TV is back, and this time it’s personal

I’d seriously gotten used to spending time with my family, reading and going outside. The last few months have been like one of those dreams where you know that you aren’t YOU, but you just run with it. Now that TV is actually back I can slide back into sloth like a nice warm bath. Last Thursday hit my Tivo like a tonne of bricks. It’s like Tivo used to have this cool manager that let him slack off, surf the web and take 30 minute smoke breaks, then Corporate sent in a ballbust to whip his whole division back into shape.

“Tivo! Why aren’t you recording 30 Rock?!”

“I….I….I was going to….”

“WELL, RECORD IT!? Then clean up this warehouse! There’s old episodes of Good Eats all over the place! Is that Planet Earth over in the corner? They’re not going to watch that again! DELETE IT!”

Speaking of: why didn’t anyone BUT Josh ever tell me how great 30 Rock was? I caught the last two episodes and I am officially hooked. It’s about as close to Arrested Development as I’ve seen on TV since AD’s untimely demise.  You see, I can’t just take Josh’s word on things like this. He’s almost always right, but he also watches Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives so it’s hard to trust him. To his credit the list of shows he recommended that I resisted makes for a rather impressive resume: Arrested Development, Battlestar Galactica,  and 30 Rock, to name a few. The problem is, he recommends basically everything. It’s like voting for every presidential candidate. You will always, at least partially, win.

(Also, I take back anything I’v ever said about It has every episode of Arrested D. available at an instant. I leave it playing in the background while I work. They… um…. it’s better than iTunes.)

Other shows that he’s tried unsuccesfully to cram in my TV hole include 24, Grey’s Anatomy, The West Wing, and Serious 30 Rock (Studio something or other).  I’m sure those are all good shows but I have to resist falling for them. There are only so many hours in a day and there are comics to be made. Comicareseriousbusiness.

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  1. This co mic reminds me of a TV movie umpteen million years ago where there was a school on another planet (venus?) where the sun came out once every ten years or so, and some classmates locked a girl in a closet the day the sun came out and she missed all the happy frolicking.

    Anyway, good work.

  2. My wife was working for a Congressman from New Jersey when The West Wing was on, so she ate it up. I didn't watch it for several years and when I finally caved it was pure bliss. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was nearly as tragic as Firefly. That show was great, and had the makings of true superbosityness.

  3. I didn't like 30 rock for the first half of the first season. Seemed like it tried too hard. But it grew on me.

    Serious 30 Rock (Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip) was a fucking phenomenally funny and smart show that shouldn't have been canceled.

  4. Do NOT watch 24 if you enjoy man-dramas, suspenseful story-telling, and extensive awesomeness. You will not get anything done for weeks trying to get caught up. Personally, I am waiting for Heroes to start up again, but I will have to be patient until September 🙁

  5. Right now, hulu is pretty good. Actually, it is great. However, due to the greed of networks (tv and internet), I expect to see
    a) 10 min commercial breaks per 10 min viewing,
    b) intentional network crippling by ISPs
    soon. It is simply too good to be true. Or rather, too good to stay true?

  6. Scrubs may not be a drama, but for short shows of pure awesome, it's up there with its studio brother, Futurama.
    (WHY, WHY must it end the day after my 26th?! *sob* At least it's not pulling a Seinfeld.)

  7. You're JUST NOW gettingn into 30Rock? Fool! It's too bad this came out the same time as Studio 60, which was an equally good, yet different, spin on the same subject. I'm waiting for Chuck to come back. That was my best new show of the season.

  8. I actuallyhad to stop watching Office. I just can't get back into it. It's a shell of its former self (season two FTW) but I sorta got used to it not being on anymore. Now it's back with little fanfare, and I just cant get into it.

  9. I challenge you to watch The West Wing and not cry/choke back big fat man tears at least once an episode. Damn good stuff. But safe it for the off season because I needs my HE updates.

  10. Don't forget the right-wing proselytizing!

    I mean, yeah, I enjoy the action and the storytelling (as long as it doesn't involve mountain lions or Kevin Dillon), but it wears its neocon heart on its sleeve.

  11. My satellite was out Thursday and Friday night. I thought I was going to have a breakdown. All that time waiting for the writers strike to be over and catching up on BSG and the satellite had chose now to go out. I watched the shows online eventually but the quality is horrible and depressing.

