Monday, March 03, 2008

What we're watching these days

We've been watching the HBO series "In Treatment" since it began six weeks ago. It's like a soap: five nights at week, half an hour each. Except that each episode is about a different patient, and now they're starting to interrelate.

It's fascinating.

It's a bit like being a fly on the wall inside a therapist's office, and it's mostly all talking heads. Surprisingly, it works -- at least in my humble opinion. Critics do, too, mostly.

Paul (Gabriel Byrne), the therapist, treats patients from his home office and talks to different clients four days a week, and then goes to see his own therapist-mentor on Friday (Dianne Wiest).

The acting is simply superb -- each actor uses his/her facial and body expressions to convey what the character is thinking. It requires so much more than something fast action, and certainly the psychological studies are fascinating. Maybe I'm just a voyeur, hm?

Another one we've enjoyed for its short season is Sarah Connor Chronicles from Fox. If you saw any of the Terminator movies, you're familiar with protective mom Sarah Connor. It's about blowing things up, evading the clutches of the Terminator, and trying to stay off the radar scope generally. Fun entertainment, although not for Mary Poppins' types. The season finale is tonight.
We also love Boston Legal from ABC: William Shatner is so wonderfully eccentric; Candice Bergen adds her bits of general elegance; and James Spader is not only a brilliant attorney, but also a decent human being, and his closing remarks in the various court cases are eloquent -- quite unlike real life, alas. There's nearly always a few hilarious moments, usually a moral point or two, and a fun story line involving quite the cast of idiosyncratic individuals.

We'll usually watch Medium on NBC, although I'm getting so familiar with the plot twists and outcomes that I can usually predict what's going to happen midway through, if not earlier. It's okay -- not terrible, not fabulous. Reasonably entertaining.

One thing that's made our TV viewing ever so much more interesting is that we finally popped for satellite tv late last year, and that opens up lots of options -- although obviously we still enjoy the network shows that we got on our little rabbit ear antenna for the last five years.

What we LOVE, though, is that we're not tied to network schedules with the digital video recorder option. We record the show, whatever it is, and then watch when we want to, speeding through the commercials. I can get an Oprah in nowadays in around 35-40 minutes. And we can set the recorder to pick up only new episodes -- no reruns unless we opt for them! Sweet.

So in the evenings we can watch In Treatment and then speed through another show if we don't have time to watch a movie.

We sound like couch potatoes, don't we. We really aren't --

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