family and lending out the DVD, so hopefully a UK channel will pick up Treme so i can see that one to :)

    I don’t watch as much TV as i used to, but I still watch Fringe, Criminal Minds and Flash Forward. My dad loves his war stuff so he’s loking forward to ‘The Pacific’.

    Me – i miss Buffy days, so rewtach them alot along with ‘Robin of Sherwood’. The box set i am saving/loking for is ‘The Young riders’ :D

  50. FYI, for everyone else without TV and/or HBO or outside the States: I just found Treme streaming online. I won’t link it here – I’m not sure how legal/acceptable that is – but if you Google “stream Treme” you’ll find some links.

    @Snarky’s Machine: here’s an article on Ashley Morris, his connection with David Simon (Ashley wrote a blog based on the Wire, and contacted David Simon shortly before his death), and the basing of John Goodman’s character on him: http://www.nola.com/treme-hbo/index.ssf/2010/04/blogger_ashley_morris_provides.html.

    As for the show…wow. It sent shivers down my spine and brought tears to my eyes. They really did capture that time. I was fortunate to be living in the “isle of denial”, as they referred to it in the show, and escaped without any damage. But even as fortunate as I was (and I really can’t complain), just being in NOLA those first few months was like being in a post-apocalyptic movie – the fridges and debris lining all the streets, the Humvees full of armed soldiers rolling down the streets, the helicopters circling overhead, the long lines everywhere, the heavy mood hanging over the city. Alternating with the joy when another restaurant reopened, or when a favorite musician came back to town, or when Rebirth was rolling. This show really captured that, on top of the trauma of those who lost everything yet still maintained their pride and traditions (i.e., the chief). And I LOVED all the local cameos – Rebirth!, Kermit, Treme Brass Band.

    Sadly, I was a bit disappointed with John Goodman’s character, or rather his acting. He just seemed a bit detached, not as fiery as I was expecting…hopefully he’ll grow into the role more with time. I am glad to see him back, and to see a fat person in a major role that has nothing to do with his weight, as others have said above.

  51. i am LOVING goodman on this. i’m loving the fact that no one’s going ‘omg he’s fat!’ on the show and he has a loving relationship with his wife.

    it brought tears to my eyes too, via. i haven’t even spent that much time in NOLA. I spent a week in the french quarter in my parents’ apartment. but the quarter will ALWAYS feel like home. and yes. i know that’s different than treme. my parent’s apartment was right across from the convent (the oldest building in new orleans?) so it was also in the isle of denial.

    i saw rebirth live, and seeing the trumpet brought tears to my eyes.

    steve zahn! OMG STEVE ZAHN! I’m going to love his character. When his partner calls his apt a s****hole, I’m like…..what? And when he ranted on WWOZ, I was like what’s uppppp dudeeee!

    I am looking forward to the show this sunday night.

  52. oh and snarky – i made my blog all updated and pretty – check it if you’d like :D

  53. “I’m also catching up on No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Loving Miss Jill Scott on that!”

    I’m late to the party on this one, but I loved this programme and casting Jill Scott was a stroke of genius. She’s magnificent in it, and looks utterly fabulous.
    I think they are going to do another series, which would be brilliant. They had the good sense to show it in the UK on Sunday evenings – perfectly serene chilled out Sunday night telly.

  54. My mother once told me that one of her brothers (they both disappeared in the Alps shortly before I was born, so I never met them) used to say that he never watched television, but did watch films on the television. I like that distinction.

    TRiG.

  55. @trig “I like that distinction.”
    Me too… sadly at the moment it seems that all films on TV have either Steven Seagal or Jean Claude Van Damme in them, as I’m sure you’ll understand if you are in the UK or Ireland! Seems like its Steven Seagal season every week.
    My main beef with Steve Seagal is that he hasnt “acted” in years – it’s his coat that does all the acting. I’ve come up with the theory that he just puts his big three quarter length jacket on , and the rest takes care of itself. When he’ pretending to have Native ancestry the coat is suede and has fringed sleeves, and when he’s a city dwelling hardass, its the black leather combo. Without these he is powerless…I think all you’d have to do to defeat him is creep up on him when he wasnt wearing “the coat”, and he’d hit the deck like a underfed kitten.

    Steve Seagal – It’s all in the coat.

  56. I’ve just noticed I’ve referred to Steven Seagal twice as “Steve.” This isnt my wild attempt at familiarity with the coated one, but my “N” and “T” are getting a bit stubborn on the keyboard, so I have to hit them harder. Maybe I need the coat of power when typing.

  57. @lemonadeandlemoncake – re:”the convent (the oldest building in new orleans?)”, that’d be the Ursuline convent, the only building left in the entire US from the French colonial period.

    NOLA has a way of hooking you and getting into your soul, doesn’t it, whether you spend a week or a decade here, and whether you’re in the Treme or Uptown or the Quarter.

    One other image I forgot to mention that hit me like a kick to the gut: the moldy, flooded cars stacked up under the I-10 overpass. Which, if you know the long and controversial history of that overpass and what it replaced (the historic heart of the Treme and the black community in New Orleans), makes it even more evocative. I just have to say, he’s got all the imagery and the details just right – I’m really impressed.

  58. I miss a lot of shows being in Norway and hulu being blocked for all Norwegian IP addresses due to the (lack of) downloading/pirating laws.

    I loved Band of Brothers and am loving the Pacific. Generation kill was a cool series as well, though parts of it hit a bit close to home (dad’s military and been in Afghanistan/Iraq since 9-11 with only about a year off).

    I’m currently watching the cartoon of Avatar: The Last Airbender with my partner and am really enjoying it. Neither of us usually watch anime, but this is fun, and I think when I actually go see the movie, it should give it more depth.

  59. @Rigpixie, one downside of the Airbender movie is that none of the actors are asian except for the villians.

