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You Might Think.... I'm already hooked. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
You Might Think.... I'm already hooked.
Papa's got a brand new binge.

::cues James Brown guitar riff::

It's called BrainDead. And while I'm doing the binge through Amazon Prime (more about that later), it's also available on the CBS site and even over the good old air if you don't mind the commercials. It comes from the minds behind The Good Wife, which I never watched but always heard good things about.

In roughly thirds, it's political comedy, sci-fi and horror.  The premise establishes before the first commercial break:  Alien ants arrive on earth via meteor. They quickly find their way to DC, where they literally get in the heads of politicians and turn them into political extremists.  Our Heroine, sister of a young Senator semi-forced to work for him, is the first (so far) to figure it out.  The casting is fabulous: O.H. is Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who we just saw (briefly but powerfully) in Swiss Army Man; Nurse Jackie sends us Dominic Fumusa as the first of the infected zombies, and an even more awesome Tony Shalhoub as the first politician to get the buggers into his head (and I swear he homages his MIB role where he knew all about heads); and Good Wife brings over Zach Greiner in an elder statesman role.

Unlike House of Cards and Alpha House, which also riff on modern politics with occasional cameos but live in their own fictional politiverses, this one is full of current clips of the real candidates and the real controversies; only the fake Rachel Maddow was a distraction, since of course NBC wouldn't let her cameo on a CBS show.  But none of the clips and back stories is really relevant or necessary to following the main plot- although watching the RNC last week, you'd think the ants had already landed and filled every head inside the joint.

Only one episode in, there's already an established trope: "You Might Think" by the Cars is constantly playing in the background, usually while servers and bar patrons are staring at Our Heroine and her reluctant compatriots with already BRAIIIIINNNNNNS-like expressions.

The episode titles are odd- almost in an Orphan Black kind of way- but the writing in them is solid, and the characters are crossing over so many stereotypical genres at once that they don't totally fall into any one trap of looking too much like Dana Scully or Doug Stamper or Doctor Crusher.  I don't know if the show can sustain even a full 24 episodes, but as something Netflix-shorty, I'm thinking it should work.


As I mentioned a while back, in order to get first-day ordering on Orphan Black, I had to sign up for at least a month of Prime.  You can now do this a month at a time, and for that month you get all the goodies, including two-day on everything and access to their own video material as well as commercial-free versions of things like BrainDead.  It's the first series I've watched using this service, and they've got one really nice feature compared to Netfix, Hulu and iTunes product deliveries:

At any point during playback, if you touch the screen, you get a sidebar with a headshot photo, captioned with the actor and character names, of everyone appearing in that scene at that moment.  That's a major time and battery saver for OCD viewers like me who just have to know who that is in a scene before you can pay attention to the show itself.

There may be other features in their app, but I've just begun. I am, still, a bit perturbed by how bossy Amazon is about controlling your experience- requiring not one but two full Android app downloads, one of "Underground," the other of "Amazon Video"- in order to begin watching. And Google is none too pleased about it; they do not allow them to be downloaded through the Play Store, and you have to turn off security settings- with screen after screen of warnings- before you can get them.  Plus, this tablet has been error-messaging all over the place with Google apps on it, so I'm tapping that damn screen during playback way more often than I want to see who's playing Senator Healy.

I'll likely finish the backlog before the month is up and can then CBS the rest.  If Alpha House comes back, or if any of Prime Video's other current shows are really good (anyone? anyone?), I might press on.

At least you might think so....
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