My wife and my kids, 17 and 13 both love the series Weeds on Netflix. They’re really into it. Most people I know are really into it. Everybody loves this show. Critically acclaimed, and very popular when it was on, I just can’t seem to get interested in it. I can’t find it in me to care about these people.
I have watched and enjoyed shows with female protagonists before. I’ve enjoyed watching the lead actress in other things. I particularly liked her in West Wing. This show just doesn’t work for me.
American Idol never worked for me either. I never could get into it long enough to even hate it. Same with ‘Survivor.’ I’ve always been like “who gives a shit?” I remember when Survivor was first on TV. I went to Bosnia, and the task force that we were replacing was really into it. That show was about three weeks behind the US on Armed Forces Network. Most shows were a season or two back, but this one was only about a three or four weeks. The guys there knew it was over with, but they didn’t know the outcome yet, and they were all begging us to not tell them, and I was like “it was the naked gay guy. So what?”
I don’t watch a lot of TV, and most of what I do watch tends to not be on the popular side for the most part, being a bunch of shows on DIY network.. I am a trekkie (trekker if you must) as I’m sure you can all figure out. I LOVED Serenity and Firefly. I liked the NBC series ‘Life’ that had too short a life. Southland is pretty good on TNT. Burn Notice is worth watching, and I love Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, both of which I’ve been watching on Netflix. Mostly I watch shows like This Old House and the History Channel and History 2. The actual History shows, not the ones about space alien autopsies and so forth. Eureka and Warehouse 13 on SciFi (I flat refuse to call it the other name).
What do you guys like to watch, and what do the people around you love that you just can’t find the energy to care about?
Also, too, open thread.
Firefly is better than 98% of the current network fare: crisply written and fantastically cast. I was going to exclaim my disbelief that it was pulled, but unfortunately I can believe it.
I’d tell you, but you’d never understand it.
Grunt, You might be interested to know that Mary Louise Parker’s brother is this guy, a professor at West point:
Not that it should make you like Weeds any better. I really like Justified, although they’ll have trouble topping last year’s main villain.
Weeds; pretty good. Dexter; outstanding….
@Keith G: Myself, I don’t think network television has ever been better and my own theory is that it’s thanks to shows like Firefly. John Cole had a list of television shows he watches a while back and that list was very impressive. 20 years ago… hell, ten years ago, you couldn’t make that list. So while I admire your admiration for Firefly, I can’t endorse that most of network TV is crap; it’s gotten better.
I quite liked the Sherlock series on BBC, and wish each season had more than three episodes and I didn’t have to wait two years for the next. I loathe American Idol, but I really enjoy The Voice. Also, too, I thought Supernatural was horrid when it first aired, then caught up on it last year and love it now.
ETA: I liked The Walking Dead, but I’m going to wait until season 2 ends before watching any more. I don’t like how it’s dragged.
I don’t watch much new TV. Rather, I listen to the TV while reading blogs on the computer. I was in the first generation of Star Trek fans — I even was part of the group that staged the first conventions in NYC in the early 1970s.
The only series TV I’ve watched on a regular basis in the last 7-8 years is “Friday Night Lights” and “Mad Men.” I loved “Law & Order,” “ST:DS9,” “B5,” “St. Elsewhere,” “West Wing,” MASH.” My guilty-pleasure show was “Spenser: For Hire” and, going way back,” Kojack.”
Downton Abbey is like crack. An ensemble of over a dozen characters, all wonderfully developed, right on the eve of, then during World War I. Great stuff.
Thumbs way up for the Sherlock series as well.
@Tokyokie: Very interesting. I wonder what family reunions are like with two “fifty pound brains” like MLP and her brother. You just know that they can’t be the only two.
The rhetoric has changed from developing to capability. Same war drum
We’ve been to the circus; seen the puppet show.
Sen. Joe Lieberman is leading a group of nearly one-third of the U.S. Senate urging that the red line on war with Iran be shifted from building a nuclear weapon to the vague notion of Iran having the “capability” to build one. The neoconservative senator from Connecticut has introduced a “Sense of the Senate” resolution that would put the body on record as rejecting a situation that arguably already exists, in which Iran has the know-how to build a bomb even if it has no intention to do so.
I thought Weeds got old..imo…
I unfortunately read doothat on the nytimes and to me, it is the worst evah..link If you can read it, please do and comment. Sex is not a liberal or conservative issue as far as I know. I believe that both sides have sex and his analysis is pretty off base.
Community fan here. Too bad we live in the darkest timeline, where there’s a place for Whitney but not Community.
I missed Cole’s “Pet Noses” thread last night. So here’s my contribution:
Gracie has a lighter (than the rest of her) gray patch that sorta surrounds her nose.
@Yutsano: Would you like a PBR with your hipness?
This is weird. Tonight I’m going to watch a TV show for the first time in months. My wife wants to see SNL and though I’m a big snob I’ll do it for her.
I quit TV entirely from about 1980 to 2008. Then my wife convinced me that there was stuff out there worth watching. She rented DVDs of Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, Firefly, BSG, The Lost Room, Sports Night, Burn Notice, True Blood and a few others. I loved 90% of it and I’m glad I watched them.
But I just can’t make regular TV watching part of my schedule. I’ve been out of the habit for too long.
@Tokyokie: Justified is the only show I still make a point to DVR (well, that and various Adult Swim cartoons) and watch immediately. Dewey Crowe is my main man.
@burnspbesq: You either like old tv or you are my age. I loved St. Elsewhere and the ending still makes me tear up.
I’m old enough to have watched “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” on Sunday nights on Channel 13 in New York. It was a little disconcerting to go from “Masterpiece Theatre” to Python.
Hell on Wheels damned fine, as well. Same people who made Deadwood.
When is that fuckstick out of the Senate? Dr. Death with a whiny voice. I hate that little shit.
I’ve a lot of suggestions, mostly British TV I get on Netflix:
Shameless (BBC, not Showtime; and I didn’t like Series 2 nearly as much as Series 1)
House Of Cards
Anything with Bill Nighy (the recent Page Eight, for example, though as the two hours progressed it went downhill)
Slings And Arrows
Treme, Generation Kill, The Wire, and The Corner
Being Human (BBC version)
Battlestar Galactica (don’t watch the second half of the last season)
The Thick Of It (still not released in Region 1, I think)
Knowing Me, Knowing You (and other Steve Coogan)
League Of Gentlemen
Mitchell And Webb
Life On Mars (BBC version)
I was born during Eisenhower’s first term.
I didn’t watch TV shows too much over the last decade. I did watch BSG, Arrested Development, and some other shows with friends, but I couldn’t watch Firefly, Weeds or the other shows they started following. The flying chicken thing is just too silly for me to get past. The dialogue reminds me of Spaceballs.
Right now, I’m watching the Criminal Intent series with Vincent D’Onofrio. I just like watching him act, but the show is sometimes freakishly well done.
Anyone else remember “A Very British Coup?”
I loved the show Life. The music really helped make the show, and I was bummed to find out that they put different songs on the DVD version. Anybody know if Netflix has the original music?
I also loved terriers, Chicago code, chase, eleventh hour, rubicon and a whole bunch of other great shows that were cancelled.
I think the good wife, ncis, person of interest and parenthood may be the best shows that are still on. Loved justified last season but I couln’t really get into the first episode this season so the rest are waiting for me on TiVo.
Lots of fun shows on USA, castle is a guilty pleasure.
Not soon enough….
Last turned it on to watch Howard Dean guest-host Countdown, 2 or 3 years ago.
Bill in Section 147
I am with you on Survivor, American Idol and Weeds. Nobody in my family cares to watch Survivor but the wife and kids are in to American Idol and the kids like Weeds. Meh. I skip reality shows altogether. And over the last year I have really gotten away from the History Channel. Even their well-done shows have too many commercials and it seems half the show is the lead-in and lead-out around the commercials.
I am also spoiled by Netflix. I would rather watch a show two or three years old on Netflix than wade through the commercials and wait for the next episode. If I have the time I can watch 3 episodes in a row, no commercials and replay when I miss something and pause when I care to.
On Netflix we started Breaking Bad. The wife really likes it and I like it too but it is wearing me out because nothing gets resolved. I am almost finished with Season 2. Well filmed and well acted but I want at least one main character to straighten out their life…just one.
I have also enjoyed Luther on BBC but I am now caught up with all netflix and on Demand availability. I also enjoy The Mentalist. A couple of minor characters that I really like and clever enough without being too deep make it a good late-night pass-time.
@RossInDetroit: Buffy, Angel, and BSG were favorites when they each were on.
I just can’t get into Mad Men. I’ve tried several times and still have three season’s worth on DVD that my sister lent me. So far i’m about 6 episodes in. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the show while I’m watching it. I do. It’s just that I have no drive to continue watching it. I never feel in the mood, so they sit there, gathering dust.
I like Downton Abbey right now, and loved the craziness of American Horror Story. I’m also really looking forward to the upcoming remastered Star Trek TNG that should be out soon. Archer and Parks and Recreation are also good.
