Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I Like TV, It Is Good For Me

I've never been one to follow a television show from week to week, watching religiously, investing myself in the characters, and so on.  Occasionally you'd get something like The Simpsons, or like Aqua Teen Hunger Force and the rest of Adult Swim, where I would watch all the time... but those are exceptions to the rule.  Fortunately, so much of what's on TV is garbage that I've managed to resist its charms.  The other day, however, I realized that I'm now planning social plans around TV shows.  That's never been a problem before, primarily because anyone I would ever want to socialize with would also be watching The Simpsons.  But the advent of episodes on DVD has helped me appreciate several shows that had slipped through the cracks.  So now I'm suddenly beholden to a handful of deserving shows.

So here's a list of shows that I like right now.

This show makes for AWFUL commercials.  I was turned off from watching it primarily because the commercials take everything out of context.  The show has great one-liners, memorable jokes, and all the other hallmarks of a great comedy, but you reeeeeally need to be in on the joke.  Lucille and Buster are probably the most easily identifiable jesters in the court, but Gob and Tobias and George Sr. (to say nothing of Uncle Oscar) take an awful lot of preparation before they become as funny as they are.  Gob in particular is just on a totally different wavelength; you need to alter your frequency to get it.  Case in point: I remember seeing a commerical where Gob dumps water on a row of female softball players' chests, and thinking "that's not that funny."  Of course, I laughed my ass off watching the softball episode on DVD last week.

I got into this after episodes started showing on Bravo.  Kind of a shame, because the show has become entirely tepid and typical over the last season-plus.  All of the charm, wit, and joy of the first few seasons is totally gone.  They've turned Josh from a happy-go-lucky lovable buffoon into a scowling, humorless, entirely unlikable smartass.

Has anyone else caught onto this show yet?  Hehe.  Another one I fell in love with on DVD.  Not much needs to be said on this, but I should say that a little Stewie goes a long way... unless we're talking about his sexy parties!

This show defies all attempts at descriptions beyond the TV Guide-friendly "food items solve mysteries," so I won't bother.  I haven't watched much of the most recent season.  I've seen "Gee Whiz" (with the epic "Standards and Practices" informational video), the first Mooninites episode, and the tongue-slicing hijinks of "Unremarkable Voyage" (that's sticking in my mind like Oldboy), but have not seen the return (again) of MC Pee Pants.  DVD comes out in December, so I'll check them out then... it's easier than staying up until midnight on a school night.

I haven't started watching this religiously... yet.  I've seen two episodes and loved them both.  Amazing stuff.  The DVDs are coming.

I'm also looking forward to getting into Nip/Tuck and The Wire, once they start pouring into my mailbox.  People also keep saying My Name Is Earl is a really special show, and I do enjoy the comedy stylings of Chasing Amy's Jason Lee.  But I don't think I can reasonably handle any more TV shows that I can't watch whenever I want.  This whole issue will come to a head if I ever have to share a TV with someone again, at which point I believe a TiVO or a PVR will be necessary.  But I'll cross that bridge when I get there.


  1. Add the Colbert Report to your list, if he can keep up last night's pace.
    Also, here's a handy reference guide: http://edition.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/TV/10/19/tv.familyviewing.ap/index.html

  2. It's French... BITCH.

    Pronouncing the word "Report" with a silent T, comme les Francais, is ingenious. I hope he revives This Week In God on his own show, because that was the funniest bit he ever did.

    Omitting the Daily Show was a goof. But it's not episodic, and I don't watch all the time, so it isn't really what I meant. I'll give a shout-out anyway. Everyone watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

    While I'm at it, Too Late warrants a mention. I think Adam Carolla is really funny when he has jokes, but unbearable the rest of the time. It's not television as much as it's listening to a funny friend. The decision to build a four-night show around that format is ballsy and laudable, but it's also tough to watch when it's not good. He's one of those guys who's tough to "get" unless he's in the right vehicle (The Man Show), and really inaccessible otherwise.

    (Again with the accessibility thing. Maybe 10 years from now, long after cancellation, Adam Carolla will be given his propers.)