Monday, February 20, 2012

Some TV I've been watching lately...

You may have read my Fall TV Picks and I'll confess, I haven't stuck with everything.  Also, not everything is still on.

MondaysTerra Nova's first season is done.  House got old again (also, I heard that it is ending).  I guess I'm not really into procedurals as much.  I really don't watch any Monday shows at this time.

Tuesdays:  I'm still watching Parenthood with my wife.  It is a good family show and since we will be parents in less than a month, we very much enjoy it.

Wednesdays: Psych has been on its break but will return soon.  Looking forward to it!

Thursdays: The Office is quite good.  It is definitely more of an ensemble show now that Steve Carell is gone, but I still think it is hilarious, but in a different way.  Community is on an indefinite break.  I'm not sure why because it was finally getting good.  This season started off a little stale, but it was picking up steam, especially with the alternate timeline episode.  I also watch Grey's Anatomy with my wife.

Fridays: Chuck has ended (sad) but I actually watched all of the episodes of it, starting at season 1.  I used the wonderful and now my lovely wife got me season 1 on DVD.  This is an excellent show that is definitely underrated.  Fringe is amazing. Probably my favorite show on TV right now.  I look forward to watching this one every week.

Saturdays:  I started watching The Firm and then it got moved to Saturday nights to die.  I'll watch it until the end.  This is very well-acted and well-written show, but the late 10 Eastern/9 Central on Thursday on NBC was kind of hidden.  I want it to survive, but I don't think it will.  I just hope they give some closure when it does officially die.

Other:  I watched the Pilot for the new show Awake (starring Jason Isaacs a.k.a. Lucius Malfoy) on Hulu.  The concept is really fascinating and the acting and presentation is very good.  I really think this one can do well.  I hope so...NBC doesn't have much going for it ratings-wise.

What TV are you watching?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It'll make you paranoid, but educated

What if there was a virus that can spread around the world in a few months and can cause death in a matter of a couple days?  There are plenty of those right now, but we have vaccines for them.  What if we didn't?  The 2011 film Contagion explores this 'what if'.

It explores this first and foremost from the perspective of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a few of its doctors (Laurence Fishburne and Kate Winslet included).  This is the major U.S. government run agency that is responsible for these situations.

The film also looks at it from the perspective of an immune widower (Matt Damon) who lost his wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) soon after her return from a business trip to Hong Kong (and her secret sexual affair during layover on the way back).  Later that day he lost his young stepson.

Finally, the film also follows a professional conspiracy blogger (Jude Law) and his opinions on the virus and how it is being handled by the government.

This film really gets the viewer thinking about what he/she would do if this really happened.  Because it approaches the concept in such a believable way (unlike The Day After Tomorrow, et al.), it really has the ability to scare you.  How would you handle these situations?  What would you do?  I was more affected by the chaos that ensued when quarantines were set up than by the effects of the disease itself.  Fear can lead people to do desperate things.

Contagion really digs into the politics and the procedures that take place behind the scenes in government.  Everyone wants a say and this leads to inefficiency and slow-flowing information.  It is fascinating, yet unnerving.

Contagion is a good film covering a scary topic.  There are a few graphic scenes (an autopsy and the dying people) and a little language that would prevent me from showing a younger kid (who would probably be bored anyway), but otherwise this is a clean film.  Contagion runs 106 minutes and is rated PG-13.  I give it 8 ramheads out of 10.