  60. I am a huge fan of project runway, except for the episodes where they have to design clothes for real women. “Ohhhh it’s SO HARD to put clothes on a WOMAN who has BREASTS (or thighs or whatever),” you know, in spite of the fact that these women somehow dress themselves every day.

    Also Castle, although it has some race/gender issues, I really love Nathon Fillion and Stana Katic.

    On race in TV shows: I was watching Sunny Anderson, and I commented to my 3 year old “I think her shirt is so pretty!” She said “I think her face is so pretty! What color is she, brown or something?” Which is a sad state of affairs that she just doesn’t see that so much on TV. (We then had a discussion about race that used the princess and the frog as a talking point.)

  61. That maybe sounded like she has never seen any POC before, which is not true, just that she is now curious about skin and eye color and doesn’t see POC as often on TV.

  62. @Alibelle, that’s unfortunate.

    @Name, OMG yes re: “But they take so much fabric!!” I think they should do a season where only plus sized models are used. That might shut them up.

  63. It’s so weird to read you guys talk about shows in Germany that I have never heard of. Were those shows specifically for US soldiers and their families?

    re: Mandy and Criminal Minds, I read that he left the show because he couldn’t take the gore and violence.

    I am strangely resistant, but the show has suffered, especially since the hundreds episode, from a decline in writing quality and character developement. I still like that the show sends a pretty clear (to me, no idea about other watchers) message of “the patriarchy is screwed up”.

    Also watching Leverage and waiting anxiousely for the next season.

  64. My mother once told me that one of her brothers (they both disappeared in the Alps shortly before I was born, so I never met them) used to say that he never watched television, but did watch films on the television. I like that distinction.

    Then this is not the thread you’re looking for…. *jedi fingers*

  65. I am apparently a TV prude, because I prefer my shows without extreme violence or extensive sex scenes. A little bit of both is fine, but too much and I tune out. Also, I adore Charmed – I own all 8 seasons. It definitely has some problems, but for pure whimsical fun I haven’t found anything I like better.

  66. My mother once told me that one of her brothers (they both disappeared in the Alps shortly before I was born, so I never met them) used to say that he never watched television, but did watch films on the television. I like that distinction.

    But seriously. this brand of elitism is freaking tiresome. What is your objective? It’s not to generate conversation, but to drive the discourse or silence other folks, which is frankly, problematic.

    You don’t have to like television, but on a thread about television your view, particularly when not back with any kind of legitimate analysis is completely inappropriate. So I will say what I said to the last person who sought to passive aggressively shut down the thread: you’ll need to give that a rest.

    I’m wearing my MOD hat now.

  67. Also watching Leverage and waiting anxiousely for the next season.

    Yes! I was turned onto leverage (by our wonderful mod) and am eagerly awaiting the new season. Though I really hope they ditch the Sophie/Nate relationship angle, and I also hope they find a way to keep Geri Ryan.

  68. Another big fan of Leverage, although I’m almost a full season behind. (I’m currently ridiculously swamped — I can manage to “steal” ten minutes here or there to get online, but the idea of doing something else for an ENTIRE FORTY-FIVE MINUTES OMG is apparently too much to self-justify.) Very, very much looking forward to the end of the semester and the full week between it and the beginning of summer school; I plan to totally veg out and watch TV for several hours a day at least. Oddly enough, before my life imploded, I’d gotten seriously hooked on the All Creatures Great and Small box sets from the local library (which has a policy of never ever ever buying DVDs of American TV shows, but will buy British ones).

    Oh, and on the “TV shows that no one else in the world watched” subject, did anybody else ever watch “Justice” for the couple of months that it was on? I mentioned it to someone the other day, and she’d never heard of it. While I’m fully aware that there was very little of substance to it, I enjoyed it. (Granted, I’ll watch almost anything Victor Garber is in, but still.)

  69. AH! Someone upthread mentioned Mock the Week. I *love* that show.

    Also, the whole Criminal Minds thing. I watch it for the characters (and the actors that play them…they’re all so pretty…) but I really don’t like all the torture and murder stuff. It’s just icky.

    I want to watch Treme now…I don’t suppose it’s on Hulu. Will have to wait for the DVDs. I’m glad that the people of the city think it’s good.

  70. Lauren: yes, there was a whole network (TV and radio) of programming devoted to American military living. In all this overseas-TV nostalgia, I hadn’t even wondered if they’re still around, or if people just use satellite, or what. And lo, look!

    http://www.afneurope.net/

    Here is there website!

    I was too young to think too hard why, but I do remember that our TV didn’t even pick up German programming- I checked because I wanted to practice my German by watching TV. There were no commercials, except for Public Service Announcements, and they collapsed all the broadcast networks into one channel. It was sort of a “best of” situation. I don’t believe they carried cable shows, or if they do now, though.

    If your family was stationed in England, AFN wasn’t available. I don’t know if that was because it was English or because England wasn’t an occupied territory. If you were in Germany, you got discounted gasoline, didn’t have to register for German car plates, and other things. In England, you had to do all those things. The difference was we were British Allies, whereas we were German Occupiers.

    My parents wouldn’t have a TV we lived in England because they didn’t want to have to pay the TV tax. We watched Doctor Who (and Princess Di & Prince Charles’ wedding) at friends houses, or at the base day care center. (Secret code for: watched it while out of my mom’s hair for an afternoon.)

    Speaking of access to media, watching British TV/ listening to BBC and not watching German TV/ listening to German radio probably does a lot to how we experienced time overseas, similar to living on base or not living on base. I hadn’t thought too hard about it before, but I think it’s probably very true!

  71. Does the open TV thread include fantasy shows? Because in twenty years I want a remake of The Golden Girls with Alison Janney as Dorothy, Dawn French as Blanche, Jill Scott as Rose, and… okay, I’m stumped on Sophia.

