I know that Netflix or some sort of on demand/download delivery is the new and future wave of renting movies. However, I live within a 10-minute walk/3-minute drive of the local Blockbuster and still like going in there to get my rentals. I helps that the liquor store is a couple doors down. I mean wine and DVDs make for a fine evening...
I recently signed up for a program called Blockbuster Rewards. It costs $10 a year and on Monday, Tuesday, and Wed., it's basically rent one movie and get one non-new-release for free. So, for $4 I can get two pretty good DVDs for a week. (I'm also supposed to get a free rental once per month.)
Anyhow, I think I've told some of you, I've been renting the HBO Series Rome. Last night, I watched the first episode of the second season, and I'd have to say it may be the single greatest TV episode I have ever seen. It helps that I recently read a book on the history of Rome, as part of my research on trying to figure out if the U.S. really is the next Rome. (My conclustion so far has been no.) So, I've got some good background going in. But the show itself is phenominal. One thing they did, for instance, was not to show Mark Antony's famous speech at Ceasar's funeral, assuming (I assume at least) that everyone is already familiar with it. Instead, they showed a patron in an underground pub describing what went on. A nice bit of alternative storytelling.
I've enjoyed Rome so much, I decided I'd start watching another cable TV show - Weeds. The premise is that this suburban housewife's husband dies of a heart attack, so to make some money, her brother-in-law hooks her up with an urban black family that sells her pot that she resells to her suburban neighbors. I had read that the show was pretty funny.
I watched the pilot last night, and it seemed a bit strained. It was almost like a slightly hipper Desparate Housewives, but not as heavy as DH was in its first season and a half. However, there was a joke at the very end that absolutely killed me and will get me to watch at least one more episode. If it turns out to be one of those shows that consitently, cleverly sets you up for a big laugh at the end, I think I'll be happy with it. We'll see.