Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My TV shows from the 2008-2009 season

I made a post last fall about the various TV shows that I thought I might end up watching this season. Now that this season has happened, I feel I should report on what I actually ended up watching. So here are the shows that kept me busy this past year, and what I think of them. There are a few other shows, like House, that I watch on occasion, but these are the ones I've followed faithfully. "My shows", as I call them.

The Big Bang Theory - Yes, the four nerds are pretty outrageous, but they are all lovable in their own way. Sheldon is especially epic. I think being a nerd helps one enjoy this show, since nothing beats hearing Sheldon go on a rant and realizing, "That actually kind of makes sense!"

How I Met Your Mother - Best comedy on TV, in my humble opinion. The characters are all fun, the storytelling is fast paced and wild, and the plot lines can be pretty sweet. Neil Patrick Harris is just awesome.

Chuck - This one I catch the next day on Hulu because it conflicts with BBT and HIMYM and our TV gets CBS better than it gets NBC. Chuck's three Buy More friends are getting increasingly annoying (Morgan is okay, but Lester and Jeff just seem to be two geeky creeps without redeeming qualities), but the main storyline is staying interesting and amusing enough for me to keep tuning in.

Heroes - I'm hanging in there with Heroes. I think it might be getting back on track, but it's been a shaky ride ever since the great first season. Most episodes still go by with at least one "That really makes no sense" moment, but at least I'm starting to care again.

Castle - ABC's new procedural with the wonderful Nathan Fillion. I hope it stays around--that guy deserves a hit. The two leads (Stana Katic plays a good tough cop opposite Fillion's childish writer) are charismatic enough to keep me interested. It's an honestly funny procedural, which I'll take over David Caruso's stupid sunglasses any day.

Fringe - Every few weeks or so, they pull out something really disgusting (most recently, maggots bursting out of the stomach of a corpse, threatening to do the same from a live person's belly), but mostly the show is just creepy and riveting. They try to keep the show episodic so the non-faithful can follow, but it's best when addressing the big picture plot threads.

Pushing Daisies - Tragic casualty of the writers strike and poor scheduling decisions by ABC. This was a bright, funny, and unique show that I absolutely loved throughout. Occasional singing by Kristin Chenoweth and Ellen Greene made it even better. I can't wait to see the final three episodes when ABC airs them this summer, and I'll definitely be getting the full DVD set of Daisies' two brief seasons.

Lost - After so-so seasons two and three, Lost came back strong last year, and this year's season five has kept up the momentum, which I don't expect to break at all before the series finale next year. Season five has delved even deeper into the mysteries of the Island, reveling in the show's true sci-fi nature. Some fans might complain that it jumped the shark with the time traveling, but I think the smoke monster, ghosts, and future-seeing Desmond should have tipped them off a little earlier that this wasn't going to be a totally realistic series.

Eli Stone - Another mid-season cancellation. It was a legal show with heart... and musical numbers. Pretty delightful. ABC will air the final episodes this summer.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - It may not have always made sense, but it was always fun to watch, with appealing stars and exciting action. The season two finale, which has become the series finale since the show wasn't picked up for a third season, was a fitting end. It gave a great answer to the big mystery of season 2--what "Mrs. Weaver" was up to--and stepped into a new wild stage in its story. I think it's for the best that it got canceled, though, since maintaining main characters in two different times would have been too difficult not to mess up.

Dollhouse - It took a little while to hit its stride, but lately it's been pretty great. I hope they can keep up the mystery, since too many "regular mission" episodes could get old. I hope they also keep up the humor that's finally starting to come out.

Battlestar Galactica - They ended it on their own terms with an amazing final season that had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The series finale was intense, wrapping up so many threads in surprising and clever ways. Its absence has left me feeling a little empty inside. I can't wait for The Plan, an upcoming TV movie, and I'll definitely check out the planned prequel series Caprica.

Desperate Housewives - Not as good as last season when I started watching this show (last year had Nathan Fillion, and Dana Delaney's Katherine was new and interesting, whereas this year she's been kind of sidelined). But it's still entertaining, and the characters have grown on me. And what else do I do on Sunday evenings?

Other shows I follow:
Jeopardy - It airs when I like to eat dinner. It's how my schedule works out.
The Daily Show and The Colbert Report - I started watching these during the fall election coverage. Now it's a habit. I still find them both entertaining; there's still material, even with out the elections.

I shouldn't have, but I just added it all up. Now, some of these shows never overlapped because some are new and some are over, but in recent weeks, I've apparently watched as many as 16.5 hours of TV in a week. Not very healthy. I don't know if I can maintain that next year when I become a student again. But it's been fun!


Anonymous said...

I'm with you on Heroes and Fringe... trying to get into Dollhouse but it's proving a bit slow for me and I've given up on DHousewives, this season just isn't doing it for me at all!
Don't talk to me about BSG... I think I might go back and watch it from the start.

Also just finished Season 1 of The Wire and really liking it!

Eleni said...

I've heard universally good things about The Wire (such as "Best TV show ever" from a number of sources). I'll have to pick up the DVDs at some point.

Sebastian said...

Wow, that's an impressive list...! I think I peaked at about 10 shows a week, but it actually became a challenge to fit them all in.

Now it's down to a much more reasonable 6 or so, though I am glad some of my 'dirty secrets' like Prison Break are finally ending.

I gave up on Terminator half way through, and also way behind on Mentalist (though it's quite fun!) I think I caught up with Burn Notice, but not sure.

24 just about has me on board for the next season. It's so unfair that I'm STILL hooked after season 1. So damn unfair.

The only show I really watch that isn't in your list is 24! But you watch Chuck instead, I guess. Yet Another Show Where The Hero Has Some Kind Of Special Ability. Rinse. Repeat.

The Wire was so great, but also so hard to watch. I really had to focus on it, and even then all of the black-speak made it a chore.

I still need to watch season 5, which I'm told is very good (season 4 didn't do it for me).

Rambling. Tired.

Eleni said...

I used to watch Prison Break. My excuse was Wentworth Miller. I got too fed up with it at some point early in season three, though.

I had planned to watch The Mentalist, and I've seen a few episodes and liked them, but it was the same time as Fringe, so it's fallen off my schedule.

Sebastian said...

Ah, the joy of making my own schedule...

And probably single-handedly destroying the commercials-funded method of funding TV... oops...

But it's because of geeks like me that Jericho got another chance... and still blew it!

Dobblesworth said...

Due to Virgin1, the channel running Terminator Chronicles in the UK, being out of reach at the time, I missed out on a good chunk of the start of season two. Rather than jump in and find myself asking what happened, I'm waiting on a DVD boxset release. To hear it's not being extended is certainly news to me.

I don't think the BSG finale has aired over here yet, but I never cared much for it.

Certainly echo you on Heroes. It's starting to get exciting towards the series end now, but there are still plenty of questionable plot segments.

Children of the Nineties said...

Probably 2/3 of the shows you named are ones that I keep considering getting into and forgetting about, so I may have to take your word on it and start watching.

And I too have an embarrassing addiction to Desperate Housewives, it's become a Sunday night tradition to get unhealthy takeout and watch trashy tv. It's just part of the flow of the week. I'm with you though, on the disappointment over the loss of Nathan Fillion.