So there really hasn’t been much to talk about lately. Heading on a mini-vacation back to Nebraska in a few days, which is a win because I could most definitely use a few days away from work. Been thinking about what sort of “challenge” I could try next and I’m thinking of cutting down on my television watching for a month. I’ve never been a huge television person, but since I’ve been married (8 year anniversary in less than a week! Woot!) I’ve been watching a TON more television than I ever have before. In some respects, that’s pretty cool. Several years back, my wife talked me into watching each season, via DVD boxset, of “Friends”. As much as I hate laugh tracks and 99% of sitcoms BECAUSE of the laugh tracks (I catch myself laughing at unfunny garbage just because everybody else is), I really enjoyed seeing the whole Ross/Rachel deal and had quite a few legitimate laughs from that show. Currently we watch “Modern Family”, “How I Met Your Mother”, “Dual Survival”, “Sons of Anarchy”, and “Veronica Mars” as a family on a regular basis.
There are a few shows that I’ve always loved that my wife has ZERO interest in, regardless of how much I talk them up to her. Some of my all-time favs include “Oz”, “The Shield”, “Six Feet Under”, “Supernatural”, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, “The Wire” and most currently “Southland”. I’m a fan of shows that involve me emotionally, if that doesn’t sound too cheesy.
“Oz” – This one really threw me off from the first episode because I was intrigued and then realized that NO CHARACTER was safe from being shanked/violated/etc on that show. The feeling of impending doom for each character, from a third-person perspective, kept me coming back for each episode. GREAT show and glad I had the chance to watch. Some of the storylines got a little goofy (Luke Perry’s for instance) but each episode packed a punch. Not for the weak-hearted though, just a word of warning. Lots of prison nudity, violence, and hatred. Sort of like a soap-opera for dudes.
“The Shield” – I waited until about the third season of this show before I started watching. I’d always heard this was a fantastic show but it wasn’t until the third season was on the air that I finally broke down and rented season one on DVD. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. A show that gave just about every one of the main characters a filled-out backstory had me hooked. You got to see all these cops on duty AND off. As far as emotional involvement, how about that fifth season finale? Holy crap. When Vic says “We’re gonna find out who did this, and we’re gonna kill ’em” it’s chilling, ESPECIALLY since you’ve already seen who he’s referring to. I know that it was about 50/50 on the series finale but I thought it was FANTASTIC as well. The way the show was wrapped up seemed really fitting and I was happy with it. On a sidenote, I really think Tavon got shafted the entire time he was on the show.
“Six Feet Under” – When this show first came on the air, I watched several of the first and second season episodes with my wife. I enjoyed the show but it kind of fell by the wayside and we stopped watching. Last year, I determined to watch it from start to finish and am glad I did. Another show that involves you in each character’s life, dealing with all the various idiosyncrasies and issues dealt with. Peter Krause and Michael C Hall made the show completely engrossing. The series finale? Another great one.
“Supernatural” – A guilty pleasure. The show takes a lot of religious liberties but I really enjoy the bantering between Sam, Dean, and Castiel. All three of those guys are funny in their own way and make each episode enjoyable to watch.
“Star Trek:The Next Generation” – I was 10 years old when this show first aired and I watched the episodes just in a hit or miss fashion. A couple years ago, this is another one I started from the beginning, determined to finish all seven seasons. I had forgotten how much of a crush I had on Counselor Troi and how much I enjoyed Data’s interactions with other characters while trying to be more human. Gotta be honest here, I’ve always
been a Picard guy too. Kirk was alright, but Picard was my homie.
“The Wire” – If you’ve never seen this show, you are really missing out. Although my least favorite (and quite a few viewers, from what I’ve read) season was the second one, the worst season of this show was 10x better than the best season of half the crap on tv now. Each season dealt with a different facet of Baltimore and once again, involved you in each of these characters’ lives and how they handled things.
“The Walking Dead” – Zombies. Do I really need to explain this one?
“Southland” – Where to begin, where to begin. Considering most of the crap that people choose to watch on tv (Keeping Up With The Kardassians? REALLY?), it’s very unfortunate to see quality shows get boned. Southland is a great example of that (as was Firefly). A show about several police officers in Los Angeles, NBC aired the first season, then canceled the second one just days before it was to air. Thankfully, TNT grabbed the second season and aired it. After a lot of wringing of hands and fan petitions (and my own star-struck twitter interaction with one of the stars!), TNT announced that they would fund and film a third season. Thank goodness because this show has a lot of stories left to tell and the third season episode “Code 4” gave a nice punch in the face akin to “The Shield’s” fifth season finale.
As far as what we watch together, both “Modern Family” and “How I Met Your Mother” have a great dynamic among all the cast members. Plenty of laughs to be had, even though “HIMYM” has a laugh track (grrr). Reality television is a waste of time, for the most part, in my opinion. “Dual Survial”, however, is a highly enjoyable show with a barefoot hippy and an ex-military man who come at survival from two different viewpoints. Each episode consists of them being thrown into a survival situation with the bare essentials (sometimes it seems like even less) and being required to make it to a spot where they can be “rescued”. The entire time, they give tips and pointers on how they achieve this goal. This is the kind of reality tv that I can get behind, seeing as it’s actually educational. I couldn’t care less what Kim is doing on any given day, and I’m not a big fan of all the reality shows about NOTHING really.
“Veronica Mars” was discovered after watching “Party Down” via Netflix. We both loved “Party Down” and read that the creator of that had also made “Veronica Mars”, so we started into that. We’ve only got about ten episodes left of Rob Thomas’ show and will be sad to see it go.
BACK TO THE BEGINNING. Considering that “Southland” hasn’t even begun showing the fourth season, “Falling Skies” hasn’t begun, and “The Walking Dead” hasn’t fired up again, I really don’t have anything pending tv-wise. I’m proposing (to myself) to limit my tv watching to only weekends now, compared to the almost daily viewing we have. When returning from vacation on June 5, I think I’ll try to spend Mon-Fri doing other things. Getting caught up on my reading (used to read voraciously), get a few things around the house done (like organizing my man-cave for one), and maybe even get back to my running a bit more faithfully. Leave me some comments on YOUR favorite shows and what YOU would do with a month of limited TV watching if you are an avid couch potato too.\
And now a quick, completely pointless gallery of all the casts;