Another Reason to LOVE Netflix!

I could easily be a salesman of Netflix without trying.  What can I say?  I love it tons and I wish they’d have started their bonus DVD for friends back before I converted everyone. 😉

So what’s my additional reason to love Netflix aside from the joy of receiving a lovely red envelope in the mail or watching The Office online (and saving $$$ holding off on buying boxsets for now)?  We can thank NBC and Netflix both for bringing us Heroes: Season 3.

Not available on DVD yet, supposedly available every Tuesday (perhaps later in the evening, since it is Tuesday and the newest has not yet been posted) a new episode will be available as the season goes along.  Why don’t I just watch it at NBC.com or the equivalent?  Well, great news for Roku player owners, because you can watch a full episode sans commercials on your TV.  For the rest of us, I would think no commercials and depending on your internet connection, better quality than the other sites.  I love NBC for making it easy to see this show and I think they’re the network that’s really getting this new digital age.

So, pop on over to Netflix to catch up, show friends old episodes, whatever.

Netflix Instaview: What to Watch (Instant 5)

Sometimes when the candy store has a lot of candy, some of which you don’t care for, but a lot you do, it’s hard to decide what to grab while you’re there. I’ve found the same problem with the Netflix Instaview store. Recommendations are only slightly helpful, but hardly where I’d like them to be. It’s like the clerk knows where the names are stored, but has no idea what kind of taste goes with the name.

So, rather than continue on with cryptic analogies, I thought I would bring you five recommendations, hopefully weekly (depending on Netflix’s continued ability to acquire good/adequate films). I’ll call them the Instant5. Since I have reviewed some series that are available on the Instaview, we’ll start there.

THIS WEEK’S Instant5

1. SeaQuest DSV sn1-3

Basically the aquatic version of Star Trek TNG, a fun TV show from the ’90s, and since you’re paying for this Instaview service whether you watch it or not, I’d say a fine way to spend your viewing hours. I was really only interested up to season two, since we changed directions and command, but they are all available instantly.

2. Doctor Who 2005: Series One

Unless you’ve got a super media friendly local library or a buddy with it, count on spending $70+ to see this in any better quality than a chinese streaming rip. If you’re a fan of sci-fi, this series is a must. Unfortunately the other seasons are not available per Instaview yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Eccleston does a fabulous job playing the tenth doctor, and I’m a fan of time travel, so it works.

3. Sliders sn1-5

OK, so I’ve come into more sci-fi shows, but this one was fantastic. The idea is that a genius kid figures out how to “slide” to different dimensions, and shows his friend and film professor. The only problem? They can’t find their way back to their own dimension. It’s kind of like Doctor Who in its weekly encounter, but basically a show I loved as a kid, and all four season are for the most part available (a couple episodes here and there haven’t been converted).

4. Strange Brew

As far as I’m concerned a movie-lovers cult classic. The McKenzie brothers take on an evil brewer on a sort of mishap in this strange version of Hamlet (No, seriously. Compare events and characters to the play). Not to worry, all the iambic pantameter is out. This is one of those quotable movies, like Napoleon Dynamite or Dumb and Dumber (though I would rate this movie above D&D). If you love Rick Moranis or basically silly humor, you’ll love this movie.

5. Knight Rider sn1-4

The new series on TV? ‘Fraid not. The old one with your buddy and mine David Hasslehoff. I was a bit weary of this one, not being a huge fan of Hasslehoff, but I put my skepticism aside for a minute and gave it a chance. It’s got the ’80s campiness of most shows from that day and age, but it works for the show, and I still want a KITT. And anyways, it’s practically free. 😉

So that’s it for this week. That doesn’t mean that’s it for what Netflix has by any means. I plan to let you know about other worthwhile watching so you’re not stuck watching whatever is on the front page (which is usually the crumbs of the bread).

If you have a series/movie to suggest, let me know and I’ll take a look (if I haven’t seen it) and include it in the next Instant5 installment. For now, enjoy!

Coming Soon…We Promise

Why haven’t we written about all the shows that have premiered on TV recently? Well, to be honest, laziness, Mac’s busy with moving, and really I just wanted to get thru these first weeks of premieres and let you know what I think. What can you expect on the list?