  72. Ooh, another Leverage fan here! Everyone in that cast makes me need to fan myself and silently recite the periodic table to maintain my composure.

  73. I was on a military base in the Marshall Islands in high school plus a couple years (2000-2005) and AFN is alive and well out there.

    Apparently they now have 7 channels, though when I was there it was only 2.

    @A Sarah: Oh fantasy Golden Girls. Could Betty White be Sophia, just as a big giggle fit?

  74. Snarky’s Machine,

    What?! I never said that I didn’t watch television, in fact I specifically mentioned three shows I do watch and very much enjoy. And, quite contrary to “shutting the thread down”, this lead to responses by Gem and Mmarie.

    All I was saying is that there’s a distinction to be drawn between “television” and “films on television”. This was perhaps somewhat in the nature of an aside, and I admit that I still haven’t quite got used to Shapely Prose’s draconian approach to thread drift, and I sometimes stumble there (I’m learning), but I truly don’t see what you’re saying here. Was what I said really disruptive? It was not intended to be.

    TRiG.

  75. It might be hard, though, because Allison Janney, Jill Scott, and Dawn French aren’t old enough yet for their roles. I’d love it if Betty White were with us for another couple of decades, of course. But just in case, can someone please make a time machine?

  76. @ A Sarah: She’s super hilarious like whoa when she plays less than sugary sweet roles. I love that woman. Seeing her as Sophia now would be awesome.

    I really love that show. I must look for a streaming version of it.

  77. Or we could freeze her a la Han Solo. EPIC!!! Hmmm.

    We need a TV show that crosses Betty White with Star Wars. I just decided this.

  78. Alibelle: The constant sex is like half the reason I watched True Blood. Lots of hot people taking their clothes off and moaning, some of whom are vampires? Sign me the fuck up =P

    Anyway, I’m also looking for new shows to watch – I got hooked on watching tv shows straight through my fourth year of college, and now feel somewhat bereft since I’m only keeping up with like two current shows. I’ve been told to check out Deadwood and The Wire, and this Treme thing sounds pretty interesting! I love John Goodman (though not in the fun dirty way that other posters do =P ). And the endorsements of Leverage, both here and from my friends, are pretty enticing!

    ::raises the roof for FlashForward:: It’s getting a little bit nutty though. Is anyone else having trouble following the constantly topsy turvy plot?

  79. Alibelle, THANK YOU FOR SAYING THIS! I gave up on True Blood (season 1) for that exact reason. I became extremely annoyed with Sookie’s brother (The sex would go on for like, half the episode! Bor-ing!) by episode 3, and have not been back since.

    I find it really unfortunate that a lot of people dismissed True Blood for this reason. The excessive sex is deliberate–Jason’s whole character arc is that he thinks the only thing he’s good at is sex, and he’s developed gradually over the last two seasons into someone who sees himself as more than that.

    I’ve watched the first half of the Treme pilot and am about to go watch the rest. It’s awesome so far.

  80. We need a TV show that crosses Betty White with Star Wars. I just decided this.

    SERIOUSLY. I thought Obama was going to take care of this!! How disappointing.

  81. AnthroK8, thanks for the explanation. It’s weird to think that there is this whole “Americans stationed in Germany- sub culture” that Germans (at least of my generation) know next to nothing about. At least, I have never heard my friends talk about it before. Though that may be because the soldiers stationed in my home town were British. Did they have something similar?

    I need to ask my parents about their experiences with this, since they were the post-war generation and might have actual memories of interaction with allied soldiers and their families. I’m too young to really remember anything before the wall came down in detail. This is fascinating.

  82. This was perhaps somewhat in the nature of an aside, and I admit that I still haven’t quite got used to Shapely Prose’s draconian approach to thread drift

    Well perhaps it’s best to do more listening than talking. It seems fairly straight forward to assume that an open thread concerning television watching and – gasp – the enjoyment of such probably means it’s a place to talk about what one likes about the media/topic rather than stating something like the following:

    I grew up without a telly, and probably wouldn’t bother with one if I lived alone

    What dialog does this seek to cultivate? An honest question here. Personally, I tire of comments of a judgmental nature passed off as innocent feedback. I’m even more tired of folks, when called out on it acting as though the assessment is completely fatuous.

    In my experience, “…and probably wouldn’t bother with one if I lived alone” types of feedback on TV comment threads just don’t often go anywhere productive.

    I can’t be the only person who upon reading something that doesn’t really speak to my experience, but realizes I have no thoughtful analysis, opts to move on to something else.

    You don’t dictate the content here; the bloggers do.

    Hopefully that should clarify things a bit.

  83. Via, I’ve never been in the convent, but I could spend forever in the area right around it. i was slightly worried the show wouldn’t be loyal to new orleans, you know? wouldn’t quite get the essence. but they did. they did they did they DID. all the restaurants they mention are real, and my parents keep going ‘ahhhh’ when they hear one they’ve been to.

    I also watched Big Love, and In Treatment. I’m a psych nerd, so I loved in treatment.
    I tried to like tru blood, but it’s cheesy at times.

    Of course, there’s the office. Always the office. What do you guys think of their representation of fat people? I’ve noticed that kevin and…what’s her name? they’re respected people in the workplace, but there are occasional jags about their weight.

    I don’t know, though. I think they treat them as quirky and fun, like everyone else on the show.

    what else?
    skins. did i mention skins?
    i’m falling in love with skins.

  84. I’m a psych nerd, so I loved in treatment.

    I really liked it too. When you watch it feels as though you actually are going to therapy, which is both weird and interesting.

  85. The Golden Girls…television genius. I’d forgotten how much I loved that.
    I think in the fantasy remake, Sophia could be played by Joe Pesci in a dress.

  86. “I find it really unfortunate that a lot of people dismissed True Blood for this reason. The excessive sex is deliberate–Jason’s whole character arc is that he thinks the only thing he’s good at is sex, and he’s developed gradually over the last two seasons into someone who sees himself as more than that.”