Currently, I can’t get enough Downton Abby or Walking Dead. I really enjoy Survivor – its just a very elaborate game show.
I watch Who else but The Doctor!!
(I can hardly wait for series 7)
and of all things
The Rockford Files! I didnt remember Jim Rockford was such a whiner!
I’m an outlier in that I haven’t seen any “prime time” TV since college. I worked nights for nearly 20 years, so I just fell out of the habit of it. Most of the crap out there now is totally uninteresting to me. And all the shows I hear good things about are either no longer being produced, or on premium channels I won’t pay for. And my “high speed” (talk about a misnomer) is of such specious quality that anything streaming is out of the question. About the only show these days I actually look forward to is Dr. Who, and of course that’s on hiatus for the year now.
I thought Weeds would be great, but after the fourth episode I started looking for something new. Now that I’ve gotten into Downton Abbey I’m looking at old Upstairs, Downstairs and Poldark episodes (Netflix only streams the first season of these classics it seems. Bastards!)
Marcellus Shale, Public Dick
i liked weeds less and less after the first season.it got to the point where they lost detail in order to keep the plot moving from fish out of water absurdity to fish out of water absurdity. there were no longer any great set-ups. just facepalming, well of course that’s what happens next.
i really liked it at one point.
i can’t honestly say there is anything, even dexter, that i think is great, but that is in large part due to me not really paying that much attention to what is on.
always sunny in philadelphia was a good show, before it was a good show,now i watch it to the commercial, change the channel and don’t go back.
Any Seattle folks at Sazerac, let me know who and where you are!
For dark comedies, you can’t beat
Dead Like Me. So cool. All about grim reapers and really funny.
I also like Raising Hope. It’s about a slacker family who are raising their son’s daughter, the product of a one night stand with a serial killer. Loopy and funny. It has Martha Plimpton and Cloris Leachman and is worth watching just for that.
Both are Netflixable.
I’m here to defend Survivor. The show rules. For one – it’s a game show, not a reality show. Winner gets a million bucks. For two: It’s an extended sociological experiment. Otherwise average Americans are forced to live as stone age humans. Survivor is awesome, for through it you can see how base human instinct operates.
And Sherlock is good, too.
@Soonergrunt: Buffy and Angel are some of the best TV ever. I love the mythos.
Justified. I bought the fiest season CD and I’m working my way though it. Also taping this years season. I want to try to watch all of the series in order, allthough I am not sure it matters that much.
Love the BBC Sherlock.
Friends love Phineas and Ferb. I’ve tried–it leaves me cold. Same with Grimm.
Steve in DC
Right now I’m watching Spartacus, Walking Dead, and waiting on the next Game Of Thrones.
for through it you can see how base human instinct operates.
That’s exactly why I don’t watch reality shows.
I thought BSG overall was a fantastic drama. It was uneven here and there but I didn’t care. Hooked me in like no other show.
My point of reference is ’70s TV because I stopped watching for a long time after that. Modern shows are both better and worse than ’70s network shows. The best now is better than anything from 30 years ago. And the worst now is all worse than The Gong Show.
My wife watches those dancing shows. I just shut my mouth and go upstairs.
@burnspbesq: You’re a baby. I was born during the Truman Administration.
Firefly: found the captain unlikeable, and felt that the natural lead for that show was the doctor character, the girl’s brother. He had the most at stake and he was the ‘fish out of water’ character. But I guess the guy who plays the captain has a cult follow or something, and he’s the Kirk of the ship, so he was the lead. Big mistake–I think a fatal one.
I like Justified and Dr. Who (usually), the new Sherlock Holmes, I’ll admit to guilty pleasure in New Girl, and Wipeout.
lol both of us Dr Who. They start filming series 7 monday for play in the fall.
I like to go here for dr who info
I’m with you. The forever fawning, fake-doe-eyed star – she’s hot, in her way but she annoys hell out of me. The dude – can’t remember his name – her not-love interest – is hilarious, though.
That’s where I saw Monty Python too and Channel 11 ran episodes of The Odd Couple, which is my all-time top TV show. That’s also where I watched the orignal Star Trek, and I was (an am) shamelessly a Trekkie.
I work into the evenings so I miss a lot of what’s on TV now, but always make time for Mad Men, and my guilty pleasures, Top Chef and Project Runway.
Ah, that explains why you were watching Masterpiece before Python. I never turned the teevee on before Python started (second Eisenhower admin here).
As for now, if I’m not watching a sporting event or a specific movie, I’m killing time surfing the jillion-and-seven cable reality shows for mind-bending, do-these-creatures-really-exist-in-the-wild WTF moments, although occasionally I’ll run across something authentic. The seventeen-year-old trying to run his grandfather’s claim on “Gold Rush” last season was really compelling to me.
Pope Bandar bin Turtle
Burn Notice is great. Bruce Campbell starred in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., which was excellent. They had even had Timothy Leary in one episode! Buffy, Firefly, blah blah blah. My other contemporary favorites are Castle, Community, & Suits (which is set to start Season 2). Another great BBC series was Hustle, feature Robert “The Man from UNCLE” Vaughan. And the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes has no equal.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I think I’m all alone on this one, but I just can’t get in to Breaking Bad. I watched the first season and was kinda… meh. Maybe the expectations set by everybody talking about it were too high, but I didn’t get that with The Wire or Mad Men, which i was really skeptical of– those were like crack to me. Bryan Cranston is great, but the scenes without him drag, and the character of his wife is just grating.
@Soonergrunt: If you really must know. I accept your mockery at your leisure.
(The beer I’ll make fried shrimp out of.)
Working my way through The Wire, finally. Just masterful storytelling. Also, season 1 of Brick City is pretty dang good. Cory Booker has a bright future on the national stage if he chooses to pursue it. Looking forward to season 2 showing up on Netflix.
OTOH, can baseball season just start already? Go Braves!
Nathan Fillion. I thought the character was a bit forced, especially the accent and vocabulary. That’s my least favorite Whedon show also because there’s a lot of brutal violence and that’s a buzzkill for me. I liked the other characters a lot and they did have some interesting plots.
Knots Landing. But those days are looong gone. :-(
I love Justified, Breaking Bad, and Downton Abbey for current tv shows. An older, long gone favorite is Homicide: Life on the Streets. Only on dvd from Netflix, which is a shame, but so worth it.
Soonergrunt, I’m with you on Weeds. As much as I dislike it, I’ve seen way too many episodes. My dislike — which is shared by almost all my minority friends, and my super PC white friends — is based on two factors: the racial stereotypes and Nancy Botwin being placed on a pedestal. The first three seasons were absolutely horrible for black stereotypes, and then it got shifted to Mexican stereotypes. (And the white characters always seemed to feel like they looked down upon the non-whites.) And all the minority characters — the black guy from 40 Y.O. Virgin, the Mexican guy from Half Baked, the Mexican mayor — all fall for her, as if she represents the pinnacle of attainment. And honestly, all those guys could have done better, not simply in the looks department, but the station in life area. Nancy is attractive, but not in a “risk my existence” way.
@Pope Bandar bin Turtle:
I think the only big network show we watch is “Modern Family” (yes, sue us, but it really is a fun show with a lot of heart). We’re working our way through “Homeland” and hopefully will be done in time to start the new season. Loved “Game of Thrones,” but it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Peter Dinklage deserves every damn award that’s been thrown at him this year.
Since St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, I’ll throw in a plug for “Father Ted,” a BBC series from the 90s about three really terrible priests who get exiled to a tiny island off Ireland’s coast. You can watch it for free on either IMDb or Hulu, but you have to sign in for “adult content” since their favorite word is “feck.” It helps to be a recovering Catholic, but I think Protestants should be able to appreciate it, too.
“That would be an ecumenical matter!”
I love Downton Abbey. My son used to watch Weeds but now agrees with me that it is an incredibly depressing series.
@burnspbesq: Speaking of which, Channel 13 is showing Run Silent Run Deep right now, so signing off!
In addition to the Brit series already listed, I would add:
Jekyll – A great modern take on Jekyll & Hyde.
Ultraviolet – Another take on vampires, done prior to vamps becoming a craze. Only one series (season) before being cancelled.
As for Weeds, I think you have to watch it from the beginning. The Nancy character is just too unlikable in the later seasons unless you’ve seen how she got there. I do think the series ran a couple seasons too long and started just getting silly.
Fringe. It’s like the X-Files (investigating weird crimes) except they didn’t spend 10 years treading water on the mythology.
Mr Stagger Lee
First three seasons of Weeds was good, then it sucked for me.
I am a fan of the darker version of Weeds, Breaking Bad. I hope the fourth season is repeated on AMC. I don’t think there has been a more scarier set a villains than the Moncada Brothers.
@Pope Bandar bin Turtle: The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., was made of awesome. Of course it only lasted one season, but it was so great.
I’ve got a low tolerance for commercials now. I wonder if they wear out that circuit.
@RossInDetroit: That’s it! Thanks. I knew the name, but I always think that ‘Nathan Fillion’ has _got_ to be a character, not an actual person’s name!
