Saturday, July 21, 2018

DO Touch That Dial!


BREAKING NEWS! TRUST ME  gets a starred review from Booklist! (They sent me this graphic.)

"This is the first stand-alone for Ryan...and it’s a knockout. Truth is elusive here, as the plot twists, driven by guilt and desperation, and tension grows. First-rate psychological suspense."   

SO happy! 

And now we return to our original programming


HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN:   True story.  A million years ago, well, 1980, when I worked at Channel 2 in Atlanta, I got a call from a guy named Ed. He was the executive producer at a new TV enterprise, he told me, and he asked whether I would come for a job interview.

Sure.

He explained, once I got to this big red brick building that would be the HQ, that they were starting a new TV news channel, 24 hours of news. On cable.

What on earth was cable?
And whatever it was, there was no way anyone could fill anything with 24 hours of news.

I didn’t say that in the interview, of course.

So, he asked, did I want to be the LA bureau chief?

Smart me, I knew everything. This idea was a total loser in every way. Right? Right?

I politely declined. And wished them all the best.

I went back to my perfectly great job, happily, proud of myself for not being tempted by snake oil.

Well you know the rest. It was CNN, and it turned out just fine. (And so did I, actually, and if I had taken that road, none of what’s happening now would have happened, and I would not trade that for anything, so all good.)

And now, I have to make Jonathan turn off CNN, because we are too riveted.

But instead of talking about our roads less traveled, let’s talk about TV! Not news, though, okay?

SO much good TV these days!  Here's what we're watching: 

We went crazy over Killing Eve—watched it as fast as we possibly could, stayed up WAY too late.  Have you seen it? Two amazing women main characters, pursued and pursuer. But the cop Eve Polastri is Sandra Oh, and she is incredible. And the villain is called Villanelle, hilariously, and she's played by Jodie Comer in the most amazingly diabolical devious sociopathic way. Riveting.



We’re watching Secret City, about Chinese
dissidents in Australia. The main character is an intrepid investigative reporter, so you can imagine how much I am fascinated by everything she does.  It’s terrific and chilling and very political.

We’re watching Occupied, a futuristic but not too futuristic series about a time when Norway is occupied by Russia on behalf of the European Union, because the newly-elected environmental friendly Norwegian government has stopped the production of oil and gas in the North Sea.

(I know. Can you imagine pitching that? It sounds terrible. But it is SO great! And--it was created by Jo Nesbo!)



And then, the fabulous Marcella. Oh, crime fiction fans, please watch Anna Friel as a troubled police officer in London. Whoa. The writing is so great, too—it makes you feel really smart, and tricks you into thinking you have figured it all out—when you haven’t!

And we're not finished, so don't tell me the end.

What are you watching, Reds and readers?
   

62 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Hank, on the starred review . . . .

    As for television, lately we’ve been watching Turner Classic Movies and enjoying films like “Singin’ in the Rain” . . . .

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    1. That is always fabulous, isn’t it? So great in every way

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  2. Congrats, Hank! Sadly, I'm not watching anything except the occasional movie in a theater. But thanks for the recommendations.

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    1. Well of course you’re not, Edith! You have 27 million bucks to write :-) I don’t know how you do it anyway , let alone watch TV!

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    2. There's your answer! I don't watch TV unless the occasional BBC show. Because...Call the Midwife. ;^)

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  3. Mega-congratulations on the starred review! Know you are so excited! Summer is our time for trying out new TV series or mini-series or whatever those short 8 or 10 episode seasons are called. On Netflix a bit and also we use Acorn. We're caught up on a lot of things, but recently we've tried Loch Ness (still in the middle of this one) and The Brokenwood Mysteries (1 episode). Plus, we've watched a bit of the 'new' Lost In Space on Netflix. We remember the original - ha! I'll keep these you've shared in mind.

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    1. You know, I have heard a lot of good things about the new lost in space! We never watched the old one, do you need to to have it make sense?

