Nightly entertainment for The Doc and I for seven-plus months of the year is watching baseball. If you told me at fifty that I would be passionate about this pastime, I would have told you that you were nuts. However, passionate I am; a story told in, Why This Bitch Loves Baseball.
However, this post is not about baseball. It is about filling the void created by the offseason. We, like most North Americans our age, plop our asses in front of the TV sometime around eight o’clock at night for a few hours of mindless entertainment. For the past few years we relied on Netflix for this entertainment with an occasional jaunt over to CBC Gem. This year we added Amazon Prime to the mix, mostly because I had ordered a few things and decided to go for the free trial when my finger hit the button by accident. …OOPS!
We tend to find a few good shows and choose different ones each night rather than watch an entire season or series straight through. Finding good shows can be difficult at times because there are a lot of not-so-good shows included in the streaming mix and a lot of others that don’t consider us their target market. There were shows that we love and shows that we watched two or less episodes before deciding that they were not worthy of our time. There were movies, some excellent; others started and not finished because really… what the fuck was that?
Given that we now have three streaming options to choose from, we have been bouncing around.
On Netflix, we have completed many of our favourite shows or are waiting for their next season. The Crown, Grace and Frankie, Sex Education to name a few. And have also exhausted all the good British police shows. We have now ventured into American police shows such as Prodigal Son and Blindspot. Both have interesting concepts. Prodigal Son is about a police profiler who’s father is a serial killer, and yes they do interact with each other. It has a stellar cast and is well acted. We completed and enjoyed all two seasons. Blindspot is about a woman covered in tattoos who has no memory and the FBI team that solve cases based on her tattoos. This show is typically American where everyone shoots to kill first and asks questions later. Really why can’t they just shoot them in the arm or thigh or lower abdomen? Then they could stitch them up and ask all those unanswered questions and get to the bottom of things much more efficiently. After watching such shows, a good comedy is in order and Superstore fits that bill. We find the hilarious and often petty antics of the crazy cast of characters, including America Ferrera and Ben Feldman, who all work in a big-box store, a great way to end an evening.
When we want a light mystery, we tune into the Canadian-made Murdoch Mysteries, which takes place in Toronto during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. There are currently 14 seasons to enjoy Detective Murdoch using his scientific inventions and analytical brain along with the help several interesting characters, both male and female, to solve crimes. It’s a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously, sometimes adding true historical persons into the mix, like Alexander Graham Bell and a young Winston Churchill, and tossing in some entertaining one-liners. It can be found on both Netflix and CBC Gem.
Speaking of Gem, which is available free in Canada, we like to venture to this platform to watch Still Standing. A show about Canadian small towns that are struggling to survive. It is light, and funny and shares a lot of interesting and unique details about the people and geography across this country. In addition to Canadian news and content, Gem also streams some great British Shows. Ghosts is one I tripped over in October when The Doc was away. It is about a couple who inherit an old rundown mansion that is haunted by a group of crazy spirits that only the wife can see. I blew through season one when The Doc was absent. I need to carve out some time alone to watch season two.
Then there is Amazon Prime where we test drove Yellowstone and managed about six episodes thus far. Yellowstone is a much-hyped, prairie-sized, ranch-based soap opera full of nasty people that will do just about anything to get their way. None of the main characters have any redeeming qualities that I can see so I feel as if I have no one to root for. It is a big budget show, with Kevin Costner as the patriarch, and I am sure that it has many fans. I have yet to be one of them. We also made it through the first season of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan with John Krasinski, and have started season two. This is also a shoot-first, ask questions later drama. Yes there are some analytics involved, but season two has appeared to have upped the violence and squashed the basic story. We are currently taking a break from this one.
Of all the shows we have been watching this season, I can’t get enough of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Prime. Created and written by the same people who created The Gilmore Girls, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is unique. The dialogue is witty. The costumes, early 1960’s, are fabulous, and it is funny as hell. Not that hell, if you believe in it, is funny; but I think you get my point. When her husband flops while trying to be a standup comic and then decides to leave her, Midge Maisel is left to pick up the pieces of her life. After a few too many drinks she steps on to the stage to deliver her own comedic monologue. She is a natural. She is also Jewish, with two kids and stereotypical Jewish parents. We get to watch Midge as she tries to navigate all this along with her new manager Susie, who is just a little rough around the edges. I highly recommend this show unless, of course, you are a person who doesn’t like to hear the word fuck tossed around frequently. For me, this is the show that makes Amazon Prime worth keeping.
Our hope is that these streaming services will continue to keep us entertained for the next few months. Because after that, nothing, absolutely nothing, including Mrs. Maisel, will keep us from watching baseball.
Thank you for reading
Photo: Mrs. Maisel snapped from the TV screen by Jenn Stone