Bingeworthy · TV

Signora Volpe – Bingeworthy TV

I admit I get a bit fussy about what I watch on TV. For some reason I don’t really care to consider, I no longer care to spend time on shows that don’t really catch my attention or interest longer than the first 10 minutes or so. That leaves a lot of shows on the wayside, believe me.

I came across a posting about Signora Volpe on AcornTV recently where the comments were exceptionally favorable. Granted depending upon the location of the ‘post’ comments can, and should, be questioned. I decided to give it a try and see what happened.

Let’s just say it was a pleasant afternoon spent not dealing with a heatwave, but good stories set in beautiful settings told by great performances from excellent writers. Yeah, I liked it!

Check out the information about the show and AcornTV here: https://acorn.tv/signoravolpe/

Before you ask, no I’m not affiliated with AcornTV and I’m not being paid to post this piece. I’m just a long time subscriber who happens to enjoy good TV.

I hope you find it enjoyable, too! Me? I’m hoping for season 2.

Classic TV · Cord Cutting · TV

How To Watch MeTV and other Nostalgia Channels on Roku

I love TV channels that carry classic TV shows! These are usually the ‘extra’ channels that came along after the shift of over-the-air signals to digital from analog. You might know them as Antenna TV or MeTV. There are loads of others, too.

For those of us who use an antenna, however, watching these channels can be a bit of an issue if you don’t get a clear signal, if the weather is impeding the signal, or if you aren’t in an area where a local affiliate is available. In my case, weather has a huge impact on accessibility.

The other day I came across an article titled: ‘How to Watch MeTV on Roku‘. I checked it out and was thrilled to discover that I could get not only MeTV but quite a few other channels – many I had no idea existed. And, best of all, it was an easy load on my Roku device. The article explains it all.

This discovery was quite timely as we are in the middle of May Showers which in my case means heavy rains, wind, and thunderstorms. All of which impede over the air signals. I had the pleasure of being able to watch Decades TV’s Weekend Binge – which just happened to be ‘The Flintstones’! FWIW, we don’t get Decades TV in our area. 🙂

It also means that I can now watch COZI TV anytime I want without having to deal with signal drift. Lots more ‘Frasier’! 🙂

Check it out and see what other tidbits of information might be handy for you even if you aren’t a Roku user.

Is this article helpful? If so, give it a ‘Like’ to let me know.

Classic TV

Appointment TV: Perry Mason

One of my earliest memories is curling up in the daybed at my Grandmother’s home listening to (or occasionally watching) Perry Mason. The bed was in the dining room right next to the living room where the TV had pride of place. Perry Mason was a regular visitor to that home, my parent’s home, and as I left my parent’s home, my own home.

I can’t recall how many times I watched the original series with Raymond Burr, let alone the remake with Monte Markham, but I do know that I’ve seen all the original show’s episodes and when the Perry Mason Movies debuted, that was a cause for celebration.

Recently MeTV added the Perry Mason Movies to its Sunday lineup and, once again, it is appointment TV.

Check out THIS for more information about the original Raymond Burr series along with information about the subsequent series and the films.

Mason originated via books written by Earle Stanley Gardner. There was a radio series, too. The radio series was serialized, think soap opera, which portrayed Mason and company quite differently than the TV series. HBO Max has also created a prequel series, if you will that takes place prior to the time period in the 1957 series.

Perry Mason is intelligent TV. It is well written, well performed, and provides a high quality experience. It set the bar for the type of legal drama I watched over the decades.

I will be honest, I’ve never read the books and have limited knowledge of the radio series, so I don’t know how well they do, or don’t, hold up over the years. The Burr version of the series, including the movies, might be a tad dated, but they are a true reflection of the time they were produced.

Frankly, I’m just happy to have something to look forward to each week that is engaging, familiar, and a pleasant thing to watch that is family friendly.

Enjoy!

TV

A Visit with “The First Lady”

You might have heard about a new series on Showtime called “The First Lady” which focuses on several trailblazing first ladies in our history. The ladies in question are:

  • Eleanor Roosevelt played by Gillian Anderson
  • Betty Ford played by Michelle Pfeiffer
  • Michelle Obama played by Viola Davis

And those are just the Ladies. This cast includes some stellar performances played by some stellar performers, not just the three mentioned above.

The concept is interesting, putting each in her own time and place but all three at the same time; at the beginning of her role as First Lady of the United States.

The times might have been different for each woman for a variety of reasons but the underlying theme of all three was ‘hope’.

