October 18, 2010

Kill Your Television

I discovered something over the weekend - I'm a little bored with TV. Or, at least, the stuff I typically end up watching.

The list of stuff we DVR isn't all that exciting to me anymore. House and Cuddy are finally knocking boots (it's about damn time) and there will inevitably be another long season of illnesses which confound doctors until they have an epiphany while staring into a half empty cup of coffee. Justin Bieber was laughable as an actor on CSI but no more laughable than the rest of the cast. People will continue to hoard things and I will continue to grow squirmingly uncomfortable and grossed out. Midgets will continue to dominate TLC (seriously, change your name to The Littlepeople Channel or something), and people will continue to hunt for houses, complain about the paint colors in spite of the fact that its the easiest thing to fix and choose the second house (the majority of the time, it's the second house).

What's missing - ironically - is Lost or anything compelling, for that matter. There's nothing I need to see beyond Survivor which is bizarrely watchable despite the fact that it's followed the same formula for 20+ seasons.

And what are the execs in Hollywood and New York coming up with? Retreads of Hawaii Five-0, The Munsters, and Wonder Woman. And having already tried and failed with miserable reboots of Knight Rider and The Bionic Woman, why'd you want to go down that road?

So help a guy out. What are you watching this season that's really drawn you in? What do you consider appointment TV? Or is there any such thing anymore?

Oh, and we recently got a flat screen HD TV (yes, we're a bit behind). Tell me, is a Blue Ray player worth the investment?

Posted by Chris at October 18, 2010 7:12 AM

All i watch on TV is How I met your Mother, Rules of Engagement, Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly, and Big Bang Theory. Other than that... nothing grasps my attention anymore. I like NCIS but after a while... it gets old. I mostly just stick to the netflix deal now, and watch movies, since we can stream them from the PS3 or the Wii.

I, personally, don't see anything spectacular about a bluray player. We have one, because our PS3 is a bluray player. But the guys can see a difference. I just... meh, to me, its not worth the extra 10$/DVD, or whatever the price difference is now.

Posted by: Secha at October 18, 2010 7:56 AM

The only things I am watching right now are Modern Family and Dexter. Everything else I can take or leave.

Posted by: Winna at October 18, 2010 8:01 AM

The only shows I watch religiously are Weeds, Dexter, Big Love (back in January) and True Blood. Everything else is pretty much hit or miss. We still watch Survivor, The Amazing Race and House but if we miss a week, its not such a big deal. And I still love SVU and wish there was a Law & order channel that showed all the L&O's 24/7!

I've been tivoing The Event but haven't really been drawn into it yet.

Looking forward to The Living Dead to start on Halloween!

Posted by: Lisa at October 18, 2010 8:02 AM

I've been really disappointed with television lately, too, and I am a great lover of TV. Right now, the two shows that I am enjoying the most are Community, on NBC, and Bones, on FOX. Unfortunately (for me, given that I don't have a dual-tuner DVR) they are both on at 8:00 on Thursday.

I feel like both shows are different from everything else on TV right now. Community is one of the only comedies on network television that's really pushing the envelope and trying new things. And Bones, for a procedural, is made surprisingly compelling by the fun and interesting characters. Bones is also surprisingly funny--and most comedies don't really make me laugh.

Posted by: Melody at October 18, 2010 8:09 AM

We watch House, Law and Order SUV and Los Angeles, Survivor, Amazing Race, and The Event, which I am LOVING. Also have been watching Undercover Boss.. oh and Hell's Kitchen. Same stuff we have been watching for years. But we like the stuff, so we look forward to tuning in. The only thing that we NEVER miss though, is Survivor.

Posted by: jen at October 18, 2010 8:19 AM

Fringe is pretty darn cool. Especially now that they have an alternate universe. You NEVER know what is going to happen! Modern Family and Running Wilde are very funny. Big Bang Theory, too. Looking forward to V coming back.

Posted by: Julie at October 18, 2010 8:29 AM

How I Met Your Mother, The Middle,Rules of Engagement, Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly, and Big Bang Theory. I also like NCIS and Life Unexpected.

