Most of what I watch regularly, we wind up discussing, but I want to put in a good word for a shameful addiction of mine--and that's Gossip Girl. Leaving aside that watching the show makes the NY Mag recaps even better, Leighton Meester is really delivering a high-wire of a performance this year, balancing standard soap opera uber-bitch with winking comedy and even a bit of unexpected vulnerability. Yes, much of the rest of the show is a mess--Blake Lively is gorgeous, but girl can't act, and the amazing disappearing/reappearing act of certain characters (Vanessa, Jenny) is nonsense--but the Dan/Blair plotline (I refuse to use the shipper-nickname) has been really funny.Also wanted to put in a good word for NCIS: LA, which, after some rejiggering, is working quite well--in particular, Barrett Foa and Renee Felice Smith are funny and adorable as the two techies.
The Mentalist is disposable, but fun, and made worth the time by Simon Baker's performance in the lead, which manages to deftly combine a little meta-awareness of the goofiness of the whole enterprise with appropriate real feeling when called for.
The MTV 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom genre is a must watch at our house, but I cannot really defend it or recommend it in any way that doesn't make me sound like a horrible person. Although, some of my friends who have children say it makes them feel a thousand percent better about their parenting skills. And it is seriously endlessly watchable and I really am pulling for most of those poor kiddos for the sake of themselves and their new kiddos (ok I admit it, some of those kids I am not pulling for, but I feel they pushed me to that position).
Tearing through Downton Abbey on Netflix, after missing its Masterpiece Theatre run a couple months ago. I gather that the Netflix experience may be superior, as it maintains the original ITV editing, where MT merged the seven ITV eps into four mega-eps.As to the merits of the show -- it's safe to say that it lacks the depth of the original Upstairs/Downstairs, but it's a very well-scripted period soap, and the costumes and sets are just gorgeous to watch. The historical details seems pretty accurate, which isn't surprising given that it's written by Julian Fellowes, who deserved the accolades he received for the verisimilitude of Gosford Park. And it's an absolute treat to see Maggie Smith as a scheming dowager. Someone needs to put her and Peter O'Toole together in a movie ASAP.
I know it's nothing special, but I've watched Psych since it premired and I still love it.
Hi, other person named Jake. I've been commenting on this blog for a while as Jake, so if you plan to comment in the future, would you mind altering your handle in some way, perhaps by adding a last initial? Thanks.
Psych is highly entertaining, and falls into the category of shows I like to call "funnier than they need to be." The writers are clearly trying to entertain themselves (as seen in a cold open betweeen James Roday and Corbin Bernsen that was just a continuing mockery of Harry Hamlin), and that's always fun.
I recommend "All on the Line" - Joe Zee, a delightful fashion editor from Elle, helps out fashion lines. If you like Project Runway, and enjoy Tim Gunn being an adult in stressful situations, you'll enjoy similarly charming Joe Zee do much the same thing (for a single line each episode).
I don't know if we've talked about "Archer" here, but it is in competition to be the funniest show in its timeslot, which is kind of a big deal considering it airs at the same time as "Parks and Rec" on the east coast. The first season was funny but all over the place (and available on Netflix Instant if you're interested), but the second season has been so much more focused, with absurdly layered and obscure references not diminishing from the tight plots. The episode from a couple weeks ago where they discovered that a co-worker at ISIS was a railroad heiress might have been perfect. It's a work place comedy that manages to combine spy movie tropes and FX-style filthy humor. It is a joy.
I've been enjoying "Off the Map" this Spring.
I'll second the love for Archer.
Echoing Archer love. I laugh for the entire half hour every single week.
I think the last time we had this thread I mentioned "Make it or Break It" on ABC Family, but I still watch and love it, as total fluffy entertainment. I mean gymnastics + teen angst = pure gold.And, in recognition of last week's cancellation of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" I'll admit that since 8th grade I've been a semi-regular OLTL watcher, and I've kept up with the Buchanans and Lords and Vegas and all their Llanview shenanigans and I'll miss them, if only for the nostalgia factor. And I still watch the yet-to-be-cancelled "General Hospital" and recommend that or another daytime soap as the best kind of putter-around-the-house-when-you-get-home-shake-off-your-day-mindless-but-fully-entertaining-TV that you can find. Who doesn't want 40 minutes a day set ina town with the most inept police force known to man? And even if their police suck and their DNA labs almost always get it wrong, those GH surgeons can turn over one successful organ transplant after another...