The accent and vocabulary grew on me. I just thought they really highlighted the wrong character. You’ve got ‘a guy who frees his sister from the Big Baddies and ends up having to work as a doctor on a smuggler’s ship to stay one step ahead’ one the one hand, and on the other you’ve got, ‘the captain of a smuggling ship who was on the wrong side of the war.’
It’s not even close.
But, um, I hate to admit this: I never liked Buffy. Too old, maybe? High school, eh. Not my thing.
@Water balloon: I have the exact same feelings about Mad Men. It’s decent enough to watch while you’re watching it, but I have no desire to see more of it; I’m never in the mood to turn it on, and I almost have to force myself to watch another episode. All my friends and family are so deeply into the show, it’s like I owe it to them to watch the whole series.
The series I that NEVER EVER expected there was any freaking possible way (as in, less chance than a snowstorm in Miami) was “Glee”. The premise (drama about high school glee club geeks) and music (ensemble versions of oldie goldie pop tunes) sounded like a repulsively uninteresting combination, one especially likely to come with an unpalatable topping of schmaltz beyond just that inherent in the basic premises.
As I sat in my study one night I heard some really lively, wonderful, rhythmic a capella singing…and I walked out to see just what the heck my wife was watching, and it turned out to be…GLEE! Well…ok, I decided it was worth giving it a shot through a couple of commercial breaks. I’m not steadfast hooked into it the way my wife is, but I have to admit that Glee was about the most unexpected upside surprise I’ve ever run into in a series, especially one I had expected would nauseate me if I ever got accidentally caught watching it for five minutes in the sort of social situation you can’t politely bolt out of.
@MD Rackham: Ooh, I’m just getting into Ultraviolet. Pretty fun. (I keep having to remember that the main character isn’t in Coupling, though! Loved Coupling.)
I watch a lot of UCTV on Dish, one of the 94xx series channels. Good shows but the bastards at Dish are dropping them end of the month.
Been watching The Fades on BBC – it’s like Buffy TVS only better written and acted.
I used to watch Being Human, but just like Supernatural, it went on a downhill spiral after the first season.
I liked the concept of Weeds, just not the show unfortunately. Seems to be the case with a lot of shows I start watching but never follow through on. Firefly held my interest through the life of the show, as did Farscape – which I liked more than Firefly so pfft :) I did not realize there were new episodes of This Old House. I used to watch it all the time and then the reruns just made me tune it out.
@Kbeagle: I loved “Dead Like Me”. Even the movie was decent if not great.
I’ll have to check out Raising Hope.
@redshirt: “through it you can see how base human instinct operates.” I get what you’re saying here, but I guess I’ve seen enough of that up close and personal to last a lifetime.
I’m completely with you on American Idol and Survivor. Never watched either one of them.
Back a year or two after Survivor first started, I was at a convention where some company or group, for some unknown reason, thought it would be a good idea to hire the old guy who apparently was on the first season of Survivor to appear at the convention. So with a group of other company employees, I met the guy but had to say, “I’m sorry; I don’t know who you are.” And he got pissed off about it, which I thought was hilarious! Later on one of the other company employees was acting like I was some kind of freak and should have been embarrassed for not fawning all over the guy, and I’m thinking, “YOU should be embarrassed for not only KNOWING who he is, but for giving a damn!”
Anyhoo, since no one has mentioned it, I thought American Horror Story was just creepy as hell. I will be watching it again for season 2.
Pitched to a young audience, especially the early seasons. It was a bit monster-of-the-week But it did get better. And they did some stuff that was amazing for serial TV.
I have no use for any of the “WHO will be eliminated NEXT?” genre. Or anything with “Housewives” in the title.
I enjoy “Big Bang Theory” and “Tosh.0”, though I know it’s awful. I’m studying for my AREs and am always busy with the girls, so there’s nowhere near enough time for me to consume the media I want to.
Community, Community, Community. I can’t recommend this show enough. Do yourself a favor and watch it from the beginning. The pilot episode is kind of meh, but still watch it so you’ll care about the characters by the time the show gets really good–the show finds its feet pretty fast. The first Halloween episode is an all time great, and I think is like the 7th episode. If you don’t like the show by then, I’m pretty sure something is wrong with you.
I adore Mary Louise Parker even though I don’t much like Weeds. We’re all allowed our crushes, right?
Truth is, although there are many OK shows today, I spend time scanning the old folks cable channels (a Hoverround commercial every five minutes) that show old shows, like Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, or even Perry Mason.
@RossInDetroit: It’s one of those shows that everyone whose taste I respect really loves. But I never got past the first season.
Kinda the TV version of Terry Pratchett.
Not sure why, but I like “Castle”. The new Sherlock is good too. Doctor Who.
Six Feet Under.
Weeds got old for me as well: I couldn’t tell you which season, but at some point I began to feel, “You know, Nancy is kind of messed up, really after all, and it’s becoming a drag.” Prior to that, though, loved it.
Just an fyi for those who find many of these good shows unappealing.
What I’ve found is that you need to watch at least 3-4 episodes in order, so that you can start to get into the characters. You have to care about what happens to them, before you can be hooked/
I’ll second Jekyll.
I’m a bit taken aback with the love a couple people have expressed for Life. As a crime show it was OK, but I’ve never been a fan of Damian Lewis and the premise was just too, too painfully absurd. Everything about the premise, really: the massive wealth of the settlement, the guy getting his badge back after twelve years on top of the settlement, the stream of model girlfriends, the honest ex-con accountant, the sweeping conspiracy he was on the trail of, etcetera. If they’d just made him a mentally questionable detective released after a couple of years wrongly in prison and ditched all the rest I might not have spent every minute I spent watching the show mocking everything about it.
Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor
The Lady Escargot likes Weeds, but I never got into it.
We’re re-watching through Mad Men from the beginning right now, in anticipation of the next season.
Have you guys noticed that when you type in the web address “balloon-juice.com”, you get something different than for “www.balloon-juice.com”? The former gives you an out of date post from the blog.
@Yutsano: I can’t mock that. I just can’t.
I’m not sure if you’re fucking with me or if it’s real, and so mocking it seems either pointless or redundant.
I’ll third (or fourth?) “Community.” It took a few episodes to find its voice, but once they figured out Abed and Troy, it took off running.
Sometimes the joke is just too inside…
That bug’s been commented on before, around the time of the last major site overhaul if at no other time.
Chrome at least rapidly learns that a URL starting b-a means “www.balloon-juice.com” and not “balloon-juice.com”.
It’s possible that he’s not fucking with you. It actually is a thing.
@cmorenc: Yeah, my daughter is a complete Gleek, and has got me watching at least half the time. It is a fun show, but what won me over is their treatment of their gay characters. I can’t tell you the impact this has on teens; shows like this, that portray gay teens as normal & those that hate them as the wrong ones, are moving society.
And, I don’t mind at all that my 16-17 year old & her friends really seem to want Mom to watch (and appreciate) it with them.
I find more of a disparity in opinions with respect to sit-coms, though I grant that they tend not to be to my taste in the first place.
I finally gave 30 Rock a try: mm, do not like much. And It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (which some adore)? Can’t stand it. Sit-coms may just not be my thing.
I like The Walking Dead and try to catch it during its Sunday release. Aside from that it’s pretty much live news and sports. And whatever Mrs. Khead puts on the upstairs TV.
Just watched the Russell Peters special on Netflix. No wonder he is the most famous comic in the world and no one in America has ever heard of him.
Six Feet Under! Watched it right from the very first episode and bawled during that last five minutes of the series finale. The characters were so well written and well acted and really unlike anything else that was on at the time.
I like Peter Krause a lot so I tried watching SFU. Too depressing for me in spots. The bad stuff just hung with me too long. But that’s me. It was very well written and acted, I thought.
You can trademark a proper noun, but not a common one.
I enjoy the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes, am addicted ferociously to Benedict’s Sherlock, and am currently listening to each and every of Clive Merrison’s Radio Sherlock Holmes so . . . I’m clearly in a bit of a rut. Good thing there’s Dr Who (again, multiple incarnations) State of Play and Life on Mars.
@Soonergrunt: I just watched Season Two Episode 18. The creator has done some other rather ingenious work like Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, so she told Hasbro if they agreed for her to do it she would do it unlike any other show for girls out there. There’s actual adult humor. And they aren’t just standing around acting cute and holding tea parties. All the main characters have professions, not all of them typically female-dominated. It’s definitely intended for younger girls true, but it’s REALLY well done.
@Mnemosyne: I’m a brony. I have no shame in this. And it’s all AL’s fault.
@Mnemosyne: Well, OK, then!
@Yutsano: Wait until you are a father and watch shows with your children. There was a time, when my boy was four to six, that I was really into pokemon. When my daughter was 9 to 11, we watched iCarly together.
MI-5, Sherlock, Doc Martin, Doctor Who, BSG, Firefly, Walking Dead, Buffy, Downton Abbey, Torchwood, Intelligence, Wire in the Blood and I need a new series to watch on Netflix.
I still miss Veronica Mars.
Currently: Doctor Who, Sherlock, Leverage
Recent-ish: West Wing, Nero Wolfe Mystery, BtVS (never got into Angel, though), BSG (right to the end!), House of Cards.
The Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes were outstanding, and deserve the love on this thread. So does Rumpole.
ETA. I mean Rumpole deserves the same level of love, not that it has, as of yet, received it.
I like Sons of Anarchy quite a lot. Good writing and complicated story lines with unexpected outcomes (except for the requisite violence). It’s really the first series I’ve been able to tolerate for more than a season since Weeds; which I burned out on in the second season because the story lines got cheesier with each episode.
During the bulk of my home time, MSNBC is on in the background as I cruise the web, though Ed Schultz makes me reflexively grab my remote. Otherwise, I catch documentaries on the Science Channel, Discovery, NatGeo and non-BS, pseudo-history on the History Channel. I do like American Pickers on the HC because of the cool stuff they find and because in a earlier time in my life I had someone in it that liked to go poking around with me in old antique shops, flea market, yard sales and auction houses on Saturdays.
I catch Morning Blow every AM so i can go into work properly outraged at Joe and Mika’s piss-ignorant take on current events. I can’t stand reality shows and inane shit like American Idol. They make me want to hurl a brick through my TV if I even see an advert or news spot about them
@MTiffany: It doesn’t matter the legal aspect. The problem was the aspect of them getting away from actually having a mindset about producing and showing Sci Fi.
They have Ghost Hunters and wrestling and a lot of other crap that is not sci fi, nor even fantasy.
The Dude Abides
Dexter, Californication, Homeland, and Stike Back. Watched some of Game of Thrones and The Borgias, but didn’t like them as much as the first four. The Matt LeBlanc show (Episodes??) was pretty good as well.
I’m surprised that nobody’s mentioned True Blood. I watched the first two seasons and it was fun in a supernatural brutally violent romcom melodrama kind of way.
is that now a common or garden-variety genre?
To everyone who liked Jekyll: watch Sherlock.
Also Peep Show, which can’t find an audience but has run 7 seasons one BBC4 anyway.
Here’s my summary of Weeds:
So Nancy Botwin has a problem. She does something bold to try and address it. It kinda works, but complications backfire and things end up worse than when she started. So Nancy Botwin has a problem. She does something bold to try and address it. It kinda works, but complications backfire and things end up worse than when she started. So Nancy Botwin has a problem. She does something bold to try and address it. It kinda works, but complications backfire and things end up worse than when she started. So Nancy Botwin has a problem. She does something bold to try and address it. It kinda works, but complications backfire and things end up worse than when she started. So Nancy Botwin has a problem. She does something bold to try and address it. It kinda works, but complications backfire and things end up worse than when she started. So Nancy Botwin has a problem. She does something bold to try and address it. It kinda works, but complications backfire and things end up worse than when she started. So Nancy Botwin has a problem. She does something bold to try and address it. It kinda works, but complications backfire and things end up worse than when she started. So Nancy Botwin has a problem. She does something bold to try and address it. It kinda works, but complications backfire and things end up worse than when she started…
Repeat until universe collapses due to something Nancy Botwin did.
Yep. Several of the actors have gone on to other things, which I tend to think is a good reflection.
Heh. You and my mom. She’s always pressured me the most to have kids. I try not to belabour the obvious (I’m not opposed to adoption or the lesbyterian/turkey baster method) but the truth is I don’t have any desire to have kids of my own. I could definitely handle being the spoiling rich gay uncle though.
“Misfits” on Hulu and “Friday Night Lights” on Netflix. Misfits is uneven, and the freak-of-the-weeks start to feel recycled after a while, but it has some wickedly funny moments. “Friday Night Lights” felt a bit contrived in the first couple of seasons, though still enjoyable, but the writing gets really good by seasons 4 and 5.
There are plenty of shows whose popular and critical appeal I just don’t get, but “The Walking Dead” probably tops the list. I watched all of season 1 hoping it would get better, but the opposite happened. I stuck with “Battlestar Galactica” long after it should have squandered my goodwill, but after the godawful season 1 finale of TWD I was done with the show.
True Blood was mentioned above.
I’ll watch it, but don’t think it’s great. Season Three goes in weird directions and I didn’t care for it as much. Also, there really ought to be a limit to how many times Jason can discover a completely new purpose in life.
Stargate (all of them)
and all of those Pawnshop/storage auction reality shows
when OZ was on…no, I couldn’t make it through an episode.
The Wire – no thank you.
Dexter – no thank you.
teevee died unceremoniously three years ago, and I been free from that idiot box. I like movies and various rerun sci fi teevee programs on the internet, but unless I lock the mouse in the closet and throw the key away, it is near impossible for me too watch fiction for more than 5 minutes at a time, without checking the news that I might miss something that just happened in the real world. Though I can listen to XM while surfing and the music is better for the head than most media stimuli.
@Soonergrunt: I was more of a Buffy fan than Angel (I couldn’t STAND the middle years of Angel – I thought the plotting went right round the bend), but the final scene in Angel was one of my favorite pieces of television ever. (Plus, every time I think of Angel as a wee puppet man, I giggle.) I don’t have TV, so everything is either DVDs or hulu, but my current faves are Castle and Leverage. Somewhat to my surprise, I find I’m enjoying Pan Am … which probably means that the cancellation rumors I’ve heard are going to come true. And after several years of not being able to watch NCIS without gritted teeth, I caught several episodes, and found they’d regained some of their lost mojo (my favorite seasons were the first 2, then they kind of lost the plot, imo).
Idol is for troglodytes. Survivor is for…well, no one that I can think of.
Then again, I watch Chopped!. Mostly for the reactions as they open the baskets and find stuff like clove candies in there. That ‘WTF?’ is priceless.
Nice. Kinda true for most series. The just flame out after three seasons or less due to the predictability.
That was me. It’s a bit over the top at times. And overwrought. And just plain weird for weird’s sake. But I like being surprised and it delivered that. I started out disliking Lafayette and really warmed to him.
I don’t have much (anything?) original to add–currently like “Justified” “Breaking Bad” the scant few “MI5s” and “AbFabs” I’ve yet to see and of course, “Top Gear”. I think I’ve developed a fondness for “Treme” although it took awhile. I want to slug somebody for never finishing “Deadwood.”
Also, too, “Curb” “Idiot Abroad” and “No Reservations.”
I suppose it’s too much to ask for another sci-fi of “Battlestar’s” caliber. Don’t connect with any of the others I’ve sampled.
See, that’s too much teevee once sports and TDS-Colbert get jammed into the list.
@Soonergrunt: I agree with you on the non-SF material that they show. Ditto for the fake science and history that those channels show.
Steve in DC
That’s why it’s best to go for things you know will end. Take Spartacus, you knew it was going to be limited, so there is no danger of it running too long. I can say the same about Game Of Thrones.
Nah. The thing is that after a while Nancy Botwin makes things worse even when it’s not necessary. Now, that’s fine as an approach to a series, since it’s basically a portrait of her, and she has an … issue … which has to do with the fact that she’s a risk-taker, an adrenalin junkie.
I don’t condemn the series for going in that direction; it’s not like we need every show to present a portrait of well-adjusted, normalized people. But the producers seemed to lose track of the fact that it gradually stopped being amusing, so the comedic interludes started to fall flat.
Deadwood – a cerebral exploration of the challenges of self-governance. And the uses of the word “cocksucker”.
The Tudors – men in gigantic furs with huge gold chains draped around their shoulders. Am very surprised this hasn’t come back in fashion yet.
Rome – Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo are the greatest double act ever.
The fly in that ointment for me was Connor. Every time that mopey little emo brat went into a sulk I just wanted to slap him.
I watched three episodes of Weeds, but could not get into it. Having seen Breaking Bad first, which covers similar ground, it just did not hold my interest. I could try going back to it at some point, but I am currently going through The Shield, in order. So, my winter plans are set.
I understand this so well. I have a friend who never wanted to have kids of his own. But life now finds him married to a woman who has a daughter who is having children (two so far). My friend is absolutely enthralled with the grand-kids. Enthralled. He loves being grandpa and playing with them and watching them, etc.
Jeebus, what a bunch of snobs. ;-)
I love TV. I would never have found BJ if it wasn’t for my absolute love, love, love of Survivor. After being banned from a Survivor blog (the OT thread), I was steered here as a place I’d fit right in. Love so many other shows, too! Project Runway, Top Chef, Amazing Race, Worst Chefs, Iron Chef, Next Iron Chef, Chopped, Tabitha Takes Over…all loads of fun. Mike and Molly and Big Bang Theory for comedy. Person of Interest, NCIS, Burn Notice, True Blood, Treme, and the Mentalist for drama. And Antiques Roadshow just because. Oh, and I love The Voice. It’s about ten million times better than American Idol, which has sucked donkey balls since season two.
@Steve in DC:
Good point. Then you have the shows like Law and Order and its spinoffs that seem like zombies because people love to gawk at never-ending supply of dramatized human cruelty as much as they like rubber-necking at car wrecks.
@RossInDetroit: Exactly! And Cordy’s exit deserved a whole lot more (at least she came back in season 5). Re-watching Season 1 when you know how the story arc goes, is incredibly depressing.
