Tubi Time!


When I finally bought a Roku streaming device in 2018 one of the services on there was Tubi, which used to be a nice little very free secret which is still thankfully free. It reminds me of old video stores or the public library with the mix of old and newer movies, random junk, nice cult gems and everything in between. I’ve been using it even more since last year due to it’s halfway decent collection of horror and western movies, plus kung fu movies.

Sure there are ads, and Tubi doesn’t have any original programing that I know of, yet it’s still rather handy. Right now as I type this I’m watching Airport ’77, which is definitely not on Netflix or Hulu. Sure it’s cheesy as hell but it’s nice to view a slice of 1970s blockbuster cinema. Plus you get used to the ads, anyways. I really am trying to burn through my list on Tubi, yet they keep adding stuff I want to see. So it’s really just like the other streaming services I’m currently using. Quarantine time is cinema time.

Premium Gatekeeping Never Ends


Roku Has Become a Gatekeeper in Premium Streaming - Variety

So my dad got into the CBS Clarice show but he’s never seen Silence of the Lambs. It’s on Hulu but you need a premium subscription to even watch it. And people wonder why I’m still buying movies. I guess I should have purchased the Criterion copy of the movie during their last flash sale.

However I’m wondering why I need to upgrade for a service I’m already paying for. Disney+ is guilty of that too with their special new releases that they expect people already subscribed to their service to pay extra for. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that streaming services are greedy like that, yet it is still disappointing. I know there are other options but those also cost money and the segmentation of streaming is really aggravating. At this point I don’t blame people resorting to piracy again, however it shouldn’t have to come to this point.

Especially with a movie like Silence of the Lambs that is only 6 years younger than I am. I work with people younger than that movie. I guess it has always been this way with anything older than 1980 or 1970, however now you encounter it with even 1990s and modern flicks. I remember Netflix lacking a lot of older movies on streaming due to studios wanting people to still buy them on physical media. Well congratulations, that worked all too well.

Hey at least I found a cheap Blu-ray version of Silence of the Lambs at Best Buy, which amuses me since they gutted their movie section. Remind why I should bother supporting copyright law when giant corporations abuse the hell out of it and older movies that should be public domain and available for free on YouTube are not…

PS: My local library had a copy and it was the Criterion DVD edition. I might need to use them more often.

Love The Show. The Fanbase….Not So Much


Turn Toxic Fandom Into Profit And Notoriety On YouTube
Hey I liked that episode…

Someone on Twitter one day made a good point about how Doctor Who fans keep saying that the current show runner is killing the show. Rick and Morty has fans who idolize Rick even though he’s the last person anyone should admire. Watchmen has fans that think Rorschach is a role model (bloody yikes even if it is a movie although there is a show), and Breaking Bad has the same thing with people thinking Walter White is not a villain (super yikes). Also Community suffered from people who loved Jeff too much even though he sucked as a human being for most of the show. This is a trend that makes me wonder if people actually pay attention to what they watch, or if people love to complain.

I’m well aware I’m complaining about their complaining, and every fanbase does have their share of crazy or misguided people. Anytime a show changes things or dares to attempt something different, people freak out. I think humans like that their shows don’t change, even though sometimes that change works out or is good for the show. I remember a lot of fans being mad that The X-Files had new main characters, even though the previous lead actors didn’t want to do the show as much or at all anymore. So to keep things going new people who were perfectly fine were introduced. At least I didn’t mind the change although I’ll admit I had to warm up to both of them.

Anyways I would prefer my favorite shows be allowed to last long enough to achieve their goals. I’m reminded of Timeless and Firefly, two great TV shows that were sniffed out before they were allowed to last long enough to make a proper impact. If your favorite show makes some changes it is probably trying to survive in a hostile and increasingly shrinking TV market carved up by streaming and people having shorter attention spans. Take what you can get. Or just find another show, there’s a million of them out there.

Short Lived Shows Forever


I cheated and expanded my criteria to shows that lasted 4 seasons or less. I have viewed so many short lived shows because many of them were unfairly canceled. Others choose to end due to their creators feeling that the main story did not require a ton of episodes. Sometimes I wonder if certain shows deserved to be longer, yet there are times when maybe them ending when they did was for the best.

