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A big lover of all types of media, from Movies to Video Games, Books to Music, Television to Stage.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ashton Kutcher Joins "Two And A Half Men"

Well, the rumours are finally laid to rest, and the interest begins in what may be the most public firing and hiring of a starring cast member of any television show in recent memory.  Ashton Kutcher has been hired to fill the empty shoes of Charlie Sheen on "Two And A Half Men."  This after speculation went wild over various actors being tapped to join the show and replace the man who has taken his 'winning' streak elsewhere.

After many names were bandied about, it looked for a short time as though Hugh Grant was likely to replace Sheen, but due to creative differences he backed out earlier this week.  Kutcher, of course, has had many years of sitcom work under his belt with "That 70's Show," but on this series he will be doing a lot more work as it is not an ensemble as the other show was.

The salary Kutcher is expected to pull down is $1 million an episode.  Yup, tough work if you can get it.

Keep the recliner free for me.

May Cancellations

Recently, the studios began their cancellation rounds, upsetting quite a lot of people by hauling away shows that many enjoyed quite a bit.  Many of the shows listed below were ones I personally was following avidly, so this sucks quite a bit in my eyes.  Studios such as Fox and ABC in particular have axed shows that the writing and acting were wonderful, with storylines that could have carried three or four seasons if the writing stayed strong.  How shows like this can be axed when a show like "Lost" can stay for so long is unexplainable.

Here, then, are the major shows to be axed and renewed as of this writing.  Lists are by studio.  List provided by TVLine.

ABC
The Bachelor:  Officially renewed.
The Bachelorette: Officially renewed.
Better With You:  Officially cancelled.
Body of Proof:  Officially renewed.
Brothers & Sisters:  Officially cancelled.
Castle: Officially renewed.
Cougar Town: Officially renewed.
Dancing With the Stars Officially renewed.
Desperate Housewives Officially renewed.
Detroit 1-8-7 Officially cancelled.
Grey’s Anatomy: Officially renewed.
Happy Endings Officially renewed.
The Middle: Officially renewed
Modern Family: Officially renewed
Mr. Sunshine Officially cancelled.
No Ordinary Family: Officially cancelled.
Off the Map Officially cancelled.
Private Practice: Officially renewed.
V Officially cancelled.

CBS
The Amazing Race Officially renewed.
The Big Bang Theory: Officially renewed.
Blue Bloods: A safe bet.
Criminal Minds: A sure thing.
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior: Could go either way.
CSI: A sure thing.
CSI: Miami: A sure thing.
CSI: NY:  Could go either way.
The Defenders: A long-shot.
The Good Wife: A sure thing.
Hawaii Five-0 A sure thing.
How I Met Your Mother Officially renewed.
Mad Love Could go either way.
Medium: Already cancelled; final episode aired 1/21/11.
The Mentalist: A sure thing.
Mike & Molly: A sure thing.
NCIS: Officially renewed.
NCIS: Los Angeles: A sure thing.
Rules of Engagement Officially renewed.
$#*! My Dad Says Could go either way.
Survivor Officially renewed through next season.
Two and a Half Men: Officially renewed with Ashton Kutcher.
Undercover Boss Officially renewed.
FOX
American Dad: Officially renewed.
American Idol: A sure thing.
Bob’s Burgers Officially renewed.
Bones:
.
Officially renewed.
Breaking In:
.
Officially cancelled.
The Chicago Code: Officially cancelled.
The Cleveland Show: Officially renewed.
Family Guy: Officially renewed.
Fringe Officially renewed.
Glee: Officially renewed.
The Good Guys: Officially cancelled.
House Officially renewed.
Human Target Officially cancelled.
Lie to Me Officially cancelled.
Raising Hope: Officially renewed.
Running Wilde: Officially cancelled.
The Simpsons: Officially renewed.
Traffic Light Officially cancelled.

