I haven't watched network TV for months. I've gotten spoiled by watching television online. There are no commercials, and I can't tell you how satisfying it is to see the whole storyline without interruption.
Besides Doctor Who, I've been watching a smattering of other shows that I can't tune into out here in rural Alaska. My TV gets PBS, CBS and NBC. No CW, no Fox, no ABC. No cable out here and satellite dish is hundreds of dollars a month with very spotty results. So computer it is!
I was pleased to find a source to watch Extant, starring Halle Berry (and her bangs) as she searches for her killer alien child. It isn't the best plot, being rather predictible, but it's fun to watch. She's plucky, even if her shoes are not the kind I'd choose to run in.
Extant delighted me with the cast: Goran Visnjic, whom I last saw as the dreamboat doctor on ER, Hiroyuki Sanada, whom I last saw as the bad guy on The Wolverine, Michael O'Neill, whom I remember from NCIS, though you may have seen him in Traffic and Transformers, Camryn Mannheim from so many shows including Ghost Whisperer, Person of Interest and a show that I really miss, Harry's Law. I love seeing actors in different settings, especially actors I like.
All in all, it's a fun show with no gore. They keep just enough from you to keep you coming back.
I've read four (or five, maybe?) of the Diana Gabaldon books and I loved them. Scotland, history, time travel and romance? What's not to love? In case you don't know, it's a story of an English woman from 1945 who accidentally falls through some standing stones and into Scotland of 1743. Of course she finds love and adventure, how could she not?
The woman who plays Claire is good, but she's freakishly thin. Other than not having enough meat on her bones, she's a pretty good match for the Claire that was in my head. The fellow who plays Jamie isn't at all what MY Jamie looked like, but he grows on you. He'll do, but he hasn't erased the one I spent all those books with.
What I find amazing is that the rooms and the castle and all the settings are exactly as I pictured them. The only other time this has happened to me was Lord of the Rings trilogy. I don't know if this means Gabaldon is a good writer, or that I'm somehow connected to the Scotland of 1743. Perhaps both. Suffice to say that the production is very good.
Since I'm a Celtic musician I should say something about the music in the show. So far they have stuck with Scottish music, thank goodness. I can't tell you how many times I've heard Irish jigs going when someone was supposed to be in Scotland. I just watched the scene where the bard was singing and playing the harp and I can't swear that he's singing Gallic, it could be Irish. The action focused on conversations in the audience, so it's kind of hard to hear him. Irish (Irish Gaelic) and Gallic (Scots Gaelic) are very similar. Kind of like the difference between Queens NY accent vs. Maine accent.
They use Skye Boat song for the opening theme, with some words they apparently wrote for the show. It's okay, it works well and it's not annoying. It's very pretty, in fact.
I like Outlander a lot. I'll keep watching it. For some reason I can't watch more than one episode at a time. Maybe it's those past life memories it's poking at....
A young man goes to the bottom of the ocean to find the small sub that his dad vanished in, and gets sucked into a vortex that takes him to Atlantis. Atlantis turns out to be rather ancient Rome-ish, and there are some fun things going on in this show.
Jason (I keep waiting for Argonauts) ends up rooming with Pythagoras (who is appropriately nerdy) and Hercules (who isn't what you'd expect). Jokes, monsters and magic are interspersed with heroic and cowardly deeds. There is a beautiful princess, and guess what? Her father is Doctor Bashir! Let's see, I last saw him as a bad guy on Primeval (gosh I miss that show). I'm talking about Alexander Siddig, who has also billed himself as Siddig El Fadil, and whose born name was a real mouthful: Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi. No, I'm not making that up!
There are monsters, creatures and the special effects are okay.
It's kind of a comic book type of show, and I like it for that.
Here's a show that isn't fantasy or science fiction. Two Jewish brothers, one a doctor and one a CPA, go to the Hamptons for a weekend and end up staying and starting a concierge medical business. In case you don't know, a concierge doctor is the kind you have come to your house. Clearly, you'd have to be rich to be able to afford this and yes, that's exactly how they make their money.
I like the cast a lot, with the exception of the fellow who plays Evan, the CPA brother. He's just kind of annoying with his facial expressions of which I think he has four. But it's not Masterpiece, it's entertainment. There's quite a bit of Henry Winkler and that's a big plus, AND the gal who played the dead Deb, on Drop Dead Diva, gets to have a real part and lines and everything! Woo!
Reshma Shetty plays a physician's assistant who is second generation Indian. She shoehorns her way into the business and pretty soon they can't do without her. This latest season saw her wearing much more appropriate and flattering clothing, but she's beautiful no matter what she wears. And she's a good actress, too.
This is another show with both comedy and drama, but it's not going to rip your heart out. Things are going to turn out okay in the end, and I like that in a show. Life can be harsh, so it's nice to have a show that you can count on to cheer you up.
The medical part of the show is where it falls a little short. Whoever is telling the actors how to do IVs or injections is an idiot. Or they don't have anyone. It's only been in the last season that they actually touch the patient with the forehead thermometer. Before that they would wave it in the air over the patient's face. I mean, that's just stupid. I suppose it was so they wouldn't mess up makeup, but still. And every time Hank gives an injection he says, "You're going to feel a pinch." Hey, it's not a "pinch." It's a STAB. And not all doctors say that every single freaking time.
And I wouldn't believe much of what they diagnose. Some of it is really a long shot. If you are the hypochondriac type, don't watch. They take pretty normal stuff and turn it into an emergency. And then you faint and they have to call 911. (yawn)
But I don't watch it for the medical stuff. I watch because it's warm and funny and I feel better afterward.
I'm currently watching this Spanish-language show (with subtitles) that is set in 1905 in a luxury hotel in Spain. Some have compared it to Downton Abbey but without the extreme, stuffy classism, and that is somewhat true. However it is more than that.
This is Downton Abbey with flair! The productions values on Grand Hotel (in Spanish Gran Hotel) are just as gorgeous: the costumes perfect, the whole aura is delightful. The actors are wonderful, though I am not familiar with Spanish actors, I will look for these folks in future shows.
Grand Hotel is Downton Abbey with lots of face slapping, some fights, a main murder mystery and plenty of subplots. Lots more scheming, much less worry about what is proper, and way more sex. If Downton Abbey were a telenovela, it would be Gran Hotel.
The whole story starts with young Julio Olmeda going to visit his sister, who is working at the hotel. What he doesn't know is that she has been murdered. Well, we think she has been murdered. I'm beginning to wonder. But be that as it may, there are three glorious seasons to watch! Warning: each episode ends in a cliffhanger, so it's hard to stop watching. It's on Netflix.
So go to your favorite streaming site and check some of these out. Have fun!