Smart TV

I still haven’t figured out how to make mine do all that it’s capable of doing. I probably never will.  On the up side it forces me into manual mode. I find that when I am mindfully connected to the experience, I make better viewing choices for myself.  But that’s just the way I go about it. I know lots of folks who binge and are proud of it.  I say “Good Anya“. And according to What Culture there are ten that require your immediate attention.

For me the process is a bit slower. And ther results are in: sometimes television simply gets it right.   Often not the case, at least for my taste.  But, if you like edgy mystery with dynamite writing, then look no further than Broadchurch.   It delves into subject matter that with far less capable hands and minds would at best be distasteful.  The victim of this tragedy is never lost . In every scene, in every nuance of every character, his voice is heard.  In fact, both seasons do a remarkable job in honoring the complexity and tragedy of murder, but I especially appreciated it’s maiden voyage (netflix).

Too many times gratiuity is used to portray gritty realism and too many times it fails miserably.  In fact, it is so poorly executed that it sensationalizes the story to the point of doing a disservice to the characters it so desparately desires to nurture.  Not the case with Broadchurch. An upside to sticking around for Season Two (beyond receiving the much anticipated resolution to the First),  is that you get to see Marianne Jean-Baptiste.  She has been a sorely missed face on the character driven horizon.  She broke out in Secrets & Lies and eventually found a home on American Television in Without A Trace  But she was under utilized. It’s easy to do, she is a force to reckon with frame by frame. Broadchurch Season 2 offers her a great vehicle and she drives the heck out of it.

Another great show that doesn’t make pharce of life in the penetentuary is Wentworth Prison.  A fast paced (sometimes a bit over produced), break your heart open kind of drama with lots of potential.  Rooted in its original framework – Prisoner: Cell Block H, Wentworth re-imagines the characters and gives them a solid and tasteful coat of development.  Well acted, well written and definitely worth the time. And if you are a binger, the original and it’s 600+ episodes will keep you busy (for some reason, #1 wouldn’t load for me, but the 2nd did and that appears to be the “first” episode for viewing).

And since I like to give a shout out to friends, colleagues, and/or other local happenings,  I want to mention The Stark County (Ohio) International Short Film Series screening monthly (1st Wed of the month).  Although a different medium, it offers an opportunity for quality programming.  In it’s 10th season,  folks gather to watch some quality films and share an after the screening discussion.  The event takes place at the Stark County Library. Praise to Kim Ann (the founder and organizer). Anyone who knows her, knows it’s no surprise that she keeps the entertainment wheels flowing for the community.

Life is about jumping on board and getting out there (or in there, if you are into self exploration), but there is definitely a joy in watching moving art, not only for the entertainment value, but for the sheer joy of visiting with other ideas and cultures in the comfort of your home.

As summer rolls in, many find the time to hike, travel – to just “be in nature”.  But, there are also those rainy times that tempt us to hide out and unwind.  When those days hit, it’s nice to curl up in front of the firebox and explore. And since books are great too, you can always head over to the library and visit Kim Ann and her shorts program after perusing the shelves.

Happy and smart viewing!

Note: The featured image was taken at a local eatery.  I was very amused and excited that the journey proved to be so fruitful. Was it possible that the entryway to my favorite entertainment company was so close at hand?  It turned out to be a storage closet, but who knows where creativity is born.  A definite could be, what if moment….

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