'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)


Menogglating; binge viewing

Yes, I've been on a bit of a binge on catchup and streaming of late. Think there is an element of escapist avoidance involved, but that's for sorting out at a later date.

One thing to explain, perhaps, is that here in the UK we have to pay a 'television licence fee'; this dates back to the days of crystal and bulb sets and the cost to Aunty Beeb (BBC) of producing signals to make those said crystals and bulbs provide light in the corner of our rooms. It is not an insignificant amount at over £150. Then there is the cheeky choice of watching "free-to-air" channels. Free my ▬ (redacted for decency's sake; editor).

The fee is not only tied to the telly box, now (and clearly no longer applies to crystals and bulbs technology) either. Watching online has to be covered. There are great big bullying - no, downright threatening - letters if you forget to pay your extortion fee.

With the rise in "pay-to-view" channels and streaming, it seems that arguments against this draconian tax fee are getting dim; it would be better if Aunty Beeb just declared that it is now also a subscriptive service. *****

That gripe out of the way, it helps you understand that paying that fee each year means I am not at all keen on the idea of paying a subscription to any other viewing service on top of it. I have a budget, y'ken! It has meant not seeing quite a few shows that others have seen and rave about. Then, along came Google/YouTube streaming. Rent or buy. No ongoing subscription is necessary. This I could deal with. A bit like going to the cinema but never leaving home.

I have caught up on several films I wanted to see (Indian cinema is there too!!!);
Captain Marvel - yeah, okay, but not my fave.
The Crimes of Grindelwald - excellent!
Kursk; The Last Mission - another five stars from me
First Man - this was good, but could have been a tad shorter; four stars

... a couple others I can't quite recall now. That's the effects of binging.

Then there are series;
Lucifer - OMG I totally OD'd on this one, all three seasons available on the tubular... will have to find a way to see season four...
Catch 22 - okay the series is not online, but on one of our commercial "free" channels, but have been watching it in 'catch-up' mode. I read the book three decades back and saw the original movie - this series is okay, but somehow feel it has been a tad sanitised. Good performances, though.
Handmaid's Tale - relentlessly harrowing, but compelling viewing (again on catch-up, not online)
Chernobyl - on the tubular - this was brilliant, highly recommended.



In my defence, this is over several weeks - begun while I was still in OZ, actually. So, as thick as that list looks, it is not quite as bad as you might think. Two hours a day and not every day. Eastbourne and Wimbledon tennis was more an actual 'binge' if we were to look at it in terms of hours per day!

What have you all seen/watched lately???

*****ADDENDUM; Well, Murphy's at work. I had written this at midday last Friday and scheduled it. Then on the teatime news, what should be reported but the opening of yet another streaming service... by the "free-to-air" crowd of BBC combined with ITV (commercial). Heaven forbid it should 'threaten the licence fee' though! Apparently, they surveyed a few viewers and the consensus was that people are happy to pay for their telly. What they seem to have 'unseen', is that said people are happy to pay for telly they can't get anywhere else (such as GoT and Lucifer, etc). Not the ancient reruns of shows seen so many times on our Freeview service that most of us can recite the scripts by heart. The other factor might be that Britbox has been airing overseas and it must have encouraged them - but those over the sea think this is exotic. We in the home of the stuff don't! Does it mean, too, that they will be shutting down all their "+1, 2, 3 and 4" channels where all these reruns have been playing till now? Whatever will my father, and all like him, do??? One could almost hear the whole of the Isles heaving a sigh...

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DON'T FORGET IT'S FFF THIS WEEK!




18 comments:

  1. there is no free TV here either, and we pay taxes for even having cable. we either pay or do the streaming, but even streaming here is not free, if you want the new shows, have to pay the fee to the one TV channel... the taxes on our cable that we pay high dollars for go to local and federal govt. our tax for one month is. is 18.88 a month just the taxes. 288.00 a year no idea how many pounds that is. we are being taxed to poverty here

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  2. we watch Amzon Prime most of the time on a firestick. we pay taxes on what we spend for that. we purchased Showtime, advertised at 9.99 a month. 12.50 was charged on our card. you got it, the rest is TAX

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    1. Hari OM
      There, I've learned something today; I knew you had to pay for cable etc, but didn't know about the tax. I don't say that the producers of our viewing product ought not to get paid, and that payment needs to come from us in some way, but it is all the government skimming and - in this digital age - overpricing, which gets my goat a bit... Yxx

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  3. Tour de France is compulsory viewing in this house. Would like to see Chernobyl too, having read an excellent and fascinating book on that topic last year.
    Cheers, Gail.

