Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall TV: What I'm Watching

As you can probably tell my movie watching has taken a back-seat as of late - and my blog writing has also been knocked back. I have been working a lot, and at odd hours, which has made some of these rather difficult.

Also, to top that off, the Fall TV season is in full effect. And, as I have said before, I watch a lot of television. To keep my TiVo from overflowing I must stay on top of my shows - which means, they come first over any new movie watching for now.

So, I felt it was time to take a look at the shows I am watching currently and make sure to tell what shows should be absolutely watched.

I guess I should just break this down by day.


Desperate Housewives: This is not one of my go-to shows, but I got into it a few years ago with my wife and I have been watching it with her ever since. I am not going to tell any of you to rush out and watch this, especially since it is in its final season. But, if you were watching it before - you might as well stick with it to the end. I have a few episodes still backlogged I need to get to - so this isn't one that I rush to watch.

Pan Am: On the 2-hour block last year with Desperate Housewives was Brothers & Sisters. So, when that went off the air we looked to fill the void, and Pan Am sort of fit our schedule perfectly. Christina Ricci was possibly my first crush when she was Wednesday Addams, so yet another reason to give this show a chance. It's not amazing, but the actors and actresses are pretty good, and the week-to-week spy game is also pretty interesting.

Dexter: Catch up immediately. I don't know how, but start with season one and start getting caught up. I didn't start watching this show from the beginning, but I watched the first three seasons back-to-back within a few days and I was hooked. Start watching this show if you are able to. It's amazing.


How I Met Your Mother: I am not really sure where to put How I Met Your Mother. It is a good comedy about relationships and the interaction within those relationships. It's all a flashback story where future Ted is retelling the story of how he met his wife to his children. Now, along the way to actually getting to that he recalls a ton of other romantic relationships and his interactions with his friends - and their romantic relationships. Not sure if this is what I will be doing in 10 years with my children, but it makes for a pretty funny show. Hopefully, one of these days, we will actually see a glimpse of the actual mother.

Mike & Molly: Sort of an underrated hit that has gotten a little more attention after Melissa McCarthy's role in Bridesmaids blew her up. I was a fan of Billy Gardell in small roles on Yes, Dear and My Name is Earl so it was nice to see him get a starring role. Plus, I really like Reno Wilson, who plays Gardell's partner on the Chicago police force.

2 Broke Girls:  This is a new comedy about pretty much two girls from the opposite ends of life. Caroline has been rich all of her life, but when her father goes to jail for the way he actually got most of their money, she is forced to fend for herself - and actually learn to fend for herself. She gets a job at a diner where she meets Max, a girl that has come from nothing and has learned to live her life without truly having anything. I really enjoy the snarkiness that is Kat Dennings as Max. I am not a huge fan of the actress playing Caroline, but the two together seem to work, so I am willing to accept her.

House: Another show, like Desperate Housewives, that I cannot tell you to start watching if you haven't in the past. This is supposed to be the final season of this franchise. The last few years have been a little crazy as the show tries to change things up from its ailment of the week. It is still a wonderfully written show, the diseases are interesting, and Hugh Laurie does an amazing job.


New Girl: This was one of the new shows I was most excited to see when the new television shows were announced. I really enjoy Zooey Deschanel and I really had high hopes for this show. It is not horrible, but nothing has really jumped out about it either. I am still enjoying Deschanel, but the guys in the show really haven't jumped off the screen yet. I hope it finds its feet, though.

Last Man Standing: The return of Tim Allen to television since the final episode of Home Improvement. This is a little like his old show, but three boys are replaced by three girls. Allen works in an outdoor sporting goods store, and is a bit of a man's man - despite living with four women in his household. So far, I am down with the show. It's pretty funny and is something that you don't see too often anymore - a family oriented show.

Biggest Loser: I have to admit, I was never into watching this show. But, one night I watched it with my wife and we began watching it together ever since. It's pretty interesting to see just how people can let themselves go so far - and how to get themselves back in shape. The show changes itself with every season, whether it be with families, or couples. It also has recently made the change as Jillian Michaels left the show - and Anna Kournikova joined. One thing I am not a fan of is the show's host - Allison Sweeney really annoys me.


CSI: This is the original in the franchise. I started watching the other two in the franchise as well, but last year I decided to drop the other two. Now, I just focus on the original. The show has gone down a bit since the departure of William Petersen - the show was still pretty good, but it needed a new actor to be the focus. Last year they tried Laurence Fishburne, but that didn't work out - now Ted Danson is on the case, which I have enjoyed so far. If you watched before, you may want to come back.

The Middle: Added this to my TiVo mainly because of Neil Flynn, or the Janitor in Scrubs. I thought I at least owed it a chance because of how he made me laugh so much before - but I was hooked. The show revolved around a family that is struggling to get by. They have three children, all with some sort of weird quirks. There's Axl the oldest, who hates school but is athletic - as soon as he is home, though, he immediately walks around in his boxers. Sue is the middle child and wants to be involved in absolutely everything - unfortunately, she has no real ability in anything. Brick is the youngest child, he loves to read, be by himself and whispers words to himself.

