A Dozen Years of DVD Home Delivery Ends

I am one step closer to cutting the cord.  Last month, after nearly a dozen years of DVD home delivery, I switched to a streaming-only Netflix account.  I joined Netflix in November 2005, before streaming was available, originally opting to have three DVDs available at once at home.  Back then, I joined because I really hated due dates, especially from the then very popular home video rental giant BlockBuster.  Where is BlockBuster now?  (Hint:  Netflix bought them)

I searched through my email archive to see the milestones in my Netflix account changes.  I added Blu-Ray discs as a preferred format in 2008 and I believe the “instant watch” or streaming plan became available in 2009.  In 2011, I changed from three to two DVDs at home at once, not wanting to give-up my ‘life-line’ to non-streaming movies and television shows.

Last month, my attitude changed because a couple of series I wanted to watch were not available via streaming nor physical media from Netflix or my local library.  Specifically, The Man in the High Castle, only available through Amazon Prime, and The Handmaid’s Tale, only available through HuluContinue reading “A Dozen Years of DVD Home Delivery Ends”

Late Fall Cord Cutting Viewer Update

I’m ever so close to cutting that cord to my satellite provider.  I watched only two shows this fall via my DVR rather than through an app or service.

Television Series:

  • Arrow (first season via Netflix) — 3.5 stars
  • The Crown (first season via Netflix) — 4.5 stars
  • The Fall (first season via Netflix) — 4 stars
  • Limitless (first and only season via Netflix) — 3.5-4 stars
  • Missing (first and only season via Netflix DVD) — 4 stars
  • Star Wars Rebels (via Disney channel) — popcorn for my mind
  • Timeless (first half of first season via NBC) — 3.5-4 stars
  • WestWorld (first season via HBO) — 4.5 stars

Continuing to watch:

  • Arrow (second season via Netflix)
  • Flash (first season via Netflix)
  • The Fall (second season via Netflix)
  • Mars (Nat Geo channel)
  • Timeless (via NBC)
  • Black Sails (final season via Starz streaming app)


Continue reading “Late Fall Cord Cutting Viewer Update”

Series Review: Human Target (2010 – Season 1) Four Stars

Human Target

Season One Aired: 2010

Watched via Netflix DVD: Fall 2016

Synopsis (from Wikipedia): The series follows the life of San Francisco-based Christopher Chance (Mark Valley), a unique private contractor, bodyguard and security expert hired to protect his clients. Rather than taking on the target’s identity himself (as in the comic book version), he protects his clients by completely integrating himself into their lives, to become a “human target”. Chance is accompanied by his business partner, Winston (Chi McBride), and hired gun, Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley). Continue reading “Series Review: Human Target (2010 – Season 1) Four Stars”

Best Home Alarm System: Man’s Best Friend

In my search for different and interesting ‘small screen’ series to sample, I stumbled upon a couple of good ones recently:  Human Target (from 2010 but cancelled after second season) and The Fall (from 2013 with three seasons to date).  I’m still watching Limitless, pausing briefly after watching the pilot to watch the movie that spawned the series, but otherwise continuing with 2-3 episodes per week.


Terry and I have finished two of three DVDs for the first season of Human Target.  I was hooked after the first episode, and not just because Christopher Chance’s pet was a Rottweiler named Carmine.  This show packs a lot of punches into a scant hour of programming and each episode is something completely different.  It’s fun to watch and even has me looking for the original graphic novels to read, but libraries are totally not up to speed in that area.  Continue reading “Best Home Alarm System: Man’s Best Friend”

Stranger Things than the Americans

About a month ago, I realized my Netflix queue was thinning out.  And at about the same time, I finished watching the second season of Manhattan, which I knew had been cancelled but still felt compelled to completely watch what was available.  I went looking for interesting television shows to watch.  During the summer and early fall, we enjoy TNT’s The Last Ship and Syfy’s Dark Matter, but those series have very short seasons (at most ten or twelve episodes).  I tried and loved Stranger Things and hope that Netflix backs the second season.  I also finished watching the second season of Marco Polo, but again, both of those Netflix series are good, but very short (eight or ten episodes each).

I added Arrow, Jessica Jones and Limitless to my streaming queue.  I’ve watched several episodes of Arrow and found it okay.  I’ve watched one episode of Jessica Jones and found it disturbing but since it won the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation Short Form I will stick to it and see if it gets more palatable (I doubt it but as I learned in a lecture this past week, conflict feels like imminent danger, but we don’t need to act upon it or react so negatively towards it … so stepping out of my comfort zone is a good thing sometimes).  I have not yet watched any episodes of Limitless.

