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After a somewhat boring Super Bowl XLVIII where the NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks destroyed Payton Manning and the Denver Broncos, a trip south for a week at Disneyland, one heck of a bumpy flight home and a battle with the mother-of-all-coughs I am finally back to write about my picks for this week’s TV.  The XXII Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia have been great so far and I’m expecting more of the same this week with one of my favorites, the men’s giant slalom, coming up (among many others).  If you’re interested in the games check NBC’s website or your local listings for event times.  If you’re looking for something not sports related give one of these excellent programs a try:

Almost Human (8:00 PM Monday Fox) I’ve offered this series as a recommendation twice before.  The first time was prior to the pilot airing suggesting that the right people are involved in the production so it was a good bet.  The second time it was because I really like the series; I find the clever mix of action, drama and sci-fi rather entertaining.  This, the third time I’m recommending Almost Human, is due to a rather more urgent reason.  My dad is pretty much down in the dumps that things aren’t looking good for renewal next year.  The ratings have not been great, the program is expensive to produce, and rumor has it that FOX is looking to get out of the Almost Human business for the 2014-2015 TV season.  TVByTheNumbers.com has it listed as more likely to be cancelled than renewed.  Last week when my dad asked if I’ve ever written about the show (Huh?  I thought he ALWAYS reads my posts!) I told him yes, and then went on to say the show was likely to be cancelled.  “Aw man” is all he said.  Being my father’s son, and having a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology I think I can decipher his response; what he meant to say was, “This is an unfortunate turn of events as it is the only program I watch on television that isn’t about World War II or car auctions.”  So if you haven’t, check out Almost Human because the right people are involved, because the show is really good and because none of us want my dad retreating to his TV comfort zone.

Honey Badgers: Masters of Mayhem (8:00 PM Wednesday KQED) A couple of years ago I was having dinner with friends and we were discussing spirit animals.  Being descended from indigenous Americans, and having at least a passing interest in that part of my heritage, I had been doing some reading about the subject.  I shared with the group seated at my table what I thought was my spirit animal.  My friend Jena, who I will describe as both lovely and a force of nature, asked what I thought might be her spirit animal.  “The honey badger!” I replied.  She had never heard of the honey badger, so I showed her the famous YouTube video which I won’t be linking to due to graphic violence and language but you are welcome to search for it.  Honey Badgers: Master of Mayhem follows three badger specialists as they seek to understand more about this unique animal that accepts all challenges and comes out on top every time.  The summary on the PBS website says the specialists “take on these masters of mayhem in ways that must be seen to be believed” which to my mind should make for a pretty entertaining program.  Oh, and on a final note, I wasn’t deriding my friend; tenacity, courage and the ability to win against seemingly impossible odds are noble characteristics indeed.

Wheeler Dealers: Corvette C2 (6:00 PM Sunday or check local listings) This is another program I’ve recommended before, because these guys find and fix-up some really cool cars in a straight forward, no nonsense kind of way.  I especially enjoy episodes like this one that follow Mike Brewer as he travels to the USA to find and ship home American muscle so Edd China can sort out the problems and get the car back on the road.  As I mentioned above, the Wheeler Dealers fix-up cars, and don’t generally restore them which involves more skill, work and money; I often think given a little bit of time and money the average car lover (even with limited skills in the garage) could do a car the way they do a car, as opposed to those built by Gas Monkey Garage (Fast N’ Loud) and others of their ilk which few could replicate. Take a look at Velocity’s site for complete listings.

House of Cards (Netflix seasons one and two) Wallace Poulter suggested the BBC version of this program last week and I echo his recommendation; in spite of the twenty-year-old story-lines the program still holds up.  That being said, the original lacks one thing the American version has in spades; Kevin “FREAKING” Spacey!  If you’ve seen The Usual Suspects, or American Beauty, or pretty much anything else he has done then you know what I’m carrying on about.  I am often so compelled to focus on the show because of the roller-coaster ride that is each episode I can’t believe more than a few minutes have passed when the credits roll.  If you have even a slight interest in politics, are a Kevin Spacey fan, or simply like intrigue then you should check out House of Cards on Netflix.

For more information on House of Cards click the image below.

- John Morton

 

 

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