Well, all the shows on my anticipated list for starters, including:
Smallville
Heroes
The Office
Dexter
Pushing Daisies

And something that has caught my attention recently, of course, being Fringe. There will be a big ol’ article with all episodes played up to October 1st (Pushing Daisies is the latecomer) from all the shows listed. It has been interesting and I’ll do my best to get this article out October 2nd. Hopefully Mac will do much the same with her shows if she can find the time. (If not, I’m sure we can convince her to do it the following week).

What about all of you out there in Internetland? Any shows, old or new that you’ve loved this fall so far? Leave us comments, we like to know what you all think.

I’m hoping to make this a weekly thing, probably on Mondays or Tuesdays because of Dexter (unless season 3 sucks, and then probably sooner). And we’ll see you next Thursday with the TV Fall Update.

Naruto Back on Netflix

I know this has been a major concern of those who’ve been wanting to watch Naruto and use their favorite movie rental program to do it.

Well, good news.

Naruto is back on Netflix with 32 discs available to rent. If they’re sticking to 4 episodes a disc, then up to episode 128 is available. I think these are still the English only dubs (Japanese is always better) but when comparing both there could be a worse dub as far as voices go. I think the only problem with this dub is some lines which work all right in Japanese sound pretty much stupid in English.

So if the show is putting you off in English, get on the net and find yourself a Japanese version and see if that isn’t vast improvement for you. If you like the show in English, Netflix can accomodate. Hooray to having Naruto back, nonetheless!

Doctor Who: Season 2 Different Doctor: Dashing or Dull?

Christopher Eccleston made me fall in love with the show all over again and just as I was getting particularly attached to said Doctor, he goes and regenerates (a common occurance for those new to Doctor Who).  As this is a review for season two, I would suggest reading over my review for season one and watching season one if you want to avoid any spoilers for season one.  But for the rest of us, back to the Doctor.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I do believe this is the youngest incarnation of the Doctor we’ve seen yet.  So, the real question on everyone’s mind is: can David Tennant really replace Eccleston as the tenth doctor?

Yes, yes he can.  And did.

For those just starting on season two, you might notice the Doctor for most of the first episode is hardly more exciting than a box of rocks.  Don’t let this episode (The Christmas Invasion) put you off.  The Doctor will deliver.

THE NEW DOCTOR: David Tennant biggest claim to fame prior to Doctor Who #10 was Barty Crouch, Jr. in Harry Potter 4 (I didn’t even put two and two together and had to compare pictures).  As this incarnation he’s more the sheik geek.  Glasses and a suit a bit reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes + charming personality = great Doctor Who.  It’s definitely a switch from Eccleston, but I felt like Tennant was a lot more playful and jovial and just plain fun.  (Girls, you may find yourself crushing on this Doc.)  What else can I say, I just really enjoy Tennant’s performance.  He can go from super goofy, to sort of romantic, to completely serious and ready to fight in moments, very much natural and very much true to his character.  Let’s hope we keep this Doctor for many seasons to come.

ROSE AND THE DOCTOR: I think Billie and David had a lot of fun together, but I don’t know that they ever really got to the chemistry Billie and Christopher had.  It doesn’t ruin the season by any means, but it always seemed like something was just… dunno different.  One of their best moments together, I believe, comes from New Earth when they both have to impersonate a performance when they’re possessed with Lady Cassandra’s “essence.”  We see a completely different Rose and more fun from David.

FAVORITE EPISODES:

School Reunion
We get to see Sarah-Jane Smith from the old series and the girls talk about being with the Doctor.  Plus it’s some good ol’ Mickey times with Mickey.

The Girl in the Fireplace
I love the whole time paradox and time travel stuff, which we can always find a plenty in Doctor Who.  This episode does it right and adds a kind of M. Night twist to the end.

Rise of the Cybermen
There’s just something great about sci-fi that lends to exploring new ideas other genres can’t.  I don’t know what it is about a lot of thinking that believes our emotions make us weaker somehow (perhaps Vulcanism?).  Doctor Who does great showing us it’s the passion of life that makes it worth living, and I think the Cybermen episodes in particular bring the point home.

