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There are a lot of good things about HBO’s new series In Treatment. I won’t be sharing my thoughts on any of them, however, because HBO has pissed me off.

Having watched the very first episode of In Treatment while visiting family (I cannot afford cable at home, a result of “the artist’s life”), and having enjoyed it enough to want to watch more of the show, I did some research when I got home and was surprised to find that HBO was offering the show online, for free, via an iTunes podcast. This seemed too good to be true, but I tried downloading the episodes from the podcast, and it worked, so I shrugged and decided to just not worry about it. This was a pleasant feeling, and I privately congratulated HBO on the marketing move. I was still convinced that something fishy was going on, but my naive prediction was that I would be allowed to watch the first season of the show online, in this manner, before then being cut off.

This prospect did not bother me. I understand that even when your total production budget has been dramatically reduced – due to the fact that you shoot 90% of your show in one room, and that the majority of your cinematography consists of filming two actors sitting across from one another, at only a few different camera angles and under the same lighting arrangement – that these things cost money.

So on my merry way to therapy I went, for approximately three weeks. Due to the different sort of format they use for the show (each week features five different original episodes, but I am not going to go into any more detail, because I’m pissed off) I was able to watch fifteen half hour episodes, online, for free. That’s seven and a half hours of free premium entertainment. More than just a taste, this represents several separate meals. They might have been good meals, too. Actually, I can’t remember. I’m pissed off. Read the rest of this entry »

Daydream at Midnight

February 9, 2008

I want to go to a place where there are no commercials, no posters, no billboards or bastardized pop songs.

I have been dragged down and dirtied by all this filth.

Throw away your television!

Earlier this year, when I read about the premise for Showtime’s new series, Californication, I got a sinking feeling. Girlfriend of ibiteyoureyes (who informed me yesterday that she’d rather I start referring to her again as shepicksyournose, because “it’s funny and I do pick your nose”) watched the pilot episode of this “show about a writer,” starring David Duchovny in his first TV role since The X-Files, and liked it pretty well. But she warned me about watching it for myself.

“I feel like you might get kind of sensitive about how they treat the character,” she said. “He’s definitely a writer, all the stereotypes are there, but I don’t know if you’ll like it…then again…why else would they be stereotypes?” A teasing description of how many of the stereotypes fit onto my back probably followed, after which I probably bit her chest-eyes.

Anyway! After heeding her warning for a while, I caved. There’s just not much else out there worth watching, and Showtime and HBO have each proven themselves as surer bets in the search for eye-safe television. And, lo and behold, shepicksyournose was right. I did get kind of sensitive. In all the right ways.

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