Scourge My Hard Drive

Well, I really need to. The alternate title to this is “Why Don’t I Even Like TV Anymore?”


“This is relevant to my interests.”

By all indications, we are living in a new Golden Age of Television. This is not measured by the yardstick of “Big Bang Theory” or “Two and a Half Men” – I have had no truck with sitcoms since Barney Miller went off the air. Certainly not Reality TV, which is an abomination before God. No, I’m talking about episodic drama. Which I’m also not watching.

I’m not watching it – perhaps – because it’s waiting for me for a hard drive. If not in my home office, in the cloud somewhere. I’ve tried, dammit. Even acclaimed dramas with limited run times. I just can’t get excited about them.

My limit seems to be five episodes, if that. I am currently one episode into The Wire and Game of Thrones. This qualifies me for Blasphemer status in some circles. The members of the five episode club are Penny Dreadful, True Detective and the first season of Hannibal.

The first cry against me is going to involve Penny Dreadful and True Detective only lasting eight episodes each, which is a typical evening’s fare for the average Netflix binge watcher. It’s probably obvious that I don’t binge watch, either. That would certainly solve a lot of problems, if I did.

16PENNY-tmagArticlePenny Dreadful nearly didn’t make it past the first episode for me. There was something about the last line of that episode – “My name is Victor Frankenstein,” that really turned me off. Do I need another fan fiction version of genre icons thrown together? There was enough that was intriguing to eventually bring me back to see if I was right about a couple of plot points – I was – and Timothy Dalton and Eva Green were fantastic. I appreciate this version of Frankenstein’s monster, which was written by somebody who actually for God’s sake read the book. Still. It is going to take an act of will for me to go back for those final three hours.

I understand Universal is trying to do a Marvel-type shared universe thing for its 30s horror properties. Has anybody mentioned to them it’s already been done? (I know we’ve already tried to point them toward House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula…)

Matthew-McConaugheyThe act of will is going to be even greater for True Detective. Much as I liked McConaughey and Harrelson, the soap opera elements seemed like mere filler, and the only thing that kept me coming back were the Robert W. Chambers references, wondering where they were going. Then we found out our heroes hadn’t really caught the serial killer, and I thought, Oh, yeah, it was that guy in the scene that was noticeably truncated. I have not yet been seduced back to find out if I was right, or what even was the event that finally broke up our dynamic duo. It was probably something soap opera related.

The problem with Hannibal is that it got picked up for a second season. Which resides on my hard drive. I’m mainly stunned it airs on a major broadcast network. Then again, I remember all the hand wringing over gore in the cinema back in the 80s and I wonder if any of those folks swallowed their tongues the first time they saw an episode of CSI in prime time.

Thus the blank look whenever anybody asks me if I’ve seen Breaking Bad. My list of sins of omission against popular entertainment is vast, and that is one of them.

I am made of time only in the metaphorical sense.

11631677_mDeadline_03272013Since my life seems to be composed of ongoing multiple deadlines, it is unlikely this state of affairs will change anytime soon, or ever. I have a hell of a lot of movies to watch, and they generally weigh in at about two hours, and then that’s it. Done. Finito. I can deal with that. I can schedule time for that. I can schedule brain time for that. This stuff is srs biznss for me; I can’t have something playing in the background and then say I’ve watched it. Because I haven’t. I engage. This is my side of the storytelling bargain – I agreed to be told the story, and that involves paying attention while it’s being told.

I admit that last thing may have become something of a lost art.

Anyway. I’ve met the first major deadline of this week, and by way of celebration (and clearing the mental boards for the next deadline) I’m here muttering into the ether. There’s no easy solution for any of this; I’ve just been meaning to vent about it for a while. Now, before I settle down to writing, I think I’ll watch last night’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., because it just ain’t the Internet without a hint of hypocrisy.

Light at the End

So it looks like I blew my 500th post last time by telling y’all I wasn’t going to be around much this month. So much for arbitrary milestones, que sera sera. I think – maybe – the worst is past now. Possibly.

6623950883_e01f3719c5_zAs I write this, rains from the remnants of Hurricane Odile are hammering Texas, and I keep expecting the lights or Internet to go out. We have it a bit easier in the Houston area than further into the interior, but it’s serious enough that a whole bunch of scheduled things are now questionable. It would probably be best if I stayed home tonight and got some work done, but I really need to go to the opening night of a show my wife has been working on for the past month.

By and large, though, it seems that my days of being triple-booked are over for the moment, which is good; yesterday put me back on the cane for a while (and the weather ain’t helpin’ my rheumatiz, by jingo!). I am behind in my writing – oh, when am I not? – and I look forward to Sunday, when, gloriously absolutely nothing is scheduled. Well, I’ll need to buy groceries, but that’s at my leisure.

I did do something novel last Sunday – I read for a small part in a indie movie being filmed here. I haven’t heard anything yet, but there are three days in October I am currently keeping open. More bulletins as they occur, but I’m pretty sanguine about this. Like my wife’s show – which I read for, but was not cast – if I get it, fine, it’s something new and different in my life. If not… well, it would have complicated things anyway, right? Of course, when you measure three days of shooting against a month of rehearsal and then another month (at least) of performances, you are talking vastly different levels of complexity.

I still have two more City meetings to run sound for in the next two weeks, then we’re into the new fiscal year and I’ll be back to my regular work load there. So I’m not saying I’m back here with any confidence, mind you, but things are looking a bit better in that respect.

Now I’m going to go see if I’m flooded in.

Signing In Late

Yeah, suck it, salaryman.

Yeah, suck it, salaryman.

Well, I had a pretty good run of Wednesday updates going there. Looking back over previous posts (and sometimes I could even be bothered to correct errors) I find this is the Status Quo. Every September, my life shifts gears, and I get much busier. I get back into the new-story-every-week mode at the Day Job, hopefully pick up another writing contract, and City Meetings that need audio support in the last month of their fiscal year (when they’ve run out of money) hire the cheapest guy. Which would be me.

My weekend gig is also reviving an old show, so rehearsals also cut into the time.

So my spare time is getting sparser than the hair atop my head (hint: there is damned little up there), so I’m afraid this is going to be the normal for a while. I don’t much care for that, but the alternative is a tad troublesome, ie., having no money.

That’s the big blockade to a cherished dream: just watching a movie a day. Lots of people do this. Lots of people watch more than one movie a day. I could do it if I gave up sleep. But I’m already a pretty grumpy bastard, no need to ratchet that up. I’d also need to stop writing about the damned things, at which some of you would likely breathe a sigh of relief.

(hm. That would free up an hour or three every week…)

Anyway, I’m likely to be pretty scarce this month. If it’s any consolation, I’ve been working on something for October with some other movie bloggers, and you’re going to get absolutely sick of me next month.

See ya in the funny papers.