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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Good Stuff

I'm in the process of retiring my old Tivo, with the intention of reselling it for the cost of the lifetime service contract (actually less - a new lifetime contract is $399 and I was hoping to get $300). Anyway, it's a great Tivo that has served me well for 8 years. The weird thing is that there a few really old recordings I don't much want to give up and I can't find them on DVD.

The first is the 2004 Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics in Greece. It's the most beautiful tour through Greek art history come to life. Amazing stuff. So it's 4 hours of ceremony for a 20 minute segment I'd like to rescue. Unfortunately, it has the world's worst color commentary from Katie Couric and another sports dude making jokes about things like how the Parthenon looks like the Wicked Witch's house in the Wizard of Oz. (It was, in point of fact, Dorothy's house, but yeah, it's like that.) I'll probably give up and delete that shortly because it just can't seem to be had in NTSC format on DVD. C'est la vie.

The other thing was that I still had copies of most of the episodes of Journeyman. I loved that show. Now, I'd cheerfully pay to download the episodes from Amazon (which was available at one time). Or I'd pay for a DVD set. I've been signed up on Amazon for years to let me know when one is available for pre-order. Or I'd record them again if they were available in reruns. But it was a victim of the Writer's Strike and less than stellar ratings and NBC does not make it available to anyone at all at any cost. Harumph. Add to that, my copies are fuzzy/snowy due to a cable connection issue at the time. I rewatched one episode recently and it's just a bit painful. I was just about ready to give up on them forever.

So I went to the Fezzi Cast Party on Saturday. When James arrived, he handed me three discs of Journeyman on DVD. I was understandably confused. Turns out, Erik had posted about these misadventures on his blog in a special "Not Ammy" filter. He'd been working out how to get me a proper copy of the Journeyman series. With many thank yous to both James and Erik, I curled up with the first disc last night and was not disappointed.

Journeyman is a bit of a more complicated sort of Quantum Leap. The guy is traveling through time, clearly tasked with fixing things, but it just starts randomly happening to him. He gets a headache, and suddenly he's transported from his current location, to some place, some time in the past. This causes him to jump out at all sorts of inconvenient moments - while he's sleeping, while he's watching his kid in a crowd, and while he's driving. His wife gets to cope with this. The first episode is a little uneven. It's a bit slow-paced at times. But the end is just glorious. By the end of the episode, his wife is ready to leave him, but the last time he traveled, he left himself a time capsule, buried in their backyard and he proceeds to come home, and while in the process of being thrown out on his ear, apologizes profusely for "not being the man you married," but promising he'll always come home to her. It's perfectly executed. But it doesn't actually make this easier to cope with. He's disappearing regularly. It's affecting his work. It's affecting his relationship with his son. Add to that, he keeps bumping into his girlfriend in the past, who is also a time traveler and didn't actually die in that plane crash. And his wife is his brother's ex-girlfriend who the dead girlfriend knew. Complicated!!!

While NBC is scrambling to fill their shiny new 10 p.m. hole, I wish they'd look at this one again. Since I know I won't get that wish, I'll enjoy my few episodes and treasure the crystal clear clarity and no commercials on the DVDs (until NBC wants to sell me a legal copy).


  • I figure some clever person has figured out a way to get items from a Tivo drive to a DVD.
    If not you mentioned that you can't find the items on NTSC format on DVD, but if you rip the DVDs in the European format, it's trivial to switch them from that format to NTSC.

    By Blogger Chrisfs, at 5:23 PM  

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