The Mormon Idiot’s Guide to Television

OK, you weak-minded fools, you love your T.V. You spend more time worshipping the boob tube than on your knees before your Maker. That’s O.K. — you are no different than the rest of America and the world. Better for you to be mesmerized by the phosphors than to be a total social outcast.

That being said, no amount of T.V.-watching will make you normal, unless you watch the right T.V. Being an fanboy of Antiques Roadshow and Charmed will get you neither into the Celestial Kingdom, nor the Great and Spacious Building. So, your friends at BCC have put together this friendly guide to the new Fall schedule, so that you may set your VCRs, program your TiVos and rearrange your Family Home Evenings as appropriate. This is a guide to prime time viewing on the major networks only — mormons are too cheap for HBO (though we discuss the best of HBO below).

We’ve tried to present three options for each time slot.The first option in a timeslot is what you ought to watch, as a cool member of society; the second is what you could watch, if offended by cool content; the third is what you must never watch, for fear of contracting social leprosy. Links are provided to each show’s homepage. Feel free to disagree with our picks to your hearts’ content, you knobs.

Monday
8:00 p.m. SpongeBob SquarePants/F.H.E./7th Heaven. Not much to merit watching this hour of television, sadly. 7th Heaven is a dark, evil addiction which grips my family. You can justify watching it, however, by virtue of the rumor that Aaron Spelling originally planned to make it about mormons. Just have F.H.E., and get yourself right with the Lord before 9:00.
9:00 p.m. Everwood/CBS comedies/Girlfriends. Everwood is class A WB stuff. Truly enjoyable writing, fine cast, and it’s filmed in Utah! The show is heartfelt, and deals with some interesting issues, at least occasionally. The other two options are horrible. Of course, come Jan. 10th, the truly awesome 24 begins in this timeslot, so 24 vs. Everwood should cause you to rush out and buy TiVo right now.
10:00 p.m. The Wire/local news/CSI Miami. Will David Caruso stop trying to seem like a Bad Dude? Come on, scrawny man! You’re not fooling anyone, and your show is even worse than the original CSI, if that’s possible. What a waste of Miami! At least Miami Vice involved Michael Mann and a Ferrari.
11:00 p.m., MONDAY-FRIDAY: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, on Comedy Central. Really, this is the only ‘must-see T.V.’ that still exists. You could also stay up after and watch South Park, you perverts.

Tuesday
8:00 p.m. Gilmore Girls/scripture study/NOVA. GG is a great show: snappy writing, a weird, funny world, and involving characters. It has the fastest pace of dialogue of any show on television, and I’ve grown to really enjoy it. Don’t like the WB? Get over it. Watch PBS, you nerd.
9:00 p.m. Veronica Mars/Scrubs/Frontline. VM is the new, better written BtVS. What an amazing, soon-to-be-cancelled show, with a strong, smart woman and a thoughful writing style. It’s about the nosy daughter of a P.I., but it’s really much more interesting than its premise. Plus a really cool intro song — this is the best show ever on UPN, including when they stole Buffy. Scrubs will do in a pinch for dumb comedy. Not in the mood for great TV or mildly interesting comedy? Watch PBS again, you nerd.
10:00 p.m. local news/whichever Law & Order show is on, and ready yourself for Wednesday.

Wednesday
8:00 p.m. Lost/60 Minutes/Smallville. Lost is another JJ Abrams masterpiece, kind of an Alias meets Cast Away meets Land of the Lost. The premise? Crawl out from under your rock — people are lost on an island somewhere weird. Interesting, suspenseful, well-executed T.V., that ranks up there with Veronica Mars for best new show. 60 Minutes is always fun to watch, but try to avoid Smallville, which takes a great superhero franchise and reduces it to creature-of-the-week T.V. Awful, made more so by its potential.
9:00 p.m. Another FHE/Spike TV/West Wing. Not much on at 9:00 p.m. Wednesdays, and don’t give me West Wing, ’cause this season sucks rocks compared to years past. It’ll be gone next year, I guarantee. I put in Spike TV because tonight they’re showing Dog Day Afternoon, which puts them up a couple of notches in my book.
10:00 p.m. See Tuesday.