  12. The Office did have some bad broad comedy moments (Michael driving his car into the water) but since the strike ended they've come back with some of the darkest and most painfully funny episodes they've ever had.

  13. I think the main problem with Studio 60 was that their SNL like show was supposed to be really funny but every time they showed one of the skits it was about as painful to watch as most modern SNL.

    Had Aaron Sorkin hired some actual comedy writiers to handle that part I think it would've helped the show immensely.

  14. I caught maybe two eps of first season 30 Rock and I thought Tracy Morgan was too much. The recent ones Ive caught reminds me of why I loved Woodrow, Brian Fellow and Astronaut Jones.

    This has been a Morgan/Goldfarb production. "Good lookin out, Money/ Yaah Liiike?"

  15. 30 Rock is love. One episode had the entire cast singing "The Midnight Train to Georgia" and I was in stitches.

    Anything Showtime puts out is gold. Weeds, The Tudors, Dexter, all of it wins.

    Also, Whitest Kids U'Know is the funniest fucking thing ever.

  16. I can honestly say that the west wing is the greatest show put on tv, and this is coming from a total lost whore. i have stayed faithful to it throughout, becasue i always knew that the first series could be replicated at any moment. to me it just seemed so effortless. and now they are back.

    i have got several stories of how i introduced the west wing to people, but by far the most satisfying is showing my friend and he gave it is mum to watch, and she watched all 7 seasons in about 6 weeks. she came up and thanked me for bringing it up. when she thanked me for mentioning it i have never felt better better about the fact i watch wayyy to much tv.

  17. you just love giving me more reasons to hate you. this show was wonderful, they knew they were cancelled, and they wrapped it up. so just fucking watch the one season already.

    and then watch Sports Night

  18. Yeah… I've seen 3 episodes of house… And they all went like this…
    Guy is sick, doctors diagnosis him, guy is still sick, HE MUST BE LYING TO US LETS GO BREAK INTO HIS HOUSE (GeT iT!??!!1! ItS TeH nAmE oF tEh ShOw!!!!1!) Except once the guy was homeless, so they had to go find his shopping cart or something.
    Am I the only one who thought Heroes was getting good towards the end of the season?
    Other shows that are good, but some that are cancelled 🙁
    Freaks & Geeks
    Veronica Mars
    How I Met Your Mother (kinda lame, but still pretty funny, same goes for most of the CBS sitcoms)
    The Big Bang Theory
    Greg The Bunny
    Home Movies
    aaaand Gilmore Girls…(Yea shut up…)

  19. OMG no, I've seen this! It's raining the entire time, and then the sun finally comes out and the girl can see a sliver of light through the door crack and that's all, while the rest of the kids are running through the fields outside.

    • Thanks for that, I must've seen it a long time ago… It seemed way too familiar when I saw something like this on Drawn Together. Toot (the overweight betty boop ripoff) told the houseguests about the magical weeniemobile, a legend from when she was a kid, until they got so annoyed they locked her in the closet. Eventually, it shows up and they all run outside, leaving her locked in the closet, watching them frolicking in the free frankfurter fiesta through the keyhole.

  20. Maybe I'll try 30 Rock again. I watched the first 4 episodes and couldn't take it. Mainly because I hate Alec Baldwin. I thought Tracy Morgan's character was the best part of the show though, at least those first few episodes.

    I'm not sure if this is 100% accurate, but I read that part of the reason for Studio 60's cancellation is that they had too many big names, so it would have needed astronomical ratings to even be profitable.

  21. I half agree. Studio 60 did kick all kinds of ass for the first half of their season, but the "wrapping up" totally sucked. On the one hand, it was interesting to see them tie up the loose ends, on the other, the execution felt half-assed – all the fire went out, and they just coasted to a stop.

  22. 30 Rock is the bee's motherfucking knees. I think it's better than The Office ever was, the perfect mix of complete ludicrousness (Tracy Morgan) and reality (Tina Fey).

    Having watched and enjoyed both 30 Rock and Studio 60, I feel safe sharing this Tina Fey quote with you (from an appearance at the WGA): "I hear Aaron Sorkin is in Los Angeles wearing the same dress- but longer, and not funny."

  23. Dude, that IS EVERY episode of House. And it's awesome. I remember being disappointed for a short while when I realized that House (the character) never underwent any change – then I got over it, and now I don't miss it. It's formulaic, but it's still entertaining, every damn week.

