Thursday, April 3, 2008

Must-See TV.

By now my faithful readers have picked up on my love (obsession) for the TV show Lost. And for the record--Beckie, I've not written about it in over 2 weeks now--gimme some mad props, please! Last weekend while eating with Kelly & Danny I made the comment that I really don't watch much else on television. "Come on, I don't believe that!" was Kelly's response. Truthfully, I rarely turn the thing on. My wonderful husband watches Fox News and the History channel every single night, so I catch bits & pieces of those networks. We do love CSI and now it's back with new episodes--hooray! Just a couple of weeks ago I discovered Rob & Big on MTV, but of the six episodes saved on the DVR, I've watched only two. Sometimes I'll make an effort to turn on Food Network to see if Paula or Giada are cookin' up something fabulous, but really...there's nothing on TV worth watching nowadays. So when I say that I don't watch much, I really mean it!

After the return of CSI this evening (a subpar episode, though--in my opinion!) I started questioning myself and my TV habits, or lack thereof. Ok, Leigh Anne. You claim to be on the pulse of pop culture--yet you're excluding television. American Idol? Project Runway? Grey's Anatomy? The Office? Dancing With the Stars? The Hills? The world is watching...why aren't you?

The answer? First of all, I have two small children...not much else needs to be explained. What about after they're in bed at 8:00? Well, I either surf the net, take French lessons, study the Bible, or read for pleasure...four things I'd rather do than watch TV anyway. As usual, though, my brain really started pondering and I started thinking of favorite episodes of my all-time, best-loved series from the past. I realized that truly great television is just not being produced anymore. Allow me to elaborate.

Designing Women is my favorite sitcom. Ever. I know there are lovers of Cheers, Seinfield, Friends, or even The Andy Griffith show, as is the case with the entire Litton family. None of these compare to the antics of those Atlantian interior decorators--Julia, Suzanne, Charlene and Mary Jo. Yes, the show's creators/writers were huge liberals, but if you can look past the occasional political jab, Designing Women contained some of the most hilarious and thought-provoking storylines of all time. And Delta Burke's portrayal of Suzanne Sugarbaker still has me in gales of belly guffaws every time I watch.

Let's now sing the praises of the joy that was Moonlighting. Part detective caper series, part comedy, with a little bit of drama (both onscreen and off!) and a lot of Motown thrown in for good measure, Glenn Gordon Caron's creation is the standard that shows today are still attempting to emulate. That show Bones? Yeah, a Moonlighting-ish ripoff. Mulder & Scully of The X-Files? They so tried to be David Addison & Maddie Hayes. (And X-Filers--don't shoot me--I loved the show, but it was no Moonlighting!) What other television show could make a post office chase scene as knee-slapping as this?

Joss Whedon, Joss Whedon, Joss Whedon. He's so brilliant, so talented, so out there...he's the creative genius behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the last great hour-long series (in my opinion, of course!) until Lost came along. For seven sweet years BTVS provided some of most original, hysterical and controversial (lesbian witches, anyone?) hours of serial television. This show could be poignant one minute (Buffy comes home from a class to find her mother has died, unexpectedly, in their living room) and wacky the next (demons playing poker--using kittens instead of chips). The shiniest jewel in the crown of King Joss is the musical he wrote, produced and directed in Season Six, "Once More With Feeling," which has Buffy and her gang of Scoobies under a spell that causes them to break into song, revealing true feelings they've kept hidden from each other in previous episodes. Buffy fans hold this episode in the highest regard, and with good rocks! And yes, I do own the surprise here. The fabulous James Marsters (one of my all-time favorite actors, ever--he's outstanding in everything he does) has one of the best numbers in the musical as Spike, the coolest vampire-with-a-soul in the world.

"If my heart could beat it would break my chest..." Brilliant lyric for an "undead." Sigh...

So...there y'all have it. These are my top three favorites. I long for a line-up that includes shows of this caliber...and to me, other than Lost and CSI, I'm just not seeing it in this day and age. I own all 5 seasons of Moonlighting and the 7 years of Buffy on DVD (and the Buffy spin-off, Angel, which was a bit more mature/darker than the Buffyverse), so I can relive my favorite episodes whenever the mood strikes. Designing Women is still not available (save for one special release DVD that has 4 eps--yes, I have it!), but you can be certain if/when it's released I'll be the first one to shelling out the dough, happily.

Hope I've inspired y'all to check out these particular shows, if you haven't already. Rent them on Netflix. Watch on Whatever...just watch. It's really great TV. I promise. When I have ever failed y'all? Ok, don't answer that one.


Kelly said...

okay, but did you watch idol? you PROMised.

Greg said...

TV Shows I watch.....Thank God for Tivo.

Friday Night Lights
Battlestar Galactica
October Road
Prison Break
Pushing Daises
The 4400
The Office
Ugly Betty
Sarah Connor Chronicles
Rob and Big

I am sure I am missing some. :)

Sarah Pomerleau said... to read your blog. I aspire to one day be as good a blogger as you...but for now, you'll have to settle for what I give ya'! However, you must check out my latest post...I did a tribute to some of my old tv loves! excuse the typos...there are a few and crazy me couldn't figure out how to edit (see what a numchuck I am?) love you