Monday, September 7, 2009

Shows I Don't Watch

There are a few returning shows I don’t watch but I totally get that others do. Some I do watch, but only when there’s nothing on and B isn’t around. As you know, he hates pretty much every show I watch. There are other shows that I once got why they used to be on people’s list, but I’ve heard have gotten so bad that I just don’t get it. Here’s a summary of them all.

Shows I Don’t Watch, But Sometimes Wish I Did

When Supernatural came out, all I heard was that it was a vehicle for young girls to crush on a pair of pretty boys who were supposedly battling evil. I was shocked (shocked!) when it was renewed. All I heard was how awful the show is! But I haven’t heard that refrain since its first year. There are some diehard fans who have pretty much convinced me that I would probably enjoy the show. After all, it has a lot going for it, including mythology, and two young lust-worthy men. What, I can’t be superficial?

I knew that I wasn’t going to watch Gossip Girl, even though it came out to a lot of buzz and has Kirsten Bell providing the voice of the Gossip Girl. Sadly, it had Heroes on opposite it (I think), and at that time I was still hoping that Heroes was going to be good. But Gossip Girl is also one of those shows that became the victim of my self-editing. I can’t watch everything, especially with such an opinionated husband. And there were a lot of other shows that came out that year that I could justify to B, such as Pushing Daisies and Chuck. Funny story – one time I was at home and just happened to have Gossip Girl on while I was doing something on the computer. B came home, sat in front of the TV, and ten minutes later, admitted the show was “compelling”. He then changed the channel.

The Big Bang Theory came out to mixed reviews. The naysayers changed their tune, however, and this show is now a critical favorite. Many of those critics nearly peed on themselves when Jim Parsons was nominated for an Emmy this year. From what I’ve heard, it is a good comedy with a lot of heart.

The other comedy on this short list is How I Met Your Mother. As I’ve noted elsewhere, I’m not really into comedy, but when this came out, I was intrigued. Allyson Hannigan and Neil Patrick Harris? A fun premise, HIMYM promised to be the next Friends. But the few episodes I saw displayed some boring, trite comedy, and I just couldn’t justify keeping it on the watch list. I’m thrilled for Hannigan and especially Harris for their work and the fact that they’ve another successful show under their belts.

I almost watched Castle just because of the presence of the charming Nathan Fillion. In case you’re not a total geek, Fillion was Captain Mal Reynolds in Firefly and Serenity, as well as Caleb, the evil preacher, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Since he burnished his geek-god cred, he has been in Desperate Housewives and other series that were less successful. In Castle, Fillion plays a roguish crime writer, shadowing a by-the-book female cop on the job. To her surprise, he’s actually helpful. The premise totally puts me off. But I’ve seen parts of a few episodes and Fillion does make it work somehow.

The last procedural is The Mentalist. I was immediately attracted to The Mentalist because of Simon Baker, whose smile can light up a room from across the continent. Baker stars as a former fake psychic who uses his enhanced observational skills to solve crimes. But he has a dark past as well – he became a crime solver so he could find the serial killer who murdered his wife and child. The camera unfortunately follows Bakers eyes so by the time he reveals what he observed, the audience already knows. And it’s hard to understand why the other professional cops don’t have good observational skills themselves. Don’t they teach that in police academy? Baker is great and watchable in the show, but unlike in The Closer, the rest of the ensemble is pure vanilla.

Other Procedurals

There are a lot of procedurals on TV right now. We have to accept that because they rerun well, unlike the shows I enjoy whose arcs make rerunning difficult. Sadly, the networks are in the business of selling advertising, not just putting on a good show. Two procedurals have spawned spin-offs. Law & Order is doing its level best to become the longest running show ever. The show has had its lulls, but was recently revitalized by a cast shake-up. I find it slightly more watchable now, when I’m really bored or too sick to care. I used to love Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, but I grew tired of Olivia and Elliot quickly. These two should have been fired long ago, and I really hate their self-righteousness sometimes. I still like Munch and Cragin, though. Law & Order: Criminal Intent no longer has its first run on a network – the episodes are aired first on USA. Sometimes I’ve forgotten what the crime was by the time Goren gets his confession.

The other procedurals are the CSIs. The first, CSI, had a cast shake-up, with the death of Warrick, the retirement of Grissom, and the hiring of Langston, played by Laurence Fishburne. I’ve heard that the transition between William Petersen and Fishburne has not been as smooth as hoped, and the ratings have suffered. This season they are bringing back Jorja Fox’s extremely annoying, self-righteous Sara Sidle for a number of episodes. CSI: Miami is completely unwatchable with the hammy acting of David Caruso, but it continues to get great ratings. Lastly is CSI: NY with Gary Sinise. I’ve never seen it.

Shows I Can’t Believe People Are Still Watching

Grey’s Anatomy always got great press, and it was certainly the water cooler show of the season when it came out. But the show has really struggled since Isaiah Washington demonstrated his homophobia in public. Since Washington’s firing, the plotlines have gone from outrageous to ludicrous. First, the Izzie and George affair that was completely unbelievable. This year Izzie had sex with a ghost. George disappeared, only to be killed off in the final episode. Izzie is annoying; George was not. Katherine Heigl appears desperate to get out of her contract. Apparently T.R. Knight wanted out more.

As I’ve noted on another blog, the year Lost came out, I made a conscious decision to watch Desperate Housewives instead. There were many good reasons for this at the time, the first being that I wasn’t in class on Sunday nights. I’ve long been a fan of Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman, so I thought I’d give it a try. And I found it to be a quality show. Just not for me. Hatcher’s character annoyed me, as did Huffman’s. I couldn’t justify watching a show that annoyed me so much. The show has struggled a great deal, but seemed to pick up when it added Dana Delaney to the roster. But they never really had a full successful season after the first year. Last year, the storyline took a five-year jump. It seemed to revitalize the show, but it didn’t last.

I’m a little more mixed about Brothers & Sisters, a show I’ve watched off and on. Another “delicious” soap opera that is well-acted, with the likes of Sally Field, Rachel Griffiths, Ron Rifkin, and Patricia Wettig, the show depicts a complicated family dealing with the death of the patriarch who left an unusual legacy: an illegitimate daughter and her mother. But it turns out the bastard daughter is not related to the Brothers & Sisters (thus allowing her affair with one of the Brothers to proceed with minimal ickiness) but there is another bastard out there. Who pretends to be nice. But isn’t. And so on. Apparently plot development is plot-driven, not character, and you know how I feel about that.

Well, have I insulted you now? Do you want to tell me off? Did I forget a show you think should be on my radar? Let me know.


  1. Gossip Girl IS "compelling". I would watch it more, but I can only watch it when the kids aren't around.

    Warrick died? I'm so sad. He was so pretty. How did he die?


  2. I'll let B know that you find Gossip Girl to be as compelling as he does.

    Warrick was pretty, wasn't he. I always thought he was much better looking than the other guy. His character was shot to death. I believe he died in Grissom's arms, which is one reason Grissom left. I can't remember if the actor asked to be let go or if it was decided for him, but I do know that the actor was having some personal problems for a while.