We recently signed up for Netflix again, after canceling for awhile. I’m not sure how long we’ll keep it, because our queue is pretty darned short at this point, but we have watched a few things. Between the DVDs and the OnDemand, we’re not running out of things to watch. Also, we can watch Netflix films using our XBox Live. Crazy, huh? What I want, though, is a perfect world, where I can download ANY movie or show I want, at any time, and not have to wait for it to be available via. OnDemand or XBox. And I don’t want to have to pay extra for it. I basically want the whole Netflix catalog to be available to me at a moment’s notice. I suspect we’ll get to that point, but we’re not there yet by any stretch of the imagination.
LaLuna suggested I might enjoy Lost in Austen, and I really did. This is a cute story about Amanda, a 21st Century Brit who is transported into the fictional 19th century world of Jane Austen’s famous novel, Pride and Prejudice. Amanda means well, but she inadvertently causes trouble, and things go awry, and oh dear, how is Elizabeth Bennett supposed to fall in love with Mr. Darcy if he’s such a jerk all of the time, and Elizabeth is exploring 21st Century London? It’s rather long at almost 4 hours, as it was made as a mini-series in England. I went in thinking I knew how it was going to turn out, and the fact that I was wrong pleased me quite a bit.
Two Lovers is the story of Leonard, a twenty-something, suicidal New Yorker played by Joaquin Phoenix, who is looking for love after his engagement is broken. He finds himself playing the part of the sad sack to his beautiful and self destructive new neighbor, Michelle, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. At the same time, his parents set him up with Sandra, Vinessa Shaw, who is the daughter of a business associate of Leonard’s father. Sandra is sensible, trusting, trustworthy, and lovely. So of course, Leonard is drawn to the tortured Michelle. The acting was very good in this film, but mostly I wanted Leonard to wake up and see that Sandra was a much better choice, to stop letting Michelle push him around, and for Sandra to know what a jerk he was being.
We started watching Mad Men on the strong recommendation of Tim Goodman, a local TV Reviewer, who suggested that with all of the good shows finished for the year, now was a good time to get caught up on series you might have missed. Mad Men‘s third season starts August 16th, so this is indeed a great time to get caught up. I confess I didn’t think much of watching this series, since my mom was a big fan, and my mom and I often have different taste in TV shows. She loved Firefly, The Big Bang Theory, and Foyles War. I love Buffy, BSG, and Big Love. My bloggy friend CK also loves Mad Men, but still, I hadn’t given it a shot. Finally we caught it via OnDemand, and we were hooked right away. If you haven’t been watching, it’s the story of a group of Madison Avenue advertising men (and women) in the very early 1960s. They’ve captured so much of that time and place, it seems. The smoking. The drinking. The horrible sexism. It’s really well done. And it’s on AMC, which I think used to stand for American Movie Classics, just like TLC used to stand for The Learning Channel. Check it out…there’s still time to get caught up before the new season starts.
We started watching Breaking Bad for the same reason as Mad Men. It’s another AMC original series, and the premise is that a frustrated 40-something high school chemistry teacher, Walter White, gets the news that he’s dying of cancer. Money is a huge issue for Walter and his family, and he works a second job as a cashier at a car wash. When he receives the news about his cancer, he quits his job at the car wash, and decides that he needs another way to come up with a lot of money, quickly, as he wants to provide for his wife and son as well as he can before his time runs out. His brother-in-law is a DEA agent, and mentions to Walter in passing that there’s a hell of a lot of money in the manufacture and sale of meth-amphetamines. So, of course, Walter starts making meth with a former student. I’m not sure about this show. Kind of like Weeds, it bugs me that the first and only solution to serious money problems for these formerly decent people seems to be the sale of drugs. We’re about 3 episodes in, and the acting and writing is wonderful, and I suspect we’ll stick with it. I’ve heard it just gets better. Mostly, we just want to see what’s next. Warning though, while Mad Men is mostly OK for older kids (Maya watches with us), Breaking Bad is not.
Like I said, I’m not sure how long we’ll keep the Netflix subscription. I do like that you can start and stop it any time you like. But for now, we’re enjoying ourselves. Next week, season 4.5 of Battlestar Galactica comes out on DVD. Maya may pass out, she’s so excited. I suspect there will be less viewing of non-BSG related things for a little while, at least.
How about you? Are you watching anything on TV? If so, what?