Saturday, December 09, 2006

What I'm Watching

by Count Olaf
All times PST (the personal beginning of this article is on the Timewaster)


Football. Anywhere. Everywhere.

NBC really made a good decision to grab the Sunday night game AND get Al Michaels & John Madden. Al is by far the best sportscaster in the biz (IMHO) and he & john go together like peas & carrots.


Heroes - 9pm NBC.
I've already written 3 posts on this subject so you pretty much know where I stand on this show. They've been taking it slowly and revealing a little bit at a time much to my delight.

24 - 9pm (?) FOX
As you can already see, I'm going to have a dilemma on my hands once these two shows return in January. Shall I shell out the $600 for a dual-tuner Tivo series 3 HD? Don't think so.

I've been watching this show since hour 1 of the first season which was set to debut right after the Sept11 attacks. They subsequently delayed the start and edited a few things, but it's been a (cliche alert!) "non-stop thrill ride" since the beginning. My only wish is that they'd quit jumping ahead 18months - 2 years between each season. I'd like to see what happens in between, but I guess that's what the video game and movie are for...

Monday Night Football - 5:30pm ESPN
ESPN messed up when they broke up the Sunday night crew. They weren't the best, but at least they had been doing it awhile and had a good rapport with each other. These guys don't even remotely sound like they get along and with Tony always questioning Joe, it's a wonder there aren't more brawls.

Now they're bringing in celebrity guests every week to liven things up and look like a kid's lemonade stand compared to NBC's Sunday Night Starbucks. (I'm not so good with the analogies)

Friday Night Lights - 8pm NBC
I accidentally caught the ending of the pilot (when I flipped it on the Panthers were celebrating on the field, then praying, then going to the hospital) and it was enough to grab me for the season. I love the style of this show. No sets or lighting or makeup, a few semi-known actors and away we go. And it's less about football than you'd expect.

The ratings are in the toilet, but NBC is giving it a full season. All episodes are currenly online for free with nothing to sign up for or download. You don't even have to give an e-mail address. Just click here and you can start with Episode 1.

American Idol - 8pm FOX
No one over 12 or under 60 admits they watch this show. But I love it. I caught ithe first season by accident after I saw an ad where Simon berated someone onstage. I was sold! Each year it starts I say I'm not going to watch and each year I keep getting sucked in. It's definitely a juggernaut. But it may get supplanted by my love for the Dillon Panthers.

House - 9pm FOX
Liked more by my wife than me, Hugh Laurie is more irascible than ever this season. I hope probation does him some good.


American Idol - 8:30pm (?) FOX
The so-called results show. More fluff than anything, I watch the end to see who goes.

Lost - 10pm ABC
Trying to sidestep the American Idol juggernaut... We discuss it weekly on this blog (when it's on) so you can tell the emotions run high on this one.

My Name Is Earl - 8pm NBC
The "dumbest" show on my list. I watch it because I've been a fan of Jason Lee (and Ethan Suplee to a lesser extent) since Mallrats. It makes me laugh. And last week's episodes with John Leguizamo were HI-larious.

The Office - 8:30pm NBC
For me, it's the funniest show on TV right now. I do like it better than the British version but that's mainly because I'm not British. Some of the jokes I just can't get from across the pond. I do think Ricky Gervais was brilliantly hilarious though. Steve Carrell isn't as offensive as "David Brent" but he is certainly as hopeless. The 3rd season is just getting rolling and I think they are hitting their stride. Everyone in the cast is perfect for their parts.

Numb3rs - 10pm
Another one of my wife's shows. David Krumhotlz will always be Bernard the Elf to me, so it's hard to take it seriously. But you gotta love Judd Hirsch. Been on TV as long as I can remember.

And thus concludes my week. A sad state of affairs, to be sure.


Blogger jaydro said...

Count, you got HD, how could a TiVo possibly be big bucks? ;-)

I've got a DirecTV two-tuner TiVo (SD, not HD). Here's what my week looks like:


Desperate Housewives
Grey's Anatomy

Yes, I know Grey's comes on Thursdays now, but we record it and watch it on Sunday nights after Housewives (which we watch on some delay--nothing is ever live for me anymore; even during live sports I'm usually wandering around in my 30-minute buffer). Housewives seems to have lost a lot of its mysteriousness and plays just like a straight though slightly wacky soap opera.


Sundance Channel popularized "Doc Day Monday" and I try to watch some serious program I've recorded on Monday nights. Or not. Finally gave Studio 60 a try, but I'm not sure I like it--I think it's actually not as good as 30 Rock which I only tried after Tina Fey's appearance on The Daily Show--or was it The Colbert Report? But I watched Studio on a Friday night, anyway.

I recorded several episodes of Heroes, but I kept not watching them and deleting them (I've only got 240GB of space!). Maybe if Sci-Fi does a marathon again that doesn't cause a triple conflict (like last time), I'll give it a try.


Veronica Mars. This season is somewhat disappointing so far. Over the summer we watched the entire first season and the entire second season (I had the entire second season waiting on my TiVo just for this).


