What’s Up with Downton Abbey?

downton-abbey

Downton Abbey is a show on BBC and PBS about a large English estate.  It has become quite popular which is a rarity for period costume dramas, so I have given it a try.  Does it get this nerd’s seal of approval? Yes it does.

The show is about a fictional Yorkshire estate, and it takes place from 1912 to the early 1920s so far, and it follows the Grantham Family and their multitude of servants.  There are so many twists and turns in this show that to give a full plot would take the fun out of it, but for something as slow paced as a costume drama, there is plenty happening to keep you interested.

This show is really a high class soap opera, but it is a well acted and written soap opera, so it is very engaging, and not to give anything away, but they are just as likely kill off main character as The Walking Dead, and that show is about the Zombie Apocalypse.  The real reason I keep watching is Maggie Smith.  She is fantastic, and I spend every episode just waiting for her to use her amazing control of words to get exactly what she wants.

Downton Abbey is not something I would usually watch, but thanks to my wife, I am hooked.  Most of it should be streaming on Amazon Prime, even season three should be up soon, so there is nothing stopping you from giving it a try.

Living in Portlandia

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I found a quirky show on Netflix awhile ago, Portlandia.  It stars Saturday Night Live player Fred Armisen and writer/musician Carrie Brownstein. It is sketch comedy show about all things Portland, and to a greater extent the Pacific Northwest.

The show is always setup Fred and Carrie living in Portland and observing the random things that happen, but after that they go in to sketches with a whole range of Portland themed stereotypes: super hip bike rider, feminist book store owners, crazy animal rights activists, hippie liberal mayor, and many more.

Some of the sketches miss the mark or are to overly risque for my taste, but some of them are dead on: there is sketch about a couple that find a dog tied up outside a restaurant and freak out and try and find the owners, and they can’t believe how inhumane that is, and the pay off is that their baby is tied up around the corner, or the couple that had to visit the farm where their chicken was coming from at a restaurant before they would order it.

It is a pretty funny show, and you can tell the humor is coming from love and not hate.  Carrie Brownstein who writes most of the sketches grew up in Seattle and still lives there, so her observations are pretty spot on.  The show is good for a laugh and there is good chance if you live in the Pacific Northwest you have met most of the characters in the show.

The Walking Dead are Back!

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So after what seems like a long break, The Walking Dead is back on TV.  This is by far my favorite show currently airing.  Last night (2/10/13) was all about the reunion of family in more ways then one.  I am not going to give anything away, but it is good to see people back together.

The show did not get the things going with the bang I was expecting, but it continues be tightly written and tense.  It is just giving off that feeling that things are about get super crazy in the most awesome way possible.

The hardest part about the show being back on the air is waiting for Sunday so I can watch the next episode.  They should just let me watch the whole thing now that way I can be happy, and that is all that really matters here, but I guess I will have to wait, or invent time travel.

To the lab!

Futurama returns to Netflix

Futurama

Yesterday was a good day.  The seventh season of Futurama has hit Netflix.  I have been waiting to watch the new season for what seems like forever now, and at last the wait is over.

So far the season has not had any truely classic episodes, but it is still as funny as ever, and there are only so many shows that make physics and math jokes, and understand the jokes they are making.  So if you see me on Xbox Live in the next few days you will know what I am probably watching.

I hope that Comdey Central keeps this show going as long as South Park because it is amazing, and one of the few shows that doesn’t think its viewers are idiots.

Spending time with My Little Pony

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So I go to a lot of events with a lot of nerds, and it may surprise you to find out that dudes that watch ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’ is a thing.  They are called ‘Bronies’.  At first I was wondering if it was some kind of joke, but it is not.  It turns out there are grown guys and girls that just like to watch the show, and support one of their own: Lauren Faust.  So I decided what the heck it is on Netflix, and it will only take twenty-two minutes of my time to see what all the fuss is about.  I have now watched two seasons of the show.

The show’s basic premise is that a young pony named Twilight Sparkle is great at her studies and magic but has no friends and is lonely.  So her teacher and ruler of the land, Princess Celestia, sends her to Ponyville to make friends. Of course she does, and she and her friends go on adventures and learn life lessons.

Now unlike the Bronies I am not totally enthralled with the show, but it is nice to watch something charming and sweet once in a while, and it is completely inoffensive.  The show is smartly written, and has well formed characters which is amazing for a children’s show.

Most of that is due to the creator of this reboot, Lauren Faust.  Lauren Faust got her start on the shows: The Power Puff Girls, and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, and she is married to Craig McCracken who created both of the previous shows and Dexter’s Laboratory.  These are all shows that geeks like myself have come to know and love, so some of us watching a cartoon about ponies due to their involvement seems less far fetched, and add in that the show is good and you get success.

Now I am not saying that everyone should run out and watch this show, but if you are looking for something fun and will make you smile it might be worth a shot.  You could do a lot worse.  Unless you are allergic to pink because this show would probably kill you.