Thursday
8:00 p.m. The O.C./Joey/Journal writing. Mock if you must, but The O.C. is great, pulpy T.V. at its best. It has soap opera-y storylines, to be sure, but it’s snappy & fun, great to look at, and gets you hooked pretty quickly. It has some good James Dean moments, believe it or not. And that Adam Brody is dreamy! Joey is there for you if you really miss Friends, I suppose, but it’s fairly forgettable.
9:00 p.m. CSI/The Apprentice/Organizing food storage. This is a good hour to just keep the T.V. off. CSI is awful stuff, the worst ham-fisted writing in the world. But it’s Bruckheimer-produced, so if you liked Bad Boys then this may keep you drooling. The Apprentice is included so that you can keep up with the water-cooler talk the next day, but Trump is a moron.
10:00 p.m. Late night temple session?

Friday
8:00 p.m. Complete Savages/Joan of Arcadia/Dateline NBC. Complete Savages is a sitcom produced by Mel Gibson, that has a real Chuck Jones-style comedy angle. It’s fairly dumb, but has moments of hilarity, and is the best on-screen depiction of an all-male household I’ve ever seen. Joan of Arcadia is basically a smarter teen version of Touched by an Angel, but it still sucks, despite its emmy nods. Datel
ine NBC
represents the worst of “news” journalism.
9:00 p.m. PPIs/Reba/JAG. This is the time of night you regret having a T.V. If you have an Xbox, Gamecube, or Atari, break it out. Otherwise you’ll face the worst cheese of middle America. Sumer really likes Reba, because she hails from Texas and “it’s not ridiculous.” You be the judge. Reba is a single mom, working hard to keep her family together. *yawn* As for JAG, Catherine Bell ceased to be a sex symbol years ago, and Bellisario (the producer) hasn’t made an interesting show since Airwolf‘s 2nd season.
10:00 p.m. Get a life! Get out of the house, potato! Go clubbing!

Saturday (are you really watching T.V. on a Saturday night? Loser!)
Not much of note comes on Saturday night. But I must divulge one of my many secret pleasures, Cops. Man alive, there’s something deeply satisfying about seeing the darker side of humanity.

Sunday
Sunday has a host of funny and intersting shows. Here are the highlights, but you may as well just program your T.V. to swap automatically between ABC and FOX. Otherwise, feel free to watch American Dreams, Cold Case or British House of Commons on C-SPAN to your heart’s content — just don’t expect anyone to want to hang out with you, ever.

7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos. Sure, it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure. But you never get tired of someone taking a golf ball to the crotch, people! To me, AFV is a microcosm of America itself; it shows our vices, our pleasures, our failures. Well, more accurately, yours (O Canada…)
8:00 p.m. The Simpsons. The best animated series on television, and arguably the best ever, depending upon how many Futurama fanboys you talk to. Those who think The Simpsons are in poor taste obviously haven’t seen a lot of South Park (must be the same people who think T&S is a liberal blog *snicker*).
8:30 p.m. Arrested Development. AD is by a mile the best comedy on T.V., and certainly the best show Jason Bateman’s ever been a part of. Produced by Ron Howard, and starring some of the best comedic talent available (including Mr. Show‘s David Cross), AD is the ultimate tongue-in-cheek family sitcom. If you haven’t watched it, you owe it to yourself to upgrade from the shlock that normally passes for comedy, such as Everybody Loves Raymond.
9:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives or Alias (starting in January)/Law & Order – Criminal Intent/Masterpiece Theatre. Desperate Housewives is listed as a shout-out to Gigi Parke, who is addicted to the show (as a mirror of her own life, perhaps?). But it’s highly regarded and has an interesting ongoing series of plots. My only objection is that it’s a little too racy than it needs to be, and is sometimes a little obvious with its themes. The same could be said for the other show ABC slots at this time, Alias. But somehow, Jennifer Garner kicking butt as a super-spy seems more harmless. Last season’s Alias was terrible compared to its spectacular first season, but rumor has it that JJ Abrams is back on track — if Lost is any indication. I’ve included L&O – CI as an option here because Vincent D’Onofrio is really good at being a creepy detective, but there’s not too much else that distinguishes it. Again, you want class? Watch PBS, nerd.
10:00 p.m. Go to bed!/News/Boston Legal. Can you really consider watching Boston Legal? Just because William Shatner and James Spader star doesn’t make it worthwhile — cast isn’t everything (tell that BTW to the dorks behind Dr. Vegas!).