    I didn’t say that I dismissed True Blood, and neither did the other commenter. We both gave up on it, maybe it’s not working as well as the writers and director think? There’s also not a reason to show the excessive sex, it can be implied.

    You know it’s weird, Lafayette has (gay) sex, but it was never shown. That’s a big part of his character, so why not show him having sex to display that like they did with Jason? I think you’re giving them way too much credit.

    The real reason I quit that show is that they butchered the source material to include more fucking. I would have put up with the graphic sex if it had been the sex that was in the books (there was a lot) but it was apparently not enough, so they made up ridiculous, stupid storylines and I quit watching.

  87. Alibelle

    True Blood promises way more than it delivers. I found some of the elements intriguing and thought it would take a more “Alien Nation” approach to examining the material, if they were going to deviate from the source material. That would have been a far more compelling place to take things and would leave them a lot more room to get their HBO sanctioned six seasons.

    Last time I checked in on TB it was floundering in terms of pacing, plot and writing. I think it was a real mistake for HBO to give in to the hand wringers who wanted them to rush second season/series to the air. I mean I get fans become disengaged, but it’s a far smaller percentage than say the fans who turn away from the show or undecided-s who never bother given the show a chance.

    I’m enjoying reading about the varying views around TV depictions of violence and sex!

  88. Oh my god! David Simon + New Orleans? SO EXCITING! I must see this! (I have nothing more to contribute, sorry.)

  89. You know it’s weird, Lafayette has (gay) sex, but it was never shown. That’s a big part of his character, so why not show him having sex to display that like they did with Jason? I think you’re giving them way too much credit.

    I think being gay is a big part of Lafayette’s identity; his attire, his speech, his demeanor all convey his insistence that the community acknowledge and deal with his alterity. As a self-described “survivor and a capitalist,” however, he has sex when he can financially benefit from it. We don’t see those scenes being played out graphically because they’re not supposed to be erotic; they’re transactions. He doesn’t seem particularly interested in/able to maintain romantic relationships, which isn’t surprising considering he’s the only out gay man in his very conservative town. As Alan Ball has said, the show is about “the dangers and terrors of intimacy,” and Lafayette is way too cautious for that kind of intimacy.

    I’m sorry if I came off as rude in my comment–it’s just that I’m not really seeing the distinction between dismissing and giving up on it. For you and some viewers, the show didn’t convey a deeper meaning to those scenes enough to keep your interest; for myself and other viewers, it did. I’m not passing judgment–I’m just honestly saying that I wish that more viewers were receptive to the form that the show chose to take (excessive, over-the-top, “cheesy” Southern Gothic as a way of exploring the tensions between puritanism and excess) because I think they’ve explored some really interesting themes through those forms. That it didn’t work for you is simply a matter of varying tastes, but I’m getting really tired of hearing (and I swear I’m not picking on you, Alibelle, I’m just expressing general frustration at how often I get told this) that I’m “giving them way too much credit,” because I do this for a living and it’s exhausting butting heads with the rest of academia over whether pop culture is an acceptable source for analysis.

  90. sheruns, i do like the themes, and that’s why i tune in. it has some redeeming qualities. it’s just….eh.

    but i am in love with twilight, while most people think it’s too cheesy. so…..who’s to judge? have you had true blood soda yet?

  91. have you had true blood soda yet?

    Not yet, but I’m planning on ordering some for the season 3 premiere party I’m throwing. It will go nicely with my True Blood/Fangtasia/Merlotte’s pint glasses. :)

  92. lauren: Yes, the US military provided a lot of services- shopping, banking, media, health care. It was entirely possible to live your whole tour of duty in Germany and never leave a base or US housing area.

    Many people really didn’t like it- in the 80′s, they didn’t have a lot of name-brand stuff, and one was behind the times often on US fashion or films or such. And, since the military doesn’t pay all that, buying or living “on the [German] economy” could be a financial stressor, as well. Things cost more, and when we were there the exchange rate was pretty steep.

    I seem to recall that for a lot of kids, living in American housing was like being in small-town America- the movies were out of date and there wasn’t always much to do on a Saturday night. Take that and being away from family or home, and it wasn’t necessarily the best experience. (Women with husbands in the military often really felt the stress!)

    I was lucky to have parents who thought it was important to be familiar with city we lived in and who believed in travelling, and who had the money to spend to do so. So, I had a really good experience being off base. We traveled, and they encouraged us to hang out downtown (politely…).

    Some of those hilarious PSAs, by the way, were all about Try Going To A Weinachts Mart Or The Local Castle! So it was clear the authorities had an interest in getting people off base.

    The base/housing where Snarky’s Machine and I both lived was medium-big. But it was a special treat to go to Ramstein, Frankfurt, or even Rhein-Main because the Base Exchanges there were much bigger with better stuff. And the Officer’s Club Sunday Brunch at Rhein-Main was especially good.

  93. @Sherunslunatic, the difference between dismissing something and giving up on something is pretty distinct. Dismissing it means not giving it a chance, giving up on it means trying to like it and being unable to.

    As for Lafayette, since they often show women who see sex as a transaction having sex, to display their view of it, natch, I think it would make sense to do the same for Lafayette.

    “I do this for a living and it’s exhausting butting heads with the rest of academia over whether pop culture is an acceptable source for analysis.”

    I never ever, seriously ever, said that pop culture isn’t worthy of analysis or anything close to that. Frankly, you haven’t lived until you’ve spent an hour discussing Dawn of the Dead and the parallels in it with The Grapes of Wrath with me. Also, what I was saying about True Blood was an analysis, maybe not deep, but nonetheless it was one. I’ll take you at your word about not attacking me, but it seemed a lot like you thought you had to explain a pretty shallow and formulaic plotline to me.

    You like the show, great. I am not trying to talk you out of it. I liked it too, I don’t now, and part is the sex, another part is what Snarky said, they rushed it and it’s gotten pretty shaky. It has redeeming qualities, and some people really enjoy it, I’m not campaigning to get it off the air. I just think it’s another show that relies far to heavily on sex.

  94. I never ever, seriously ever, said that pop culture isn’t worthy of analysis or anything close to that.

    I’m sorry; I was trying to explain why “I think you’re giving them way too much credit” tends to make me touchy, and that really wasn’t about you, but I expressed it badly. Again, I apologize.

  95. Is anyone else watching Justified? Timothy Olyphant is awesome in it. It’s about a US Marshal in Miami who is reassigned to his home state of Kentucky. It’s got a little cowboy-rogue to it and the 7th episode with Alan Ruck was hilarious!

  96. guess what’s on tomorrow!? treme! Oh and i’m definitely watching gabourey on SNL next week!

  97. Interesting analysis of True Blood going on here.

    I just found the sex too squicky too bother keeping up with it. Seriously, if someone had showed me that instead of the dumb sex-ed we get I might have become a nun. ; )

    Right now my TV show watching occurs entirely online. I’m currently grieving the end of Ugly Betty. That show was cotton candy that perked my week up. Now it looks like I’m going to be falling back onto Dr Who and 30 Rock episodes.

    Are there any anime people here? What new shows are you guys enjoying?

  98. Jason’s whole character arc is that he thinks the only thing he’s good at is sex, and he’s developed gradually over the last two seasons into someone who sees himself as more than that.

    sherunslunatic – that’s good to know. I had hoped that the writers were going somewhere with it, but it just wasn’t in me to really follow through on it. Maybe it was more than three episodes before I gave up? It was when he got together with the artsy girl who was into vampire blood to get high…?

    Also, we were watching the episodes on our laptop, and I think that may have contributed to some fatigue on my part.

    Mr. Minx right now is super into WWE wrestling, which means that now *I* am into wrestling, and am enjoying some excellent cheese on Mondays and Fridays. (I even got weaseled into getting Wrestlemania on pay-per-view. I can’t believe I just admitted that.)

    With regards to pop culture analysis, I am pretty anything-goes – I even wrote my MA thesis on “Freakazoid.” :P

  99. “I’m sorry; I was trying to explain why “I think you’re giving them way too much credit” tends to make me touchy, and that really wasn’t about you, but I expressed it badly. Again, I apologize.”

    I can accept that. I guess my “too much credit” line might have come across as pop culture is “trash” and not worthy of analyzing. I however meant that their intent wasn’t based entirely in the storyline and had more to do with giving teenage boys boners so they tune in next week. It’s all definitely worth analyzing.

  100. Is anyone else watching Justified? Timothy Olyphant is awesome in it. It’s about a US Marshal in Miami who is reassigned to his home state of Kentucky. It’s got a little cowboy-rogue to it and the 7th episode with Alan Ruck was hilarious!

    I love that cat! T-Oly finally has something interesting to do. Ima be all over that.

  101. Snarky’s, Rig Pixie & Just Some Trans Guy- The time is 9 PM in Central Europe. The news is next on AFN. Beep, beep, beep, beep beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

    It’s been a real walk down memory lane today.

  102. Timothy Olyphant is the shit, which is why I’m considering watching Justified, but it looks very cowboy-y which makes me doubtful of it.

  103. Snarky’s – Um, what the hell?

    I didn’t realize I needed to ensure every comment I made was consistent enough to meet your personal standard for my thoughts. Also, it is fucking creepy that you seem to have appointed yourself as my personal police force on this space, to the point where you’re reviewing week-old comments to compare them so you can bash me.

    I’ve been offended by your personal attacks on commenters since your first post here. I don’t consider it suitable behavior for a mod. It’s not my site and I respect that, but for myself, your presence here, and your attitude in comments, is putting me off participation in this space.

    DRST

  104. I just enjoyed watching four episodes of “King of the Hill” — a show I’d never watched before. I hate being late to the party but better late than never.

  105. I’m currently watching Secret Diary of a Call Girl because it is fluffy, and sex positive and I heart Billie Piper. And Breaking Bad, which is very dark. It makes me miss Weeds.

    @ Lemonadeandlemoncake Yes, yes, yes to Skins!

    And I just got back from NOLA and am very much looking forward to Treme.

  106. redlami: King of the Hill has the best finale ever. Although I sincerely hope the show magically comes back one day.

  107. Snarky’s – Um, what the hell?

    From “We are the boss of you”

    If your goal is to continue participating in discussions here, then challenging the mod’s authority in the heat of the moment is, hands down, the least practical thing you can do. The very best thing you can do is just step away from the thread for a while — go look at lolcats, go for a walk, make yourself some tea, whatever. Remind yourself that blogdrama is only a teeny tiny part of your life, and the worst-case scenario here is that some people who’ve never met you and have no knowledge of all your wonderful characteristics will have some negative thoughts about your screenname, right up until they go look at lolcats or go for a walk themselves. And then remind yourself that the one way to guarantee the problem doesn’t escalate is to not comment while you’re pissed off. If you don’t comment, you cannot make the situation worse! And if you’ve been taken to task by a mod for something or other, and your goal is to continue participating in comments here, not making the situation worse is job one.

    If, however, your goal is to make the mod feel like a turd, and/or gather the support of other Shapelings who think you’ve been treated unfairly for a good old-fashioned pile-on, I can see how continuing to comment and challenge the mod’s authority might seem like a good idea. But that behavior is extremely likely to get you banned, even if your original transgression wasn’t anywhere near banworthy and everything would have blown over in a day if you’d just taken a deep breath and backed off when you got the warning.

    .