NBC
30 Rock: Officially renewed.
The Biggest Loser Officially renewed.
The Cape Officially cancelled.
Celebrity Apprentice: A safe bet.
Chase:
.
Essentially cancelled.
Chuck Officially Renewed for 13 episode final season.
Community Officially renewed.
The Event Officially cancelled.
Friday Night Lights: The fifth and final season premiered on NBC on April 15.
Harry’s Law Officially renewed.
Law & Order: Los Angeles Officially cancelled.
Law & Order: SVU A sure thing.
The Office Officially renewed.
Outsourced Officially cancelled.
Parenthood Officially renewed.
Parks and Recreation Officially renewed.
Perfect Couples Essentially cancelled.
The Voice: A sure thing.

THE CW
90210 Officially renewed.
America’s Next Top Model:  Officially renewed.
Gossip Girl Officially renewed.
Hellcats: A long-shot.
Life Unexpected: Series finale aired 1/18/11.
Nikita: Could go either way.
One Tree Hill A safe bet.
Smallville: The 10th and final season is currently underway.
Supernatural Officially renewed.
The Vampire Diaries Officially renewed.

So, there you have it.  The list of what the studios have done to their programming to make way for another round of shows that will likely be canned after one season next year.  Might not even need you to keep that recliner free for me anymore...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Some Cancellations Are Warranted

I have been on Twitter yesterday and today (@gutrend) talking to Netflix and another person about the fact that "Legend Of The Seeker" got cancelled.  The first tweet that drew my eye was a question being asked of Netflix, that of querying why the show got cancelled and stating that it shouldn't have been.  I responded that the reason the show got pulled is simply the fact that it was an inferior product in comparison to the source material.  This morning, upon going online for the first time, I was greeted by a message from someone who obviously has never read the books that provide the underlying reason for making the series, and he was stating that I should give the series another try.  After about five tweets in response to this nonsense, I felt that a longer and more in-depth answer was called for, and thusly I am writing this post to address the differences that exist between book and screen for this particular title, and make comparisons to other book to screen conversions that worked and prove my point.

First of all, it would behoove me to discuss the source material for this television show.  "The Sword Of Truth" is a series of books written by Terry Goodkind.  I first encountered this series when the very first book, "Wizard's First Rule" was a selection through the Science Fiction Book Club back in the early 90s.  Upon reading the book, I was impressed by quite a few things that had gone into it.  First and foremost, Goodkind had instilled in the book the hook which brought me to the title in the first place, the notion of a list of Wizard's Rules that govern the ability to wield magic in the society within the pages.  Next was the entire idea of The Seeker Of Truth, a character embodied by The Sword Of Truth, a tool of The Seeker but also arguably the reason The Seeker is who he is.  Third came the main relationship between a man and woman that was, while not forbidden, certainly went against all things that had come before due to the ability she herself embodied within her.  Lastly, the fact that the main protagonist happened to be fathered by the 'big bad' provided a great deal of drama when considered against the book's main quest.

If it seems that I am being purposefully vague here, it is for a good reason.  I am not the author of these books, but I strongly urge you to go and read at least the first in the series.  Especially if you have had the misfortune of watching the television show 'based' upon these novels.  To that end, I don't want to give anything away until I have set the hook as deeply as the first book's title did for me, at which point you should literally go and buy the book, read it, and then come back and read the rest of this entry.  I don't care if it takes a month for you to do so, go buy the book if you have any interest in either the point of this post or the title itself, because this blog isn't going anywhere and I am about to get into very heavy spoilers for those who don't read it for themselves.  That warning being given, I again will stress that I am about to let multiple cats out of multiple bags here, and I don't want to hear that people read this post and opted not to read the book because I ruined it for them.  Unless, of course, you intend to only compare my words to what you've watched when viewing the television show - those of you can feel free to stay put to allow me to show you why what you think is a great television show is actually a steaming pile of crap.

