Man with Choices
The last installment of our satellite television drama left us on the edge of a cliff where Pa Rock was bravely wrestling the Direct TV forces of darkness. It was a terrible situation that was destined to end badly for somebody. Fortunately the forces of good prevailed and Direct TV relented - allowing Pa Rock to end his contract with them - for a fee, of course - without having to go through the abject humiliation of dealing with one of their patronizing, high-pressure, brow-beating retention specialists.
Oh, there was the one last bitchy email telling me that I was going to pay a twenty-dollar fee for breaking the contract early, and that I had just ten days to get their equipment back to them, but the good news was that I was free! I am totally aware of, and completely at ease with, the fact that I will never have to pay another satellite or cable bill again. My days of doling out obscene amounts of money to be made stupid are over!
And I didn't even waver a few days later when I got an email from Direct TV offering me a $200 pre-paid Visa card if I would change my mind and hook my life support system back up to their billing department. The bastards won't get me back at any price!
Since the big disconnect I am reading more, writing more, and watching programs that I really enjoy on my computer via Hulu, a free service. Let's see: Direct TV's mediocre programming for $72 a month, or watching what I want to see on Hulu for nothing? Even an old retired hillbilly living on the edge of nowhere is smart enough to figure that one out - eventually!
Hulu has such wonderful choices - complete seasons of older programs at no cost whatsoever, but with commercials. (With Direct TV a viewer also gets tons of old shows - for a steep fee and also with commercials.) Hulu Plus is available for just $7.99 a month, and a subscription to that will provide complete seasons of the newer shows. But for me, right now, there are plenty of really good old shows that I have either never seen or want to see again.
For example, the two I am currently watching, usually one episode of each per evening, are Blackpool and Murdoch Mysteries. Blackpool is a campy British drama/musical from about a decade ago. I saw it when it first came out and am enjoying it again. Blackpool is about an arcade owner in the British seaside resort of Blackpool who has dreams of turning his business into a plush resort/hotel and making the small resort town into another Las Vegas. His ambitions hit a wall when a young murder victim is found dead in the arcade. What makes this very intense family and police drama so unique is that the entire cast often breaks into song - which is as entertaining as it is funny! The complete series consists of only six episodes. I will be watching number five this evening.
Murdoch Mysteries centers on a young police detective, William Murdoch, in the city of Toronto at the turn of the twentieth century. The show imparts a lot of history, and it is smartly written. The very first episode dealt with the business competition between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison as they tried to electrify southern Canada and the United States with their competing models of electric current - Edison with direct current, and Tesla with alternating current. Another episode focused on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's interest in spiritualism. Murdoch Mysteries is produced entirely in Canada. Seventy-two episodes have been produced prior to the current season, and they are all available free on Hului!
Why anyone would want to pay for television programming is beyond me!
Hurrah for Hulu!