Saturday, April 17, 2010

I'm lovin' my CASTLE

Yeah, I watch TV. Not a lot, but now and again when something catches my attention, or it's cold or I'm not in the mood to do anything else. I have my favorite shows and am not shy when truthfully saying I've never watched an episode of Survivor, Idol or any other reality show. Not my thing.

But last year I ran across a program with a FABULOUS GRAPHIC. Okay, sounds silly, but I saw it run on the promos and it just made me drool. I want a graphic like that. So out of curiosity I watched the show. It's called "CASTLE" and stars Nathan Fillion. He's well known to all you rabid Firefly fans as Captain Mal Reynolds.

I know it's silly to watch a show based on its graphic intro, but I'm so glad I did. This is one funny, delightful, realistic and well-acted program. It had me from episode One and I've been a fan ever since. We're well into the second season and thus far I haven't found a think I don't like about it. Is it deeply thought-provoking? No. Is it rich with amazingly unique plots? No again.

So what the hell is it about this show that gets me turning off the phone on Monday nights and hunkering down with popcorn/cookies/snacks for an hour? It's the characters! Everyone - right from the start - is pitch-perfect! Led by Nathan Fillion as mystery writer Richard Castle. He's sweet, funny, endearing, occasionally brilliant and with masterfully subtle touches of a twelve-year-old in a candy store, he gleefully runs amok in the NY precinct squad room to the irritation/amusement of his "partner" Detective Kate Beckett. There's not one bad thing about Castle the character. Brilliant writing and perfect acting.

The rest of the cast meets and occasionally exceeds this brilliance. Kate Beckett is a complex character. As she says at one point "So many layers to the Beckett onion" - and she's right. But it's taken time for us to learn about some of those layers and there are more still ahead. She's clearly fighting her attraction to Castle, but never forgets the case even while teasing him with some of her outrageous comments. Her team, Ryan and Esposito, along with Forensics gal Lainey (some of the best silent looks on the show!!) all round out this great program with style. Each is a mini-star, together they create magic!

I bought the DVD of the first season. I have all the current episodes on my DVR. When I'm feeling the need for a smile, I head over to any show in my Castle library. It's great writing, perfect acting and leaves me feelin' GOOD. This, IMHO, is ENTERTAINMENT. Which is what TV used to be all about. Somewhere along the long road of reality shows, celebrities and recycled medical dramas, producers forgot the original idea behind putting a mini-cinema into people's living rooms.

I'm so glad the CASTLE production team remembered and have produced an hour of TV that I find worth watching. And yes, I bought the book by "Richard Castle", a brilliantly developed tie-in to the show. Again, outstanding ideas and my congrats to whoever came up with that little gem.

So check out this promo for season two and if you're not doing anything next Monday night, watch CASTLE. Let's face it, Horatio Caine and his ever-present sunglasses have gotten a bit passe, don't you think? (And don't miss that LOGO!!! Drooooool.....)



Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Now that I have an iPad, does it mean I have iPMS too?

Forgive me folks, for I have sinned and caved to the marketing mega-machine that is Apple.I have an iPad. It was delivered, as promised, on Saturday. That's a miracle in and of itself, since Saturday deliveries by UPS tend to be as scarce as hen's teeth. You can imagine the welcoming grin on my face when the cheerful chappie in the brown shorts made his way up my driveway and delivered my package into my eagerly outstretched arms. He looked happy too. I guess I wasn't the first i-addict he'd visited that day.

So there it is...neat, small, and working right out of the box, syncing to my iMac with glee. It is polite. "Would you like to connect to your network?" "Congratulations. Would you like to register your new iPad?" Chatty courtesies that - with one click - resulted in instant internet and several more congratulatory emails from Apple welcoming me to the iPad family. A really cool interface, not unlike an iPhone on steroids, which tends to mesmerize the unwary into playing, tapping, squeezing and spreading images, web pages..whatever...all over the touch screen. Which, after an hour or so of this, starts looking a bit like I just ate fried chicken off it, but that's a minor issue, easily fixed by a quick swipe with a sweatshirt or whatever's handy. Screen schmutz is an i-hazard familiar to anyone with an iPhone. (Do not talk on the iPhone if you've just moisturized your face. Bleeeech!!!)

All that aside, I love the damn thing. For me, it's perfect. Would I write a book on it? No. Would I make notes about a book on it...absolutely. Would I read a book on it? Without a doubt. Haven't bought one yet, but that's next on the to-do list. Right now I'm checking apps (adore the Magic Piano one!!) and learning how to get it all set up the way I want it. There's a few drawbacks, and a few things I need, like a case and a camera accessory. I plan on traveling with it and downloading photos into it. The screen lives up to Apple's extraordinary standards - crisp and fabulous. I can SEE the keyboard and don't have to worry quite so much about fat thumb syndrome, which plagues me when I try texting from my iPhone. I'm getting used to the "touch", developing a rather sophisticated swipe and am very proud of myself for discovering all kinds of neat things we can do together.

I'm sure the iPad isn't for everyone. Hubby snorted and rolled his eyes. For him, it wouldn't work at all, and I understand that. But for those of us who wear the label "gadget whore" proudly and who need a portable, small device for email and fun, this is just the ticket. I'm glad I saved up from the grocery money and bought it. Not because I think Steve Jobs needed the cash, but because it's the first time I've ever made a purchase like this - impulsive, self-serving and unnecessary. I probably won't ever do it again.

But dang. I'm sure glad I did. And yes, when I get pissed off, I'm now described as having iPMS. Which is pretty much the same as regular PMS but with better resolution. LOL