On with the spoilers.  Richard, the main protagonist, gets found by Kahlan, the main female protagonist, as she attempts to find a person known as the First Wizard in order to stop the 'big bad' Darken Rahl from opening one of the three Boxes Of Orden.  For Kahlan to find the First Wizard, she has had to cross the three parts of the known world: D'Hara, where resides the 'big bad,' The Midlands, separated from D'Hara by a magical boundary to keep them safe from Darken Rahl and where regular normal folk live, and Westland, a part of the world set away from the rest by another boundary that also keeps magic from entering that part of the world.  Kahlan is being harmed, Richard rescues her, takes her to get helped by the wisest man he knows, his best friend Zedd, who turns out to be the First Wizard Kahlan is looking for.  Kahlan turns out to be a Confessor, a woman who cannot be loved because her purpose in life is to make others tell the truth via her charming them to do her biding always and forever, effectively erasing any semblance of thought or character in the process.  Richard himself turns out to be The Seeker Of Truth, and as a result comes to be the bearer of The Sword Of Truth, an incredible tool that cannot harm someone who tells the truth, and which gives the bearer the ability to find truths that are both hidden and dangerous.

Certainly I am skipping the intricacies that get us from one plot point to another, and also leaving out a few more minor characters, but suffice it to say that Kahlan and Richard set out to stop Darken Rahl from obtaining the third and final Box Of Orden, since opening those Boxes would give Rahl the power to destroy all life if he chooses that particular Box to open.  While trying to obtain the last Box before him, Richard is ultimately captured by a Mord-Sith named Denna.  Mord-Sith have no magic of their own, but when attacked by magic can then capture that ability from a person, shutting off their use of their abilities, and then use a small wand called an Agiel to inflict pain and suffering in order to break the will of the person so ensnared.  Richard was captured specifically because he had knowledge of a book which would tell Rahl which Box was the correct one to open to give him insurmountable power.  Instead, Denna falls in love with Richard and allows him to kill her to effect his escape.  This also opens up another ability of the Sword Of Truth, the ability to use it not only in anger and rage, but also in mercy and forgiveness, which turns the blade white.

In the end, Richard is able to lie to Darken Rahl and gets him to open the wrong Box, which kills him.  It is also revealed that Darken Rahl raped Zedd's daughter, thereby creating Richard, making him Darken Rahl's son and heir to the throne of D'Hara.  It is also learned, through a plot point I'll leave to be read, that Richard is the one man who is immune to Kahlan's abilities, and therefore they can fall in love and marry.  Zedd, Richard's grandfather, knows that things are not over yet, as the opening of the Boxes Of Orden has now set the world on an unavoidable path to darkness and horror, but that is for the rest of the series to tackle.

To this point, I'd be interested in knowing exactly how much of what I've put above, even leaving out enormous chunks of the storyline and plot, ever made it to the television screen.  I am now going to go even deeper into a few areas, to make certain that the readers of this post understand why the true nature of these books could never have been put on television in the manner in which it was aired.

The books contain, for lack of better words, torture and sex.  Not a little bit here and there, I'm talking full out torture sequences, enslavement, multiple rapes, violent and graphical sexual situations, torture of children, murder of children, and the sticking point is that none of it, absolutely none of it, is mindless pandering for a violent audience.  The tempering of Deena, when she was a young girl, makes perfect sense when coupled with her role as a Mord-Sith.  The slaughter and blooding of an innocent child in order to open the Boxes is a mainstay from many other fantasy novels, just not brought as clearly to the reader's attention as it is here.  The total and utter degradation of a man in thrall to a woman plays a key role in the awakening of the Sword Of Truth's truer powers, and Goodkind does not shirk away from describing it to us to the point of squeamishness in order so that when the revelation comes with the death of Deena, the reader is thrilled with the emotion he wanted us to feel - triumph.  All of this and more besides reside within the pages of all of the Sword Of Truth novels, and it makes them what they are: Adult Fantasy books.  As such, there is no way they could have been properly portrayed on television without airing on HBO.

The television series on the other hand takes things in a humorous light.  There are so many departures from the main storyline of the books that it is a wonder that Goodkind let the show be made in the first place.  I love Sam Raimi as a director, but am uncertain as to why he has done this to such a strong and well thought out series of novels.  The show resembles very much the likes of "Merlin," "Hercules" and "Xena," and suffers all the more for it.  It comes across as hokey, which was fine as long as the source material was from writers doing their writing specifically for the show, but for the purposes of translating a wonderful series of books into a television series this is just unacceptable.  I can understand how people who disliked the books or never read them might enjoy the show, but to put this into perspective...imagine "Lord Of The Rings" introducing a talking doll for amusement's sake.  Preposterous you say?  Season One of "Legend Of The Seeker" I say.