I had the opportunity to watch the first two episodes via the Showtime Select channel on PlutoTV. This free platform gave me the opportunity to dip my toe, as it were, before I forked over any cash. Note: to watch all episodes in the series, you will have to subscribe to Showtime.

The platform is free, you can use it pretty much anywhere, so if you are inclined, check it out.

All that aside, ‘The First Lady’ brings an interesting perspective on a difficult position in times that were anything but calm and comfortable. Granted, as stated at the beginning of each episode, the writers did take some creative license with the subject matter and time period, but the end result is captivating, amusing, interesting, and occasionally wowing. Things you don’t always find in what could be termed a ‘docudrama’. Some complain about the bouncing from one time frame to another, but I found it interesting. I was able to compare and contrast rather than focus to the exclusion of the other stories.

Enjoy!

Classic TV · Cord Cutting · Media · TV

Rediscovering Old Favorites

Are you a fan of classic TV? It could be dramas, mysteries, comedies or any combination in addition to other shows that don’t quite fit those categories.

I have a fondness for quite a few classic TV shows. Some going back quite a few decades. 🙂

While I understand TVLand was one of the pioneers in what I call the formal rerun network programming, since I don’t have cable, it was never a possibility for me to watch. However, thanks to MeTV, Antenna TV, COZI TV, and various other networks, it is now possible to revisit old favorites without the expense of cable or streaming.

In my neck of the woods, and not having cable, over the air programming tends to be at the mercy of weather. In other words, when weather is bad, signal is bad. This is where streaming platforms come in to play and are very helpful.

I recently rediscovered ‘Murder, She Wrote’ along with several other favorite shows on COZI TV. They have a great line up with lots of great programing. The problems arise when weather isn’t great. After being caught in the middle of a two-parter, I found myself searching to find the second half of the two hour season finale. Turned out that I was able to not only find the episode guide (IMDB.com) but also find the series for free – and all the seasons – over on the Roku Channel.

Now I know that not everyone has a Roku box in their home. But this does not mean that they won’t be able to take advantage of free streaming services. It just means that there might be a bit more research involved.

For the record, I do wish that all the classic (rerun) networks/channels would have a streaming platform for those who can’t or don’t have access, but <shrug> …

In the meantime, I’m checking out all my options to determine what I can find and the best way to access it.

FYI: If you subscribe to streaming services like Paramount+, AcornTV, or any other service, be sure to check all their programming options. And do it regularly. Why? Because these services add movies and shows often and you never know what you might find that you already have access to.

But don’t limit the check to just those subscription services. Check all your platforms to see what is available. IMDB.com adds a lot of programming (new and old) quite often. You might score the entire series of a classic show that you can binge to your heart’s desire. You might also find shows or films that you forgot you wanted to watch.

I’m on the lookout for my Summer Binge. This is the series I want to deep dive into during the summer months when the rest of TV is up to its collective ears in reruns.

So far, I’ve found ‘Julia’ over on HBO Max, which has quite an array of other programming that I haven’t seen yet. I also have a lot to catch up on over on Disney+.

I do spend a lot of time over on PlutoTV where I can binge on some old favorites and discover new shows, too. And, it is free!

So, what are you looking to curl up with? Let me know!

Media · TV

Arthur – All Growed Up

I’ve been a fan of PBS’ ‘Arthur‘ since the beginning. To be honest, I’ve been a PBS Kids Junkie for decades. The programming may be aimed at kiddoes, but us older folks can find a lot to enjoy, too. I’ve been known to set my VCR and DVR to record many PBS Kids shows over the years. ‘Arthur‘ was a regular on that roster.

The show has been around for a long time, even though the kids seemed to never really leave third grade. What I enjoyed the most was the opportunity to not be blasted by loads of energy, noise, or the inevitable frantic silliness that some shows steeped themselves in. Arthur, Buster and friends told tales that reflected what was going on in the lives of third graders dealing with, among other things, allergies, questionable advertising, little sisters, pets, parents, and the scary realization that teachers were people, too.

The shows were tasteful, humorous, a touch ironic, and were often written with adults in mind. They would occasionally play with satire taking on Downton Abbey or Masterpiece with tongue in cheek humor. And they did it very well.

In addition to the regular shows, there were holiday specials, too. These brought something extra to the holidays that I look forward to each year.

Want to learn a bit more?

Arthur on Wikipedia

How Arthur Grew Up on The Los Angeles Times

Arthur Fans React on TV Insider

Are you a fan, too? Let me know!

