Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I Will Not Be Watching "Mr. Mercedes"...

...at least, for now.
Here's why.
It's available only via DirecTV, their DirecTV Now streaming service, or AT&T U-Verse.  Of those options, I don't have the former or the latter.  Like millions of Americans, I don't have cable service because it's not cost-effective.  It's not that I think it isn't worth what it costs; it is.  I just can't find the time to watch more than a few hours of television a week lately.  So for me, it makes more sense to pay for things in a manner targeted to what I know I will be watching.
Currently, that consists of two shows: Game of Thrones and The Mist.  I pay $15 per month for HBO Now, and consider it money very well spent; when Game of Thrones ends, I will likely cancel that service until HBO puts something else on that I feel is essential.  I had it for The Leftovers earlier this year, and will have it again when Westworld starts back up.  It makes no sense to me to have it and not use it; that's money that could be put to use buying old Stephen King paperbacks, ya kennit?
With The Mist, I simply bought a season pass for that via Amazon Prime.  Cost me about $20, I think, so $2 per episode.  Worth it?  Not even vaguely.  But hey, I'm a King completist, so it had to be done, and it is worth $2 an episode from that perspective.
This brings us to Mr. Mercedes.  I really want to watch it; it looks good, and there's the aforementioned King-completist angle to consider.  But it isn't available through Amazon, or through iTunes, for that matter.
The only option left to me was to subscribe to DirecTV Now and stream it through my Amazon Fire Stick (or on my PC).  DirecTV Now is happy to offer me that option...
...for $35 per month after my one-week free trial is over.
given that the series is $10 episodes, that's a minimum of three months that I'd have to pay for in order to watch it weekly.  Lemme do that math, so, okay, times three, hmm, that's ... $105.  Or, in other words, nearly $12 per episode (not counting the first episode during my free trial).
Even if it turns out to be great, it's not worth that to me.  I wouldn't pay that for Game of Thrones.  I wouldn't pay that for Mad Men or Breaking Bad, guys.
And yes, I get it: there's more to DirecTV Now than just one series.  But since one series is all I'd be using it for, it's all I'm getting out of it.
Not worth it, even to me.
It's very likely, of course, that the only reason Mr. Mercedes the series got made is so DirecTV could drive people toward its Now streaming service.  This sort of thing is becoming more common with every passing month.  And I'm not opposed to that; if you make a thing that I'd like to see, I'm interested in giving you money for it.  For that reason, beginning next month, CBS All Access will begin getting money from me on a monthly basis so that I can watch Star Trek: Discovery.
They are only charging about six bucks a month for it, though.  Big difference.
As this war of streaming services continues, with content deployed as the weaponry, it will become absolutely essential for a guy like me to pick and choose his battles.  I'm an Amazon Prime customer, so that one is year-round for me.  I pick Netflix up when they've got an original I want to see; so when The Defenders launches in a few weeks, I'll be onboard their train again.  I subscribed to Hulu when 11/22/63 aired, and Castle Rock will pull me back.
But, again, those services are inexpensive enough that even if I end up using them only for a single specific show, I won't feel I've overspent.
Nobody will be able to get $35 per month out of me for a service like that.
And so, reluctantly, I'm going to have to bow out of the Mr. Mercedes experience until it comes out on Blu-ray or DVD.  And I'm only assuming it will; there's no guarantee in that regard.
Anyways, in case anyone was wondering, that's my stance on this new series.  I am excited by its existence, and I am willing to pay to see it.
Not at that price, though.  DirecTV might well win the war; but they've lost me.
Now, here are some promotional photos I borrowed from their website:


My parents actually have U-Verse, so technically, I could watch it at their place.  But given that part of the plotline involves Brady and his mom playing Lannister, I just don't think that's a thing I'm going to be doing.

This is especially true given that I find Kelly Lynch to be quite attractive.

This is Breeda Wool as Lou.  She intrigues me in much the same way Kelly Lynch does.
See you on Blu, Lou!


  1. LOl at your reason for not being psyched to watch MERCEDES with your parents. I can understand this!

    Yeah I added Showtime to my monthly bills to watch the new TWIN PEAKS and that's about that as far as my add-on programming. I'm not even interested enough in DISCOVERY to do that. I'll see it eventually, but I can't justify the expense. MERCEDES, hell, even less. You break down the math like you do here AND you take into account it's my 3rd least favorite King project and unh-unh. Sorry.

    It looks like it could be a lot better as a TV show than as a book, though. I do look fwd to seeing it.

    (Ditto for DISCOVERY.)

    I saw Holland Taylor in there and was like no way that's the same lady from ROMNANCING THE STONE. But shonuff, it is. How bout that.

    1. Based on the reviews, it seems to, at worst, be a good adaptation of the novel. Which I guess I'm down for, even though it's not one of my faves, either.

      Apparently the first two episodes are available for free:


      I might give one of those a spin after work tonight, once I've choked down the latest episode of "The Mist." Boy, something to look forward to...

    2. I did indeed watch the first episode. It's great. Or, I don't know ... maybe that's overselling it. It's definitely good. Excellent casting, good dialogue, strong direction. Some of it will make you squirm. Do not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES watch it with anyone older than you or younger than you.

    3. Oh, by the way: I had to use Microsoft Edge to actually get the video to work. Firefox and Chrome were both no-go.

    4. "Do not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES watch it with anyone older than you or younger than you."

      Intriguing! Any special reason beyond the creepy incest? Not that that isn't enough of a good reason to avoid such viewing partners.

