Saturday, March 17, 2012


For a couple of months now, I've been watching streaming video on the Kindle Fire as I treadmill. The screen is just the right size (my treadmill has a shelf at exactly the right position for me to prop the Fire), and with earbuds, I can hear the dialog just fine. I still miss the text-to-speech capability of my old Kindle, but the streaming video really helps make up for that.

I'm not going to bother reviewing or recapping Downton Abbey- everyone in the world has done both already. I'm just going to tell you to go watch it. If for no other reason than Maggie Smith's wonderful portrayal of the Dowager Gorgon.

I did not see the first season in time to start watching season two (or as they say over the pond, Series Two... pronounced see-rees) in real time, but that just leaves more for me to watch while I sweat.

After I reluctantly left the Crawleys, I searched around the Amazon Prime streaming catalog (the free stuff) and found Season 4 of The Tudors. I know that the writers played fast and loose with history (combining historical characters, showing events out of the proper timeline, and most importantly, having Old Henry look almost as hot as Young Henry). But none of that mattered- I didn't watch it to learn about The Tudor's eating habits, I watched to see Henry slice through marriage after marriage like a hot knife through butter. The stupidity of young Katherine Howard was amazing (there seems to be enough historical evidence to convict her of adultery, at a time when that was a certain death sentence). I still don't understand why she didn't just have Francis Derehem killed. Certainly such things happened in those days. Then again, if she had not lost her head then, she surely would have eventually.

At any rate, I enjoyed the entire series.

I ran across Primeval also while searching the Amazon Prime library. I knew absolutely nothing about the series (again, it's British, so the individual seasons are called *see-rees*), but there were 5 seasons (I'm not British) and it was free, so I gave it a shot.

Man, I'm glad I did. The premise is that openings (called Anomalies) suddenly appear between The Past (and by The Past, I mean Jurassic, Cretaceous, Pleistocene... that kind of Past) and Present Day London (or thereabouts). The show is sort of The X-Files, except with dinosaurs. There are creepy government agents, plucky and independent scientists with great accents, the resident geek (a fairly adorable one at that), the goth girl, and soldiers. Oh, and also a Bad Guy. I don't know how the CGI looked on a larger screen, but I never saw any seams on the Fire. The animation blends perfectly with the show (I have a feeling that this is what Speilberg was aiming for, and missed entirely, with Terra Nova). My friend Helen said that she and her husband gave up on the series about halfway into the 2nd season because it was mostly Beast of the Week. I understand exactly what she means, and certainly there is plenty of that, but I thought that the character interaction (and growth) made up for it. The science is every bit as silly as X-Files science, and there is far too much Leaving The Knife On The Countertop And Going Into The Dark Basement... but it still works for me.

I burned through 3 seasons in short order (beware- major cast shakeups in Season 3). The show was cancelled after the end of Season 3, and then brought back a couple of years later. There are 5 webisodes on YouTube to bring everyone up to speed before the start of Season 4.

I plan to watch the final two seasons of Primeval, even though it looks like I will have to pay to see them. I am invested in the characters and that universe, and the show is wildly entertaining. But first...
omigod omigod omigod you guys! I've only seen 2 episodes of this so far (happily paying the per episode fee), and it's every bit as good as everyone said it was. I blew through the books as quickly as one can blow through 4,500 pages, and though I limit my video watching to treadmill time only, it's going to take me exactly as long to watch this as it does to exercise that much. Fastest hour of my day!

And as with the Harry Potter crew, I will  have no problem picturing the characters as the actors from now on, though I still say that Peter Dinklage is too handsome to be Tyrion Lannister.

1 comment:

Crazy Ravens Studio said...

Thanks for the reviews. I had not heard of Primeval. My husband just figured out how to stream and view movies, etc. on the computer and we are having a great time watching stuff. We tried to watch "Game of Thrones" last night but had downloading problems. Will try again.