Media · Movies · TV

Need Help Choosing Streaming Services?

Check out THIS ARTICLE from TV Insider. It has all the information you need if you are contemplating pay streaming platforms.

I always suggest you make a list of what you want to watch and then see who will be showing it. You could be quite surprised. Or shocked.

I also always suggest that you routinely review your Watchlists to see what you have actually watched and what you haven’t. It could help you decide what service to cancel and what to add.

Musings · Old Time Radio · TV

Getting Comfortable With Upheaval

Of the Viewing Schedule

I won’t lie, I miss the good old days when there was an actual, reliable viewing schedule of the shows available on TV. I like the rhythm of knowing what I will be settling in to watch during the week. <sigh>

Don’t get me wrong, bingeing is an interesting alternative providing, of course, I can find something I actually want to binge. Not always easy.

I just spent some time catching up with Frasier (2023) on Paramount+ and had to check to see how many episodes I have yet to see. More than I thought… And I like this show! In some odd way, it could be said that I am hoarding those episodes…

There are some shows that I watch on the night they drop without fail. And those are few and far in between.

There are shows I used to watch on the night they were scheduled but this year, for all the reasons we all know about, that schedule has been shattered. I am looking forward to the return of many come February, but in the meantime…

December has always been a difficult time for scheduled TV because of all the extra programming. Holiday specials used to fill up the calendar but many of those have gone by the wayside. You can find them, of course, if you take the time to browse through your streaming platforms or delve into On Demand. Some networks have scheduled blocks of specials to break up the monotony of reruns.

Why is it the reruns we want to see are not the reruns we are able to see?

RadioOnceMore has already begun their December Holiday Special Programming. 24/7 old time radio shows. Check out their website for the schedule and where to listen.

The Kennedy Center Honors will air on December 3, 2023. I look forward to this every year and this year the winners list is awesome.

Off to add this to my calendar!

Around the House · Classic TV

Chill Baby!

Finding ways to relax when things get busy

We have entered that time of the year when things get a bit (?) hectic…stressful…chaotic.

Yep, The Holidays have arrived.

If you find yourself needing a bit of a stress relief or some time away from the hustle and bustle, I invite you to join me as I embark on a journey to find some zen quiet. For as long as you like. 😉

Bob Ross has been a staple for decades. Even for those of us who don’t paint, sitting back and enjoying the process can be quite relaxing. You can find an entire channel (!!!!) of his shows on PlutoTV.

Katie Scott (Salvaged by K Scott) has a YouTube channel packed with videos of her work. She is an excellent teacher but more important to me, watching her process is very relaxing.

For the ultimate in relaxation, try Girl With The Dogs over on YouTube. Vanessa has two channels filled with grooming videos of dogs and cats. I have found her videos not only relaxing but educational as I had no idea what was involved in grooming a dog. Some of her clients may not enjoy the process while others truly enjoy the experience. Check her out for yourself.

I’ve noticed that several ‘fireplaces’ have appeared across several streaming platforms. In addition, YouTube has some very comfortable jazz based videos (think coffee houses or bookstores) that you can click on to not only add some nice background music but a rather nice view, too.

Sometimes you just need to find a few minutes to relax. I hope these options are helpful.


Frasier (2023)

Dare I say it? I’m enjoying this reboot.

Dr. Frasier Crane is back and he really has not changed all that much. Or has he? So far the jury is out.

I discovered the original Frasier somewhere around season 2 after the topsy turvy tumultuous first season where Frasier and his father, Martin, moved in together in Seattle.

The foundation of the series was the relationship between Frasier and Martin who were as different as night and day. Martin was a retired police officer who had been injured on the job. Frasier was the oldest of his two sons, both who were more interested in things far different than beer and poker.

The show was sharply written, creatively cast and beautifully performed.

When I learned that there was the possibility of a newer version of Frasier I admit I was hesitant. Reboots are often disappointing.

Paramount+ dropped the first two episodes of the series recently and I sat down to test the waters watching each episode separately just to see what I thought.

Dr. Frasier Crane is back…pompous, inflated ego, oblivious, and well meaning. And 20 years older and wiser. Mostly.

This new series is excellently cast. Kelsey Grammar has not missed a beat. The new characters are holding their own and making their marks. James Burrows is back as director (hooray!) which provides a solid foundation to tie both series together. The writing is as sharp and funny as I had hoped it would be.

I’m glad I took the time to check it out. So far, I’ve not been disappointed.

New episodes drop every Thursday on Paramount+.

Classic TV · Media · Movies · Old Time Radio · TV

Down The Rabbit Hole

Where one thing really does lead to another.

As you probably know, I love the ‘extras’ on the DVDs. I love to learn more about the behind scenes work that is part and parcel to any film or TV show. I also love digging about on where I can learn more about a performer which often leads to delving into shows, films, etc.

I rarely know what I will find when I start nosing away. Lots of ‘I didn’t know that’ moments appear out of nowhere. For example, I grew up with Bob Hope and Jack Benny (to name but a few) on my TV. I had no idea they had long careers in radio and film. The impact Lucille Ball had on television is astounding – and that is beside her iconic I Love Lucy show.

I love ‘discovering’ a performer. Sometimes what I think I know is not nearly the whole story. Some careers are mind boggling. Others are eye opening.

As for those extras on the DVD package, they can be fun, informative, interesting and a nice addition to the main event. You never know until you dive in.

Classic TV · Media

Do You Remember Humphrey The Bear?

Many decades ago Humphrey the Bear was introduced to the weekly viewers of the Wonderful World of Disney. He and the ranger made at least 2 different shorts for Disney which were focused on the Disney version of Yellowstone Park. I’ve had a soft spot for the bear ever since first encountering him in my living room all those years ago. What follows is not only my favorite of the shorts, but one many folks claim as their favorite, too.

