On My Television

So, did you get a three day weekend? I’m thrilled to say that we did, most of us anyway. The little man was actually out on Friday too (he spent that day with his nana) and, unfortunately, the daughter – who I’m going to start calling *Ding because she will like that – had to go to school on Monday for a make-up snow day. We didn’t use our weekend for anything useful, just laziness and Mexican food.

How about Valentine’s Day? Do anything? We aren’t really big on these kinds of holidays in my house (making it even more fun when we do celebrate it). I don’t want you to buy me a gift since Christmas was less than two months ago and I’m certainly not going to try to go out for dinner when everywhere is packed and food is oddly heart-shaped. I do like giving little token presents though, so the little man got new jumbo crayons and stickers, *Ding got a creepy looking book, and the three of us in the family who don’t eat through a tube in our stomach got giant Reese’s hearts.

The weekend wasn’t total laze though. I read a book – mini review scheduled for March 3rd – and fit in a couple of documentaries. Which brings us to the purpose of this post.

atari-gameoverAtari: Game Over (2014)

This one was good. It told the story of the rise and fall of Atari alongside the story of digging up the infamous E.T. burial ground in a New Mexico landfill. I knew they were going to find the games, but still found myself rooting for the crew doing the digging.

It was a fascinating story and did a good job refuting the myth that E.T. singlehandedly destroyed Atari and is the worst game ever designed. Extremely important to the credibility of the story, the documentary talks with lots of big players in Atari – including the designer of E.T. – and in the modern videogame industry. Recommended even if you aren’t a gamer.

From Microsoft.com: Atari: Game Over is the Xbox Originals documentary that chronicles the fall of the Atari Corporation through the lens of one of the biggest mysteries of all time, dubbed “The Great Video Game Burial of 1983.” As the story goes, the Atari Corporation, faced with an overwhelmingly negative response to “E.T.,” the video game for the Atari 2600, disposed of hundreds of thousands of unsold game cartridges by burying them in the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico.

PBS BedchamberTales from the Royal Bedchamber (2014)

This one is just an hour-long PBS special, but it was interesting enough to list here, I think. Recommended, if you like this kind of thing.

From PBS.com:
Lucy Worsley gets into bed with past monarchs to uncover the secrets of the royal bedchamber. She reveals that our obsession with royal bedrooms, births and succession is nothing new. In fact, the rise and fall of their magnificent beds reflects the changing fortunes of the monarchy itself. This program will reveal that while today some areas are intensely private spheres, the royal bedchamber was once a very public sphere with huge political consequence. Not only was it the site for royal marriage ceremonies, but royal births were also traditionally observed there by a crowd in order to verify the baby’s gender. As Lucy will reveal, since everyone felt that they had a stake in it, the process of creating royal babies also often took place in a semi-public context. Lucy will look at the creation of private chambers, as a reaction to the overwhelmingly public nature of royal bedrooms. She will also explore the backstairs politics that developed as a result, and the creation of highly influential serving positions such as ‘Necessary Woman’ and ‘Groom of the Stool’.


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