Thursday 17 September 2015

bad to the bone...

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to boxsets, I have the best of intentions. The last few years have seen loads of quality tv shows, but if you’re anything like me, you miss the start and, by the time you’ve heard they are worth watching, you don’t want to jump on part of the way through and decide that you’ll just watch the boxset whenever that comes out. And then never quite get around to it. I’ve been fully intending to watch the Sopranos from start to finish for probably more than a decade now. I haven’t watched a single episode yet. I’ve done a bit better with things like Curb Your Enthusiasm and The West Wing, in that I’ve watched bits a pieces of them here and there… but I keep meaning to watch them properly, but still haven’t got around to it. I did watch Band of Brothers from start to finish when it was first on tv, but I still have the box set of the follow-up, Pacific, in shrink wrap next to my DVD player.

The arrival of streaming video services seems to have helped. Amazon Prime offers a number of shows that I want to watch, and I actually sat down and worked my way steadily through all three seasons of Vikings over the last couple of months, and it was great. Ridiculously, it felt a bit of a wrench going back to a physical DVD after streaming, even though it’s barely any additional effort at all to put a disc into the machine to watch three episodes. Luckily, I was able to overcome that absurd inertia to start watching Breaking Bad last week, a box set that I have had for a couple of years now.

Surprise, surprise…. This critically acclaimed TV show turns out to be really, really good. Who knew? I’m now working my way through at a rate of a couple of episodes a day.

I was a little taken aback at how dark it is, which is daft because I knew what the basic premise was before I started watching. But somehow it still took me aback, with a real turning point being the scene with the bathtub in the second episode. It’s gripping. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this before?

One thing though: If this was set in the UK, it wouldn’t have lasted for five seasons.

I’m not sure what’s next….. Sons of Anarchy, maybe (which I think is on Prime), I probably ought to bite the bullet and buy the West Wing too. Parks & Rec, maybe.

How on earth did we watch TV before? Adverts.... WTF?


  1. people talk about Breaking Bad / Mad Men / The Wire as the best TV shows ever - but The Sopranos is on another level all together - all those other shows are good but i genuinely LOVED the people in that show - amazing. like most shows it had a bit of a slow start (comedies in particular suffer from a pilot episode problem) but by the time i got to episode 5 ("College"), i knew it was something specal.

    Curb.. is for me a bit one-note, nowhere near as good as Seinfeld - Parks & Rec is absolutely brilliant, i'd definitely recommend if only for Ron Swanson.

  2. Seinfeld is a multi-faceted, misanthropic work of genius. No hugging, no learning.

    1. have you seen this? i think it's exactly what the internet was invented for - it's every scene from Seinfeld where nothing happens - no people, lots of external shots, empty interiors - it's still funny, but weirdly moving and spooky by the end: