Friday, June 18, 2010

Five Things on Friday - TV Edition

Five Things on Friday is a weekly list of five things. Subject to be determined by me, but feel free to make suggestions in the comments. I will list my five things and then open the comments up to you, my loyal followers, readers, fans, groupies, what have you. Please respond. Or else, I'll feel all alone in the Earth. It'll be bad. Really.

This week, we'll be discussing television. When I was in high school, I had a button (remember those, man I had a LOT of buttons) that said "Theater is life, cinema is art, television is furniture." I more or less believed that. I mean, I liked TV. I watched TV. I watched SNL and cartoons and My So-Called Life. I loved that show. That was probably my first brush with must-see-TV, but since it only lasted about 14 episodes, it didn't really catch.

When I was in college, I became addicted to The X-Files. I had actually watched that show in high school, too, but in college, I got really sucked in. I would have "parties" where everybody I knew piled into my tiny dorm room and clustered around my tiny TV. That, my friends, was the beginning.

Since then I have had many all-out television addictions, ranging from the sublime to the trite to the train-wreck-can't-look-away. I have come to understand that television, when done well, is art, too. And, that at seventeen, I was a pretentious twit. Seriously, I don't know how any of you tolerated me.

Here, for your perusing pleasure are five of my TV addictions. I'm not calling them my top five, because I frankly couldn't decide. This is just a random sampling. (And by random, I mean, the first ones that popped into my pretty little skull.) Let me know if you share any of these, or what your rush-home shows are. I won't mock. I promise. Unless it's really cheesey.

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Obvs. I became obsessed with Buffy long after it had started. I think it was in the fifth or sixth season. I didn't get WB, so it was whenever they started doing re-runs on FX. I watched and I loved and then I watched and I bought and I watched and I borrowed and I obsessed and by the time it went off the air, I was in need of detox. I still haven't really detoxed. Here's what I love about the Scoobies: witty dialog, lovable characters, real conflict, intelligent banter, Spike. Here's what I hate about the Scoobies: nothing.

2. Firefly - Also from Joss Whedon, the star in my sky. I watched this rabidly for the nine or ten weeks it was on Fox. I hate Fox, though, because they are cancel-happy. Then, I watched them on SciFi (back when it's name was respectable). Finally, I saw Serenity in the theater and bought the DVD's. There's only like 14 episodes plus the 2-hour movie, but this is the best TV ever made. I feel perfectly fine making that declaration. Here's what I love about the Serenity Crew: witty dialog, amazing characters, compelling backstory, the whole space-western feel, River-freaking-Tam. Here's what I hate about the Serenity Crew: there's not enough. I can watch the whole catalog in one sick day if I really work at it.

3. Doctor Who - So, I came late to the party. Waaay late to the party. I had never even heard of The Doctor until I spent a month in the UK and even then, I just had some vague notion that it was a TV show with a blue box. When the series started up again, I had no idea. I didn't really start watching until we got satellite and I got BBCA. David Tennant is forever my doctor, but I like the new guy okay. He's growing on me. Here's what I love about The Doctor: the history - I could start watching now and watch for three or four years before I'd see it all, the one-liners, the total seriousness of the show mixed with the total cheesiness of some of the aliens. Some of them are as creepy as the twins in The Shining and some of them are... well... Daleks. Here's what I hate about The Doctor: Since it's on BBCA, I can't seem to get streaming episodes on the web, because they are all only available to those in the UK, it appears. So, I have to watch the back episodes on YouTube in 9 minute increments.

4. Supernatural - This show is really well-made goodness of stress and edge of your seatness and laughing your way right out of your seatness. I've recently gone back and watched the first season, though, and I'm not sure what hooked me in the first place. I'm telling you this, because maybe, if you are new to it and thinking, "Wow, I like funny horror and that Jensen Ackles is a cutie pie," then maybe you should start on the second season. Which is better than the first. Here's what I love about the Winchester brothers - they don't take themselves too seriously. Watch this. Really, watch it. I'll wait.

The music, the car, the brothers - I am obviously on team Dean, but Sam isn't exactly hard to look at and even Cas is nice enough. Also, I want to take Bobby home. I am in love with him, the way I used to be in love with Sean Connery. I recognize it's highly inappropriate, but ahhh. Here's what I hate about the Winchester brothers - cliffhangers. This show is all about some cliffhangers. I seriously think my head might explode before fall.