I make no apologies for the ear worm. Enjoy!
Classic TV · Musings · TV

Enjoying The Toons

Cartoons and Comics, that is!

If you have been around here for any length of time, you know how much I enjoy good cartoons and comic strips. Animation is an art that takes many forms. If you have ever found yourself watching a cartoon and being amazed at the beauty of the backgrounds, you are a kindred spirit.

If you have read comic strips for any length of time and found yourself caught up in the story, you are a kindred spirit, too.

These mediums are not just for children. Although as I contemplate the history of some of the makers involved in these classics, it is not difficult to consider that some of these folks were acting on their childish impulses. LOL!

I think you have to be less than Serious to make some seriously great cartoons.

I’ve watched Toon In With Me on MeTV ever since it debuted. What I have noticed lately is the improvement in the link segments. The segments between the cartoons. It often takes a while for a show to find its feet and there was a time when this show seemed to want to rely a bit too much on, shall we say, questionable characters and situations. A lot of that has been stripped away and the focus is on Bill, the cartoon curator, and his pal, Tooney the Tuna.

The show flows better, there is more to be interested in, and the overall experience is fun rather than <cough> attempts to be juvenile trying to be grown ups.

Comic strips are a great way to touch base with the funny and the wisdom of the ordinary. I have been introduced to new strips that have caught my attention and have found pleasure in returning to old favorites.

Sometimes it is a simple visit with Snoopy and Charlie Brown that can lift my spirits. Dropping in on For Better or For Worse reminds me of when the strip was brand new and the kids just growing up. Baldo adds a touch of humor and the kids are actually a pleasure to spend time with.

Personally, I find the daily touch base a great way to start my day.

Are you a comics or cartoon fan? What are your favorites?

Bingeworthy · Classic TV · Media · Movies · TV

Catching Up

In the midst of Hollywood Strikes there are still options for viewers

A recent article in the New York Times (read here) is a reminder that even though we are not being inundated by new shows, there is still a lot to watch. A lot.

And you know what? That is a good thing.

One of the things I hate about cable is the dearth of material which results in jacking up the monthly bill. There is nothing like a 3 figure monthly bill for a majority of stuff I don’t have any interest in. 🙁 Streaming can be a bit of a mine field, too.

But here we are with a plethora of material that had been relegated to the ‘I’ll Watch that later’ list. Or, we’ve taken the time to brows our various streaming services (free or paid for) and found a whole host of things we’d forgotten we wanted to see. Now is the time!

And, if you were sharp eyed you discovered that many of your free services had materials that also appear on some of the paid platforms. !!!!!!

Yep, it is true. Granted you might not find all of a series, but you could find just what you want to see and watch enough to determine if adding the subscription cost to your budget is worth it or not. I recently discovered that several series I used to pay for are now available for free elsewhere. Jaw dropped. Money saved.

Another thing I have taken advantage of is the search feature on to find out where I can watch something and what it will cost me. I use the same feature on my Roku box. It can be eye opening to see the options.

So, pull up your watch list, grab a pen and paper and make a list of what you want to watch while we wait for Hollywood to sort itself out. Catch up without the need for frustration and annoyance that everyone else has already seen it before you. Who cares?

Grab the popcorn!

Books · Movies · TV

The Full Circle

Or the potential joy of ending a series.

One of the recent conversation strings in my house lately has been focused on the ending of a series. This refers to books, movies, and even TV shows.

For those of us who have been followers of television series, this time of year can be tricky. If there is a potential for the series to be cancelled, what happens to bring the story to a close? If the series has been cancelled or decided not to come back for a new season, does that mean they have time to create an ending that will tie everything up?

For example, The Big Bang Theory was able to bring the series to a satisfactory close after 12 seasons. On the other hand, Star Trek, The original series, was canceled after 3 seasons leaving Kirk, Spock and McCoy, along with the rest of the Enterprise crew, out exploring the galaxy. One can’t help but wonder what we might have seen if the series had been given a last season to tie up loose ends.

Movie series don’t seem to have the same issues, mainly because there is often no guarantee that a studio will plan ahead to produce the next film in a potential series. We have seen some attempts at that, however, usually ending with questionable results.

Book series can be tricky, too. Writers dealing with boredom can kill off a series faster than a speeding rabbit. One of my favorite authors has produced a series where a new book was released about every 3 years without fail. Imagine the frustration when the latest book came out 4 years late. Yes, 7 years between books. No matter how dedicated the fan might be to the series, it is almost impossible to keep interest and enthusiasm going with such a delay.

What brought all this to mind recently was the release of the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard. Now, I could expound on the fabulous production values and the fabulous cast – and season 3 has had an amazing cast – and all of that would be an honest POV. What stand out, for me at least, was the amazing amount of work that went into writing the season’s storyline.

This was a labor of love produced by people who have been involved in Star Trek in one form or other for decades. The end product gathered together stories, characters, situations from a variety of Star Trek series (and I do mean series plural) to create an end of series show that was unexpected and engaging.

This was a rarity for any medium.

This particular cupcake came along after a couple of years where favorite authors seemed to forget what they were writing and it showed. Where series galumphed along not really attempting to reach even the more modest levels of quality we had seen in earlier seasons. Where a big studio was advised that if the star they were willing to toss aside didn’t return to a big ticket movie series, don’t bother making the next installment.

If you are committed to a book, movie or television series, things matter. Consistency, timing, commitment, and as much transparency as possible between creators and consumers are important from all sides.

What it all boils down to is simply this: without an audience it doesn’t matter if a book, movie or TV show is available. Keeping that audience is important.