I think it’s Alan Ball. He can develop and begin good projects but can’t…I don’t know, keep his focus? First SFU season or two were good to extraordinary, but it wandered off unsupervised into traffic. He became fixated on ruining each character’s life. Same goes for “True Blood,” which started with a lot of promise but cratered spectacularly. I don’t give a shit about any character and couldn’t care less about vampire politics across the millennia. Ooh, who’s got a magic power today?
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
Someone’s got every episode up at YouTube, beginning here. Fucking brilliant television!
The part of having kids that I was referencing can definitely be handled by the cool uncle, whether he’s gay or not.
And believe me when I tell you that parenting requires a LOT more than providing genetic material. If you love a child and take interest and active role in her life and in making the world a better place for her, then you ARE parenting, even if you’re not the live-in person who has to also occasionally hand out punishments.
And while I loved the time I spent with my son before the world changed on us and I had to be gone all the damn time, I would’ve loved for him to have had an uncle to take him to Pokemon movies and such. All of his uncles are in California, and we’ve missed a lot by not being near my wife’s family.
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
Gahhh! My last comment has a link to The Thick of It on You Tube- but it’s in moderation.
“Rome” was unbelievably good. I should have a do-over now that I have an HD teebee–I can’t begin to guess all the lovely little details I missed first go-round.
You’re not Chuck Klosterman are you? I’m continually amazed by the amount of attention he can apply to TV shows.
@WyldPirate: Actually I stopped watching a number of shows that increasingly depended on physical cruelty or sexual abuse. I became tired of the shows and the shows often did not really explore the the psychology of the crime.
@Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):
A show of amazing audacity. Wished I better understood Brit politics to really appreciate it.
@NobodySpecial: I enjoy Chopped. But it makes me wonder if all chefs and cooks are such arrogant cocks and whiners?
@JPL: I REMEMBER Truman’s election in 1948.
Steve in DC
I don’t have a problem with cruelty or violence if it tells a story. When you think about it our history was violent. A lot of the shows I’ve enjoyed depict horrific acts of violence, rape, and all sorts of other issues. But there is a plot behind it, the characters are deep, and you have an understand of what is happening and why.
But yeah, Law and Order is bad… Because it’s not driving to some sort of conclusion, there is no end goal. Spartacus is probably the most bloody and cruel show out there. But the characters are great and the cruelty serves a purpose. You know what’s motivating them and where it’s going. You’re just along for the ride till till the ultamit and tragic ending.
@Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Cleared.
Downton Abbey is so gorgeously filmed that I don’t mind the soapiness at all.
Anyone watch Craig Ferguson? More people should as he is really fucking funny.
@Gravenstone: A lot of them are, unfortunately. Apparently belief in one’s own greatness is required to make it in a culinary career beyond line cook.
My favorites pretty much track with the consensus here, with Justified being at the top of my list. I saw a number of episodes before reading the Elmore Leonard novels and if anything, the series is a little better. In the books, Boyd’s in his fifties and Raylan has two sons. I also happen to catch a short with Walton Goggins chatting up some students/aspiring directors about the show and apparently Boyd Crowder was killed off in the original pilot. The comments from test audiences convinced the producers to change the ending.
Recently the NY Times had an article on the popularity of “Downton Abbey” and how it’s driving viewers into bookstores looking for books on the Edwardian era and the British aristocracy. I have tried watching it a couple of times, but couldn’t get into it. One reason I think is I don’t need it, because I’ve already had my Downton Abbey exactly 30 years ago, when in the winter of 1982 PBS showed the Jeremy Irons -Anthony Andrews “Brideshead Revisited” miniseries on American TV for the first time. Coincidentally, that semester I was taking in college a course on 18th and 19th century British history. These two events happening at the same time had a profound effect on me and made me an Anglophile and a scholar of English history. It especially increased my interest in the British aristocracy and their country houses. I was less interested in Waugh’s religious theme, and did not like how in the end Charles converts to Catholicism, but that was a minor quibble. Everybody who saw “Brideshead” then knew they were seeing one of the greatest TV programs in history. I have been looking at it recently on Youtube over and over and can’t stop watching it. So, who needs “Downton Abbey”? After “Brideshead Revisited”, every other British program since, no matter how well made, looks like a pale imitation.
Ben Cisco (mobile)
Most of my favorites have already been mentioned. One should be obvious. One that hasn’t been mentioned is Cartoon Network’s crowning achievement – Samurai Jack.
Mike in NC
Downton Abbey: they did it so much better 30 years ago on “Upstairs, Downstairs”
I never liked Buffy. Tried to get into it and just couldn’t: the only good moments were the ones with Spike. On the other hand, I finally tried Angel and loved it.
@Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):
I have it on Region 2 DVD (region-free DVD players are cheap, and it’s only about thirty bucks for the box set from British Amazon). But it’s nice it’s available on Youtube for people who don’t knuckle under and pay like I did.
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
I see how it would be easy to be sidetracked, but the show works fine for me, and I could use a crash course on that system, too. That’s to say, I don’t think you need that sort of knowledge.
Knowledge of pop culture in the UK, however, is recommended. Not required, just recommended, in the way I’d say it is for something like AbFab.
@Ben Cisco (mobile):
Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor
@Ben Cisco (mobile):
Dear gods. I had forgotten.
The Closer, Leverage and Bones of shows that I watch on cable. But our much loved series rewatched on DVD: Firefly/Serenity; Life; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy and Smiley’s People (the BBC miniseries); Rumpole of the Bailey; Nero Wolfe (2 yrs on A&E with Timothy Hutton as Archie Goodwin) and rewatching the Closer.
Yep, that’s the main current show I’m following right now. I watched it for Nathan Fillion, but as far as Stana Katic goes… now that I’ve seen her in Castle, I’m stunned that the Bond franchise was able to get her and only gave her a two minute appearance in Quantum of Solace. What a waste.
And the first 2 seasons of Veronica Mars.
Justified and Archer. I have also been enjoying Downton Abbey and the few episodes of Sherlock that have aired.
Star Trek, Monty Python, B5, BSG, West Wing, Big Bang, Doctor Who, Torchwood (except most recent), Northern Exposure (prior to shark-jumping)
Recent discovery: The Dresden Files
Any other Joan of Arcadia fans out there?
Someone please briefly explain to me the the appeal of Dr. Who. I’m seriously curious. Two (maybe three now) of my sisters are mad for that show but I. Do. Not. Get. It.
What am I missing?
Don’t watch much other than PBS. Downton Abbey (Season 1) was pretty good, Season 2, not so much. The newest Sherlock Holmes was an interesting take on an old subject. That’s about it for me.
No idea. It has never appealed to me either.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@PTirebiter: I love Justified. I won’t spoil it for anybody who might be catching up, but damn was I ambivalent about the way the Bennett arc ended. I’m guessing you can guess what I mean. Goggins is great, and I think there’s a whole fictional universe to be explored, the history of the “hollers” and the families, if they drop the Villain of the week stuff, or at least give it second rank to the locals.
@Librarian: Can’t really argue against the brilliance of Brideshead Revisited, but aren’t the themes rather different from Downton Abbey?
We watched a Canadian show called Slings and Arrows, about a Shakespeare festival. I should have hated that but it was actually pretty good. Ditto for Wonderfalls, which was extremely weird but pleasant. Neither is essential but both delivered the expected entertainment.
I was a Law and Order junkie back in the 90s. I guess I got hooked on it at first because of the gawker aspect, then I became more focused on the “nailing the bad guy” aspect than the depravity of the crimes.
When I finally got burned out on it was when I seemed to be looking at it from an Old Testament prospective and enjoying the “vengeance is mine” aspect. Many people who have had fucked up things done to them in real life seem to end up doing the same to others. It no longer seemed to be something to do for entertainment when so much awful shit happens to people in the real world.
Quoted for truth.
I love it, but if it doesn’t work for you, maybe it doesn’t work for you. Lots of good shows in this thread, not everything works for everyone.
This won’t change your mind, but it may help explain it:
How Doctor Who Became My Religion
Dead Like Me was mentioned, which was excellent.
I also was a fan of Reaper (1st season available on Hulu!) in which a slacker, Sam, discovers on his 21st birthday that his parents sold his soul to the Devil before he was even conceived. The Devil offers Sam a job – he must recapture souls that have escaped from Hell. The Devil was played by Ray Wise, who did an insanely good job of being evil. Like Dead Like Me, it was cancelled after 2 seasons, leaving a lot of dangling plot points. But overall, I found it quite good.
I don’t mind that Dr. Who isn’t for me, but it’s really important to people in my family and I want to understand why. Gonna go follow Gnomedad’s link & maybe I can figure it out.
I second Fringe. I started watching from the beginning, but stopped after a couple episodes, after I thought it was just going to be a “monster of the week” type of show. I caught an episode near the end of the second season and have been watching ever since. The overall story arc is good and they don’t go long without advancing it.
Also, about this:
Is there any place I can find the second series legally (I understand it doesn’t air in the U.S. for a while?) I don’t mind paying to download it from ITunes or something, but it’s not even there.
