Monday, November 15, 2004


Now that you know more then you ever wanted to know about the genesis of an arrest warrant, I thought I’d take a break and natter on about some other subject for a while. What would be a good subject? I know!

What Mr. DA’s Been Watching Lately

Somewhere down in the mists of the first entries I think I mentioned I’m something of a TV addict? Well, addict is probably too harsh a word. I’m still getting by on one VCR and a pseudo-DVR lash-up with my ATI All-In-Wonder card hooked to splitter off the cable modem. And I’ve spent way less money on DVDs so far this month. The entertainment budget may be put to the test tomorrow. The seventh, final, season of Buffy hits the shelves, along with season 3 of Smallville and the complete Buck Rogers collection. Decisions, always more damn’ decisions. Based on a number of factors, mostly having to do with length of time since I’ve seen the original airings, I think I’ll have to go with Buffy. See if my logic is, well, logical.

On the one hand, Buck Rogers ran from 1979 to 1981, with 37 episodes. I watched pretty much all of them at the time. Call it 25 years ago. I have vague memories of Erin Grey as the hottest S-F babe up to that point, but that’s about all. On the other hand, Smallville Season 3 is last years first-run and I saw all of those in the original order and in random re-runs. I have a pretty good recollection of the season’s arc and the stand-alone shows alike. So, not really needing to catch up. On the gripping hand it’s been a couple of years without a Buffy fix on a regular basis. For various scheduling reasons I never got into the habit of catching the FX re-runs (scheduling and the way they cut to gain time for more and more commercials, that is) sooo. . . I’ve been too long without Sara Michelle Geller and Allison Hannigan, not to mention Emma Claufield. On, yeah, and the writing - always the writing. Yep, Buffy season seven it is.
Well, that takes care of tomorrow and that collection will go into the to-be-viewed pile with season three of The West Wing; We Were Soldiers Once; Tombstone; High Noon; Rocketship X-M (don’t ask); The Stone Reader; and Kingdom Hospital. Currently, Stargate SG:1, season seven, is working its way through my DVD player.

And here's an bit of trivia for you -- A Stargate SG:1 season takes almost twice as long to re-experience as any other show because every episode has an audio commentary, and if you have any interest at all in how the process of making a weekly television show works, they are well worth the time. That, and it is really clear that the people of this cast and crew like each other, a lot, and are having an amazingly good time doing both the show and the DVD commentaries.

Mr. DA's Pick Of The Law Shows

I have a very low tolerance for legal/cop dramas, for the most part. Of the current crop, the only one I care to spend time on is The Wire on HBO. Hands down, this is the best police show on the tube. The first season, available on DVD was excellent - every bit as good as the first four seasons of Homicide - Life On The Street. Not surprising seeing as David Simon provided the core for both shows. Simon wrote the book that Homicide. . . was based on. Called, oddly enough, Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets.

The Wire is just great. It's like Joseph Wambaugh on steroids and crack. The second season, coming on DVD early next year, was even better than the first for showing the reality of serious, major crime investigation. The third season, currently in first-run, I don't know. I've been having a friend tape the shows and am just getting into the first couple of episodes, so things are still taking shape.

In second place for the cop shows is The Shield. Guilty pleasure. Pure and simple. Suspend your disbelief and sit back for the ride. This is like NYPD Blue on steroids and then some. Great acting, and just plain cool stuff. Favorite scene - Vic Mackey, in foot pursuit of a street punk, runs full tilt into a board fence across an alley -- and runs right through it in a very satisfying explosion of pieces of wood. Like I said, guilty pleasure.

General legal hijinks -- Boston Legal. The spirit if not the reality of the life of the law. Ally McBeal meets The Practice. Watch just one episode to see William Shatner chew up the scenery and demonstrate why he's had one successful series after another. Not to mention he's looking pretty good for a guy who's going to be 74 next year.

That's about it. I don't like Law and Order in any flavor, and I hate CSI whatever. I can watch NYPD Blue but it kind of lost its appeal for me when they offed Jimmy Smits. Loved The Job, Dennis Leary's first series, and really want the DVDs to come out real soon now. Next - Lawyer Movies!

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