01 December 2008

Television musings

One of the things that minimizes the homesickness and keeps me sane is being able to watch good old American TV, whether found online, recorded via Slingbox, or rented at Blockbuster. There are a handful of shows that I'm keeping up with, and by "keeping up with," I mean some days I can't wait to get home to watch my recording from a few hours earlier, and other days I'll realize I haven't seen the show in weeks and should probably catch up. In any case, my TV repertoire strikes an interesting balance.

  • Chuck (NBC): half-action, half-comedy with a dash of never-gonna-happen romance.
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS): romantic comedy, twenty-something humor.
  • Private Practice (ABC): total guilty pleasure. Primetime soap opera.
  • Pushing Daisies (ABC): whimsical, artistic, clever.
  • Grey's Anatomy (ABC): total guilty pleasure. Primetime soap opera.
  • The Office (NBC): smart, awkward comedy with a dash of romance.
  • 30 Rock (NBC): smart, awkward comedy.
Anyway, mid-season schedules have been released, and it appears that Chuck will be on hiatus until February, and Pushing Daisies is being canceled completely. If you take a look at what's left, that leaves a lot of awkward humor and guilty pleasures. Where's the substance? Where's the legitimacy?

Many of you laugh at how seriously I take TV (whatever, please observe my stress levels, even during peak thesis season at Harvard), but I'm not the only one. I read this article mourning the cancelation of Pushing Daisies, in the meantime jabbing at this season of Grey's Anatomy. The comparison was too entertaining to pass up:
Well in terms of artistic legitmacy (which is a relevant topic when talking about “Pushing Daisies”) at least ABC still has “Grey’s Anatomy,” right? Aren’t the critics wild for that [...]? Yeaaah, no. My wife still watches it despite the fact it officially jumped the shark after the second season... “Grey’s Anatomy” seems to circle around and find a new stunt to jump over the shark every week. The other week it had a robot on it. Yes, a [...] robot! And then I noticed the other night they’re telling a ghost story with the dude who died from a bad heart a few seasons ago. It’s time to retire the phrase “jumped the shark.” We’re now in the era of “Grey’s Anatomy” and when a show screws itself beyond repair I’m saying it’s either “gone robot” or “ghosted Denny.”
Anyway, of my few loyal blog readers, I'm sure that none-to-one of you actually cares about the content of this post. But still, I had to throw it out there. When English storytelling competitions and teaching observations and travel plans and scheduled-and-rescheduled events are around, it's nice to have something that keeps me sane.


Aunt Judy said...

Ah, Katie -- Yes, Pushing Daisies is going the way of the ghost, but as Denny has resurfaced, so might Pushing Daisies?? Seriously, I watch most of what you watch as well (though this season I gave up on CHuck and Pushing Daisies) and believe that Grey's needs to ditch the Denny bit...guess they had to bring him back to quickly move beyond the Callie-Erica relationship. All too weird.
In any event, I think that watching mindless tv is important because when you use your brain all day, sometimes, just sometimes, you need to let your mind wander about....and what better escape than mindless tv?
Sounds like your Thanksgivings were fun -- glad you were able to celebrate!
Aunt Judy

Steve said...

i care about tv!!

i am quite sad about pushing daisies...the strike definitely killed it...even i didnt watch it religiously like i did last year, but i caught up over the weekend and its SO good. there were so many moments where i was just like aww this is what good tv is. i think the official word is they're not calling it 'canceled' theyre just not picking up the back nine episodes. so maybe like a 3% chance it gets saved haha.

I can suggest a couple more shows you might like...for real, good, quality tv i suggest finding seasons 1 and 2 of friday night lights. season 1 was one of the best tv seasons ive ever seen. season 3 is wrapping up on directv before being rebroadcast on nbc, where seasons 1 and 2 were. they did a weird thing to save it from being canceled.

also as kind of a guilty pleasure, but one i know youd like because of your penchant for dorks and their (our?) humor...the big bang theory on cbs mondays before how i met your mother. i think this show you can pick up anytime, but its basically about 2 awkward scientist types, their 2 friends, and a hot ditzy girl who moved in across the hall. it sounds lame and i really didnt want to like it but 1.5 seasons later i still find myself watching it.

yeah long comment/me running out of work to do at work. haha. have a good...night!

ps. i <3 everything about chuck. haha

Your mom anonymously said...

Denny's return is the writers punishing Izzy for saying the writing was bad when she would not accept an Emmy consideration....she's obviously got a brain tumor and will be adios amigos...but fool her once -- so the show will likely be gone as well. Where is the Meredith romance?
Steve is right about Big Bang -- it will feel like you and your pals in our basement watching Guts...(the "hot chick" is the dumb daughter from Rules for my Teenage daughter or whatever that John Ritter was working on when he died). I'm liking House nowadays...mindless but clever.

Emily said...

I am definitely interested to hear what other people are watching on TV...despite the fact that my thesis is putting a crimp on my TV plans, I'm all for How I Met Your Mother. Also, Psych and Burn Notice (on USA but sometimes on NBC I think?).

If I had no thesis, I'd also be catching up on House, Tudors, and the BBC Robin Hood. Oh, and I heard that Mad Men was really good.

And even Kevin McKidd cannot make me watch a Grey's in which there are romantic trysts with characters who died two seasons ago.

Happy post-Thanksgiving!

glennie said...

Mm, i was sad about pushing daisies. I wonder if they took into account how many people stream it from their player (or actually, since it didn't work very well for me, from surfthechannel). I love Lee Pace. To be realistic though, I was kind of getting to teh point where i was tired of the Chuck and Piemaker romance.

I'm also kind of sad that the rest of the article included Ugly Betty and Brothers and Sisters in with Desperate Housewives and Boston Legal. I liked Ugly Betty when I watched it. And the couple of times I watched brothers and sisters. Maybe not as much eyecandy as Pushing Daisies, but decent.

Ah well. I'm kind of looking foward to the new JJ Abroms shows, but we'll see.

Steve said...

oh yeah i totally forgot about usa shows...monk is always good, psych is hilarious, and burn notice is just a lot of fun.

and glennie, brothers and sisters is good, certainly better than desperate housewives, but lately it has been kind of over-the-top dramatic like every episode. which i suppose it always was. but still. haha. and do you know something i dont about jj abrams? what new shows do you speak of. he made fringe on fox but thats on now and im still on the fence about it. lost comes back soon at least!

Joanna Leigh said...

um, omg...i am currently in the middle of writing a whole long thing about my relationship with tv for a freelance assignment (fingers crossed) and i just happened to take a break from writing to catch up on blogs and here you are, tv-ing away! yay!

anyways, shows i would suggest watching if you're in need of a new one:
-big love (drama)
-the oc (guilty pleasure, skip season 4)
-house (if you need a new medical show to replace grey's anatomy, which heartily sucks.)

and my all-time favorite television shows:

-the west wing (there are 7 seasons but sooooo worth it)
-lost (season 1 is the best season of television ive ever watched, steadily goes downhill from there but still worth it and i have high hopes for the new season in january)

everything sounds like it's going great except of course im sorry to hear about your puppy...

miss you!