Every now and then I go through these periods where I run away from the groups and games that require me to interact with other people and for lack of a better term “hide out”. They are usually paired with a period of high stress in my life, and I guess the current work stress mixed with the life stress of a bunch of big things looming on the horizon… could count as that. I also just went to the doctor and found out that I am dangerously low on Vitamin D. Generally speaking a healthy range is between 30 and 70 and on the test I came back with a score of like 10. Vitamin D effects all sorts of things… not the least of which is mental health and mood, so I would not be surprised if all of the bouts of depression were related to that chemical deficiency in particular. I am taking some insane 50,000 unit Vitamin D supplements once a week to help balance me out again, but I am still in the thrall of that desire to hide away from the rest of the world.
I think in part this is why I have not really been around in Final Fantasy XIV much because I have helped to build this wonderful and interactive world… that likes me being around. So when I am around I feel obligated to interact and be friendly…. and right now that is just too much of a drain on me. Similarly I have an issue with Wildstar because the Black Dagger Society is so damned friendly that I feel like an asshole if I am not also friendly back. As a result I end up playing a lot of Diablo III because I can get lost in a private game without the feeling of needing to reciprocate too many social graces. This is definitely a me thing and not due to any of the amazing people in my life. I am broken, and every now and then I just need to retreat inside myself until I am “less broken”. What I do when I am like this is hang out downstairs and binge television shows. I don’t really watch TV on a regular basis apart from Walking Dead/Fear the Walking Dead which becomes Monday morning water cooler discussion at work. I am what is wrong with broadcast television… I either record a show or watch it from a combination of hulu/netflix/amazon prime. The concept of watching a television show as it airs just seems so damned strange to me now. The problem being… I am the reason why good shows get seen as failures… because they are designed for people like me… not the nightly television viewing public.
Awhile back one of my coworkers told me about the show The Strain. The problem with not watching television is that you also don’t really find out when a show is on the air. I love movies and television shows about things that go bump in the night, and as such I have a deep respect for the director Guillermo Del Torro. This show is apparently an adaptation of a graphic novel by the same title from 2009. There is really no disguising the fact that this is a vampire show… but not one in the Ventrue/Toreador tradition that we have seen Hollywood obsessed with lately. These are the Malkavians and Nosferatu that hide in the shadows. This show brings back a return to “vampires as monsters” instead of “vampires and glittery swoony boyfriend material”. The problem is I am not sure how much more of the plot that I want to give away other than that. Suffice to say you end up with a badass team of Vampire Hunters, lead by a grizzled old Van Helsing type that is played by none other than “Argus Filtch” aka David Bradley. The show has a very “zombie apocalypse” feel to it, but with smarter hunters stalking their prey rather than the mindless oppression of a world constantly looking for food. If you like the monster genre, I highly suggest you check it out. Even if you don’t normally like monster movies… it might be worth your time because the characters are really excellent and with their own interesting flaws. The first season is available on Hulu, and the show has been picked up for a second season.
Constatine might be the “least NBC” television show I have ever watched. I am not really sure what the network executives were thinking when they greenlit this show…. but honestly it was not destined for broadcast television. The show developed a very small but fanatically devoted following… and honestly after finishing the first season I can see why. Sadly watching this show I felt pangs of regret… because I am part of the reason why the show never got a second season. I recorded it on my DVR and then binge watched it months after the show was cancelled. This is going to be another Firefly/Space Above and Beyond regret for me… because really the show is quite amazing. It does an excellent job of presenting the character of John Constantine with all of his flaws… and virtues. They did a much better job with the casting this time around than the Keanu Reeves movie…. which while they failed miserably at Constantine did a pretty damned good job of capturing the setting. I am still holding out hope that someone might pick this up as a Netflix, Hulu or Amazon exclusive. They have already announced that the character of John Constantine would be appearing regularly on Arrow, so there is at least hope keeping this franchise alive. Placing this show on NBC however…. was just destined to fail. I think had it even appeared on the NBC Universal owned USA network… it might have found a home.
This show… took me a few episodes before I got into it… but now I am currently watching my way through it and I love it. What it reminds me of is Firefly… but a show set in a different corner of that universe. In Firefly you were out on the outer rim of society… in a lawless wild west simulacrum. This show instead is about the bounty hunters operating in and out of the core worlds, the Killjoys. So far the show has spent equal time on and off of civilized worlds, and as it progresses there is an interesting world emerging. The bulk of the show is set in an area of space known as the Quad… which is a planet orbited by three dwarf planets. Qresh being the central planet ruled by the nine families, and between them is an unsteady peace… along with comes a very brutally cold war. Westerly gives you a big barren wasteland world, that was exploited by the “The Company” for natural resources and then sometimes nuked from orbit when the worker class rebelled. Lieth is the farmland world, filled with “indentured servant” farms and their own share of illegal farming going on. Finally you have Arkyn that so far in the series we have not heard much about… other than the fact that something went really wrong there… and folks tend to call it a “dead world”. I am only about halfway through the first season and I have to say I am loving it. The first episode does not do a great job of really showcasing the feel of the show so I would say give it at least three before you decide if you like it or not. As soon as I wrap this up I plan on returning to watching the show… which is available through Hulu… but you have to connect to your cable provider to grant access to it… and have to play it through a web browser. Both of these things I find annoying but I am dealing with it. What are some of your most recent favorite shows?