22
Dec
09

What I’m Watching Now (Winter 2009/2010)

This is just a list of all the TV shows I’ve recently watched and shows I’m going to be watching quite soon.

I wrote a similar post in the Fall and the Spring, feel free to see what I was watching back then. And don’t forget to check out my Other TV Shows page.

Shows I’m Watching or I Will be Watching

LOST!:

I’m watching Lost again. I actually took a break for the first time over the Summer and Fall months. I’ve started on with the Season 3 finale and I’m working towards finishing Season 5 right before Season 6 starts. I’m not blogging it or anything, that would be forced at best. If I see anything extremely important, or if I come up with any good theories I might blog about it, but I’m not doing any hardcore blogging until Season 6 starts.

Damages

The third season starts on January 25.

This upcoming season will be interesting. It will probably continue to be one of the most intense dramas on cable. Except this season we have a few odd additions to the cast, Lily Tomlin and Martin Short are joining the cast. If I ever heard that these two were going to star in a TV show or in a movie together I would be thrilled, thinking it would be a hilarious comedy. Having them suddenly get guest spots on one of my favorite dramas is confusing me. It should be good.

Mostly I’m just hoping that the ratings for this season go up. They’ve been pretty low for a while now. If they continue to slide, or even if they stay the same this show is in trouble.

Archer

Here’s another FX show, completely different from Damages but good in it’s own right. I’ve seen the pilot for this show and it is very good. It’s an animated adult spy comedy, not a combination you see every day. It’s surprisingly well written, and it might have worked as a live action comedy, but likely no one would foot the bill.

I’m really enjoying this new use for animation, lowering budgets. As far as I’m concerned if a good script can’t find anyone to make it into a real TV show or movie, then why not turn it into a cartoon?

White Collar

I just finished watching the first part of the first season. The second part of the first season starts on Jan 19.

I put off watching White Collar for some time, I don’t know why. It’s a great show, possibly it’s my second favorite USA show. I don’t know why I had low expectations for this show, the USA Network is the most dependable, if safe, cable networks. If you haven’t checked out their shows then I highly recommend it.

Burn Notice

Starts Jan 21

My enthusiasm for Burn Notice has waned, it’s not Burn Notice’s fault, it’s just that USA keeps releasing shows that I like slightly more.

United States of Tara

It’s a stretch to put this show on this list, technically it premieres in the Spring, so this is just a shout out of sorts.

Nurse Jackie

Same deal as United States of Tara.

Californication

This show was in the back of my mind for months. Since it’s a Showtime show I see a lot of it, I think I watch most of their original shows. But for some reason I’ve never been inclined to watch it. It’s something like Hung in my mind, a cable show about sex starring someone I don’t particularly like. But a friend of mind recently started watching it and insisted that I watch it too. So I will. (This is the same friend who forced me to watch Nurse Jackie and then didn’t end up finishing the show. Nice guy, eh?)

Shows I Watched This Fall:

Some of these shows ended their season, some of them are coming back soon.

30 Rock

Starts again Jan 14.

People are feeling a little bitter towards 30 Rock this season, success breeds envy. It turns out winning almost every award and getting almost total critic approval will suddenly turn people against you. This really makes me wonder what would happen to Arrested Development if it had gone on longer than the three seasons that it got.

Regardless of the odd change in opinion, 30 Rock is still hilarious, this season is no exception. Episodes like the audition episode and Liz’s talk show prove that.

Parks & Recreation

Season 2 of Parks and Recreation is infinitely better than the first season. I don’t know what changed, but suddenly the office is full of hilarious people.

Community

I was pleasantly surprised to find this show was way better than I expected. When I saw the cast picture I was not impressed, but once I actually watched the show, wow, it’s good.  It reminds me of my time in college, I’ve actually assigned each of the characters to corresponding  friends and acquaintances from school (that makes me Abed).

The Office

The Office this year has been depressing, the Dunder-Mifflin collapse is surprisingly sad. And Jim as the Co-Regional Manager is making Michael depressed too.