Soon to come: cable shows, HBO and others. Please feel free to snark away should you disagree. We will cruelly mock you. For those who deeply care about T.V. (and you all should), behold an invaluable resource: Television Without Pity. This is the internet’s best recapping and review site, where the reviews are often better than the shows themselves (esp. for 7th Heaven).

Go forth and watch, my children!

Comments

  1. D. Fletcher says:

    (8 + close paren automatically gives you the face with the shades.

    If you want the 8 in parens, you have to put a space

    (8 )

    Otherwise

    (8)

  2. D. Fletcher says:

    Are you kidding? I CAN’T watch regular TV. I’ve got too many DVDs still to be unwrapped.

  3. Aw, Christina, Wife Swap?? You? That’s like Gandhi confessing that he really likes Fear Factor or something. Come on, woman! Stand for something!

    Which explains why I like The O.C. so much. I stand for crass consumerism.

  4. BBC is indeed a network. On the Emerald Isle it is even the most popular. But here in the USA you can’t watch it without CABLE, my friend.

    Rick, you have been sucked into the CBS comedy vortex, and no one can help you now. Doubtless you also enjoy Everybody Loves Raymond. Nothing wrong with that — these are perfectly good cream puff comedies. But there is much better stuff out there. Wednesdays at 9 pm — which is when KoQ airs — there is certainly not a lot else on TV. But you’re better off reading a good book or re-grouting your shower stall.

  5. CB, awesome story. After you watch enough Cops you start looking for blowout strips on the highway, and wondering if patrol cars are going to PIT you.

    King of the Hill is a favorite, but it doesn’t air in prime time (7 pm, I think). My favorite episode is the one with the tornado. Can’t explain why, really.

    As for The Simpsons, well, no amount of praise can satisfy you fanboys!!

  6. Christina,

    Wife Swap is the only show on TV I watch–the passive agressive stuff between the new mom and the rest oft he family is just too funny to pass up. I like it so much that I called a friend of mine who works in D.C. and told her she had to watch it. She is big into junk T.V. so I knew she would appreciate it. Her brother, BTW, writes for the King of Queens. The one where they start going to different movies and sleeping in different beds, that was his. Only episode I ever watched–the show just seems dumb.

  7. Christina, you can old stare into the face of evil for so long before you begin to resemble it! Soon you will want a wife swap of your own, say with Tori Perry, then heaven help you.

    But actually, you’re voicing the reason why these shows are so popular, and why I like Cops — they show a world, presumably our own, which is totally off-kilter and at odds with our environment. The real problem is that as we watch more and more of these shows, we can’t help but be influenced by them in some way. The behaviors become less and less outrageous, and we require more intense stimulation to retain our interest (hence Fear Factor!).

    In this sense, reality TV is like pr0n for the average viewer. We get overstimulated and crave more of it.

  8. CTK, what’s Manahi’s favorite show?

  9. D., a special solution for you — watch TV shows on DVD! Highly recommended. That way, you can still tell people that you never watch TV.

    I can bring over The Office on DVD, it’s most worthwhile.

  10. Dave, we agree about CSI — crap on a stick.

    But there really is some good TV out there, if you discern properly. The key, I think, is never to relinquish control of the remote — no channel surfing. Always know what you want to watch before you turn the set on.