Lost. That is, when it's on. *sigh* And we have been watching Day Break now, though usually on Friday nights.
One Tree Hill. It's my one big guilty pleasure, my excuse being that it's filmed in one of my favorite towns in NC, Wilmington. But that wasn't enough to keep me watching Dawson's Creek past part-way through its third season. OTH is the most absurd soap opera I've seen, way more over-the-top than the old Melrose Place, with its wildly improbable connections between characters and twists and turns. Like the "very special" episode that aired about a troubled high school student who starts shooting up the school, which plays out as expected until the very end when the evil mayor takes the opportunity to kill his brother who was trying to talk the suicidal kid out of the school. Or the one that was on a couple of weeks ago that ended with the pregnant wife of the star basketball player getting hit-and-run by the gangster who tried to put the fix in on the game, who is then beaten to death by the basketball player only to have his evil mayor dad turn nice and take the rap for it while the basketball player's half-brother suffers an apparent heart attack while trying to help the pregnant half-sister-in-law because he didn't take his medication before the big game because he really wanted to win even though he knew his half-brother was going to throw it. *whew*


My Name is Earl Still love it, but last year it seemed snappier.
The Office Still good. I never liked the British one, mostly because I think I don't like Ricky Gervais (couldn't stand Extras on HBO, either), but since I started watching the US Office in its second season, I find I like the British one better.
30 Rock Recently discovered this. Really laugh-out-loud funny. And I think I have a crush on Tina Fey, though I have resisted her charms far too long.
Survivor *yawn* I've watched every series, but I'm like eight weeks behind on this one, and the finale is next week, and I'm going to be out-of-town. Will I just can it, this time?


Like I said, Daybreak and maybe something else that crept up along the week that feels like something fun to watch.

I'm also a serious devotee of the off-season coverage of various racing series on Speed Channel that are being shown during the winter, and I catch up on these when time allows (mostly on weekends), like the British Touring Car Series, German Touring Cars (DTM), FIA GT, A1 Grand Prix, GP Masters. Doesn't look like they're going to carry highlights of the Australian V8 Supercars this off-season, but that's okay because I've been downloading torrents of them through the year. :-)

Plus there's The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, though I often find myself fast-forwarding through Jon's celebrity interviews, and I've noticed he has upped his author interview percentage lately....

12/09/2006 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Forgot to add:

I have honestly never watched American Idol. The appeal escapes me.

And we tried House and it just didn't stick.

12/09/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger Count Olaf said...

Admit it! YOU were the OTH spammer back on the old boards....I knew it...

Consider yourself among the enlightened to have never seen AI. I'm currently vowing again to not watch it, but once I see those ads, i'll fall back into my bad habits. Maybe Friday Night Lights can keep me honest.

The biggest complaint I have about House is that it usually follows the same obvious pattern every week. Most shows follow a pattern, but this one is by-the-numbers almost every week.
You know that at the half hour they'll be ready to send the patient home because they've supposedly cured him, only to find he's now in a more dire life-threatening situation than before...then commercial...then with 5 minutes left, it's resolved. And maybe he'll bother someone in the clinic and steal food from Wilson.

12/09/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

I have only seen American Idol when I've been trapped at my mother's house (she watches all that stuff, like Dancing With the Stars, etc.) I agree with Jaydro. I'd rather watch paint dry.

The only shows I like are Lost, The Amazing Race and The Office. Don't really watch any other regularly scheduled shows. I do watch sports.

12/11/2006 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

I don't own a tv. Not that this seems to matter.


Studio 60 has not turned out as good as it began, but there's still the occassional worthwhile moment, and Matthew Perry can be pretty sympathetic. But for a show about a comedy show it really lacks comedy. There's wit, but not much comedy.

Dexter has turned out to be the surprise favorite of the fall. A rare blend of comedy, thriller and gore, it's like the anti-CSI. A show with pathologist (specialist in blood spatter, actually) who dabbles in the occasional serial killing, with sympathetic bad guys, unsympathetic good guys and sweet rape victims, Dexter's opening credits has me giggling every time.


Heroes. Olaf sings its praises better than I do. I find it occasionally cheesy, and some characters seriously dull, but it has a plot that really bends itself to extremes, and I just can't stop loving that. But it also runs a high risk of going the way Thursday's two high concept shows have gone.


Veronica Mars, a favorite for a long time now. Really smart, without hitting you over the head with it, and while I agree with jaydro that the show has been lacking a bit this season, the last episode was fantastic. Now that they have a full season order, it might turn out to be really good. Again.

House, I watch when the mood strikes. It's a one-trick pony, but Hugh Laurie as the pony can be fun to listen to.


Lost/Day Break, I've made my feelings for this season clear elsewhere. It really needs to pick up.

Day Break could have been a lot more fun if it had Bill Murray in the lead. As it is I will have to make do. It'll end soon enough anyway.


My Name is Earl is a guilty pleasure here as well. Randy has to be the funniest character on television. Ethan Suplee's face is a goldmine.

Death Note, an anime show, is an awesome thriller that started showing this fall in Japan. A high school student picks up a notebook left by a god of death that explains that anyone who's name is written in it will die. Turns out the kid may be smarter and more ruthless than the god anticipated, and global mass murder of criminals ensues.

This series has more mind-games and mindfucks, twists, plot-turns and reversals than should be possible in twenty minute episodes. It's like a high-concept The Departed/Infernal Affairs.


Battlestar Galactica is the best show on television. If you've missed it, pick up seasons one and two. A show that's gotten better for each year, the third and fourth episodes of season three was some of the coolest stuff I've seen on television ever.



Most of the Sunday evenings are reserved for movies, though.

off-topic: OTH sounds like a real trip.

12/11/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Nick, re: your Studio 60 comments--you should give 30 Rock a shot. I was just watching last week's episode and I can't believe how much I laugh at this show. Makes Studio 60 look way too forced.

12/19/2006 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Jaydro, thanks for the 30 Rock tip. Really brightened up my post-New Years. Alec Baldwin's network exec is pure gold.

1/13/2007 10:25:00 AM  

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