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September 1, 2014

What Joel is thankful for

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 25th 2009 4:04PM
Neil Patrick Harris in HIMYM: The PlaybookYou know, it's funny. When I started here I was a lowly IT guy with no girlfriend and lots of time on his hands to watch TV, even on Thanksgiving. Now I'm engaged, the editor of this site, and have to run around to so many family and friend-related events this weekend my head's already spinning just thinking about it. So I have a lot to be thankful for (and I just realized how friggin' long I've been here... wow).

But TV has always been a part of that equation, and it had no less of a role for me this year. So, in the TV world, here is what will make me thankful as I dive into the turkey tomorrow:

ABC's Wednesday comedy line-up: Against all trends, ABC rolled the dice and started a whole new night of comedy on Wednesdays. And while Hank flamed out, The Middle, Modern Family, and Cougar Town look like they have staying power, both from a quality and a ratings standpoint.

What's interesting about the trio is how different they are: The Middle is genial and wacky all at once. Modern Family does a good job in combining catch-it-if-you-can subtle jokes, broad physical humor, and family dynamics. Cougar Town has managed to find an ensemble even with a huge star in the lead role. I'm looking forward to seeing what each has to offer for the rest of the season.

Online television: DVRs only go so far; if there are three shows on at the same time, you're only going to be able to watch one and record the other. That's where Hulu, the networks' websites, TV.com, Fancast, SlashControl, and others come in so handy. The technology has progressed to the point where if you have a good-enough internet connection, your viewing experience is almost what it is from your cable or satellite hook-up. And you can watch whenever you want. It's how I watch the aforementioned ABC comedy lineup, usually on Thursday mornings.

Danny Pudi and Donald Glover: Most of the writers here are thankful for the arrival of Community, and so am I. But I wanted to give an extra helping of yams to Pudi and Glover, who are quickly becoming a comedy team to be reckoned with. In every episode, their characters of Abed and Troy do something laughworthy over the closing credits, making even less-than-funny episodes worth watching. I hope to have the two of them on a future edition of the TV Squad Podcast, so stay tuned.

Neil Patrick Harris: Because he just seems like he's happy as hell to be working in the entertainment business. No matter what he does -- playing Barney on HIMYM, hosting the Emmys or Tonys, being a guest on Top Chef, even subbing for Regis -- he seems to do it with an enthusiasm and gusto you rarely see anymore. Considering his Doogie-filled past, he could have become bitter and jaded by the business, or amassed a huge ego. But he seems to have done neither. It's too bad there aren't more people in the biz that are like that.

Matthew Weiner: Because he talks about his Mad Men characters like they're members of his family. It's that level of intimacy that allows him to get so much subtle and detailed characterization into his stories. And it was that deep knowledge that gave us such a satisfying third-season finale.

TV Squad: I say this every year, but I mean it: If it weren't for the people who write the words, and the people who read them, we wouldn't be here. I'm honored to lead a great group of writers and TV watchers, and our commenters always keep us on our toes.

Too bad I don't have a drumstick for everyone, but at least some of you will be happy with some white meat, right? Don't worry, it's not that dry...

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Nancy Martin

And I'm thankful for TV Squad.....it's actually my favorite site to visit. And I'm particularly thankful for all the additional contributors lately since there's so much more to read.

And I'll be every so thankful if this comment actually gets posted.

November 25 2009 at 7:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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