It isn't as if there have not been excellent book-to-television adaptations of popular titles in the past either.  Anybody who has read either "The Stand" or "Desperation" by Stephen King, and had the opportunity to watch either of the mini-series done based on those books, will agree that minus some very extreme but tiny segments those books were put on the television screen in an almost perfect manner, and a lot of the reason for how good those mini-series are is due to the fact that the author was heavily involved in the process.  While I have no idea how involved Terry Goodkind was in the making of "Legend Of The Seeker," I can't help but assume it was minimal, and as a result the show alienated lovers of the books right out of the gate.

Thusly, now that the show has been cancelled, I can't say that I am in the least bit surprised.  In fact, I'm quite astounded that they even got a second season from it in the first place.  These books need the Peter Jackson treatment if they are ever to shine visually as well as they do on paper, and all I can say beyond that is that I hope that ABC never gets the rights to the David Eddings books, because the last thing I need is to be watching Garion hanging out with a talking doll.  Sorry, but even I have standards.

Until next time, keep the recliner warm for me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mid-Season Casualties

Well, it seems "The Cape" has already fallen off the schedule, though apparently you could watch the remaining episodes online - though why would you bother?  Here we have a classic case of one of the two reasons shows get cancelled after tons of hype and high expectations: The writers didn't pay attention to what the audience craves.  They had a great premise, that of the creation of a superhero as a result of getting too close to discovering the identity of the villain.  They had a perfect sidekick-type character, a hot woman who doubles as another type of hero via her manipulation of information.  They even provided a fairly useful location for training and power-development purposes, an underground circus troupe.  Then they screwed the pooch by making the titular object the ONLY super thing about the hero, and it wasn't that super on top of that.

That was only the start of the problem.  They focused at least one too many episodes on the circus troupe, trying to give more background on where the cape came from, and also attempted to give the cape some kind of supernatural personality bent on evil, so it had to be tamed to be used for good.  Too much boring, not enough action.  Then, to make sure that anyone devoted to superhero-type storylines would also be alienated, they took one of the sexiest young actresses working television today, Summer Glau, and hid her body to the point that if you had only ever seen her in this show you'd barely notice she even had woman parts.  Even my wife questioned the logic in this move.  If you weren't intending to show legs and hotness, why include her stunning figure in a spot that ran before the premiere...in fact, if you didn't intend her to be hot at all, why hire Summer Glau?  There are lots of actresses who could have played the role as they laid it out, and that's the problem.  They squandered what they had, and the show failed.

Other shows that I've been watching and paying attention to are also being discussed for cancellation or pick-up.  Here's how things look so far for dramas:  "No Ordinary Family" is on the bubble, and that's a show that knows exactly what the audience wants, so hopefully the studio (in this case ABC) will see that and keep it around.  "Off The Map," also on ABC, is coming along really well, and though they have yet to really speak about the feedback they are getting in regards to the show, considering there is only one other show that really focuses on the medical profession purely, it will also hopefully stick around for a while.  Both "Hawaii Five-O" and "Blue Bloods" are likely to return, as is "Survivor," though at this point it is uncertain whether Jeff Probst will still be hosting.  Personally, I hope he does stay, as the show just wouldn't be the same without him.  It is also apparently too early to tell what will happen with "The Chicago Code," though again I hope it stays as the depth of the plotline from episode one has been great.  Again, "Chuck" is one to worry about, and for the third year in a row I hope that the studio keeps this one going.  "The Event" is also on the bubble, which does not surprise me.  We stopped watching it early on, but the spots hyping the return of the show this week have made us PVR it again, and we'll see what we've got later today.  Surprisingly, "Harry's Law" hasn't gotten renewed yet, and it is arguably the most anticipated show in this house since it started airing.  NBC, don't screw this one up!