Love & Monsters
A great fanboy/girl episode, like a Kung Fu Panda take on kung fu, this episode shows interested Doctor fans in the Doctor world, and their quirkiness.  Just a super wacky but fun episode. 🙂

Fear Her
Did anyone ever see the movie Paperhouse?  This episode totally brought that back to mind and a very interesting concept of using the drawings of a little girl to change reality.  Plus we get a chance to see Rose saving the Doctor again (instead of the Doctor saving his assistant as usual).

Army of Ghosts/Doomsday
Spoiler alert, click away if you need to.  A great finish for Billie and very emotionally high and Tennant does such a good job of being pained losing Rose both here and through out the third season.  I really wish Billie hadn’t left the show.  Martha Jones was ok, but I suppose all good things must come to an end.  (Especially since Tennant is thinking of leaving the show after season 5.)

Once again I feel like listing the entire season as favorite episodes.  Granted, there are only 13 episodes generally per season, but this show is phenomenal.

By the end of season 2 I was sold on David Tennant, but if you’re still not feeling it yourself, keep on going, season 3 will make it solid.  He’s a fantastic Doctor, and I will sorely miss him when he’s gone.  I’m not even certain I’ll continue with the show after that, but I suppose new doctor new day is the tradition.

I realized Doctor Who is essentially Peter Pan and his assistants Wendy.  Peter will always be Peter, but eventually Wendy has to grow up and although this Peter makes a lot of changes too, it’s just hard to come to terms with it sometimes.  I think what’s made it a little more difficult is having the Wendy’s, so to speak, change so often.  Still, it’s kept the show fresh and interesting and filled with different perspectives on the Doctor.

But tell me after watching the show you’re not secretly wishing the Doctor would show up in your neighborhood and you could go off on some adventures.  Ah, time travel.  I suppose it’s good we haven’t discovered it to mess things up, but it does make for good entertainment.

Look forward to a season 3 review, and for fans of the show, look forward to season 4 on DVD come November.  I thinking just in time for the Christmas Special of season 5. 🙂

Fall 2008 Most Anticipated TV Shows – Dee

So with Harry Potter pushed back to July 2009, I’m not feeling terribly motivated about the upcoming movie season. Luckily, there’s some good TV to be had for entertainment in the meantime!

These are the top shows I’ve been dying to see back on the air, starting from last to first (though not saying any show is necessarily bad, after all, they made the list). I’ve only chosen seven, because that’s honestly all I’ve got time for, and barely even that (thank goodness for the internet rewind eps). Everything else I’ll probably catch on DVD much later. Anyways, here we are:

DEE’S MOST ANTICIPATED TV SHOW – FALL 2008

7. Battlestar Galactica
What? you say. Seventh? Well, simply because it won’t be gracing us with its presence until January 2009. 😦 But there are webisodes coming out in October (1st). For those who haven’t caught on with the BSG wave, now’s as good a time as any to borrow seasons from friends, Netflix, the library, or purchase. If you’re any kind of sci-fi you’ve got to give this show a look.

6. Dexter
I hated season two. There, I said it. Lila ruined it for me. But I absolutely adored season one, and likely because they stuck to the book for the most part. With all of that being said, I’m a little eager, but a little fearful as to what we might get from season three. This is pretty much the do or die season for me. If I can’t reconnect with Dashing Dex this season, then I’m out, and I’ll just have to rewatch season one when I need a fix every now and again. (First season available on Netflix Instaview, btw). Dexter returns to Showtime Sunday, September 28th.

5. 24
Yeah, technically it returns in 2009 as well, except for some kind of “prequel” or in between seasons episode called “Exile” that will air Sunday, November 23rd. Having been to Comic-Con and seeing Carlos Bernard present made me smile. I don’t think he’ll be appearing in Exile, but you can bet your sweet bippy he’ll be in the new season. Whether or not that makes you happy… well, I’m smiling. Tony is one of my favorite characters and I’m not sure whom I like better between the two: Jack or Tony. Yeah, it’s entirely possible this may be the season the show really jumps the shark (and maybe you believe it already has). Until then, I eagerly await Jack’s return. Season 7 will resume 2009.

