Sunday, November 7, 2010

TV Party

I admit, this post is a couple weeks out of date, but it still works. I wrote it at the same time as the Fantasy Football and Baseball playoff posts. I intended to post it that week, but then forgot, then had to do something different for post 200, and of course I had to comment on the election. Anyway, it still works, and I'm too lazy to update it to reflect the last 2 weeks of TV.

As I mentioned a couple posts ago, beyond the usual Daily/Colbert, I’m currently enrapt in The Simpsons, Family Guy, Mad Men, Dexter. How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, 30 Rock, The Office, and The Apprentice. That’s a lot of work.

I’m happy that The Apprentice is focusing on normal people rather than celebrities this year. I still hope that it’s a ratings bomb, because as I’ve said, I mostly hate this show and want it out of my life, but I don’t have the intestinal fortitude to break up with it. Who knew that when I had no cable and no money early in my Chicago days that I’d end up stuck with this show for 7 years and counting? I figured that, like most reality shows that I watched back then (Joe Millionaire, anyone?) that I’d be done with it in a season or two. I started watching the Apprentice because it was on, I had nothing else to do. Now I download it every week. Perhaps this was the question concerning technology that Heidegger was asking. I suppose I wouldn’t know, as I never finished that book.

How I Met Your Mother remains my baseline. I will not watch any shows that are worse than it. This season, its been consistent in its baseline-ness.

The Office hasn’t been awful this year. Thus far, it’s the best season in 3 years, although that isn’t saying much. 30 Rock has been a little uneven with its “live” gimmick. If I wanted to watch a 4 camera crap-fest, I’d download the Big Bang Theory. Modern Family, with Parks and Rec on the bench, has easily been this season’s best live-action network sitcom thus far. Also, NBC, tabling Parks and Rec in favor of Outsourced, continues to prove themselves idiots. CBS dominates with crap. Why fight crap with quality when you can fight crap with crap?

Thus far, The Simpsons has gotten the best of Family Guy. I am very fond of Family Guy and enjoy it immensely, but I love the Simpsons, at least the Simpsons of Mr. Sparkle and Knifey-Spoony. I want excellence from both programs, but it does give me some joy to see the Simpsons back and writing rings around Family Guy.

As I move on to cable shows, I must issue a spoiler alert, should you be concerned.

Dexter has kinda been the most formulaic non-formula style show for awhile. It seemed they knew it and wanted to do something about it. Since they killed off Dexter’s wife in a total unexpected turn at the end of last season, the formula has been broken. This year, They’ve brought in Julia Styles as a recurring character. As a 90s teen movie (and 90s any movie) junkie, Julia Styles involvement is cool by me.

This brings me to Mad Men. Mad Men will, sadly, be of no concern next week, as it aired its season finale. I say sadly, because over the course of this season Mad Men has moved to the alpha-dog position in my TV viewing. I download it the minute it’s available, and I watch it at the first opportunity I have. It is my favorite show. It’s number one. Not of all time, but right now.

I’m shocked that Don proposed to Megan. Looking back, it makes sense of course. When Meagan made the leap, so to speak (ie, terminology that I’m blatantly ripping off from Bill Simmons) in the episode that she hooked up with Don for the first time, I felt compelled to go back into the earlier episodes and even re-watched her parts in episode 4. Something had changed. Of course, Dr. Faye had also predicted that Don would be married within a year, and it would be too obvious for the writers to pair him up with her, so of course he proved her prediction prescient with the girl that he cheated on her with. At the end of the finale, it looked like Don and the horrible Betty Draper Francis were going to reunite, at least for the evening. They didn’t. This is why Mad Men is the best show on TV right now, why it wears the belt. The writers and Matthew Weiner certainly made it look like a connection was eminent, and no viewer wanted it to happen though everyone thought it would, then it didn’t. Well done sirs, well done.

1 comment:

Jan said...

Your comments about Mad Men are dead-on. It's an incredible show, and I feel sad every time it airs a season finale. You should get into Boardwalk Empire next--a very worthy successor to The Sopranos.