  24. I've pretty much enjoyed Chuck from the beginning. They took a somewhat thin premise and have managed to fill it in nicely and make it look like a lot of it was planned all along (maybe it was, who knows?) I squeed for joy when they aired the episodes they were holding back recently, even if they no longer chronologically made sense (characters excited about getting their hand on Call of Duty 4, which had been out for a while by that time).

    What about non-broadcast TV? I've got the AppleTV and get a few video podcasts, but the only one I typically enjoy is "Backpack Picnic". Anyone have any good recommendations for video podcasts (I tried to like Tikibar and Ninja, but no, and Galacticast seems to have gone dead)

  25. i think it's like a rite of geek passage to have this insurmountable backlog of show you will "get into eventually" or "heard really good things about". It's fitting, that as geeks, we're always watching new stuff, discovering strange new worlds, seeking out new life…..oh wait, wrong mission statement. Discovering new shows, etc. etc. My friend is just getting into the Whedonverse, and it's bittersweet that he won't really get to experience it with the rest of us, yet is falling in love with Mal for the first time.

    I gave Chuck a chance, but the pilot killed me. I hadn't seen Firefly at the time, so I had no care for ageless Adam Baldwin. point is, the show hurt me as a nerd/geek. Maybe you'll dig it. It'll hurt me if you do, but I've learned to accept that different people have different tastes, even among geeks.

  26. Also, I vastly prefer to Hulu. They have classic Who which is pretty much a requirement for sites of that type for me. If you need more reason than that, they have a wider variety as well.

  27. Two words: Venture Brothers
    June 1st can't get here quick enough.

    I've been trying, sadly somewhat unsuccessfully, to get my friends into Battlestar Galactica. I've tried rationally going over the finer points, I've tried rabid fanboyism, the only thing left is to find President Roslin and an Airlock…
    The reason they've been resistant is more due to the three days of backlogged episodes they would need to watch than quality reasons. I should try broadcasting the episodes into their brains while they sleep. Or something.

  28. They really seem to have a problem with skits running too long in season 2 of WKUK. I still enjoyed it but not nearly as much as season 1. Human Giant is definitely the superior of the two. I'm just mad because MTV has been heavily editing the repeats of season 2, even cutting sketches short (gay porn ghost, Will Arnett's sex machine).

  29. can't mess with a formula that works. Did you guys see the one where the dude's eye pops out. OH MAN MONEY SHOT! then his balls explode! it's just like the writers went full out on a rampage

  30. I've only watched a couple episodes of 30 Rock. They were funny, but not really that great. Tracy Morgan's character annoyed me. But maybe it was just those particular episodes; maybe I'll give it another shot.

  31. I still love Heroes; I just wish they had timed their season better. It felt way too short and not enough got done. Right when it started to pick up, it ended. Lost is holding me over, but even they went on another goddamn hiatus (until last week).

  32. If Scrubs comes back on ABC, that would rock. I don't care which network it's on, as long as it's still on. I didn't get into the show until halfway through last season, but it's made of awesome and bunny rabbits. Hopefully someone figures out a way to keep it alive.

  33. I'm with ya on Heroes – it picked up towards the end, and I'm mad/sad/something that they didn't go further before wrapping up the season. It felt way too short, especially after such a kick-ass freshman season.

  34. Check your signal strength. If you have a good line of site (80-100) it shouldnt ever go out. If you have a good signal and you still have issues, its a bad LNB, bad coax, or a bad receiver. I do recommend DirecTV over Dish if you have the option. Can you tell I was in the Satellite industry for 5 years?

  35. It's pretty apparent you did. I still have the habit of busing my own table at restaurants since I worked in the food industry for two years.

    We finally got it fixed. They sent out the installation manager and he figured out that the dumbass who installed the dish put it in a spot that was being blocked by our neighbor's trees. The guy who came out last week just adjusted it. I'm not too mad now seeing as we got two weeks free and three months of HBO for free. I've been watching Best in Show off and on today.

  36. Yeah, they get to the point where they go to his house and then they run a thing saying it's too explicit for broadcast. It's complete bullshit seeing as the channel runs Jackass and The Real World all the time and both have shown far worse.

  37. They canned Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip which was funny and intelligent like Arrested Development but kept 30 Rock which is one step above poop jokes.

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