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September 22, 2014

What Jason is thankful for

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 21st 2007 7:02PM

Turkey tan lineThanksgiving is about overindulgence; cramming our bodies to bursting with turkey and potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce and just when we think we're going to heave if we have one more bit, it's the one day in which it is socially acceptable to unbutton your pants so you can squeeze in that last slice of pumpkin pie. Gluttony with approval, thanks be to the cook! As it turns out, TiVo is about overindulgence too, which is why it tops my list.

Now I can follow Everybody Hates Chris, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Chuck and Prison Break (Curse you Mondays 8/7 Central!) without missing a beat. Of course, one night of primetime television takes eight hours to watch, but isn't it worth it in the end? "I love you, honey, I should be done here by two am!"

1. Technology (TiVo, Internet)
When I was growing up, there were three to four network channels, we weren't fancy enough to have cable, and you had to choose what you wanted to watch. There were whole slews of shows you were never going to see because they were on opposite Cheers or Night Court or Misfits of Science. But now I can watch more TV than any one person probably should. Who needs to choose one when you can choose them all! Of course, now I'm watching more TV than I ever did before. And yet, with so many good shows on so many good channels, there's so much I still don't have time to watch. Which leads to "Thankful For #2."

2. TV on DVD
As far as I'm concerned this is the single greatest invention of the last decade, but is really only worth it for serialized shows. I know this is going to piss some of you off, but I don't see the point of collecting DVDs of procedurals. I mean other than five or ten minutes of character development each episode, it's the same plot. Open with a tease of a crime or medical mystery, spend forty minutes tracking it down, get it wrong at least twice and then figure it out in the last five minutes and save the day. Yay, let's watch 20 of those in a row!

But with serialized shows, what an amazing experience the DVD sets can be. One of the great thrills of my adolescence is when Channel 11, a local station, would air Soap weeknights through the summer. It only happened every great once in awhile, but I would do my damnedest to stay up each night to watch the next chapter in the zany adventures of the Tates and Campbells. But with busy lives and schedules, who has time to catch a show every week even, much less every night if it's in reruns. And now I can do this with Deadwood, Lost, Babylon 5, 24 and on and on!

3. The WGA Strike - Part I
Okay, I know it's weird to say I'm thankful for the strike (and twice!), but bear with me. First, I'm thankful because for the first time in many, many years, networks are giving new shows more than a week to find an audience. As there were no breakout hits this year, a la Heroes or Desperate Housewives, if we hadn't had a strike looming all season, you can bet half those shows would be gone by now. Instead, shows like Journeyman and Bionic Woman have had extra time to try and find an audience, or regain it in the case of Bionic. Hell, in a non-strike year, Moonlight would have probably been axed in week two or three and now it's a rising hit that's elevating CBS' game on Friday nights. The question is, will the networks learn anything? How many times do we have to remind them that some megahits (Seinfeld) were slow burners that eventually became huge! But pulling the plug on Viva Laughlin was the right thing to do. It is officially the Cop Rock of the 2000s now. Thanks for that.

4. The WGA Strike - Part II
With so many good shows to watch, a prolonged strike means that we run out of new episodes before too long on all our favorite shows. You can cry if you want, but I'm going to rejoice. Let them go on hiatus. I have the entire run of Ken Burns' War still on my TiVo that I haven't had time for. Hell, I still have the most recent seasons of Battlestar Galactica and The 4400 sitting on there next to half of Damages. And what about all the shows up on the Internet and out on DVD. Do you see my problem?

You know, families totally get in the way of the important stuff. I need to schedule an intervention so I can explain to them proper priorities. Kids ride bikes for the first time every day, lose teeth constantly. I need to know what new secret Livia is going to reveal to Dan on Journeyman now! I wouldn't be in this mess if they'd just understand that.

5. FX
Okay, this is a bit of a departure from the previous four, but come on! How can one network have such an amazing track record. 30 Days, Damages, Dirt, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me, The Riches, The Shield, I mean come on. Documentary, drama, comedy, it's just not fair. Sure USA has Monk and TNT has The Closer, but nobody comes close to FX on putting great television shows on the air. I'm going to see if I can get a DirecTV satellite hooked up right to my head; I can carry the dish on my head like Al Franken did on SNL. Then I can stream FX directly onto my retina and have it on 24/7, as background noise if nothing else while I'm listening to the in-laws tell me the hilarious story of how Uncle Bernie dropped the turkey in the toilet back in '84 ... long story, and you really don't want to know.

And finally, I'm thankful for TV Squad. I'm thankful to have a site I can go to every day with new content constantly uploading. I'm thankful for the opportunity to be the new guy on the block here. Hopefully I don't let my fellow bloggers down, or you readers. Oh, and I'm thankful that you readers will never say or write anything mean about anything I ever post now and forever more, right? Right? ... Well, a guy can hope, eh?

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John

Jason,

It was pretty cool reading your Thanksgiving blog. I've spent my whole career loving TV and trying to make great TV (as a producer) or foster it (as an executive,)and I've got a ton of people who work for me at FX who are really talented and passionate and do their absolute best every day-- not to mention a bucket full of great writers, actors and directors who honor us by calling FX their home. So thanks.

I'm thankful for TV Squad. I've never met or even spoken to any of you, but your site is fantastic and I check in with it every week.

John

November 23 2007 at 10:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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