Happy Endings: I tossed this on my TiVo because of Eliza Coupe, or Denise from the final two seasons of Scrubs. What I didn't realize as that the gorgeous Elisha Cuthbert would also be in the show. The show is pretty Friends-esque. It revolves around six friends (three guys, three girls) and all of their odd happenings that they do throughout the day. A pretty funny show. Watch this show.

Modern Family: I sort of stayed away from Modern Family even after all of the buzz when it first came on. But, eventually I found myself bored one day and decided to catch up on the show. And, I am glad I did. It's a show that features the family of Jay Pritchett, the patriarch of the family. The show, filmed much like a documentary like The Office, follows Jay's family, including his daughter (her husband and three kids), his son (his husband and adopted daughter), and his new, younger wife (and her son). I have to admit, it can be pretty darn funny - but also has its touching moments that shows just how important family can be.

Survivor: This was my first ever reality show that I watched, and I have stuck with it over all of the years. I am not sure what season exactly it is in - somewhere in the 20s - but I have stayed with the show for the most part (I think I missed the conclusion of two seasons). They are constantly mixing up how they do things which keeps the show interesting - some are horrible ideas (3 person finale) and some are good (hidden immunity idols - and so far redemption island). I may be in the minority, but I enjoy seeing some of the favorites from past seasons return. If anything, they are there because they entertained us. It's the new people who are dumb enough to actually let them win.


Community: I have gushed about this show many times, but again I fear it must be done. This is the best comedy on television, hands down. For some reason this show does not get the viewers that it should. Everything I read about the show has it so highly regarded - and the fan base is rather rabid, so where are the viewers? As I have compared this show before to my beloved Scrubs I fear that it has a particular fan base that just doesn't seem to grow. The only good thing for Community is that it has stayed on the same night during its first three seasons - which is good, so far. Watch this show.

Parks & Recreation: I gave up watching SNL along time ago, which I think was right around the time that Amy Poehler was on. I never really got her comedy, but at times I have enjoyed it. When the show was announced, again I stayed away. I didn't think yet another show like The Office would be able to work. But, I was wrong. Again, I caught up on the show when I was bored and I am glad I did. This show is hilarious - especially the relationship of Andy and April.

The Office: I am not sure when I started watching the show, but I believe I said before that the lone part of the show that I was not a huge fan of was Michael Scott's character. Now, he did grow on me over the years, but I still say the show is more about the other people in the office - and now is their chance to shine that Scott has left. The show still remains funny, but I am hoping for it to branch out a little more - I would love to get to know the other characters even more, especially Creed.

Whitney: This was the one show this season that I was absolutely all-in on from its commercials. It had the guy from the underrated Glory Daze that should have never been canceled, and the up-and-coming hot, new comic in Whitney Cummings. So, I thought this would be the hit, new show. Now, I don't believe it is as horrible and deserves canceling like all of the others out there, but it certainly has been a little bit of a let down. It certainly isn't an absolute, must watch like I was hoping, but it still provides a few laughs each episode - which, for now, is enough for me to keep watching. I do hope it finds a way to get even funnier.

Grey's Anatomy:  OK, I know that some of the shows on this list are - how do I say this? - girly. But, for the most part I got into watching them to spend time with my wife and I got hooked on the show, it happens. This one, however, was totally me. My wife has never watched this show. I started watching it from the beginning and I am still watching it now. I love it. This season has been really good and it continues to toss out great episodes.


Fringe: This show has never truly gotten a fair shake. It has been moved all over the place since its original season. The show originated on Tuesday nights and ran after House which I thought was a beautiful pairing - and the show did pretty well. Then, for some odd reason, FOX moved the show to Thursday night at the exact same time as NBC's comedy block, ABC's Grey's Anatomy and CBS's CSI. Well, the ratings dipped - of course. Now the show has been stranded on the dreaded Friday night, but the good thing is they don't appear to expect much from Friday night shows. All I know is this show is one of the most interesting and well done shows on television. Watch this show.

Okay, so that is my list of Fall television I am currently watching. This list does not include some of the other various shows that I am also watching - it also does not include some shows that have ended their season. I may do another list for the rest of those as well in the future - some are must watch as well.

So, in recap. I don't watch a ton of shows that I am telling you to go watch right now. Shows like House and Desperate Housewives are ending - so no real reason to start watching now, you can catch up later on instant streaming if you want.

If I were to tell you to watch any shows, it would be Community, Dexter, Parks and Recreation, Fringe and Happy Endings. I would also give Last Man Standing, Pan Am and The Middle are shows that I would at least give a chance. Finally, The Office, CSI, Grey's Anatomy and How I Met Your Mother are oldies that continue to impress - so if you left them, come on back to some old friends.

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