Movies and TV

Thank You, Television

Television set in an abandoned farm house, courtesy of Flickr

On this day devoted to family gatherings and giving thanks for the people we love, I also like to contemplate the simple pleasures that brighten my rainy hours yet tend to slip by my daily notice. Since I’ve been a bit down on television shows of late, I figured I’d take this opportunity to share some of the TV gems on the air currently that I’m actually grateful for. Sure, I’m thankful for fresh honeycomb, my snoring puppy, and friends and family, but I tell them every day (yes, I even verbalize this sentiment to honeycombs). Current TV shows, on the other hand, have been catching lots of flack in my daily conversations, so here’s my ode to the unsung heroes of the small-screen that sweeten my weeks. My favorite TV shows on the air right now are as follows…

  • “Fringe” (Fox) – This science-fiction drama was a little inconsistent its first two seasons on the air, but it has truly come into its own this year. It is akin to “The X-Files” with a dash of “CSI,” delivering a new criminal mystery each week along with a hearty dose of quirky character drama. The current serialized plot finds our heroine trapped in an alternate universe, giving each episode a great sense of urgency and making “Fringe” my top must-see show right now.
  • “Sons of Anarchy” (FX) – A handsome young man who wants out of his criminal life and a motorcycle gang that traffics guns, drugs and porn stars is what keeps viewers coming back for more of this edgy cable show. Katey Sagal gives stellar performances every episode and the motorcycle club gets into enough high-stakes trouble to satisfy both the drama nerds and action buffs among us.
  • “30 Rock” (NBC) – Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin are magically funny, and the cast of supporting actors inhabit some of the most memorable, hilarious characters I’ve seen in years. This comedy about the writers and stars of a live variety show in New York thrives on its characters’ eccentricities, making audiences laugh, cringe and care for a half hour each week. If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend checking it out on instant Netflix.
  • “Dexter” (Showtime) – This good-intentioned sociopath gets me every time. “Dexter” had a lot to live up to after its fourth season, which was one of the best seasons of TV ever, but the show found its rhythm halfway through this season. It remains a solid, suspenseful viewing experience, and I think this whole television series makes for a fabulous marathon.
  • “Modern Family” (ABC) – Vivid, flawed, eccentric, yet ultimately well-meaning characters populate this gem of a comedy. I could ramble on about the mocumentary confessional scenes and the blend of physical and verbal humor, but it really is the characters that make this show great. Watch it.

Psst: I found this photo on Flickr and I just adore the fact that “I love you” is scrawled on the wall behind the TV. Incidentally, if you are reading this I love you and would be delighted to hear from you…What do you think of the shows that made my Thanksgiving list? Are there any other shows currently on TV that continually make your week? Any other simple pleasures that you’re thankful for today?

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5 Comments

  • Reply Pat Oey December 1, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    I love you, too, and the shows I watch are because of your recommendation. Of course by the time I watch them they are on Instant Netflix, but they are still as riveting. We are all caught up in “Prison Break” now thanks to you. Who needs to work out when the adrenaline flows from watching this show?

  • Reply J. R. Coté December 2, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Ah, the adrenaline rushes of “Prison Break.” I wish I could watch the whole series again for the first time. I’ll try to think of a good replacement for all that excitement…Have you seen “Damages?” That might be a good new addiction, and the first two seasons are even available on instant Netflix.

  • Reply Tony December 3, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Check out The Walking Dead. Good, gory stuff. Fringe has gotten better, but it has also been moved to Friday nights, a skittish move by Fox signaling the series will be allowed to take a few last gasping breaths before being cancelled entirely.

    Dexter, on the other hand, has gotten better in regards to story, and just downright laughable in terms of dialogue/subtlety.

    Community is my favorite 1/2 hour right now, but Modern Family is a close second.

  • Reply J. R. Coté December 3, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Yeah, you can pretty much smell impeding cancellation while watching “Fringe,” and maybe that’s what’s made the show up its game. Who knows. I just hate how I always fall in love with TV shows right before they go off the air. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that more viewers discover the show and revive it.

    In any case, thanks so much for recommending “The Walking Dead.” I’ve heard a lot of good things but never believe them. I’ll believe you, though, and check it out.

  • Reply What to Watch | coté writes June 7, 2012 at 8:58 am

    […] up their episodes for times of dire need. These faves are: “Happy Endings,” “Modern Family,” and “2 Broke Girls.” The first ones are easier to get into because they […]

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