netflix

#TryPod: For Cord Cutters

cord_cutters copy

For Cord Cutters

We all know it. Cable sucks.

I am a huge TV and movie junkie and even I couldn’t justify what I was paying for my cable package after a while. So, a couple of years ago I cut the cord. I got HBO Now, Hulu (which includes a seasonal upgrade to Showtime), continued my Netflix subscription (proud member since 2006!), tacked on an Amazon Prime membership and I am set. No DVR fees. No impossible cable company bills or millions of channels I don’t care about. It’s saved me at least $50 a month or more. I can’t recommend it enough.

However, one of the casualties of that decision were little things like cable news – not required viewing, but it’s nice to have from time to time. I found myself in need of this as the 2016 election was looming so I browsed through my podcasts and discovered that many TV networks release the audio of their programs as podcasts for FREE. 90% of my job involves me creating visual content, so I hesitate to say this, but…it’s surprising how little you need to see to get the full value of the program.

6952Anderson Cooper 360, CNN
I look forward to listening to Anderson Cooper 360 every weekday. I like the array of guests he has on and though I think he has a bit of a liberal bend, Anderson Cooper does a great job of playing devil’s advocate and challenging the liberal pundits on his panel. He’s also a GREAT interviewer, there’s an interview that he did with Kellyanne Conway shortly after the Russian dossier was released that is excellent. This program doesn’t rely too much on visual content, so only rarely do I find myself misunderstanding a segment because I’m only consuming the audio portion.

6602The Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC
I really like Rachel Maddow but I understand why some people don’t. I don’t know that I’d say that her show is overtly biased, but she’s definitely coming at her stories with a perspective, but I still appreciate her candor, her interviews and her reporting. It’s easy to surround yourself with media that affirms your beliefs, but listening to Rachel Maddow on a daily basis gives me the opportunity to exercise my skeptic muscles. Occasionally her show will reference some visual content, but for the most part I find the audio-only version of the show to be pretty comprehensive.

Here’s a few other programs that you can listen to as a podcast:

  • Amanpour (CNN)
  • The Lead with Jake Tapper (CNN)
  • Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)
  • NBC Nightly News
  • Meet the Press (NBC)
  • Face the Nation (CBS)
  • State of the Union with Jake Tapper (CNN)
  • This Week with George Stephanopoulos (ABC)
  • Fox News Sunday
  • 48 hours
  • Frontline (PBS)

The Golden Globes Predictions: TV

On Sunday the Hollywood Foreign Press will award the winners of the 2015 Golden Globes!

golden-globe-awards

Below I have my picks and predictions for the TV nominees.

Best Television Series – Drama
The Affair
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
House of Cards

frank-underwood-house-of-cards-806x590Should WinHouse of Cards
House of Cards is far and away the best show on this list. Netflix should be preparing to celebrate; a streaming-only released series winning one of the big TV titles marks a fairly significant moment in the transformation of the television industry.
Could Win: ………..
It’s a draw. The Drama Series nominees seem so random this year. Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, and The Good Wife are all great shows but seem like the obligatory nominees at this point. The Affair is a new show on Showtime with great potential but has hardly earned a spot on this yet.  Where is Mad Men? What about The Knick? Maybe even The Leftovers?

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Ruth Wilson, The Affair
Robin Wright, House of Cards (more…)

Sci-fi Anthology Series: The Twilight Zone & Black Mirror

Welcome to 2015, folks.

TWZTitleSpiral001ed
tumblr_lvuddlMTK31qat9klo1_r2_500

My favorite part of the New Year is undeniably the annual Twilight Zone marathon on the Syfy channel. 48 hours of classic sci-fi in all of it’s weird, corny, and brilliant glory. It’s famous episodes are great (“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”, “Eye of the Beholder”, “Time Enough at Last”) both in their comedy and not-so-subtle statements about the state of society. However, the beauty of this marathon is that it sheds light on those lesser known but equally intriguing episodes. (more…)