Wednesday, July 23, 2014

For Your Viewing Pleasure....

Dog days of summer are upon us, not to mention incredibly bad weather!  The rains pour down each afternoon, with lightning and crazy wind!!

Sometimes it seems as if it might just be better to sit tight in the house, and wait for things to improve.  If you’re looking for an indoor pastime, or something entertaining to bring down to the beach or lake house with you, here’s an idea -

MCPL has begun purchasing popular television series on DVD.  These are fairly recent additions to our collection, although we have had PBS series like Upstairs, DownstairsI, Claudius, and Poirot mysteries for years.

Now we have added popular HBO, Showtime and Netflix series, which can be borrowed from your local branch.  Most of them are packaged as a full season of 4 to 6 DVDs in the container, so you need to plan on some serious TV watching to get them all in during the one week borrowing period. Some of our hot titles are:

orange is the new black
Orange is the New Black is an original series developed by Netflix for straight to web broadcasting.  Based on the memoir by Piper Kerman about her year in a women’s prison, the series is a mix of black humor and drama. The show follows Piper’s story when a crime she committed in her youthful past sends her to a women's prison.  There she trades her comfortable New York lifestyle for one of unexpected camaraderie and conflict in an eccentric group of fellow inmates.   A dozen Emmy Award nominations went to this acclaimed comedy drama series including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Lead Actress for star Taylor Schilling.

BorgiasBorgias from Showtime is a lush, beautifully filmed and well-acted adaptation of the story of the Renaissance Pope Alexander and his family.  Starring Jeremy Irons as the Borgia pope, the three season series follows the family from the day Rodrigo Borgia maneuvers his way into the papacy, through the many intrigues, wars, marriages, and sexual escapades of his family.  Violent and explicit, this is not family fare, but if you love historical costume dramas (and the costumes are spectacular!), you’ll love this one.

House of Cards is another Netflix original series, this time a political drama (a subject dear to the hearts of all Washingtonians).  Adapted from the BBC production of the same name, which is also available through MCPL, this series is set in present-day Washington, D.C.   House of Cards is the story of the cunning and vindictive Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, a Democrat from South Carolina's 5th congressional district and House majority whip.  After being passed over for appointment as Secretary of State, Frank , along with this equally manipulative wife, Claire, initiates an elaborate plan to seek vengeance on those he feels have wronged him.  Fun fact -  House of Cards is filmed in Maryland, and has even used the Maryland House of Delegates chamber in Annapolis as a set.

AMC wrapped up the critically acclaimed series Breaking Bad last year,
breaking bad
 but you can immerse yourself in the dark, dark world of Walter White by borrowing the 5 seasons from MCPL.   Walter, a high school chemistry teacher, falls into the world of big time meth production and dealing as a way to provide for his family after a Stage III lung cancer diagnosis.  The show has been praised as one of the best television series of all time, and Bryan Cranston, starring as Walter, has been lauded by people as varied as George R R Martin and Sir Anthony Hopkins.  At times funny, at times heartrending  and at times horrifying , the show is violent, brutal and totally engrossing.

For a lighter theme than the previous titles, try the BBC series Call the Midwife.   A moving, intimate, funny, and true-to-life look at the colorful stories of midwifery and families in East London in the '50s, Call the Midwife follows young Jenny Lee as she begins her service at Nonnatus House, a nursing convent that provides medical care to  people  in the deprived Poplar district of London.  The show’s  characters are the nuns and the young nurses who provide service, as well as the eccentric residents of the district.  The show was praised for its sharp blend of prime-time period charm and hard-hitting social commentary, especially concerning women’s issues in the 1950s.

Other televisions series available through MCPL include titles such as Game of Thrones, Dexter, Weeds, Orphan Black, Walking Dead, and more.  Check with your local library for help locating and borrowing series that you are interested in seeing.  Happy viewing and don't forget the popcorn!.

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