    5. Well, in the first episode, there's some gnarly violence. If you've read the novel (which I know you have), you know the opening scene contains a sleeping-bag-jelly-roll moment. It's here. Not super graphic, but graphic enough, and disturbing in general.

      Then there's the scene between Brady and his mom, which is just gross, but in an extremely well-executed sort of way.

      So I figure best to just play it safe.

  2. Yea, now everything is just getting silly. Everyone is all like "Screw cable! I'm pulling the plug!" Now you have to everyone for 1 or 2 shows per service. They really got us by the balls eh? It'd be easier if there was just a Stephen King network.

    I'm still hoping this show ends up on something after it airs.
    I'm glad the said it was a 10 hour adaptation, they said that right?

    1. Ten episodes, yessir.

      Cable might have been able to save itself years ago by going to a true a-la-carte format, and it seems to me like that's what streaming has naturally evolved into. You want whatever shows Netflix has? You pay for Netflix. You don't care about those? You don't pay for Netflix. Simple!

      But at a certain point, it does get to be too much. In theory, I'd like to have all of them. It's not necessarily even the expense that puts me off. It's that I can't make time for all those shows without subtracting that time from some other facet of my life. This is why I dumped cable to begin with; I'd find myself gravitating toward watching all kinds of shows, and then suddenly that was all I was doing.

      Anyways, it's a first-world problem if ever there was one. But my solution is to only pay for the things that I find to be absolutely essential, and only then if it's relatively affordable, which DirecTV Now is not.

    2. FWP, true that! Yes, to a la carte too, it would have been great.
      I mean, I'm just glad there are shows I truly want to watch, rather than just have the tv on. I think that's why I was so disappointed in Fargo this season, it truly felt like I wasted my time watching it every week when we still haven't finished Legion. Rather than Walking Dead where it became obvious what their formula was to keep you watching and I dropped it like a dead fish. If I was paying just for a certain service and the show sucked I would be angry rather than just let it go and move on. I think you become more vested as a consumer if you are paying for one or two things and they end up being terrible.


      BTW they posted the first 2 episodes for MM for free, but I don't know if it's good to watch them then wait a year to see if the rest show up on another platform.

    3. I watched the first one, and like it a lot. I probably will go ahead and watch the second as well and then worry about how to stay caught up.

      One option I do, technically, have available to me: my parents have U-Verse. Now, in no way am I willing to watch that show with either one of my parents ... but I can probably just record the new episodes and then go over and watch while they are otherwise engaged. If all else fails, I guess I could go that route.

  3. Thought you be interested to know that the Creepshow 2 soundtrack is released on vinyl for first time...


    Looks like 2 different vinyl variations..looks pretty awesome and seriously considering getting this as both a King and Wakeman fan

    1. I had not heard about that! Thanks for the tip. I will almost certainly get one of those. I don't have a way to play LPs, but I do have a need to own this soundtrack in some form. Plus, the art will be great.

    2. Thanks for this.

    3. I got that in the mail today. It is gorgeous.

    4. Some kind soul has ripped the LP into a video and put it on YouTube:


      So now I can listen to the album I bought! (Really gotta get a turntable one of these days...)

  4. Sure no probs...they also have a Tales From The Darkside soundtrack on colored vinyl


    1. I probably won't spring for that one, since it's obtainable on CD. I appreciate the tip, though!

    2. It's a shame the artwork for that is so lame. I love the artwork for Evil Dead 2.
      I'll probably spend $90 on that site today. D'oh!

  5. Since AT&T's got it up for free, I watched the second episode last night.

    I like this show. A lot. We'll see where it goes from here, but it already seems to be me to be one of the rarest of all things in the Kingverse: an adaptation that improves on the source material. In this case, that's not a high hurdle to clear.

    Regardless, these first two episodes are very good. Great performances, satisfyingly disturbing subject matter; excellent direction.

    And a major scene in the second episode is scored to "Avalanche" by Leonard Cohen, so that gets a "fuck" and a "yes" from me in rapid succession.

  6. Have you been thinking about how many Mr. Mercedes style terrorist attacks have happened since the book came out? I don't think they are connected in any way but it is something I've noticed. To be honest I was a little worried about the show coming out and the media picking up on this but the show is so hard to access I think that it has slipped under the radar.

    1. Well, not only that, but the Ariana Grande incident in Manchester.

      I'm not too worried about any of that getting blamed on King. After all, both of those types of attacks happened prior to the novel; the novel, in fact, was inspired by one.

      But yes, I agree that if the series was on some platform more noteworthy than Audience, there'd probably be more negative attention being shed on it.

  7. Replies
    1. Hi, David! Somehow, I never saw this comment. Apologies for failing to respond.

      Sadly, we're months after the series airing, and there's no sign of a home video release. I do not approve.

  8. Well, folks, I'll offer an epilogue to this post in comment form and mention that I was finally able to see the entire season. DirecTV sent me a code for a free month, which I happily obliged them on.

    It's a strong season of television. Probably not AS good as I hoped based on the quality of the first two episodes, though; and I have a few problems with certain aspects.

    Still, I think it stands fairly proudly alongside the other quality King adaptations of 2017 -- sit the hell down, "The Mist; you too, "The Dark Tower" -- and arguably improves on the novel in a number of aspects.

    I'd like to write a full review at some point soon, but will not swear to actually do so. I'd feel obliged to watch it all a second time through, and I'm not sure that's going to happen for a while.