Dexter Withdrawal!

The wife and I have entered a new relationship with television. I became a total snob and only watch download-able content without commercials and she has become addicted to Lost and is waiting patiently for it to start today. She is not as addicted to it was I was at one point following several shows, but she watches more TV than I do now. We now enjoy watching series together though, and its awesome. We finished BattleStar Galactica not too long ago and thanks to our little cousins got into Dexter.

We were at a family function and both of them were jonesing for the season finale of season 4 of Dexter like I do for video game time. So we figured, lets give it a try and started watching it on netflix. I don’t want to spoil much for those that have not discovered this gem, but I had the ice truck killer pegged since the first time he came on screen. The show has everything from dark humor to suspense. Weird thing is that there are tons of blood and guts but Bea seems to only be faced by the flossing during the opening credit. Come to think of it, the opening credits disturb me as well… maybe it is my dislike of big chunks of ham.

Now we have finished up to season 3 either digitally or through rental and season 4 does not come out on DVD until AUGUST!!!! NOOO!!!

I cannot wait to continue watching this show. Its fun to want the “bad” guy to win at every turn. Funny thing is that the show is pretty popular all over the world, but they don’t get it through a paid channel but rather free channels. I watched an interview with the main actor and it was interesting to hear the different reactions from different parts of the world. How in America we are satisfied with the killer getting rid of murderers, but in Europe they are still bothered by the fact that he is a killer.

Moral dilemmas aside, the show is great entertainment and it explores human emotion from a new perspective. I am really not sure how accurate the portrayal of a serial killer can really be since I doubt any of them really lets anyone “in” but it is still interesting to see someone with no conscience. Everyone at one point or another has watched or even enjoyed a good Vampire fiction and in reality they are simply murderers, but when you put a very human face in a monster that has a different kind of make up it makes you wander. Serial killers have made me curious but never fascinated me, there was always something disgusting about them; however the character of Dexter is likable, even endearing.

Now we have to wait to continue the saga, and for the first time since we moved I am considering getting cable again just to watch this show. Yea it is that good.

Posted in TV

TV Stupidity

I swear I am going to start a series about this. I was already done with my post for today and was in the process of having breakfast when I heard one of the stupidest things on TV, “So what are the dos and don’ts are around a cheetah?”

A Florida woman was mauled by two cheetahs, she was attacked in a sanctuary for big cats. Just like when Roy got attacked by his tiger I was not surprised that a wild animal attacked someone.

Wild animals have that little adjective attached to their name for a reason. To domesticate an animal it has to happen for many, many generations. Even now an Alaskan Malamute that has been trained its whole life to live around cats can switch to instinct mode the day it sees one dart by and it WILL kill it. That is what their DNA has programmed them to do, that is how they do not die of hunger… they have the instinct to kill to eat.

I was not even as annoyed when the zoo keeper that was being interviewed was saying that she felt very safe right next to a cheetah. If she wants to believe in her false of sense of security, that is cool by me. But when the stupid questions was asked I had to laugh. What are they doing for the viewers here, providing a service just in case you happen to walk into a cheetah cage? I am sure that would be the last thing in your mind if you happen to fall into a cheetah enclosure at the zoo.

No More TV

Ok, maybe not as drastic as that, but I am actually truly considering cutting down on my TV watching. Even though I just spend hours glued to the TV watching the Giants beat the Patriots. Go Giants! I have decided that TV just does not do much for me. Surprisingly enough a greater percentage of my friends than what I had originally though; watch little or no TV. A lot of them use the TV just to watch movies, sports or video games only.

When the writers went on strike I thought it was going to be a bad thing. I now realize that it was a blessing in disguise. I remember the first time one of my friends told me he did not have a TV, I was almost shocked. I did not think that anyone that had access to hundreds of channels of entertainment could ever be unglued from the TV.