4. Smallville
I really think this show jumped the shark in a major way a long time ago (*cough* Lana *cough*), but I’m an avid Superman fan, and somehow I’ll be stuck with this show until it’s finally had all the life squeezed out of it. The Supergirl and Green Arrow story lines have done a lot to revive it, but I like things to go out on a high note, and hopefully this will be season finish. I guess only time will tell. Anyways, it seems the “justice league” will be back to look for Clark in the first episode. (I mean, come on, did we really believe he was “dead.”) Look for the Green Arrow, Black Canary, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter on Thursday, September 18th.

3. Heroes
A lot the same deal as Dexter, LOVED season one, did not love season two. Granted, the writer’s strike did its damage, but my faith in the show is waning. I’m hoping season three will prove we’ve still got a great show. Personally I’d like to see season two packaged with season three (to make it worthwhile buying). Look forward to seeing our Heroes back in action Monday, September 22nd.

2. The Office
I jumped on this bandwagon super late, as in this year. Thanks to Netflix Instaview, getting through the first three seasons was a piece of cake, and thanks to NBC, season four was also easily viewed. I am in absolute love with this show. Mostly I watch it for Jim and Dwight interactions, but as I’ve watched and rewatched episodes, all of the characters have something unique and fun about them. This show is so incredibly well-written. I don’t know what the whole stink was about season four (some said they didn’t like it) but maybe because I was able to watch episodes one right after the other the experience was different? I can see the series coming to its peak this season, but hopefully the writing is well-done enough we can maybe finish with six seasons? Of course, the way the execs are these days they either cancel too early or too late. 😉 See the Office Thursday, September 25th.

And here it is, the show that won it’s way into the number one spot in my heart and that I’m dying to see most of all:

1. Pushing Daisies
I don’t know what it is about this show. Scooby Doo meets Tales from the Crypt meets Tim Burton? If you haven’t viewed the 9 episodes from last season, get on it! (See ABC for 4 of them, Surfthechannel.com for the rest in ok quality, or catch them on DVD September 16th). I think the sheer randomness of the show is what draws me to it. I love the musical side of it, Jim Dale’s narration, and for some reason come away every episode with the worst craving for pie. 😉 This is the kind of show I’ve always wanted to see on TV and usually see get canceled before it can even get going (see Freaks & Geeks and Firefly). Luckily it made the cut and it will be back in all its delicious glory Wednesday, October 1st.

That’s it for me. Hopefully Mac will post her own anticipated list soon. Feel free to add your own shows you can’t wait to see in the comments of either of our posts. Finally, September has arrived!

A Soundtrack So Good It’s Horrible

It’s up on iTunes. Finally you can purchase the soundtrack for Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. For those who’ve never heard of Dr. Horrible before, see Visual Crack’s review of the blog and where you can watch it. As for the rest of us, back to the soundtrack. Included with your iTunes purchase is:

1. Horrible Theme
2. My Freeze Ray
3. Bad Horse Chorus
4. Caring Hands
5. A Man’s Gotta Do
6. My Eyes
7. Bad Horse Chorus (Reprise)
8. Penny’s Song
9. Brand New Day
10. So They Say
11. Everyone’s a Hero
12. Slipping
13. Everything You Ever
14. Horrible Credits

So fourteen songs for $10. It is priced a bit higher than I would like, but something else we have to consider is where our money is going for this purchase. It isn’t going back to some big studio exec or music exec, it’s going back to Joss and the crew. If we’ve appreciate this entertainment, and I know I have, then giving him some money to produce more isn’t such a bad thing.

So as tempted as I know many of you will be to pirate download, consider at least for a little bit that it is Joss and the crew you are directly hurting. (In other words, just quit being stingy and spend the $10 already).

No official word on a DVD release yet, but rumors are sometime in December (see http://doctorhorrible.net).

In another interesting note, I did a search for Dr. Horrible on Amazon, just out of curiosity. I came up with some very interesting results. Ok, well, mostly goggles. They aren’t Dr. Horrible official, and if someone has found some better ones, do post, but they’re fairly close. There’s also some other options available for those thinking of the fast approaching Halloween holiday. I’m hoping to see loads of Dr. Horrible Halloween costumes posted on the web this year. 🙂