Wednesday, November 23, 2011

my life in television

A few weeks ago, I posted "My Life in Films," based on something I saw on author Kaye Dacus's blog. My friend Holly has since posted on her life in films and books. (I plan to do a book post at some point, too.) It occurred to me, though, that a "My Life in Television" post would be most appropriate for me, as, well, I really like me some TV!

Television Shows that Remind Me of Childhood
  • Square One TV: This was, without a doubt, my favorite show as a child. I watched it every day after school, and I still remember many of the featured songs (I hated "Nine, Nine, Nine," but it still comes to mind every time I'm working with multiples of 9, and "The Mathematics of Love," and "Ghost of a Chance" were favorites). I also feel compelled to say (at least in my head), " brought to you by erasers. Don't make a mistake without one," whenever anyone says, "Oops!" But Mathnet was my absolute favorite. (This is where I learned the Fibonacci Sequence--"1, 1, 2, 3, 5, Eureka!")
  • Zoobilee Zoo: I probably watched Zoobilee Zoo longer than I should have, age-wise. I don't remember much about it now, other than the theme song.
Television Shows that Defined My Teens
  • Lois & Clark: Dean Cain wasn't my first celebrity crush, but he's certainly the longest lasting. Would I pass out if I met him today? Probably. I'll never forget where I was when Lois & Clark got married (sort of ... he married a clone of Lois, but we didn't know it at the time)—on a school bus, in a blizzard, writing "Superman, save me!" on the iced-over window with my friend Angie. We were both dying to be at home watching the show with our families.
  • Full House: I watched this show pretty much from beginning to end. I always identified with DJ, though I was much closer in age to Stephanie. And now, once again, for your viewing pleasure, the song I always associate with Full House
  • Friends: The debut of Friends marked an important (and deceitful) time in my life—a time when my brother and I would go to our basement and watch TV shows we knew our parents wouldn't approve of. I was the instigator, of course, but Andrew was a willing participant. Eventually, Mom caught me watching Friends and banned it, and I did pretty well avoid Friends after that (at least until college). All of the other shows, though, we kept watching—but when I look back at the list now, which included Suddenly Susan, The Single Guy, and Veronica's Closet, I wonder ... why? 
  • Hang Time: Anyone remember T-NBC? By the time I started watching, the original Saved by the Bell had ended, and California Dreams was in its final seasons. But Hang Time, about a girl who joins the boys' basketball team, I watched from the beginning. It's funny—I can't remember much about the show now (except that Anthony Anderson was the adorable "Teddy")—but I loved it then.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: This was my first foray into science fiction. My dad always watched TNG on Saturday nights, and many nights, I opened my bedroom door just a crack so I could watch, too. Once I got older, I was actually allowed to stay up and watch with him. 
Television Shows that Defined My College Years
  • Gilmore Girls: I'll never understand why Rory broke up with Dean. I would have married Dean ... and I never would have had an affair with married Dean or dated Logan. Yeah, the show went downhill in it's latter years.
  • Alias: Gathering with the girls in the Westy 1 lobby to watch Alias ... one of my favorite memories of college!
  • Stargate: SG-1: My dad got me hooked on this one, too. This remains my favorite sci-fi show, and I have all 10 seasons on DVD.
Favorite Shows of My Twenties
  • Lost: I jumped on the Lost bandwagon the summer after the first season—this was back when the broadcast networks still ran reruns during the summer. I don't know if I've ever been more shocked by an episode of TV than when (GIANT SPOILER ALERT) Michael shot and killed both Ana Lucia and Libby and let Ben (then known as Henry Gale) escape.
  • The Office: In seasons two, three, and four, I was a completely loyal viewer of The Office. Somewhere along the line, though, I stopped caring, and I stopped watching. I still love those first seasons, but I have zero interest in what's happening now.
  • Monarch of the Glen: I discovered this show, produced by BBC Scotland, when I was looking for something to watch on Netflix streaming. It's so fun! It's sweet, gentle, and funny—perfect for a rainy day.
  • Prison Break: While I was watching Lost, my friends Justin and Adair were watching Prison Break. I remember arguing Lost's ridiculousness with them by claiming Prison Break was just as implausible. Then I actually watched the show. Implausible, yes ... and completely enthralling! Season One is one of the best seasons of television I've ever watched. Things do go downhill from there, though, and I never even made it through Season Four.
  • Psych: Shawn and Gus make the perfect comedy team. Psych is simply fun to watch—and the 80's and 90's references just make it that much better!
Current Shows I Can't Miss
  • Fringe: I've written about my love for Fringe before, so I won't rehash it here. The current season is a bit rocky, but I have faith in the producers.
  • Parks & Recreation: When Parks & Rec premiered, I didn't give it the time of day. I thought it was too similar to The Office. While it does employ the same mocumentary format as The Office, Rashida Jones has been a cast member on both shows, and the shows share some of the same producers and writers, Parks & Rec is so much more sincere, humorous, and endearing. While Michael Scott's antics were often cringe-worthy, I find myself always rooting for Leslie Knope. The supporting characters are wonderful, and adding Adam Scott and Rob Lowe to the cast at the end of the second season was genius. Also, there was a shout-out to the Mighty Ducks movies a couple weeks ago—can't go wrong with that!
  • Castle: I started watching because of Nathan Fillion. In the beginning, I called Castle a total ripoff of Bones. Well, now I enjoy Castle so much more than Bones, and Rick Castle is my favorite Fillion character. But Castle is about so much more than Fillion—the interplay between Detectives Ryan and Esposito, the Castle/Beckett romance, Alexis's heartbreak, and (last but not least) Lt. Commander Worf as Beckett's therapist—and those aspects all make Castle must-see TV for me. It's one of two shows I actually watch live.
Guilty Pleasure (Scripted)
  • Ringer: A nighttime soap if ever there was one, Ringer is ridiculous, melodramatic fun. Sarah Michelle Gellar plays twins Bridget and Siobhan. Bridget is a recovering drug addict who's on the run from both the FBI and a dangerous drug lord. Siobhan is married to Andrew but having an affair with her best friend's husband. When Siobhan disappears, Bridget sees a way to freedom by masquerading as Siobhan, since Siobhan conveniently never told anyone she had a twin sister. It's totally implausible and highly addictive. 
Guilty Pleasure (Reality)
  • The Bachelor/ette: I used to look down on those who watched The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. Then one night, I dropped by my parents' house while my sister was watching DeAnna Pappas's season ... and I was hooked. I think I've watched every season since. Also, I'd like to think my interest in The Bachelor helped along a love match ... Janae & Jordan, who will be getting married next month, watched nearly all of the Jake Pavelka season with Blendy and me at my apartment when they were first getting to know each other!
Favorite Show that Few Others Know About
  • Dollhouse: This was a short-lived Joss Whedon show on FOX. It was a bit uneven, but when at its best, it was completely mesmerizing. Alan Tudyk absolutely blew my mind—what a phenomenal actor!
Best Show I Discovered on DVD or Streaming
  • Firefly: Okay, I didn't technically discover this myself. My brother and sister-in-law brought me their DVDs to borrow because they were sure I would like it. And I did. This is the show that made me first appreciate Nathan Fillion.
Favorite New Show of the 2011-2012 Season
  • Once Upon a Time: They had me at "from the writers of LOST." I am absolutely loving this show, which takes place both in "Fairy Tale Land" and modern-day Maine. Go here to watch a preview.
There you have it: the shows that, for better or worse, have been important to me. What does your list look like? Do we share any favorite shows?

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