Welcome one and all to the fifteenth edition of Instant Gratification. The focus of this feature is to provide TV Ragers with all the latest updates on the newest TV shows added to the Netflix Instant Streaming service, the ones about to expire for good, and the occasional reminder about just how much great stuff is already there for you guys and gals to peruse.
Now let's get started with all the notable additions since the last issue went to press.
*Descriptions in quotes courtesy of the Netflix website.
America In Primetime - "Discover the creative forces behind television's modern golden age in this look at primetime television in the new century. Scores of performers, writers and producers discuss the key elements of TV's most acclaimed shows, past and present."
Beast Wars: Transformers Season 3 - "Optimal Optimus returns even stronger and continues to serve as commander for the kind-hearted Maximals, who are forced to battle the malevolent Megatron and his Predacons -- even though what they ultimately aspire to is everlasting peace."
Flames Of Desire - "Wealthy and powerful Kim Tae Jin leads a private corporation, but his family is torn apart when his children all attempt to become his successor. Secrets are revealed, allegiances are tested, and backstabbing becomes the norm as the family implodes."
HawthoRNe Seasons 1-3 - "Still recovering from the loss of her husband to cancer, fiery chief nursing officer Christina Hawthorne fights tooth and nail for the well-being of her patients while gradually falling for successful surgeon Tom Wakefield."
Heartland Season 3 - "Sisters Amy and Lou become increasingly invested in the success of the Alberta horse ranch owned by their grandfather Jack Bartlett, while also juggling teen romances and family responsibilities in Season 3 of this family drama series."
Highlander: The Series Seasons 1-6 - "Adrian Paul stars as 400-year-old Scotsman Duncan MacLeod, who's one of the immortals -- a group of entities who for centuries have waged a war between good and evil that's destined to culminate in the Gathering ... where only one force can triumph."
Johnny Test Season 5 - "Intrepid 11-year-old Johnny Test and his faithful dog, Dukey, return for another season of wacky lab mischief. As the guinea pig for his genius twin sisters Mary and Susan, Johnny risks bizarre side effects and even gains the occasional superpower."
Lonesome Dove - "Larry McMurtry's novel comes to life in this Emmy-winning made-for-television movie that centers on kindly Gus McCrae (Robert Duvall) and gruff Woodrow Call (Tommy Lee Jones), two former Texas Rangers who leave Lonesome Dove in the Lone Star State to settle land in Montana. Along for the journey are ex-scout Joshua (Danny Glover) and Call's bastard son, Newt (Rick Schroder). Diane Lane plays California-dreaming prostitute Lorena Wood."
Pinky Dinky Doo Season 1 - "Based on a collection of playful bedtime stories that children's book author Jim Jinkins created and told to his kids, "Pinky Dinky Doo" blends animation with live action and explores early literacy through storytelling and interactive game play."
Pretty Little Liars Season 1 - "Rudderless without their überpopular leader, who vanished a year prior, four formerly tight high school friends drift apart. But they band together again when an anonymous blackmailer threatens to spill their dirt."
Return To Lonesome Dove - "Head back to Lonesome Dove in this sequel to one of the most-loved miniseries of all time. In a cross-country trek, Texas Ranger Call (Jon Voight, in the role Tommy Lee Jones originated) leads a group of cowboys trying to bring a herd of horses across the states to Montana. During one of the stops on the way north, Call reacquaints himself with his departed partner's ex-love, Clara Allen (Barbara Hershey)."
Rosemary & Thyme Seasons 2&3 - "Former constable Laura Thyme and plant pathologist Rosemary Boxer find common ground in catching criminals in this British mystery series. Together, the two investigate a singer's death, a political dispute and more."
The list of notable shows expiring soon includes:
6/21 - Gordon's Great Escape, Ramsay's Best Restaurant
6/28 - The Kumars At No. 42, The Worst Week Of My Life
6/29 - Super Duper Sumos
6/30 - The Lovers & Friends Show
This Week's Classic Pick:
Kolchak: The Night Stalker - A lot of you guys might be too young to remember this show. I mean, I wasn't even born when it originally aired. My first exposure to the adventures of intrepid reporter Carl Kolchak took place on the Syfy channel, back when it was called Sci-Fi and showed more classic genre programming and less Jersey Shore Shark Attacks. Chris Carter has cited this series as direct inspiration for The X-Files, and its hard to see why. The mix of both the monster and case of the week formats was pioneered here. While Kolchak only lasted one season, its influence on future and present genre TV will always be felt. Supernatural is a current show that clearly owes a debt to the original Night Stalker. So, if you like sci-fi and don't mind some of the cheesier trappings of 70's genre TV, then give Kolchak a shot. It's only 20 episodes long after all.
And that's it for this fifteenth edition of Instant Gratification. I hope you found it informative and at least fairly entertaining. See you next time.