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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

So many TV channels, so few chances to watch

One of the joys of being a movie fan today is the access we all can have to pretty much anything we want to watch. And to watch in the comfort of our own homes not just movie classics but also the many imaginative TV series from all over the world that are being produced.

On occasion, my "Movies 101" partners and I do special shows in which we talk about streaming services, about how easy or hard they are to navigate, but mainly things we've binge-watched recently. One point I try to emphasize always is that between the three services that we use most in my house — Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu — the range of material is overwhelming.

Which is why we so often have a hard time catching up with anything. Three series that we've gotten recently hooked on date back several years: "Hannibal" originally aired on NBC in 2013, the Danish-made "Dicte: Crime Reporter" debuted the same year on Danish television but wasn't picked up by Netflix until 2016, and the French-made "Spiral" (or "Engrenages") dates all the way back to 2005 but didn't show up on Netflix until 2012 and can currently be found on Hulu.

Of the three, "Hannibal" is the most surprising. And not just because in terms of plot it predates Thomas Harris' source novels, "Red Dragon" and "Hannibal" ("The Silence of the Lambs" occurs somewhere in between the two), which means that it is the character of Hannibal Lecter (played by the great Mads Mikkelsen) who is pulling the strings of FBI investigative consultant Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and his FBI boss Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne).

No, what's most surprising is that this series originally played on NBC. The surprise is that the show, even at the 10 p.m. time slot, is as graphic in its depiction of violence as any television show ever broadcast. More so, even, when you consider that during the first season one episode featured a beach-side totem pole — made out of parts of human corpses.

So … I'm not sure we'll go on to season two. But maybe. I do love the cast, which includes Gillian Anderson as Lecter's psychiatrist (if you can imagine that).

Trouble is, there's so much more to watch. To quote Gale Snoats, so many social engagement, so little time.