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    2. No, I don't think so at all. It's a complete overhaul. Same characters, but many are quite different. Dr. Smith (just annoying in the original) is a woman this time and quite manipulative. I've heard that Bill Mumy (the original Will Robinson as a little boy) has visited the set and likes it. Many people prefer the old version. This is certainly the age of the re-boot on movies, TV shows, etc. There's going to be a new Magnum PI in the fall. Will anyone but Tom Selleck do for that part? All I remember is that when the original was on, our daughter (in her mid-30's now) used to run into the room and do a little dance with the theme song. Can't top that memory! LOL

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  4. Wow, Hank, that was a pivotal moment in your life! So many roads not taken/potential alternative lives, right?

    I'm watching Midsomer Murders. Last night my husband joined me, and he made the comment that I've watched so much British television lately he's surprised I'm not using a British accent.

    I'm so intrigued by Killing Eve. Sandra Oh is fabulous.

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    1. And a big hurrah for the started review!

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    2. Oh, I so agree… It is amazing! And the other woman to, is fabulous. And aw, thank you It’s all part of our road less traveled week, right?

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  5. Congratulations, Hank, on that frabjous review, would expect nothing less!

    We've watched all of "Marcella" and "Killing Eve" and are waiting for the next seasons. Same with "OZARK", which you really must try. For absolute excellence, also have a look at "The Bridge," Swedish original. I promise you will get used to the subtitles. It may be the best ever. Julie is watching "Occupied" but it is too scary for me, so I go read.

    And we just finished both seasons of the newest iteration of "Anne of Green Gables", "Anne with an E." It was a welcome relief from murder and mayhem, not one single serial killer in it. Four thumbs up from here. Next on the list is "The Village" on Britbox.

    The routine at our house is dinner around seven and then a couple of hours of TV. After which I go off to read and Julie indulges in her personal favorites, either TV, or at present working her way thru Her Royal Spyness, delighting at picking out all the Easter Eggs Rhys hides here and there. My almost finished book is BABY TEETH by Zoje Stage. This is like The Bad Seed combined with The Omen. What an evil child.

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    1. , I agree! We are eagerly awaiting Ozark second season. Truly good. And what did you think about baby teeth?

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    2. I keep on reading, but I also keep thinking about The Bad Seed and The Other, both better books. I think most of you will like Baby Teeth. Comparisons are so odious

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  6. Big congratulations, Hank! Super job, super book! I watch mostly PBS and in the summer not much of that. But I am looking forward to the new season of Poldark.

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    1. Oh, thank you! Yes, so happy. You know, I’ve never watched Poldark, either. What am I missing?

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  7. Almost forgot! When the Murrah Building bombing happened, I was a hospice director in OKC, with a seventh floor office overlooking downtown. As I sat speechless at my desk, I was invaded by half a dozen people in tee shirts and jeans, asking how they could get to the roof. I was inclined to throw these lookyloos out of the office, but first I asked for identification.

    It was the CNN crew! I directed them to the roof, and all that footage you were seeing was coming from just over my head. We made ribbons, purple and white I think, commemorating the dead and injured. And the CNN crew asked if they could have some too. After that they wore them in every broadcast.

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    1. Oh my gosh, how terrifying. And you know, on the other end of that terrible story? I was the one who announced the breaking news in Boston. I kept asking it’s really that bad? It’s that bad? And they kept telling me “it was a big big explosion “ that was before the pictures came out. Maybe that was when you were asking for identification :-) What an incredibly small world.

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    2. And in another world, you might have been the one in my office.

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    3. Completely. I thought that, too...

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  8. Congrats on your review!

    The television viewing in my house is dominated by the menfolk, so it's been nothing but sports, old movies, B-movies, and Marvel super heroes for months (right now watching Luke Cage season 2 on Netflix). There are other things I might want to watch, like Alias Grace, but I keep getting overruled by the men. There are more of them than me.

    Mary/Liz

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    1. Come on! You have to threaten to watch some things like maybe Younger, or Mrs. Maisel. We actually watched legally blonde the other day, and it is still hilarious!

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    2. Wait, Mary. Your household is split 50-50, no? You and the Girl need to team up!

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    3. Hank, believe me I’ve tried. We watch one episode and...back to what they want. I thought I had something with Miss Fisher because The Hubby likes Poirot but nope.