    Coupled with that is my favorite, the 3 strikes rule. If a show is disappointing 3 strikes in a row, that’s it — it’s off the list. This can take some discipline, but in the long run it pays off to be an educated consumer.

  11. Don’t get me wrong — Scrubs is good stuff — but it can’t compete in its time slot, sadly. I like it a lot.

    Less Than Perfect does indeed have a good cast — a worthwhile nod. But what are we doing, watching at 9:30 on Friday??

  12. Dust away Steve. This sort of so-called TV criticism is going to lead you right out of the church. If it’s good enough for CTK, it’s good enough for me–I think she has a better idea of what Manahi would have us do than you do.

  13. Et tu, Mat? I dust my remote off at both you and Christina. Sumer has been trying to get me watching that show, and I’ve refused. I have to draw the line somewhere…

  14. Everyone should ask herself WWMD. It is the best route to singing all the time, giving hugs to strangers and having a generic can’t-quite-place-that-but-it-sure-is-sexy accent.

  15. Everything. If I didn’t intervene, I think the TV would be on all evening. Actually, I blame him entirely for my reality TV show addiction. When he was in school, he did a paper analyzing the dating shows, and so he tracked several of them for a few weeks. But then, even after the paper had been handed in, I would come home and find Joe Millionaire on. Ever since he has been afflicted with the bug. Manahi is really an NPR/BBC addict. He starts many conversations with, “I just heard the most interesting thing on NPR … “

  16. FYI, the PIT is explained here, for those of you who don’t watch enough Cops.

  17. Greg, you are right on both counts. I was a bit harsh on Scrubs — any other time slot, it would shine — but it doesn’t beat out its competition, IMHO.

    Dog Day Afternoon is one of the all-time greats. Makes me wish I had cable… *sniff*

  18. Natasha Kewene-Hite says:

    Hey everyone,

    I’m new to blogging, and love stopping by. I just had to jump in for more than a few reasons. First, I often WWMD (see post 10/28),…his example keeps me on the straight and narrow…and it always looks good! How does he do that?

    Second, on the topic of Scrubs, in it’s first season, it was great. But I think it fell into one of those dangerous places new hit series fall into where they hit it big right off, are truly funny with good writing, then at some point, they start trying too hard. It seemed somewhere in the latter part of the second season, it got to be a bit ridiculous. Survival of the fittest; eventually, the only way up-is over the top.

    I hate to admit it, but the only series in recent years I’ve actually stuck to is ER. I haven’t read many comments on that, but i’m interested in any opinion. I actually like it, more for the character lines. they keep moving on fairly realistic characters without getting too ridiculous or stereotypical. Generally.

    Christina, for me Wife Swap has been a fascinating sociological study. Very contrived in that they are pairing up polar opposites, which almost becomes a bit sadistic as the outcome appears to be so predictable, it’s hard not to watch. I found a most redeeming quality in one of the first episodes where the NYC millionairess (paired with the woodchopping NJ-ite) actually gained clear insights into her highly vertical, no-this-isn’t-the-real-world-lifestyle, and decided to give up some of her ‘me-time’ and share it with her children. Very heartwarming.

    Lastly, I spent 10 years actually watching no TV-and was very proud of it!, and still mourn those days at times. Those were the days when quality, intellectuality and intensity were guiding principles of my screen time choices. These days, I’m looking to unwind my head and am making conscious choices watch a bit of fluff now and then. It’s all in the balance, wouldn’t you say?

  19. Hey! What about King of Queens??? I think the best thing about it is that George’s dad (ok, Carrie’s dad) now plays a much bigger role. Ahhh….good stuff.

  20. Hmmm. Maybe we should get a TV.

    But televisionwithoutpity is so much better than TV!

  21. I applaud your praise of Arrested Development, but Scrubs is “dumb comedy”?

    Scrubs is one of the smartest, best-written, acted and edited shows on TV.