Posted by: Maribeth at October 18, 2010 8:36 AM

I feel like anything I might consider "appointment TV" isn't something that would probably appeal to the masses. Most of it is on ABC Family. The story lines are wholesome, and there's not just a crap ton of drama, which I enjoy.

A friend of mine introduced me to a new show on History called American Pickers. It's not appointment worthy, but I do think it's really interesting!

Posted by: Emily at October 18, 2010 8:37 AM

Must See TV in our house includes: The Amazing Race, Survivor, Raising Hope (hysterical), Modern Family, The Middle, HIMYM. It's been winnowed down over time.

Posted by: NancyJ at October 18, 2010 8:43 AM

I'm stuck on Project Runway - that's my main "MUST SEE" tv. Beyond that, I catch stuff here and there, but nothing that I'll cry if I miss.

I'm a glee fan but this season is off to a shaky weird "the dialogue is just filler between songs" thing and so I'm losing interest every other week.

Posted by: sarah at October 18, 2010 8:46 AM

We have several shows that we must see.

How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, Big Bang Theory, Modern Family are all good for laughs. The Event is turning out to be pretty good. Love The Amazing Race, always. Chuck is good. Huge fans of True Blood when it's on in the summer. Glee is OK but starting to lose interest. Survivor. Oh, and Fringe is actually really good and has that 'Lost-ish' what in the heck is happening here feel.

Posted by: melissa at October 18, 2010 8:54 AM

Dexter definitely but the only new series this season that's gotten me hooked is Blue Bloods. It's excellent! The characters are engaging, flawed and it has Tom Selleck and his 'Stache! (Seriously, the cast is really good and the stories thus far are well written! It's must see for me!)

Posted by: NotAMeanGirl at October 18, 2010 9:16 AM

Fringe is consistently awesome. I still watch Glee, House and Bones -- plus whatever crap HGTV throws at me -- but "Fringe" is my only real "must-see TV."

Posted by: Fraulein N at October 18, 2010 9:20 AM

How real is a reality show if a camera is on 24/7? I watch them once in a while (Hoarders and Clean House just to remind myself I don't ever want to go there) and a few of the cooking shows but other than that I'm hooked on crime. L&O, CSI, NCIS, etc. And baseball (go Giants) and football but just the Niners who finally won a game.

Posted by: Ann Adams at October 18, 2010 9:27 AM

I feel the same way. I've just recently started watching The Good Wife which is way better than I thought it would be. I still love Fringe and *like* Lie to Me. That's about it. NetFlix is my best friend.

Posted by: Krismas at October 18, 2010 9:41 AM

Sitcoms we watch in order of how much we like them (and in shorthand, because all have already been mentioned): Big Bang, 2.5 men, HIMYM, ROE, M&M, Raising Hope.

We used to be huge Chuck fans but it's a bummer that it's not as good this year. Still good enough for a tentative appointment, though. Ditto for Glee.

Others: Amazing Race, CSI Miami (for the overacting), The Good Wife, Nikita, and The Defenders, if you are a Jim Belushi fan. And we watch Hellcats and Dancing with the Stars because we have a teenage girl.

But none of these are MUSTS. If we miss em', oh well!

Posted by: TeresaLynn at October 18, 2010 9:47 AM

Community is seriously too funny. It doesn't get any recognition, but is awesome. Dexter is really good this season, and Julia Stiles is doing a season guest role, which I am intrigued by. Of course Modern Family and Big Bang. Everything else is just filler.

Posted by: Tess at October 18, 2010 9:48 AM

we don't watch much tv. just don't. there always seems to be something more important to do, whether that means dishes or dinner or watercolors with the girls. we read a lot. sometimes watch survivor. and "better with you" since one of the writers is my wife's college roommate. which has led us to "modern family" which has surprised me with its writing. but i'm like a social drunk - i watch tv if my wife is home and watching. otherwise, i'll read.

Posted by: pvz at October 18, 2010 9:49 AM

I too have been disappointed in the offerings this season. The only new show I really like is Detroit 187. It is odd, it has the old style 1970s cop show feel and for some reason I'm really digging it. That and Parenthood are about the only shows I don't like to miss.
We bought a cheaper Blue-ray player and in the end it wouldn't play the clear blue-rays so now we just use it for DVDs. Although because it was a blue-ray we got the HDMI hook-up and I think the DVDs look better because of that.