The best sitcoms on television are going to be back next year.  I'm talking about "Big Bang Theory" and "How I Met Your Mother."  "Mike and Molly" is likely to return as well, but with the recent firing of Charlie Sheen from "Two And A Half Men," that show could go either way.  Oh, and you read that right, he has now been fired from the show permanently.  Not surprised, given my last blog post regarding it.  "Raising Hope" has been renewed, and hopefully "Community" will be too.  "Outsourced" is still on the bubble, so I'll keep my eye on it.  "Mr. Sunshine," to my knowledge, has also been renewed for next season, though "Perfect Couples" still has to show off some numbers before getting the nod.

"Glee" is returning, which should surprise absolutely nobody.  In that vein, "90210" is likely returning, and "Hellcats" will probably do the same.

As for the rest, here is what is returning so far:  "Hell's Kitchen" and "Wipeout."  Likely to come back are "Kitchen Nightmares," "Rookie Blue" and "Celebrity Apprentice."  "Mad Love" is on the bubble, as are "Fringe" and "Brothers And Sisters."  That pretty much covers everything to date, and when I know more I'll probably rant about it here.

Until then, keep that recliner warm for me!

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm Weighing In On The Charlie Sheen Thing

I'm sorry, because I said this blogsite wouldn't be about rumours and the habits of actors and such, but this Charlie Sheen incident is so prevalent across the interwebs today that I feel I just gotta say something about it.  And now that the show in question, "Two And A Half Men," is on the verge of total cancellation, perhaps I can get away with still retaining my honour in the sense that it isn't just about rumours and antics anymore.  That view is up to you, Good Readers.

So, here's my take:  Charlie, you've become a dickhead.  I can write that, because this is my own blogsite.  If you want to add those types of comments down below, feel free to do so, as this is not going to be censored.  When you put together all that CBS has done to accommodate Sheen's off-camera behaviour, and then add to that the gross amounts of money they were paying him, and THEN take into consideration his recent comments on TMZ and the like...the only answer is simply dickhead.  Charlie Sheen, I love the show, I've enjoyed many of your films, but as for future endeavours you've lost my interest.  You have become the Mel Gibson of the television.  I don't care how minor some of the websites are citing the anti-Semitic comment you made, the point is you chose to go there, and that's enough.

As for all the people who's paycheques you have now taken from their pockets, that is pretty much unforgivable.  Never mind the pressure you've placed on the other actors that you have simply abandoned by your careless attitude, the entire crew has gotten screwed over by the wall you forced CBS to put their backs against.  For that reason alone, you are a self-centred dickhead.

However, I do not feel that Sheen is the only one to blame here.  I strongly believe that anyone who sees someone sliding down the slippery slope of self-destruction, whether it be by addiction or some other means, it is their responsibility to withhold anything that would enable them to do more harm to themselves or others.  I'm not saying they have to help, but they should not go on aiding the situation to get worse.  CBS paid the man, swept his misdeeds under the rug, laughed off the thought that the show would be in any way negatively affected, and went on with business as usual.  That is not how you deal with addiction in your midst, and anybody with ANY knowledge of the facts of the subject would tell you that.

For these reasons, I hold CBS directly responsible for the cast and crew losing their jobs mid-season in this way as well.  After all, Sheen's problems are not new, and have never been secret.  Stopping the show during a summer hiatus would have been the right thing to do, but greed ultimately won out over caring for the star, the actors, the crew, the writers, and anyone else who helped make the show the hit that it has become.  They've hurt Sheen almost as much as Sheen has hurt himself.  Allowing a long summer hiatus in 2010, and bringing the show back the in spring of 2011 with a run that might carry through the next summer would have been the responsible thing for CBS to do, and it might even have ensured a sober lead actor to boot - but I'll bet dollars to donuts that if that idea was even considered, it was quickly dismissed in favour of selling ad time in the fall of 2010.

No, it seems CBS was willing to look the other way, keep paying the talent, and hope everything came out in the wash.  Well, it didn't, and now the dirty sheets are being aired for all to see.  Only, as of yet, nobody is fully blaming CBS.  I firmly believe that when the depth of Charlie's addiction and need for rehabilitation becomes clear, the blame will begin to rest on the CBS doorstep, and it rightly should at least in part.  They never forced him to be a dickhead, but they sure didn't try to help him to avoid becoming one.

