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Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008: TV IN REVIEW

I've gotten quite a few emails and comments from readers asking me what shows I thought were good this year. When I ran the question through my head, I realized that I had no idea. I read and hear a lot of buzz about shows so I'm aware of what's good and bad, but I'm not really an avid TV watcher, so I'm not a very good judge of the TV landscape. In fact, I have to force myself to watch television because it's my business. When I inventoried my tivoes I came up with the following list. I don't know if these are the best shows, in fact I know some of them are not, but they are the shows I enjoy watching for a variety of reasons. I do watch my shows, SOA and The Shield (mainly because I need to stay on top of audio mixing levels; they differ from week to week and we are still refining the formula), but I will not include them in this list. Here are my favorites of 2008 in no particular order. 1. This Old House (DIY) - Because I love watching people build shit. They were back in New England this season. It was a fantastic project. Real men, with real jobs... some day. 2. House Hunters International (HGTV) - Because I long to have a second home in a different part of the world. Some place where real men have real jobs. 3. Lost (ABC) - Because it's great escapism and I really dig Damon's storytelling. 4. Mad Men (AMC) - Because I still can't figure out why I enjoy it. 5. True Blood (HBO) - Because it took it's time revealing the world and the idiosyncrasies of the characters. I was slow too the warming, but then I relinquished control and drank the blood. I wasn't sure if Anna Paquin was right for the role, but then she got naked and I didn't care. 6. Entourage (HBO) - Because it's "I love Lucy" with guys I was never cool enough to hang out with. 7. Family Guy (FOX) - Because it's the only show that makes me fucking laugh out loud. It's also become a great bonding device for me and my twelve-year old son. We quote Peter at the dinner table, much to Katey's confusion and ultimately, her dismay. 8. The Backyardigans (Nick Jr.) - Because I tivo it for my two-year old daughter and watch it at three in the morning, alone, in the dark, in surround sound. It's like taking acid in "safe mode". Try it. 9. The Simpsons (FOX) - Because even if the episodes are getting weak, Homer feels like a comfortable pair of slippers. The show is like an old friend who still lives in his mother's basement. It's a little sad, but you know he's always around when you need an easy hang. 10. Weeds (Showtime) - Because even if episodes are getting weak, I enjoyed the previous seasons enough to sit through this one, hoping it would get better. Then Mary Louise Parker got naked and I didn't care. Shows I know were good that I've never seen, but will try to watch in 2009: Breaking Bad Chuck Damages The Middleman Dexter 24

16 comments:

RTCW: Enemy Territory said...

Chuck is a must see. Don't know about the rest of the ones you have on your need to watch list. Mad Men is so good, same with Weeds, It's funny how 90% of the shows I fucking love are not a a major network. SOA, Mad Men, Weeds, what are the major networks doing wrong? Not taking enough risks as far as I can tell.

Justin said...

Dexter is pure WIN. I watched one episode and now I'm hooked. It was like reading my first Preston and Child's novel. It's great dessert viewing.

Another show that you might want to check out is Battlestar Galactica. It's effing fantastic. I didn't know why everyone liked it, then I got into it and now I don't know why I held out so long. You can tell they tried very hard to make this show quality. It's a space opera in the best way.

I agree with RTCW. What was the last show the Big Three took a chance with? "Heroes"? It's all reality programing now.

j. lombardi said...

RTCW is right. What is wrong with the old "big three" networks? Hmm Big three networks/big three car companies, risk adversion is killing them both.
The stories are elsewhere. Sad to see HBO bite the dust on excellent drama with the end of Sopranos, etc. Hope HBO takes some risks again and come back.
Now...what movies? Just saw Slum Dog Millionaire. Excellent.

medea said...

That's a new take on the Backyardigans. Personally my opinion of it is "at least it doesn't make me want to wash my eyes out like bleach like Caillou."

Outsider said...

Haha...My friend's three year old daughter LOVES the Backyardigans...especially Pablo....I confess I've watched it with their family several times on their
wall sized Flat Screen....
In fact everyone was dancing along to it

I like Scott Rosenberg's "Life on Mars" if it's still on
And I grok "SOA" and "Burn Notice" of Course
Wanted to catch "Crash"...isn't in my cable package

Talking to a cab driver the other day and we both agreed it would be great to be able to see reruns of
"Have Gun/Will Travel" with Richard Boone ..but don't know how to find that.

I will really like HBO's "Gentlemen of Leisure" if we
can get the Oakland Officials to let it shoot up here
...We're Workin' on It!....Yes we are!

k e l s said...

