Tuesday, February 21, 2012

media musings

It's time again to catch up on the media I've been consuming ...

The Vow—I saw The Vow opening weekend with my sister and a friend. The story is about a woman (Rachel McAdams) who wakes up from a coma with no recollection of the last five years of her life—which included transforming from a conservative meat-loving law student to a free-spirited vegetarian artist and meeting and marrying an insanely handsome independent recording studio owner (Channing Tatum). It's a sweet love story with an ending I didn't predict. (The plot does bear a resemblance to Susan May Warren's book The Shadow of Your Smile, which I reviewed earlier this year.) Even more heartwarming than the movie, though, it the true story that inspired it. The Vow is very, very loosely based on Kim & Krickitt Carpenter. Reader's Digest wrote about the Carpenters in 1996, and they've reposted the story online. As much as I loved The Vow, I think I would rather have watched a more faithful adaptation of the story. The Carpenters also wrote a book about their experiences, and a new edition has been released to coincide with the film. It's available in paperback or for the Kindle for less than $10. I just ordered my Kindle copy ... I'll be sure to let you know what I think of it when I'm finished reading!

Downton Abbey—SPOILER ALERT! If you're planning to watch Downton Season 2 (or LOST) at some point in the future, you'll want to skip this section.

Downton Abbey had some major missteps this season (can we say burn victim Peter/Patrick; Lord Grantham's dalliance with the maid; and Lavinia, the sweet girl whose presence served only to keep apart Matthew & Mary and who we knew to be doomed from the start?), yet in my opinion, the truly emotionally satisfying ending more than made up for any ridiculousness. I call this the LOST effect. I know legions of LOST fans would disagree, but I found the series finale to be so emotionally satisfying that I could completely forgive the fact that seemingly thousands of questions remained unanswered. That the sideways world turned out to be in essence a purgatory that our Losties created for themselves did not for one second diminish my joy at watching them all discover who they really were and reunite with their loved ones. The same holds true for Downton. Give me one emotional, long-awaited marriage proposal in the snow, and I'll forgive all kinds of melodramatic nonsense. And when the season finale comes packed with so much Maggie Smith goodness, I can't help but love it! (My favorite interchange from the finale—and perhaps the entire season—comes 47 seconds into this video.)

Hulu Plus—Did you know you can now stream Hulu Plus through your Wii? It would be nice if plain old Hulu was available, too, but I guess it makes sense to only have that option for the pay version. Hulu is giving Wii users a two-week free trial to Hulu Plus (others can get a one-week trial), so I decided to check it out. Three days into my trial, I've decided I definitely need to cancel before my credit card gets charged at the end of the two weeks.

Pros: 1. FOX shows are available the day after air, rather than 8 days after air. This isn't a huge deal, I don't like waiting more than a week to watch Fringe episodes. 2. Some shows and movies that aren't available on Netflix are available on Hulu Plus. 3. Hulu Plus has the entire current season of many popular shows.

Cons: 1. Not all shows are available to watch on devices other than a computer. For instance, Psych's current season. 2. Speaking of Psych, Hulu Plus members have to wait 30 days to watch USA shows, just like regular Hulu users do. 3. Ads. That's right, Hulu Plus users still have to watch ads! Remind me again why this costs money?

Do I prefer watching Parks & Rec on my 32-inch HDTV to watching it on my 14-inch laptop screen? Yes. Do I love the (almost) instant gratification of watching Fringe the day after it airs? Of course. But is it worth $7.99 a month to me? Nope.

Netflix—Yes, I'm still a happy Netflix subscriber. And now I'm even happier: I just won a year of Netflix from SingleRoots! (If you aren't familiar with SingleRoots, check them out. I have them linked in my "Blogs Worth Reading" blogroll.) The Starz catalog is set to be removed from Netflix on February 29, but I don't think it will have much of an impact on my Netflix use. (I can't even remember the last time I watched a movie on Netflix ... I almost solely watch TV shows.) A full list of those movies and television shows that will disappear at the end of the month can be found here.

The Bodyguard soundtrack—Fun fact: The Bodyguard was the first R-rated movie I ever saw. Granted, it was on network television in the mid-90's, so it was pretty toned down. I actually got permission from my mom to watch it (which is impressive if you know my history of sneaking to the basement to watch all sorts of things of which she wouldn't approve). Anyway, Whitney Houston's recent death got me thinking about The Bodyguard soundtrack, which was one of my introductory cds when I joined the BMG Music Service in the late 90's. So I dug it out—I'd never bothered to copy it to my iTunes—and listened to it the other night. I'd forgotten just how phenomenal her voice was. Hungry for more Whitney, I headed over to EW.com, where they've put together a playlist of 25 of her best songs. Check it out here.

What media has caught your fancy lately? Now that Downton is over for the season, do you have any other shows—British or otherwise—I should check out?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the link to Whitney's songs. I was having a hard time remembering what she had sung other than the theme from The Bodyguard.

    And, oh my word, I haven't thought of BMG in ages!!! I ended up with a LOT of cd's because of them!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...