5. M*A*S*H* - I have seen every episode probably three times and I will still turn it on at least once a week. Alan Alda is so not my type and then he waxes all poetic about non-violence and the evils of war, and I swoon. It's sad. I'll probably never outgrow it. Here's what I love about the 4077 - it never gets old. The stories here are eternal. War has always been and will always be a system of breaking thing (and people) while a dedicated few try to put them back together again. That is not a political statement, just the way I see it. Also, Klinger. Really shouldn't be funny still after what 20 years? But is. Here's what I hate about the 4077 - Frank Burns. I can't think of a single episode that wouldn't be better without him.

Okay, you're turn. Whatcha like, huh, huh?


Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Doctor Who (both the old and the new) is available in its entirety to stream to your computer or (if you have a WiFi enabled device) TV. Netflix has a two week free trial so you can see if you like it. Occassionally there are mailers that offer a 30 day free trial. Either way, it's so totally worth the ~$15 a month I spend (there are cheaper plans) for unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows as well as unlimited 2 DVD at a time rentals. I wish I had subscribed to Netflix years ago. Actually, I wish I had invested in it when it first went publish. This shit is genius, yo!

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Crap, I mean "public". I swear I haven't been drinking. I've just been run ragged by my kid, who is helping me clean the office. Yes, I love him to pieces (see today's blog post), but he frazzles me a bit when he gets too close to the scanning electron microscope. If he breaks it, there's no WAY I can replace it!

Suze said...

Your pretty little skull and mine are frighteningly alike! (And for the record, how you guys could stand ME at 17 is a friggin' mystery...and I'm not sure I've changed a whole lot...) I've never watched Dr Who but I really want to, and as for the Whedon-verse and M*A*S*H* - I love them all, just as you do!
Funny thing about MASH, though - the actor who played Frank Burns was the only one who was never nominated for an Emmy, probably because his character was so damn annoying. But you have to admit that was a good piece of acting!

Jessi said...

Jenn - I had to give up Netflix to get the house. It was a fair trade. I thought we'd get it back this year, but then Bob lost his job. I'll stream instantly eventually. Until then, YouTube me. Also, so impressed you have a scanning electron microscope. I think if I had one I'd have to also have a hidden wall safe to keep the kids away from it.

Suze - At least we were twits together. You would love Doctor Who, although I can't recommend it the way I watch it. I hear that most libraries have the DVD's for borrowing, but mine, alas, does not.

Mrs. Allroro said...

I did this.

Amy said...

I love:

1. Gilmore Girls--own all the seasons and still continue to watch them. Even started watching Lauren Graham's new show Parenthood just so I could feel like I was having my own private "Lorelai" incognito moment.
2. The Dresden Files--very short lived series on Sci-Fi channel--they too were cancel happy and cancelled the show after the first season. However, this lead me to discover the Dresden books and for that I will be forever grateful. I've had many many moments of joy with Harry and Bob the Skull.
3. Supernatural--Although I just started watching it because it's reruns are on TNT--I am hoping to get caught up by the time the new season starts. I got sucked in and sucked in quickly.
4. MASH--as a child growing up this was one show that my parents watched that I liked. I can remember where I was when I watched the final episode--and still to this day if I catch that episode I cry. Frank Burns was a douche--Major Winchester a great replacement! To this day if I'm channel surfing and see a MASH episode I watch it.
5. Secret Diary of a London Call Girl--the only reason I ever found out about this was because we got Showtime free for one year. Also stars "Rose" from Dr. Who (another fave). I watched one episode and was hooked--so I watched them all online leading up to the most recent season 3.

Jessi said...

Mrs. A - Loved your list!

Amy - Great list! I was never as addicted as you to the Gilmore Girls, but I will still watch the reruns. I also loved The Dresden Files and the books can't come out fast enough for me. I'm very interested in your Secret Diary of a London Call Girl. I'll have to look into that. I think you were the one that got me into Doctor Who, but it took a while to solidify because of the trouble I had finding it. I saw her on Graham Norton a few weeks back. I didn't know she was a pop star!!

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Hah! Not my scanning electron microscope - my boss'. Jamie was here helping me clean the office at work (it was a way to get him out of the house and get some free labor at the same time). He's seen images taken on the SEM, but he has never been allowed to touch it in the five years I've worked here. (Although he did get to play with liquid nitrogen and etch and polish metal with acid on Friday. Supervised, and with the technician doing the dangerous stuff, of course.) About Netflix, I'm going to send you an e-mail about it.

Amy said...

Oh and finally the other show I've recently come to somewhat be addicted to is NCIS. Again this probably stems from the fact the reruns are on TNT but Leroy Jethro Gibbs is way hot hot hot.