Family Guy is awesome!

I quote the characters a lot too :)

j. lombardi said...

I wish we could get Mad Men and other good shows, including SOA. For some reason our cable provider puts most of these shows on at 12 a.m. or later (earlier). I know we could Tivo them, oh shoot, I have trouble figuring our our tv system. Thank goodness my husband captured SOA for us. What a great show with excellent writing/character development and outstanding performances.
I am amazed to see a reference regarding Have Gun will Travel. We lived next door to that show's producer (?). I have an original Pallidan 'business' card somewhere.
Some pretty good shows from that period of tv.

CadetheRevelator said...

hey kurt,
i must say im addicted to well written shows (such as sons, and as a side note im not kissing your ass on this i really am addicted to your show) So on that note and with the your list of shows, i have to say that A) Im glad you like LOST, its a great show that had its ups and downs, and while Evangaline Lilly doest get naked, shes still hot and her character is great, not to mention, Sawyer is the kinda character i connect with alot, and reminds me alot of Jax, the bad ass with a good heart. B) Dexter is a show you should totally check out, and on Showtime, not on CBS, as that show is a show that not only is supurbly written but is supurbly acted out by Michael C. Hall and the rest of the cast. C) While i like Family Guy and can quote it like the rest of the world, my favorite cartoon is Futurama, cause Matt Groening did a great job with that show and i think it totally got shafted. D) Chuck is one of those shows that has great writing, but kinda has that generic feel to it. While the show is absolutly hilarious, it feels a bit generic to me. My opinion, top five shows of last year that i absoluty couldnt miss. 1) Lost 2) Sons 3) Dexter 4) Weeds 5) Entourage. As always thanks for reading my comment and continued success to you and yours.

Brian

surrounded by carnivores said...

another show that we enjoy: So You Think You Can Dance. I know, kinda nerdy but the amazing choreography and the atheleticism of those close to being finalists makes it worth it.
I haven't seen such good modern dance in a while, if ever.
Finally found Backyardagens on Noggin. Sadly don't get that channel with our servivce. Looking forward to finding the Fraggle Rock DVD. My kids loved that show back in the day.

jengod said...

Good picks all, although I continue to insist that Weeds was not weak this season. Love your random personal cable and kid-picks. I wish all critics would have room/time to do that.

jengod said...

P.S. Carnivores, I'll back you on SYTYCD. That's not just a reality show, that is motherfrakkin' art.

- e - said...

I'm new to reading your blog (my girlfriend, who is a huge fan of your work, put me on to your site) and I really like what I'm reading.

I probably sound like I'm kissing ass but "The Shield" is one of my favorite all-time shows and I love the work you've done on "Sons of Anarchy" (which I thought was the best new show in 2008, in my humble opinion).

I really think you'll thoroughly enjoy "Breaking Bad," a show I feel is under-rated despite winning an Emmy (sounds weird saying that but most people I hang around with just don't know about the show. I spread its gospel through word-of-mouth much like I did during the first few seasons of "The Shield.").

But I'm curious (and I'm not sure if you've addresses this in the past as I am a newbie), what are your thoughts on "The Wire?"

- e - said...

I'm new to reading your blog (my girlfriend, who is a huge fan of your work, put me on to your site) and I really like what I'm reading.

I probably sound like I'm kissing ass but "The Shield" is one of my favorite all-time shows and I love the work you've done on "Sons of Anarchy" (which I thought was the best new show in 2008, in my humble opinion).

I really think you'll thoroughly enjoy "Breaking Bad," a show I feel is under-rated despite winning an Emmy (sounds weird saying that but most I people I know just don't know about the show. I spread its gospel through word-of-mouth much like I did during the first few seasons of "The Shield.").

But I'm curious (and I'm not sure if you've addresses this in the past as I am a newbie), what are your thoughts on "The Wire?"

Charlie Girl said...

I love love love the second to the last episode of last season. It was the best program on television that I have ever seen. The twists, turns, suspense, and outcome kept me glued. Great job Mr. Kurt.

Thud said...

All jobs are real...but the pleasure of working with wood and stone on old houses is I think special in that it fulfills some basic needs within.If ever in U.K. feel free to come along and pitch in.

surrounded by carnivores said...

Not a comment on T.V. but just saw "The Wrestler". Amazing movie with fine performances by Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei. They were both remarkably honest about their aged and aging bodies. I know this is not on point to this post but I couldn't think of another place I would rather post my admiration for this movie. Sorry.