Shows that are current: Castle, White Collar, Terra Nova, Clone Wars.
Old shows I’m working my way through: Battlestar Galactica, Angel, the A-Team.
If you like scifi at all and haven’t seen Farscape you need to look it up right away. It’s one of the best there is. Stargate is also lots of fun, as has been mentioned, although I thought Stargate Universe was a dud. And Fringe is good, though IMO the first season lacks focus and mainly has a lot weirdo things going on without enough of a story arc. But stay with it.
I’m enjoying Being Human in both the BBC and SyFy versions. The latter one is much better this year than last. I’m kind of plowing through Buffy, didn’t catch it live. It’s not my favorite, but it’s interesting to see how it set a lot of the vampire idioms for the current TV outbreak.
Um, I think I’m going to go eat my dinner now . . .
The Wire, West Wing, Joan of Arcadia, Friday Night Lights, My So-called Life . . . any show from any season, and I’m happy for 42 minutes.
For sheer mind-boggling is-this-for-real surreal-ness, nothing beats America’s Next Top Model, but you have to use tivo so you can zip through everything but the photo shoots and the showing of pictures. It just amazes me that these plain, strange women can be turned into something like aliens on a weekly basis. High fashion modeling is better than sci fi, imo.
I hate Mad Men for its stupid dialogue and pointless dead end plot lines, but it looks interesting with the sound off. Downton Abbey is kind of the same, but less annoying . . . except when the paralyzed guy suddenly got better and jumped up out of his chair. That was bullshit.
Survivor can be interesting, but only with tivo so you can skip through the challenges and other dumb parts. I just saw the Voice for the first time last week . . . might have potential.
And if the article is too over the top for you, try these mini-episodes (about 3 minutes each). If they don’t hook you, they’ll at least illustrate the kind of mind they appeal to. I loved them.
I don’t care about any of it. I pretty much gave up watching TV 20 years ago.
Oh … except for Jon Stuart and Colbert.
It’s about thirty bucks, delivered, from Amazon.co.uk, but you’ll need a region-free DVD player (also about thirty or forty bucks, I think) or the confidence to dissect and flip switches on your existing player. I don’t think there’s any legal way to get it in North America other than importing a Region 2 DVD set.
I haven’t bothered, as I’ll wait for Netflix to get it, in six months or whatever. Not that I’m pleased to wait …
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I couldn’t agree more about “the Bennett arc.” I hope and trust you’re right about there being a million stories in the Naked Hollows but Mags as the matriarch of a hillbilly crime family was special.Prejudice aside, she could have held her own with Gordon Gecko and the five NY families wouldn’t have stood a chance.
The problem I had with Weeds was that if Nancy Botwin hadn’t been a middle-class white woman, she would have been dead or in jail so many times over. I just got tired of watching, knowing that she was basically skating by on that.
Ferguson is awesome. No band, no sidekick, and no need to appeal to frat boys (Fallon).
You might try starting with Season Five, not One. I like Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, but never much cared for Billie Piper, and while Tennant eventually became very good it took him a while to find his stride.
But, um, I hate to admit this: I never liked Buffy. Too old, maybe? High school, eh. Not my thing.
“I never liked Buffy. Tried to get into it and just couldn’t: the only good moments were the ones with Spike. On the other hand, I finally tried Angel and loved it.”
I don’t think liking or disliking Buffy has anything to do with age. I loved Buffy and I watched original Trek in first run on network television.
Angel was pretty good, but I have to admit, I like the Angel actor better on Bones.
I’m really enjoying Bones – I like a show where the female lead can be so socially inept and yet be an effective and admirable character. (She stumbled across Jersey Shore, and described it as a fascinating anthropological documentary about the Guido Tribe.) And I love a show where the scientists rock, and ‘bugs, mold and slime’ can be a valid and rewarding career option.
Lessee, what else is good? Much of my recent viewing has already been recommended – Dexter and Firefly and Glee and Warehouse 13.
I thought I was the only person watching Property Brothers (HGTV) for Drew and Jonathan, but then they started promoing ‘the guys of Wednesday night’ – “they’re sexy, sleek, and stylish, and we’re not just talking about the designs”, so huh. It’s not just me.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
Currently: Downton Abbey, Dexter, Glee, Sherlock
I liked the first season of True Blood
I also really loved BSG and Firefly
And after you’ve read that, you may want to see this
Thanks for the recommendation. Tennant is the one that the relatives talk about the most. I figure it’s part of the family culture now so I’d better get up to speed.
@Yutsano: Brony! Hehe.
Frakk. Yeah, I guess I’ll do the same. I don’t have a British DVD player or the tech knowledge to make one.
Never could get into Weeds. Californication on the other hand was a friggin’ riot. I still occasionally watch the Office, but most of my TV time if dedicated to my Netflix que.
It’s not actually a violation of copyright law to receive things that are in copyright, but it is a violation to give it to other people.
pseudonymous in nc
I just watched the pilot of Awake, which NBC released a fortnight early, and shows a lot of promise. Given the complexity of the premise — basically, Life on Mars taken to a further extreme — I would like, I think, for the writers and producers to commit to a single season that completes the arc and be done, because if they do that, they’ll probably take a boatload of awards and not regret it.
Life got its second season, which was a surprise, and managed to finish well, even though the end required some rejigging to deal with Sarah Shahi’s pregnancy. The nagging thing about it is that its DVD and streaming releases have had to swap out different tracks because of rights expenses — I don’t think there have been many American primetime shows that had such an inspired choice of music. (Basically: buy the DVDs, but nab the original broadcast episodes from teh internets.)
Currently: Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Person of Interest, Homeland, The Good Wife. Looking forward to Mad Men in March. Big Love was a favourite, I’m sorry it’s over.
I caught an episode of the new Upstairs, Downstairs on PBS the other night. One of the upstairs ladies is enamoured of the British Union of Fascists while one of the downstairs maids is a Jewish refugee. They seem to be going into interesting territory. Friends tell me it’s a repeat from last year.
When I saw Sherlock, my first thought was “What a waste of Rupert Graves.” I just don’t get the love for this Cumberbatch guy.
Mnemosyne, I share your love of Father Ted!
@pseudonymous in nc:
Thirty years on and there’s never been a decent release of WKRP for the same reason.
Ooooh, nice! Thanks!
@gnomedad: Me. I didn’t watch on first run but when it was shown on SciFi, I loved the whole day marathon showings.
I lurrrve Downton Abbey, even though the 2nd season has been a bit much, what with the amnesia and the Miraculous Rebirth of Little Matthew, but I’ve heard tomorrow night’s Christmas Special redeems all.
Plus, next season, Shirley MacLaine is joining the cast as Lady Grantham’s American mother. The Shirley-Maggie Diva-Off will be heaven. I can hardly wait!
One series no one has mentioned is Action, with Jay Mohr as a flop-sweaty Hollywood producer. It was demented.
I also liked The Book of Daniel, with Aidan Quinn as an Episcopal priest with a dysfunctional family. That one got killed by evangelicals, the fuckers. My pastor loved it!
I (still) haven’t gotten around to watching it, but his award-winning turn as Stephen Hawking in a BBC biopic is on Youtube starting here.
ETA Also speaking of Cumberbatch on film, what I’d really like is the recording of him in Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein. The recording exists – it was made for in-theater simulcasts – but there’s been no word of a DVD release.
@Soonergrunt: I met Jay a few years ago when he was visiting Tokyo, and he’s a very smart and interesting fellow. But then, you probably assumed that part.
@KyCole: Luther is good. Stars Stringer Bell from The Wire.
@efgoldman: Og, yes, I remember Trouble with Tribbles… I spent one Easter weekend at a Star Trek con in Boston, at David Gerrold’s huckster table selling his books and Tribbles. (His was the only table to make real money that weekend, at least he covered expenses.)
well the scary thing is that my interests are kind of like some of my rants, all over the place…..
so here’s a sampling of what I have enjoyed…..
Firefly, Venture Brothers, MI-5 (Spooks), Amazing Race, Castle, TRMS, Haven, Warehouse 13, The Wire, X-Files, and The Adventures of Pete and Pete.
Haven’t been watching narrative TV, comedy or drama, for a long time. Did watch and enjoy the most recent Mad Men. Love Project Runway (though they’ve badly blown the finale two years running) and Chopped. Seek out Futurama reruns. Avoid like the plague all “Adult Swim” cartoons and any show on before or after the Stewart/Colbert block. Weed, a lackadaisical attitude, and b0ner jokes do not a show make, guys.
@MaryRC: I thought the updated “Up Stairs, Down Stairs” was just too short a series to really develop the story lines very much. And therefore disappointed with it.
@MikeJ: Northern Exposure had that problem too. The DVDs had practically all different music from the show. On the net you can find lists of the original music used. I taped VHS copies of the show which I will never get rid of because of the music.
Here’s what we’re watching these days:
Current episodes of Castle, Sherlock (ahem), and Doctor Who. Also Futurama when it’s available.
