Thursday, March 31, 2005

"Vast Wasteland" no more

"I like to watch TV." - Chauncey Gardiner (Being There 1979)

I agree. I like to watch TV, too. Probably far too much. I like all kinds of shows. From the brainy "Inside Politics" on CNN, to the mindless "American Idol."

That being said, I'd like to share what I think are the best shows on TV right now:

1. House. Tuesday's at 8PM CST on FOX. The lead, played by Hugh Laurie, is one of the best written characters I've seen in a long time. The show has the great Bryan Singer (Se7en, Fight Club, The Game) as executive director. (Unfortunately, this show competes with The Amazing Race, but that's what a DVR is for.)

2. Carnivàle. HBO. Second season ended last week, but can be seen in repeats or HBO On-Demand. The second season started off slow, but quickly picked up. Excellent good vs evil storytelling. Standouts are Clancy Brown as Father Justin, Nick Stahl as Ben Hawkins, & Michael J. Anderson as Samson.

3. Moving Up. Saturdays at 7PM CST on TLC. I watch a lot of decorating shows, but this is my favorite.
From TLC's website: Have you ever wondered what happens to your home once you move out? When new homeowners move in to your old home, they could love it all or rip it all out without much thought! What would you say if you could actually see what they did to undo the blood, sweat and tears invested in your home?
The best part of this show is when they show the lack of taste some homeowners have. One couple called their newly decorated living room, "modern," but in actuality it looked more like 1985.

4. Boston Legal. Sundays at 9PM CST on ABC. I was a fan of its predecessor, The Practice, but this show is even better. James Spader, William Shatner and Candice Bergen are excellent in this top-notch legal comedy-drama. Creator, David E. Kelley's writing can't be better.

Other reality show favs: The Amazing Race, Survivor, The Apprentice, Intervention, Judge Judy (she reminds me of my late mother)

Other decorating show favs: reDesign, Designers Challenge, Designed to Sell, Sensible Chic

Other dramatic favs: Law & Order (SVU, Trial By Jury, CI), CSI, Medium, Without A Trace, ER, Judging Amy, and of course, Monk

OCD Favorites: See left sidebar ←

Former favorite that has gone downhill: Clean Sweep. Host, Tava Smiley, is so over-the-top that it seems like she's on coke. Organizer, Peter Walsh, has the same problem, plus he tends to talk to homeowners like they're 5 years old. And, designer, Molly Luetkemeyer, doesn't seem to want to be there at all. The shows saving grace is designer, Angelo Surmelis.

This show is rumored to be on the chopping block, which is too bad because it can be saved. Taking a hard look at the cast and retooling the show could do wonders. Suggestion #1: lose the Yard Sale segments, and increase the time spent with the designers.

Wouldn't I make a great Nielsen viewer?


Damien said...

Hearing ya on 'House',
mind you I've liked Hugh since his Blackadder days, in particular Blackadder goes forth.

Actually looking forward to seeing what others are watching out there? I shall return soon to check.

sleepybomb said...

i got a neilson thingy a few months ago, and while i watch a lot of t.v., it is very scattershot. i tend to have a short attention span for anything but news channels and buster keaton movies.
i didn't know what to put in the empty spaces, so i made up stuff from the
like the knitting network and stuff.
i hope i get busted by the t.v. police. just another mark on my spotted record.
oh i hate reality t.v., it is somehow. . . so unreal, rather watch old home movies, but that is just me.
happy viewing!

Snave said...

I have to claim general TV ignorance.

While Reality TV may be fun at times, I don't watch much of it at all. It seems to me that once people are in front of a camera they change sufficiently that the term "reality" no longer applies.

I tend not to watch shitcoms, either. My spouse tends to watch a lot of the "semen shows" like CSI, NCIS, SVU, etc. Of those kind of shows, I like to watch an occasional episode of CSI or NCIS. Cartoon Network has a hilarious thing on from time to time called The Venture Brothers, which is like a warped verson of Jonny Quest. I like Monk and the Daily Show too, but while there are certainly regularly scheduled shows I like to watch, I wouldn't be able to tell you what day of the week or what time many shows are on. So, if somebody else is watching TV and one of these shows happens to be on, I might watch.

Other than that, it's mostly just news, sports and an occasional movieWe don't have HBO, but I may have to check out House.

(He said "outhouse"! Heh! Hehehehehh!)

Lizzy said...

Damien, I haven't seen Blackadder, but now that I've become such a big Hugh Laurie fan, I'll check it out. He also appeared in my favorite episode of The Young Ones.

Sleepybomb, I'm jealous. I want to be a Nielsen family!
Also, I'd like to add you to my Blog Buddies list, but I saw that you're not posting to any of your blogs. Any plans to do so?

Snave, I like the Cartoon Network, too. Have you ever seen Home Movies? It's by the same people that did Dr. Katz. Then there's Aqua Teen Hunger Force - the oddest show on TV. Family Guy is good, too.

I forgot about The Daily Show! Sometimes I think it's the only intelligent news show...even though it's not (technically) a news show.

M said...

Regularly - Bill Maher's show, Six Feet Under, Sopranos, Curb, Entourage. Couldn't get into Carnivale or Deadwood for some reason.

On network TV, love L&O CI and the original. I used to like SVU (especially Meloni), but I just can't get into all the kid crime and rape episodes much anymore. Too creepy for me.

Still love King of the Hill, both new and reruns. Still a Seinfeld junkie. Love Jeopardy every night.

Okay, I'll also admit that Jon and I watch America's Top Model. I don't know why.

Re: Carnivale, an old student of mine's mother, Bree Walker, appeared in a couple episodes. She's a news personality out here and has fused hands and feet but is physically a beautiful woman. I'll find a link to a pic of her. Her two kids have the same disease. I knew her daughter, who I think is graduating this year.

M said...

Well, she's had some plastic surgery on her face, perhaps. She was beautiful in person when I've met her, but she's looking a little weird now.

Lizzy said...

I love Curb Your Enthusiasm, too. In fact, my whole family does. And, like Judge Judy, Larry David could be a part of our family. In some ways, I think Curb is better than Seinfeld - and I LOVE Seinfeld.

I know what you mean about SVU, but I can't resist Meloni.

After you told me about America's Top Model, I decided to watch it this season. Unfortunately, I'm hooked on it now. Shhhh!

I googled Bree Walker, but I don't recognize her from Carnivale. Maybe she was in the background?

Anonymous said...

I love and adore peter walsh