It Beats Watching The TV

A daily blog about games, family and occasionally random other things. Well, it gives me something to do, and you something to read doesn't it!?
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Except, Sometimes it Doesn't...

Stuart Burnham
United Kingdom
Abingdon
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Oh, Hello......? Anybody out there still listening then....?



Well, it's been a little while, I'd quite understand.
Anyway, how are you? Keeping well I hope?
Thought I'd drop in and say hi.
What've you been up to then? Oh, really? That's interesting!
Me...? Well...

There's been a little change of appearance I suppose, tried on a new avatar, a few new badges, bit of a spruce up, I quite like the look personally.
In the real world, in something of a hypocritical contrast to the blog title, I've been watching quite a bit of television. The introduction of Netflix and Amazon Prime TV (all very handy for Mrs B) has meant an explosion of opportunity in the household and it's something that I, we've, happily grasped. There's even a game that comes with these digital TV delivery systems; you go to the menus, start browsing through the shows and if you get to start actually watching something, rather than keep on flicking "to see what else is there", then you win!

So what's been holding the attention then?
Here's three of our favourites.



The Expanse


I have devoured and adored the two series (a third is being made) of this excellent science fiction story. Although the "on board" look and feel is very much influenced by Battlestar Gallactica this is certainly no copycat (coming from its own superb source material) and I've found the characters to be absolutely captivating. The main crew are (kind of) standard cut and paste "heroes" (although there is enough depth to them) but it's the supporting cast that I find to be truly stellar. The classic troubled noir detective Miller (above, left) is the best thing about the early parts of the story, the misunderstood and reviled Fred Johnson probably has the moral, yet realistic, voice and then there's the magnetic Crisjen Avasarala (above, right) who simply purrs, albeit in the manner of a lion that's had a pack of Marlboros for breakfast and then gargled with whisky and gravel. And when she (frequently) drops the f-bombs I go all giddy.
I've been so taken with the tale and the world building (it's all solar system based) that I've sought out the books so that I can enrich myself further.



The Crown


This sumptuous (period?) drama is obviously one of the big hitters of present and it has utterly captivated us. This is evidenced by us both leaving all digital devices untouched during an episode. The performances and the production are fantastic and we haven't been able to take our eyes off the screen. This type of thing has never been my sort of thing in the past but this is "something" else entirely. The history, the presentation, and interpretation (does anyone truly have any idea of what has ever been discussed between Prime Ministers and Her Majesty in private audiences?) of events have combined to make the most surprisingly (for me) enjoyable viewing for years. And I love Matt Smith as the Duke of Edinburgh.



Hap & Leonard


We've only watched the first series/ story of this classic "odd couple" affair and it only stood out to me due to the presence of the fantastic Michael K Williams in one of the main roles. And quite the treat it was too, a great little self contained story with plenty to hold the attention. Christina Hendricks and Jimmi Simpson are also excellent in their supporting roles and this was so enjoyable simply as I had no idea how it might all turn out. A real treat.


Outside of these 3 gems I've also been consuming quite a lot of Historical documentaries, the superb Vietnam War series by Ken Burns, a history of World War 2 and The First World War have all been gobbled up (away from the TV itself it's amazing what you can find on You Tube to increase your understanding of things other than boardgames!). As I mentioned during one of my last posts I've been taking a lot more interest in history, and military history in particular (must be my age) and the reading pile next to the bedside somewhat reflects that....
(I'd highly recommend Prisoners of Geography - a simple read that shed quite a bit of light on geopolitics for me)



And in life generally the waters have been a little choppier, which is all part and parcel of living with (someone with) MS and having teenage sons, and whilst 2018 hasn't gotten off to the greatest of starts it's not all been bad. Recently a friend had a 'big' birthday and he celebrated with a silent disco (highly recommended, a proper hoot!) where the dress code was bright and colourful for ladies and loud/ bad shirts for men.
I like to think that mine had a certain, ahem, Patchwork quality to it...



And speaking of birthdays, it's Mrs B's today! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some cake that needs my attention...
See you again soon!
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