I have nothing really to add here, except for appreciating the fortuitousness of this thread since I just had satellite installed over the weekend and I'm getting back on the horse with live TV (and baseball, especially). So, thanks for all the suggestions in advance!
Sorry, Original Jake. Change made.
Agreed generally, although last week's Russia jaunt seemed flat. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that the second season is more uneven than the first, even as it becomes a more mature (ha!) and focused show. Some indisputably high points, such as Wodehouse's tontine ep, but a few relatively mediocre moments. The first season, at least in my recollection, was uniformly strong, if lacking the peaks seen at times this season.
I actually watched my first couple of episodes of Archer yesterday (DVD was crazy cheap at Best Buy, and enough people have raved about that I'd give it a shot)--it is very very funny, raunchy, and strange. I'm shocked they were able to get away with a "Milton Berle's penis" joke on basic cable.
I've been into "Justified" recently -- I'm finally caught up on all of Season 2 on hulu and Season 1 on DVD. The first episode of Norm Macdonald's Sports Show was pretty good, so I hope he keeps it up.
<span>It's not that shameful... </span><span>Agree with all of that, especially the NY Mag recaps.</span>
I almost did a post just to highlight the Blake Like Me video as well as to ask WTF was up with McDonald on the Simmons podcast. There's "laconic," and then there's ... that.
As a longtime AMC watcher, I'm totally bummed. I watched the show nearly every day for 20+ years, thanks to college, VCRs and DVRs. I stopped a year or two ago, when a new showrunner came in and completely changed the characters from what I'd known for 20+ years. When it became unwatchable, I realized I had other shows that could occupy my "putter around the house, shake off your day" on the DVR that I didn't yell at in frustration.
I second "Justified." I think it's my favorite show on TV right now. I sampled it last year for the Olyphant and stayed for the Goggins.
This is right up my alley - what channel?
Ah, am I the only one trashy enough to be watching "The Borgias"? Deluxe costumery, deaths by poisoning, "Hey it's that guy!" (British/Canadian edition) casting, ecclesiastical pomp and scheming, plus Jeremy Irons just *killing it* with blatantly Shatnerian line readings. And if you prefer your Sunday night premium cable incestous sibilings to be disarmingly sweet and (so far) chaste together, Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia are the kids for you.
I'd say that the best drama on TV is a close call between Justified and Friday Night Lights.
Yes! I've been watching "All on the Line" and Joe Zee is completely charming and capable and no-nonsense, all at once. I loved, especially, the episode with Kara Janx.
I will third the recommendation for Justified. SUCH good writing, and great performances. Olyphant, Goggins and (this season) Margo Martindale are just KILLING it, every week.I'm also really enjoying The Killing on AMC, although I missed last night's episode because our TV died. For that same reason, have not yet checked out Game of Thrones.What else? Well, Parks & Rec is my favorite comedy right now. They have really hit their stride, anybody who watched early on and gave up should really think about checking it out again. Rob Lowe slays me.
I'll add Blue Bloods (and pile on to Psych, Justified, and Gossip Girl). Along with a thank you, because I'm just finishing up my MBA, and was just wondering about catching up on all the good tv I missed the last couple years!
It's hardly new, but the Little Earthling and I can't get enough of "How It's Made" - a perfect show about how things are made in factories, with a calm voice over and nothing but shots of the products being put together. More than that, there is absolutely no moral commentary about the product being made. Fur coats get exactly the same matter-of-fact commentary as belt sanders or coffee makers.
Cougar Town. Everyone here needs to be watching Cougar Town. Yes, the first 6-8 episodes were uneven, but so were the first 6-8 episodes of Parks & Rec and look how that turned out. Spending time with the Cul-de-sac Crew is hilarious - they're odd and quotable ("Penny Can!") and they love to drink and lord, am I glad they're coming back this week. The kid I loved on Aliens in America is Courtney Cox's son, Christa Miller's lips have their own zip code, and this week apparently Ted the lawyer from Scrubs is making a cameo - as Ted the lawyer from Scrubs!!!Seriously, you really need to be watching Cougar Town, if only for the weekly title card joke about how awful the name of the show is.Oddly, I think most of the rest of what I watch y'all cover here, with the possible exception of House, which I really can't recommend anyone watch these days.
This just makes me think of that episode of Party Down with the Marilyn Manson-style rock star who switches with Roman, which in turn makes me laugh, but with an undercurrent of deep sadness.
I don't watch GG but now I am trying to figure out what the Dan/Blair shiiper nickname is. (Dair? Blan?)
