Ban on re-runs

You might say I'm a marathon junkie, not in the 26.2 sense (yet) but in the countless-hours-in-front-of-the-TV watching shows I've seen many, many times before. It's hard for me to move before 1pm on Saturday or Sunday, as I'm glued to the television watching episode after episode of 90210. If I start watching at 10am, by 10:05am my husband has made his first "Donna looks like an alien" comment to me in hopes that I'll change the channel.  Almost anything Bravo can hold me equally captive, particularly those trainwreckable Housewives of fill-in-the-blank city.  Fortunately for me, this a two-way affliction as my husband is a sucker for Role Models, Family Guy, and Tabitha's Salon Takeover (the one Bravo show I don't love coincidentally). 

Thus, for the month of May we are not watching reruns of any kind and yes that includes movies.  Almost halfway through the month and neither of us have cheated on this challenge.  While this has cut down on our overall TV watching, it has also forced us to be more creative in what we can watch.  While we've added basics like The Voice (love), Modern Family and lots of sports to our TV line-up, I've also attempted to add more documentaries to our list. Here's a few I have found and loved in the past two weeks:  

Saving Pelican 895 on HBO was one of the first we watched.  It's a short film, only 45 minutes in length but gripping right from the start.  I literally had tears in my eyes within 2 minutes.  If you are unfamiliar with the film, its about cleaning birds, specifically pelicans in the wake of the BP Oilspill last spring.  I have a very soft spot for pelicans and following Pelican 895 through the cleaning process was very interesting and educational.  The cleaning process is very complex, multi-week in length and a truly intense experience for the birds.  If you have access to HBO, this film is on-demand.  If not, the trailer is available at the link above.

I read about the organization Every Mother Counts in a magazine recently and was interested in learning more about their cause, so I DVRed their film No Woman, No Cry originally shown on Oprah's new network.   The film is directed and narrated by supermodel Christy Turlington Burns, who suffered from post-natal hemorrhaging after the birth of her daughter Grace.  This film goes around the world discussing the difficulties surrounding pregnancy, delivery, abortion and other womens' sexual health issues here in the U.S., Guatemala, Bangladesh and Tanzania.  Christy Turlington Burns is an empathetic filmmaker and narrator, capturing the fear, frustration and worry in each of the women while tying it back to her own difficult delivery.  As a woman, I found this film emotional;  at times I felt fear, awe, fascination and a great sense of sympathy and pride to be a woman.

Last but certainly not least, GasLand.  Truth be told, I have wanted to see this since last fall, and it finally arrived on Netflix this month (its also supposed to be available on HBO).  This documentary is both amazing and totally terrifying. For us East Coast dwellers, this is a fairly new issue, but is absolutely something we must be educated on.  Josh Fox, the film's creator/director/narrator travels America trying to understand the natural gas industry, specifically Halliburton's latest-creation, fracking.  What he finds is disturbing and persuasive.  Small towns overtaken by enormous natural gas companies who enter in a hurry, set up shop, destroy the local environment, cause widespread health problems and are then not held accountable due to a loophole (read: purposeful canyon) in the Clean Water Act.   If you've seen Erin Brockovich, this has a similar but much rawer feel, as it is mainly composed of interviews with impacted communities.  This was an impressive film, its easy to see why it won awards at the Sundance Film Festival last year.

Here's hoping the second half of May proves as fruitful in the documentary film findings.  Do you have a favorite documentary that you'd recommend?  


royela said...

oh! what a good idea. pat would never go for this though. he lives to watch scrubs & west wing reruns.

I want to see those documentaries, too! thanks for the reminder.

very glad to see you're watching the voice & modern family. think some of the voice contenders are hyped up too much and i think i'll be proven correct through the "battle rounds." :D

i just started watching happy endings and parks & recreation, too. hilarious!

Cara said...

It's actually been a fun experience, its diversified our tv watching and evening activities. Try and see all three documentaries but definitely GasLand if you can only see one. Love the Voice and Modern Family (thanks for the intro!)

Will need to check out happy endings and maybe try parks & rec again, it didn't do anything for me on first watch.

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