Television Schmelevision

At the risk of sounding like I’m fifty-five….is there nothing worth watching on television anymore? Maybe the selection offered by Air Canada on its international flights isn’t a representative sample of what is really ‘out there’ in the television world. But judging from the likes of ‘Gossip Girl‘, ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine’, ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ and ‘Burn Notice‘….I’m not missing much in my television-free home.

I did have a chance to catch up on some movies, because I have a strange obsession with utilizing things that are ‘free’ to me. For example, even though I was not hungry at 5.30am when the airline served me breakfast – I took the breakfast anyway. Even if it consisted of fat free yogurt which I do not eat, and one of those Otis Spunkmeyer-esque muffins (read: artificial) which I would only consider eating if I were starving and there was nothing else available. Which means I carried said items in my luggage for two days before throwing them out.

Why, oh why?

Same with the ‘free’ television at my disposal. Even though I was bone tired, and even though nothing from the Air Canada selection really appealed to my tastes, I still watched it. Because it was there. And because I’d already taken a thirty minute nap and couldn’t fall asleep again.

So I whiled away the hours by watching the tiny screen in front of me. On the way to London I watched ‘Burn After Reading’. Mostly because it had arrived at our house the same day, courtesy of Zip movie rentals. And I figured if I watched it then Jason could mail back our home copy as soon as he was done with it. When I told the first part of this story to David, the groom to be at the English wedding I attended, he said: [did you watch the same movie as Jason] so you two could talk about it?’ I couldn’t help but laugh. That sort of logic could only emanate from a newlywed, or about-to-be-wed.

On the return flight, I started my viewing marathon with ‘Rachel Getting Married.’ Now, I’m not a fan of Anne Hathaway, though I may have secretly enjoyed The Princess Diaries (first one, only). But, wasn’t she nominated for her performance in this film? So I decided to ‘give it a go’ as my English friends might say.

By the thirty minute mark I was so annoyed by the over-acting, and the contrived ‘feel’ of the whole thing that I hit the stop button. I may have an obsession with using ‘free’ things, but even I have my limits. I was tempted to try and find out WHY the sister was having an Indian-themed wedding despite the fact that she was Caucasian and marrying an African American gentleman. But, frankly, I didn’t have the stamina for it.

Since that turned out to be a bust, I checked out ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’ because Michael Cera is the cutest nerd I’ve ever seen. And this turned out to be a decent movie. By decent, I mean I was able to watch the whole thing without feeling like my eyes might get permanently stuck in the back of my head from rolling so much. Maybe it’s because Michael Cera didn’t wear excessive black eyeliner or over-acted his way through the movie.  

And, because there were still MANY hours to go in my nine hour flight, I watched ‘The Secret Life of Bees’, after that. Also a perfectly fine movie – neither great nor terrible. 

After that, there really weren’t any movies I could watch in good conscience, so I moved on to the television selections. There was a humorous episode of The Office – Season 4. And then there wasn’t much else, so I decided to catch up with the times and check out some of the new shows – like ‘Christine’ and ‘Gossip Girl’. After all, I loved Julia Louis-Dreyfuss as Elaine in Seinfeld. But maybe she’s just not meant to have her own show. The particular episode I watched featured her driving her Prius filled to the brim with recycling and dropping her kid off at private school while wearing a nightgown. I guess I can relate – except I don’t have a Prius or a kid in private school. But I didn’t so much as crack a smile for the first fifteen minutes, so I moved on to ‘Gossip Girl’. Which reminded me of a cross between Sex and the City and The OC: high school kids wearing uber-expensive clothes and spending their summers in The Hamptons? Complete with Carrie Bradshaw-esque voiceovers? Come on. 

I may have watched the whole episode. But I won’t do it again.

8 thoughts on “Television Schmelevision

  1. Wow-An international flight without goldfish crackers, thomas trains or nursing a squirmy baby!? I can’t believe there were no good movies though!

  2. Oooof, that brings back good memories. I’d rather watch crappy airplane movies than fly with small children.

  3. The only “good” TV is on cable. I don’t think I watch one show on network TV anymore. You should try the Sarah Silverman show (though it might be too silly for your taste) on Comedy Central, or Weeds on Showtime, or Top Chef on Bravo. I’m with you on recent movies, though. I tend to think they all suck and are a waste of time & money. Besides, I’d rather watch movies in my pajamas at home instead of crammed into a theater with irritating talking, coughing, blocking-my-view, slurping, texting strangers….

  4. Thanks for the chuckle VS. I did enjoy Weeds – is it still on – I haven’t watched since she lit her house on fire and walked away? Jason has a big time crush on Sarah Silverman, so maybe it’s not wise for me to get him hooked on the show. We watched Vicky Christina Barcelona the other night. Same thing. Where are the good movies??

  5. Vicky Christina Barcelona SUCKED. Even Javier Bardem’s extreme hotness could not save that movie. What was the point? It was AWFUL. Seriously, an Oscar for Cruz for *that*?? I know, most movies are terrible. I don’t think I’ve seen a movie I loved since Shawshank Redemption….

  6. Ah, Shawshank. Now there’s a good movie. I really am starting to sound like an old fogey. But as Jason said: Penelope Cruz shouldn’t get an Oscar (nomination) because she speaks Spanish in a movie. It’s her native language, not some crazy skill she picked up just for the role. But I will admit, Javier Bardem was greatly improved in appearance since ‘No Country for Old Men’…..And Scarlett Johanssen is on par with Anne Hathaway as far as I am concerned.

  7. Ok, this completely settles it. You & I must get together for a weekend. We clearly (still) have the same taste in movies…and lots of other things. Scarlett Johanssen might be *slightly* better than Anne Hathaway (didn’t Anne Hathaway do the ridiculous movie with Meryl Streep about working at a fashion magazine?) but yeah, not by much. And I am totally with Jason on the Penelope Cruz thing. She also shouldn’t get an Oscar for a movie where she didn’t even show up until more than 1/2 way through…and all she did was scream, smoke and attempt to look sultry.


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