      Edith, not any more. My brother-in-law has been living with us since December of 2017 so it’s 3-2. And The Girl rarely comes out of her room. :(

      Mary/Liz

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  9. Hank, congratulations on the review!

    Given that we are in the summer programming season, there's a lot less for me to check out. I don't have the various streaming platforms so I'm unable to watch anything on Netflix and the like.

    So for "new" programming, I'm watching the ABC light drama/comedy detective series Take Two. It's not particularly good, but it is inoffensive and kills an hour on Thursday night.

    The new season of Suits on USA Network has just started as well as the Syfy series Killjoys.

    And of course, I'm enjoying the last few episodes of Elementary Season 6.

    On DVD, I've been watching the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series, the Batman Beyond animated series and I've been rewatching, for the umpteenth time, the 26 hour adaptation of the James Michener novel Centennial. If you haven't seen it, you are really missing out. The work by actor Stephen McHattie as Jake Pasquinel has always stuck with me from the first time I saw the series back in 1980 or so. There's one scene in particular in Episode 5 of the miniseries where he is absolutely amazing.

    When not watching something on TV, I've been reading my latest round of books for review. And last night, I was out covering a concert for a KNAC.com review that will be forthcoming. After the show, I got to meet the singer. It was cool because the last time I saw him live was 30 years ago in Boston and I met him then too. I still have the album flat and jean jacket he signed back in the day.

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    1. Well, Jay! That is amazing. What singer? Can you tell us? And we will look for Centennial!.

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    2. The singer is Kip Winger. He fronts the band Winger, but this was a solo acoustic show for him. And it was excellent.

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    3. Well, it has its moments. That much is for sure!

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  10. With World Cup behind us and two years till Eurocup, we've finished nine seasons of Waking the Dead on library DVD's (British cold case unit), and moved on to Suspects (East London crime unit), Black Work (British police procedural), and Fortitude (murder in a small town above the Arctic Circle). Suspects is "tight" with three main characters, a "here and now" crime, no backstories, CCTV footage, DNA, cell phone records as evidence and, I suspect, the most realistic of the shows we've watched. Lighter fare includes Striking Out, a character-focused series about an Irish solicitor striking out on her own. Excellent sidekick characters.

    Congratulations on your new release!

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    1. Thank you! And those shows sound terrific… Where do you get all the DVDs? Do you rent them or buy them ?

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    2. I've watched some of Suspects, too. Thanks for the reminder to get back to it!

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  11. Hooray and congratulations, Hank. A great way for you to start the day. Thanks for telling us the good news!
    Question about Killing Eye: does Villanelle speak in a pattern of 19 lines, 5 sets of 3 lines and one set of 4, with patterned repetition? ;-) Cheers.

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    1. Mean “Eve” not “Eye”

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    2. OH NO. :-) Now I have to go back and see. WHoa. Really? How did you figure that out?

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    3. Writing poems just for fun and working out a villanelle feels like meditation — no stray thoughts possible when keeping track of line repetition. Originally inspired by Elizabeth Bishop’s The Art of Losing.

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  12. So interesting, isn't it, that almost no one is watching network TV. Hardly even cable.

    Several years ago I wanted to buy Netflix stock, any both my husband and our advisor nixed the idea.

    I wish I'd stood my ground.

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    1. AHhh...I know. ANd it seemed like a bad idea, because why would anyone want anything like that? Like 24 news, right? :-)

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    2. And agreed, how we watch is SO different. Trying to think what I watch on network. Madam Secretary. 60 Minutes. Um....

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    3. I so rarely turn on network TV any more, but that's been true since 2008. I try to remember to watch Dancing With the Stars, but forget most of the time when it's on.

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  13. Good Morning All: Hank, Congratulations!! "Trust Me" is on my TBR list. Can't wait. As to the question of what I'm watching on TV. I disconnected the broadcast television component of my cable service and I haven't missed it. I recently got BritBox and Acorn, all British programing. I just finished "Secret City". I recommend "The Tunnel". And then there is this charming non-mystery, non-thriller titled "Mum". It quietly draws you in and the characters are so well written with such a deft, delicate touch. You are right, DO touch that dial. There is a buffet out there. Again, Hooray for you!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Lyda! ANd we will try the Tunnel!

