Monday, Oct 23, 2006

Title: 1749

October 2006


Title: 1749

October 23, 2006
12:01 AM

So lately, I find that I’m telling more and more people about all the good shows that are on T.V. these days. I’m a freaking addict. There’s something on every single night that gets me excited about watching it. So I figure I should share my list with you guys, so you can check out some damn good T.V. as well. So here goes.


  • How I met Your Mother (CBS): Proof that the sitcom is not, in fact, dead. This show has a number of aspects going for it that might make me biased – one of the writers is a friend of ours, and she’s a fantastic writer; It’s got Neil Patrick Freaking Harris in it playing a womanizing bastard – pure perfectness; It’s got Allison Hannigan in it… WHO I BRIEFLY MET. Oh yeah. But in any case – great show. Basic premise is that it’s a dad telling his kids 25 years in the future the story of how he met their mother… and it’s a long story. I also like how the show uses a lot of interesting storytelling techniques to move certain episodes along. One episode played out something like paycheck – Ted wakes up after a night of drinking and finds all kinds of disconnected evidence of the night before, and slowly begins to piece things together.
  • Heroes (NBC): After the first episode, I thought it would be just allright, but now that we’re..what, three? Four episodes into it… I’m ENTHRALLED. Basic premise – people start finding out they have superpowers. But it takes place in a semi-realistic setting… it’s not your average suspension of disbelief superhero show. Which makes all the cool shit that happens all that much cooler – the end of the most recent episode had me jumping off the couch shouting HOLY SHIT!. Liz can attest to that one.
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC): Easily the best show on network television, hands down. And it just started, so you have the chance to get in while it’s still basically new. It has a few people you probably know – Matt Perry and Amanda Peet, for instance. The show is basically along the lines of Sports Night – it’s a behind-the-scenes view of a show much like Saturday Night Live. The neat thing though, is that the show starts off as a pretty scathing criticism of where television has wound up in the last few – maybe ten years. I’d say it even takes a few pointed shots at SNL – deservedly so. The big theme to the show is a quest to make TV smarter, more sophisticated. The neat thing is that, in my opinion, Studio 60 is doing just that.


  • Gilmore Girls (CW): Okay, I’m going to freely admit this one isn’t for everyone. And frankly, this season isn’t the best… the head writers left, and it all just seems weird. But I’ve been watching it this freaking long – and it’s on my list, dammit.
  • House, M.D. (Fox): Hugh Laurie just kicks ass. Period, end of story. Why would you want to watch Grey’s Anatomy and see people fawning over Dr. McWhatever when you can watch an irate Englishman shout at everyone in a perfect American accent? I believe my case is made. House is a few seasons in, but you wouldn’t really be missing much by starting now, so add this to your TiVo.


  • MythBusters (Discovery): I’m sure most of you have heard of this one – two guys basically work to prove or disprove common myths. Most of the time the results are less than surprising, but every now and again something surprises you. Just this last episode they sent a tank full of compressed air through a cinder block wall after knocking the valve off it. That’s pretty hardcore. An added bonus to this show for me is of course that it’s all done here in San Francisco – hell, their workshop is literally
  • I Pity the Fool (TV Land): This is nothing but a guilty pleasure. I enjoy watching Mr. T telling people how to live their lives. I can’t help but giggle every time the dude says Jibba-jabba. Downside : no gold chains. Seriously – WTF?
  • Lost (ABC): Look, if you’re not watching this already, it seems pointless to tell you to start now. But if you’re not watching this already, you’re crazy. At least do yourself a favor and go get seasons one and two on DVD so you can attempt to catch the hell up. Though, it’s REALLY starting to pick up this season, so you’re going to be missing out. This is one of those shows you do NOT want to miss an episode of.
  • 30 Rock (NBC): This is not actually on my list. This is to tell you not to freaking bother with this one. I don’t know why NBC bothered to run two shows with such similar premises, but this is basically a shorter, dumber version of Studio 60. In my opinion, of course. The pacing was weird, none of the characters really grabbed me, and it all felt a little too fake and thrown together. I love that the title has 30 in it, because it’s basically half the show Studio 60 is.


