Aug. 8 5:00 p.m.
I relaxed and watched a lot of TV this weekend, including a new Direct TV show called “Dog TV.” I was also watching “30 Days of Night,” a vampire movie, so I spent a good part of Sunday afternoon switching between the two programs (which may be why my recollection about these shows isn’t the best, although in anticipation of writing about both shows, I did take some semi-legible notes).
Dog TV certainly is a novel idea but I’m not sure I’m buying it (the concept that is). I think some dogs would just bark at Dog TV all day long. A corgi I often have for daycare barks at everything that moves on TV, mostly animals, but also the Pillsbury Doughboy and a guy who wears a termite costume for a pest control commercial. So, Dog TV definitely would not work for the corgi and its owner.
I think Dog TV could be beneficial for dogs that are alone for extended periods of time and dogs that suffer from separation anxiety, but I’m not an expert on the subject, so this is only my humble opinion. I will often leave the TV on for my dog when I’m gone for more than a few hours as I think it might be comforting; however, I have a strong suspicion that my dog just sleeps the entire time I’m away.
The creators of Dog TV do have some interesting ideas, in particular, the three major segments of programming for dogs: Stimulation, Relaxation and Sensation/Exposure. These segments are shown at various intervals during the day (apparently to coincide with a dog’s daily “rhythm”) and are typically videos of dogs or other animals playing (Stimulation), dogs or other animals resting/sleeping, waterfalls, soft music (Relaxation) and for the Sensation/Exposure segments, videos and accompanying sounds of things that may take the dog some time to adjust to such as cars/traffic, children playing, stormy weather, etc. – the goal being to desensitize the dog to these things (although it’s a good concept, I think the Sensation/Exposure segments could actually do more harm than good). Dog TV is also visually oriented for dogs (supposedly), taking in consideration their partial color blindness (how it was determined what colors dogs can or cannot see has always been a mystery to me).
In addition to the segments for dog viewing, there are tidbits about dog training, behavior, etc. for the human viewer, so I will continue to watch it until the free trial is over. Dog TV is not something I would pay for however, unless my dog wants to cough up $4.99 a month.
When I got bored with Dog TV, I’d switch back to “30 Days of Night” (referred to as 30DN as I don’t want to type it out every time). I’ve always been a sucker (no pun intended) for vampire and zombie movies. In fact, I’m looking forward to watching the movie “Zombie Women of Satan” later this week. What a concept – kind of like “Sister Wives.”
Anyway, 30DN had an intriguing premise as follows (description from Direct TV guide):
30 Days of Night: A lawman and an ever-shrinking band of survivors must fend off hungry vampires who have come to feed during an Alaskan town’s annual month of darkness.
That’s gotta be a vampire’s dream – an entire sunless month of non-stop, gluttonous blood sucking. What a great scenario — how could I resist watching this movie?!
I was expecting a campy, D-movie with lousy vampires but 30DN wasn’t that bad. The vampires were more than sufficiently creepy with dark black eyes, bloody rotten teeth and dirty, misshapen fingernails (and of course mandatory corpse-like complexions). The killing and neck sucking scenes were superb (although unlike typical vampire movies, I didn’t see any vampire deaths by a stake through the heart and now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t recall seeing any of the standard vampire props like crosses, holy water, garlic, bats and coffins). The vampires hissed and shrieked a lot and also spoke in what I believe might have been Romanian (there actually were subtitles!). Can’t get better than that.
The small town was Barrow, Alaska and “the shrinking band of survivors” were: the town sheriff (stereotypical hero), his estranged wife, a couple of relatives and a grungy stranger who had just drifted into town (horrible timing on his part). Character development was definitely lacking in this film but I did have a soft spot for the grungy drifter, who as expected was the “unlikely hero” of the movie, who of course ultimately suffered a gruesome demise at the hands (or I should say teeth) of the vampires (he killed quite a few with his snowplow before they got him). [Note: I apologize for not recalling any of the names of these individuals. I’m blaming that on the lack of character development and not on my lack of memory.]
I missed a significant portion of the movie while watching Dog TV, and when I switched back, I thought the movie was about to end. The estranged wife suggested that the sheriff should go to her mother’s house where there were grow lights (her mom was a cancer victim and was growing pot). The sheriff lured the vampires to the house, turned on a grow light when they got close but unfortunately he only managed to burn one of them because the vampires turned off the power. Very disappointing – I wanted to see more vampires sizzle under the grow lights or at least watch them get stoned.
As anticipated, the movie’s grand finale was an intense, bloody battle between the sheriff and the head vampire. The sheriff came up with a bright idea to inject himself with vampire blood in order to even up the “battlefield” and make it a competitive, kick-ass fight. Of course, the sheriff killed the head vampire (a fist through the head) and after losing their leader, the remaining vampires immediately ran off. The estranged wife and the sheriff then walked to a romantic spot to watch the sun rise. I suppose they both didn’t think about how the sun would affect the sheriff with his vampire-infused blood, and I was thinking that maybe the sheriff wouldn’t be affected by the sun since he only injected a small amount of blood. However, in the final scene of the movie, the wife is holding the sheriff in her arms and as the sun rises, his head turns into a charcoal briquet (his head also kind of looked like a big black turd). I laughed like crazy at that final scene – the movie wasn’t bad but the ending was awful! The sheriff should have gotten a blood transfusion before exposing himself to the sun or at least bit his wife, so they both could have turned into charcoal turds. Well, she was going to divorce the sheriff anyway, so she saved herself a lot of lawyer’s fees.
I went back to watching Dog TV after the movie ended to check out more of what it had to offer, but the “Relaxation” segment was on and I immediately fell asleep. I don’t know if Dog TV works for dogs, but it sure worked for me!