Jim and Pan’s wedding was what we expected, awkward and clever.

I like the new receptionist, it’s always a surprise when they managed to fit another person into that office, but this time I think it worked well.

Dexter

I just finished Season 4 as I was posting this.  It was amazing.  I can’t say if it was better than Season 1 or 2, but it was a thousand times better than 3.  All the different storylines just came together beautifully.  Plus there was that final scene, I’ve been waiting a long time for that.

True Blood

I was very, very impressed with this series. I had mixed feelings before I started, I hate Anna Paquin, and I have no attraction to vampires (this craze seems to be out of control). But I was wrong to doubt this show, it was extremely good. Now I’m a nut about it, I’m even reading the books and I’m all over the internet watching the casting rumors.

It took me a while to get used to the fangs, but now I barely notice them.

Mad Men

Mad Men wasn’t the same story. I tried to watch Mad Men a year or two ago and I didn’t get far. Season one is dramatically good, but I just didn’t get hooked. I have the same problem that I seem to have with all shows, I didn’t like the main character. In this case that means I didn’t care for Don Draper… or Betty Draper for that matter. I loved Peggy, Joan and Roger Sterling, but these characters are supporting characters at best (technically Peggy is a lead, but you’d never know it). So I suffered through Season 1. Then I suffered through season 2, I didn’t like Peggy’s story with Reverend Hanks, or Betty’s near cheating with Alan M. Don’s California story was good, but it took a whole season for that single reveal.

Season 3, however, was glorious. I loved what they did for all the characters and I loved the ending. I wish all shows were brave enough to throw out all the previous accomplishments and start from scratch.

Arrested Development

I usually watch Arrested Development twice a year. It’s a good rule of thumb, watching it every few moths keeps the genius of the show in mind. And the movie is getting closer and closer (hopefully).

In Treatment

I watched season 1 of this show and it was probably the biggest investment of time out of any of these shows. It was quite impressive, the acting is superb, and the writing is always on the edge of being annoying and amazing. As usual I didn’t like the main character Paul (Gabriel Byrne), but some of the side characters were really good.

Sophie (Mia Wasikowska) was my favorite, mostly because her storyline came to a satisfying conclusion.

Alex (Blair Underwood) was the most maddening, he just refused to accept any counselling and diverted all attention from himself. It makes me angry now just thinking about it.

The couple that came in was pretty good too. It was very interesting watching them get deconstructed and then seeing them switch positions in the relationship.

The character of Laura drove me nuts, mostly because she was always totally aware of the damage she was doing but she continued to do it without any sign of guilt.

Paul’s own therapy sessions with Gina (Dianne Wiest) were also impressive. I’ll bet that’s quite a realistic depiction of what how a psychologist would react to getting shrunk.

I’m going to hold off watching Season 2 until I get some of these more important shows finished first.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Curb Your Enthusiasm was quite fun this year. It was the Seinfeld reunion season. The whole Seinfeld cast was back, they rebuilt the sets and they even filmed a few scenes. I didn’t realize how much I miss Seinfeld until I saw those scenes. The cast is still just as good as they ever were. It’s strange how much better looking Julia Louis Dreyfus is, why did they make her so ugly before? But of course the show was about Larry, not the Seinfeld, so of course it was still off-putting and cringe-worthy. It had some very funny parts like Wendy Wheelchair and Denise Handicap, the Black Swan and Bam Bam. It was a pretty good year, but I enjoyed the Seinfeld parts more than the Curb parts.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

This year Sunny was crazy and half. Not a bad thing, necessarily, but a little different. There were some great storylines: Frank’s intervention, The road trip, and their World Series story. Good times. I’m very surprised that this show is still going, I imagine it would be extremely hard to continue writing these stories, and I find it hard to believe that a large number of people watch it too.

Survivor

SPOILER ALERT (in case you haven’t watched the finale).

