Monday, September 29, 2008


I’ve been banned from watching Cold Case!

The OH has banned me from watching it. I don’t see how he is going to enforce this exactly but he is doing it for my own good since an episode of it yesterday left me sobbing.

I’ve often mused on whether it is callous to watch so many crime shows, that depict so much death and suffering and what that must say about my character. What makes most crime shows tolerable is that they focus on the process of solving the crime or the criminal without too much time given to the victim. But recently I can’t stomach SVU and now it seems Cold Case is too much for me, and what these have in common is that you are constantly reminded of the victim.

The episode of Cold Case that had me in tears involved a murder from the 1960s (my favourite period so I was looking forward to this one) but it was a case that had only just come to light when a body was washed up by the sea. It was the body of a child. I should have just turned it off at this point. The story involves four year old twin girls, an abused wife and a wonderful Sixties soundtrack that just added to the sorrow. It was all too much for me to take.

Perhaps the OH was right to ban it.

Week One of Sky Plus

The joys of the Sky Plus box means that I no longer have to miss my favourite shows because of inconveniences like work and sleep! Whole new worlds of viewing have opened up to me – except typically there doesn’t seem to be that much on at the moment.

Nonetheless I recorded (is that the right word – captured perhaps?) an episode of Psych that I hadn’t seen before. It involved alien abduction, tanning salons and speed dating. A fairly typical plot then!

I also recorded an episode of Criminal Minds which turned out to the season finale of season 2 which I’d seen nothing of, so I deleted that without watching it in the hope that I will be able to watch the full season at some point. A similar fate befell an episode of Intelligence, which I’d seen the first ever episode of, but that wasn’t enough to allow me to follow what was happening in this one.

I hope to be able to store up some more viewing for those long winter nights, but I’m not going to resort to Colombo just yet.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Life without Television

We are without television. Not entirely - we do still have a portable with the basic five channels in the bedroom but that hardly counts.

Someone at the OH's work gave us a DVD of the first series of Morse which is three episodes. I thought this wouldn't last very long. We made the mistake of trying to watch one when we came in on Friday night after a concert. I fell asleep 10 minutes in, the OH faired a bit better but still didn't see the conclusion. I tried to watch it again on Saturday night but fell asleep twice! So we still have three episodes left to watch.

The sixth and final season of Homicide has also arrived chez us. We had read that it wasn't very good but it had to be better than nothing? The first couple of episodes weren't bad at all. There was a Pembleton shaped hole that they were trying to fill with Giardello's son, but otherwise it was ok. After about five episodes I started to doze. There was a double episode with Kellerman as a Private Investigator but still sleep was calling me. Tonight we will resume watching this, and then perhaps it will be back to Morse.

Hopefully on Wednesday we will have Sky installed although I won't reap the benefits of it until next week as I'm away for the rest of this week.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Cherry-Picking Cold Cases

This week we will part company with our cable television provider. We started out with Homechoice about six years ago and the service was great. Unfortuately they were taken over by Tiscali and the service worsened. Television reception has been poor with periods of complete unavailability. So we are moving to Sky.

The new service will hopefully be more reliable and give me access to more detectives, but the one thing I will miss about the current provider (when the service actually works) is the on-demand channels. Through this service I was able to watch the whole of the first series of Criminal Minds and around a dozen episodes of Cold Case.

To make the most of it while I could (and the OH was out watching sport), last night I thought I would watch a couple of episodes of Cold Case. After 20 minutes of loss of service (this is why it is going), I decided that I would cherry-pick the episodes to watch as I've seen episodes here and there and don't have enough time left to watch them all. I decided that I would go with my favourite period in history, the 1960s. The three I started up weren't from that decade but the fourth one "The Volunteers" was. It involved hippies, Vietnam, draft-dodging, illegal abortion, Black power and communes. There was music by Jefferson Airplane and references to Woodstock and bell-bottoms. It was marvellous.

Of the 11 episodes currently available to watch, it turned out only one was set in the Sixties, so I just watched the next two episodes in the sequence as it looked like there might be an interesting background plot involving the detective, Scotty Valen's girlfriend. The next episode was "The Lost Soul of Herman" which was about basketball and the 1980s. It wasn't bad, but not was good as the previous one (the Eighties are never as good at the Sixties). Then it was "Resolutions" which was a crime from the cusp of the millennium.

I stopped after that as the OH had returned and we ended up watching a bit of Quadrophenia instead!

Crossing James Caan

Yesterday I watched an episode of "Crossing Jordan". It was entitled "What happens in Vegas, Dies in Boston" and involved a private jet from a Vegas casino landing in Boston. There was a dead man on board with a security box containing $3million chained to his arm. The chief suspects were the head of casino security and his glamorous female assistant. Later in the episode, James Caan turned up, threatened a few people and everyone seemed to do as he said. I'm surprised they didn't obey him straightaway - this is James Caan, don't they know he is connected?

Actually what I didn't realise until I looked it up this morning on IMDB is that Caan and the other two casino employees are characters from another show, "Las Vegas", so American viewers presumably would have known all about these characters before they popped up here. I've never seen "Las Vegas" so didn't know that they were definitely good guys, which perhaps added some mystery to the show that in-the-know viewers wouldn't have had.

This main storyline didn't conclude within the episode, which annoyingly ended with a "to be continued". It is next shown on Hallmark on Monday at 6pm when I'll be at work, but I suspect that it may not even be continued in "Crossing Jordan" but the story would have been wrapped up on "Las Vegas" instead. So I may never know what happened.

Although the sub-plot in this episode was actually what kept me watching. This involved the possibility of a very young child being a psychpath, and fortunately this bit was resolved, albeit sadly, within the hour.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Lost Gem?

I'm currently reading "King Suckerman" by George P Pelecanos. It is set in the 1970s and one of the characters is deciding what to watch on television and moaning about the type of show he hates. He complains about the unbelievability of "Barnaby Jones" as the lead character is too old to be taken seriously as a hard man. He continues to complain about what he calls "cripple shows" Ironside and Longstreet, which is about a blind detective!

I've never seen Barnaby Jones but the name is familar, but Longstreet was entirely new to me. A show about a blind detective! Whilst the character in my book is appalled by the idea and sceptical about how he detects, I'm fascinated. I want to see it.

Sadly, it doesn't seem to be available on DVD. Another lost gem? I'll probably never know.

The character settles on watching Harry O instead, a show I've only seen once. I would be more than happy with his choice of programmes. I'm craving 70s crime shows.