This week's TV picks
What’s there to do on Block Island when spring nights are cold and dreary? Watch TV. Okay, now it's public: I do not read Kafka every night before I go to bed (although I did read Joyce’ Ulysses with Gloria Redlich, et al.)
I’m also going to admit that two of my favorite television dramas are on FX TV, which I just looked up and learned is actually “Fox Extended” network. I am not a fan of the Murdochs and Fox news, but for entertaining the masses, and that includes me, they know what they’re doing.
The series “Justified” is based on a character and several stories by one of my favorite writers, crime author Elmore Leonard. Leonard is known for his concise sentences and dark characters. The television series is every bit as enjoyable as his books and is one of the best mystery-crime shows I’ve ever seen.
The plot twists and turns like the Kentucky roads where the story is set and the characters likewise twist and turn with layers of good, evil and troubles. The hero, Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens struggles with his imperfections; the antihero, Boyd Crowder, reveals a human side.
Who would bother watching shows like the “Bachelor” with its anemic men and treasure hunting women when Timothy Oliphant, as Givens, is on the screen? The ensemble cast for the show is also strong, especially Joelle Carter as the rifle toting Winona Crowder.
And, I love the Kentucky country folk background. This coming week, the season’s plot is coming to a climax when Givens and the Crowders plan to attend Mag Bennett’s anti-mining company protest hoedown. Hope there will be a bit of bluegrass in with the shooting.
In my house, another kind of shooting rules, basketball. The Final Four is on this weekend, and University of Connecticut, where Ron and I spent our formative years, is a finalist in both the men’s and women’s tournaments. The only way I’ll see Ron is to watch some of the games with him. But that’s not going to be too hard, because I love to watch Maya Moore and the UConn ladies play.
What I like most about girls’ college basketball is that it is not at all like the basketball I was required to play in gym class when I was a freshman at the University of Connecticut. Back then, they thought girls would get too tired if they played full court, so we were divided in half, with guards behind a middle line and forwards in front of it. It was a boring game, where players stood still and watched other people play, sort of like being benched while you were playing.
But that’s all changed, so Go Huskies.
Is anyone out there still following American Idol? Yes, I tune in sometimes. It's worth it for Steven Tyler's goofy metaphors as he judges the singers and to hear my favorite contestant Scotty McCreery, a 17 year old country singer, who is so good and so not the ordinary “I’ll do anything to be famous Idol contestant.” The best way to watch Idol, though, is to record it and flip through to parts you want to watch.
It’s a good thing warmer weather is coming or I might turn into a permanent couch potato.