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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."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Show Me What You Got

When can we stop calling television shows "television" shows?

I watch plenty of serialized programming: the sublimely charming Glee, the blatantly awful but somehow still watchable Heroes and the infinitely interesting Dexter - but I watch none of them on an actual television. I'll watch them on Hulu, Surfthechannel, Ninjavideo or any other source of questionable legality (don't tell on me).

I own a television, everyone I know owns a television, but not everyone actually ever uses it. Aside from flipping on Sportscenter to quell my crushing loneliness in the morning of waking up alone in a Single dorm room, my TV mostly serves to fill space on the wall next to my refrigerator.

I could use this opportunity to speak about how the Internet is changing our lives but fuck, my professors get paid a lot of money to do that. And I'm sure the target audience on this blog (i.e 3 of my friends and around 4 OU students who stumbled upon it while Googling "synthetic dog steak") really doesn't feel like being instructed on the future by someone who has no better idea of WHAT-IT-ALL-MEANS than they, themselves, do.

So let's talk about what's actually on TV instead.

I usually try to avoid sweeping statements that I will certainly regret later BUUUUUUUUUT....I think NBC's "Must See TV" might have made a sneaky, and largely inadvertent comeback.

Thursday nights features perhaps the most solid 2 hours of comedy on television since Seinfeld signs off. I think this has largely gone unnoticed because everyone (aside from Entertainment Weekly employees) does everything but watch TV on Thursday nights. Sure, many people will watch The Office and 30 Rock, perhaps even Community or Parks and Recreation if they're feeling dangerous...but they won't watch them all straight through or on the night they first air.

It's kind of a shame, though, because if anyone actually sat down for 2 straight hours on a Thursday night then NBC might make a comeback...or at least buy back some love that they lost when they bungled the whole Leno-O'Brien situation.

The Peacock has built up quite a line-up for itself.

8:00 - Community - This got off to a bit of a rough start but has really blossomed of late. Chevy Chase still doesn't quite work for me but Joel McHale is an undeniable star. I don't think Community will ultimately last (see: Neilsen Ratings) but when it dies McHale's career had better take off...or I'll quit humanity forever. His speech about "Shark Week" in the pilot episode is a work of comic genius.

8:30 - Parks and Recreation - Parks and Recreation took off this year and it did it by following a simple concept. More Office, less Parks and Recreation. Characters are now better-defined, funnier and more vibrant and Greg Daniels and Michael Schurr have focused on character-based comedy far more than plot-based comedy (the fact that everyone inexplicably hates the elderly "Jerry" kills me). And aside from being a solidly funny show, Parks and Rec is blessed with good timing, being a show about the inner-workings of small-town government in an age where healthcare is about to become a public entity. NOTE: Do not read into my politics at all on this, I am passing no judgements. Nothing is a bigger drag than having to talk about politics when all I really want to do is express my love for Aziz Ansari and Rashida Jones' smile.

9:00 - The Office - The wedding episode was so good that it should have been the series finale. Just sayin'...

9:30 - 30 Rock - Here is the semi-embarrassing part about not watching shows directly when they air. Usually when one watches a show on television it is a public experience and everyone laughs and interacts together. When one watches a show on a laptop, it is a very solitary experience (twelve people gathered around a MacBook Pro is rather awkward). So I automatically try to refrain from laughter when watching shows alone. 30 Rock is the show that defies my attempts not to laugh most frequently. Just give it the freaking Emmy again now.


Jessica Lohner said...

This post is VERY similar to the blog I keep for my online journalism class. I may talk to you again at some point because I have to do an "online story" in the coming week. Plan accordingly.

Click on my name to check out my blog!

A.G.B said...

Will do, J-Loh, will do!

gab said...

This actually made sense to me, someone outside your target demographics

Alex Menrisky said...

I know this is kinda way late... but who says anyone still DOES call them television shows? For as long as I can remember, they've just been "shows." Granted, that was way before that phenomenon we call Internet television, and therefore just the result of the human tendency to shorten everything that is said. I think slang shortened it for us a long time ago, and the word has finally found its place.