Monday, September 8, 2014

Why did I do it?

I am really angry and disgusted!

There are plenty of things in the world to be angry and disgusted about, you may well think. Which one has set me off? Nothing so portentous as ISIL/ISIS or Russia/Ukraine or any one of a dozen other seemingly intransigent problems. No, I am upset because I have wasted five-and-a-half hours of my life that I will never get back watching dreck on television.

I am generally pretty picky about what I watch on TV, but recently, I read about a new series that was starting on Masterpiece Theatre on PBS and the reviewer liked it, so I told hubby about it and we made plans to watch it. It was called "Breathless" and it started with two episodes back-to-back on Sunday of last week on our local PBS station.

Fifteen minutes into the first episode, I was thoroughly confused and wondered what that reviewer had seen that I wasn't seeing. Still, it was Masterpiece Theatre which has provided me with a lot of quality entertainment and viewing pleasure over the years, so I was inclined to give it the benefit of a doubt. We kept watching.

Big mistake! I should have followed my instinct and turned it off after fifteen minutes. Instead, we continued watching for THREE HOURS, still hoping that at some point things would click into place and begin to make sense and the experience would be enjoyable. But after three hours, things were just as muddled as ever.

So, did we learn our lesson? Obviously not, because we sat down to watch the final hour-and-a-half episode last night!

"Breathless" did not leave me breathless - only dazed and confused. And angry because I had wasted my time.

Let me see if I can sum it up for you. It was a British hospital drama of the 1960s depicting a suave and noble gynecologist. The gynecologist has a side practice of performing abortions which were illegal in England at that time. An anesthesiologist and a nurse assist him.

When the nurse plans to marry and leave the hospital, she enlists her sister, who is new at the hospital, to take her place. The new nurse doesn't know what she is getting into and is appalled when she finds out.

Naturally, the suave doctor and the dishy nurse immediately fall head over heels in love with each other, although there is absolutely no spark there and no apparent reason for the attraction. The doctor is married to an ice cold blonde and has an eight-year-old son. It soon turns out that there are complications in the marriage.

The blonde is accosted by a detective inspector from the couple's past in Cyprus. It seems he had investigated a death there and that he knows something about the death that could ruin their lives. He is obsessed with the blonde and he blackmails her into having sex with him.

Meanwhile, the DI's daughter winds up in the hospital in the care of the suave doctor and the nurse he is panting after. We learn that the girl is apparently being pressured by dad to marry someone she doesn't want to marry and she seeks refuge with the nurse who takes her home with her and hides her.

Then there is the anesthesiologist at the hospital who was in Cyprus and apparently was a co-conspirator in the suspicious death. And his wife who is ambitious for her husband. And the sister of the aforesaid nurse who marries a dickhead gynecologist who carries on an affair with a prostitute - even though his wife is hot and he is a newlywed. And the father of the two sisters who is crazy and keeps wandering away from home. And none of these people and their story lines ever really connect or are explained. It was the most indistinguishable mish-mash of dialogue, character, and so-called plot that I have ever seen on television. The writing was atrocious and the acting and directing was amateurish. More the fool am I for spending my time with it.

But then I followed up that last wasted hour-and-a-half by watching the premiere of the final season (Thank the gods!) of "Boardwalk Empire" on HBO. This series lost its direction long ago. The first two seasons were not terrible and had a few characters with whom a viewer could empathize, but those characters are all dead now.

Last night's episode skipped around from Cuba to New York to Atlantic City and from the 1880s to 1931, with apparent abandon and with no explanation or discernible plot. Another waste of an hour that I will never get back. Will I never learn?

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