Update. Next Publication is: Under Strange Suns, available digitally August 2015, print version due December 2015, Twilight Times Books.

No Time to Binge, Doctor Jones

I’ll be driving MBW and the HA to a restaurant later this afternoon to watch the Superbowl with friends. In part this is to see friends. Also in part because I wouldn’t be able to watch the game at home. See, Meduseld gets crap TV reception. I purchased a 40-mile antenna. Installed downstairs it does nothing for the big screen. Upstairs, connected to the petite bedroom TV, it receives a few channels, one of which occasionally shows something worth viewing. But none of those channels is Fox (which is carrying the game this year.)

What we watch primarily comes courtesy of Netflix or Amazon Prime. I also have a Roku hooked up downstairs, providing numerous other options, when the wifi consents to filter down from the rarefied upstairs atmosphere. If the weather is bad (and this is the Pacific Northwest) Roku provides a pixilated picture, brief ten-second sections of video between two minute blocks of nothing, or simply nothing at all. So, the best bet is usually Netflix or Amazon Prime upstairs on the small screen or a computer screen.

What sci-fi/fantasy genre options do I watch, then? Well, MBW caught the Game of Thrones bug, so we’ll be picking up HBO again this summer to catch up on the nefarious exploits of Tyrion, et al. And while we’re paying the premium, we’ll check out Westworld, see if it holds up to the good reviews, despite the absence of Yul Brynner.

I’ve caught all the Marvel Comics series on Netflix. A mixed bag, but overall entertaining enough. Come this summer I can catch up on the last season of Agents of Shield, though I’m not sure why. I haven’t really enjoyed it since about halfway through season one. Ask me in person sometime, maybe I’ll explain why. Maybe not (probably not.)

Amazon Prime provides options as well. I started Man in the High Castle, but it deviated so far from the book that I lost interest right away. I never grew invested in it. It probably speaks ill of me that while something with such high production values, seriousness of purpose, and intelligence loses me, I can get a kick out of a low budget, tongue-in-cheek, lowbrow fantasy comedy like Dudes and Dragons. Really, I do have standards. I shouldn’t have enjoyed that. But I did. I’m working my way through The Expanse. I want to like it, and it does have its moments. But there is a turgidity to it, a moral greyness to it, like Game of Thrones in Space but with less humor. And I’m always troubled by all the staircases in the spaceships, not to mention the — expansiveness — of the ships, all the unused space. Its as if the writers said, “Look, if we show a bit of weightlessness now and again, we can handwave the physics the rest of the time.” Maybe it picks up?

I’m not really interested in all the DC superhero shows, so I have no basis to offer an opinion on Arrow, Supergirl, etc. My appreciation for Doctor Who faded over the years and I didn’t bother trying to finish the first Capaldi season. The entire show has run on the interactions of eclectic characters, witty dialog, and swelling music cues telling you what and when to feel. None of that has been enough for me since the Tennant days to cover the canyon-scale plot holes.

There are, thankfully, always books. But for now, one last football game (until autumn.)