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  14. We happened upon the new "Seatbelt Psychic" on Lifetime--fascinating. Apparently, Thomas John is a well-known medium and psychic (I had never heard of him), and he poses as a ride share driver to give unsuspecting passengers a reading (if they want it). Some are just snippets, others much more detailed, ranging from the hysterically funny to the heart-wrenching.

    I finished the first season of the new "Queer Eye" and just watched the first episode of the second season--if you haven't watched, this is one episode you must see--trust me! It's the first one to feature a woman. This one is a church lady who wants the Fab 5 to overhaul the church's community center instead of her own home. Many tears will be shed, including those of the Fab 5, but it's so uplifting!

    We also love to watch "The Profit," where Marcus Lemonis invests in failing companies and often has to deal with the owners' failing leadership style and family relationships as well.

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  15. Hank, huge congrats on the starred review! And what a "road not taken" story, turning down a job at CNN.

    I've only watched one episode of the new Endeavor, so have the rest to catch up on. We just finished watching a British 4 part series on Netflix called Collateral. Written by English playright David Hare, staring Carey Mulligan, John Simm, Billie Piper, and Nicola Walker, among other luminaries. Very interesting, and very political.

    And I'm still very much hooked on food and cooking TV--watching Masterchef, British Bakers, and a new series on PBS on Tuesday night with chef Marcus Samuelson, called No Passport Required. Samuelson was an Ethiopian orphan who grew up in Sweden and now has very successful restaurants in New York. The focus of the show is immigrant communities in different American cities, not only on their food but on how they have contributed to those communities. This is a fascinating, positive show, and I highly recommend.

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    1. Oh Deborah---British Bakers is so much fun! I've gained weight just watching.

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    2. We love Endeavour! This season is riveting. I can't wait for Sunday.

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  16. Wow, Hank, and congratulations! Everything you write is gold! I'll bet you could win awards if you published your grocery list! The only downside to your current book is that I don't own a copy yet!

    I have been without TV for several years now, as mine was slowly dying. Although I inherited my sister's TV, it's sitting unplugged in my living room until I decide what I want to do as far as subscriptions: cable--Yes? No? etc. Meanwhile, I watch DVDs of some of my favorite detective programs. At the moment I'm caught up on all but one, and I'm not in the mood for that one right now.(I know I'll get to it eventually.) Besides my own collection, there are thousands to choose from at the library. When Elementary Season Six is available on DVD, I plan to buy it.

    DebRo

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  17. Shalom Reds. Hank that's great about your starred review. TRUST ME is on my short TBR list.
    My roommate and I don't own a television between us. For me, it was a big time waster. On my smart phone, I can listen to the radio feeds of Major League Baseball for a small yearly fee. I listen to it while doing other things.
    I do borrow DVD's from the library. Both movies and television series. I play them on my laptop. Right now, I am watching episodes of Law and Order Criminal Intent. I am not enjoying it as much as I remember when it was originally on TV. I think it is because I hadn't read as much in the mystery and police novel genre as I have now.
    I have an android tablet in addition to my phone and on Hoopla (a library based app) I can borrow up to ten items a month. They offer e-books, audio-books, music albums, and television shows. This month I am watching the British series, Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime. I enjoy the characters. I enjoy the humor.
    Not watching as much television, I can get more books read.

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  18. You know me, I watch way too much TV. However, I stick to the traditional networks for the most part. I still watch Suits from the USA Network, but I used to watch all their shows, and that's the only one left there.

    I watch all the shows in the Arrowverse (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow) on The CW. I still enjoy The Big Bang Theory. And I'm one of the millions crying through This is Us.

    However, I have to recommend The Good Place. Wonderful comedy, but definitely start with season 1. (It's only bee on for 2 seasons so far.)

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  19. I just finished two Icelandic series, one which I liked and one I didn't. I thought "Trapped" was great, although it left some very loose ends. I'm willing to forgive that because I thought I general it was highly entertaining. I didn't end up liking "Case" very much. If I find myself saying to the TV, "why would she do that?" too often, it means the motivations and actions make no sense, which is a deal breaker. I can forgive some inconsistencies, but there's a limit.