Back eps on Netflix: Doc Martin, Parks and Recreation, NCIS, Bones (I would quit, but my husband wants to stick with it), 30 Rock, probably a couple of other things I’m forgetting. Oh yeah, need to catch up on Leverage. I failed out mid-season 3 but I’m told it got really good again.
I’ve considered starting Community, but I caught a few minutes in the video store a while back and found it insufferable. Not that that’s a great sample.
@efgoldman: I don’t get the premium channels either. Too expensive.
Re your wife, her friend and the truck — nice story.
@Librarian: Oh, God, Airheads Revisited.
The Wire is worth toughing out the first 3 or 4 episodes for. But it is difficult at first.
Just finished all of Mad Men available on Neflix. I enjoyed.
@Chris: I, for one, am not adverse to bittorent if U.S. broadcasters are unwilling to show newish shows in a timely manner. Legal or not, screw them.
pseudonymous in nc
I have to admit that I find Downton Abbey ridiculous, but I understand why it’s catnip to others. Call it Masterpiece Crackhouse.
@Warren Terra:Or, if you have a Mac, use Mac theRipper and rip it to region 0.
@PurpleGirl: Thanks … that’s disappointing. I’ll try to catch another episode, though, just to see where it goes. Mosley and the rise of the BUF are an interesting period in British history for me.
Well, it’s definitely an acquired taste, like caviar or liver pate — I think if you don’t hit it at just the right point of your personal timeline, you’ll never understand the luuuuv. One of my dearest friends was a Who fan, going back 30 years now, but despite sharing a mutual ST:OG obsession I could NOT get into any one of the 5 or 6 Doctors then available. Now that we’re all older & more tech-enabled, since both the Spousal Unit & I adored TORCHWOOD (via Netflix) we tried the new! improved! Dr. Who — loved the first season, got thru the ‘Bad Wolf’ era on the strength of Billy Piper, and have been pushing back the next season in the queue ever since. Just too many other more enticing things to watch first…
Watching TV ‘on the network’ is definitely a habit & one that it’s all too easy to break these days. The only two shows we watch on-air now are CASTLE and BODY OF PROOF — and if both shows weren’t conveniently scheduled to lure the Spousal Unit home, I’m not sure we’d bother with those until the DVDs came out.
Incidentally, anyone who liked CASTLE (or BONES before it went off the rails completely), you should try BODY OF PROOF. Similar proportions of mystery-of-the-week to ensemble japery-drama, and it’s got both Dana Delany and Jeri Ryan, if you’re the sort who likes looking at beautiful, experienced women of a certain age…
The prophet Nostradumbass
Hmm… Globe Trekker, Nature, Game of Thrones, Red Dwarf, Rachel Maddow, CSI, Jeopardy, Bones, Quest (local science show), Drinking Made Easy (on HDNet)
@MaryRC: Mosley, how far into general Mitfordania have you gotten? GSD, that family covers the spectrum. Brilliant introduction to that period in a gossipy format.
And for Art + Cumberbatch fans, here’s the start of his Van Gogh Painted with Words(the Hawking above is good as well). It’s entirely done around Van Gogh’s letters so it’s not just a BC vehicle and works on multiple levels.
I remember the 52 republican convention, I was not happy that they preempted “The Lone Ranger”.
Steve in DC
Try using newsgroups, old school IT freak stuff and it’s not as monitored as torrents.
@Warren Terra: Speaking of the illegal bittorent, I found the latest BBC Sherlock series on an unnamed website.
@bemused senior: Not that I was aware of either of the actors prior to Castle. Both are quite good. I think Castle needs to resolve some storylines soon. Sometimes, I think they’re almost going to jump the shark…
I think this started way before the name change, like when they cancelled Farscape and aired “Braveheart” in it’s timeslot the following week.
The prophet Nostradumbass
@lethargytartare: This seems to happen with many cable channels. For examples: MTV doesn’t show music any more, A & E don’t show “Arts and Entertainment”, the Science Channel has non-science shite creeping in (that idiotic Ricky Gervais series, for one), TLC is about as far from “learning” as you can get, Food Network don’t show cooking shows any more (and the replacement channel for it has started drifting away from them already), et cetera.
@The prophet Nostradumbass: BBC America shows The X-Files…
Oh, I’m sure I could find it illegally. But torrents are risky, I generally support intellectual property rights (though pointless delays from country to country are maddening – and studies show these delays may be a big source of piracy in the wealthy world), and I’m willing to wait. Not best please to wait, though.
The prophet Nostradumbass
@TooManyJens: Oh yeah, forgot about that. They also show Star Trek: TNG.
@TooManyJens: BBC America shows Star Trek The Next Generation…
@The prophet Nostradumbass:
It’s called Network Decay
I’m trying to remember the name the TV executive who got involved with several channels and their SciFi shows and who obviously didn’t understand (nor like) it. One of the first things he did was to cancel Alien Nation. Ah — it was Barry Diller. I believe he’s been involved with the SciFi channel.
@scav: The Mitfords were their own 6 Degrees of Separation game, weren’t they? How many people knew both Hitler and Winston Churchill (their cousin), every major British artist and writer of the 20s and 30s, Martin Luther King Jr. (that would be Jessica), the Windsors and Charles de Gaulle?
The two sisters who really fascinate me are Diana, who married Sir Oswald Mosley, and Unity who had a crush on Hitler and used to hang around Berlin cafes until she got an invitation to sit at his table. Diana never, to her dying day (and she lived to be 90), let go of her allegiance to Hitler. “But he was so charming, such lovely blue eyes.”
To those who mentioned Farscape. I watched it for a couple of seasons, but the last two weren’t that good. But in the beginning… a living plant, a ship that lives… ghod, it had great ideas.
Breaking bad season 1 is not bad imho. Watched the whole season in one weekend.
@MaryRC: A family the could produce both Jessica and Unity is an interesting one. Quite scary as well.
@MaryRC: As much as I love Nancy for the books, I rather tend toward Debo (that pulls in the Kennedys and a damn fine house) and Pam (because everyone forgets her and there’s some science). Diana is nicely creepy, so I can understand (if not entirely share) the fascination. Have you ever read about the McDonald sisters? They do a similar thing earlier on. Burne-Jones, Kipling, Baldwin. Poynter (but I always forget the last) Circle of Sisters by Judith Flanders in the book I’ve got on them.
@scav: They (and Mosley) also were the inspiration for a good Elvis Costello song.
The prophet Nostradumbass
@Canuckistani Tom: That article’s really interesting. There’s an article on the same site, linked from there, Magazine Decay, that is also fascinating.
Random User Name
Know I’m way late to this party, but wow, 248 comments and not one mention of The Sopranos?
That they produced Diana is scary enough! Unity seems to have been a few fries short of a Happy Meal but Diana was supposed to have had some intelligence. Yet there’s no evidence that she gave any deeper thought to the meaning of fascism than that it gave her guy the chance to look good in a snazzy black shirt.
@scav: I forgot all about the Kennedys. Debo’s husband’s older brother was engaged to JFK’s oldest sister, right? She would have been the Duchess had they both lived.
I’ve never heard of the McDonald sisters … thanks for the mention, I will check them out.
It was not entirely the writers’ fault, unfortunately: Glenn Quinn’s heroin addiction turned out to be much more serious than they realized when they hired him, so he had to be written off the show. (He eventually overdosed.) So they kind of had to scramble the original premise around.
Also, too, what I really like about the new version of “Sherlock” is Martin Freeman’s Dr. Watson. Watson is actually smart again, not a bumbling Nigel Bruce character.
IMO the first series had some plot problems — there was one point in the second (?) episode where they had Watson do something that they had clearly established his character would never do, but they had to clear him out of the way to move the plot along, so the heavy hand of the screenwriter made him do it. That really pissed me off.
(Trying to be vague so as not to be spoiler-riffic. The scene in the museum is the one I mean.)
@Mnemosyne: Yes, I have always hated the depictions of Watson as a bumbler. Why would Holmes want someone like that around? Watson should be a very bright guy, well educated and resourceful, who can both appreciate Holmes’s genius and be a normal human. He is our connection to Holmes.
Of shows premiering recently, Alcatraz is intriguing. It has some Lost retreads in both casting and production. While each episode has a fully encapsulated “criminal of the week” focus, there is an arc of mounting mystery overlaying the entire series. If you liked Lost, Alcatraz recaptures that sensibility (they’re even scored by the same guy.)
I was also pleasantly surprised by the series premiere of Smash, about the mounting of a Broadway show Marilyn (Monroe) the Musical. Though I’m not a big fan of show tunes, to me the musical numbers seemed seamlessly subordinated to the storytelling, unlike Glee where the story is just a pretext to spew out a bunch of unrelated songs.
Not one brony in this joint? Oh, wait, that would be me!
Not sure how y’all STAND current day politics without resortin’ to pony…
Pysch is a great light hearted comedy…Grimm and Once Upon a Time are fun to see (Robert Carlyle is always watchable)
Person of Interest is a good action adventure show and The Mentalist is good entertainment. The BBC Sherlock series was great, looking forward to the next season.
