30 Rock: The guest stars are getting a little exhausting at this point, but I still love each and every character that is on that show. I am especially thankful for all the Tracy Jordan quotes. Yes, I will live every week like it's Shark Week.
The election - Yes, it was too long. And, yes, it was exasperating at times. But it was the source of a lot of entertaining television. Of course, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and SNL were in top form (Tina Fey became a huge star, thanks to Sarah Palin). But entertainment came in many forms this election season, from Katie Couric's skewering of Palin to David Letterman's spat with McCain to just about anything that came out of Joe Biden's mouth. Finally, I have three words of infinite entertainment for you: Chuck Todd's goatee.
1. Netflix Watch Instantly
I've had Netflix basically since its inception, but with all of the TV that I watch, my Netflix movies have had a bad habit of collecting dust for months (I finally sent No Country for Old Men back after about six months on top of my DVD player). Even though I've known about the Watch Instantly feature for a while, I've never actually tried it out. I just watched Friday Night Lights Season 2, and let me tell you. it's so nice to just hit "Next" and have all of the episodes right there without having to change disks. Does that make me ridiculously lazy? Probably. I don't care.
It seems like only yesterday that we were writing about the upfronts and the new shows, and here we are at the end of November. That means end of year reflection, best and worst lists, and this, what I'm thankful for right now, TV-wise.
1. Mad Men and 30 Rock. How blessed are we that two of the great shows of the past 25 years, one a comedy and one a drama, are on at the same time and we can look forward to them every week? Both are brilliant and addictive in their own special ways, and TV wouldn't be the same without them. And if reports are true, their worlds are about to collide in a truly must-see event. (And a thankful-within-a-thankful for Tina Fey in general.)
It's that time of year again, isn't it? That brief period between the humongous holidays of Halloween and Christmas that television and retail outlets have forgotten about. I talk about Thanksgiving, of course. The holiday of football games, unbuttoned pants, family arguments, and giant Snoopy balloons. It is also the time to give thanks.
Thanks for what? Well, we aren't trading chickens for a gallon of gas yet, so that's something. And, we still have television, which we can eventually trade in for chickens in order to get a gallon of gas. But, since our television shows are more important than driving in many cases, we may just start riding our bikes and eat peanut butter sandwiches instead.
With those happy thoughts, here is what I am thankful for when it comes to the flat screen idiot box.
No one's watching Terminator, the Dollhouse problems persist, and too many of my favorite shows are on hiatus until next year. Grrr! Argh! Still, I love TV, and now's the time to look on the bright side and give thanks for all the good stuff I've watched this season.
This year, I'm thankful for:
Battlestar Galactica – This last season has been challenging but thrilling to watch. Actually, that about sums up the entire run of the series. I'm confident that the final eps will be as good as what came before.
Netfilx Watch Instantly for Mac – I'm catching up with Doctor Who, Dead Like Me, and revisiting old eps of Joy Mohr's Action. I've never been so happy to be a beta tester.
Rogue agents. It's been Far.Too.Long since Jack Bauer has entered our living room, and we couldn't be more gleeful about his return - both the 24 movie and the series in January. Welcome back, Jack! We missed you! Well, my son and I have! My daughter and husband don't get you, but that's ok!
Mad scientists. That crazy Walter Bishop really brightens up our Tuesday nights around here. My son goes to school on Wednesday, talks about Fringe with his buddies, then texts me back their thoughts on The Observer, the cylinders, Massive Dynamic and all the rest. Of course, Walter is the best thing about the show. We love him.
South Park - The most insightful show on television. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are willing to take issues that the rest of the more liberal Hollywood view as simple and show their complexity by taking other sides. I don't think they're invited to a lot of Hollywood parties as a result, but it makes for great television.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles - it's been hit and miss story-wise, but the overall arc has been satisfying. Hopefully, the series will develop a reasonable ending to satisfy the fans once it is canceled due to poor ratings as a result of Fox moving it to the Friday Night Death Slot.
I'd like to give thanks to...
Neil Patrick Harris
It's not just how awesome he is as Barney on How I Met Your Mother, although that's quite awesome. It's also Dr. Horrible which proved to me that he really should do a musical, 'cause he's great. NPH also made me laugh with his Old Spice commercials and was wonderful in an episode of Dinner: Impossible (from 2007, but I saw a rerun). Is there anything he can't do? Believe me, he is already legen -- wait for it -- dary.
It's that time of year again -- time to shop 'til you drop, bake until you sweat, eat until you bloat, and take stock in what you are thankful for, in your life and of course, on television.
You might think that in this season of less-than-stellar television, it would be hard to find TV-related things to be thankful for; after all, with lackluster new shows and all of your favorites getting canceled left and right, things do seem bleak.
But my glass is half full, and I still garner joy from my nightly boob tube sessions, my TV on DVD collection, and the time I haven't spent watching TV. I am thankful ...
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