Okay, I don't usually blog about watching television because, hey, it's television, everybody's got one and there are usually more interesting things to talk about. On the other hand, there are a few things I've been watching lately that are worth talking about, largely because I don't think any of them are in danger of being overexposed.
I think it's a USA Network / ABC co-production, so you can see it whether you have cable or not.. I love this clever little show. The premise is neat. Monk, played by Tony Shaloub, who you might remember from "Wings" or his very effective X-Files guest appearance, plays Monk, an ex-San Francisco homicide detective who had to leave the force after suffering a catastrophic breakdown. He has recovered, somewhat, but still exhibits classic symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. He has turned his obsessiveness into a virtue, though, as his attention to detail allows him to zoom in on clues that other investigators miss.
What's cool about the show is that Monk's condition isn't milked for obvious laughs. He's a very human, vulnerable guy who's made the best his situation and the show's writers treat the character with respect and obvious affection. The show reminds me a bit of the old detective show Colombo with its emphasis on character and plot over action and melodrama.
I happen to think that R. Lee Ermey is one of the coolest people on the planet, and the History Channel's new show is the perfect vehicle for him.
Comcast's new gaming network reminds me of the very early days of MTV, in that they are obviously stretching for content and are willing to give just about any wacky idea a chance. How else can you explain Cinematech a show that consists entirely of FMV and gameplay sequences from current and historic games, delivered sans commentary. I love it, it's the beginning of the promise of 500 channels being realized, when any damned thing that's even vaguely interesting to a few hundred or thousand people can get on the air. Bring it on, I say.
An Hacker there was, one of the finest sort
Who controlled the system; graphics was his sport.
A manly man, to be a wizard able;
Many a protected file he had sitting on his table.
His console, when he typed, a man might hear
Clicking and feeping wind as clear,
Aye, and as loud as does the machine room bell
Where my lord Hacker was Prior of the cell.
The Rule of good St Savage or St Doeppnor
As old and strict he tended to ignore;
He let go by the things of yesterday
And took the modern world’s more spacious way.
He did not rate that text as a plucked hen
Which says that Hackers are not holy men.
And that a hacker underworked is a mere
Fish out of water, flapping on the pier.
That is to say, a hacker out of his cloister.
That was a text he held not worth an oyster.
And I agreed and said his views were sound;
Was he to study till his head wend round
Poring over books in the cloisters? Must he toil
As Andy bade and till the very soil?
Was he to leave the world upon the shelf?
Let Andy have his labor to himself!
[well, almost. Ed.]