Riding the Tube

For years I’ve largely avoided watching television either by being too cheap to pay for cable or by living in places that weren’t conducive to it.

For years I’ve largely avoided watching television either by being too cheap to pay for cable or by living in places that weren’t conducive to it. And, since the rise of reality TV, I’m thankful for reasons not to partake. I did enjoy an addiction to The West Wing despite watching most years on DVD. I love that show so much, I own the entire series. Otherwise, I hadn’t really gotten sucked in.

In 2008, I actually did have cable for a year and spent a lot of exploring the documentary television milieu. Among my favorites: Whale Wars, Dogtown, and Escape to Chimp Eden. My affection for Whale Wars has parlayed itself into a membership in the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and a passion for ocean and cetacean issues.

Then I discovered various websites on which I could watch shows heretofore unavailable to me. Last year, I watched all of the back seasons of Weeds and fell in love. I’m eagerly awaiting the new season’s beginning to see what happens to Shane for TCBing. I also cruised through the whole Arrested Development portfolio, much to my delight, and I now get why folks lobbied to keep the show alive.

On the recommendation of friends, I tried Six Feet Under, but got really mad about halfway through season two due to the lack of progression in the characters. I just felt they were stuck in their ruts and not pushing themselves. I’ve been told they get to that later on, so I may have to try again.

I also went back to the beginning of 30 Rock and understood what all the hype was about. The hits just keep on coming, one zinger after the other. I’ve even found myself touting Tracy Jordan’s philosophy of “live every week like it’s Shark Week.”

This year’s love is Dexter. I just barreled through four seasons in a month, and brought one of my compound-mates along for the ride. We now go around quoting from Debra Morgan’s potty mouth, a favorite being “holy Mary mother of fuck, that’s good.”

Feeling a void at the conclusion of my Dexter possibilities, I just began an examination of Damages. Glenn Close is so good at being bad and she’s absolutely the worst in this one, in a best sort of way… if you know what I mean.

Both Lost and Heroes piss me off. They have too many storylines which makes things feel forced. I remember having the sense that the back-stories in Lost felt like so many MacGuffins, after-thoughts to manipulate the viewers rather than serve the plot. The same goes for the current phenom that is Flash Forward. Add on Joseph Fiennes one-note performance and I get really annoyed.

Never have gotten into Grey’s Anatomy, though I like Private Practice okay thanks to the hotties. I do, of course, catch The Rachel Maddow Show every night via the iTunes podcast, but American Idol survives without my support.

And then there’s Glee. Though I just can’t stomach musicals, I watched the first few episodes and was really happy that it exists and is successful. (It’s so popular, the cast is taking the show on the road with Glee: Live! In Concert.) It’s clean, wholesome, family fun for the modern age, replete with sassy girls and a gay boy… and Jane Lynch. It also doesn’t involve cops, lawyers, or doctors and that’s incredibly refreshing. I think it’s great, even if I choose not to tune in.

Anyone have suggestions for what I should watch when I finish Damages?