Posted by: Elizabeth at October 18, 2010 9:49 AM

I hear "The event" is suppose to be really good, heard somebody say if "Lost" and "24" had a baby, it would be "The event"....My favourite show is "Supernatural" and I started watching "Blue blood", pretty compelling...

Posted by: stephanie at October 18, 2010 10:14 AM

Totally agree with the House assessment. It's getting old. We watched "The Good Wife" season one on summer recaps. It was pretty well done. I don't know how season two will shape up, but it's our new favourite along with (of course) Mad Men which just ended until Feb 2, 2011.

Posted by: Mandy at October 18, 2010 10:20 AM

Seriously dude, cut the cord. When we moved into a new place 6 years ago, we never got cable, and have never missed it. Anything worth watching is available on DVD, and it's a pleasure to watch it that way, minus the commercials. We have an Apple TV which streams content from the 'puter, so if there's ever anything you need to see now, buy it on iTunes for a fraction of your monthly cable bill and watch, although that happens rarely. Heck, a lot of networks now stream the content online. One decent high speed internet package replaces cable whole hog, and you have fewer (if any) commercials. Frak TV.

Blu Ray is worth it if you've got the HDTV and you like movies--they look awesome. For the rest, DVD is fine.

Only thing that's remotely interesting for me now is Big Bang Theory and the occasional episode of Hoarders or Extreme Makeover Home Edition if I need to just flake out. My thing lately is catching the DVD seasons of all the shows I never got around to watching. Doing that would keep me busy for years.

Posted by: Martin at October 18, 2010 10:27 AM

As a couple: Modern Family and Biggest Loser
As a family: Extreme Home Makeover, Wheel of Fortune, Dancing with the Stars (skipping through to the dances and reviews)
Just me: Big Bang Theory, Netflix: BattleStarGallactica, Dexter, others.

Posted by: Brad at October 18, 2010 10:28 AM

I have to agree that I too am bored with most of my go to shows - House, Grey's Anatomy, Law & Order, CSI, etc. There simply aren't any new compelling shows worth watching, IMHO.

I still watch Glee - love some Sue Sylvester - and my favorite new show this season comes right after Glee on Fox. It's called Raising Hope and it is hilarious.

Posted by: Jules at October 18, 2010 10:38 AM

Mad Men, Dexter, Big Love. Amazing! My husband is the type that is all crazy for the Blu-ray player, but I don't think we generally watch the type of movies that it was designed for at home. If there is a movie with amazing cinematography that we want to see we make a point of seeing it in a theater. Beyond that, I must recommend again the Roku! We love it!

Posted by: ashley at October 18, 2010 10:41 AM

I religiously watch Survivor, The Amazing Race, and Grey's Anatomy. Also Warehouse 13 on SyFy. But all are recorded on the DVR because they come on when I'm putting kids to bed.

I also have to recommend American Pickers (funny name, but interesting show), as well as Pawn Stars on History Channel. I love seeing what amazing historical stuff are buried in barns and basements across the country, plus the people on both shows are pretty hilarious.

We don't have a Blu-Ray. No interest in getting one, either. DVDs look crisp and clear. But we lived with an old 32" box television for 12 years before getting the HDTV, so we're easy to please.

Posted by: ktrz at October 18, 2010 10:54 AM

Try out "The Good Wife" and "Castle"

Posted by: kalisa at October 18, 2010 11:02 AM

Bored to Death and Boardwalk Empire -- both reasons to subscribe to HBO.

bluray? I have a PS3 anyhow and it's got bluray so that's the format I get from Netflix, but since my TV is only 720P anyhow it doesn't seem to be much different to me. But I'm not by any stretch an audio-or-videophile.

Posted by: Aaron at October 18, 2010 11:10 AM

On my DVR list: How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory and Parenthood. I'm surprised more people haven't mentioned Parenthood, actually... I think it's one of the best shows currently on television. Daily Show is my "news." We will watch the Colbert Report if we catch it on, but we don't DVR it. Oh, and Good Eats gets DVR'd as well.

