Saturday, April 2, 2011

A television update, and many thanks!

Many moons ago I wrote a blog post asking lots of questions about the new televisions. I received such wonderful and informative replies which I knew would come in handy when we finally chose our new tv. Well, for Tom's 60th birthday I thought the perfect present would be a new television. I printed out all your replies and he read them very, very carefully. He went down to our local Walmart, checked out all the tvs on display, and then when that store didn't have the exact one, he ordered our tv from Amazon, based on the advice you gave. I cannot thank each of you enough. You helped more than you can imagine. And now we have our wonderful new living room piece of art! We bought an LG, 32 inch, 1080 dpi.

We reactivated our Dish Network account, and got a DVR for free, as well as free HD, and so we are happy, happy. I've been thinking a lot about television lately. Some people love it while others disparage the programming. The way I look at it is much the way I look at my beloved books - the shows I love are all about an interesting story and good characters. I'm not into reality shows or the singing or dancing shows, but the ones I dearly love are, in alphabetical order: Bluebloods, the new Body of Proof, Castle, Grey's (sometimes), Hawaii Five-O, Mad Men, all the Masterpiece programs on PBS, Men of a Certain Age, NCIS, NCIS LA, Off the Map, Royal Pains, The Middle. We adored Detroit 1-8-7 but it looks like it may not be renewed. I love the old movies on TCM. I haven't seen Rizzoli & Isles yet, but am looking forward to it. Also, The Killing on AMC begins tomorrow night, based on a Danish television drama. I taped CHAOS last night and don't know about that one yet. And of course, the Red Sox games! It is so great having a DVR so we can tape any show and watch it at our convenience. Do you have any favorites you'd like to recommend??


  1. Have you tried Bones? I think it's one of the best dramas on tv. And I agree with you about tv shows -- if they have a good story with characters I like, I'm happy to spend my time with them. But I just can't get behind spending time with characters I wouldn't want to spend time in real life. I've got better things to do.

  2. Sprite, only when it was first on. I'll start watching it again! I love the actress (and her sister! - do you listen to She & Him?)

  3. Oh super present! I'm hoping my daughter will be getting the American version of The Killing off itunes so we can compare it to the original Danish version. Do hope you will enjoy it. I do love The Good Wife.

  4. Rambling Fancy, does that mean the Danish version was on there with subtitles? I'd love to have seen that first! I watched TGW for a few episodes, but I couldn't stand the way she didn't just get rid of that guy after what he did to her and to the children. So I gave up on it.

  5. Oh, congrats on your nice new tv! Ours is the same size, just a different brand. :) I like many of the same shows you do, the ones, at least, that we get on our oh-so-basic cable and yes, Bones is good, also. :)Oh, and Monk is so fun, too (or did you mention him?).

    Tom and I also are very thankful for Netflix which we watch on our tv by way of our blu-ray player for old shows like Rockford Files, Hunter, etc. Since you said you liked good stories with characters, I would suggest SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis (believe it or not!). We also so enjoyed LOST and Heroes. We loved all those series so much and also watched them through Netflix.

    Oh, and a new humorous/drama CIA tv series began last night on CBS. It's called Chaos and Tom and I really, really liked the premier episode! A pleasant surprise.

    Enjoy your new pretty tv! ...Debra

  6. Have you tried Justified? It is a little violent at times but so well done. I feel like I'm watching a movie every week. We pretty much watch the same shows although we gave up on NCIS LA this season and being from Cleveland I watch the Indians :)

  7. I think I did a blog post one time about all the crime shows that I watch. We do mostly watch crime shows and I also do Masterpiece Mystery each summer.

    My favorite right now is Criminal Minds about the FBI Behavior Analysis Unit, but I haven't warmed to the new Criminal Minds something-something - can't think of the name.

