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August 1, 2014

What Jason is thankful for

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 26th 2009 2:02PM
GleeI'm not particularly thankful that I'm going to be having my very own battle of the bulge this upcoming week, but I am looking forward to good eats and seeing the family. The older I get, the faster these years wiz by, so it's important that we slow down and take the time to be appreciative of what we have, even if we might always want a little more.

This year, we made the jump from a 1997 model 27" Philips Magnavox television to a massive 52" HDTV. We also picked up a PS3, partially for the Blu-Ray player. So I'm thankful to finally be caught up with the rest of the world in television technology. Who knew it could all be so pretty?

More specifically, I think we're in a great era of television, even as viewer numbers continue to erode. There are just so many good shows on television, and thanks to DVRs and online streaming of those shows, we even have better opportunities to watch them. But what specifically am I thankful for this year?

Dual-Tuner DVRs - I'll admit to taking a lot of things for granted in my life -- sorry, honey! -- but one thing that I always remember to appreciate is my DVR. It truly changed the way I watch TV, and saves a lot of money on VCR tapes. Thanks to the dual-tuner, it's even made tough decisions easier. Unfortunately, it can only do so much. Mondays at 8 PM ET haven't gotten any easier with How I Met Your Mother, House and Heroes all on at the same time, and come January, Chuck in place of Heroes. What I need is a tri-tuner. Anybody paying attention? At least I'll have Hulu and its ilk for the time being, but the resolution just isn't as good.

Glee - I thought for sure that this series wouldn't connect with American viewers. I think I've become a bit jaded looking at the top of the ratings charts and seeing it dominated by procedural crime dramas. This country isn't going to embrace a lighthearted show about a group of misfits, I thought. It has musical numbers in it! I know Hollywood tried to tell me that the musical was back, but I didn't think a few movies was proof of anything. Thankfully, I was wrong and Glee just keeps getting better and better.

The return of the sitcom - It looked like the comedy was dying out for a bit there, but suddenly ABC launched a whole new night of comedy and three out of four of them are pretty damned good and getting great ratings! I can't remember the last time I was watching and enjoying so many comedies. Modern Family is poised to be one of the great sitcoms of the 2010s, while The Middle could be the next great "crazy family" comedy. Even Cougar Town has proven to be so much more than its premise. NBC's Thursday-night lineup is actually strong from top to bottom -- when's the last time you could say that? Along with the likes of Scrubs, Better Off Ted, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and The New Adventures of Old Christine; how did we get so many funny shows on the air all of a sudden? And that's just network television. Don't even get me started on the resurgence of Curb Your Enthusiasm and continuing brilliance of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. TV's funny again!

FX and AMC - How can two networks produce so many great shows? The Shield was something truly special from beginning to end, and I can't say enough about the dark and twisted humor of Rescue Me. Sons of Anarchy actually made me care about a bunch of hard-ass bikers, and believe me that's saying something. Meanwhile, AMC brought us both Mad Men and Breaking Bad; two of the best-written and best-acted shows of the past many, many years. As much as I love many of the dramas on network television, cable is quickly becoming the place to go, and these two networks are setting a standard of excellence so high, I'll watch almost anything they put on the air.

Network patience - This is a huge one for me, because I'm always that guy who falls in love with the off-beat little show only to have it unceremoniously yanked away after a few episodes. Why do you think I launched my "Gone Too Soon" column? It's a lament to my ongoing pain. But suddenly, the networks aren't so quick to pull the trigger. And even when they do, they're allowing the remaining episodes to air before they go away into the night, like Eastwick and Dollhouse. Yes, I still lose shows I love too much, but at least it feels like they've got a bit more of a fighting chance now. So NBC panicked a little with Southland, their overall performance is still much improved.

The TV Squad Podcast - This one isn't even on the list because I've been fortunate enough to be a part of many of the broadcasts. There's something special about being able to experience intelligent discourse about this medium we all love so much, whether as a participant or a listener. Add in some great guests so far like Bill Scheft and Vik Sahay this week and suddenly it's turning into something really special. TV Squad has been the best place to read about television for years, now we're gearing up to be the best place to hear about it as well.

Two years - I've been a part of the TVS family for just about a week over two years now. It's almost hard to imagine when I replied to that open call for a new writer back in the fall of 2007 that I'd still be sitting here, and still loving what I do every day. This is a great team to be a part of and an amazing and passionate community. You all keep us on our toes, and you keep us thinking with your intelligent insight and comments. Most importantly, whether you're bashing us or praising us I can tell that you care: about us, about the site and about television. Thanks for letting me be a part of your world.

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rob

you may find that your cable provider provides both west and east coast feeds allowing you to "tape" all your 8pm shows. And if he doesn't then he sucks.

November 26 2009 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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