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    2012 - 05.16

    Lots of shows that one or both of us watched at various times this year have been cancelled, although on rare occasions those decisions are reversed, it doesn’t seem likely in these cases.  Maybe next year we’ll do a better job of ignoring the new shows and watch less television…

    Here’s a list of some of the shows:

    • Unforgettable
    • NYC 22
    • A Gifted Man
    • Missing
    • Prime Suspect
    • The Firm
    • Awake
    • Harry’s Law
    • Terra Nova
    • Alcatraz
    • The Finder
    • The Secret Circle
    • Ringer

    Of those I think the one’s we’d ask to have saved if we could would be: Awake, Terra Nova, Alcatraz and The Finder.  Karin would likely observe that it’s no surprise that Fox cancelled shows she liked…

    Lucky Number Slevin

    2012 - 04.14

    Saw this movie was on Showcase a little while back and taped* it, I’d seen it before and quite liked it.  I’m even going to go so far as to classify it as a favourite, which is interesting since it’s one of the few favourites which I don’t own in any form.

    If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth watching.  Stylish thriller with strong comedic elements, nice twists and turns and good dialog.

    * “Taping” a show, I suppose perhaps I’m dating myself now, what do the kids call it these days, do they use the technically correct and technology neutral “recorded”, or do they actually say “PVR’d”?  It won’t be much longer before kids won’t know what a VCR was and that for most of 30 years people used magnetic tape for watching movies or recording television…

    The Borgias

    2012 - 04.06

    We haven’t watched any of this yet, but season 2 is about to start on Sunday.  One of the reasons we didn’t watch it the first time around is that it wasn’t available in HD, but now Bravo is available in HD.  Additionally, Bravo is airing the whole 9 episode first season before the first episode of the second season on Sunday.

    So if anyone’s interested it’s a good chance to check it out.

    Do they even watch their own shows?

    2012 - 03.05

    One of the recent TV additions which Karin quite likes is Alcatraz, which is fitting since we were both fans of J.J. Abrams first major TV success: Alias (with Jennifer Garner).  Last week Fox which airs the show pre-empted the show because of a very much rain delayed Daytona 500.

    On some level I can understand that, it’s a famous race… and it was supposed to have run on the weekend but was delayed due to weather.  Still it comes as a surprise to people who care nothing at all about the race that the show they thought they were going to have on their PVR was something completely different, and there wasn’t even a courtesy explanation when the regularly scheduled programming would have aired to tell us what was going on or why.

    In the case of Alcatraz, it was supposed to be Episode 8 which aired.  This week they aired (as originally scheduled) a “2 hour event” which was actually Episodes 9 and 10.  So I don’t know when they will air Episode 8.  It’s hard to know at this point (not having seen Episodes 8-10 yet) whether there will be a major continuity issue because of it.  But really who makes these decisions?  Do they actually watch the shows they air?  It doesn’t seem like it.

    Sometimes it feels like TV scheduling is being legislated… who knew that so many locals moonlight as TV executives…

    This is further emphasized with things like weather warnings with annoying audio which are broadcast out of region.  I don’t know if I’d be interested in them if I actually lived in Detroit or Chicago, but I’m definitely not interested in them since I don’t.  Not only that, but they put them in intrusive locations on the screen and interfere with the programming.  They really should work on the technology (which I can only hope somehow doesn’t exist, rather than that they are choosing not to use it) which allows them to remove these things regionally.  Further, they should make it so that the information is not captured by my PVR, I really don’t need a storm warning from thousands of kilometers away and months old interfering with my watching a show.  But I guess for the executives it’s not about the quality of the watching experience… because if they believe it is, they are doing a terrible job.

    It’s not just the weather warnings though, it’s the station promos and other show promos which pop-up and cover significant portions of the screen.  I understand why they do that, and to some degree they are effective, I can’t help but notice them.  But they clearly either do not actually watch the shows, or they don’t care.  Entirely too often do I see a promo overlayed and covering show credits or show content, or the worst: subtitles.  It just really goes to show that they aren’t paying attention.

    There was a time when the live TV experience was the best, but when they continue to add these “features” which realistically are only features in their minds, they continue to degrade the experience, and drive their audience crazy.  So many of these new “innovations” are realistically the equivalent of someone taking a phone call during a movie… very disrespectful and detrimental to your enjoyment.

    So a little advice to the TV executives out there, actually watch the shows from time to time, in the broadcast format, and imagine yourself as someone who actually wants to watch the show… and see how you feel.