    The show I'm completely obsessed with right now (and extremely late to the party)? "The Great British Baking Show." The rest of the TV viewing population was right: It's terrific!

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    1. Ingrid, I LOVE British Bakers. It's my favorite thing on right now. We should take wagers on who will win:-)

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  20. Regarding 24/7 news; years ago in the lunchroom at work, someone mentioned that she had just returned from visiting her dad in California, and "would you believe it? There's a TV channel that shows nothing but news, 24/7? Who wants to watch news all day?" We all agreed that that was strange, and someone said that "it must be a California thing ."

    DebRo

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  21. First off, I am so glad you didn't go to work for CNN, Hank. Your presence in my world, in the news you've earned Emmys for, and the mystery/crime community where your books are legend, with your wonderful Jonathan and the stories of your all's conversations--what an abundance of riches would have been missed by all. And, congratulations on your starred review, the first of many stars to come for this book.

    I'm trying to catch up on some shows, but it's slow going because I have so much reading to do and because my husband is now home and we often like different shows. Hubby and I can usually enjoy western themed and some adventure ones together though. He doesn't care so much for the detective shows and murder/mystery, so I have to find my time for those. Oh, hubby and I did watch the new Lost in Space and really like it. Parker Posey as Dr. Smith in the new Lost in Space is so self-serving and manipulative. She does a great job with the role. It's more of a grown-up version of the old Lost in Space, although I don't mean with sex, because it's not that. Of course, we are both fans of The Walking Dead an sometimes rewatch during marathons of it. Past shows we both been enthusiastic about were Hell of Wheels and Godless, both Westerns in settings. And, we watched Ozark together and like it. Can't wait to see what happens in the next season on that.

    I did catch up on The Affair on Showtime, as I love Ruth Wilson and enjoy the rest of the cast, too. I do wish Maura Tierney would get to smile more though. I'm definitely in my happy place watching the latest (to the U.S.) shows of The Great British Baking Show, anxiously pulling for the contestants to get finished with their assignments and have them turn out well. Call the Midwife is off for now, and I need the time to get over the end of last season. Oh, and I've started watching Younger, which I love. I watched last season to catch up some, but I haven't gone back to the beginning yet. When, after I started watching it, I found out that Sutton Foster was a huge Broadway star and saw her in a video of Anything Goes, in which she sings and taps up a storm and doesn't even seem out of breath afterward. She also won an Emmy for her role in that play of Cole Porter numbers, and I'm crazy about Cole.

    Doc Martin is an all-time favorite of mine, with Martin Clunes and the Cornish setting. I had hoped for and heard rumors about more of it being produced, but I'm not sure where that's at now. I'm a big fan of British produced shows. I really like Broadchurch with David Tennant and Olivia Coleman, but I don't think there's going to be a season 4. Love Grantchester with James Norton, but I don't care for the new McMafia with Norton. The Crown was wonderful and I look forward to the next season of it. Outlander is another favorite show, as were the books. Jamie Fraser is fodder for dream material and then some, and by Jamie Fraser, I mean both the book's and the actor Sam Heughan. Oh, and give me some Nicola Walker in anything.

    I do hope to get to watch Killing Eve soon. I've only heard great reviews for it. Oh, and I want to watch Mrs. Maisel, too.

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    1. Kathy, there is one more season of Doc Martin coming. It's in process now, and will air in Great Britain in the fall of 2019. But that will be the end of it. Sniff, sniff. Love the irascible Doc and long-suffering Louisa.

      https://www.iheartbritishtv.com/doc-martin-series-9-premiere-date-where-to-watch-it/

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    2. Great news that we will get one more season!

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  22. I don't watch TV very often, but when I do I like to watch all the design & house hunting related shows. Even tho most if not all of them are not very realistic, I still find them rather entertaining.

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  23. During the season, I watch a ton of network TV but only Elementary and Take Two are on now. I watch So You Think You Can Dance, World of Dance and some cooking shows. My Comcast just had some new packages so now I have Netflix. I'm watching The Crown and Miss Fisher Mysteries and may start Father Brown. Looking forward to Lucifer on Netflix! Oh, and not to forget The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful.

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