Friday, June 15, 2012

TV that I watch



I'm kind of bored and I'm not doing much right now, and since I enjoy lists so much, I thought I might list off some shows I enjoy watching that are on TV currently. If you have good taste, or maybe just wish you did, here are some good things to watch in no particular order.

1. Girls

Girls is new. I haven't seen all of it yet, but I like what I have seen so far. Also, Girls is not Sex in the City. Not at all. Thankfully. Hey, did you ever see the episode where Carrie's bus ad gets a penis drawn on it? In the network TV version, they changed the penis to a moustache, so her reaction just ends up seeming really weird. Anyway, Girls is about girls, girls in their 20s and it does a great job of both romanticizing that time in your life and yet exposes the horrible realities of it at the same time. The leads actresses are all talented and the writing is sharp. People hate on Lena Dunham, the show's creator, but those people are stupid. This is a good show. You should watch it.

2. Fringe

Ah, Fringe, how I love it so. At first, I didn't. I almost did, but it was a little too "monster of the week" at first and I was really put off by the fact that the creators (J.J. Abrams and his ilk) refused to admit that there might possibly be some similarity between the general idea and set-up of Fringe and that of the X-Files. That just bugged me. They bug me (J.J. Abrams and his ilk), in fact. I mean... come on. FBI agents investigating weird stuff? Just admit it, assholes. Anyway, I returned to the show after the first season and I am so glad I did, because it's great. Who would have thought that Pacey from Dawson's Creek would be great? Joshua Jackson? He's great. And John Noble and Anna Torv deserve all the awards for their work. Their subtle but distinctly different doppelgangers? Amazing. Torv once had to play her character as if she were inhabited by the mind of Leonard Nimoy's character and she completely sold it. She sounded just like him. It was awesome. Fringe has consistently delivered for four seasons and with just a half season left until it wraps up... oh, I will miss it when it is gone. Honestly, it's fantastic. Take the Papa Tomato's advice, man: Ketchup.

3. Justified

"Put your guns down, ya' hillbillies!" I really like the mythology this show strikes. The white hat Marshall with the gunslinger's rep, chasing fugitives, solving crimes. Hillbilly moonshiners. It's just so damn cool. It's based off an Elmore Leonard short story. Timothy Olephant is Rayland Givens. Walter Goggins plays Boyd Crowder. Maybe one of the best good/bad guy chemistries ever. This is my favorite cops and robbers show currently on the TV.

4. Sherlock

There's been a lot of Sherlock Holmes stuff lately. Robert Downey Jr, most widely known, of course. Johnnie Lee Miller and Lucy Liu will soon be joining the scene (Yes, really.). But I'm not talking about them, the one I am referring to is from Stephan Moffat and the BBC. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch, your number one go-to answer should you ever find yourself stuck in a game of Celebrity Super Password (Number two being Kristin Chenoweth, of course) and Martin Freeman (known to snobs as Tim from the British version of the Office and known to nerds as the future young Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming Hobbit) who plays Dr. Watson. Manic, modern, brilliant. All those words. Many more. Good fun.

5. Mad Men

What can one say about this show that hasn't been said already? You should watch it. Like the Wire, it is improbably good, demanding more from you the viewer than most shows would dream of asking and like the Wire, the effort is without a doubt worth it. Yes, the "dress up" people who cling to this show are annoying, yes, but that's true with all cos-players, right? Yes. Yes, it is. Ignore them. Enjoy the show.

6. Community

Best sitcom ever. If you're dismissing it BECAUSE it's a sitcom, then you are dumb. Ya' hear me? You are dumb. People point to the paintball war episodes as examples of how amazing the show is, but for me, the true genius is found in episodes like the one where the monkey in the air vent steals Annie's pen. Or the one where they're rolling a dice to determine who will go all the way downstairs for the pizza delivery and each role creates a horrible alternative universe? It's brilliant. The D & D episode? Loved it. The Ken Burn's faux documentary episode about a blanket fort and a pillow fort warring for dominance of the school's hallways? Amazing. Best show ever. So, of course, the news that creator Dan Harmon was unceremoniously booted from next year's last season is so very, very bad. I almost wished they had just canceled the damn thing.

