I admit it. I'm completely hooked. As much as I love to read, listen to music, write. As much as I need to exercise. TV usually wins. I love losing myself in other people's lives. ("What luxury, to be so happy / that we can grieve / over imaginary lives.")
So, since summer is wrapping up, I thought I'd write about a couple of shows that I'm really enjoying. Check them out. First, two reality shows (yikes!).
- 30 Days - Morgan Spurlock of Super Size Me fame is co-executive producer and narrator of this reality show. Each week, it takes a person with strong beliefs and places them out of their element for a month (30 days). For example, a homophobe lives in San Francisco with a gay couple for thirty days, an evangelical Christian lives with a Muslim family for 30 days, a mother binge drinks (imitating her daughter), a minuteman lives with illegal immigrants. Each person has to immerse themselves completely in the new culture or lifestyle. The focus is not on "drama" (typical of many reality crap shows). Rather, the show asks the question (and seeks to answer it) "Can someone really change (in thirty days)?" So far, most of the people have changed at least a little bit. This is not about humiliation. This is about people, emotions, and paradigm shifts. It's great television. I've cried during more than one episode.
- Who Wants to Be a Superhero? - This is a little more along the lines of a typical reality show. The contestants are given challenges which they have to complete, and two people are eliminated by the end of the show. The prize? A comic book featuring the superhero they invented and a movie on FX. Both prizes feature the winner him/herself. Here's the reason I watch: the challenges test personality traits, not strength or endurance (though one recent test did show us a contestant with TREMENDOUS endurance). Instead, the show focuses on so-called "super-humans." The winner will have the heart and 'soul' of a superhero. I know. It sounds cheesy. Maybe it is. But I enjoy it thoroughly.
And now for the fictional side of things:
- Eureka - It's the same old story: small town, po-dunk people with problems. The problems, however, are fueled by the secret government side of the town (covered by a mystical barrier). This area is a mecca of brains and talent. The highest functioning humans in America are located here. And this show proves that they are still only human. Though the town has many anomalies, the people are pretty normal. They make mistakes. Experiments go bad. Wackiness ensues. This show requires about three viewings to really grab you. But it gets there, I promise. The actors are not the best in the world, but they're interesting. It's a fresh idea (as far as I know) with many opportunities for unique episodes.
Jason and I also caught up on some shows we missed the boat on:
- Battlestar Galactica - the show that brings sci-fi nerds, cinematographers (and people interested in camera work), actors, and general lovers of story and drama together. It surpasses the brand name everyone knows. This is a political drama. Aside from some crappy acting (which is well-balanced by some of the best actors on television), I can see no flaws in this updated version of the campy 70s show.
- Lost - I'm on it. The bandwagon. This show is extremely well-written and well-acted. I can't wait for the new season
- Smallville - this is my guilty pleasure. I'm gradually becoming okay with the fact that the main reason I watch this show is that I get to watch a lot of pretty people (and some not-so-much) do . . . stuff. I have fallen in love with some of these characters. And Tom Welling . . . there's just not much to say. Sigh.
- Alias - I'm still on the fence. I'm not sure I love this show. I'm at the end of the first season and it's getting a little too "mystical" for me. I'm a tad hooked though. I really like the characters, and they're what keep me coming back.
Shows I can't wait for/stand-bys I love:
- Scrubs- I have to wait until January!
- The Office - It's rare that television can make me laugh out loud at all, not to mention during every episode.
- Veronica Mars - A Whedon-esque show.
- Bones - another guilty pleasure - I'm not sure why. I think it has to do with my love for Angel and the Joss Whedon-less TV universe right now.
- How I Met Your Mother - Jason and I started this one, then stopped, and came back to it. His love for Alison Hannigan brought us to the show in the first place. It's not one of my favorites, but I do like to lose myself in trivial lives every now and then.
- Big Love - gotta love HBO: a polygamous, Mormon family lives in "the real world."
- Arrested Development - I know. I don't care that it's canceled. I will be watching repeats on Mondays, pretending it's still on. Delusional? Yes. But perfect television doesn't come around that often.
- and, of course, a steady stream of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report to keep me grounded and sane.
I think that's it. Wow. I'm sad. Oh well. Now you know. This is why I never talk to anyone.