I thought it would be interesting, along the lines of the top five film suggestions, to inspire more television-oriented discussion, and what better way to do so then by talking about what we’re currently watching! During the semester, I don’t have regular access to a television, but luckily most shows are available online within a week (we’ll get to Fox later), leaving only the cable networks to have to find…other ways, but that’s besides the point.
I try to be pretty restrictive with how many shows I watch in total, cutting a few each year as new ones are added. Admittedly, it seems like the networks had a very successful 2011/12 lineup with almost every new show I tried hooking me (some more so than others). Many of these I had to Wikipedia to find out when they air, as I tend to watch them in bulk streaming at certain points in the week. Anyways, without further ado, here is a sampling of some of my favorite shows that I keep bookmarked throughout the year. Upon calculation, I keep up with around twenty shows (!) currently airing. For the purposes of this article, I cut it down to my favorites or those currently airing.
- Eureka/Warehouse 13/Alphas (SyFy) – SyFy, I think, does an excellent job with original programming. Eureka is soon to enter its final season, which is disappointing but accepting. Luckily, Warehouse and Alphas are going strong as ever and won’t be ending anytime soon. All of them are great. I think what SyFy does best is in casting. The special effects aren’t amazing and the stories are predictable, but the dynamics between their ensembles bring me back every week. SyFy also has fun with Christmas specials, including what looks to be some pretty awesome plans this December.
- The Closer (TNT) – This show is just excellent. The best word I can think of is “solid.” Another fantastic ensemble, but what brings this show to fruition is how real and gritty it is. It’s also entering its final season and things look to end with a bang. Very excited.
- Bored to Death (HBO) – This show doesn’t pull the best ratings, though it’s in its third season. I’m skeptical about its renewal but hope it is because I really, really enjoy it. It’s just funny. Quick, light episodes that are just fun to watch. It’s also a show that does a fantastic job of making the supporting characters bring more weight than the protagonist does. I became a fan of Zach Galifinakis because of this show, not The Hangover, and Ted Danson is…well…he’s Ted Danson, so awesome. If you have HBO GO, check out an episode. They’re short and simple but infinitely enjoyable. It’s really nice to watch a show based around a group of friends so close and fun.
- Modern Family (ABC) – I didn’t start watching this until this past summer, so I had to catch up on the first two seasons. It’s hilarious, simple as that. The writing is amazingly smart and witty and you get to love every peculiar trait about all of the characters. I don’t like when shows win Best Program Emmys multiple years in a row (Mad Men), but Modern Family certainly deserves its first two, by and large.
- Person of Interest (CBS) – This is a new CBS show that was good enough to bump CSI from its time slot of ten years, and I think it earns that respect. It’s just…solid, like The Closer. Great writing, acting, directing, and action. I actually didn’t really like the pilot episode, but once I was use to the character personalities I was really pulled into investing into the storyline, and now this is a show I actively look forward to each week. It’s great, and doing very well in the ratings so there will be plenty more to come!
- Archer (FX) – “Lana….Lana…LANAAAAA!!!!!!!” — “Danger Zooooone!!!”
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars (CN) – I’m a fan, get over it. Still, I dare anyone to watch an episode and not be blown away by the production value, especially in the current fourth season. Some of these episodes are just…beautiful to watch and listen to. A recent episode directed by Walter Murch was, as expected, an aural masterpiece. It’s just amazing what they accomplish within a 22-minute episode. For me, the Star Wars elements are cool, but I think the level of animation, action, and comedy could pull anyone into it. It comes on Cartoon Network, but I will argue to the end that this is not a children’s show.
- Family Guy (FOX) – I use to watch The Simpsons but now I’ve cut to just this one; it’s hit and miss, but everyone now and then you’ll find an episode that is just hilarious and it more then brings its worth. Stewie Goes for a Drive was a recent one of those, for me. Ryan Reynolds, haha!
- Dexter (SHO) – My favorite television show, and thanks to Showtime Anytime a show I can now watch legally. I’m not sure why I haven’t written more articles on Dexter; it’s something I think about a lot. I really can’t say much here because this article will grow too long, so I’ll just have to save it for later editorials. The current sixth season is top notch as always, though, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how they close up the season villain’s story arc. While it saddens me, I somewhat hope the seventh season will be the last. I’d rather it end valiantly then keep going until it dies horribly.
- Game of Thrones (HBO) – It seems like most everyone is watching this show, so I probably don’t have to justify it all that much. It’s…really awesome. I haven’t read the novels, so I have no idea what is going to happen. If you haven’t seen it, try to watch it before the second season starts up in the spring. It’s available on HBO GO in full.
This list represents 60% of the shows I watch throughout the year. Luckily, things tend to divide up nicely when it comes to airing, otherwise this list would be impossible. Several of these will be ending within a year or so, but then several more are new and very much alive. How about everyone else? You don’t have to list a schedule, but what are your favorite shows each week? Per network? Let us know! My goal is to start writing a series of articles going more in depth into some of these shows, what I love most about them, and so on. It’s time to help bring recognition to the reality that television programming is just as strong, if not better, than film turnout of recent years.