It's not like we never talk about Justified. It's the only drama on TV that I look forward to every week.
love me some archer...usually watch each episode a couple of times to make i'm getting all the jokes and inside references. I've started using a few "Archer-isms" in conversation.
Justified is definitely appointment television in our house. I love the dialogue and this season's "bad family". mmm...Raylan
Umm the Olivia Wilde comes back and is surprisingly interesting was a pretty good episode. But House's flaws are showing more than Hugh Laurie's awesomeness can cover.
We're enjoying The Killing as well, although the amount of downpouring rain they've shown for Seattle in the first two episodes is laughable.
Dair. The other primary faction is Chuck/Blair ("Chair"). Mysteriously, no one seems to care about whoever Serena is sleeping with this week. Seriously, girl gets around.
Me too on Make it Or Break It. I mean, it's ridiculous, but I think I've watched every episode. Last season, I did selectively edit out certain boring plotlines (i.e., anything having to do with Summer), but this season I'm in all the way. Love Payson.
Couldn't agree more re: Cougar Town - it's probably my favorite comedy besides Parks & Rec. Don't forget there's a new Cougar Town episode tonight @ 9:30 after DWTS and another new one on Wednesday in it's usual time slot.
I liked the 13 episode last week, but the Cuddy stuff is awful, and Taub and his wife are awful, and the POTW formula is painfully stale. And yet, I still watch, becaue I find it very difficult to stop watching shows once I'm invested.
I believe we call that "stoned".
NO, if they introduce Ted as Ted that means Scrubs and Cougar Town would exist in the same continuity, which makes the fact that two of the main actors in the ensemble had big parts on Scrubs REALLY SPACIALLY-TEMPORALLY AWKWARD.
I've only watched House a couple of times this fall (it falls behind Chuck and HIMYM on the DVR), and while excising 13 was a good call, and I enjoy Amber Tamblyn in pretty much anything, the idea of a show heavily focused on House/Cuddy relationship stuff isn't interesting. I want House to take on Watson in a diagnostics challenge. Snark opportunities are spectactular.
That was supposed to be a reply to all the Cougar Town love.
Not to mention that Dr. Kelso is Jules's dad and the third-rate university in Florida that Travis attends is the same as the med school in California that is affiliated with Sacred Heart. But we already knew it was the same world, because of Coffeebucks. Now if they could get Dave Franco into that universe, I would pay money for that show. (Actually, I would pay money for it now -- it's my third-favorite comedy on TV, after P&R and Community.)
Simpler explanation--Timmy Westphall has a limited number of faces he can create in his head--hence explaining why people who look the same act differently.
Archer. I don't think it's been mentioned since this season started. When it shows up on Hulu I recommend "Placebo Effect" especially, which was hysterical and had an extended parody on a Magnum PI episode.
Second the love for The Killing. I watched all four episodes this weekend - waaaay invested after the first 20 minutes. I don't know anyone else that is watching and it's (was going to say "killing me" but...) tough.Lauri, would totally agree with you re the raining (I hate it when shows make Seattle rain only downpours - we're primarily of the drizzle/mist variety), but this spring has sucked so much I don't think the dowpours are that inaccurate this year.
One of the finer Magnum eps, to boot.
Hmm. Beyond what's already been discussed, Castle is always entertaining to me, even if it's not particularly deep. Great performances all around, and everyone in the ensemble works well together. I catch it every week.Speaking of Monday shows, I'm still slogging it out with Mad Love and I don't know why. It's not good.
I'm slogging it out with Mad Love primarily because I have residual goodwill for 3 of the 4 cast members and want it to be better than it is.
I'm with you on Blue Bloods. After seeing him in "Win Win" this last weekend, I'd love to see the Bobby Cannavale character come back some more on Blue Bloods.
I'm pleased to hear someone else recommend Aliens in America. I so loved that show.
I wanted to kill that <span>lingerie</span> designer! Joe Zee is wonderful.
[someone already mentioned archer up above...because I opened this page and commented five hours later, forgetting to refresh. whoops]
Agreed on Castle! It's not earth-shattering in its plots or stories, but it is solidly acted and fun every week. Plus, the sheer fun of the meta -- Richard Castle's two books being not just a presence on the show but actually out in print -- is enough to lift it above the rest of the crime procedurals.
I know, right? What a tool.
I had forgotten that Ted the lawyer is appearing tonight. Ted the lawyer may be my favorite TV character, ever. How many Emmys does that guy have? 100? That sounds about right. But if there's no singing I will be very angry.
