The Doena Journal | Diary of a TV Junkie

Gravity (2013)


Mar 1st – €12.90 @ Media Markt

Collection no. 1116

Big (1988)


Mar 4th – €9.99 @ Amazon.de

Collection no. 1117

The Final Countdown (1980)


Mar 4th – €9.97 @ Amazon.de

Collection no. 1118

Veronica Mars (2014)


Mar 14th – €46.03 ($60.00) @ Kickstarter*

Collection no. 1119

*I pledged $60 for the Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign. In return I got a VM T-Shirt, a PDF version of the movie script, a digital download of the movie on release day (the one above, my first actual entry of a Digital Download into my DVD Profiler database) and I’m also going to get a DVD version of the movie.

Cliffhanger (1993)


Mar 18th – €9.04 (£6.31) @ Amazon.co.uk

Collection no. 1122

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The Big Bang Theory: Season 6 (2012 – 2013)


Jan 4th – €1.66 ($7.99) @ Amazon.com (paid partially via gift certificate)

Collection no. 12605 – 12607

How I Met Your Mother: Season 8 (2012 – 2013)


Jan 4th – €1.93 ($9.96) @ Amazon.com (paid partially via gift certificate)

Collection no. 12608 – 12610

Justified: Season 3 (2012)


Jan 4th – €1.94 ($9.99) @ Amazon.com (paid partially via gift certificate)

Collection no. 12611 – 12613

Night Court: Season 2 (1984 – 1985)


Jan 7th – €0.00 ($11.99) @ Amazon.com (paid via gift certificate)

Collection no. 12614 – 12616

Night Court: Season 3 (1985 – 1986)


Jan 7th – €0.00 ($11.49) @ Amazon.com (paid via gift certificate)

Collection no. 12617 – 12619

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Feb/14

27

Chuck Lorre, Where Art Thou?

I used to love Chuck Lorre shows.

I loved them back in the days of the first few seasons of Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory and even the beginning of Mike & Molly.

But now? Not so much. But let me break this down by series.

Two and a Half Men

Let me preface this by saying I don’t care what happens behind the curtains. I never did. Not with this show, not with others. What I care about is what happens on the screen.

TaaHM used to be funny. Back in the days when Jake was still a cute kid, back when Charlie wrote things like the Oshikuru theme song, back then when Alan had no success with women.

Long before Angus T. Jones grew up and pulled a sort-of Kirk Cameron, Jake was used less and less and had to endure the fate of many a sitcom character: His character traits were exaggerated until (in his case) he was basically too dumb to live. Does anyone remember that cool kid from the Pilot who out-bluffed grown men at the poker table?

Charlie (the on-screen character) didn’t change all that much over the season until he was killed off-screen.

And Alan? I found Alan never that funny to begin with but his ability too mooch and his inabilty to find a decent job (has he been working at all in the past two seasons?) have just stretched way beyond the breaking point.

All in all, I’m going to cancel TaaHM for myself at the end of the season.

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Feb/14

27

RIP Pilot Season

No, Pilot season is not dead – yet.

But the Networks don’t know what to do about it. Recently they’ve started to notice that there is a slight drop in ratings *understatement* for their shows.

And they’ve discovered that other people are creating (TV) shows as well. Just like secret intelligence agencies like the GRU or the NSA these competitors have given themselves cryptic names no one has ever heard of, like HBO or AMC.

And these people just don’t care about Pilot season or even a “full season” show! They just produce 10 to 14 episodes per season and air them at any point in the year they deem fit!!

Some of these companies are even foreign (like the obscure BBC) and even dare to air their shows during the Christmas/New Year’s break! And then they make only three episodes per season and let their viewers wait for two years to get more!!

So, the Networks being forced into this battle they did not see coming in the past few years have decided to employ the enemy’s tactics – except they forgot to tell their viewers about it.

Network viewers are accustomed to get new shows in the fall (late September through mid-October). That’s when they are on the lookout for new and exciting material they could get addicted to. No one expects a new show to arrive on February 17th and no one’s going to watch it.

Especially when it’s not even particularly advertised but just thrown in there into the mix.

You can’t expect viewers to show up and give you good ratings when you don’t tell them LOUDLY that they should be AWARE you’ve broken the rules that have been established for decades.

Networks either have a long way to go until they catch up with the cable channels or the web producers like Netflix or Amazon – or they will ultimately lose the series-loving crowd completely and have to fill their program with even more scripted reality.

I’ve posted this video before, but I really think everyone invested in (TV) shows (emotionally or financially) should watch it:

Here’s the transcript if you’d rather read it.

No tags

Feb/14

22

I’m slowly falling behind

I hate real life.

