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Rands Fall Line-up

I still miss the West Wing of a few years ago. I don’t think there has been a show what was so consistently good on so many different fronts. Since then, the only show which has come close in terms of must-watch weekly TV has been Lost, but a chunk of that show’s magic faded in the second season as I became increasingly frustrated with the lack of resolution to an ever growing pile of questions. I’ll be watching the season premiere, but I could easily stop watching in three episodes.

I’m just about caught up with the second (third?) season of Battlestar Galactica in preparation for the season finale. Again, like Lost, what was terrific television has got a little confusing as we head towards the season finale. Recent episodes have featured horrible writing with blatant and annoying flaws in basic logic. Fingers are crossed as the season winds up and, based on the hallway buzz from folks who’ve already seen it, I’m hopeful.

Netflix did an amazingly thing and got their hands on the series premiere of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and I’m happy to say Aaron Sorkin delivers again. I love his intelligently dense dialog and while I’m worried about how much drama he can create when his characters aren’t in the White House, I can say that Bradley Whitford and Matthew Perry have instant depth and chemistry.

The dark horse candidate for the Fall season is Jericho. I like for the same reason that I read all those Stephen King novels when I was a kid. I’ve got this love/hate relationship with horror. For example, I watched The Ring by myself from behind a large pillow, DVD controller in hand… probably muted 30% of the movie, but watched and rewatched the key scenes ten times. End of the world stories fall into the same bucket. I hate ’em. I mean, I love ’em.

BlooStill, each and every one of those shows can fail. It’s all cool. I got a reliable back-up and it’s called Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. The premise is deliciously creative. Foster’s Home lives in a world where imaginary friends are real. Anything you imagined as a child is a living breathing creature. The problem is, what happens when you grow up and no longer need them? Welcome to Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. It’s a house chock full of every possible imaginary character you can imagine. Enter shenanigans.

Like Spongebob, Foster’s core demographic is pretty vague. I can sit and enjoy any episode alongside a 4 year old.

That’s good television.

14 Responses

  1. Ben Newman 10 years ago

    Do you have HBO? If not why not? All of my must see tv is there, from Deadwood to the Sopranos, and they just stun me with the quality of their programming. The Wire, my absolute favorite, just started it’s 4th season and if you haven’t seen it yet netflix the first 3 seasons and jump into the finest TV mankind has ever made.

  2. I’ve been rewatching West Wing for the last week or so. Now I’m going to get me some of that Studio 60 action, thanks a lot for the tip!

  3. I nursed my BSG withdrawal by watching Deadwood all the way through season 3 this summer. Laura gave me a dirty look everytime she walked through the stream of vulgarities that was our living room for a few weeks, but damn if it isn’t a well-written show. I’ve still got all the episodes on DivX discs if you want a starter pack.

  4. MonkeyT 10 years ago

    Go get the DVDs of Sorkin’s Sports Night. Lots of fun similarities to Studio 60.

  5. You need to check out Veronica Mars. The first two seasons were on UPN, but it’s now on the new CW.

    Sassy teen ends up growing up too fast but is still stuck in high school for two more years. She spends that time solving crime and mysteries for her classmates and her dad (who is the ex-sherriff and now a PI.)

    Ok, it sounds like a cheesy premise, but it’s actually really excellent. Did I meantion that both Joss Wheedon and Kevin Smith endorsed the show?

  6. Blake 10 years ago

    LOST + Las Vegas + Battlestar Galactica = 🙂

  7. Jake Flynn 10 years ago

    If you have not seen ‘The Shield’ that should be next on your list of must see shows. It took me a few episodes to get hooked. It is now going into its final two seasons and it just keeps getting better and better. Season 6 starts this January so hurry and get caught up. You will thank me later.

  8. Joe Pellerin 10 years ago

    I agree with Jake – The Shield is pretty remarkable. Although, I will concede that the best season was Season 1 (but, man, it was as good as all the hype) – after that, it’s been mainly addiction to the characters.

  9. Tighe 10 years ago

    Suspiciously absent from the line-up is any sort of “Reality” TV. Most people either love it or hate it. The people who hate it tend to be hung up on the fact that it’s dubbed “reality” yet all of it lacks any shred of what you or I would consider real (hence the ” ” around the genre). I got past this a long time ago. Most “Reality” TV shows fall into two camps. 1) The ‘Riduculously Elaborate Game Show’ a la Survivor, et. al. 2) ‘The Riduculously Intrusive and Gratutious Look at the Lives of C-List Stars’ a la The Osbornes, The Simple Life, etc.

    Love the first camp but have no stomach for the second.

  10. Magnus 10 years ago

    I would recommend Carnivale and Dead Like Me. Both cancelled after the second season which basically is a stamp of quality these days.

  11. Joe Pellerin 10 years ago

    rands – you’ll have to quit your job to watch all this excellent television we’ve suggested.

  12. Jerico is pretty rad. Dude: LUCKY LOUIE

  13. Plenty of good TV already mentioned. Despite spending all day in one, I can always get good laughs from The Office. Realistic? Not really. Great writing? Not especially. Funny yet sadly depressing because it reminds you of somebody you have worked with? Bingo.

  14. chikoz 10 years ago

    I think the third wave of reality shows are much more tolerable and enjoyable to watch. Project Runway, Top Chef, and Design Star are less scripted than the gameshow or startracker shows, and at times a little less exciting, but I think watching any person go through the creative process under fire is interesting.

    Second: I agree with Foster’s Home. It’s a breath of fresh air for kids shows. There’s this interesting little wave of new kids shows that my toddler son got me hooked on. They’re a little younger than the Foster’s audience, but I don’t get bored watching them with my kid:

    Peep (TLC): It’s heavily veiled science lessons for preschoolers. Every so often the characters start in on each other just for the sake of the adults watching, and it’s fun.

    The Wonder Pets (Nick): Flash animation that makes you forget about dancing hamsters. Imagine a show that teaches problem solving, geography, and some basic animal biology all in 12 minutes, in operetta form. Yes, I said operetta. You have to check it out. If you’ve ever been a fan of spotting Doonesbury last-panel changes, you’ll get a kick out of what the producers do with the sets.