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Ah, Netflix, you give me amusement, excitement, and new entertainment avenues to explore.  Sam has been pretty good about varying our queue as for what we get at home.  Most of our viewing has been done with Instant Watch but for those things not available there we order through the mail still.  We have an account for just Television shows.  Well a few shows from the BBC have been put into our queue and tonight me, Sam, and Byron watched two of them.  We watched "Peep Show" (not pornographic by the way) and "Being Human."

"Being Human" came first.  It's a drama about a vampire, werewolf, and ghost all living together in a flat.  Basically they try to go about their daily lives (except the ghost who so far seems bound to the house and isn't visible to everyone).  The vampire was turned during WWII and is battling with his urges to feed.  He has a bad habit of turning women who are interested in him.  His issue is only exasperated by a big event fellow vampires keep hinting at, our main character has chosen to be on the human side of things.  (keep in mind we've only seen the first episode so far, so don't know where any of this is going).  The werewolf was lucky enough not to be eviscerated because there was another man with him being chased that night.  He escaped with a scratch and a Curse.  There have been hints about a mysterious man getting involved with him (in the next episode it looks like) which look like his major story arc.  In addition he also has a lot of issues about accepting who he is now that he has this uncontrollable part of himself.  The ghost is living in the flat because that's where she died.  She is pining for her ex-fiance who has since moved on and is dating again.  She is easily excited when someone can see her and takes full advantage by being overly talkative, and active.  I suppose she's sort of a melancholy manic in that sense.

The show was really interesting actually.  Some of the themes are a bit other than original but the way that the characters are presented and the way their interactions have been woven together make it intriguing.  I particularly like how they put a focus on the vampire and the ghost trying to help the werewolf come to grips with who he is.  (side note, I don't remember the characters' names, except for the werewolf, who is George I think... sorry).  When they refer to vampires turning others they refer to them as monsters and predators, which adds a little dimension I think given the obvious states that our main characters are in.  I think it's a little hard to get a lot of feel for a show just from one episode, but I really look forward to seeing more.  This disc has three episodes, so we'll see how far we get.

After that we watched two episodes of "Peep Show."  Honestly after the first episode I was feeling a bit weirded out, I didn't quite get it; but during the second episode I found myself chuckling throughout most of it.  The idea is that there are a couple of roommates.  One is stuffy and the other is out there.  Not an original concept really.  The part that made it so interesting was that most of the dialogue is from the characters' thoughts.  In that sense we see that the stuffy fellow is actually a lot like his roommate in what he wants to accomplish.  Of course his thoughts rarely materialize into actions, so he ends up sputtering horribly when talking to women and being afraid of neighborhood children (who call him a pedo..).  The other roommate is trying to break into the music business and that seems to be his main motivation, though like with his friend, women are also a main focus.  These episodes were shorter than "Being Human" and focused in a lot more on little story lines.  The first one was about the roomies competing for the sexual attention of a neighbor.  Neither won out, as is often the case, but the way in which each failed was pretty fun to watch.  The second episode was about stuffy (sorry, don't remember the names here either, awful about that) trying to get the would-be musician hired on at the company where he worked because he never paid his part of the rent.  The musician does not get the job, but does get interested in a pyramid scheme that is NOT a pyramid scheme.  The stuffy roommate makes an embarrassing phone call to his object of desire at work but things somehow seem to work out.

Like Sam said, this must be a guy show.  It has a dialed back over-the-top humor, if that even makes sense.  I think the fact that we aren't meant to hear thoughts that go with actions, but here we do, makes it so appealing.  It makes things these two characters do make so much more sense, but makes them more ridiculous at the same time.  Writing that I think about a scene in the first episode when the stuffy roommate chases after those neighborhood kids with a steel pipe out of frustration.  It's so easy to understand having heard everything he thought up until that point driving him to the act, but it's still so zany.  How would you react if you saw a middle-aged man chasing kids around with a pipe?  Of course that kind of masculine sense of humor (especially with their women issues) appeals here too.  I have a feeling that me and Byron are going to be watching these on our own if we keep getting more discs, but we have six more episodes to go on this one I think.  We both got a kick out of them though.  

There's a lot to be said about watching programs that are from other countries.  We watch foreign movies every now and then (watched "Bloody Mallorie" the other day, great French horror flick) but it feels different with TV shows.  I've seen some from the BBC that I have a hard time "getting," like "Keeping Up Appearances" which Sam and the others love.  Keeping that in mind it should make it really interesting when we start watching the "Doctor Who" shows.  There's also a Russian version of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" that I would like to see sometime.  There are just such different ideas and themes that can show up in different shows like that.  After a while the things that come up on TV here in the States starts looking the same.  There are so many crime shows it's hard to keep some of them apart.  The laugh-track shows start to get really predictable too.  I think with British television has enough cultural similarities that it allows for more understanding while still being different enough to offer fresh entertainment.  The sense of humor and the way emotions are conveyed are different enough that I really look forward to seeing more.

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December 2012

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