7. Doctor Who

This show has been on forever, since the beginning of TV, I think. It may have been the very first show to ever appear on TV. I could be wrong, but either way, Doctor Who is a British institution and until recently (2005-ish or so) finding an American fan was the easiest way to identify the biggest nerd in a three state area. However, those days are long gone as the new episodes and especially the last couple of doctors (There have been 11 of them, he regenerates, you see) have brought this show to the forefront in American Geek Culture. See, the Doctor is an alien and he travels in time, usually with an attractive English girl, and the two of them fight monsters and aliens and demons or whatever, you know: bad guys and stuff, and all in the past, the future, and the present, on Earth and on far flung planets too. It is a show of constant shifts, it can easily be some many different types and tones. Good stuff.

8. Breaking Bad

This show is about a high school Chem teacher in New Mexico, a good, bumbly type of guy, who is diagnosed with terminal cancer and given six months to live and realizes he has nothing to leave to his pregnant wife and teenage son living with CP. Nothing. So he starts cooking and selling meth. Right away, it's fair to say that this is a... dark... show. Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston) starts out with the noblest of intentions and watching how things spiral out of control, how those intentions are corrupted? Brilliant TV. Nothing but tension. Sometimes hard to watch, but incredible.

9. Young Justice

Hey, a cartoon. A nice palette-cleaner. Young Justice is set in the DC Universe, the world occupied by Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc. and it features the sidekicks. It starts out with the recognizable names: Robin, Superboy, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Ms. Martian (she's new...) and then adds names like Red Arrow, Zatarra, Captain Marvel, Nightwing, Impulse. Batgirl and Wondergirl, etc. I'd call this the best cartoon version of DC's stable of characters, but most of you don't give a shit... Jerks. Anyway, the first season ends great and the second is shaping up to be even better. If you only watch one superhero cartoon (which, honestly, would be weird, right? I'd bet most people are either all or none.), this should be it. Well, this and another one. I'll get to that one later.

10. Game of Thrones

You must have seen this show. You couldn't not. It's huge. It's winning awards. It stars Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage. They were recently in the news because a prop of W's head can be very briefly seen on a pig pole, if you know where to look, and boy, are a bunch of mouth-breathers who have never watched the show upset... Anyway, the books the show is based off of is one of the, if not the best epic fantasy series since Tolkien. Gray characters. Betrayals. Murders. Wild and dangerous magics. Mysteries. Battles. Romances. Dragons. A looming apocalypse. Lot's of food. Lots and lots of food. Suckling pig with honey and lemon. Sweet rolls. Buttered greens. Roast Pheasants. And sex. Some sex. Actually, a lot of sex. It has everything. And it's maybe the best TV adaptation I've ever seen, definitely more than I would have dared to hope for. "Oh, but I don't like fantasy..." Then why are reading my blog? Who are you? Get lost. Listen, even if that's true (Weird-o... how'd even you get here?), I would be hard pressed to believe that a person who enjoys any of HBO's other, more mainstream dramas wouldn't enjoy this one as well.

11. The Legend of Korra

The other cartoon you should watch. Really. It's just starting out, but if it pulls off its promise, it could be brilliant. Legend of Korra is a sequel to a show called: Avatar, the last Airbender. M. Night Shamalyan made a movie of it and it was awful beyond words. Pretend like it never happened. In fact, let's never speak of it again. Moving on, the show is set in a world where some people can "bend" (manipulate) the elements. Earth, wind, fire, and air. The Avatar can bend all four elements and it's their destiny to maintain balance in the world, kind of like a Kung fu Dalai Lama. Korra is the latest Avatar and she lives in Republic City. Republic City is a kind of Chinese/Jazz Age/steampunk-ish type of metropolis. A cool mix of tech and fantasy. But the coolest part of the show is this: the world is kind of ruled by Benders and as a result, there is a movement growing among the regular people who can't bend called the Equalists. They claim they are oppressed by the Benders. They are on the verge of revolt. Are they wrong? Is Korra wrong for standing against them? It's refreshingly complex, a cartoon that doesn't talk down to its viewers, a smart show with great animation and imagination and still stays fun. Plus, it has some kick ass kung fu fights.

12. The Gordon Ramsay Cooking Shows

I don't care what you think. I'm so happy Kitchen Nightmares, Masterchef, and Hell's Kitchen are back on. I don't know why, but I love those show. I could watch a marathon of them. Kitchen Nightmares all day! Maybe it's rooted in one of the reasons I loved the Game of Thrones books.... Mmmmm... food porn....

So there you go, some TV I like.

Jon

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