    ALSO: If you are desperate for a TV fix on a Friday night, Less Than Perfect on ABC at 9:30 is a passable sitcom with a pretty good cast.

  22. I considered giving up TV entirely some time back. Then I started watching The Daily Show. Can’t turn back now. I’d pay $100 a month just to watch that show.

  23. I don’t own a television, but while I was away on a business trip recently, I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed a few of the shows that are on nowadays, such as Mythbusters and Fear Factor.

    After I got home, I set to work downloading a few more episodes of Mythbusters to compliment my collection of The Simpsons and Top Gear (BBC car show). I don’t feel guilty about downloading TV shows. They’re “free” if you have a TV, and with a soft copy, I’m not chained to the time slot. (And Top Gear doesn’t play in the US) Should I feel guilty?

  24. Aaron Brown says:

    I give up.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I have a TV at hoem but no cable service. However, i like Cops, lets you learn about people that we probably never would during our mundane lives. Inspired by Cops, I went for a Ride-Along with the Ann arbor pOlice, and my eyes were sure opened up!!! We went on a hi-speed chase, and to a domestic violence call – and it was a very eye-opening experience indeed

  26. I hope you all watched The O.C. last night. Good TV is here again!

  27. I knew there was a reason I idolize the man.

  28. I take that back. Dan reminded me that there is a one sitcom I like, CSI:Miami. David Caruso makes me laugh every time I watch the show.

  29. Last_lemming says:

    I think Desparate Housewives is hilarious, but my wife is offended by it, so I will probably have to send her to bed early on Saturday nights and watch the rerun.

    William Shatner does, indeed, redeem Boston Legal. The man can act after all, and he has me rolling on the floor every time he says “Denny Craine”.

    Have any of you people who secretly watch Seventh Heaven ever counted the episodes in which God is mentioned? Its small. The number of episodes in which Jesus is mentioned? It’s zero. Some minister!

    And nobody has mentioned Malcolm in the Middle. Only sitcom I watch.

  30. I’d like to hear from those who deliberately have no T.V. — I’ve heard that such people exist. Do they believe in the Internet? Are they even human?

  31. Davis Bell says:

    I’m coming out of the closet: I love “The OC.” I love love love it. I don’t know why, exactly. I’m more than a little in love with Summer (and maybe a bit in love with Seth). It’s great stuff.

    I used to be a huge reality-TV lover, but it’s lost its appeal for me. I usually get tired of a particular reality series after 1 season.

    Is “Arrested Development” really as good as everyone says it is?

    Finally, “The Simpsons” is the funniest show on TV. Period. Funnier than “The Daily Show.” Funnier than “SNL.” Funnier than “Seinfeld” or “Friends” ever were. Funnier than anything. I don’t know how they do it; the show is laugh-out-loud funny every single epidsode. How is that possible in a fallen world? I don’t know, but it is.

  32. Sumer Thurston-Evans says:

    I’m disappointed that you couldn’t find a video to go with that definition…

  33. I’m glad some folks stood up for Scrubs. I love that show.

    And the Daily Show rocks as well.

    Of all the CSI shows currently available, the worst is CSI:Miami with that red-haired Caruso guy. His style is so monochromatic and humorless that it’s too painful to bear. I don’t think the tone of his voice or the expression on his face ever really changes from that “I’m too cool, introspective and insightful” facade.

  34. I’ve been watching the DVD’s of the TV show, Freaks and Geeks. This show was genius and the canned it after one season. For some good times, and some cringe-inducing, I’m so glad I’m out of high school times, rent the DVDs of the show.

    And I must say, I love The O.C. too. The season premiere is this Thursday, yay!

  35. Interesting. I may have to check out VM — it’s getting great reviews.

    Cravath, combined with the demise of Buffy, has completed my transformation into a more-or-less non-TV-watcher.

    Mardell regularly watches Crossing Jordan, Queer Eye, and Trading Spaces, so I do get a bit of those every now and then.

