Dare to Daredevil

daredevil

For reasons that are not overly important, I do not have Netflix.  As a result, I have been waiting to watch Daredevil.  I have more than enough television that I can wait until it will be released on Blu-Ray.   I have patience.  I can wait.

This is what I told myself Saturday morning.  How was I to know that by Saturday night I would have watched almost half of them.  I guess I have to thank (or perhaps curse) my friend.

To be fair, my friend is a pretty serious Daredevil fan.  He has an extensive collection of the comics and at least a few figures.  When he goes into comic shops, he utters the words “got it” way more than he sighs “need it.”

Having read this short bio, obviously, you can conclude that my friend has watched the whole series (I should probably let him write a guest blog review–he’s got some writing talent…I will have to think about this).  I digress.  As I was writing, my friend has obviously seen the whole series, but that did not dampen his enthusiasm to watch it again.

I must say that I liked it.  It had a gritty feel to it without being completely contrived.  It had great action without resorting to matrix like moves.  It also had a hero who was vulnerable, resourceful and full of conviction.  In today’s anti-hero world, that doesn’t always come through.

My friend was not only a great host (he supplied the beer and potato chips) but also an incredible asset while viewing.  Watching it with my knowledgeable friend was like watching it with “pop-up video” like balloons.  He knew even slight characters and could single out comic book references and divergent storylines.

My only problem is that I am only half done.

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RIP Television

 
Is television finished?  Of course it isn’t, but are we in the midst of its decline?

I was out riding my bike around today, trying to decided if I should buy a new TV.  I found a couple that I am interested in, and if I bought them today, I wouldn’t have to pay tax.  I couldn’t decide if I should spend 900 bucks on a new TV and sound equipment, or if I should save the money for the cool bike that I want to buy.  (feel free to comment–but I have about 1 hour to make this decision).

While riding I stopped to talk to a woman who was also riding, but taking a rest.  She mentioned that she loved watching Netflix on her laptop, and was planning on throwing out her TV.  I didn’t ask her if she would give it to me, but not that I think about it, maybe I should have.

The point being, I know a lot of people would rather pay a small fee and their internet provider rather than traditional cable.  If they had sports on Netflix, I am sure a lot of us would do the same.  If they make more TV series for Netflix only, would more people rather watch them?  I don’t have the answers to these questions–and I am still wrestling with the TV debate, but I guess only time will tell.   Maybe this is the beginning of the end of television as we know it.

World Cup Thoughts

 
World Cup season is upon us.  My television is full of games, repeats of those games (condensed and not condensed) and a whole lot of commentary about those games.  My students, often proudly wearing their nation’s jerseys or waving flags, are chatting non stop about the game.  They have begged me to watch the game in class on at least one occasion.  I suspect in the coming weeks, this will become a regular occurrence.

There are positives and negatives to all of this.  It is great to see such enthusiasm in people.  There is a hum in the air, and electric vibe if you will.  In most cases, I can tell they are talking about the World Cup, even though I can’t hear what they are saying.  They are either discussing the latest controversial calls, the penalties or lack of penalties, the game, or making plans to watch the game.  All in all, that’s pretty exciting.

There are a few negatives, sadly.  One downside is that my students are not really paying attention to school.  The begging to watch the game which seemed cute on the first day, will grow pretty tiring by the end of it all. 

Also, probably since I am not a fan, the marketing looks rather insincere.  When the Olympic hockey was on, the sports channels proudly proclaimed it “our game”.  For the Soccer World Cup, the same station is calling it something similar.  While I guess it might be true for some, it doesn’t ring true for me.  It just seems like shameless marketing.  Of course, what this means is that I am a victim of marketing.  They manipulated me before, and now they are manipulating someone else.  I guess I am more upset at myself than them.

In the end, I hope my students and everyone else enjoys this month of soccer.  I hope no ill feelings are created by these games.  I hope this tournament creates some happiness in the world.

 

Hobbies on Television

Why aren’t there any hobby reality shows?  When you get right down to it, hobbies seem to be poorly represented on TV.  It seems to me that there is an opportunity for some kind of program on television.  Why isn’t there one?

The way I see it we certainly could have shows about making models.  There is such a diversity of models out there that every week could be quite different and reach quite a diverse audience.  One week on airplanes,  (both military and commercial) one week on cars, one week on military models, one week on science fiction, one week on trucks, ….you get the idea.  They could build dioramas, showcase different techniques and materials–and just like those annoying “flea market type shows” educate us with some history.  In Japan, they have a show like this.  It is called Plamotsukuro.  It is amazing to watch.

I would love a show about the hobby of trains.  At least, in this area, there are some programs devoted to real trains, but there isn’t enough about model trains.  I don’t think it would be difficult to come up with some good programs about building, collecting, and running model railroads.

Of course, there are so many other hobbies out there.  Rather than have a show of people buying stuff hoping to sell it for more, why can’t we see the passion of people who aren’t in it for the money.  Those shows are on the history channel, purporting to be real, and dishing out relevant historical information.  I think a show about hobbies could do that just as well.

I would think a show about different hobbies could easily find a sponsor.  With Christmas approaching, wouldn’t there be a demand for hobbies and toys?  Wouldn’t people like to see things that would occupy them on those dark winter nights?

If you’re visiting a television channel or network website, don’t hesitate to let them know that a program about hobbies would be appreciated.  I certainly will be doing that, as soon as I finish typing this.

Collection Intervention?

It is pretty obvious that I have collected a lot of stuff in my life.  If you’ve been reading these posts for a while, you will have probably read my inadvertent collection post (maybe even both of them), but, I am not really a collector.  I collect stuff (inadvertently) but I don’t have a massive collection of anything…probably because I don’t have the money for it all.  Nonetheless, in a show of comradeship with my richer (and therefore not less fortunate) brethren, I must protest this new show on television called “Collection Intervention.”

Basically the show goes to the houses of people who have huge collections that have taken over their lives.  They have rooms and rooms of stuff, often so much that there isn’t any room to display it.  While I am not that kind of person, I can’t really bring a lot of scorn to these people.  They are not hoarders, just misguided.  This is not the part of the show that makes me write this.

The host, and counsellor, is one of the women from that great PBS show History Detectives.  And this is where this rant begins.  No, I can’t criticize her role on the show.  She performs admirably.  However, I have some problems.

so, this one is not about stamps, but this is a collection
  1. Is she really qualified to help these people?  The seem to suffer from some emotional or psychological issue, and probably need more than a host telling them they’ve got to get rid of some stuff.
  2. If she is good at this, is her role on History Detectives fakes as well.  I love that show.  I watch it even if I have no love or knowledge of the topic.  Sometimes they have whole shows about the civil war…..and I’m Canadian.  I still watch.  Now, I will carry around a bit of doubt with me.
  3. There is nothing intervention like about this program.

I doubt if I will watch this program again unless the collector actually collects something that I am really interested in…….okay, I realize, with my lengthy list of interests, it is highly likely that some collector in need of a television intervention by an ex PBS host probably collects something that I am interested in.  It is pretty inevitable after all.