We also watch a lot of baseball, but that's almost over.

Posted by: stephanie at October 18, 2010 11:46 AM

Yeah, you need some new shows. Mad Men (on AMC) is the best show on TV. Compelling, thought-provoking, and just plain fascinating getting to immerse yourself in the 60s.

The Good Wife (I think it's on ABC?) is an EXCELLENT show, also thought-provoking and compelling.

Parenthood (NBC) is a lighter, but also excellent. All three of these shows are well-written and well-acted, a combo that's hard to find in TV anymore.

And Fringe, while wacky, has really found it's legs. You have to give the first season a chance, I'm glad I did because it's really paying off now.

As for comedy, you're missing out on 30 Rock, Community, and Modern Family. Hilarious half hour sitcoms are back! Though I don't think I should call 30 Rock a sitcom. Doesn't feel right.

Posted by: Erin at October 18, 2010 12:21 PM

We're watching (the more recent) Dr. Who at the moment. We don't have cable or dvr but we have Netflix and can watch stuff instantly through the Wii, or something like that. I let Todd handle anything to do with video games.

I highly recommend Dr. Who. if you have any nerdy inclinations at all. The production values are terrible but the story's compelling enough that it's sucked me in. Even though the biggest threat to the world's future on the show looks like a retro shopvac.

Posted by: Jess at October 18, 2010 12:34 PM

Chuck, Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Stargate:Universe(SyFy), Warehouse 13(SyFy), Pawn Stars(History Channel), Ice Road Truckers (History Channel). As for the Blu Ray: if you have a good enough television to notice the quality difference between Blu Ray and regular DVD, its worth it. Otherwise, its a waste of money.

Posted by: J at October 18, 2010 1:12 PM

The best show on t.v. right now is MadMen. But, you will need to start at the beginning. Its a great show.

We started watching The Event and its pretty good. Not as many characters as Lost and easier to follow but not quite as compelling. No big jaw dropping moments at the end. I miss Lost.

Modern Family is tied with MadMen for best show. Hilarious! We watch each one at least TWICE.

Posted by: Debbie at October 18, 2010 1:19 PM

We don't have cable but I watch my favorites on the computer: 30 Rock, Community, Castle and now I got my husband addicted to Firefly so I am re-watching the series with him. Oh, and I just discovered House last season so I am not sick of it yet. :)

Posted by: bouncy at October 18, 2010 1:30 PM

And that's why I don't watch TV. The end.

Posted by: Brooke at October 18, 2010 1:39 PM

We love Chuck in our house. If you've never watched it - get the first three seasons through Netflix - totally worth it.. :)

Modern Family and In the Middle are pretty good too..

Other than that .. you're right there isn't anything that I have to watch every week..

Posted by: molly at October 18, 2010 1:56 PM

I am really enjoying Castle. It took a little while for the chemistry to build between the two characters, and a while for the female lead to be a real character instead of a model with lines. But now that we're on Season 3, I find it witty and highly entertaining.

Posted by: Amy at October 18, 2010 2:11 PM

What, you didn't catch Rogue Nature with Dave Salmoni on Science Channel?! We couldn't stop watching the marathon last night! :)

The Event is slowly growing on me. Hawaii Five-0's Scott Caan is holding me captive. (But since I've never seen the original, this is all new for me.) House and Castle are flapping around a little. Haven, Warehouse 13, and Eureka have their moments but its the characters that get you. Chuck, Big Bang Theory, Top Gear are always solid.

I watched wayyyy too much TV...

Posted by: oakley at October 18, 2010 2:30 PM

I don't have cable anymore, so it's either hulu or illegal downloads - right now my must sees are Mad Men, Glee and Parenthood (my friend does prop work for them, which got me started and hooked). I tried Modern Family, but only made it through a few episodes, despite the decent press. And while sick recently, I also caught up on Design Star - you're right, this latest season sucked big time.

Ironically, there's been a fair amount of news commentary lately about how TV is actually better than most movies. NPR had a great segment on the topic this past Saturday night.