  36. It’s the yin and the yang in me Steve. These shows are inherently interesting just because they so strongly contradict everything I cherish! Didn’t Nephi tell us there must be opposition in all things?

  37. JosephN, your guilt is yours alone to deal with. I will occasionally bittorrent some shows I’ve missed. But I don’t think it’s what the networks have in mind.

  38. Kaimi, you in particular would like VM. You owe it to yourself. I can forgive Crossing Jordan because Jill whats-her-name is hot. But it’s an otherwise forgettable show.

    I deliberately excluded reality shows and cable shows — two strikes against Mardell’s other favs. But I wouldn’t likely be kind to her picks had I reviewed them….

  39. Karen, I didn’t flame Buffy! Honest! I liked BtVS a lot, you know that…. but VM is the heir(ess) apparent to the throne. It’s stronger in its 1st season than Buffy was at the same point.

  40. Kim, I sense we disagree about Scrubs…. what’s so bad about it? It’s silly, sure, but good for a laugh (which is more than most comedies can claim).

    CSI’s cool effects can only go so far for me. I mean, it’s got really hammy dialogue, which is inexcusable considering the show’s budget. They should take a little of the FX money and throw it at some writers.

    Buying shows on DVD is definitely something to be careful about, because nothing kills the mojo like spotting someone’s Babylon 5 boxed set in the corner. But for some TV, it’s an interesting way to view, and entirely worthwhile — 24 springs to mind.

  41. lol. Good answer. I suppose I should be watching the commercials to “pay” for the shows, eh?

  42. Malcolm does indeed have its moments, but it’s gone downhill, unfortunately.

    And the reason why 7th Heaven doesn’t mention God is because the show was created by Satan, and is one of his dark works.

  43. Mary:

    In all seriousness:

    I mourned the day I learned that Freaks and Geeks had been cancelled. Out of all my TV heartbreaks and there have been many (yes, I fall in love with those quirky shows that you know will be cancelled — I’ve resisted Veronica Mars so far), I think that was the one that hit me hardest.

  44. Mat, I often ask myself, “WWMD?”

    This either means “What would Manahi do” or “wither weapons of mass destruction?”

  45. Aaron Brown says:

    My thoughts on the above:

    (1) I can’t imagine how Steve E. finds the time to watch all this stuff. I have stopped watching most T.V., now that I get most of my news from blogs. And with my Bloggernacle-lurking addiction in full swing, there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

    (2) I’ve heard lots of good things about Scrubs, and based on the very few minutes I’ve spent watching it, it seemed pretty funny.

    (3) I have mixed feelings about Malcolm in the Middle. I seem to be in the minority in that when it first came out, I cringed I thought it was sooo awful. It’s grown on me with time, as I think some of the writing is quite good, and Frankie Muniz is quite a good actor. I also like the concept of the show. Alas, I am still occasionally put off by the over-acting and heavy-handed directing.

    (4) I have never seen the Daily Show. Not once. I refuse to pay for more than the basic cable package (C-Span, 24-hr. news networks, etc.). Everyone says I’m missing out. I’ve also never ever seen an episode of Buffy.

    (5) I guess I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t think Kramer is funny. Not one little bit. I’m totally clueless as to why the rest of the world laughs when he barges through Jerry’s door.

    (6) Aside from D., nobody has mentioned “Will & Grace.” Great show, in my opinion. Karen Walker is the best character on T.V., period.

    (7) I cannot stand reality shows. What the hell is wrong with you people? Boooooorrrrring. That said, let me remind everyone to watch fellow Mormon Ryan C. Benson on “The Biggest Loser” every Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. So far, he has said damn and hell a couple times, and no doubt scandalized all those parents in his stake that encouraged their kids to watch their youth leader on T.V. Also, he intentionally played a heartless jerk in the last episode, which should make him popular.

    (8) Yes, the Simpsons is usually hilarious, and South Park sometimes is, but there’s nothing funnier in this world than Butthead going into the mini-mart and trying to purchase assorted snacks with photocopied dollar bills. Nothing!

