Okay, this is a mindless post and may offend some people. I know that some refer to HBO as Hell’s Box Office, and you certainly have a right to feel that way. I can also very well understand the valid argument about having subscription services when you have young kids. However, my only children that live with me are 18, and he’s far too busy with his X-Box, and his sister is here part time and she’s a senior in college, so I can watch an R rated movie in peace.
However, I don’t watch too many movies from HBO, but there are some shows that I do regularly watch, and tonight while watching HBO’s Rome, and yeah, it’s steamy, my wife and I gave our ritualistic response, “This show ends too soon”. The second obligatory response is, “This is the best show HBO makes”. Now, obviously none can be the best, but here are the shows that my wife and I watch, and why not take a break from Iraq, depressing – with a silver lining, primaries – it’s a long road to Election Day – and heady philosophical issues – nobody can take too much Immanuel Kant no matter how englightened they claim they may be.
Oh, one more disclaimer; I know that HBO promotes a real “Lib” agenda. Okay, got that out of the way, so now we can proceed!
Here’s the lineup and my comments – I will also include my hippy dippy wife’s comments and her faves.
Rome – Love this show. Is it violent, yes, but Ancient Rome was a tough place. Is there a lot of…”scenes”, yes, and Rome was a bit of a walk on the wild side. However, I find that I can’t get enough of this show. I particularly enjoy the relationship between the two plebs, Vorenus and Pullo. I love it when they call each other Brother. What an amazing friendship they have, and I forsee it coming to a very sad ending.
What I like about it –
The way they make the era seem genuine.
The real behind the scenes stuff – which they did a pretty good job depicting.
Currently #1 because it’s the one with new episodes.
The Sopranos – A “Family Show” featuring everybody’s favorite bad guy Tony. They’ll be wrapping up the series this year, and at the moment it’s not my favorite show, because it’s not running. Rest assured I’ll wait for Sunday night to roll around and see what these “wise guys” are doing each week. I had read that the show is really about the environmental psychology – and that is an interesting spin, but I tend to like the idea that it’s about crime. Tony is everything that I probably don’t like in mankind, yet I find myself rooting for him, even when I am thinking to myself, what a total jerk – and the language I use in my mind is more severe! Again, I have a feeling that this show will end badly for Tony et al. I hope it is not a copycat of GodFather 3 which ruined a great movie series.
Big Love – This one is the newcomer, and I think was the reason so much interest in the public came about with regard to some of the more unsavory and renegade aspects wrongly associated with Mormonism. Now, I am not a Mormom, but I have frequently said to my wife if Mormons moved in next door to me, I would be very happy. The values that are promoted by this church are affirmative, and I am not associating the religion of Mormonism with this show. This show actually I feel asks a valid question, at least of me, “Why is polygamy illegal”. Now I don’t believe that this show is advocating the lifestyle, and certainly the families portrayed show distinct contrast in their lifestyles. I have never been threatened with people who challenge the status-quo and I feel they add to my own growth. I had to ask myself this question. I am not endorsing the lifestyle portrayed in this show, and I find many positive models in a very convuluted form of morality. A psychologist would have a field day with that family. However, it would be nothing to the next “family” show….
Six Feet Under – Probably my favorite. They are so insanely liberal at times I want to scream. I confess I hated this show, and this fictional family, when I first saw it, and realized that mostly the reason was because of my own feelings about their politics, and of course one of the shows most controversial aspects, a relationship that depicts a homosexual relationship – in generally a positive light. This show also showed me the deep abiding love that families – even the most dysfunctional ones can have for each other. There are many themes which I find attractive. There is a provocative view about spirituality in this show. More often than not God is positively portrayed, although through a liberal theology bias. I understand that many who may read this blog have a visceral reaction to homosexuality, and I will state that I find the affectionate scenes which have a homosexual strand – and I will say that at times it runs a bit too strong – uncomfortable moments. I’m not there, and don’t mind that I’m not comfortable with it. I also feel that the show makes people confront their assumptions, and that is not at all a bad thing. In all honesty if the two characters moved in next door to me, I wouldn’t hate them. I would hope that I would be welcoming to them and as long as they curbed their dog and kept the lawn up, were civil and friendly to me, their sexual choice would not be something which caused me to hate them. Civility is never a bad thing. By the way – I think the main character Nathaniel Jr. confronts the problems that many of “Generation X” face – an uncertainty of their purpose and role in life. What a sad reality that so many can’t find their excellence.
Oz – Not a family show, but another show that caused me to ponder many things about my perceptions regarding crime and the states role – whether punitive or rehabilitive. I also feel that this show portrays God in a very positive light. Religion is typically shown to be the only salvation these truly desparate people have. I am not a softy on crime, but I also realize that if anyone needs redemption and the love of God it is these people. Remember, the first person to enter the Kingdom of Christ was a man rightfully convicted of a capital crime. The show has massive violence and is not at all for the sensitive, yet it also shows some of the most compelling thought about life I have ever viewed in a television show. Again, it combines entertainment with social commentary which at the very least opens up an appropriate dialogue. One of the things I carry from that show, and employ frequently is the line, “No, it doesn’t excuse his behavior, but it helps us understand it”. What a powerful sentiment.
Deadwood – I’ll probably be into it when it starts, but this show has lost a lot of its momentum for me. It is a historical viewpoint of a town in the Dakotas. When the show is at its best is when it features the relationship between the lawman Seth, and the criminal Al Swerengen.
Sex in the City – I hated this show. It’s not the female thing, but I found none of the characters likeable. My wife liked it, and I did watch, but what a callous gang of people. Funny that I don’t mind murderers mobsters and other villians, but a woman that breaks a man’s heart….treacherous. I think that the crimes in the other show are so extreme and so far from my own point of reality, but treachery in a relationship is something that most have come across.
Curb your Enthusiasm – funny….but ho hum. I’m not a comedy guy.
Bill Maher – I have nothing positive to say for that man. I find him a person I’d like to see in Oz in reality!
What I genuinely like about the shows that I mentioned is I often despite myself found a great deal of empathy towards the characters in these shows. They also provide social commentary – and these shows are often steeped in politics, but I’m fairly secure in my reasonable Centrist views.
So, what about you?