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    1. Hari OM
      I did keep one eye on the race, but not as much as usual due to all the above-mentioned binging! I really do recommend the Chernobyl series (I think a book of interviews with various survivors is what it is based upon); not light-hearted viewing, but definitely worthwhile. I shall never forget the announcement of it, that being my birthday... Yxx

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  4. The male resident here loves Tour de France. However he detests commercials so he DVR's it rather than watching live.
    We have Spectrum for our cable company and I tell you if they get any higher (~140.00) a month, we might need to find parttime work. LOL. Now we do have 200 channels at our finger tips but this time of year not much to see. Bryan loves UTube (which is free with our Spectrum
    subscription)lots of train videos.
    Hugs HiC

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  5. I watched Luicfer but the new season on nextflix did nothing for me. I am currently watching Schitts Creek.

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  6. Haven't heard that term "Telly Box" for quite some time.
    Coffee is on

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  7. we have to pay here but we don't watch french tv, but nevertheless we have to pay. the mama wants a second dish and a second box to get itv... she is addicted, since she spent a whole day with da neighbors and she dreams about endless midsomer murders and (un)real housewives LOL

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    1. Hari OM
      Ah well, that is exactly the viewing fare which will be provided on Brit Box... Vera, Miss Marple, Midsomer, Frost.... over and over and over... the Beeb's side it will be things like end to end Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth version - which I have on DVD...cough...) and I have no doubt Poldark will appear there... Yxx

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  8. I've been watching short films of Naseeruddin Shah on Youtube. He's one of the best Indian actors of all time. I'm a great fan :) of both Youtube and Shah. And also of Aunty Beeb. Don't have to pay a fee to watch... I think.

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    1. Hari OM
      Oh yes, am a huge fan of Sri Shah! There as good shorties on the tubular too - not just of himself, but other good Indian shorts - but it is worth mentioning here, I think, that I am a lover of Vimeo also and have found some great stuff there. A lot of it is free, but even the ones I have bought have been very reasonable. Yxx

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  9. Hi Yam - I try not to get hooked into series etc ... but have enjoyed the Anne Lister diaries on the Beeb ... and am now watching Poldark - having never watched before, only glanced or seen odd episodes. Can't get into Catch 22 ... and Handmaid's Tale clashes ... I watch what I can on free tv! Looks like the tv is easing the move back and life in general - things will change - but there is some good stuff out there. Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hari Om
      Oh yes, I forgot to mention Gentleman Jack - brilliantly done! The music is worth the visit don't you think? I was a lover of the Poldark books when at school, then the original series; a lot of the modern renditions and remakes of the 1970s and 80s versions of the Beeb productions have gone for all the tittly-bits and forgotten to flesh out the actual narrative (War and Peace was a HUGE disappointment, I only watched a couple of eps - whilst the original 13 parter with Anthony Hopkins was brilliant)... however this version of Poldark has been rather good and have watched it all. Yxx

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  10. I'm into Grantchester now and am loving it. One of the best series I have ever seen is A Place To Call Home. It was beyond wonderful! Safe was another great series and I loved Broadchurch! Netflix comes with my cable subscription and I have the firestick - a Christmas gift from my daughter a couple of years ago.

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    1. Hari OM
      Yes, I have watched Grantchester and Broadchurch, both excellent, not the other two... I might look them up! Yxx

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  11. We don't have the bandwidth for streaming services. We buy a lot of UK/EU mysteries DVDs.

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  12. Like so many others have said we pay quite a bit for our cable subscription which includes our internet service and applicable fees and taxes. It does seem crazy to spend so much when some days it seems like there is nothing good to watch. That is when we turn to streaming services and binge watch.

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