I have my semi-guilty pleasures (*Shark Tank*, *Dr. Phil*, *Hoarding: Buried Alive*) and shows I only watch while I'm eating, cleaning up my nests, or doing other chores (judge shows, *Everybody Loves Raymond*, *Seinfeld*), but I also tivo and deliberately watch shows that are well crafted and do much more than just entertain for a while. Here are a few, in no particular order:
1) *Two Broke Girls*: This season isn't as good as the past two seasons, but it's still one of the three comedies I can think of in which the scripting is at least as clever as conversations among us three and with our friends. The anti-short jokes (at the expense of the diner's owner) are annoying, but I like almost all of the sex jokes, which is really rare. Also, a horse.
2) *The Big Bang Theory*: One of the other two comedies I can think of in which the scripting is at least as clever as conversations with the two guys and our friends. I like that the characters have changed and matured over time & new relationship issues have come about naturally. Also, despite taking a distressing number of seasons to get there, like *Two Broke Girls* a winner in regard to the Bechdel test.
3) "Community*: The earlier seasons are even better, but it has snappier nerd humor than *The Big Bang Theory* while having a wider appeal as well. The show often has the courage to slip right past a joke instead of waving it in your face. Also bizarre original myths, such as the puissance of the Greendale Air Conditioning Repair School. Also, Inspector Spacetime.
1) *Bob's Burgers*: The ads didn't do much for me; we checked it out because Womzilla heard that it got better as it went on, and I'm very glad. At its best, it's at least as funny as *The Simpsons* (which does deserve kudos for keeping its quality and appeal up so very, very long) with more enjoyable characters, quirky but real. The three kids are very different and have key characteristics but aren't just, well, cartoons. Favorite moments: A musical performance at his school in which the son has turned the real event in which Edison electrocuted an elephant named Topsy into a love story; a fantasia based on Disney in which the wife hallucinates animal anuses, based on her sister's paintings.
2) *Archer*: Satire of spy/espionage cinema with real action and amusing twists; quite a range of characters, including a scientist with a hologram anime girlfriend & the title character, the son of the spy agency and handsome, arrogant, socially clueless idiot savant of spycraft. Also one of my fave fat female characters, Pam Poovey
1) *Hannibal*: Go back to the first show for this to make any sense, but it's well worth it, a kind of alternate world version of the Harris novels and their movies, but with Will Graham more like he is in the novels than any movie except the original *Red Dragon*. I loved that the recent episode replayed *Silence of the Lambs*, down to dialogue, with the roles reversed. The show's pacing and characterization gives it an eerie, dissociated feeling much of the time, more disturbing than the bloody crimes, which says a lot.
2) *True Detective*: What is it with noir detective shows and antlers, huh? Here we have noir detectives in Louisiana without many of the usual cliches, and with mentions of the King in Yellow and Carcosa (from R. W. Chambers, Ambrose Bierce, and H. P. Lovecraft). The show teases the viewer, with equal likelihood that it will turn out supernatural or not. (I'm currently betting not, but I wouldn't bet much.) I was wowed that in the early shows, Woody Harrelson played the normal, non-crazy cop, although that is much, much less true now. Visually striking, and interesting intercutting of events in at least three time frames (1990s, 2002, now).
3) *The Walking Dead*: Doesn't need my praise but still deserves it. Like Romero, Kirkman knows that the living dead are indispensable, but it's really all about the people.
*King of the Nerds*: When I saw the first ads for this, I thought it would be fake and repugnant. Actually, it is done with both love and deep understanding of nerd culture from online gaming to space engineering. Last episode, the two teams navigated a laser-light maze and solved a math problem about tribbles to free George Takei and win the round. Also, it's so cute when nerds try to go all Machiavellian! This season, it's now down to five people and just about to start individual, not team, competition. Watch an episode if only to see Zach, the kind of emotionally fragile yet megalomaniacal nerd we all cringe at. Also, the Throne of Games.
I did this because I realized I love these shows and enjoy talking about them, but I hardly ever talk TV on LJ.
Did any of y'all find this interesting and/or helpful?