Friday, February 4, 2011

The Deadliest Couch Potato

The Deadliest Couch Potato, originally uploaded by A!ison.

I can sum up my week in to two words: Couch Potato

But first I feel I must tell the story of how I got here. In 2009 we said suck it to the cable company. We were paying over $200 a month for home entertainment, that's over $2400 a year! So we pulled the plug cold turkey and never looked back.

We started streaming our favorite shows from Hulu to our computer screens and got a subscription to Netflix. It was a beautiful thing.

The problem with all of this is the traditional gathering in front of the boob tube was over. We no longer watched TV from the comfort of our living room, we watched from our upright, sometimes uncomfortable computer chairs. Watching television or better yet, the pastime of being entertained by a program was missing something... a couch, a remote and a coaster for your drink.

(fill set with bright light, choir begins to sing, queue entrance of Xbox stage right)

Then we got an Xbox. My live-in IT specialist Special K set it up to where now we stream everything from the Xbox to our TV which happens to be located in the living room full of couches, remotes and coasters. TV watching in the greatest sense is once again in full affect.

To break it down, we pay:
$60 a year for Xbox live (the ability to connect to the internet)
$180 a year for our Netflix subscription
$96 a year for Hulu Plus (when it becomes available for the Xbox)

That's a savings of over $2000 a year compared to traditional cable.

And for those lazy Sunday afternoons when all I want to do is watch some baseball? ESPN has come to the Xbox. We'll just need to switch out our internet carrier from Bright House to Comcast of which I did that very thing today.

So now I can watch everything from current favs like Modern Family and Biggest Loser to older shows like Big Love and Battlestar Galactica. But my very favorite and the one that has turned me into a bonafide couch potato is The Deadliest Catch.

We got the Xbox when we moved to Orlando this past June. That's when I started watching The Deadliest Catch. I have been faithfully watching this show for the past seven months and today I watched the last one. That's 90 episodes and almost 70 hours of programming! And I loved every single minute!

Special K cannot stand the show, he says it's boring. Crab pots come up, they're filled with crab, omg there's a wave, oh look more crab. Boring. But I disagree. Aside from the technical aspects of crab fishing, the fundamentals of working together and living on a boat are interesting to me. I also find each of the crab boat's captains intriguing. Each one is different in their approach to fishing and dealing with the crew and it makes for some good tv moments.

The big news that surrounds DC is the sudden death of Captain Phil Harris in February '10. I heard about this before I started watching the show so needless to say I knew sooner or later Captain Phil would die and the show would capture it all. In the beginning I was dispassionate. Of course I felt... bad? sorry? Kinda like hearing that your neighbor's uncle's best friend died; your sad for their loss but you're not affected by it. But then I started to really like Captain Phil. He's tough, doesn't take crap from anyone. He loves Harleys and has some pretty cool looking tattoos; chain smokes and rocks a mullet. But there is a wise, tender side to him too. You see it most when he interacts with his two sons who are part of the crew on his boat. By the time Season 6 came rolling around, he was hands-down my favorite and all I kept thinking about, especially when there was some kind of conflict, was how he wasn't going to be around for much longer.

I came into Season 6 about two weeks ago but because I knew he died in early winter, I was safe till Opilio season. As the days progressed and I got closer to the end of the show, I was afraid to watch it. I knew it was going to be hard. To make matters worse, what I'm assuming was just a day or two before Captain Phil collapsed, he caught his son stealing prescription drugs. They had a huge fight, Phil said he wanted him out of his life, his son admitted to being an addict, it was heart wrenching. I wanted to scream in to the show 'he's going to DIE!' And then within a matter of days Phil was gone.

I watched the last 8-10 episodes this week alone and all during the day because 1.) Special K didn't want to watch my 'stupid show' after a long days work and 2.) I didn't want to go to bed depressed. Turns out I ended up depressed during the day instead. And once the ball started rolling I just needed to power through it. I cannot imagine how people watched this week by week. It would have been torture! So I watched 4 episodes yesterday and the last 3 today.
I feel a great sadness. I feel stupid saying that. I didn't know Phil personally but I still 'knew' him in a way. I feel an even greater sadness for his boys. They showed his boat and crew fishing after he died and it was simply heartbreaking to watch.

I found a marine traffic website that tracks all vessels coming in and out of the harbor. You can sign up to compile 'your fleet' of ships and track their whereabouts. So as you can guess my fleet consists of the Deadliest Catch fleet. The Cornelia Marie checked into Dutch Harbor yesterday. My heart is heavy knowing that it was not Captain Phil that brought her in.


Anonymous said...

Wow...what a great savings!!!! However, jack/jill "average" could never figure out how to do all that wiring and connecting so by the time we pay someone to come out and "hook us up" and then back out when we "mess it up"......I probably would have spent the $2000! YSM

RollerScrapper said...

We have been cable-less for years. I like it because I get alot more done, and I don't feel guilty for watching tv, or for paying and not watching. My new favorite channel is antenna tv, it is all your old favorites, I especially love quizzing virtual d about those episodes. Also its a huge treat to stay aty a hotel with cable or get it in an airplane, but I did like watching deadliest catch back in the day!

mo.honey said...

That is a clever photo. That netflix interface on XBOX is SOO cute. Almost makes my setup seem inferior.. almost. ;)