Friday, September 17, 2010

send help

Please disregard the fact that I never finished my vacation diary.  Day 8 has photos, and my computer and blogger get crabby with each other when there are pictures involved--nothing that can't be overcome, but it's tedious.  And I'm lazy. 

So until the technical difficulties are worked out, let's pretend like you're not still waiting on ten days of my boring life in vivid, painful detail--or a long-promised post about the National Zoo--or five months' worth of project 4:4 posts--because if we think about those things, imaginary readers, we'll begin to feel so inadequate that we won't be able to continue blogging.  Ever.

And I don't think any of us want to live in a world where I'm not free to ramble ad nauseam and publish those ramblings for a group of people with nothing better to do than read them.  Do we?

Yesterday I had a sinking spell at work.  That term might carry some serious connotation for some of you, so let me assure you that I was in no real danger, unless my general grumpiness was the final straw in sending one of my coworkers on a killing spree.  That didn't happen, so don't worry.  But I was tired and grumpy and didn't feel equal to even the smallest tasks that I should have been checking off my list.  So I called Jess and told her that I needed something to look forward to in my miserable existence and demanded that she think of something for us to do when I got off work.  The great thing about Jess is that she always takes my petulance in stride.  She said she wanted to eat Chinese--which was exactly the thing that I wanted to do.  Some days we really are two peas in a multiracial pod.  Renewed by the promise of a good time later (and by the chocolate banana shake that I went and got over at Bookends--the library's cafe that's just across the parking lot), I muddled through the rest of my afternoon.

After dinner, we went to a store to buy a gift for someone who reads this blog, so I cannot divulge any more information about that, but my deliberations wasted a sizable chunk of our night.  When we got home, Jess continued the Carol Burnett Biography that she had started before I got home from work, and I reacquainted myself with the internet after our prolonged three hour separation.  Over dinner we had discussed some of our tv shows that are premiering in the next week or so, so after Carol and a Bio on Russell Crowe, we started checking the DVR settings for our returning shows and started a dialogue about new shows.  We also went through and cleared out the DVR settings for canceled stuff, and I finally gave in and deleted the NCIS-rerun recordings from USA, Sleuth, and Ion.  It was a pretty big deal.  Obviously I'm in a place right now where I don't want to do anything but watch tv--up-to-date readers may recall that I'm currently watching Gilmore Girls on DVD, and I can report officially, though it will spoil a vacation post later, that I'm completely caught up on NCIS now.  My tv obsession is no revelation, but even I was surprised by how appealing I found nearly all of the new show synopses that I read online last night.  The fact that I've been watching more commercials than normal lately and my susceptibility to marketing probably also had a hand in this, but I'm picking up something like forty-seven new shows.  In true tv-obsessed fashion, I made a spreadsheet to organize it all, and then we started adding series recordings to the DVR.

Thank goodness for U-Verse.  We can record up to four shows at one time, but I think we only have more than three for a brief half-hour on Thursdays.  We do push it to three shows at once on several different occasions though.  Several of the new shows I added last night are on a definite trial basis.  I don't think I have the time or energy to devote to this many shows--I'm not Robyn, after all, but until I experience them a little, I couldn't say no to them either.  I'm going to attempt to recreate the list here without benefit of my spreadsheet.  Feel free to try and talk me down from the crazy-obsessed ledge I'm on, but don't be surprised if my commitment to self-indulgence cannot be shaken. 

Returning shows:
Chuck--I adored Chuck when the show first premiered, but season 2 never really sucked me in.  I haven't quit it yet because Adam Baldwin is hilarious and wonderful, but I'm not cartwheeling over this one.

How I Met Your Mother--There have been moments during this show's run when it's been my absolute favorite thing on tv.  But if we don't meet the mother--for real this time--soon, I'm going to slap Ted Mosby like Barney's never been slapped.

Castle--None of the die-hard Nathan Fillion fans I know (except maybe Joshua) are into this show, but I love him and it, and if they'll give Beckett a decent hairstyle this season, I think we'll all be very happy together.

New shows:
Mike & Molly--I don't have high expectations here, but I love Melissa McCarthy enough to endure loads of things.  If Scott Patterson would get a new tv show and I could see Lorelai, Sookie, and Luke on a weekly basis, my cup would be full.