  • My Name is Earl (NBC): It won an emmy for a REASON. I’m so freaking happy to see Jason Lee on T.V… don’t get me wrong, he’s fantastic in movies, but he rocks hardcore on TV. If you haven’t been watching, basic premise is that Earl is a complete jackass that turned his life around after getting hit by a car and makes a list of all the bad stuff he’s done, and one by one he’s going down the list making things right and crossing them off, in the belief that once they’re all gone, he’ll have nothing to worry about. That’s pretty much all the introduction you need – you can jump into this show right now.


  • BATTLESAR FREAKING GALACTICA (SciFi): The fact that this had to come so far down the list is a crime. Remember how I said Studio 60 was the best show on network television? Battlestar Galactica is the best show on television PERIOD – cable, network or otherwise. Which would sound funny to someone who remembers the original. (and yes, I’ve seen the original) The production values are insanely high, ALL the actors are fantastic, the CG is better than Firefly, (and I never thought I’d say that) and I will be DAMNED if it’s ever pulled a punch. Some of the most shocking things I’ve ever seen on TV have been on this show. I want to start though by saying that if you’ve never watched it, you’re going to want to start on the DVDs and move your way onto the TV version… there’s a lot of backstory to cover, and you really, really need it all. Missing an episode is not recommended. Basic rundown : (Consider this, if you will, to be prologue) Man created Cylons as mechanical servants, essentially. The Cylons rebelled and eventually were exiled. Fast forward a number of years, and now they’re back – and they’ve figured out how to make themselves look like humans. As a way of saying hello, they’ve nuked all 12 of mankind’s colonies. (planets) Now the only remaining humans are those that were aboard spaceships that managed to avoid getting destroyed (and a few people that survived from the surface) and they’re trying to find Earth (the lost 13th colony) while attempting to avoid getting ganked by the Cylons. It sounds kinda Sci-fi.. and it is. But I’ve maintained that this is not a show about space – this is a show about people trying to survive, and it manages to be a very realistic take on it, too. Not a single character on the show is without flaws – there’s no such thing as a transparent character. Honestly, the fact that this somehow escaped emmy nomination is sickening. You need to be watching this show.
  • Stargate SG:1 (SciFi): No real reason to start watching this now – it’s cancelled after this season, which is a shame, but them’s the breaks. It’s 10 seasons strong though – that’s pretty badass. Check it out on DVD if you get the chance.
  • Stargate Atlantis (SciFi): This one, on the other hand, you might want to attempt to catch up on and start watching. You need a little bit of SG:1 knowledge to really enjoy it, but I actually think Atlantis is a better show overall than SG:1. Rodney McKay is my Canadian hero.


  • Daily Show (Comedy Central): You knew this had to be on the list somewhere, didn’t you?
  • Psych (USA): It’s off the air ’till January, but it’s a great show nonetheless. Guy with incredible observational skills passes himself off as a psychic to work with the police, and has to keep the ruse up. Not the BEST T.V. in the world, but definately very enjoyable.
  • Standoff (Fox): I think this comes back at the end of this month – check your listings. Ron Livingston is in it (The dude from Office Space) and he and Rosemarie DeWitt play hostage negotiators who wind up in a relationship and have to somehow manage to remain partners. Only two episodes have aired thus far – you haven’t missed much.
  • Family Guy (Fox): No real explanation needed. You know what you need to do.
  • Eureka (SciFi): The season just ended, but the premise is great – it’s a small town the government has created to house the world’s geniuses as a sort of giant think tank. The main character is a U.S. Marshall that happened upon the place, and then got transferred there as the Sheriff. If SciFi releases it on DVD any time soon, check it out.
  • Good Eats (Food Network): Alton Brown is my HERO. More of a Food Scientist than a chef, really – but he’s entertaining and shares perhaps some of the best information you’re going to find from any TV cooking show. Forget Emeril – this is the show you want to be watching.