Yes I know, it’s bringing in the money and with it the food and the DVDs but still.

There are just so many seasons I still want to watch but I don’t find the time.

And every year there are new shows coming out that seem interesting and you discover old ones that also appeal to you.

But you can’t watch them all so you have to make the tough choices.

For me that means I’m dropping everything I’m only still watching out of habit.

From this year’s batch I dropped Mom. I started to watch it because it was a Chuck Lorre show but I just don’t find it to be that entertaining. I’m also dropping Trophy Wife.

And even though I enjoyed the pilot episodes I probably won’t continue with Almost Human and Intelligence.

If it weren’t the last season of How I Met Your Mother I would drop it as well because it hasn’t been truly funny for a couple of years now. I’ve also axed Bones from my personal schedule last year because I became bored with the characters and the setting and the evermore gorier corpses.

And another casualty from the Chuck Lorre team is Mike & Molly. I really enjoyed the first three seasons but this year they’ve changed their tune and every episode seems to be focused on Melissa McCarthy’s slapstick humour and the charm of the show seems to be evaporated. I will probably cancel Two and a Half Men after this season as well…

I also dropped Supernatural after its fifth season. I always intended to catch up on that but postponed it year after year after year. Now I’m four years behind and I think I will just let it be.

There are two shows that are standing on the edge: Dexter and 24.

Dexter did get worse towards the end and when the last season started I waited ’til it was over so I could watch it in one go. But then I read the reviews (and also accidentally the spoilers) where everyone was trashing the last season and I asked myself: Is it really worth it spending 12 hours watching a show when you’re probably going to be pissed at it?

With 24 it was pretty much the same. Season 7 was good again (IMO) but it had become repetitive over the years. But now with the new mini-series coming out I’m reconsidering to watch it after all.

As far as old shows go, I still need to watch the last five(!) seasons of The West Wing, six(!!) seasons of Gilmore Girls and almost all(!!!) of Friday Night Lights. I had never seen these shows on live television but from what I’ve seen I can tell that they speak to me and that’s why I want to watch then – when I find the time.

And this is what I still need to watch in regards to current shows (in alphabetical – not preference – order):

Breaking Bad: Season 4 + 5
Burn Notice: Season 7
House of Lies: Season 3 + 4
Justified: Season 4 + 5
Mad Men: Season 5 + 6
White Collar: Season 4

But for now, I’m going to finish season 2 of House of Cards

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Feb/14

19

Star-Crossed

Star-Crossed is a new teen sci-fi show on The CW but given the ratings it’s quite possible it won’t last long.

The basic story is that an alien spaceship publicly crashed on Earth and had survivors on board.
Ten years later these survivors are slowly allowed into the general public which doesn’t sit well with everyone.

Personally I quite liked it but I’m a self-admitting fan of teen drama series.


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Feb/14

11

Red Dawn (1984 & 2012)

Red Dawn (1984)

Director: John Milius

Patrick Swayze … Jed
C. Thomas Howell … Robert
Lea Thompson … Erica
Charlie Sheen … Matt
Darren Dalton … Daryl
Jennifer Grey … Toni
Brad Savage … Danny
Doug Toby … Aardvark
William Smith … Strelnikov
Ron O’Neal … Colonel Ernesto Bella
Powers Boothe … Lt. Col. Andrew ‘Andy’ Tanner
Lane Smith … Mayor Bates

Synopsis: The tides have turned against the United States. Most of the world has fallen to the communist advances and Europe is too tired for a third war in the same century. But the US is still free. Until now.

Nicaraguan/Cuban/Russian forces have invaded the US and already taken large parts of the country. Somewhere there still is a Free America. The small town of Calumet, Colorado is not that lucky.

It suddenly finds himself occupied and people are getting arrested or even killed.

A group of high school students manages to escape into the mountains and from there they try to defend their country in good ol’ Guerrilla warfare manner.

My Opinion: This film is seriously dated. I’ve watched it for the first time, so there wasn’t any nostalgia that could build up over the years.

But 30 years ago, the world was different and people were actually afraid of an all-ending war that would turn Earth into a nuclear wasteland (Nowadays they’re still scared because of a terrorist attack that happened more than 12 years ago and had less than 1/3 of the casualties that traffic accidents caused in the same year, so much so that they’re willing to give up essential freedoms for a little bit of safety.).

The cast list is an interesting composition with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, three years before they had the time of their lives (pardon the pun) on Dirty Dancing, still-bad-boy Charlie Sheen but also Lea Thompson (Back to the Future or more recently Switched at Birth).

