Thursday, April 9, 2009

L.A.M. Blog-a-thon: TV thoughts

The L.A.M.B. is having a blog-a-thon to discuss the high quality of television that has risen to the level of films. Since I watch A LOT of TV, I thought I'd sum up what I think of what I watch.

Shows I watch live if possible (this is a big deal as I DVR everything and can't stand commercials):
Bones - The most consistently good show on TV. They might not get very far with each episode and they don't do a lot of small arc storylines, but they always make it work.
Grey's Anatomy
Friday Night Lights - Still my favorite show, season 3 really turned it around.
The Closer
Big Bang Theory - This show always makes me giggle. As a grad student in a fairly nerdy scientific field I find it pretty hysterical.
The Mentalist

Shows I always DVR:
How I Met Your Mother
Lost - I've stuck with it all these years and just can't give up. I've put a lot of trust in the fact that they're going to make me not confused by the end of the series, but I'm guessing I'll be disappointed.
Private Practice - I like the medical dramas, even when they're barely about medicine and more about the moral dilemmas.
Ugly Betty
ER - Of the 15 seasons, I watched probably 9 or 10, but I really liked this most recent season. The ending wasn't any better or worse than the sum of the series, but it wasn't particularly memorable.
Numb3rs - I told you I was a nerd.
Saving Grace

Shows I will watch if I remembered to DVR and have time:
House, MD - I didn't really like the most recent season, but given the cast changes, I might pay more attention.
30 Rock - If I miss this live, I'll catch it online Friday morning for sure.
Two and a half men
Jon and Kate Plus 8
Dancing with the Stars

Shows I watch on DVD cause I don't get the channels they've shown on:
Dexter - I first caught this during the writer's strike when they put it on CBS as a filler, and loved the stories. How they manage to make us root so strongly FOR a serial killer, I still don't quite understand, but this show is awesome.
The Tudors - I loved watching Anne Boleyn's final season, and Rhys-Meyers is terrific if capricious as Henry VIII.

Shows I own and rewatch on DVD:
Sex and the City
The West Wing - The first 4 seasons are amazing and then season 7 brings it back and finishes it brilliantly.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - My favorite season is probably 4, but I own 6 so I can watch the musical and the Buffy/Spike romance.
Gilmore Girls
Arrested Development
Friends - Still my favorite show of all time. I've seen every episode and watch it repeatedly.

This is to show I watch a lot of TV, lots of different kinds of TV and I really enjoy quality TV. If you're looking for filmic quality TV, "Sex and the City " already made it to the cineplex and was of the best quality the show proved. However, I don't thin that will work very often. "Friday Night Lights" came from a movie that came from a book, and only the TV show is amazing and worth watching on Direct TV because you get more scenes and no commercials (it's sponsored television rather than commercial-based, not sure why that works, but I loved it). The writing on FNL is superior than almost any movie. Even if you're not from Texas and don't understand or watch football (which I imagine makes for a small demographic), you can love these characters and find amazing acting, storytelling, and except for a small snafu in the second season, a brilliant series. So that's my recommendation - watch seasons 1 and 3 and you'll enjoy this wonderful TV that feels like film. I've written about this a few more times, here and here.


Chris said...

You forgot about DEADWOOD! That has to be one of the best TV series that looks as good as a movie in a long time....

David Bishop said...

Where's Firefly? That show was so cinematic, that the movie almost felt like a really good episode.

Jess said...

Chris, I've never seen Deadwood - didn't have HBO for long time. I definitely want to check it out.

And I totally forgot Firefly - I was trying to just remeber my TV on DVD collection, which of course includes Firefly!

Fletch said...

How do you have time to sleep, much less leave the house and watch movies? Even without commercials, that's indeed a lot of shows.

Jess said...

Fletch, basically, you've summed it up - I don't leave the house a lot. =) I work from home and have always been a person who can watch TV in the background. The only show I couldn't do anything while it was on was Battlestar Galactica (too complicated). Everything else I catch about as much as necessary. I keep up with Survivor thanks to you - I only have to watch at the end of the season.

Clarabela said...

I love The Closer, Monk and Ugly Betty too. But you need to take a look at Mad Men on AMC. It is THE best show on TV. You can get the first two season on DVD. You won't be disappointed.

Mikey Filmmaker said...

That is a lot of tv shows. You should check out Big Love or Nip/Tuck. Those are couple current favorites of mine.

Jess said...

Clarabela, I do actually watch some of Mad Men. I didn't like the second season much.

Mikey - I've only just recently gotten HBO, but I will definitely catch Big Love someday, I"ve heard great things about it. Nip/Tuck, I've seen a few episodes and never been impressed with thte writing, just the acting.