Whew, what a season this was.  I was hoping that Brett would make it, but unfortunately he just couldn’t win that last challenge, also he refused to try to work out a reasonable deal.  I’ll bet a better player could have got into the finals.

I was impressed by Russel, but unfortunately you have to be crafty and slightly likable.  People respect good players, but if you make them hate you then they get bitter.

I was surprised that Mick wasn’t able to get any votes at all, that was extremely disappointing.

Shows I’m Not Watching (for one reason or other)

I do feel badly that I’m not watching these shows, this isn’t a list of shows that I hate (I should write that someday, but I guess it would pretty much just be CBS’s schedule).

Fringe

I just got caught up on Fringe before the new season started but I haven’t watched anything since then. I feel very badly. Out of all of these unwatched show this is the one I want to watch the most… but apparently not enough.

The Tudors

This show is always on my list, but I can never bring myself to sit down and watch it.

Sons of Anarchy

Again same reason. Also I heard a few spoilers about the end of the most recent season and stuff that happens to Katey Sagal and I don’t think I could handle that.

Smallville

The rest of the shows on this list are not being watched by me for the same reason, I have a sudden aversion to network TV. I don’t know why but I can’t seem to get enough patience to watch enjoy shows knowing in the back of my mind that they could be canceled at any moment.

V

Meh, I liked Juliet, but evidently not enough to follow her to this show.

Flashforward

I’m barely even inclined to watch this show. The premise is just ridiculous. It’s essentially Lost except that it skips all the necessary build-up, they’re jumping straight to Season 3 or Season 4. It’s not going to work, the show will be canceled. I do feel bad for Sonya Walger and Joseph Fiennes I actually like the two of them.

Glee

I feel a slight desire to follow the cult and watch this show. I actually sat through half of the pilot when it aired in the Spring. But come on, it’s about a high school, I hate teenagers. I do love Jane Lynch though… If someone could please convince me, then I might watch this show.

Modern Family

Again, I feel the need to follow the internet’s advice and watch this show too. But the only thing that would potentially attract me is Julie Bowen, but then I see the rest of the cast and I’m reminded why I’m not watching. They say the show is funny like Arrested Development (I say that’s nearly blasphemy, and I don’t believe it), so should I watch it?

Parenthood

I feel the same way about this show as I do about Modern Family. I originally wanted to watch this show because Maura Tierney was in it and Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are producing it. But she was diagnosed with cancer (very sad) so she had to drop. I then found that I couldn’t care less about the show. I should be reminding myself that last time I put my faith in Ron Howard and Brian Grazer I was watching the best show ever, but I can’t seem to draw the same conclusion with this show.

– izi

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11 Responses to “What I’m Watching Now (Winter 2009/2010)”


  1. December 22, 2009 at 11:16 am

    great list…I’m almost show for show with you. I’ll need to check out In Treatment…never even heard of it.

    Sons of Anarchy is really, really good, but like you said, the season two finale was just over the top…it was like, “how many bad things can we squeeze in in one hour?”. Modern Family is very funny, but nothing close to Arrested Development. Dexter’s finale was amazing.

    Thanks for giving me some new shows to check out!

    • December 23, 2009 at 10:01 am

      Careful with In Treatment it can take up a lot of your time.

  2. 3 Matt
    December 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    You should watch Friday Night Lights!
    That’s one of my favorite shows at the moment.

    • December 24, 2009 at 9:47 am

      … yeah, maybe. I have heard that many smart people do love FNL, but the thing is… I hate sports.

  3. December 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    I love Modern Family, but I wouldn’t say it is like Arrested Development at all.
    The only connection is that they are a dysfunctional family struggling to be functional — and were the Bluths trying to be functional, maybe Michael? — but aren’t all tv families dysfunctional?
    So yeah.

    Not like AD but still damned funny. I know I laugh aloud each episode and that doesn’t happen all that often, especially with sitcom humour.

    Great AD pic btw!

