The Five: What Brett is thankful for
1: Tivo. I resisted the siren's call of Tivo for a long time, opting instead to stick with the complex system of tapes, VCR's and my computer that had kept me up to date for years. But finally, after hearing again and again from the TV Squad readers to just get a Tivo already, I did. And it has been as good as everyone said it would be. I'll say it. You were all right. I was wrong.
I'm still hoping for all the goodies to work with OS X, or dare I say, Ubuntu, but for now I can begrudgingly run Windows. The ability to archive shows to another machine is fantastic, and if you do the math, it works out to about the same price as using tapes for storage anyway.
2: The Internet. More specifically, how the networks and content creators are embracing the internet more and more. Where just a few years ago a trip to the official site for a show would deliver an annoying flash page and maybe a wallpaper image, now there is a collection of ever changing treats. Full episodes, deleted scenes, recaps, interviews, live blogs. We are even starting to see the networks create shows specifically for online delivery. It's a good time to be plugged in.
3: The Venture Bros. Adult Swim doesn't get a lot of big media coverage, which is a shame because they are putting out some great television. Of all of their shows, my favorite is The Venture Bros. The show is so good it's just ridiculous. While the look and feel of the animation is great, what puts Team Venture on my list is the writing. It's so clever, and repeated viewings are usually rewarded with another gem you just didn't catch the first time. And, as an added bonus to this, I'm also thankful for Annie's Venture reviews here on TV Squad. They are my favorite feature of the site.
4: TV on DVD. Rather, forgotten TV on DVD. It's great to be able to get the last season of Veronica Mars, The Office, Lost, etc. to watch again. But the real boon for TV nuts where DVD sets are concerned is in rediscovering shows that had passed into the ether. While the Star Trek's, Seinfeld's, and Mash's of the world have lived on through syndication, there are a lot of shows that you just don't see any more. I just picked up the first season of Riptide, for example. There is still a ways to go as I'm anxiously awaiting sets for Cupid, Maximum Bob, Beggars and Choosers, and Going to California. But the fact that we finally got that Cleopatra 2525 set gives me hope that eventually everything will be available somewhere.
5: Dave Despain. We don't cover much racing here, or any really, because it's just not what we do. But I do watch a lot of racing between the Degrassi and Hanna Montana marathons on the weekends. And if you are a fan of racing, pretty much any kind of racing, the best show of the week is Wind Tunnel on the Speed channel. Dave Despain has been covering racing for over thirty years and he has an everyman sensibility that makes him instantly likable. He understands the politics and drama of racing, and you always know where he stands, but he always manages to present things in an even handed way. I'm sure that if it was just you and Dave sitting around talking racing there would be far more Nicky Hayden and far less Dale Jr., but he knows where the networks bread is buttered. If a little extra NASCAR talk means he gets to cover some obscure dirt track race somewhere, it's a fair tradeoff. TV needs more Dave Despains.