    Aren't these new TVs fun? So clear and I think DVR's are the best things ever. No more commericals for this girl! LOL

  8. Debra, your Tom was immensely helpful! I do love Monk and LOST but I only listed new shows. Gosh, there are a zillion old ones that I catch if they are on, like the Britcoms, Vicar of Dibley and Keeping up Appearances. We cannot stream because our internet connection via satellite isn't fast enough. In fact, we gave up Netflix altogether when we got the dish back. I did watch all the old Rockford shows and loved them. Did you hear the rumor that they were thinking of remaking it with Josh Holloway!! Perfect, methinks. I did tape CHAOS last night, and we'll give it a try.

    Sharon, we saw just a couple eps last year, and when it came on this year there was some conflict with two other shows (the DVR can handle two shows but not three) so we didn't watch it. But one of the shows changed nights so we can watch J. again. I'll set the timer for this week. Thanks for the reminder.

    Kay, yes I loved that post, and that's where I heard of R&I. It comes back July 11! I can't bear Criminal Minds though. Too dark for me. I must say once a night, 'this is so clear!' I'm so, so pleased.

  9. Oh, very smart (and by 'smart' here I don't mean clever, I mean elegant!) What a lovely birthday present. We bought a 37" plasma Panasonic four years ago this coming July and have absolutely loved it. I really didn't want a huge black hulk sitting in the corner of the room and it was only husband's pleading that got me to agree to 37" and not 32"! But the picture is am-az-ing! We absolutely love it. Sadly, though, a great black slab in the corner only really looks right in a modern setting, it's not the most suitable thing in a room filled with traditional furniture but I certainly don't want to have a prissy cover over it when it's not in use (something I've seen in someone else's home.)
    Margaret P

  10. I forgot to add recommendations for DVDs:
    Foyle's War (UK series, set in Hastings on the South Coast during WW2, starring Michael Kitchen);
    Spooks (UK series, set in and around London, secret service drama);
    Hussle (UK series, about a group of 'grifters', total hokum but most enjoyable, highly entertaining);
    New Tricks (UK series, about three retired policemen reinstated to investigate 'cold' cases, high class hokum, very entertaining);
    Mapp & Lucia (UK drama series form the 1980s, a wonderful companion to the E F Benson books);
    Lewis (a spin-off from the Inspector Morse series which ended with the death of Morse; classy production, beautifully shot in and around Cambridge.)
    I would add that with all the above, buy and watch in chronological order, some have had several series made. You need to start at the begininng with them all.
    We have recently just had an excellent drama series on BBC TV. I hope there will be a further series. It was called Silk, and is about barristers in a London-based chambers.
    That should keep you busy for a while!
    Margaret P

  11. I watch some of the shows you listed, but I also like the trashy reality shows too. Don't judge me! Love The Amazing Race and Survivor - they are the best of those types. I also watch The Bachelor sometimes - isn't it awful? (the show, and that I watch)
    I really like The MIddle as well, but haven't seen it as much this year. We also love Modern Family and Big Bang Theory.
    I like House Hunters for the different houses and the locations around the world. And I can't forget to mention The Daily Show and Colbert Report for the funny.

    If I was to pick a show I'd like to start watching, it would probably by the Good Wife. I've seen small pieces and have like it.

  12. Oh my goodness--Josh Holloway as Rockford?! I would sooooo watch that!! But then, I'd watch just about anything with *him*. heh. :)

    Tom and I are glad he was able to help with your tv purchase!

    Oh, and I know what you mean about the streaming speed. We tried to save money and cut back on the bandwidth for about a week and then had to switch back because it slowed down the blu-ray too much. Oh well! Live and learn.

    I think the sci-fi channel is still running SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis in reruns. I think! (Again, we don't get any fancy channels since we pay just 11.00 for our cable. Well, we do get TBS, and oh, TNT comes in *black and white* and all snowy and with no sound(!) but we use our closed-captioning on our remote control when we watch Law and Order on weekend mornings. heh. Just like the old days when we all used rabbit ears!! Makes me smile.)

    Oh! And I'm glad you taped Chaos. I'd love to know what you think. To us it felt like such a breath of fresh air, actually. ...Debra

  13. Margaret, I don't mind how it looks at all, and we've got an old farmhouse living room with soft comfy chairs. As you can see in the picture, it is tucked in a bit.