  4. December 26, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Oh whoops, Glee.
    I love it. It’s pretty cheesy at times but a) I love singing b) I love Jane Lynch
    She is brilliant in this role.
    She and the school principal are the major highlights in the cast.
    Not that they get a lot of time…there are over the top storylines but then (do I even need to mention married women ‘pretending’ to be pregnant!) there are real moments of human connection (Jane Lynch’s surprise relative).
    It’s fun and it’s thoughtful.

    Oh and some deaf kids signed/sung Imagine.
    I rest my case.

    :-p

  5. 7 hi dee
    January 6, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    hello stranger!!

    okay…..first of all……if you FINALLY came around to Mad Men, do yourself a sweet favour and come on over to Modern Family. Truly, TRULY laugh out loud! mind you, any time anyone says that….you’re set up to not like it.

  6. 8 hi dee
    January 6, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    posted before I finished….opps. well, as I was saying…..just try modern family. oh, and Glee is fantastic!!! Hey, it’s written by the nip/tuck people….this ain’t no high school musical. well, sometimes it is…a bit. but mostly….just fun. more like high school musical being punched for it’s lunch money.

    I agree with you on Parks and Rec. much better this season. and community improved as well……first episode was very disappointing, but yeah, much better now. except the xmas episode. cringe worthy.

    still love the office. and got totally charmed by the wedding episode. just love them all.

    I look forward to curb on dvd. I don’t have HBO and no time to watch on-line at work. but I did see the wendy wheelchair episode. oh man. there are no words!!

    survivor, never disappoints. um, Russel. awful little troll. yes, good at manipulating the players. but the gal that won played it brilliantly in my opinion….she saw where and how to align and played him like a fiddle!! she said in an interview with Dalton Ross that she told him daily, he was going to win. that’s all his ego needed to a) keep her and b) believe she was really that stupid. I would have hated him to win. I do like how it shook down when they decimated smug galu.

    regarding Mad Men, okay…..I got hooked after flipping the dial one day and seeing a few minutes of episode three. that week they reran the episode and I kept coming across it at various times. loved it from the beginning. yes, the main character is despicable, but then he would do something so human and kind….just enough to redeem himself..until he did something despicable again. I loved how slowly it all unfolded, like real life. things don’t get resolved right away….but that’s just like life. but yes, season three was pretty near perfection. how they handled JFK….everything. I was a young child in the 60’s and remember some of it. pretty real if you ask me. I hope they jump far enough to see how badly screwed up sally and bobby are. sally probably ends up in the manson family!! anyway, I’ll stop blathering here. I don’t need to convince you….it’s all subjective and these are my opinions. for what they’re worth.

    just wanted to share a few of my favs with you. and agree with a few of yours.

    we’ll be in more contact when Lost starts again. Tuesday!!! perfect for me. no other shows to compete. finally a reason to look forward to my least favourite day.

  7. January 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Yay someone else that dosen’t watch Glee. The more people harass me about watching the show the less I want to see it. I also agree on the teenager comment…down with glee and teenagers.

    What channel is Archer on? That sounds interesting.

    I know we don’t like always agree on the same shows but have you given Big Bang Theory a chance and Accidently on Purpose. I’m completly in love with Fringe also very clever and exciting.

    • January 14, 2010 at 4:43 pm

      Well down with teenagers, I don’t want to say down with Glee, that might offend people.
      Archer is on FX, unfortunately we don’t get that channel all the way up here on the 49th parallel. So I’m going to have to find…other ways to watch it.
      And you’re very right, we certainly don’t see eye to eye on many of the shows we watch. For example you’re not watching Lost, and I am not watching Big Bang Theory.
      I’m only one episode behing on Fringe these days, I should be caught up in a few hours. Yay!

  8. July 20, 2010 at 7:38 am

    On “In Treatment” – it’s a new discovery for me as I’ve been out of the country. Wow, the actress playing Mia blew me away. Such bravery. I’d agree with all your comments, though I found Laura more exasperating than Alex. What a perceptive show.

    BTW – you’ve got a good blog and trenchant comments from start to finish.


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