The Event--Blair Underwood is the President.  And I don't know why, but I'm a big Jason Ritter fan.  We'll see how it goes.

Lone Star--This is going to be pure, soapy trash, but I can't stop myself from watching an episode or two.  Stupid FOX and their stupid pervasive marketing.

Shows that I don't watch but my DVR does:
Chase--Actually Jess is only watching it because the Jenny (her sister) is an extra in an episode.  She claims once we see her, she'll quit watching it, but I'll probably get sucked in by then.

Returning shows:
Glee--This show is the cautionary tale for why I'm adding so many shows.  As I explained to Jess last night, there have been times in my life when I've unilaterally decided not to add any new shows when the tv season began, so that I could cut down on my devotion to the small screen, but I missed out on some really cool stuff that way--that I later picked up on DVD, so don't cry for me or anything.  If I had had that attitude last season, I would have missed out on being a die-hard Gleek from the beginning, and I never would have felt like a real fan.  And that would be a tragedy of epic proportions.

Parenthood--I've always liked that Steve Martin movie on which this show is loosely based.  Plus Peter Krause who I've loved in Sports Night and Six Feet Under? And Lorelai Gilmore (sorry Lauren Graham, but I can't call you anything else)? And Dax Shepard?  There was no way I wasn't picking this one up last March.  Lucky for me the DVR was trained to remember it because I hadn't bothered to find out when it was premiering until after the first new episode aired on Tuesday.

New shows:
NCIS--I'm calling this a new show only because it's never been in my regular tv season routine before.  My obsession with the very special agents of NCIS is well-documented, so I won't say more.  But trust that I could.

Raising Hope--This is a major trial-only pick.  Recording it means I won't ever miss the end of Glee, so I'm going to give it a shot.

Running Wilde--Two words:  Will Arnett.  I'm excited about this one.

No Ordinary Family--I think this is the moment when I turned into a lunatic.  I was reading about this show and feeling like it definitely wasn't my thing.  And then I read the name Julie Benz, and I can't allow a Buffy/Angel alum to be in a tv show that I don't watch, except that I didn't watch Dollhouse, so don't believe anything I say.  Except that I'm watching No Ordinary Family.  Believe that.

Shows that I don't watch but my DVR does:
The Good Wife--I don't watch this necessarily, but Jess does, and I have sometimes watched it with her.  It's got lots of people that I've loved in other stuff.

New (to me) shows:
The Middle--Robyn goes on and on about this show, and I love Janitor.  So I'm going to go against one of my most deeply-held beliefs and pick up a show during the second season without having caught up on the first season.

Modern Family--see above, but change the "Robyn" to "Jess" and the "Janitor" to "Jesse Tyler Ferguson" and the "love" to "enjoyed watching in the terrible 2006 CBS sit-com The Class."  Plus I'm a follower, and I apparently care about Emmy wins now.

Actual new shows:
Undercovers--I was intrigued.  It's JJ Abrams.  Jess wants to watch it too.

The Whole Truth--Maura Tierney ended up being my favorite thing about ER.  I loved Abby more than Carter.  And I have some serious Rob Morrow love, but I have no idea why.

Better with You--I don't have a good reason for watching this show, aside from Kitty Forman.  But it made the list to try out. 

Returning shows:
Bones--I am still smarting from the betrayals of last season, but Bones remains in my top three shows.  With all the competition, David Boreanaz is going to have to marry me soon if he wants to stay at the top.

30 Rock--Oh, Liz Lemon.  How I've missed you.

The Office--Gotta savor my last season with Michael Scott.  I'm not sure I'll be able to watch if they continue without him next year.  He's not even close to my favorite, but I can't imagine how they'll go on without him.

Private Practice--I'm still so mad at them for [SPOILER ALERT] killing Dell, and it's nothing but soapy trash, but Taye Diggs sure is pretty.

New shows:
My Generation--I've been burned by other takes on this class-reunion-where-are-they-now type theme (the aforementioned The Class and FOX's 2005 Reunion), but I'm still drawn in and eternally optimistic.  Plus I've never seen Mehcad Brooks in a show where I didn't like him.

