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Athens, Ohio, United States
"Art and love are the same thing. It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

(Metaphorically) Around the Dial pt. 2

I must say that I am pretty sad to see the analogue TV go the way of the dinosaur.

Yes, pretty soon the analogue signal for television will be retired (hopefully, its jersey number will hang from the rafters of American culture) and the digital signal is all that will remain. I am not actually sad to see the signal go, I am just bummed that 50 years from now, grandchildren won't be able to make fun of TVs with dials on them.

So, I am doing my part to make sure the phrase "around the dial" never dies by using it to do a quick recap of all the TV shows I've been watching.

You see, I don't watch a lot of TV anymore....but I still watch plenty of TV shows. Confusing? Let me explain. I have almost entirely abandoned my TV in favor of my computer. Now that iTunes, Hulu and Network websites exist I barely even have use for a television. I can just watch the shows I want to watch online and when I want to watch them. So, instead of dedicating a blog entry to each show, I would like to condense them all down into two quick blog entries.

This is how they will be organized. Yesterday's blog focused on the shows that I deem important enough to actually watch live on television (all 2.5 of them), and today's blog focuses on the shows that I watch exclusively on the Internet.

I present to you: (Metaphorically) Around the Dial with The Collective(ly) Unconscious pt. 2.

I've written about 24 quite a bit lately and I couldn't figure out why. Now I think I FINALLY get what makes 24 so appealing to me. This show portrays the exact opposite mood of the country it is depicting year in and year out. I am not saying this is an inherently good or bad thing, I just think it is a strange thing. Think about the first three seasons. On 24, the President is a black Democrat while in real life the President is the Whitest Republican on the planet. On 24, the main villains are Eastern European terrorists, American oil tycoons and Rogue MI6 agents while in real life the American public can only think about the threat of Muslim extremists in a post 9/11 world. Then comes season four where in real life, Americans are starting to rethink the notion that men in turbans are bad people and are starting to question their own President's competence. So what does 24 do? Release a jingoistic season about beating down Muslim extremists while the 24 world has a strong-jawed and resolute Republican President. Now we reach Season 7. America finally has a black President. But 24 America has a female President and all the villains are African. Let me be clear: I am not accusing 24's producers of being racist or sexist in anyway, I just think it is kind of funny how they seem to miss-read the timing of all their plot lines. As a matter of fact: the only exception I can think of is Season 5 when Americans were suffering at the gas pump and no longer trusted their President and 24 crafted a plot about oil and a corrupt President. 

30 Rock
When Arrested Development was cancelled, it left a gaping hole in quality television comedy. Thankfully, 30 Rock has stepped in admirably for my dearly departed favorite show. 30 Rock isn't even close to being as good as Arrested Development, but to be fair: I am not sure anything ever will. But 30 Rock makes me laugh and consistently. And really, can I ask anything more of a comedy? The third season started strong but has since tailed off a bit. I find that the episodes Tina Fey writes herself make me laugh the most. One thing though, I am finding about 30 Rock is that it is the exact opposite of 24: it is timely. When the markets crashed, 30 Rock had an episode just a few weeks later about Tracey Morgan nearly plunging New York into economic chaos with his outlandish ideas about finances. 30 Rock has clearly benefitted from Fey's week-to-week SNL writing experience and is now the second most current show on TV behind only South Park (whenever it comes back).

The Office
Oh, The Office. This is a show I feel like I watch more out of habit than anything. Don't get me wrong: it is still a quality show and better than 99.9% of all the other comedies out there, but it doesn't make me laugh as consistently anymore. I am starting to think that Ricky Gervais was right to end his British series after only 12 episodes. Now that the American version is creeping towards 100, it is clear that the Documentary-style format is wearing thin. Look, it isn't the fault of the writers or magnificent actors (and John Krasinski doesn't have an Emmy why....?), sometimes shows just lose what makes them fresh after five or so seasons. Then again, that's what I thought about the final show on my list...

Let's face it, for about a two and a half season period, Scrubs SUCKED. I can only admit that now because the 8th and hopefully final season of the show has reaffirmed to me what this show can be. Scrubs will always hold a very special place in my heart as the show whose box-sets I would watch over and over and over and over and over again with my brother each summer. So now I can finally admit that Seasons 6 and 7 hurt me as though I had cheated on by my spouse. But not matter, Scrubs is back and I can point to many reasons why but there is one in particular I would like to point out. The character or Denise, played by Eliza Coupe is an absolute treasure. I would like to personally thank her for rescuing the last season of one of my favorite shows. Come to think of it....maybe this doesn't have to be the last season.

Well, those are the shows I watch on my 8'' by 11'' LCD (or whatever it's called) display. Doesn't cheapen the experience one bit. 

Says the man without access to a 60'' HD TV.

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