Posted by: Heather at October 18, 2010 2:42 PM

HIMYM, Big Bang and Fringe are about the only shows I make time for. Hawaii 5-0 was good, but I gave up on it after two or three episodes. Castle is also pretty good, mainly because of Nathan Fillion (yes, I miss Firefly). Eureka and Warehouse 13 were fun, but they're gone till December.

Buy a blu-ray. Totally worth it. If for no other reason than it will make your other dvds look better.

Posted by: Foggy Dew at October 18, 2010 3:23 PM

MAD MEN!!! The Season 4 finale was last night and it was amazing. I love this show.
The Apprentice is also highly entertaining this season.

Posted by: Trish at October 18, 2010 3:36 PM

I love Bravo. Top Chef, Flipping Out, Bones, I still stick with CSI (the original), and I love The Amazing Race. I am also strangely fasinated by Little People, Big World. Guilty of Grey's Anatomy and Real housewives......help me.

Posted by: Christine at October 18, 2010 3:39 PM

Congrats on the new TV. We waited a while in our family to go HD and have since changed out the second TV as well.

Criminal Minds and NCIS are about the only things I really look forward to on TV.

Blu-Ray? I've got one. I haven't had it run side by side with a DVD, but it seems to look more crisp. And they aren't all that expensive anymore.

Posted by: Rex at October 18, 2010 3:41 PM

Dexter. Man is it good. And we're caught up in this season of The Next Iron Chef which I like a bunch. Also, Parenthood is better than I thought it would be.
On the Blu-ray front, I would recommend getting a PS3 if you're into that sort of thing. Does a great job with blu-ray and our kids (7 and 4) like to play games. Little Big Planet is a big hit in our house, along with some of the Lego installments. We figured it was a better long term purchase with gaming fun capabilities, but may not be the right time with your kids at their ages.

Posted by: Amanda at October 18, 2010 3:46 PM

I feel the same way. I watch shows I've been watching all along because I feel a vague sense of responsibility to them (?!), but as soon as they're over I can't remember the plot and realize I was only barely paying attention. The one bright spot for me? "Leverage." I seriously love this show. If you're not watching, check it out. It's on hiatus until December with one of those split season formulas, so you'll have a chance to get the DVDs and watch from the beginning before it comes back in December.

Posted by: NG at October 18, 2010 5:13 PM

I am of no help here. I follow absolutely no shows. I don't know what channel anything is on or what time. Except maybe Sam's kid shows, but not even really those. I prefer a book.

Posted by: Annie at October 18, 2010 7:09 PM

Get a Playstation 3. It plays Blu-Ray (beautifully) AND Madden 11. Just sayin.

And TV - How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, Community, The Office, Big Bang Theory. I like to laugh!

Posted by: Stephanie at October 18, 2010 8:00 PM

Sunday: Mad Men; Rubicon might be getting interesting but I was bored by the first two episodes.

Tuesday: Parenthood. Seems made for Chris and Beth!

Wednesday: Modern Family and Cougartown.

Thursday: Community, 30 Rock; sticking it out with The Office; Project Runway had its best season in quite a while.

Posted by: Laura Gato at October 18, 2010 8:11 PM

Modern Family, how i met your mother, rules of engagement, mike & molly and big bang theory are hilarious. A really good dramedy is Parenthood. Its so good. I love it. Medium and the Mentalist are good too. although i will openly admit that if Simon Baker leaves that show i will prob stop watching. ;) thank god for my dvr!

Posted by: steph d at October 18, 2010 8:29 PM

Favorite new show is The Vampire Diaries on WB. Discovered this show at the end of last season. Only shows I watch weekly are Parenthood (reminds me of Brothers and Sisters), Good Wife and Brothers and Sisters.

All we watch most of the time is Blue Ray.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at October 19, 2010 1:07 AM

Two words, Swamp People. It is on The History channel and they fish for gators.

Posted by: Matt at October 19, 2010 6:50 AM

Our new favs are Justified on FX and Haven on the SciFy channel.

