I do not have HBO or Showtime. I am one of those people who does not watch much tv. Although I did enjoy the occasional episode of The Practice on network television this past year.
I like movies, but finding good movies is not always easy. Inbetween, I watch cable television series as they become available on DVD. I think of this viewing experience as other than television because the actors are known from movies and there are no commercials. Watching one episode after the other is more like a big movie.
Actually, these DVDs are more like super-tv. Every aspect of these shows is calculated to entice.The music alone is intoxicating and lures me into a unique world that is hugely addictive. How about a soundtrack of the theme songs from some of the better shows? MadMen, Damages, Breaking Bad, Californication, The L Word. Who comes up with this stuff? It's like heroin.
I don't know how many times I have pressed the pause button to walk away from the screen and spoken these words out loud... "This is soooooo good!"
Did you know that Netflix subscribers can access their entire rental history? I see that I signed on in April 2003. There is a novel of viewing that anchors the last 8 years of my life onto the culture of media.
The first series I became hooked on was Sex in the City. I truly mourned the conclusion of that one, but I'm not sure how all these older seasons play out now. They are not exactly timeless. Around that time I also fell hard for Six Feet Under. Sooner or later, all good series come to an end and watching that final episode is bittersweet.
One series that keeps on going is Rescue Me. I have two seasons coming up in a couple weeks.
This may the end for the long-running show. There is such a long gap between new season releases that I care for less for this story as time passes, but then again, Dennis Leary is great. I may get sucked in once again.
I see on my history that there were a number of series that I gave up on after one or two seasons. No need to dwell on those, but the ones I watched until the end are worth mentioning--Nip Tuck, The L Word, Damages In Treatment, Lie to Me, Californication.
Some may have more seasons coming up--The Big C, Weeds, Bored to Death, Nurse Jackie, The Good Wife, Curb Your Enthusiasm, MadMen, Breaking Bad (can't wait for the next release).
One short run featured Jane Alexander as a marriage counselor. Tell Me You Love Me is worth checking out. I have noticed some of the actors from that one turn up in other films and shows.
On the other hand, it is curious to me that other actors who shine in some of these series seem bound for bigger and better things, but then I continue to see them in B movies. Justin Kirk comes to mind--he plays Andy Botwin in Weeds.
Before we had this more interesting level of television in the 2000s, there was the mini-series, Tales of the City, based on Armistead Maupin's serialized stories printed in The SanFrancisco Chronicle back in the 1970s. Laura Linney as MaryAnn Singleton, the young woman from the midwest who lands in 1970s SanFrancsco. It's a bit dated, but still enjoyable because of Linney who currently stars in The Big C, another promising new series.
A couple other good documentary series originally broadcast on PBS...7-Up and Art21.
Yes, I watch television.