Continue reading “Stranger Things than the Americans”

Mini-Series Review: Dig (2015) 3.5 Stars


USA Network Mini-Series premiered in March 2015 consisting of ten (10) episodes

Watched via Netflix DVD in March/April 2016

3.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: When Peter Connelly, an FBI agent recently stationed in Jerusalem, begins investigating the murder of a young American, he realizes that he has uncovered an ancient international conspiracy that threatens to change the course of human history. Certain that the dangerous prophecy is nearing fruition, Peter must race against the clock to unravel its mystery. From a remote farm in Norway, to an enigmatic compound in New Mexico, to the serpentine tunnels of Jerusalem, this immersive, fast-paced adventure will take viewers on a quest for a truth that will shake the world’s beliefs to its very core.

My Thoughts

I had these DVDs literally for months.  I think they were first shipped to me back in late January or early February.  I just never seemed to find the time to sit down to binge watch a ‘new’ television show.  It must have been a rainy weekend in March when I decided to pop the DVD in and begin watching Dig.  My initial viewing sessions got me through three or maybe it was four episodes.  About that time, Terry said he’d like to watch to so I told him to watch the first four episodes late at night to catch-up.  After a few more weeks or this (not catching up) I finally gave up and just watched the rest of the episodes over the course of a Saturday and Sunday.  And I even remembered to watch the bonus materials before returning the DVDs (finally) to Netflix.

Continue reading “Mini-Series Review: Dig (2015) 3.5 Stars”

The Case of the Vanishing January

Today is the 22nd of January and of 2016.  I woke up this morning to a bitter cold Friday, to the prospect of working through most of the weekend.  Not the best way to start your day.  A huge project I’ve been involved with for many many moons is finally rolling out.  So while I’m stressed beyond belief, I’m excited to finally be able to put this project in the completed bin come Monday morning.  Then it’s on to the next “Big Thing,” er, project.

Stressful work-life aside, January wasn’t a complete loss for leisure.  I’ve read a space opera that I liked, listened to an audiobook for a book club that was interesting, read my first graphic novel for another book club and read an ebook novella (click here to see what I’ve read so far this year).  Continue reading “The Case of the Vanishing January”

TV Series Review: Downton Abbey (Season 1) – 4 Stars

Downton Abbey (Season 1)

Masterpiece (PBS)

4 out of 5 stars

I resisted watching Downton Abbey via my local PBS station, mostly because I rarely tune in to it.  I do not take full advantage of my DVR as I should, preferring to rely on Netflix (streaming or DVD) to catch up on series of interest.  Last week, I went looking for the first series via my Netflix streaming queue.  I swear I added the series months ago, but I could no longer find it waiting for me.  Apparently, the contract expired between Netflix and that particular content provider.  My next best option came from my local library, which had the entire series sitting on the shelf waiting for me to check it out.  This has one advantage over Netflix DVD service via snail mail – I get the entire series at once, instead of dribbled to me a disc at a time.  The disadvantage is I only had one week to view the series and only two renewals allowed for a total of three weeks in which to carve out seven or eight hours.  I guess another disadvantage to watching via DVD instead of streaming, I was forced to watch it via my home theater system (not a true disadvantage as I love my setup) or on my laptop.  With streaming, I could have continued watching the series over my lunch hours on my smartphone or laptop.  And before you ask, no, I don’t want to purchase this series from iTunes or Amazon or Google Play.  It aired on PBS (ostensibly paid for with my tax dollars and donations) and I don’t fancy having this series in my collection for posterity.  I consume content as efficiently as possible and support the artists and authors I consider exceptional with my hard-earned wages.

I picked up the DVDs late on Saturday morning last while out doing my weekly errands.  The rest of Saturday was spent working on household chores and remodelling projects, both of which tuckered me out too much to settle down and watch the series.  I woke up early Sunday morning and popped in the first DVD.  I watched the first two episodes and the documentary followed by another couple of episodes on the second DVD before noon.  That evening, I watched two more episodes, this time with my husband joining in (thankfully the plot wasn’t so complicated that I could catch him up quickly with a few brief pauses).  I finished the final episode of Season 1 on Monday evening, returning the DVDs to the library Tuesday evening.  Not bad considering I didn’t think I could squeeze in that much television viewing in my crazy week schedule.

Things I liked about the Downtown Abbey:

  • Beautiful locations and costumes
  • Well acted
  • Occasional well placed humor, a bit of mystery and not too much melodrama.
  • Glimpse of technology integration from 100 years ago (automobiles, telephones)

Things I didn’t like about the show (spoilers so beware):

  • Change in Mr. Bates character with respect to his job security
  • Virile young lover dies of a nearly unbelievable heart attack in oldest daughter’s arms
  • Miscarriage cliché (overused and too predictable).

I love to watch (but not necessarily read) period dramas because when they are well done, the visuals are beautiful and engrossing.  Like a window into the past. Downton Abbey delivered those in spades.  The glimpse into the changing times (woman’s suffrage, organized labor, rise of socialism, tensions in Europe leading up to WWI) from the upper and lower classes was well done.

While the plot didn’t tax my intellect overmuch, it was a welcome balm to my otherwise hectic life.  I’m looking forward to watching Season 2, starting tomorrow, once I retrieve the next set of discs from my local library this morning.