$#*! My Dad Says--I don't love William Shatner, but I do love cussing.

Outsourced--Well, I'm pretty bummed that Parks and Recreation isn't coming back until mid-season, but I'm not going to hold that against the show taking its place.  NBC Thursday comedies and I go way back, so I'm going to give it a shot.

Shows that I don't watch but my DVR does:
Grey's Anatomy--Meredith is the single most annoying person in the world, and that's why I'll never watch this show.

Community--Despite my Joel McHale/The Soup love, I couldn't get behind this show.  I tried and failed, but Jess likes it.

I promised myself long ago that I would never watch a show that comes on Fridays, but I broke that one a couple of years ago for Moonlight, which got stupid and canceled anyway.  I'm breaking the promise again this season, because as I explained to Jess last night when asked when some show came on, "I don't know, but the DVR does." 

Returning show:
Good Guys--I've only watched a couple of the episodes that aired this summer, but I'm going to catch up one of these days.  I love Bradley Whitford in a totally unprofessional way.

New show:
Blue Bloods--Apparently mustaches are the thing that Friday night tv was missing, but Bradley Whitford and Tom Selleck are doing their part to fix that.  Plus Donny Wahlberg is in this show, and Donny was always my favorite New Kid.

I don't watch anything on Sundays, but my DVR does:
Desperate Housewives--I let Entertainment Weekly convince me to start watching this show in its first season, and I've regretted it ever since.  But Jess watches it.

So forty-seven new shows may have been an exaggeration, but not much of one.  What TV shows are on your must-watch list?  I hope, dear friends, it's not as many as mine.  Someone needs to be out there living while I grow pale and (even more) lethargic in front of the TV.

*****Note to Hailey:  I was already composing this post before your comment giving me permission to keep blogging, but I appreciate the stamp of approval to forge ahead nonetheless.  See you in a bit.*****


  1. I vote against Lone Star and The Event. Don't believe the hype. In the case of Lone Star, you will have to root for a bad guy which I am against most times, but you might be ok with it. I think you should get a picture of Taye Diggs and quit Private Practice. I think you should be real hard on the new shows and if they don't bring it the first three episodes, cut it.
    No maybe to it, Castle is one of my shows. Nathan Fillion is awesome.

  2. Wish I had enough time to catch up on shows or even add shows to my watching list. Michael and I are currently have Bones reruns on DVR. I'm not sure that we've seen every episode of the seasons. You don't happen to have them do you? I'd like to watch this seasn, but I doubt I've seen all the episodes from last season. Enjoy your shows--let me know if there are any must watch out of the season. I'm usually okay with watching without seeing all of the episodes.

  3. Shows I HAVE to watch:

    The Office
    The Big Bang Theory (on CBS, I definately recommend it)
    3rd Rock from the Sun (ok so this is not playing anymore, but some tv shows show re-runs...well they used to anyways)
    and of course:

    The Young and the Restless! (same as Big Bang Theory, on CBS and I definately recommend it)

    I know I don't even actually "watch tv" anymore, but I watch a couple online (Glee, Y&R) and the other 3 we have the past seasons of.

  4. So I've been looking for an excuse to talk to you about Studio 60 and this is it.
    I became a fan of S60 before I saw the West Wing. I happened to watch a couple of episodes when it was on, and I liked it. I talked to Robyn about it and go the whole story just before they cancelled it. I also brought it up with my friend Mark who is a HUGE West Wing fan. His analysis at the time was that the show didn't work well because the show within the show wasn't funny. I wasn't sure about that at the time, but now that I'm watching through it again on Netflix, I've decided that he's right. One of the major problems is that every time that they try to do a sketch or reference a sketch, it's not funny, or at least it's not funny enough to measure up to the hype that's built into it from the premise of the program (by which I mean the NBS show S60, not the NBS show S60). Another problem is that Aaron Sorkin is really interested in writing about the culture wars and Christian faith and such, and you can tell he's trying to be even-handed and fair, but he really doesn't understand evangelical Christianity at all. This came out on the West Wing too, but there it wasn't a central aspect of the whole show. There are little slips like misquoted Bible verses that bug me, but it's more than that. It's that when he tries to make Christians look like the good guy, he ends up selling out something that they believe in. The final problem with the show is this. Sorkin likes to write about big ideas and important things. He likes to write about honor and history and justice, and political shows and movies are great for that. Late night sketch comedy shows are not. All the references to obscure historical things about the White House or the military matter to us because even when we don't know about them they feel like they're part of something that we believe in. That's just not true for pop-culture as a whole especially comedy.
    Having said all that, I still really enjoy watching the show. I like the characters (except Harry who doesn't make any sense to me) a lot, and I like all the guest stars. I like the premise and the interaction between studio execs and artists. I like the cast, and I like the story-lines most of the time. However, I still don't think that the show, as it existed really worked all that well. Luckily, they took the show and fixed every single one of the problems with it and put it back on the air. It is still on NBC, but now it's called 30 Rock, and it's absolutely fabulous.

