They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it; for it is money they have and peace they lack.
  -James Earl Jones "Field of Dreams"
and don't go mistaking paradise for that home across the road
  -Bob Dylan "Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mad Men, iTunes and Californication

I guess that the main point of this is to plug the series Mad Men. One of the few good things about watching awards shows is that occasionally you hear about something obscure that you hadn't come across before. On this year's Golden Globes, yeah the one without anything but reading the names of the nominees and winners due the writers' strike, there was a show that was nominated and maybe won something that just sounded different. First it was on AMC. AMC used to be cool but now it just blows, more or less. A long time ago it occupied the niche that TCM -- Turner Classic Movies -- does today. Good old movies without commercials. Somewhere along the line AMC got off the tracks. They introduced commercials and they started really abusing the notion of what a "classic" was. I had not watched anything there in a long time. So when I heard that they had an original series I first wondered why "American Movie Classics" has its own TV series, much like I wonder why TV Land has started showing movies. But when it got the mention on the Golden Globes we decided to try it. What a great show! It is set in 1960 in a Manhattan ad agency. Handsomely photographed, full of scotch and cigarettes and bad hairdos. It is the kind of series that you would expect to see on HBO or Showtime. Highly recommended.

But the second point is how technology can save you. Mad Men is actually doing a rerun through its more or less serialized episodes. They are on during the wee hours of Sunday night-Monday morning. Having found them at that time -- and not knowing whether they were on three other times during the week -- I set up an all-episodes-this-channel-this-timeslot recording, which snagged the first 7 episodes but then fell flat when those morons back east changed their clocks around. I missed this Monday's episode. In the old world we would have just resolved to see it some day and skipped on to the next episode after adjusting the recording time, but iTunes came to the rescue. Two bucks and a quick download and I had it, letterboxed and all. I think the picture quality was actually better than the analog cable it normally comes in on.

This emboldened me to resolve another issue that had been bugging me. We managed to miss the season ending episode of Californication. This is another relatively obscure yet highly entertaining show, this one more or less of a sitcom starring David Duchovny as a once promising writer whose career has stalled. He lives in Venice Beach and splits his time between drinking, womanizing and trying to get his family back together. Another two bucks and we had it. The final episode was a shocker and great television. The show has been renewed for a second season starting this summer. If you don't get Showtime the whole season can be had on iTunes for about $22.


Ellis and Tamara said...

I was doing a search to try to find out when the newest episode of Mad Men was going to show up on iTunes when I ran across your blog. We are huge fans of Man Men, Californication, and other somewhat obscure shows. From the looks of the downloads on iTunes, Mad Men is catching on.

Anonymous said...

interesting blog with interesting theme.i liked it although i couldn't get any link here to download mad men tv show but i liked it.