    Castle: both parts

    2012 - 02.20

    We watched Castle today, both parts of the two parter.  I wouldn’t say that it was the best Castle episodes we’ve ever watched, but there were a lot of fun moments in both episodes.  In case you haven’t watched it, I’ll speak no more so as to avoid spoilers.  What I will say though is I don’t think we’ve seen a really disappointing episode of Castle.  There are lots of shows, some of which you’ve maybe watched for years (or not) which can have totally ridiculous or lame episodes (Bones: Sir Charmington; Hawaii Five-O: North Korea), don’t think we’ve seen one from Castle yet though.

    Since we finished watching last weeks episode before this weeks episode had aired we went down to the gym for 20 minutes as well.  All in all, pretty good for a Monday.

    Vacation’s Over

    2012 - 01.02

    The phrase “vacation’s over” actually always makes me think of a Sting song “Saint Augustine in Hell”, of course I had to go and find the song to verify that I had the title right.  It’s from Ten Summoner’s Tales, and the phrase comes from the section which starts at 2:33 and goes through 3:10.  Although the phrase in the song is actually “break’s over”.

    Here’s a video that someone put together featuring clips from Supernatural to go with the song, it’s a Dean/Meg theme.


    So it being the first day of the year 2012, the vacation I’m referring to is not the pleasant couple of weeks of having Karin at home predominantly to myself, but rather the vacation we’ve taken from talking about ourselves.  On the bright side, since we haven’t been talking about what we’ve been up to for the last couple of weeks, we might actually have some good stories.  Well we can pretend together at least.

    In case you didn’t notice: new HD channels

    2011 - 12.21

    Shaw has recently added a few more HD channels, since as far as I can tell they didn’t do anything to tell us they added them, I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but they are:

    • Space HD [247 for us]
    • BNN: Business News Network HD [248]
    • Discovery HD (this is the Canadian one with Mythbusters and such…) [249]
    • Bravo! HD [250]

    These are mostly worth bringing attention to as they are AFTER Movie Central and Super Channel in the listings, so I imagine lots of people probably don’t scroll up that high.

    Other somewhat recent additions, but I believe earlier additions were:

    • MovieTime HD [240]
    • Family HD [241]
    • Disney XD HD [242]

    Less interested in these ones, but since I’m bothering to talk about channels, figured I may as well.

    Inversely Proportional

    2011 - 11.21

    This is actually probably a good thing, but the amount of room remaining on our PVR seems to be inversely proportional to how many projects Karin has on the go… with NaNoWriMo and GISHWHES very little TV is being watched.  Which might mean that we’ll still have something new to watch when we start running into the holiday reruns…

    Tempe vs. Temperance

    2011 - 11.14

    A while back Karin had some books she’d weeded from our shelves as ones that she could part with.  Often times when she does that I don’t even look at the books, after all picking some out of the box is not part of the solution.  This time I did look however.  I took out a couple of books, one was book #6 in the Women’s Murder Club (don’t know if it’s representative of the series or not, but it felt like multiple unconnected stories told in parallel in order to get the appropriate page count; parts were interesting but on the whole disappointing) and Grave Secrets by Kathy Reichs.

    I haven’t finished reading the book yet, but as some of you will be aware Bones is back on (second week of the season), and man was it weird watching Bones after reading part of one of the books.  I haven’t finished the book yet, but Temperance (from the show) is so very different from Tempe (what everyone calls her in the books).  I expected that there would be differences, there’s very few adaptations which don’t contain significant differences from the source material, but realistically in this case the characters personality wise seem to bare almost no resemblance to one another.  Truly a case of “inspired by” and not actually trying to be true to the source material.

    In this particular case it works and was perhaps not a bad decision.  As someone who was previous ignorant of the gulf of differences between the two characters, well it was just very surprising how different they were in core personality.  You expect things to be different, like maybe build, or hair colour, or what have you.  But to have what appears to be a completely different backstory, different mannerisms, a completely different emotional make-up, well beyond the fact they have the same name, the characters only bare a similarity (as far as I’ve been able to tell) in the science.

    So far the book is good too… just surprising to be totally unfamiliar with a character I thought I knew…

    Watching TV On-line

    2011 - 11.09

    Unfortunately we find that sometimes our PVR lets us down, although lately I’ve been watching more TV online not because it didn’t tape, but because I’m on the computer already.

    If you happen to need to watch something on-line most of the shows are now available on-line in Canada through one of Global, CTV and CityTV (this definitely did not use to be the case, where they’d be on-line in the US but they’d have filtering software in place to prevent watching it from a Canadian IP address).

    That said Global and CityTV both seem to use the same viewer which is far superior to the one that CTV uses.  The main problem with the CTV viewer is that it doesn’t seem to really buffer the stream at all, which makes it very sensitive to fluctuations in the data rate.  Which leads to choppy video filled with pauses.  Global and CityTV however seem to have an appropriate amount of buffering incorporated into their viewer which results in a smooth feed and a possitive experience comparable to watching it on your TV (although with fewer commercials).