Wednesday, March 12, 2008

TV Is Getting Better

Remember how bad television used to be? Seriously, there are shows that I used to watch when I was a kid, and when I watch them now on reruns I realize how truly bad the writing on those shows were . They are so bad they are almost nostalgic. Like some people like to watch old black and white movies just because it reminds them of a simpler, more romantic era. Now, watching old television programs like THREE'S COMPANY, KNIGHT RIDER, or THE A-TEAM reminds you of how far we have come. Right now, television has never been better.

Not that any of you AMERICAN IDOL/DANCING WITH THE STARS crazies would know it(Those are two highest rated shows of 2007 in the U.S.).

Still, there is a big difference in the production value of television shows these days. Shows cost more, stars are coming to television instead of leaving for movies, and some of the best writers and directors are showing an interest in the small screen. And the beautiful part of television is the duration. A great movie can last 2 hours. A great television show can last 13 or 14 years!! I think the first show I truly got addicted to was The X-Files. The production value was so high that it was hard to turn around a lot of episodes in a year, but the quality of the show was beyond anything that I had ever watched.

Below is a list of my favorite shows on television right now. I will post my 2008 preview soon.


Battlestar Galactica

The Skinny: The last race of humans flees from a race of killer robots that they created.

The Review: This show gets high marks for acting, writing, and special effects. It has the whole package. Each episode feels like a one hour movie. If my SURVIVOR-loving wife (reality show, not the band) can sit down and watch a show with spaceships and killer robots, it's gotta be good!


The Skinny: Two brothers chase down demons and ghosts, while facing their own destiny with evil.

The Review: What started as a ghost and monster show for twenty-somethings on the WB has grown into the best horror drama on television. It is well-written, owns a mythology that keeps you coming back every week, and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester can play it cool and funny. He is one of the most entertaining actors on the tube these days.

Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia

The Skinny: A group of misfits own an Irish bar in Philadelphia and do bad things.

The Review: Hands down the funniest show on television. It is wrong, it is crude, and it is hilarious. The show titles say it all: "The Gang Gets Racist", "Dennis and Dee Go On Welfare", "Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's Ass". Inspired.


The Skinny: Two plastic surgeons deal with their vices and their dysfunctional family.

The Review: Never has watching television been more of a guilty pleasure. Nip/Tuck puts Dallas, Falcon's Crest, and Dynasty all to shame. This is a true primetime soap opera that is not afraid to go where television has no business going.


The Skinny: A young Clark Kent deals with everyday life in Smallville, while slowly realizing his destiny as the greatest super hero of all time.

The Review: I have no business watching this show. Its made for teenagers. Still, when the writers stick with scripts on Kal El's destiny and Clark's teenage angst, it is at its best - both moving and inspirational. And that is the ultimate tribute to Superman

The Office

The Skinny: Everyday life in an office in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The Review: This show gets funnier with each episode. Steve Carrell (Michael) and Rain Wilson (Dwight K. Schrute) make for the funniest duo on television. The show features a bizarre cast of characters that are unique and hilariously predictable in their behaviors, much like old classics like CHEERS, NIGHT COURT, NEWHART, and BARNEY MILLER.

Favorite New Show: Terminator: The Sarah Connors Chronicles
This show may pan out. It is building some interesting characters and staying faithful to the spirit of the original movies. The time travelling is getting awfully confusing, though. For its rookie season, I give it a big thumbs up. And anytime I can watch killer cyborgs on television, I'm happy.

Shows that I missed

Here is a list of shows that I missed, but I hear are really good. I will be looking to watch these on DVD:

My Name Is Earl

1 comment:

Jimmy said...

Interesting list Parker - I haven't watched any of your favourites list save for a handful of Nip/Tuck episodes and some of The Office. My failing being that I never seem to be in the house to keep track of the programmes. Wrong Place at the Right Time or is it the other way around?!

Sarah Connor has just landed here the other week on Virgin 1 - as is Blade The Series. I'm with you regarding Killer Cyborgs, evil things but you got to respect their trade right?

In your missed list - I have seen quite a few episodes of 'House' both here (Channels Five & Five US)and when I am in Mexico (entitled Dr House over there). It took some getting used to Hugh Laurie's accent but its throughly recommended - the series that is not Laurie's fake Stateside tones.

I like the humour of My Name Is Earl, it is one of the best comedy series to come out of the US in ages. That's just my opinion mind you.

I just started watching Dexter on ITV last week, wouldn't have bothered really but was at a lose end at hospital the night before my latest cosmetic surgery (I jest, about the cosmetic part - nothing botox about me) and it looks promising.