Sunday, February 22, 2009

Re-discovering Quality Television... and Dick Cavett

You would think that with several hundred TV channels available to us, there would be more than one or two with something worth watching. I spend so much time searching through all the available offerings I'm beginning to worry about carpel tunnel syndrome of the thumb.Outside of The News Hour and a few of the other offerings on PBS, the only other 'live' TV we watch are the the Boston Red Sox games. (Well, OK ... I'm the one watching those.)

Over the past year or so, most of our viewing has been DVDs, which are started or interrupted or ended whenever we want. NetFlix has been a boon, with movies of our choice to watch 3-4 nights a week. The cost is less that what I had been paying for HBO/Cinemax combo offered by DirecTV. (Would you believe there is actually a film titled Bikini Chain Gang??)

We also bought the complete series for both The West Wing and Cheers, each brilliant in its own way. But the best purchase by far has been a four disk set of The Dick Cavett Show, featuring interviews with many of the giants in the entertainment field: Katherine Hepburn, Groucho Marx, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Marlon Brando, Orson Wells, Fred Astaire, Mel Brooks, Frank Capra ... and on and on. It's wonderful, brilliant, hilarious, challending, insightful ... and on and on.

Isn't it amazing that, with so much programming on so many channels aimed at much smaller niche audiences, no one seems interested in programming for people would hunger for a little intellectual stimulation?


Mike said...

My wife and I have taken to watching Mexican telenovelas on Univision. Interesting though melodramatic storylines and we're actually picking up a little Spanish as we go. As the Monty Python guys would say, "And now for something completely different!"

And, uh, say, do you know if "Bikini Chain Gang" is out on DVD now?

Peter said...

Sign up for Netflix. Get the best of British television on DVD mailed to your home. No time limit or late return fees. Jim, you would love Foyle's War. If you can stad the gritty subject matter, Prime Suspect is still one of the best TV series ever produced. Rebus (skip the first series), Cracker (again, pretty gritty), Touch of Frost, Inspector Gently, Inpectors Morse, Lynley and Lewis, there are dozens and this just represents the mysteries. You should take a look at House of Cards, To Play the King and Final Cut as a one-time practitioner of the political arts. You would love it. Peter Rosegg

JIM LOOMIS said...

I'm alredy into Netflix and am a huge booster. We watch anywhere from 3 to 5 movies every week, starting them whenever we want.