With only one game remaining in the professional football season and six weeks until the best part of the college basketball campaign begins, I find that this is the time of year when I spend considerably more time watching television. And, this year, I have even watched a few movies in the theatre.
For the first time in at least the past 20 years, I can say that I've watched two of the nine films nominated for an Academy Award for "Best Motion Picture". Since I've only been to the movies four times in the past year, that's a pretty decent batting average. Usually, I am not familiar with many of the Oscar nominees and wait for the year's best motion pictures to hit the DVD market before I consider watching.
I saw "The Help" the first night it was in theatres. It was one of the few movies where laughing and crying become repetitive. I can see why it is nominated as one of the best movies of the year. "Midnight in Paris", a Woody Allen film, normally would not interest me much. But, in a weird way, I liked the movie. Although it was nowhere as good as "The Help".
On the television side, I somehow stumbled upon "Masterpiece Theatre" in December and got hooked on "Downton Abbey", the PBS British mini-series that is more like a soap opera than a standard weekly television show. I think the only time I ever watched a show on PBS was when I was a child and tuned into "Sesame Street ".
Speaking of "Sesame Street ", I also watched "The Muppet Movie" at the cinema. Although I am of the age that remembers "The Muppet Show ", the movie is for people of all ages. It's a corny, funny musical that also brings out viewer emotions. If I were able, I'd nominate "The Muppet Movie" as one of the year's best pictures.
Unfortunately, my schedule does not allow me to watch television shows when they first air. That's why I relish my digital video recorder. I watch "NBC Nightly News", "The Mentalist ", "Parenthood " and old movies on the Turner Classic Movie channel when time allows. Two years ago, I never would have understood a show like "Parenthood ", but with two teenagers in the house, the weekly television drama hits close to home.
I do avoid watching some television sports during the winter months. For instance, I have a difficult time watching golf in warmer climates like Hawaii and California. Although we've had a relatively mild winter so far, it's still frustrating to see golfers in short-sleeve shirts.