Momma Told Me: What I'm Streaming: What To Watch When Your Back Is Out

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

What I'm Streaming: What To Watch When Your Back Is Out

For several months, through the holidays I hardly had time to stream anything at all. I neglected my Roku remote, and was painfully out of the loop in regards to any current TV series programming. I suppose life is good when you're too busy to veg out and devote an entire day to binging a program, but I'll admit, I was beginning to miss the familiar thirst for a plot, or connection to a character.

Then I was rear ended on St. Patrick's Day and things changed.

Not immediately. And, as these things tend to go, settling with time, the greater annoyance of my back only came to the surface after bowling the series of my life at a tournament a week after. And yet, it came. The stiffness, achy, miserable feeling of a back that has just had too much. For days I couldn't even lift my laptop and I spent hours in bed just lamenting at the whole 'woe- is-me' situation. Then I remembered my Roku.

I'll be the first to admit it's quite hard to concentrate on anything for long when your can't get comfortable and your whole body seems to be rebelling- but I managed to settle on a rotation of the following 4 shows, all available to stream in their entirety through your friendly media streaming device.

Night Gallery (Hulu, Seasons 1-3)

Rod Serling's Night Gallery is a somewhat macabre vision of the Twilight Zone, in color. When it originally aired in 1970-1973 it's Ripley's Believe It Or Not style short stories captivated and repulsed audiences. Today, of course, the modern viewer can find delight in the campy special effects and cheesy, yet poignantly thoughtful, twists. One main difference between the Twilight Zone and Night Gallery? Twilight Zone focused more on Science Fiction while Night Gallery has a distinctly Supernatural theme. Some episode segments to especially look out for? The Caterpillar, The Waiting Room, and Finnegan's Flight typically top lists of must see segments.
Girls (HBO, Seasons 1-4)

This next one will require an HBO subscription- for those of us without cable you can add HBO Now to pretty much any major streaming service for one monthly fee. Most channels will even offer a 1 week trial, so you theoretically could binge a few premium shows to discover the ones you like before committing to the $8 bucks a month.

I've had an HBO subscription on and off for most of my adult life, not for the films, but for the original series. Girls has been around since 2012 but the marketing for the show never really grabbed me. At first impression it simply seemed like a modern take on Sex and The City. I'll admit the first few episodes were make or break for me. I didn't initially fall in love. The humor was dry and a lot of the show's themes, and characters were crudely crafted and brutally in your face. I consider myself an addict at this point and I still find Lena Dunham's lead role as Hannah a bit hard to swallow at times.

The show's supposed to be the story of 4 young women, presumably friends but at most times enemies as apparently most 20 something women are, struggling to identify themselves and find their own footing in the hectic backdrop of NYC. For me it's surprisingly the show's male roles which draw me an and compel me to continue to consider the female antagonist's potential. Speaking of men- if you're looking for a particularly strange trip into another dimension consider the initial introduction of Adam Driver (Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens) as a crude, awkward, obsessive, chauvinistic partner for the show's lead, Hannah. If you're looking for something you can settle into, Girls is currently airing it's 4th season, and there's plenty of time to catch up before a binge of season 4 is in order this Summer.
Shipping Wars (A&E or Sling TV, Seasons 1-7)

I'll admit, watching fictional programming can become quite exhausting, especially when you try to keep up with multiple plot lines and ongoing series. Sometimes I like to take a break and watch some 'soft' reality TV- you know the kind that feels like it's probably scripted because the characters are so astronomically wild and loud only an actor could conduct themselves on camera with such pride in utter lack of decorum?

Shipping Wars isn't exactly Jerry Springer, but it might be just a step above Storage Wars when it comes to 'reality' quantity. The premise is that pretty much anyone who can rent a trailer and haul it can get paid to transport large and unusual shipments across state, or across the country. The cast features everything from the 'rookie' delivering out of an old bus, to the pro with generations of experience and a top of the line rig. Shipping Wars claims these characters bid on auctions reserved for the highest tier shippers but I find it hard to believe watching the 'rookie' at times.

In any case it's quite fascinating to see what on Earth people need shipped, and how much they're willing to pay to have it shipped. Even more fascinating is the lengths these shippers will go to to secure and transport  shipment- these 30 minute episodes feature 2-3 shipments and are never dull

Antiques Roadshow (Streaming on PBS, FREE to all)

So, Antiques Roadshow is nothing new to anyone who has owned a television set in the past several decades. I grew up watching it with my mother, and it is now still running, weekly, 37 years after it's first episode! That being said I am constantly surprised how many of my friends and family don't know that you can stream Antiques Roadshow on nearly any media streaming device with the PBS channel for free at any time, no cable service or log in required! You will have to verify your location for local programming, as it is a public supported program, but the hours and hours of new and classic Antiques Roadshow programs are well worth it and the perfect way to pass the time when laid up in bed!

What have you been streaming lately?


  1. Okay, I LOVE Antiques Roadshow! Honestly I don't miss cable since we got rid of it 3 years ago but I will forever miss PBS with all it's amazing programming, Antiques Roadshow included. I've heard of Shipping Wars but never watched it. What REALLY interests me is Night Gallery; that's my kind of stuff!! Thank you for the suggestions :)

  2. I have never watched Antiques Roadshow - I know. Now I did watch Night Gallery in its first incarnation. My mother used to love it. My TV tastes tend to run to "old people" shows. I love my NCIS and my Dancing with the STars. What can I say? I did stream Outlander on Saturday - I do love that.

  3. I want to watch Night Gallery-I always loved the Twilight Zone. We don't have cable and I have been figuring out what shows to check out on our Roku & Smart TV for streaming as the main network shows will be ending their seasons soon.

  4. I love Girls - it's pithy lines never fail to amuse me. I guess it IS a little bit like SatC, but IMO more realistic than SATC ever was.

  5. I have been looking for a new show to stream while I am waiting for the "new" episodes of Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge (your fault I started watching), and the Good Wife to drop onto another streaming channel. I have just started watching Curb your Enthusiasm. Not sure yet if I love but going to give it a try. Antique Roadshow is already on my radar (LOVE IT) but Shipping wars sounds hilarious. Thanks for the tip...OH ...feel better quick!