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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Return of TV

Let's get this out of the way first:

I really like watching good t.v. shows.  If the writing and dialogue are entertaining, and the characters even slightly sympathetic, or at least funny, I will watch.  And up until very recently, it was difficult enough for me to find that sort of show that I just didn't watch very much.

In Kansas, we never made the leap to cable t.v.  We made do with broadcast, and when it went digital we had it made: PBS broke itself into two channels, one full of the boring grown-up stuff and the other full of the fun kid stuff.  So there was always something for Maxine to watch that didn't make us feel like we were totally rotting their brains.

When we moved back to Korea in 2011 we had a t.v. for a while, but it stopped working and we never replaced it.  Maxine and Quinten spend a lot of their after school time at Horyon's parents' home, and they have cable t.v.  Some days Quinten gets two or three hours, while Maxine gets about five hours per week.  I would be much happier if both of these numbers were zero, but when your child care is free it is a bad idea to complain.  So Quinten sings theme songs from shows I don't know and begs for toys and comes home ready to release the energy that he has pent up sitting in front of the idiot panel.  (It used to be a box, but modern t.v.s really don't look like boxes any more.)

I have had a computer the whole time, on which I have watched some shows, but it has always taken some effort: I had to figure out what to watch, hunt down episodes on the Pirate Bay (yo-ho-ho, no link here, matey), and struggle with the guilt of being a criminal.  I justified it by bemoaning the lack of legitimate options for watching as they were released, and by spending real, actual cash money on DVD sets at some later time.  For example, the 2005 Battlestar Galactica series was one I watched fanatically.  (It was so much fun to see the grown-up version of one of my favorite childhood shows.) I have since purchased the entire series on DVD.  Doctor Who was also a favorite of mine from my youth that has been updated.  As the series has been released, I've been buying it on DVD, months after watching online.

This summer something changed: I bought a Kindle Fire while visiting Kansas, and it came with a free month of Amazon Prime, which includes a lot of videos.  I enjoyed this service, and when we came back to Korea I figured out a way to access this online (Spotflux), even though they don't want customers to access it from here.  I started watching Glee in Kansas, and ended up watching all the episodes that they had.  Then I found that my Amazon Prime membership automatically renewed for a whole year.  I was a bit upset that it was automatic, but it was only $100 instead of the $10 monthly fee, so I decided to go with it.  I did change the settings so it wouldn't do that automatically next time, but I was enjoying the service enough to keep it.

So I started watching another show, Grimm.  I watched some movies, and a few episodes of other shows.  Amazon Prime is fun, but the content is somewhat limited.

Then someone mentioned using their parents' Netflix account, and I thought, "Huh.  My parents have a Netflix account.  I wonder if I can do that?"

The answer is yes.  A shamefaced, hangdog, embarrassed yes.

I have watched more tv in the last few months than in the previous five years all together.  The one thing that saves me from total shame is that I have not just sat through anything that I didn't enjoy.  With a regular t.v. it is so easy to settle into the last half of a movie, or watch something just because nothing better is on.  I'm watching stuff that I enjoy.

I am currently working my way through 30 Rock, the sitcom created by Tina Fey.  Every episode makes me laugh, I enjoy the characters and stories, at 22 minutes each they are convenient to sit through, and I don't have to wait for the next episode.

And it is just evil.  I can waste an entire morning just watching shows.  And I have.  Too many times.

But I do not plan to stop.  I am enjoying it too much.  Maybe I need to scale back, though...

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A Brief Introduction

Roblog is my writing lab. It is my goal to not let seven days pass without a new post. I welcome your criticism, as I cannot improve on my own.

Here is a link to my cung post, which remains the only word which I have ever invented, and which has not, as far as I know, caught on. Yet.