My favorite character might be Arlo. Raymond J. Barry and Mags played Dewey Cox's parents in Walk Hard! Well, there's not a bad character, except for Gary (on both levels), but Arlo's line readings are right up there with Goggins's. (And what would the show do without Nick Searcy as Art?)
Yuuuuup!I'm on the road for seven weeks, and while I can keep up with every other show on Hulu (and CBS.com), I'm disappointed that "Archer" is on a month-long online delay...
Only seen a couple of episodes (have to haul to my parents house for Showtime, although these days I wonder why I pay for HBO?) but Shameless is disturbingly good. Hello: William H. Macy, Joan Cusack to name just the big names! Love that it's set in Chicago (although not the Lincoln Park I know and love) and that the story is just odd enough to, well, be odd...
My best friend Chris does the NY Mag recaps, which is pretty much the only reason why I'm still watching the show. I go on and off re: how much I enjoy the episodes, but I always enjoy the recaps!
Yes! Bobby Cannavale and Donnie Walberg on the same show makes it appointment television - which, nowdays means I have to watch it on the DVR the same night it airs.
I deeply miss Party Down.
Looking on my DVR and in archives, it's been too long since we wrote about Parenthood--I haven't been blown away by an individual performance this season, but the overall ensemble's work this year has been really good, and while there've been things that haven't worked (I want Jasmine to just go away forever and Adam's job is not nearly as interesting as the show seems to think it is), there's also been some really good stuff (Sarah Ramos and Mae Whitman have both been very good, the Lauren Graham-John Corbett arc really landed, and the episode with Michael Emerson as an older Aspie would win Emerson another Emmy were it not for Michael J. Fox, who's a lock).
Well, that was why I began slogging it out. But we're -- what, 6-7 weeks in? -- and it hasn't really improved at all (pending post-Seder catch-up tonight).
I still watch, and love, my favorite guilty pleasure on Sunday nights - Army Wives.I'm also still watching ANTM, although I have no idea why. It's a bad habit.
Piling on with Justified, FNL, Psych, Norm's Sports Show & several others -- and adding The Middle!Caught it at random, and got sucked right in. I laugh like a maniac, I cringe, I don't feel guilty (writing's good, cast is good, reality is real) -- love it. It's pretty much the lightest thing on my extensive DVR schedule (not counting Holmes on Homes / Holmes Inspection and Yo Gabba Gabba!), and it's a welcome little nugget of goodness every week.
Seconding the Parenthood love - it's got some wonderful small, true-to-life moments between family members, makes me teary at least once an episode. Also, it's like watching a master class in acting with Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Mae Whitman, Erika Christensen (a surprise to me) and a whole host of others, including the guest stars. Though I too could do with a lot less about Adam's job, and Jasmine - if they replaced every scene of those with a scene of the adult siblings having breakfast together at the diner, that would be a huge improvement.
Next Great Restaurant is entertaining, while also being maddenly annoying (It's like a snack that's both sweet and salty) I flip back and forth between it and The Amazing Race. There are some interesting concepts, and though, sadly, the grilled cheese one did not survive, the casual Indian or Soul Food ones would quickly go into my lunch rotation if they actually existed. It's entertaining to see how the contestants fail to grasp their own restaurant concept and deliver on it. I mean, they came up with the concepts, so why is it so hard to express them. Plus it's fun to see what stupid comments Curtis Stone makes each week; he reminds me of a cranky RA I knew in college...if the guy was in a good mood, you could get away with murder, but the rest of the time, he would lob nonsensical insults and randomly lock the dorm doors without warning. (It was a way for him to wield the little power he had....I imagine it's similar with Stone)
Third the love for Archer, though I like Season 1 better than Season 2, and am annoyed about the DVD's "lost pilot" gag. But they have some remarkably subtle pop-culture references, like a whole scene cribbed from "Magnum PI." And, of course, ALOTT5MA favorite Judy Greer.
Nobody mentioned Eagleheart, a very Chris Elliott parody of Walker, Texas Ranger featuring the blind redhead from 30 Rock, and a show that is remarkably odd. I haven't enjoyed some of the more recent episodes as much as I did the pilot (jokes are starting to repeat themselves), but the pilot is just plain awesome.Several years late, I discovered Tosh.0, a sort of The Soup meets YouTube. Transgressively funny, if a bit frattish.Sports Show with Norm MacDonald is on my subscription list, but the first episode was uneven. His recent standup special was great, though.And, of course, Justified and Archer. Actually, I think my only overlap with the site these days is three of the Thursday night NBC comedies.