Audiobooks · Books · Media · Movies · TV

To Binge Or Not To Binge

I admit I’m still trying to maneuver my way through the streaming process. I’ve been around for quite a while. When I began watching TV, there were three – yes 3 – networks, no cable, satellite, recording or streaming. Shocking to some, I know. LOL!

All that means is that I have a different POV than some. And, odd as it might sound, a different appreciation, too. You see, I’m one of those folks who love the extras that were on the DVDs. You know, the behind the scenes, deleted scenes, etc. I’ve spent time on film sets on back lots, and parking lots, too. As a result, I appreciate what it takes to produce what you see on the screen.

I often recall a time when I had two recorders set up to capture a week’s worth of programming that I would work to keep up with in addition to what I watched ‘live’. I haven’t done that in years – mostly because there really wasn’t enough that interested me to watch.

Cable and I have had a mediocre relationship since the beginning. Way back when it was interesting and exciting. Now, the majority is simply boring and repetitive. My opinion, true, but I am certain I’m not the only one who thinks that, too. As a result I haven’t had cable in 2 decades. I have tested it out on occasion just to see if I was missing anything and, much to my dismay, I wasn’t.

I find it interesting that so many cable outlets have discovered that (a) they needed to provide their own material and (b) the audience isn’t going to sit around until they figure it out.

One of the biggest complaints about cable was being stuck with channels you never watch but had to pay for. Streaming took that out of the equation and for the consumer (me) it was the beginning of an entirely new world.

Thanks to On Demand I can pull up things I want to watch when I want to watch and not have to set a machine to capture it all. This means that I can indulge in some amazing programming or ditch a show when it just doesn’t capture my attention.

Which brings me to binging. Some shows are meant to be binged. Some really do need a break in between episodes to allow the viewer (me) to contemplate what I’ve seen.

A few years back I discovered Agents of S*H*I*E*L*D on whatever streaming platform it was on at the time and was hooked. Good thing, too, because – if memory serves – season 4 was coming up. That discovery literally made my summer!

I recently checked my watchlist over on Hulu and found Only Murders In The Building. I sat down to watch the first episode to see if it might make the cut and 5 hours later I’d seen the entire first season. (And that soundtrack is simply delicious!)

Other shows like Murdoch Mysteries or Frankie Drake Mysteries I take a couple of episodes at a time. Both end up on my list after the first run of their season so I am obliged to either wait until the entire season has dropped or keep up with them weekly.

Normally I don’t mind reruns but there is one show I don’t watch as a rerun; NCIS. I love NCIS! For some unknown reason, however, I don’t look for reruns of the series. The entire catalog is on Paramount+, so it isn’t as if it isn’t available.

One thing I have to say is that I appreciate it when providers like Paramount+ or Disney+, to name only two of what is available, provide a wide variety of programming. I’m a PlutoTV fan, too. These providers allow me to pick and choose what I want to see, not what they think I want to see. And, the icing on that cupcake: The price is fair, too.

For an old codger like myself who remembers a time when you made the time to sit down to watch a show or you hoped the rerun would air so you didn’t miss anything, this new era of streaming is almost a wonderland.

To binge or not to binge… Depends upon the day, the inspiration, the show, and whether or not you are ready to move on without taking a break in between.

Right?

Classic TV · Media · TV

The Evening Routine

As I write this, it is roughly that time of the evening where I am and the hour before Midnight in London, England. I mention this because it is at this time of day, Monday through Friday, when I sit down to listen to Pumpkin FM. Pumpkin FM has several channels that cover a variety of nostalgic radio, some USA based, some U.K. based.

At this time of the weekday (night?) I sit back to enjoy the latest episodes of ‘Allo, ‘Allo and Are You Being Served?. Both of the very old BritComs are aired audio only allowing the listener to occupy hands otherwise while listening to some rather fun shows. It also allows your imagination to run a bit wild filling in the images.

If you have never seen, let alone listened to, these shows, please note they are vintage 1970 or 1980 shows that are more parody and farce. Please keep that in mind. 🙂

If you need to learn more, or have a refresher, check the following links:

‘Allo, ‘Allo

Are You Being Served?

Check out the schedules for the rest of Pumpkin FM channels. Among the variety of programming you will find comedies, serials, variety shows and a collection of crime dramas There is something for everyone.

Enjoy!

P.S.: If you are interested in actually watching these shows, check out imdb.com who will have the latest places to watch.