Red Dawn (2012)


Director: Dan Bradley

Chris Hemsworth … Jed Eckert
Josh Peck … Matt Eckert
Josh Hutcherson … Robert Kitner
Adrianne Palicki … Toni Walsh
Isabel Lucas … Erica Martin
Connor Cruise … Daryl Jenkins
Edwin Hodge … Danny
Will Yun Lee … Captain Cho
Jeffrey Dean Morgan … Tanner
Michael Beach … Mayor Jenkins

Synopsis: This time the Chinese* North Koreans have invaded the US. But the basic story is the same. They invade, the kids flee into the woods and begin their Wolverine terrorist insurgence resistance group.

My Opinion: Actually, this movie this quite a few things better than the original. Before the invasion the NKs disabled all of America’s high-tech, computer-based weaponry; so there were no predator drones, no spy satellites, no communications network. It went back to the basics.

In the 80s this wouldn’t have been possible, because there weren’t that many computers involved in warfare. So this time around it actually makes a little more sense why this didn’t end in a big nuclear shootout.

Also, it wasn’t a bad idea to give at least one of the guys a background in military training and having been to Iraq he had the knowledge of how insurgence works.

What I also found noteworthy was his comparison to the Viet Cong and the Mujahideen because it at least acknowledged that the VC and others were only doing what these kids are doing now: Defending their own country.

This movie also wasn’t a carbon copy; they deviated from the original material in some ways so it didn’t become completely predictable for someone who had seen the original recently.

And they have black kids now! In the year of Beverly Hills Cop the original didn’t have any memorable black characters in it, not even the obligatory black-dude-that-dies-first. ;)

* Originally the bad guys were supposed to be Chinese but then they also wanted the Chinese market to show this movie, so the bad guys became North Koreans instead.

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Feb/14

7

Where’s Waldo WALL·E

Jan/14

25

Amazon (again)

In recent months Amazon has become quite a controversial topic in Germany.

It all started with an “undercover” documentation for one of our TV stations. I watched the docu online after everyone and their dog wrote about it and the first “Boycott!” outcries were made.

I don’t know if what the docu claimed was actually true because I found it to be severely lacking in the objective journalism department. If you understand German, you can read my commentary here: ARD vs. Amazon.

The general gist of the controversy is that Amazon hires seasonal workers for the Christmas time and then fires the workers around New Year’s. And they also pay according to the union labour contracts for the logistics trade and not the retail trade where the workers would get higher salaries. They can do that because the retailer Amazon EU is based in Luxembourg (mainly for tax avoidance reasons) and what is called Amazon Deutschland is just the fulfiller that operates the deployment centers.

Anyway, two recent events have once again proven to me that Amazon is a great business partner:

#1)
A few months ago I wanted to order the first season of The Newsroom at Amazon.com. Usually the shipping costs for a season are $6.48. For some reason the system charged me $29.52 for a season that only cost $17.99.

It happens, even computers have hiccups from time to time. I contacted the support, they gave me a refund, end of story.

Now it happened again, this time with the sixth season of Burn Notice ($17.11 shipping for a $11.98 product). I contacted the support again and got this reply:

Quote:


Hello,
I sorry[sic!] to hear that you’ve been charged an incorrect shipping charge.
To make this right for you, I’ve waived the total shipping cost of $17.11 for your order.


What can I say except “Thanks”?

#2)
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2013 End Statistics:

New Purchase Items: 127 (193 in 2012)
New Movies: 91 (thereof Blu-ray: 62)
New TV Seasons: 63 (thereof Blu-ray: 9)
New TV Specials: 0
New Special Interest: 3

Money Spent: 1,106.04€ (2,302.31€ in 2012)
Money Spent on Movies: 729.42€
Money Spent on TV Seasons: 368.66€
Money Spent on TV Specials: 0.00€
Money Spent on Special Interest: 7.96€

Avg Spent: 8.71€ (11.93€ in 2012)
Avg Spent on Movies: 8.02€
Avg Spent on TV Seasons: 5.85€
Avg Spent on TV Specials: 0.00€
Avg Spent on Special Interest: 2.65€

Running Time: 63,464m (44d 1h 44m)
Running Time Movies: 10,268m (7d 3h 8m)
Running Time TV Seasons: 52,838m (36d 16h 38m)
Running Time TV Specials: 0m
Running Time Special Interest: 358m (5h 58m)

Cheapest Item: When Harry Met Sally… (4.90€)

Most Expensive Item: The West Wing: The Complete Series (61.49€)

First Item: Bones: Season 7 (0.00€)

Last Item: We’re the Millers (9.00€)

Purchase by Locality:
United States: 40
Canada: 1
United Kingdom: 14
Germany: 72

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