Everything started when I began reading the book Blink. The author really amazed me with his style of writing, and the more I read the more I feel my mind is expanding. One of the things it has helped me realize is how passive it really is. I am rarely learning anything new from TV. I used to get excited when a TV show will have an obscure non pop culture reference or a comedian like Eddie Izzard talking about history; but now I see it as sad that there are just so little of those.

I also think that TiVo actually affected things even more. Being able to tape what you want in such a convenient way makes you less willing to channel surf. I remember filling up the TiVo and then catching up on the weekends, but then the TV season would end and there would be little to watch on the TiVo. Little by little I stopped channel surfing all together and I would only look for shows to tape.

HBO and the other movie channels are producing great content, but more and more I find that most people watch it because they want to have things to converse about. Besides the water cooler talk, a lot of the shows really have no meat. I am all for the guilty pleasure of reality TV, but Survivor went to Guatemala and I think I know less about the country after watching it than before.

While I know that TV is simply entertainment, I am not truly using my brain as much as I would be with a game of chess or even an FPS video game that would be helping my hand eye coordination. Another bad trend is eating in from of the TV. Some days I actually eat all of my meals in front of the boob tube.

Reading is probably the activity that I want to start doing more of, both online and off line. Once I put my RSS reader in order I realized that I can get through my daily reads every night and leave some stuff for the weekends. Also reading books to me is a lot more rewarding than watching a whole TV series. When you invest as much time as it takes to get through a whole season of something and the quality of the show has suffered or become predictable, it can be quite disappointing.

Another activity that I need to get back into is exercising. I have been neglecting my body quite a bit and I am ashamed to say that I am probably in the worst shape of my life. I thought that playing soccer over the summer would have helped, but I really did not put much into it. I also need to get back into martial arts and get back into something that is goal driven. I need to break the cycle of coming home and plopping in front of the TV. I am even considering rearranging my office or even moving it downstairs so both Bea and I can surf the web in the same room.

The last activity that I have neglected was language learning. Even though sign language is not what most people think of when they hear bilingual, I would love to get back into it. I also really need to get serious about French since I should be able to pick it up having a teacher at home. I have purchased some language software and I really need to get some use out of it.

I am a fan of many shows, but I honestly can say that when they turn to crap it gets hard to watch. The only thing to do is either let them go or become a fanboy. The fanboy mentality toward TV ends up just being somewhat creepy and I just don’t know if I can get out to a StarWars or StarTrek convention. I seriously cannot invest myself that much to the stuff that is produced here in the U.S. I find more depth on some anime than in most TV shows.

There are just so many other things to do that can better both mind and body. I think TV is actually hurting me in both fronts right now. I prefer video games to it, so this writers strike might just be the thing I need to kick the habit. So what have you been doing lately if you are a TV watcher? Do you think TV can actually make you dumb?

American Gladiators

American Gladiator Titan

American Gladiators premiered last night. It still has all the charm of the gladiators I remember watching when I was younger. They seemed to have tried to keep everything that was good from the original from the corny names to the best events.

I was very surprised to see Laila Ali as a host and not so surprised to see the Hulk. I compare the Hulk’s commentary to Madden’s in the sense that they both try to be serious but sound hilarious. They did move things along and I was very pleased with Ali’s skills as a host.

The challenges are a mix of new and old, some of the stuff even borrowed from the Ninja Warrior, and MXC aka Takeshi Castle. It think they even borrowed the voice of the main announcer. I also swear that the main referee is the same one that appeared on Dodgeball, but IMDB did not confirm it for me. I was glad to see hang tough and powerball come back. One of the funnest to watch beside the eliminator is the pyramid where the contestants are just totally outranked in size by the gladiators.

The gladiators are hilarious, Titan looks like a real live Ken doll on steroids because he looks almost made out of plastic (as pictured above). Wolf and Toa are totally made to be characters that just grunt and howl but Wolf seems to forget and talk once in a while. The only shame is the Hellga was not on more, We want Hellga!!!

The show is actually going to be on tonight on their regular time slot of 8/7 c so watch it, there is really nothing else on TV. It is pure dumb fun entertainment, you will laugh for sure.