  5. Just to be clear, Studio 60 and 30 Rock premiered the same season--the season of the writers' strike. Neither the real-time competition or the writers' strike helped with Studio 60's various problems. And the early cancellation led to shoving every single storyline they'd ever envisioned for the show into the last few episodes, which was clearly a mess. But I'd watch it all over again--and have--for Danny Tripp.

  6. Agree. There are moments of real brilliance in that series, and GREAT characters/performers. For some reason, I was thinking that 30 Rock was newer than it is. I guess because I came to it late and had to go and watch the first season.

  7. Here comes the big one:
    Monday: Yes to all. I'm not a die-hard Nathan Fillion fan, but I do love Castle. And Scott Patterson is on The Event, so your set there. I think that Lonestar might be my first to go because I already watch Mad Men and I don't know if I can stand rooting for another bad guy. Plus, it did poorly in the ratings, so it might not last.

    Tuesdays: Yes to all. I'm skeptical of the comedies, but that's normal for me. TWoP doesn't recommend them.

    Wednesdays: Yes to all again. As I mentioned before, I'm skeptical of new comedies, but I do fully endorse Modern Family as well as The Middle. Also CougarTown, which is nothing like the name implies. I laugh out loud on a regular basis.

    Thursdays: I'm in for all these too. I'm a great big loser. I'm on the verge of quitting Private Practice but for the other incredibly stupid thing they did at the end of last season. 'Member when Addison was on Grey's Anatomy and was so awesome that they gave her a spinoff? Where they promptly killed her character while keeping the person alive. I actually like Grey's better. I haven't heard anything good about the new comedies. But you should think about giving Community another shot. I wasn't in love with season 1, but season 2 was kind of awesome.

    Friday and Sunday: I'm in for those too.
    Plus all the other shows I watch that aren't on this list. You should see my spreadsheet. I'd like to thank Hulu, CastTV, and the internet for making all this pathetic-ness possible.

    While I'll be behind on anything not on Hulu, feel free to hit me up for my opinion on what you're missing.

  8. Thanks to FOX, who made my life easier by canceling Lone Star before I watched the second episode. Who's next?

    P.S. Sorry a comment from me kills the thread.

  9. I hadn't heard they canceled Lone Star. That makes my life easier too. I haven't watched this week's DVRed episode yet, but I probably still will at some point.

    So far I'm satisfied with almost everything I've picked up--but I haven't watched an ep of No Ordinary Family yet. If I had to cut three shows based on pilots, they would be Outsourced, $#*! My Dad Says, and Undercovers. I'm going to give them a bit more time though.

    And though I said I wasn't going to watch it, I watched the pilot of Chase, and I really liked it. So I'm in on that one for a while, at least.

    Of my returning shows, I could definitely quit Private Practice, but since Jess and I watch it together, I might not. I'm still tired of How I Met Your Mother, Chuck's improved, and both Bones and Castle returned from their finale separations with sort of "oh well, never mind" attitudes that irritate me.

    Scott Patterson on The Event was a nice surprise, but I'm not sure I'm emotionally ready for another show that thrives on not answering questions about unexplained happenings. See my love/hate relationship with Lost.

    This comment is officially too long. Oh well.


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