    Aaron B

  46. Aaron Brown says:

    Oh my gosh! Why can’t I type an (8)?

  47. p.s. best show of the season? Either VM or Lost, depending on the week.

  48. p.s. If you’ve paid any attention to the funniest show on TV, aka, The Office, make sure you try to catch the finale (The Office Special). Truly great tv.

  49. Randy: “I’d pay $100 a month just to watch that show.”

    Depending on your local cable company, that’s probably a fair assessment of how much you pay per month. Again, it’s worth it.

  50. Rick, I’ll agree that The Office is the funniest show ever, but again, only on cable/DVD. So, it’s out.

    But King of Queens!? Good lord. I like Ben Stiller’s dad as much as the next guy, but that show is unbearable. Only your mention of The Office spares you from being mocked/burned in effigy/banned completely.

  51. a random John says:

    Scrubs is a pretty good show. I think the humour is superior to the recent seasons of the Simpsons. Much of the medical humour and stereotypes are right on. If you don’t think it is funny it might be because the jokes are going over your head. Either that or you don’t appreciate the depiction of the lawyer on the show. :)

  52. Scrubs? Good? Oh, I am going to puke.

    What an awful show.

    I’ll stick to bad-writing-but-cool-effects CSI.

    FTR, I would never buy TV shows on DVD.

  53. Steve redeems himself with his follow up comments on Scrubs and then in regards to Less than Perfect writes:

    “But what are we doing, watching at 9:30 on Friday??”

    Some of us are not filthy rich and have a 10-month-old.

    I have no idea what your excuse is :-P

  54. Steve,

    I agree with Davis – your praise for The Simpsons was totally inadequate.

    And I agree with you about Cops. Something about it drqws me in, and it usually teaches me someting about my fellow man that I would rather not know. Once after I got home from work late, I turned it on part way through, so I didn’t know the city where it was filmed. As the cops pursued the perps at high speed through the streets, things started to look familiar. Sure enough, they pulled them over at an intersection I had driven through twenty minutes before. Wierd.

    What about Hank Hill? I laughed myself silly during the episode where he takes his son’s scout troop camping so they can join the Order of the Straight Arrow. Pretty close to home.

  55. Steve,

    I don’t like sitcoms. Since Scrubs depends on humour to be successful, you can see why I find it leaving a bile-like taste in my mouth.

    Quite honestly, I am not much on TV shows in general. I am more of a live theatre kind of guy. However, since there is rarely any good writing when it comes to TV, I stick to shows where I can watch cool effects and try to guess the ending before they give it away. It the most interactive I am going to get without going to a theatre.

  56. Greg Call says:

    Steve,

    Scrubs is the smartest, funniest non-Daily-Show thing since Seinfeld (though The Simpsons sometimes grabs that title).

    And I didn’t think anything could make me flip channels during the Baseball Tonight rehash of Game 4, but Dog Day Afternoon had me doing that constantly last night. I’ll never tire of that flick.

  57. Steve, as one who views the wasteland of television in the 21st century as just another sign that the end of the world is near, I’m hardly the one to say something interesting here. At least you pegged CSI and its progeny for trash–I think it’s just necrophilia with glitz.

  58. Steve, maybe deep down inside of me is a guy who just wants to deliver packages, watch sports with friends, and eat cheap Italian diner food. The show speaks to me, and I don’t apologize for it.

    Also, BBC is a network. A network I say!!!

  59. Steve, you flamed Buffy, and I will never again respect you. NEVER. It’s sad, because at one point, I thought we could be friends….

  60. Aaron Brown says:

    That smiley face was supposed to be an (8).

