On a lighter note…..

In praise of television

If I think of all the productive things I could have done over the decades I’ve watched TV…..think of how much time normal people watch TV. I’m 46 years old now so I guess I’ve been watching TV for about four decades. I can only imagine how many thousands of hours and trillions of brain cells were wasted in the process.

With all the years past since some of those early favorites, it’s interesting to be able to re-watch them today. Most of the shows I remember as a young adult can be found online somewhere. Some hold up pretty well when I re-watch them.  For example, I watched the entire Rockford Files on Netflix and think it would be a good show today. But there are so many others I just can’t imagine what I was thinking. I watched one episode of MacGyver and was appalled. I watched that crap?! And not like today where I just point the remote (my phone that has a built in remote on it no less) but made a point of going down stairs to watch that specific show on the date and time that it was broadcast???!!!

In any case here’s what I’m watching the last few days:

When my wife Bridget is around:

Longmire – a stoic sheriff in a rural Montana (?) town. He and his loyal Indian companion (ouch! didn’t I promise not to do just that in the previous post?!) chase down local badguys and try to find the killer of his wife, and with the help of a sexy blonde deputy…. Blah blah blah…. Not sure why I like this show. For some reason I tend to like detective shows. (on Netflix)

Rake – Bridget stumbled upon this show, it’s Australian and is about a slimy lawyer. I recognized the term rake as being slang (it’s the title of a favorite song, by one of my favorite bands Limerick Rake by the Pogues.) Looking up the term and watching the show I now understand this other definition of the word “rake” an unrestrained indulger in pleasures and vices, e.g. drinking and gambling according to my dictionary. In an early episode our guy sleeps with his best friend’s wife. Oh, and for what I’m assuming is broadcast TV in Australia there’s plenty of nudity. (on Netflix)

What I watch with my baby Ella (who’s actually 13 years old):

Brooklyn 99 – A comedy police drama with a very goofy detective. We call the show B99 for short. This replaced a few of our favorite shows we used to watch together like Psych and The Good Guys. If you like those two shows, there’s a good chance you’ll like B99. (on Hulu)

Little Mosque on the Prairie – This is a Canadian Sitcom about the adventures of a Toronto lawyer turned imam. He answers a newspaper ad looking for somebody to head a rural “mosque” that turns out to be in the basement of church in a hick town. This plays with stereotypes on both sides and is full of fun lines like “Muslims are known for their sense of humor….just kidding.” It’s funny, dumb and deals with real issues in a funny way. Little Mosque also manages to totally caricature both extremes. For example a right wing radio anti Muslims radio presenter who manages to find a terror plot in every move by the mosque goers. Or the over the top pious Muslim who believes that winegums, liquorice, and rye bread are part of a plot to trick Muslims into drinking alcohol. (on Hulu)


When I’m on my own:

I have a lot of nostalgia and a desire to keep my mediocre German skills up to date. I guess it’s been about a quarter century since I was an exchange student in Southern Germany. What’s nice is I can now watch almost anything on German TV for free. There’s an app for that, actually there are a bunch. But one of Germany’s premiere TV networks ZDF has a “missed broadcast” “Mediathek” allowing viewers to watch almost any show they broadcast for a week after the fact. Typically I like to watch detective shows just like in English.

One of my regular shows is “Ein Fall fuer Zwei” or “A Case for Two”. This show is about a defense lawyer and private detective team. As you can imagine the lawyer’s defendants are always innocent and with efforts of the lawyer/PI combo they are all freed in the end and the real culprit is found. Pretty predictable, but fun.

Then there’s a whole cluster of shows under the moniker SOKO. SOKO is short for Sonder Kommision or special commission in German and it’s followed by the name of the town. There’s a SOKO Stuttgart, SOKO Wien (Vienna), SOKO Wismar (a small city on the North East coast, and surname of some friends too), SOKO Leipzig, and SOKO 5113, the only in the series without a city name.

On yet another note: In researching this entry, I checked the Wikipedia article for SOKO 5113 and found yet another thing I was wrong about. Starting to explain took so much space I’ve decided to make that a new entry of its own: German Organization.

I occasionally will stray onto another topic all together and was enjoying a show called Germany from Above. I’ve seen similar shows here – this one just happened to be in German about Germany. And as I’m sure is very clear by now I’m suffering from one or two conditions or perhaps both: Fernweh and/or Heimweh. There’s good English word for Heimweh, literally it means home pain, but works in English as homesick. I’m not aware of an equal for Fernweh, which literally means distance pain. Basically the inverse of homesickness. Having spent that much time in such a formative stage in my life I’m not sure from which condition I suffer.

My phone can also control my TV

My phone can also control my TV