Offseason Entertainment

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 GirlsThe 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

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25 thoughts on “Offseason Entertainment

  1. I know, I know, this post is NOT about baseball, lol. I’s just cool that we have so much in common. I Love baseball, but don’t care much to watch it on TV. I’d much rather play softball & have most of my life. By the way, I get bored during the off season of my favorite shows, there’s not much on these days that interest me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I’m pretty much still stuck in the late ’70s and before when things you watched actually had a plot and minimal ‘action’ (which sends me to sleep rather than animates me). I was a projectionist for 80s years at our local cinema in the 1980s and there was little I actually liked as a film – probably about 20 films max in 10 years.

    But I’d love to have time to veg out in front of the screen – it’s around 2200/2300 before I get time to watch any of my box sets or other entertainment – good job I don’t go to bed before midnight. I’m lucky if I get 2 hours downtime per day nowadays – not a choice – just the reality of running my mother’s life and house as well as my own (mine actually gets pushed into the background and most of my stuff never gets done).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I miss all those quality shows as well. You rarely saw weapons. Now days things get pretty graphic. I actually think some of the stuff on TV gives people ideas because it has normalized violence and other bad behaviour.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. thanks for your take on a lot of the shows you have watched. My wife loves the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel; I have only watched a scene or two in passing. I also hear good things about Yellowstone, but have not watched any of it yet. We are looking forward to the return of Ozark, another violent American show. But it’s got Jason Bateman, one of my favorite actors.

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  4. Ha! No to baseball, but I loved Grace and Frankie, and we watch Murdock and Still Standing religiously. I haven’t even heard of Yellowstone, but I want to like it because of the name and the lead actor…We should check our Mrs Maisel based on your recommendation and my heritage 🙂

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  5. I am living under a rock because most of those shows I’ve never heard of. I am a sports junkie. I don’t usually watch much baseball until the playoffs roll around. I remember w I used to know all the players. I collected baseball cards for many years.

    My wife and I will attend the occasional baseball game in person. It’s one of the easier sports to get a ticket and it doesn’t cost a fortune. The concessions are outrageous though.

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    1. When I did more writing, I watched very little TV. These days it is mindless entertainment because my head is pretty empty to begin with. Baseball is the only sport I am invested in. I do enjoy watching the games and appreciating the talent.

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  6. If you like detective/police shows “Marcella” had me from the beginning. The acting by Anna Friel is nothing short of outstanding at least in my opinion. It still had me questioning a lot of things though by the end. I’ve heard so much talk about the “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and have yet to see it.

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  7. First, I love me some “Grace and Frankie”, although we are a bit behind and need to catch up.

    Second, I’m greatly curious about “Maisel”, but I haven’t gotten Partner on board yet. We watch shows together, as that’s “our time”, then he goes off and does his thing whilst I write. We’ll see.

    Third, have you watched “The Great”, the comedy series about Catherine the Great starring Elle Fanning? We’ve only seen the first season (I understand the second season has already dropped) but we have gone through that first season THREE times in less than a year. It’s bawdy and hysterical, and the acting is stunningly good, even with the minor characters. I’m not sure if it’s available on the streaming services you use, but I highly recommend it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you and your partner will like Mrs. Maisel. I will definitely look for The Great. Hopefully husband will be willing to give it a go. TV is our time together as well. TV and meals. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  8. We like and dislike similar TV shows. I’ve not seen nor heard of Prodigal Son. This winter we’re into Murdoch Mysteries because what’s a day without a little William and Julia to brighten it. Haven’t seen Yellowstone, but doubt if I will. Your review confirms my suspicions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. William and Julia do make my night. I am also big fans of George Crabtree, he has the best lines, and Dr. Grey, she is a wonderful nerd. Jonny Harris, who plays George is the host of the show Still Standing that’s also watch. Thanks for reading and commenting. I enjoy hearing from like-minded people.

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  9. “This show is typically American where everyone shoots to kill first and asks questions later.” Yep. WTF is up with that?!
    I am not a baseball fan (or any sport fan) but I loved the midlife women antics of Grace and Frankie. Mr. Robot, starring Rami Malek, is another well-executed series I got hooked on (when I had my free Prime trial).

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    1. I am still surprised by my baseball fetish. It is fairly new. I never liked sports either. I will have to take a peek at Mr. Robot. Not a fan of all the violence in American shows. It seems so normalized when it shouldn’t be.

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