Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How Streaming Video Has Changed My Life

Please welcome our guest, author Kate Carlisle

Thanks to all the Cozy Chicks for having me here today!

For the first time in my life, I can honestly say I don’t watch much TV, and it’s all due to the fact that I’m living my dream. I’m a published writer – even got to see my name on the New York Times extended list with my very first book, Homicide in Hardcover (right behind Cozy Chick Lorna Barrett!). Talk about a dream!

So of course I don’t have time for TV these days. I’m too busy partying with my jet-setting friends on the beaches of St. Tropez and down the Aspen slopes. My personal stylist does most of my shopping, of course, but I must appear at the spa in person to get plucked and waxed and otherwise de-follicled. (Beauty is hard when you’re world-famous -- and de-follicling is tricky, as you can see.)

Oh, okay. That’s not why I haven’t had time to watch much TV lately. The truth is, I have a new book out now (If Books Could Kill, the second of my Bibliophile Mysteries series), and two – count ‘em, two – deadlines looming. Between helping to get the word out about my latest release and writing my heart out on books three and four, I simply can’t get my schedule aligned with the networks’.Thank goodness for online video streaming!

Seriously.

I could live without TV if I had to … but why? Reading is fabulous. As you might guess, I adore reading. But reading is a participatory activity. After a long day of wringing every ounce of intelligence and creativity from my spongey brain, sometimes I simply don’t want to think anymore. I want to kick back and be passively entertained. I want to be the boob in front of the boob tube.

Many of my favorite shows are lighthearted mysteries, much like my books. And many of these shows are available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In today’s world, we can catch our favorites on our schedule, no matter when the network muckety-mucks decide to put them on the air. Remember “appointment TV,” where you had to be home at 9 p.m. every Tuesday night for Veronica Mars? Thing of the past, baby! That’s so 20th Century! Now the world revolves around me.

As it should. (Snort!)

So no, I don’t watch much TV these days … but I watch a lot of computer! Some of my favorite shows available for free online:
  • Castle – I’m in love with Nathan Fillion, but then, who isn’t? This show is witty and fast-paced. Kind of reminds me of Moonlighting, but a little less frantic. And oh, mystery writer Richard Castle really does live the glamorous life I described above, so while I watch, I can also daydream that I’ve risen to his stratosphere. (If you can’t get the ABC video player to work with Internet Explorer, try using Firefox, which you can download for free. I don’t know why it works, but it does!)
  • Psych – This show is completely implausible, but it knows it, and it lets us know that it’s in on the fun. And that just makes it more fun and mindless to watch, so it’s all good!
  • The Closer – Kyra Sedgwick is fantastic as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson. She’s my favorite kind of heroine. Professional, intelligent, really good at what she does… but not so good at other parts in her life. I can relate to Brenda’s weakness for chocolate and her weakness for the even more delectable Fritz.
  • Ghost Whisperer – Have you noticed a theme here? Every one of my favorite shows has a cute man in it! (My guy on Psych is DulĂ© Hill.) When I’m vegging out in front of the computer, I like a little eye candy. Jennifer Love Hewitt is fabulous, too, of course. Again, accomplished at work, with a vulnerability that allows me to connect with her.
Are you like me, too busy to watch TV? I know the Cozy Chicks can relate (especially Kate Collins and Heather Webber, who also have new books out this month! Congrats, ladies!). What is your favorite TV show? What do you like about it? Do you watch it on TV or on your computer? Have you ever tried video streaming? Has it changed your life?