TALKING ABOUT TV – CONVERSANT ARE WE

CONVERSANT ABOUT TELEVISION?


We are not too sophisticated to watch TV. Despite Karl Marx who said “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people,” somehow this got translated into “Television is the opiate of the masses.”

Personally, I think that would be cell phones. Heavily opiated.

We watch television. Sometimes, we watch a lot of television, depending on what’s on to view. Right now, we’re watching a movie. It’s “The Candidate,” one of the better, sharper, more intelligent political movies.

Made in 1972 starring Robert Redford, it’s an education about how getting elected has a price tag, even if you aren’t a pawn of the NRA or the Koch brothers. Despite the years, it is still surprisingly relevant.

Last night, speaking of relevant, we watched “7 Days in May.” Kirk Douglas. Burt Lancaster. About how the U.S. government stood in imminent danger of being taken over by a military junta — run by Burt. Brilliantly scripted by Rod Serling.

If you haven’t seen it, do. Not the recent new version of it which wasn’t half as good. See the 1964 original. The Serling script is so on target. This movie used to give me chills. Now, it makes my stomach knot with fear. When we were young, we were afraid military guys would try taking over the government.

Who imagined — even in our wildest dreams — we’d be living in 2018 with a traitorous president and an administration where the only sane people in government are the military!

Of the unlikely things we might be expected to watch, the unlikeliest was “My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” which is on Netflix. I had heard reviews of it from a variety of unexpected sources all of whom said something along the lines of “I didn’t think I would like this, but actually, it’s pretty good.” But no one told me what it was they liked so when we finally turned it on, we watched the first show and looked at each other.

“Well,” I said, “That was different.”

“Not bad,” Garry contributed.

“I’ve never seen anything like it on television.”

We thought about that for a while and neither of us could remember any television show remotely like it. It is a rather weird combination of sitcom crossed with an MGM musical. Dancing. Singing — and some pretty good music. Everyone in the cast has real voice. But. The story is terribly 2018 and sometimes, the Valley Girl accents get on our nerves. Also, she really is a crazy ex-girlfriend. Accent on the “crazy” and less on the “girlfriend.”

If you are looking for something absolutely nothing like anything else, try this one. You may hate it, but it IS a musical. The amount of production for each show is huge. These must be expensive shows to produce. Some of the music is remarkable, though the words are bizarre.

Otherwise, we are watching late night comedy and occasionally, when we  think we are strong enough to handle it, we watch the news. On a good day, we may get through 15 minutes. As long as they aren’t doing interviews with whatsherface Huckabee or you-know-who da-prez. Then I feel I need an immediate shower to wash off the sleaze.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

24 thoughts on “TALKING ABOUT TV – CONVERSANT ARE WE”

  1. I am watching an Australian series on Netflix, Rake. I highly recommend it for about a hundred reasons but essentially it’s smart, irreverent, sharp political satire, and it’s funny. Very very funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We watched it and we loved it. There’s another season coming, or so they say. That guy is a very busy one. He seems to be on every TV coming out of Australia. He wanted to end it after season four but his audience mugged him for just one more season.

      It made us laugh. But also, it was an intelligent show in many ways, not the least of which is that Rake was NOT the same jackass in season four that he was in season one. He learned, he changed. And the writers were sharp and smart.

      I think we may need to go back and watch it again. It was really a favorite. I think I wrote about it while we were watching it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “The Indian Detective” which we began last night is okay. It’s derivative but that’s fine because of it’s India locales. The leading lady is “oh my!” to die for, lovely.

        I reached my tolerance level with “Crazy Ex- Girl Friend”. Too Jewish? Still the musical numbers are well done and the actors perform in classic old MGM musical style. We’ll probably give it another look.

        “The Candidate” made me rethink my recent Facebook push to get my “Baby” brother in the 2020 ring for President. Anton really has “it” and a large enough national/internatioinal following to make my impulsive gesture something to seriously consider. However, “The Candidate” reminded me of what it’s really like to be in the arena and do all the grunt work. Yeesh!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Speaking about late night comedy shows, if you haven’t watched “The Opposition” with Jordan Klepper, you should give it a try. He’s really quite good and the show is very clever and witty, in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We do. Not every night, but intermittently. For some reason, he annoys Garry. I’m not sure why. HE isn’t sure why. We actually watch a lot of them now and then. There are a lot and we don’t have them all set to record because we seem to be a bit overloaded on the recording thing. Garry is a serial recorder.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. words, indeed. That is one of the major reasons I love the old Hollywood classics. Most were scripted by genuine writers who were also gifted story tellers. Talking about the handful of classics not the factory muck or b movies that studios churned out.

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  3. Douglas / Lancaster … indeed a great movie.

    TV? i recall when i could surf around the dial and find nothing worthy. Now there’s so much good stuff I can’t watch it all. A nice change.

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    1. Streaming video has REALLY helped. Especially because we get a lot of material from the Australia and Canada and England and occasionally, New Zealand. And lately, India. They still write scripts overseas! Imagine that!

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      1. As you would well know: It’s the Writing baby!
        Have you ever tried writing TV/Movie scripts? I hear they make a lot of loot? Pretty competitive tho, I imagine.

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        1. I have thought about it, but I haven’t tried. I don’t know how. It’s a whole format thing and I don’t know how it works. Garry probably has a better idea, but he’s only written for TV news and it isn’t the same thing. Yes, they DO make big money if they sell anything. The key is — you have to actually SELL something.

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  4. We usually pick something to watch on Netflix. I can’t believe the crap they have on TV now. All the reality junk. And the way adults and teens are scripted in shows, immature and annoying. Are there people that act like that in real life? If so, I am glad I don’t know any of them. I do watch Designated Survivor though. Have you watched the movie Swing Vote? I loved it.

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    1. Designated survivor is a favorite. have not seen Swing Vote, but we’ll look for it. I don’t know who they are writing for these days. My granddaughter hates television. She said “It sucks.” I couldn’t agree more — but between Netflix and Acorn and Amazon, we find interesting stuff, much of it from Australia or Canada.

      Liked by 1 person

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