Thursday, May 12, 2011

What You Should Have Watched #8

Late to the Party

Thanks to the wonder of Netflix, I’ve started watching the current Doctor Who series. After a bit of a slow first season (it happens, a show has to find its footing, right?), I’ve really grown to enjoy it. While I liked Christopher Eccleston (liked him better in Heroes), David Tennant just feels more natural. The sarcasm, the humor, the bits of anger…they all seem to flow a bit easier from Tennant than they did Eccleston. I also grew to like Billie Piper’s Rose more. She ended up seeming like a player in this game rather than somebody who was just along for a ride.

But this post isn’t about Doctor Who. It’s about shows that I got into late in the game. The most memorable ones for me are Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Those weren’t even shows somebody recommended to me.

While I was in college in Cookeville, TN, the rest of my family lived in southern Indiana. Their cable provider decided to stop carrying The WB, thus preventing my sister from watching Buffy and Angel. Being the generous and giving brother that I am, I told her I’d record the show and mail her the tapes when they were full. This was 12 or 13 years ago, before torrents or complete seasons of shows being quickly released on DVD.

One night after work, I came back to my apartment, ready to relax in my room, but I had nothing to relax with. So I rewound the tape I had just recorded, and I was introduced to the Joss Whedon and the Buffy-verse via the season four Halloween episode entitled “Fear Itself.” Action, humor, hot girls, tiny demons…yeah, I quickly fell in love with the show. Angel was next, and I became a Whedon convert.

My problem with this show, though, was that there was no way to catch up on the three seasons I had missed. FX ended up rerunning the show from the beginning a couple years later and I was able to quickly catch up, but it’s not as easy as it is today.

Recently, on the advice of a few good friends, I’ve started picking up new shows. I started White Collar and Burn Notice with the most recent season, catching up thanks to OnDemand. Within the past few months I’ve started watching Parks and Recreation, Raising Hope and Doctor Who. I’ve used Netflix and Hulu Plus to catch up on everything I’ve missed (I’m just finishing up with season two of Doctor Who, and I’m hoping to fully catch up before the current season ends).

I’ve been a TV addict for WAY too many years. The choices that viewers have now are incredible. I very rare, if ever, watch a show live anymore. My DVR is almost constantly 70% or more full. My DVR allows me to record only two shows at a time. If I want to watch a third show, I’ve got Hulu, OnDemand or the show’s network’s website on which to watch it. This is TV heaven for me.

It’s because of opportunities like these that I’m okay with waiting until the end of a season to catch up on shows like Mad Men or The Killing, or waiting even longer for premium shows like Weeds or Dexter. And soon enough, more likely when Hulu Plus has more options available for the Xbox, I’ll be getting rid of cable all together and rely solely on the Internet and Xbox, watching stuff when and where I want.

And as a quick note, here are some shows I got into after they started and ended up really enjoying:
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Angel
  • Alias
  • The Office
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Burn Notice
  • Doctor Who
  • White Collar
  • Weeds
  • Seinfeld
  • Arrested Development
  • Babylon 5
  • Deadwood
  • The Wire

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