Pope Bandar bin Turtle
OK, let’s continue …
WKRP – Yes to the max! “As god is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.” Also, found a VHS torrent that has Les Nessman’s original Hot Blooded soundtrack.
Alec Guiness’ Smiley character is superb.
Any Due South fans here? Aside from the characters & plots, the guitar sound tracks were nothing short of awesome.
Finally, Wiseguy. The first 2 seasons rocked. Ray Sharkey, Season 1, is fabulously intense. Season 2 has Kevin Spacey. It was the first thing I ever saw him in; when I saw The Usual Suspects, it took me a couple of viewing before I put the 2 + 2 together. “Only the toes knows.” What a great line.
Oh, & I agree about Reaper – Ray Wise is funny, funny, funny! Also, MI-5.
Recently, I grabbed the first season of Mannix. Good stuff. My childhood stuff. Of course, the original Mission Impossible, with Martin Landau & Barbara Bain.
Oh, & Veronica Mars, definitely. Kristen Bell is, of course, starring in the new series House of Lies.
Later, fellow B-Jers!
Ferguson is good, but Jimmy Fallon is the bomb.
@Warren Terra: There is a Motorsport I really like (WRC) that is not shown in the U.S. The only way to get it here is bittorrenet, so screw Speed Channel (the network that used to show it here). I will vote with their money.
Key & Peale, new sketch comedy show on Comedy Central is very funny. Best damn Obama impression at links, especially the first one.
He does the voice well, and the writing is OK, but it’s a shame that he doesn’t look anything like Obama.
Been watching reruns of Absolutely Fabulous and Father Ted. The BBC puts out some excellent, entertaining programming.
For the most part, love anything that’s on Masterpiece Theater (Downton Abby is good, but I don’t think it’s the best period piece I’ve seen on MT)….
Well that’s God’s fault isn’t it?
One program I overlooked earlier that hasn’t been mentioned: the Fry-and-Laurie Jeeves and Wooster series.
Also A Bit Of Fry And Laurie.
Nobody’s mentioned The IT Crowd? A very funny little comedy on netflix
Comrade Nimrod Humperdink
I’ll echo Omnes on Archer. My wife got me into that show. Delightfully vicious dialogue.
A fun series on Netflix is “The Riches”. It is about an Irish grifter family pretending to be rich. Stars Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver. It is really well acted, funny, and dark.
@Keith G: Firefly was, like Futurama and the other stuff that got canceled before its time, too smart for Fox Television. It never had a prayer.
What do I watch? I have this ‘guilty pleasure’ thing with Storage Wars. Yeah, I know it’s probably about as real as pro wrestling. It’s pure television crack, and I can’t stop watching it. I really need help.
No takers for United States of Tara?
Eastbound & Down is starting its new season tonight. I absolutely love that show. I’m surprised no one mentioned it.
I’ve watched Brideshead hundreds of times since it first came out. It will always be my favorite Brit series, but that doesn’t diminish my ability to watch Downton and others. All that c-c-c-creamy English charm is better than crack!
Plus, I’d take a million Downton Abbeys over one movie version of Brideshead. Talk about bastardization!
My local library carries the whole Upstairs, Downstairs series. If you have access to a library, you can look there.
All time favorites – WKRP, Rockford Files, MTM, Bob Newhart (original), Odd Couple, Perry Mason, MASH, Frasier, 30 Rock, Parks & Rec, Modern Family, The Middle, The Office, Big Bang Theory. I was also addicted to Sex and the City and Big Love on HBO. Guilty favorites – “Single Ladies” on VH1, and an occasional Basketball Wives.
I was one of the sound editors on Life, I can tell you that it was equally frustrating for us to see such a great musical selection watered down for streaming/DVD. The folks negotiating the music were thinking about first run broadcasting only, which is what you used to think about five years before the show aired, but they missed the boat on streaming rights, didn’t see that that would become how the show was experienced.
That having been said, to me Life is by far the best TV show I ever worked on. We all loved it, saw what a great show it was, even though it was implausible, it was just captivating and interesting and meaningful. We were all really sad to see it go, but you know, “we were not attached to this show.” :)
@Marcelo: Also I would add that had they decided to negotiate streaming rights, a lot of those songs (radiohead, the stones, etc) would not have been on the show at all. I think that’s why they ended up ditching streaming, because they at least wanted the one time with the song they liked (and at the time most people saw it on DVR or first-run anyway)
I’ve got CSPAN for that.
One of the best Canadian shows is “Less than Kind” about a dysfunctional Jewish family in always-snowing Winnipeg who run a driving school. The 3rd series is running on HBO Canada, and you can find series 1 and 2 on bittorrent on an unnamed Swedish website. (They never issued DVDs.)
Often compared to “Corner Gas” but this is darker, snarkier and funnier (IMHO).
BBC America sucks, IMO. We had cable for a while and got it for Doctor Who, and even then the commercials were obnoxious. Next round of Who I’ll try to bite the bullet and wait for the DVD for a better viewing experience.
At least it freed Damien Lewis up for “Homeland.” I’m at the point where I can’t even imagine another actor in his role.
Another for “Archer”, for which I’m eternally grateful for “Mother, phrasing!“.
@Benjamin Franklin: Surprised Blowmentum stopped there. I had a fiver on him to bypass “capability” and not stop until “dreaming”.
pseudonymous in nc
@Marcelo: it was the choice of relatively obscure but perfectly-fitting tracks that I especially liked — I’d be curious to know how many sales on iTunes it generated, as I’m sure you followed the ongoing “What’s that song?” thread on the NBC site.
(I know that Skins had to make the same calculation: with a limited rights budget for music, they went the one-shot of UK-first-run, and commissioned replacement music for the US and DVD.)
Anyway, you did some good stuff there.
Weeds was a good TV show but the last 2 seasons are not worth your time. Just AWFUL. The Wire, Arrested Development, Deadwood, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Arrested Development are my top picks to Net Flix if you have not seen them.
Shameless, Homeland, Portlandia are current ones that are getting good reviews.
I’m a fan of Top Chef. And looking forward to the next season of Game of Thrones. My sister has introduced me to Portlandia, though I haven’t been watching regularly.
True Blood was fantastic in the first season, but it’s kind of gone downhill, fwiw.
Also loved BSG, Firefly, Dr. Who, Torchwood. And agree that Angel lost it when Connor joined the cast.
BBC America just re-ran State of Play. That was pretty fun, up until the last 30 minutes.
I know this thread is dead but I just have to say … I absolutely HATE “Weeds.” I have absolutely zero sympathy for the Nancy Botwin character. Basically she turns to dealing drugs because God forbid after her husband dies she should adjust her unsustainable lifestyle even a teensy bit. Sell the McMansion in the gated community of Agresto, give up her Starbucks habit, etc. etc.
This is what passes as a modern-day heroine? Give me a fucking break.
Nearly 300 comments and no love for Hill Street Blues? It reinvented the cop show, plus it had Veronica Hamel. What’s not to love?
Also, I like The Walking Dead, but I still hold a grudge because it helped kill Terriers. What a great show that was.
@Marcelo: Thanks for giving us the scoop on the music on Life.
@Pope Bandar bin Turtle: You will probably never see this, but I am a huge fan of Due South! I have tried to see if it’s available somewhere, but with no success. :-(
very very very very late to this thread.
I am obsessive about Dr. Who, from William Hartnell to the present Matt Smith. Mad Men, another favorite.
But we don’t have broadcast TV anymore, and we can’t afford cable. So I see a lot of stuff well after the fact.
Tonight, my g/f and I are watching “Downton Abbey” for the first time. Or to be clear, she is: I lost interest after 10 minutes. Everyone is annoying or boring. It is going to be difficult to give it the standard “3-episode-test-run”, because I am on episode one, 30 minutes left, and as you can see I am busy commenting on Balloon Juice while these Brits in tuxedos are busy faw-faw-fawwing about faw faw faw faw faw.
Perhaps if I get stoned this will get better.
Pope Bandar bin Turtle
@WaterGirl: Due South is available on several torrent sites!
Paul in KY
Must say that was a dick move telling them who won the 1st Survivor.
Paul in KY
@redshirt: I agree. It was better, though, when they really let them starve. Sorta bowlderized now, but still good TV (IMO).
Let my cable go, but haven’t missed it. Couldn’t afford the premium channels anyway and didn’t think there was enough great content to justify the cost.
However I have watched Breaking Bad on Netflix. I’ve also seen most of Justified & Dexter. I watch old TV shows either on Me TV or on DVDs. I regularly watch: MTM show, Dick Van Dyke, Thriller, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Naked City (when I can stay up that late – it puts me to sleep a lot. I think it’s the low down music). I love M Squad and broke down and bought the set which I watch over and over. I also like some of the old Westerns, specifically – Have Gun Will Travel, Wanted Dead or Alive, Laramie, and the first few seasons of The Virginia. That’s a lot of TV. Loved Firefly and Serenity and was given the set for Christmas a couple years ago.
I too think now is a great time for TV. The older shows I watch as much for cultural history, an interest in the way story telling and filming have changed, and because some of those cowboys are really good lookin’.