Office Extras

The U.S. version of The Office is going to end with the next season (season 9), and I’m glad to hear this.

The Office has been abysmal since Steve Carell left the show, and wasn’t all that great for his last 2 seasons. Season 8 has been an abomination. The characters are no longer anything like the wonderful personas that were established early on in the series. They’ve turned into poor caricatures of their former selves, acting out of character. The humor has become ham-fisted. The deterioration of the show curiously parallels the overall storyline of the excellent “Extras“.

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Why I Love The Apple TV

Recently a friend asked what possible reason there was for him to be interested in the Apple TV. I thought I’d share my response.

• It’s a great box for Netflix Instant

• If you have videos on the Mac (in iTunes) you can stream them to the Apple TV. There are apps such as Air Video and Stream To Me  that will stream videos from your Mac in any video format to the Apple TV as well. They both offer live conversion too, so you can play .avi files and other formats not supported by iTunes.

• You can also mirror the newest iPad (iPad 3) & iPhone (iPhone 4S) screen to Apple TV.

• With Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and a newer Mac, you can send your Mac screen to Apple TV.

• You can rent films and television shows from the iTunes Store.

• Hulu Plus was recently added (if unlike me, that matters to you).

• Stream audio from any Apple device to Apple TV. Play music from an iPhone on the local network for example.

• Stream photos and videos from the default Photos app to the TV for group viewing.

• Sync the audio from iTunes to play on the Mac and on the TV or home audio system conencted to the TV for full-house audio.

• Send video from and iPad or iPhone to the Apple TV for viewing on a larger screen.

There are also lots of other things that I never use, such as the YouTube, Vimeo and Flickr channels, the MLB, NHL, NBA and WSJ channels, internet radio, video and audio podcasts.

The iPhone let’s you take you Mac with you. The Apple TV lets you share your Mac with the rest of your house.

Breaking Bad: Season 5 Premiere

I’m a huge fan of AMC’s Breaking Bad. I consider it to be one of if not the best television series ever produced. I finally watched the first episode of season 5 (which is also the final season) and was extremely satisfied. The writing, acting and story are all still top-notch and it reminded me of why I love the show so much.

I recently re-watched The Sopranos, and while also an excellent television series, the story fades out as the seasons go on. Not so with Breaking Bad, it gets better and better as it progresses. And I’m glad they’ve decided to end it. Too many television shows try to wring out every last drop from a concept, and usually sour the series by doing so (I’m looking squarely at you, post-season 7 of The Office).

Can’t wait to see how this season plays out. And if you’ve never seen the show, you can watch all four previous seasons of Breaking Bad on Netflix Instant.

House

I had no idea that House was ending this season. Despite the last few seasons which seemed a bit repetitive at times, the writing was still top-notch even when the plots got predictable or outlandish — even for House standards.

All said, it was a great show that I got into late, but glad I gave it a chance. They went out on a strong enough note, and the series finale seemed appropriate for the show and its characters. Kudos to everyone involved in the production for bring something fresh to the TV screen.

Now to gear up for the last season of Breaking Bad, another fine example of terrific television.