Posted by: at October 19, 2010 9:46 AM

Appointment TV shows for me are The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, Brothers & Sisters, Teen Mom, and Dancing With the Stars (that's right, Dancing With the Stars!).

I'm considering dropping Brothers & Sisters since it's pretty lame lately, so I don't actually recommend it. I think this might be its last season, anyway (which is partly the reason I still watch).

There are some other shows I DVR, but lately I find that stuff is piling up on the DVR and becoming a chore to watch. I have DVRd The Office since about halfway through last season, but have not watched an episode since, umm, March, maybe? So that's sucking up some space. I just don't have the time to watch this stuff. Actually, I DVR most stuff so I can watch when it's convenient for me and zip through commercials. So maybe for me "appointment TV" is the stuff I DVR and then actually watch. Hmm.

Teach, the Tony Danza doc on A&E is also pretty good. Fridays at 9 or 10. I think there are 7 eps total, and it's maybe 3 eps in at this point but I'm sure they're re-running them a lot.

And this is not appointment TV for me, but it is a pretty great show that I catch when I can: Castle. ABC, Mondays, 10 p.m. Nathan Fillion is kind of awesome and the show is a quirky and fun twist on the usual police procedural.

Posted by: erin at October 19, 2010 12:54 PM

Big Bang Theory because it's hilarious and because my husband is a science nerd; it's surprisingly close to my reality. I'd DVR Community if I had one (Sadly they shuffled the time of both of those shows so now they compete with each other.)

We bought a Blu-Ray two years ago and it took a mighty long time to turn on, load, and then play. My iBook started up faster than that thing did. We returned it within a few days because we decided that there wasn't enough of an appreciable difference in quality to make the long wait worth it. Maybe the startup time has improved since then. My husband occasionally looks at them, but then generally passes.

Posted by: Jenn at October 19, 2010 2:33 PM

I'm a big fan of Amazing Race. It's probably my favorite show. Also, I'm new to How I met your Mother, so all of that cracks me up. Big Bang Theory. Castle. I like NCIS but it's predictable. I love it for that actually, because they don't try to be anything but what they are and have always been. But it can go weeks before I will then watch four saved episodes at a time.

Posted by: Issa at October 19, 2010 5:41 PM

Oh God, I love, love, LOVE "The Inbetweeners". It's a UK comedy about 4 gormless teenage boys and it is unmissable. Dunno where you can get it in the US but I have tracked down a website for you because I am kind this way: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-inbetweeners/4od

Posted by: Anne at October 19, 2010 7:18 PM

The Event isnt Lost but it's pretty good. My must see show this year is the Big C but it might just be a chick show. My other show which was a B the first year but is now an A and sometimes A+ is Stargate Universe.

Posted by: Kate at October 19, 2010 11:10 PM

Haven, Hawaii Five-O, and sometimes Stargate Universe. I rarely watch TV anymore though. The quality I'm looking for just isn't there. Haven had its season finale not long ago but I'm already missing it. Can't wait for the next season! It was quirky and funny and a real break from the trash that's usually on television.

Posted by: Michelle at October 21, 2010 10:55 AM

About the only current shows we watch around here with any regularity anymore are Family
Guy and Tosh. Almost everything else out there can suck it- and just the commercial for that polygamy show makes me vomit in my mouth a little. Really? We need more White Trash TV? Should we follow up next season with a series on incestual families? Or how about live pole dancing at 7PM? Seriously.

Posted by: Karen at October 21, 2010 4:30 PM

I've been in a very low TV mode lately, and when I do turn it on, I often watch something on our cable company's OnDemand (very few commercials and a huge selection of free stuff on there). Frankly, Facebook is a whole lot more entertaining than TV these days.

I don't yet have a Blu-Ray player. What will probably push me that direction is not the quality of the picture but the fact that all the good extras that used to be on the DVDs are only available on the Blu-Ray. Argh! I now own the DVD/BluRay combo pack for "Beauty and the Beast" but the extras I most want to see are only on the BluRay.

Posted by: Sandy at October 21, 2010 9:14 PM

It's perfect that we can get the loan and that opens new chances.

Posted by: Castro34Johanna at June 10, 2011 12:46 PM