Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Musings Through Filtered Ears #5

A series of random thoughts from a closet Gleek...

Playing Ketchup
When returning from a long vacation, it's tough getting back to the routine of things. Cleaning out the inbox at work, getting the house in order, paying the bills and, more importantly, tackling the stack of Netflix DVDs and clearing the overloaded DVR. If I had known coming home from vacation would be so taxing, I'd stay on vacation!

Ch-ch-ch-change is coming!
It was inevitable and we all saw it coming. I came home to the news that Netflix was splitting up its plans, effective 9/1. We knew that streaming would eventually become its bread and butter. So in order gradually step away from the DVD format, Netflix needed to separate the two entities. Some experts say that Netflix is making this move to push the studios into maximizing their online content, and that they are intentionally forcing out the DVD business. I know this has always been Netflix's plan, that streaming will grow while the disc rentals will eventually become stagnant. While I admire that the folks at Netflix are forward thinkers, not all of us are advancing as quickly as technology is. It's exciting but, at the same time, a little frustrating. I'm not ready to give up the discs!

I was a little disappointed with the price increase but when I did the math, I realized that I'm still getting a helluva sweet deal. I get to watch a ridiculous amount of movies for 20 bucks a month. 80% of my Netflix rentals come from DVDs and it's going to continue to be that way for a while. I enjoy streaming titles on occasion but I don't have the opportunity to do it frequently enough. I have streamed titles on my iPhone during my bus commute from NYC to NJ but with very mixed results. For one, I don't like watching content on a 2" x 3" screen, and I don't care how clear it looks. Secondly, I don't know if it is AT&T's 3G service, but I can't get a smooth picture during some parts of my ride. I get a lot of skipping and the viewing experience is very frustrating to say the least. (That being said, streaming through Wi-Fi works wonderfully and is how it should be. But unless my bus company begins offering Wi-Fi hotspots on their buses, I can't see myself enjoying Netflix's streaming as part of my everyday movie watching.)

I know some people who have never streamed a single title, so why should they have to foot the streaming costs? And vice versa for those who have happily abandoned their DVD players. We should all pay for what we use.

Emmy Nomination Reaction
The Emmy nominations came out last week. A fairly mixed bag, as usual, but I must voice my pleasure of seeing Friday Night Lights nominated for Best Drama. The series just aired its finale on NBC and there is no better parting gift than this well-deserved nod. Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler also walked away with the nods for Best Actress and Actor in a Drama Series. Coach and Mrs. Coach are the heart of this spectacular show and they deserve the spotlight as much as the show itself.

Other Emmy thoughts:

  • Yay for Modern Family and the entire cast getting nods. Ed O'Neill was snubbed last year, and he deserves the nomination as much as the rest of the clan.
  • Nay for completely shutting out Parenthood. An injustice was done here.
  • There's a lot I don't watch: Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, The Good Wife, 30 Rock, so I can't say I have an opinion on them. But even though I don't watch Justified, I'm actually happy for its recognition. Maybe because it's so refreshing to see a low-rated, critically-acclaimed drama getting their first nomination. I'm always rooting for the underdog!
Speaking of the best of TV...
Summer is not supposed to be a season of watching TV. I always looked forward to this season as a reprieve from the deluge of shows clogging up my DVR. Well, not this summer. I'm hooked on a handful of shows when I should be, oh, I don't know, reading a book or something silly like that. I cannot tear myself away from the greatness that is Louie, Men of a Certain Age (RIP, and gone too soon, dammit) and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Those shows are firing on all cylinders this summer. I'm also paying my respects to Rescue Me, which will be laid to rest (finally!) after this summer's run.

But the one show I can't get enough of? The Glee Project. I know! What's gotten into me? A reality show about a group of wanna-be singers/actors vying for a 7-episode guest stint on Glee? It has disaster written all over it. I was prepared to dismiss it immediately. Well, dagnabbit, I was wrong. Foolishly ignorant! The Glee Project is a charming display of talent and nerves. It has more heart and suspense than American Idol ever had. There's nothing mean-spirited about the show; the judges push the kids hard but treats them with respect and dignity. I'm glad I gave it a chance. I'll be sad when it ends next month, but I look forward to seeing the new Glee star next season. My money is on Lindsey.

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