I’ll start with a list of some of my favorites:

1. Veronica Mars (4 seasons, CW)

2. Cowboy Bebop (1 season, Adult Swim)

3. Timeless (2 seasons, NBC)

4. Terriers (1 season, FX)

5. Life on Mars (2 seasons, BBC)

6. Trigun (1 season, Adult Swim)

7. Blue Mountain State (3 seasons, SPIKE)

8. Lucy: Daughter of the Devil (1 season, Adult Swim)

9. Mike Tyson’s Mysteries (4 seasons, Adult Swim)

10. The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr. (1 season, FOX)

11. Daredevil (3 seasons, Netflix)

12. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace (1 season, Adult Swim)

Piracy, Argh!


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My coworker, Kaine, once said “This is why we commit crimes” as a joke. However this can apply to the incoming rise of online piracy that is going to happen. Everyone and their dog is creating a streaming service, which is bad. Not everything or everyone needs to have one, and the whole thing goes from monopolies to way too much segmentation.

Plus I don’t get why network TV streaming services that are free still require a cable subscription. It doesn’t matter I guess since cable is where streaming is heading towards. Eventually there will be streaming buddles or something like that. People are also overracting to Netflix losing Friends and The Office. I don’t get subscribing to a service for only one or two shows, yet people do it anyways.

Perhaps folks will use second hand stores like Half-Price Books to find TV on physical media. More than likely many will go back to pirating TV, especially since jailbroken firesticks exist. I prefer to do things the legal way, and so I guess there are just some shows and movies I won’t get to watch. I don’t have enough time as it is regardless.

In The Streaming Waiting Line


One of the bad things about having both free and paid streaming sites at my disposal is that I have way too many queues full of movies and TV shows that I either choose to ignore or do not have time to watch. It is bad enough that I also have a queue on my folks Netflix for whenever I stop by, in addition to the Netflix I already am paying for. This on top of Shudder, Hulu, Tubi TV, and even Crackle (the last two are free, at least), so the list is pretty long. There are times when I admit I am not going to watch something and remove it from the queue, or I finally watch something only to add something new in its place. While in the beginning a queue was a good way to make sure you did not lose that cool looking new or old movie/TV show you really want to see, it is now a reminder that you are not watching said program.

In this case, it stems from me being a huge procrastinator (I actually finished Bird Box, after months of putting the second half off. Whoops). One solution is to simply purge my lists and just watch whatever I am interested in, although that means having to search for programming. That usually ends in me looking through stuff without ever hitting watch, another problem for another time. A better idea is to suck it up and go through everything on my queue, although a tricky idea is to simply wait for most of it to go away due to expiring rights issues. Maybe if someone came up with a way to go without sleep….yes…

Binge This! Weekly Pick: The Umbrella Academy (Steve Blackman, Jeremy Slater)


 

I figured that starting a new trend of posting about the shows I quickly go through on streaming services would be a good way of keeping myself busy in-between Horrorfests and other musings. This week’s pick is The Umbrella Academy, which I finally burned through in less than a week after letting it sit on my queue long after it was released. While my usual enjoyment of superhero fair caused this show to catch my attention, the very likable and easy to relate to characters gave me a reason to keep watching. The plot is rather Watchmen/The-X-Men meets The Royal Tenenbaums: a group of kids are all born on the same day, and were adopted by an eccentric rich man who enrolls them in his own private school. This man, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, is played by Colm Feore, and is reveled through flashbacks to be, in the words of his adapted son Diego, “A monster.”

Naturally as the show goes on things are way more complicated, of course, particularly since the fate of the world is at stake. The adapted kids have grown up: Luther is on the moon, Allison is an actress, Diego is a vigilante, Vanya is a concert violinist, Klaus has a terrible drug addiction and Ben (Justin H. Min), is well…watch and see. Back into their lives comes Number Five (Aidan Gallagher-no really, that’s his name) who disappeared years ago by traveling into the future by mistake. What I also liked about this show is how the flashbacks are handled-you get a decent amount of information, but only enough to keep you curious. Also the show has a good way of using musical cues, and there is a good deal of sly humor as well. Ellen Page is the main star, yet I rather liked the entire cast as a whole-particularly Tom Hopper as Luther and Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison. If I have one big complaint it is that the show focus a lot on them and Number Five, especially since Klaus (Robert Sheehan) is just as interesting, and the rest of the group feels a bit left behind at times. Particularly Diego (David Castañeda), who has a more serious, affectionate connection to their adopted mother than the others. Although Number Five’s issues and problems are rather connected to and even the cause of what happens later on, so…

Thankfully there is going to be a Season 2, although I cannot say more about how the season ends. I do want to know several things (spoilers), and the the final scene leaves many questions to be answered. I have not read the comic this show is based off of, however I might at some point. If you enjoy something oddball and at times really dark, this show is for you. If you prefer something that doesn’t feature a robot and a talking monkey helping a stern old man look after some kids who grew up with powers, then look for something else. Having watched enough shows over the years that is not even the weirdest plot elements I have encountered, but they certainly are favorable to my interests.