    We have seen Foyle's War, most of the seasons of Spooks (MI-5 over here), New Tricks. Lewis comes on over here on Masterpiece Mystery. I hope Silk comes here! We don't have Netflix anymore, though we might get it again if and when we can stream.

    Raidergirl, I LOVED reading your choices!

    Debra, we pay extra on the dish to get AMC, TCM, and NESN - must stations for us. :<)

  14. I love our DVR, and use it to record movies, all those HGTV home style shows, and oldie sitcoms as well

    Great gift for Tom (and you).

  15. Congrats on the new TV. I like the Masterpiece Theater DVDs (Jane Eyre, Little Dorrit). And I love watching my Gilmore Girl DVDs.

  16. Great television!! We recently upgraded from our old 16 year old tv to our new 42" it!!

    Have fun watching all of your shows!!

  17. Enjoy your new tv. No appologies needed. It is a wonderful convenience and entertaining.

  18. I need to get a new tv too. We bought mine when my son was two and he's 24 now! I was sad to hear that Mad Men isn't being filmed because a kerfluffle with the powers that be. Very sad. I hope they can sort it out. We are on the same page with the programs we watch. I knew we were kindred spirits.

  19. What a great gift! Love it.

    I don't watch that much television these days, but, any PBS (we get 5 here) will usually keep me satisfied. Have you seen Doc Martin? It's a British comedy, set in the Cornwall's, surgeon who is a bit of an odd fellow, who develops an aversion to blood and becomes a gp in a village of rather eccentric characters.

    I love TCM, gain weight watching a few favorites on the food network, and have seen some really good movies on Sundance.

    Have fun.

  20. I meant to say as well, did you know in PEI, we get our US stations from Boston, so we watch PBS from GBH. I'm assuming that's the station you get?
    Did you watch Downton Abbey when it was on? I loved it. I had to go to the cold basement and watch on our older set that the kids use to play video games on, but I so enjoyed it and can't wait for the next season. The boys like to watch their sports, and there always seems to be a basketball or hockey or football or baseball game on.

  21. Diane, there's so much great stuff on!

    Chris, I LOVE the Gilmore Girls. I watched all the dvds.

    Staci, we might have gotten a bigger screen if our living room were bigger, but for this small space the smaller one works better. How I love it.

    Lisa, not apologizing at all! I love tv shows.

    Ann, yes we are! Tom said he heard that MM worked it out! But maybe no new shows for a year. We just began watching the dvds of season 4 last night because we didn't have tv when it was on. What a show.

    Penny, we've seen all the dvds of Doc Martin and love it to pieces!!

  22. Raidergirl, I LOVED Downton Abbey! On the satellite dish we get three PBS stations, one from upper NY state, one from VT, and another from NH. Not GBH. That is a great, great station though, and the one where we first began watching public television when we went to college in Boston. I wish our dish carried some Canadian stations.

  23. Mad Men. Great show! Couldn't live without a DVR these days. I too only watch select shows and stay away from violent and reality type programs.

  24. Ron, I love how the DVR can tape two shows at the same time. And MM is just terrific!

  25. We gave up our DISH subscription because we're not traveling as extensively now and both our Oregon and Florida parks have good cable systems (included in our space rent). But I miss it so much, especially the DVR and the interactive channel guide. I find myself watching hardly any TV -- it's just too much trouble.

    I listen to it while Bill watches and I'm on the computer (we haven't got the Florida house fixed up yet for a separate computer room)....

    A TIVO or similar rcorder is on my wish list, but it's kinda' down toward the bottom.

  26. Sallie, I sure understand your situation. But you have many compensations to tv! For us, on the other hand, this is our main form of entertainment. :<)

  27. Ah, another Castle fan! We purchased a big screen tv last summer and remain very happy - we rent (for free, always a good deal!) dvds from the library and make popcorn - better than going to the movies!
    Enjoy your telly :)

  28. Susan, our little town library offers a surprising amount of dvds, so I'm not missing Netflix. Castle is just so great!


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