Whatcha Watchin'?, Season Two


So I just finished episode 4/4 of The Americans…


I know, right? Heartbreaking.


I hope this actor person finds future work soon. It would be well deserved.

Also, I’m expecting Great Things from Holly Taylor someday. My intuition tells me she’s a future Oscar or Emmy winner.


I’m late to the party but I’m now fascinated by The Great British Bake Off.


I have never watched Power Rangers, so it always bothers me that it is the only thing which comes to mind for most people if I put on or mention any other tokusatsu series. So people either ask me about Power Rangers or start telling me about it. Apparently many USians are unaware that there have been such series in Japan for at least 50 years.

I grew up watching the Ultraman series, which have usually been a fun mix of formulaic monster-of-the-week and batshit weirdness.

Another longrunning series of shows has been the Metal Hero franchise. There are some great fansubs available from Megabeast Empire of Juspion and Janperson, which both seriously over-the-top entertaining cheese.


In the last couple days my wife and I have discovered Cherie, c’est moi le Chef! which is this fascinating reality food show from France.

The gist of the show is that there are three couples and the host/head chef shows the partner who usually cooks a dish to prepare. Then, the partner who doesn’t usually cook is placed in a kitchen while getting instructions over headset from their partner. The one in the kitchen also has a button they can press to kill their partner’s microphone for a minute. Then, after all the cooking is done the first partners are blindfolded, given a plate from each of the cooks, and asked to score the meals.

Part of the appeal is that the only French I know is what I caught from growing up next to Canada and my wife has mostly forgotten her high school and college French (I recognize one word every ten minutes, she recognizes about a third of it.) There are a few handful of full episodes on YouTube, but here’s a trailer from a recent episode.


That and Johnny Sokko were TV favorites when I was a wee lad.


Have you been hanging around in my living room? We’re catching up on the sixth series right now!


I’m only on Season 1 Episode 5 and I already feel like a baking expert all of a sudden.


She’s good. The writers were smart to give her a lot more to do last season.


Current television shows I am watching are The Expanse and Legion. The former did a lot of careful setup last year and has been quite engaging this season. Just different enough from the novels to keep me on my toes. The latter I didn’t know anything about but saw the first episode by chance, and was instantly drawn in. I love that it deals with themes of identity, memory, and construction of the sense of personal identity. But also that it is a rare example of what I wish more people in television would try to do - establishing a language for visual storytelling. Nearly all contemporary series are still in the same format of recorded plays, where the presentation and effects are only stylistic embellishments rather than integral to the narrative. I think it is much more creative than the X-Men movies I’ve seen, and comic movies/television generally.

As for old shows - one of the kids has had me on a Monty Python binge, which I have enjoyed, and which probably speaks for itself to many here who have watched it for decades. Also I have finally been checking out Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, which is a somewhat obscure Norman Lear production from the mid 1970s. There is a lot of great cultural commentary and comedy/drama, like in many other series he worked on. But MHMH does this in the format of a satirical daily soap opera, sending up soap conventions with dry deadpan sensibilities and all of the associated melodrama. I don’t know why I have never encountered it in syndication anywhere, it seems like a classic to me.

Looking forward to the next season of Sense8!



Yes, I know, if I Google around and wait two days for my shitty internet to download it, I can probably get a pirate copy to watch on my small-screen shit-speakers laptop. I was hoping to watch it on the decent-sized decent-audio TV.



If it helps I’m in the waiting club too. That’s why I’m rereading lethiathan wakes.



A decent HTPC can be built for pocket change these days, bought for a little more. Lets you do a lot more with the big screen, the kids can surf and watch Youtube etc with their friends without crowding around a laptop. Netflix is MUCH easier to navigate with a proper mouse and keyboard than a TV remote if you’re watching on a “smart tv”. And of course downloaded content looks great, and can often be downloaded 1080p.

All a $60 ASRock Q1900-ITX board needs is memory, a hard drive and a PicoPSU clone from Ebay to have a quiet, fanless HTPC. Get a tuner dongle and you can record broadcast HD too.


I want your pockets, LOL.


C’mon, we’re talking relative here. A useful HTPC for less than what many people spend monthly on their cable bill is pretty cheap.


There’s class issues there, because Nova seems deliberately obtuse sometimes, ignoring economic issue relevant to non-rich people. But it’s about Futurama. I get that.


So, what, couple hundred bucks or so, all in?