    DRST, this is not a democracy. Kate said:

    I’m not kidding about the dictatorship thing (even if having 5 independent dictators is a bit of an unusual situation). One characteristic of a dictatorship is that even when the dictator is flat-out wrong, there’s not a damned thing anybody can do about it. There is no appeals process. There is no recourse. This is why no one wants to live under a dictator, or 5 of them, in real life. But when it comes to moderating blog comments, it’s the approach that makes things most manageable for us, so we’re sticking with it. The good news for you is, if you think we’re wrong and can’t stand our moderation style, you are free to leave at any time. You are free to stop commenting, to stop reading the blog, to stop thinking fondly of us. You’re free to shit-talk us all over the internet, if that’ll make you feel better.

    And finally:

    But you’re not free to go off on a mod in comments and expect to keep commenting here. It’s really that simple, and I really can’t believe I have to keep explaining this.

    Since you can’t stand to hear it from me, maybe you can listen to it when it’s coming from a nice white lady like Kate.

    I’ve been real patient with you. You’re not special, and if you can’t abide by the rules you will in fact be banned. So you’d best drop this real quick and a hurry. I don’t know who the fuck you think you’re talking to, but you’re sure as hell not talking to me that way.

    You’re free to disagree, but you’re not free to sass mods. How do I know that? Cause it says so right in the comment policy! You’re free to have whatever issues you wish with me, but if posting here is your goal, then you’re gonna need to step back and accept that regardless of your personal feelings I am in fact a mod, and while my style is different than others, I am under no obligation to earn the privilege to mod from you. If you have a concern with the way in which I mod perhaps you should take it up with the person who asked me to come to SP. That would be Kate. Her contact information is on the about us page. But one thing you won’t be doing is challenging me here.

  108. I now live in Germany *waves at all those who were once here or still are – particularly lauren, as we appear to have the same name!* so my relationship with television has changed quite a lot over the years. Since I find dubbing consistently comic whatever the subject matter, I tend not to watch anything on television that I really want to see or take seriously. Old CSIs / L&O that I’ve seen 57 times already – great. James Bond – my silliness meter goes into enjoyable overdrive. In Treatment – I’d love to, but Gabriel Byrne should not be speaking German. And House is much less enjoyable when I can’t boggle at Hugh Laurie’s accent.

    I really should buy more series DVDs, but growing up, half the fun of television in my family was that we’d sit and watch shows together at particular times. eg. If this is Saturday night, it must be “The Bill.” So grumbling about missing a key episode if we were out or couldn’t programme the VCR properly was half the fun. Now it almost seems like cheating to have everything available at once…strangely enough, I only tend to buy DVDs when I’ve already seen every episode.

    However, German television is like the promised land for anyone who is, like me, addicted to slightly cheesy crime drama. Ah, the number of hours I’ve wasted discussing which is the best “Tatort” (Munster, Cologne and then I don’t know), trying to work out the difference between SOKO and Polizeiruf 110, following Gedeon Burkhard from genius dogs (Inspector Rex) to exploding cars (Cobra 11), wondering whether The Old Guy, The Fat Guy, The Duo and the crowd from K11 will ever bump into each other when investigating the 77th murder in a low-crime part of town…

    Sorry, got a bit carried away there. I can only agree that television is really central to shaping your view of a country. Even the different ads are exotic, for a while at least, until one’s critical faculties or lack of patience kicks in. (Who knew there were that many different milk-and-chocolate-based children’s snack products?)

    I live alone too, but that made me even more likely to get a TV – both background noise and instant entertaiment potential. I used to think this was somehow a betrayal of The Great Intelligentsia (TM?), with their message that liking TV was low-brow and populist, but I now trust my own judgement and have stopped caring. I try to be analytical when I watch, because there’s a lot of problematic material out there, but equally, I like to switch off too sometimes, and will happily giggle about TV Host falling off his mountain bike multiple times but coming back to win the next round driving a forklift. (Yes, this is regionally specific.) My life is a little more colourful because of that telemovie where the older woman fell in love with the cute, younger photographer who moved in next door (thanks, WDR, for showing the sex!) and the one where the blind ex-detective negotiaties from behind a shelf with the cop who’s taken his daughter hostage in a supermarket while the operation is run by an unlikely Jewish senior detective. (Thanks MDR, even if I didn’t feel like getting up the next morning.)

    I didn’t really mean to wax lyrical here about German TV, but I love the fact that there’s a space with a consensus that it’s OK to like watching stuff.

    (Oh, and seconding the “Mock the Week” love. And Newsnight Review on Fridays. And Kevin McCloud and his houses. And…I miss UK tv, even if I only ever had BBC 1 & 2, ITV and Channel 4.)

  109. However, German television is like the promised land for anyone who is, like me, addicted to slightly cheesy crime drama. Ah, the number of hours I’ve wasted discussing which is the best “Tatort” (Munster, Cologne and then I don’t know), trying to work out the difference between SOKO and Polizeiruf 110, following Gedeon Burkhard from genius dogs (Inspector Rex) to exploding cars (Cobra 11), wondering whether The Old Guy, The Fat Guy, The Duo and the crowd from K11 will ever bump into each other when investigating the 77th murder in a low-crime part of town…

    ZDF??? I used to watch it when it aired nothing but Knight Rider, Chips and weird variety shows and chat shows involving women appearing topless for no discernible reason. Good times! I learned most of my conversational Germany from watching the tube.

    Also, I remember the gas coupons, AAFES burgers, Foodland, standing for the national anthem before movies (in the theater) The dallas cowboy cheerleaders headlining practically every USO tour. Brunch’s at the Eagle’s Nest, The Bad Children’s theater. SKATELAND in Wiesbaden, those spring break “American Pie” like bus trips to exotic locales like Spain, which teens and their hormones were unleashed on small off season tourist traps to suck and fuck each other outside the watchful eye of their parents. Going to London to see “Cats” under the guise of “educational learning opportunities” which was just an excuse for our possibly gay teacher to rendezvous with his British co-hort and flame, while we drank ourselves silly and danced to really bad music.