  61. The dramas,comedies and dramedies of primetime don’t hold a candle to the reality shows. Yes, they’re trashy, silly and show our worst sides. Isn’t that what makes them interesting? Bachelor today is awful, but the first few seasons provided a great forum for getting together with your girlfriends and marveling at all the ridiculous things women would do to catch a not-so-exciting man. The Swan and Extreme Makeover make me glad I was raised by feminists who don’t care about looking cool, and I’m fascinated by how they churn out these people who all have the same face at the end. The Apprentice is just ugly, but it is the most enjoyable TV-watching guilty pleasure I have. Forget that money-hungry “I decorate my home like Saddam Hussein’s” Trump — it’s all about Caroline! You have to tape it, though, because the commercials make it unbearable. And speaking of shows you have to tape so you can skip the onslaught of stupid commercials, what about American Idol? Talk about a forum for watching naive Mormon youth trying to perform on the world stage. (The last two seasons have each had an LDS kid in the top ten). My latest guilty pleasure I discovered last night – Wife Swap (not to be confused with Fox’s Trading Spouses). The network matches up families who are polar opposites on several factors and swaps the women. It should really be called Mom swap, because it has nothing to do with the relationship between the spouses and everything to do with what the woman cooks and how much she cleans. Last night’s was NJ cleaning fanatic (has she ever heard of the Feminine Mystique?) who feeds her kids meat 24-7 and encourages them to consume it while watching TV/frying their brains on video games vs. commune-minded California lady who meditates with her vegan family for two hours every morning. It doesn’t get better than that for having a chance to look down your nose at other people’s families and say “I’ll never do that … “

  62. Touche, my man. Guilty as charged.

  63. TWoP is just great, no matter how you slice it. Truly genius-level reviews.

    Kristine, no TV?? No wonder you’re so well-adjusted :>

  64. We do have one, and we let the kids watch a movie on Sunday afternoon, but we have no cable and no reception.

    How nerdy do you have to be to not even watch PBS? yikes.

  65. D. Fletcher says:

    While I was in Salt Lake, I recorded about 25 musicals off of TCM, the only cable TV station I watch regularly except for HBO.

    I have never seen CSI. I have never seen 24. I have never seen Survivor. I have never seen… well, I lied, I have watched Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

    I have never seen Buffy. I have never seen OC. I have never seen — you name it, since Sex and the City ended.

    Here’s TV that I own on DVD: Dick Van Dyke, Twilight Zone, Friends, Frasier, Soap, Will and Grace, Sex and the City, Oz, and a lot of PBS programming like Frontier House.

    Soon to have Seinfeld.

  66. Wow Natasha, I never figured there would be yet another person who liked Wife Swap. Kudos for courageously standing by your taste for awful reality shows!!

    I can see what you’re saying about Scrubs, it’s the fate of all comedies, really — Will & Grace has likewise gotten more & more outlandish in its quest for funny bits.

  67. Yay Davis! The OC has you!

    Davis, AD is as good as they say. Season 1 is on DVD, I think — you should check it out.

    The Simpsons can definitely make a bid for funniest show on TV, but even they have some off episodes once in a while.

  68. Yes, I’ve thought that about Will and Grace as well, for quite a while now. They’re actually more so, I think. As for Wife Swap, yeah thanks. I wouldn’t call it taste, really. It’s more like Christina said earlier, the fact that these shows, “… are inherently interesting just because they so strongly contradict everything I cherish!”

  69. Your wish is my command, pumpkin….. try HERE!

  70. Help me Dude, I’m lost.

    I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I’m sure I saw Elvis in the supermarket yesterday.

    No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing “Love me Tender”.

    He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) “Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new plasmatv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

    But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a plasma tv .

    Dude I’m All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I’ll have me another cheeseburger then I’m gonna go home and ask Michael Jackson to come round and watch that waaaay cool surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on my new plasma tv .

    And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

    “You give me love and consolation,
    You give me strength to carry on “

    Strange day or what? :-)

  71. Great blog you have! I really enjoyed it. I heard of a great site that is giving away a free set of Nike Golf Clubs. I think your readers will enjoy it. Just click the link below and enter your Zip Code to see if you qualify!
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