Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sunday nights on the couch

Ramblings Post #182
I like television. Well, not most of television. Some of television. On my old Direct TV box, they had a little nine box square speed dial feature that meant I could skip 95% of the channels I was paying for if I so desired. And because I so desired I did so with vigor and zesto. On my new box, you have to pay for the extra HD to get that damn hot channel box...and whereas I like Direct TV, it's not quite that kind of relationship.

I have watched television since as a small child I realized it was window to the outside world. At one point my parents didn't need a TV Guide, they had me. I knew all channels, what was coming on when, the tricks to make the TV work properly when the screen got fuzzy, you know everything. And although I did spend my first eight years in Atlanta watching a 19-inch set (because I was out and about and really didn't care), the feeling for that magic was still there. Well, not really.

As I've matured I'm down to liking just some television. Very little in fact. Well, the parts I can see when I'm not doing something else, or usually catch in the middle because my eyes are tired of reading cases or the parts I can watch after I'm finished everything else, which is why I'm now considering actually buying something off an infomercial. Except on Sunday nights. Sunday nights on Showtime starting at 10pm, I watch something I actually like.

At 10pm, it's Don Cheadle's House of Lies. In it, Cheadle plays Marty Kaan, a management consultant who with his team travels each week to somewhere to solve some business problems. Wait, I made that sound way too nice. Cheadle plays Marty "the Con-man" Kaan, a self centered huckster who reminds me of the cleaned up version of my brother's old business partner who goes out each week with his crew to see if they can convince a new company to hire his company. Whether it's bringing a stripper to a business dinner or doing drugs in the parking lot with a VP to learn a few secrets, Marty's goal is as always to make sure his firm gets the afterwork business. It's very funny, sometimes a little raw, and but altogether a good watch.

House of Lies cast

Then at 10:30pm I watch Californication. Watching this is almost an afterthought, as I understand the show is in its fourth or fifth or something season. The episodes I've seen this season revolve around the protagonist, Hank Moody, writing a movie for what has to be the most gratuitously named black character in all of filmdom ever - Samurai Apocalypse. The episodes I've seen seem to indicate that at its core it's one of the shows where everyone has a huge house, drives a great car, always has a pocket full of cash but never appears to do any work at all. I normally hate those shows. Well Samurai did put in some work in a music studio, so maybe that. It's watchable, but it really is only on my radar because of its time slot.

My show, my soap opera, is Shameless which I watch at 11pm. I realize that this is a remake of a Brit original, and normally I would watch the original then lord it over everyone how I had watched the real deal instead of the knockoff. But this knock off, styled more to the American taste, actually plays better to me. That and I had already gotten used to the American cast so when I saw the original it didn't feel right.

Frank and the kids...and yes the baby is black.

The Shameless story is of the Gallagher clan, a nest of hustlers, thieves, and con-artists headed, well, kinda headed by Frank Gallagher, a single father of six children who is an inveterate alcoholic who would be two grades below the trailer park if they lived in the south. Well, not really, the family is actually headed by Fiona, Frank's daughter who trying her best to keep the family together since her father will occasionally sleep wherever he passes out and whose only regular home appearance is to pick up his fraudulent disability check. The cast is huge, the story lines diverse and just when you think you know what's coming they manage to throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing.

Now considering my classmates are going out to clubs (according to their facebook posts), jetting off to locales and vacations (according to their facebook posts) and generally hanging out (according to their facebook posts AND photographs) a couple of hours a week for TV ain't that bad. I think.

Barkeep, whatever Frank is drinking, I would like the opposite of that.

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