As far as I can see, unless his voice was being considered during any of the discussions that were had regarding what to do about Charlie's behaviour, Chuck Lorre is completely innocent of anything other than mildly ribbing comments on his vanity cards - and given the situation, I'm surprised they were as mild as they were.  Since I don't know what involvement Lorre has in the process of deciding whether to go on a hiatus or not, I am assuming on the side of no involvement.  If his opinion counts, and he was for keeping the show going, then he is at fault as well.

So, that's my take on the whole debacle.  I don't care if my view is accepted or disagreeable.  It is how I see it, and since it ultimately means I'm no longer watching a show I've enjoyed for years, I'm entitled to my opinion.  Feel free to share your opinions below.

Until next time, save the recliner for me, would you?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Mid-Season Reviews

I know, I know, I promised these earlier and real life got in the way.  here, then, are the other mid-season reviews I promised a week ago:

"Traffic Light" started off promisingly, as far as the humour went.  I also enjoyed how they tied the name of the series in with the memorial of the passing of one of their friends.  Not a lot else to say about this one, as it is overshadowed by my next title.

"Mad Love" is perfect, right out of the gate.  Remember how I gushed about "Harry's Law," and how the ensemble cast just clicked right away?  This one has the same feel in that regard.  It is really nice to see Jason Biggs in a role that doesn't involve masturbation, pie molestation, or him acting like a loser.  Add to him the excellent Sarah Chalke fresh off of her Scrubs success, Judy Greer whom I personally feel is quite under-rated and could carry her own show/movie without trouble, and Tyler Labine whom is best known as the sidekick 'Sock' from the WB show "Reaper," and you have a great basis for an ongoing hit.  In fact, I already predict that the best friend duo of Judy and Tyler will become this show's Karen and Jack (from "Will & Grace").  Much success will come this show's way, as long as the writers know just how wonderful their actors are.

"The Chicago Code" shocked me right out of the gate as well.  With a pilot episode that ends on a note more likely to be seen as a season finale or sweeps-week stunner, this show grabbed me right off the bat.  It's great to see Jennifer Beals taking the lead, and what a great and menacing bad guy they have in the form of Delroy Lindo.  Casting can't get much better than that.  Two episodes in, and I'm already invested in seeing how they expect to be able to take this guy down, especially when our lead is already into him for a favour.  Complexities abound, let's just hope the writing stays on top of the story.

And, finally, I have to mention "Mr. Sunshine."  Here we have Matthew Perry returning to sitcom television, bringing along with him Allison Janney, obviously best known from the fantastic series "The West Wing."  While Janney had some comedic turns on her previous show, she isn't known as the kook she is portraying in this one, and it is wonderful to watch as she chews on the scenery whenever she gets onscreen.  The writers need to inject just a little more of the suffering aspect they portrayed in the lead up to this show for Perry's character.  It wouldn't be out of line in this one to actually have him look at the camera/audience, as if to say 'you see what I have to deal with?' every now and again.  Keep the backing cast solid, keep the focus on Perry, and avoid any errant 'Chandlerisms' that might wander into the script, and this one will be around for a while.

There you have it folks, the last of my new show reviews.  I'd review the new "Survivor: Redemption Island," but that isn't new, that's a returning show, so no dice.  Two last things:  "Harry's Law" just keeps getting better, so if you haven't tuned in get to it...and I keep hearing a lot about how wonderful "Fringe" is this year, though the ratings keep slipping.  I know why, and anyone out there who is honest about it will admit that this is true:  Nobody wants you to mess with two universes at once!  Yeah, it's great for die hard science fiction audiences, but that isn't why the main viewers tuned in to the show in the first place!  Take a page from "Heroes" or "Lost," and note that the weirder things got the small the audience tuned in...reel in the strange, folks, or else renewal will not be in the cards.

