Sunday, October 11, 2009

Squeezing one in

I have been loaded down with television lately.

September and early October are always the hardest. Not only are there the returning shows that my wife and I love, but this is also the time for sampling the new fare, to see which spaghetti sticks to the wall, and which falls to the floor in a wet heap. So far, nothing's fallen to the floor, and we've picked up (I think) four new shows. (We also deleted one new show off the DVR without watching it, which now seems like a good move.)

But we've made it extra difficult on ourselves this fall. We also decided to drop Cinemax and add Showtime in its place, especially since we're no longer getting the original discount on Cinemax, which has nothing to offer but movies. In addition to (a smaller selection of) movies, Showtime offers us Dexter and Californication, both of which we've been watching about a full season behind. We decided to catch up this fall, and had already seen most of the third season of Dexter. But we hadn't seen any of season 2 of Californication. So we had to square away about four Dexter episodes, then jammed through ten Californications in 72 hours before they yanked it from OnDemand. We'll have to finish that one up on DVD.

Oh, and did I mention that it's the baseball playoffs? Both the team I root for (the Red Sox) and the team I root against (the Yankees) are in -- though if the Sox lose one more they're out -- so I've had that taking up a good chunk of my boob tube time this week as well.

The sum total of all this is that I hadn't seen a movie since last Sunday afternoon. Six days would not be a long drought for most people, but for me, it felt like an eternity. We were going to watch something last night, but the disappointing Sox-Angels game ran until almost 10, at which point it was deemed too late to start a movie. We ended up watching another two hours of shows on the DVR anyway, but short-form programming can be better for the attention span at this time of night.

So when I inexplicably woke up at 7:30 this morning, I got up and watched a movie.

A movie before 8 a.m. would be unheard of for most people, but for me, it's not that uncommon. Most weekend mornings, I wake up an average of 1-2 hours earlier than my wife, so sometimes I use that as my time to control the TV without guilt, to squeeze in a quick and dirty movie before the day gets started. (Not a dirty movie per se, but you know what I mean.) I was going to watch this week's Survivor, but I was just hankering for a movie -- any movie. As it turned out, my wife was sleeping especially deeply this morning, so I got in most of Survivor as well before she woke up.

"Any movie" turned out to be No Reservations, the 2007 romantic drama with touches of comedy starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart. Of the OnDemand choices, it was the best combination of a short running time and a general desire on my part to see it. As it turned out, No Reservations was as paint-by-the-numbers as they get, and a major disappointment. Closed off, selfish, uptight chef (Zeta-Jones) must take on new responsibilities when her sister dies and leaves her custody of her niece (Abigail Breslin). Hot-shot, unorthodox new chef at work (Eckhart) clashes with closed-off, selfish, uptight chef before they unsurprisingly fall for each other. Conflicts ensue, ultimately a new family unit is born. Blah blah blah, who cares.

But the quality of the film is not really the point. The point is, sometimes it feels nourishing just to be watching a film, just to be adding to my collection. A starving man needs sustenance, and this morning, No Reservations was mine. Appropriate, as the movie was all about food.

I found out afterward that it's actually unreviewed on my site, so I'll probably be able to get paid for having sat through it.

Having my appetite satiated, and getting paid for it? Works for me.

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