Image result for umbrella academy

2018 TV Log


So here is what I am viewing, so far this year:

American Gods, Season 1-B+

Ash Vs The Evil Dead, Seasons 1 and 2-A-

The Detour, Season 1-A-. Season 2, Episode 1

The End of The F***ing World, Season 1-B+

Haven Season 3 Episode 3

Lucifer, Season 3 Episode 5

The West Wing, Season 3 Episode 4

Wynonna Earp Season 1 Episode 2

Netflix TV List


Sure I have made a bunch of these over the years but this one is Netflix only.

netflix-is-your-life
1. Burn List Season 3 Episode 6: The Hunter
2. Longmire Season 3 Episode 2: Of Children and Travelers
3. 30 Rock Season 3 Episode 5: Reunion
4. Angel Season 2 Episode 18: Dead End
5. House of Cards Season 3 Episode 8: Chapter 34
6. Luther Series 3 Episode 2: Episode 2
7. New Girl Season 3 Episode 13: Birthday
8.  Sliders Season 4 Episode 3: Common Ground

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9. The West Wing Season 3 Episode 2: Manchester Part 1
10. Life Season 1 Episode 6: Powerless
11. Portlandia Season 1 Episode 4: Mayor Is Missing
12. The IT Crowd Season 3 Episode 5: Friendface
13. Archer Vice Season 5 Episode 5: Southbound and Down
14. Leverage Season 4 Episode 7: The Grave Danger Job
15. Daredevil Season 2-A-
16. Death In Paradise Series 4-B+
17. Penny Dreadful Season 2 Episode 2: Verbis Diablo

A Pair of True Detectives Season 1 (Possible Spoilers)


Its been a long time since I reviewed a TV show episode by episode, or at least focused on the overall season. The last show I covered episode by episode was Lost, and the last season I reviewed overall was Season 1 of Game of Thrones. So I present to you folks my short, not really in-depth enough thoughts on True Detective’s first episode. I wrote all of these entries last year:

True Detective Season 1 Episode 1: The Long Bright Dark

Opening in the Deep South and focusing in on a case that had long been thought solved in 1995, the HBO show True Detective utilizes flashbacks and flash forwards for a season centering around two Louisiana State CID’s, Rust and Marty. These former partners are being interviewed, or more likely interrogated, by current detectives because someone has been killed in the same fashion as the girl that they found in a field over a decade prior. Having fallen out after years of working together, Marty and Rust are grilled separately, each giving accounts of what transpired during the murder investigation. In the process certain elements come to light, and we begin to get a certain picture of who these men are and how they think.

This is especially made clear in a scene in which Rust offers his darkly humorous and brutal outlook on humanity after Marty unfortunately asks Rust what his belief system is. Matthew McConaughey breaks free of his movie persona here, delivering a brooding monologue that Woody Harrelson reacts to quite strongly, which in turn was funny and rather apt given the nature of what Rust had just said. Its interesting that Marty’s wife, Maggie, wants Rust to meet Marty’s family, as the two men seem to have little in common and Rust is no longer a family man. Perhaps curious to see who has her husband’s life in his hands, although maybe also a typical formality of sorts. What occurs as a result of that decision is Maggie realizing what Marty already knows: that Rust is on edge, teetering on that line between sanity and madness.

Another choice moment is when Rust in the interview forces one of the detectives to get him a six pack of Lone Star as he continues to chain smoke away during their questioning. The first episode concludes with a rather nice puzzling quote that does not come across as typical or cliche based on how McConaughey delivers the line. Harrelson and McConaughey display a natural rapport and connection in this show, playing off of one another and reflecting their fantastic talents onscreen. I’m looking forward to viewing the rest of the series based on this gorgeously shot, bleak and neatly directed episode.

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