    I loved those PSA. I can’t believe I still remember them. I think the reason I know all the older TV stems from them being the only ones shown on AFN and waiting like a year to watch anything “new”, which was mostly canceled crappy shows from the US like “Foley’s Square” , “Amanda’s by the Sea” (Bea Arthur’s short lived pre-golden girls show, which was the american version of Faulty Towers) and “Oh Madeline!” A failed Madeline Kahn vehicle, which was actually quite funny.

    David Hasselhoff. I have seen that fucker more times in concert than another other “musical” act. I swear I have the video of “Looking for Freedom” (and the christmas light jacket he wore) seared on my brain.

  110. @snarky’s machine: ZDF, ARD, RTL, Sat.1, 3Sat, Vox, the regional channels – I swear, everywhere you look on German television it’s cheesy crime time. (Plus Law and Order, CSI, Bones, Castle, Numbers, but Tatort is still number one.)

    I actually spoke German before I moved here (I’m not military), but I will confess to learning a lot more conversational German from Inspector Rex than from more conventional outlets. I say *confess* because “autopsy” “cause of death” “interrogate” “murder weapon” and other such phrases make up far more of my vocabulary than they probably should…

    And you’ve just made my afternoon. At school and elsewhere we were constantly told that David Hasselhoff was popular in Germany, but – until now – I’ve never encountered anyone able to verify that!

    Living abroad certainly broadens one’s televisual horizons. My knowledge of a lot of obscure British reality shows – plus the only time I consistently watched EastEnders – was in Eastern Europe when the only English lifeline was BBC Prime. Ah, Cash in the Attic versus Flog It, those were the days…

    Oh, and Germany still has the topless women, plus four hours of “serious” doco on the sex industry what seens like every Saturday night. I don’t know if this indicates hard-core sexism at the heart of society, or merely a distinct lack of staff at Spiegel TV, leaving them no alternative but to repeat the same show again and again and again.

  111. Loz- the dubbing is incredibly bad and makes it impossible for me to watch imported TV shows once I have seen them in the original.

    But I am very amused that you love the Münster Tatort best- it’s my hometown, and I usually only watch to spot the setting. You stumble over them filming every now and then, which is a big thing here (Wildsberg too, of course. I drive past the bookshop they use as a front almost every day).

    One thing I like about German television is the fact that we have ARD, ZDF and the local channels. I know there are a lot of people complaining about having to pay the fee for state run TV, but I like the lack of breaks for advertisement and the lack of political agenda.

    But, on behalf of current German nationals, I have to refute the Hasselhoff-thing. He might have been more popular during his heydays, I am to young to remember, but nowadays, he is definitely not a big star. Afak, they don’t even do the Baywatch and Knightrider reruns anymore. Germans are not (still?) all obsessed with the Hoff (seriousely, that’s like one of the first things I people asked me when I visited family in the US).

  112. Oh, and Germany still has the topless women, plus four hours of “serious” doco on the sex industry what seens like every Saturday night. I don’t know if this indicates hard-core sexism at the heart of society, or merely a distinct lack of staff at Spiegel TV, leaving them no alternative but to repeat the same show again and again and again.

    LOL. I remember that too!

    Lauren, yeah after Hoff tore down the wall and Baywatch went off the air he was relegated to Octoberfests and German versions of “Where are the now?” featuring – you guessed it – topless women.

    He’s still moderately famous there and has quite a bit of drawing power. I would put him on par with Stallone (here). I mean my German friends can’t believe Americans seriously like Stallone. But then they’ve been getting his crappy film exports for 30 years and most don’t remember the original Rocky or why he’s famous in the first place.

  113. I don’t follow many series at the moment – I think I’ve got out of the habit somehow over the last few years. I am properly following the latest Doctor Who, and so far I’m enjoying Matt Smith as Eleven and Karen Gillan as the new codriver. I didn’t go along with RTD on his Messiah Doctor trip on the last series or two. I’m also trying to follow Outnumbered, although I’ve managed to miss both of the new series – will have to catch up with the last episode on BBC iPlayer.

    I watch a lot of sport on telly. Cricket, football (not so much as I used to, but I still have a look at a Spanish game every so often), golf, F1, rally. My favourite thing on Dave is the World Rally Championship highlights.

    The other thing I’m very into is How It’s Made. The voiceover is redone for Europe by an actor with a lovely accent and a down to earth dry humour in his manner (Tony Hirst, used to be Mike Barnes in Hollyoaks, also voices one of the fishing programmes), which really makes the show, for me.

  114. Ooh, I’ve just switched over to Discovery Science and there’s a Tony Hirst voiced documentary on, about a shipwreck in Norway. Tony Hirst can win me over to a disaster reconstruction docco. Good skills.

  115. I have always, in every forum/blog/messageboard/whatever I have ever participated in, and usually also in real life, done considerably more listening than talking.

    TRiG.

  116. I haven’t seen evidence of that, TRIG, but you’re free to frame your contributions in any manner you wish. The fact you insist on acting as though this is some kind of “debate” rather than a mod telling you to step back demonstrates you don’t do this whole “listening more than talking” thing well at all.

  117. The only shows I’m watching on the regular right now are Breaking Bad, which is so good and so dark and so intense that I sometimes I have leave the room (or play games on my phone while I watch it, as a virtual shield) when it’s on, and Twin Peaks, since I stupidly missed it the first time around (I was in college, and we didn’t have TV in our dorms), which I love. LOVE.

    I’m a huge fan of the Wire, so I will def. check out Treme when it comes out on DVD. I wish HBO released it’s shows on iTunes, dammit.