That's how I see it anyway.  Keep the recliner free for me, would you?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Wait To Coronation Street's 50th Anniversary Is Driving Me Nuts

Okay, we already covered this:  I am a big fan of "Coronation Street."  Yes, I am a guy.  Yes, I have testicles.  Yes, I have a wife, and she is not just for show (though she sure is purdy, hyuk, hyuk).  And, yes, I watch the show religiously.  Not so religiously as other people I've recently read about (I watch Corrie every night on CBC at 6:30, and if I'm not watching at exactly that time, I am PVRing the show in order to watch it slightly later in the same evening - I do not, however, then go and watch the omnibus on Sunday as some people do even after watching each episode during the week), but I haven't missed an episode yet and don't intend to ever do so since I started watching.

This is especially upsetting as we are hoping to be moving to the Dominican Republic in the next two to three years.  See, I love this show so much, I am very concerned that once we are in the Caribbean we will no longer have access to it.  Now, I know that the CBC website allows for watching online, and I also know that the ITV website (home of the show in Britain) does as well, but here's the thing:  If you aren't in the right country, you can't watch the episodes online.  So, while I can catch the CBC website's episodes now, when no longer in Canada I expect I'll be out of luck.  So the question then becomes, does any provider down in the Dominican carry Corrie?  We're looking into this, but results are mixed.

The Dominican Republic has a lot of things that surprise outsiders, considering they are still listed as a third world country.  Did you know that the DR is the most internet-friendly island in the Caribbean?  That the capital, Santo Domingo, is thought of as the Montreal of the region?  That on their two-thirds of Hispaniola (the other third is Haiti) they have opera houses, museums, art galleries, wildlife preserves and botanical gardens?  Most auto dealerships in the world have a piece of the action in the DR, and so do a couple of big names in television programming providers.  According to research done by Andi, my wife, both Direct TV and Sky provide satellite programming to the island, but the problem is we can't get the information on what channels they both offer and whether Corrie is carried by either of them.  This is maddening, but not as bad as something else about the show which is making me climb the walls...

That being the upcoming 50th anniversary week of "Coronation Street" episodes.  See, in Canada we're 10 months behind the current British episodes.  This means that currently, we're watching what happened in March - April of 2010.  Now, that normally isn't a problem, but when suddenly the media outlets are lit up by photos of tram crashes, huge fires, and information about certain characters' untimely demises...well, I wish we could hurry up and get to them!  And yet, I must languish here outside Toronto, waiting until September and October for the lead up to the big event, and the wait is horrible!  Almost as bad as waiting for July to see the second half of the last "Harry Potter" flick!  And the biggest problem is what I know about the upcoming anniversary shows!

I won't include even a single spoiler here, so don't worry if you are a Canadian fan reading this, or Australian as they are also some months behind the air dates in Britain.  I will say that knowing certain aspects of what is coming makes things I'm seeing this week so much more ominous than I thought they would be...and it is just fuelling the fire of my eagerness to watch these episodes to a high flame!  A look here, a random (or, knowing that the celebratory episodes and storyline were planned WAY in advance, probably not so random) line there, it is all just getting too much!  Get to the December episodes now, for crying out loud!  Stop my personal torture!

Worst of all is when I consider what will happen if we do find that one of the providers of the Dominican Republic's television services does in fact carry Corrie, but it is current episodes with no delay.  What am I going to do for those 10 months?  I can't miss ten whole months of episodes!  I mean, I want to see what December 2010 brought to The Street, but I don't want to miss all the episodes separating me from those ones!  I might have to go to Craigslist or something to find someone willing to copy episodes to DVD for those 10 months, record them to DVD in the DR without watching them for the first year or so, then get all the discs together and go on a huge binge of Corrie, just to get to where I'm watching current shows with all the backstory.  What am I to do?

Well, I guess that is my worry...but if anyone has ANY information as to what channels the different DR providers offer, or anyone in Canada willing to do a huge pile of recordings (of course, I would supply the blank DVDs and shipping fees), please let me know.  Leave a comment, and much thanks way in advance.

Otherwise, keep a recliner free for me, would you?  I'll be back soon with a review of the other mid-season replacement shows that just started in February.