    The people who commented that watching shows on DVD is much more relaxing because of the lack of commercials are so right on. We don’t have cable, but watch plenty of TV on our terms through iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, and on DVD. Every once in awhile the planets will align and I’ll catch Lost in real time (oh, I guess I am watching Lost, although I hardly even care what happens to these assholes anymore; it’s all sunk cost bias at this point) and I just want to tear my hear out, there are so many commercials and they are so, so horrible.

  118. The fact you insist on acting as though this is some kind of “debate” rather than a mod telling you to step back demonstrates you don’t do this whole “listening more than talking” thing well at all.

    No shit. Guess what: EVERYONE who actually reads all the comments does more listening than talking, because if the comments were dominated by one person who never shuts up, we would probably ban that person. You don’t get a cookie for reading what other people have to say before you say something out of line.

    WTF is up with people still somehow thinking that when Snarky says something as a mod, it’s up for negotiation? Funny how that almost never happens to me (and almost never happened to any of the other mods, when we had other mods), especially with regular commenters.

    We have two active mods and two active bloggers right now: Snarky and me. Which means that when one mod attempts to have a life, as I stupidly did this weekend, the other mod is all alone. Which should be fine, in theory, since we are both perfectly capable moderators with equal authority. And yet. So here’s all I’m going to say about this: It’s really not Snarky’s problem, or mine, if folks can’t follow rule Rule #8 and that means longtime commenters get banned while I’m away.

    And that’s all I want said about it because A) I have just spoken as a mod and B) this is a TV-THEMED open thread.

    On that note, I’ve recently gotten into Justified, and I’m loving it. Elmore Leonard characters + Timothy Olyphant’s hotness = right up my alley. (And if that’s already come up, I’m sorry, because I’ve broken my own damned rule this once and only skimmed comments above, since I got so far behind while attempting to have a life.)

  119. I refuse to watch this season of Doctor Who until I get to watch The End of Time. NetFlix has a fucking death grip on the bloody thing despite having released The Waters of Mars and Planet of the Dead 37 seconds after they aired.

    On a less angry, hair-ripping note, I’ve been rewatching Absolutely Fabulous along with the French and Saunders sketch compilations. I’m currently on Season 2 of AbFab, and I noticed that I’ve only missed one episode from when it was on BBC America or Comedy Central. Also, “Morocco” is my favorite episode.

    I’m mostly in a British TV phase at the moment. I’m eventually planning to start Classic Who, once I’m sure I have all of the DVDs, since I’m up to speed on the new stuff…mostly. I’ve already watched Torchwood, Vicar of Dibley, Black Books, and all of Eddie Izzard’s stand up. Once I finish AbFab and F&S, I’m probably going to watch Black Adder or Father Ted.

    On actual TV, the only things I watch these days are RuPaul’s Drag Race, Project Runway, and Glee. Glee is the only one that’ll still be on in May, so that cuts into my weekday TV time since I’ve given up on America’s Next Top Model.

    And because I’ve already yammered on for this long, I should throw in that I watch anime, too. The most recently made series I watched is FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood(thank you OnDemand!), but I’m only on episode 1. I was watching Bleach, but I haven’t had Cartoon Network since Comcast moved it to digital in September. I managed to get up to episode 167(where CN stopped) by watching it online, but I stopped because I hate watching TV on my computer. Mind you, I don’t just watch shonen series with one-dimensional female characters, as I’m also watching a comedy called Pani Poni Dash on NetFlix.

  120. The only shows I’m watching on the regular right now are Breaking Bad, which is so good and so dark and so intense that I sometimes I have leave the room (or play games on my phone while I watch it, as a virtual shield) when it’s on, and Twin Peaks, since I stupidly missed it the first time around (I was in college, and we didn’t have TV in our dorms), which I love. LOVE

    I am just getting into this show after hearing both the lead actor and the show’s creators interviewed. It’s very interesting so far and I am excited to see where this thing will take me. It’s really frustrating that class stratification has happened with programming because it leaves very little decent shows available to folks without cable.

  121. If (when?) I move to Galway, to live near my Discworld friends, all of whom are serious sci-fi geeks, I’m going to have to start watching Doctor Who. If the one episode I’ve seen so far is any guide, this will not be a chore. It was brilliant fun.

    TRiG.

  122. A Sarah, I always say that when Betty White dies it will be one of the saddest days on earth, ever. Like everyone’s grandmother dying on the same day. She’s 88 already, which makes me want to cry.

    I am also more more than slightly annoyed that the Hallmark channel has preempted my morning Golden Girls episodes for old episodes of Martha Stewart Living. The Girls always started off my workday with a smile. I’ve still got my Treme and my 30 Rock, but they just aren’t the same.

  123. It’s really frustrating that class stratification has happened with programming because it leaves very little decent shows available to folks without cable.

    YES, THIS.

    One thing I’ve noticed as an apartment dweller (I assume it’s the same in remote locations) is that if you go with cable, you’re pretty much stuck with whatever cable plans your apartment is rigged to support, and depending on how they bundle programming, the price to access whatever networks you want to watch varies wildly. Maybe what you want will be bundled with the basic programming. Maybe it will only be available as part of the top tier royal executive bundle.

    So if you’re, say, part of a minority group and want to watch network tailored to that group, and they decided to put that network in the premium package, you’re out of luck. One of the reasons I don’t have cable is that it would have cost me $100 a month extra to get LOGO.

  124. So if you’re, say, part of a minority group and want to watch network tailored to that group, and they decided to put that network in the premium package, you’re out of luck. One of the reasons I don’t have cable is that it would have cost me $100 a month extra to get LOGO.

    Vermont doesn’t offer BET! I thought that was a punchline to a Dave Chappelle skit, but it is in fact a true story.

  125. my cable was messing up last night, so i couldn’t watch treme, but i did watch bill maher, and it struck a chord with me when they were talking about the tea party.

    we’re goign to watch treme tonight on demand though.

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