Saturday, June 11, 2011

30 Days, 30 TV Shows

I've beat Facebook to it and come up with my own 30 Days challenge... which I am completely ruining by doing all at once. Oh, well.

I've learned two things about myself while doing this list.
1) I watch a lot of British TV.
2) I am so not cool.

1. Your Favorite TV Show
Life on Mars. I cannot sing this show’s praises enough; however, its hard to do so without going into massive spoilers, and believe me, this is one show you do not want to be spoilered on. It’s got the 70s, cop shows, and a little sci-fi. I love that they were able to keep you unsure about what was really going on until the very end, and that things wrapped up neatly, but they still gave you a little bit to keep you wondering.

2. Your Least Favorite TV Show
Law and Order. Ripping off stories from the headlines and giving them a conservative slant got old very quickly. And then it kept going and going….

3. Your Favorite Classic TV Show
The Dick Van Dyke Show. They took the classic family format, added in the workplace, and then addressed issues relevant to contemporary life—like Civil Rights or baldness—in a way that was truly funny.

4. Your Favorite Cable TV Show
Behind the Music. The old version of the show, at least. I think I’ve seen every episode.

5. Your Favorite Network TV Show
NCIS. At first, you just sort-of watch it because, hey, it’s another cop show and there’s nothing else on. But then you start to think to yourself that it might just be the best drama series any of the five major networks have got going right now….

6. Your Favorite Comedy
Spaced. It breaks all the rules of TV storytelling, and is hilarious while doing so. Love all the film and other references.

7. Your Favorite Sitcom
Coupling. It’s a kind-of-but-not rip-off of Friends, but Steven Moffat wrote it so it’s way, way better.

8. Your Favorite Drama
Upstairs, Downstairs. You want to know why most Americans think British TV drama is the best in the world? It’s because this show was one of the first of their series shown over here. Try living up to that standard.

9. Your Favorite Cop/Detective Show
Numb3rs. Using math to solve crime. How geeky is that!

10. Your Favorite Medical Drama
House. The last few seasons have been, well, crap really, but when it was good, it was very good. And kinda gross. I’ve gotten more nightmares from House than I have from Ghost Hunters.

11. Your Favorite Soap
I don’t watch soap operas. But if I did, I would watch Dark Shadows because it is about vampires. And it’s from the 70s, so they’re not a bunch of whiny emo kids, either.

12. Your Favorite News Program
The Daily Show. Yeah, that’s right. I get my news from the fake news. There’s more truth in satire anyway.

13. Your Favorite Sports Program
The Winter Olympics. Other than Iowa football, I’m not that into sports. But, every four years, I become a Winter Olympics nut, and won’t miss a single luge, slalom, or triple axle if I can help it.

14. Your Favorite Children’s Program
Muppet Babies. Sure, Sesame Street might have taught me to count to nine in Spanish, but Muppet Babies taught me that if I use my imagination, anything is possible.

15. Your Favorite Sci-Fi Series
The X-Files. We need more television shows that teach us not to trust the government, especially these days. Though, to be honest, I always preferred the Monster of the Week episodes.

16. Your Favorite Reality Show
Ghost Hunters. I’ve written about paranormal reality shows before (use the tags, I'm too lazy to link), and this is my favorite. I like how it’s as much about education as it is about trying to be scary.

17. Your Favorite Game Show
What is Jeopardy!? I’ll take “S” words for 600, Alex.

18. Your Favorite Educational Program
MythBusters. If this show had been on when I was in high school, there’s no way I would have failed the A.P. Physics test.

19. Your Favorite Mini-series/Made for TV Movie
Pride and Prejudice. And not because of Colin Firth’s wet 19th Century t-shirt scene. Well, not just because of it….

20. Your Favorite Movie Spin-Off or Adaptation
Star Trek (2009). I thought it did a really good job of appeasing the long-term fans while at the same time being totally not dorky and thereby luring new ones in.

21. Your Favorite Cult Show
Doctor Who. It’s sci-fi, British, cheaply made, and, in the US, anyway, has a very small but loyal fan base. Really, it’s the ultimate cult show.

22. Your Guilty Pleasure Show
The Fashion Show. I tuned in to the first episode just because Iman was on it, but quickly got hooked. It wasn’t quite as back-stabby as you’d expect from something that’s essentially Project Runway meets Survivor.

23. Show With Your Favorite TV Actor/Male Personality
Conan. Although I kinda liked him on Late Night a little bit better, basic cable has given Conan O’Brien a kind of ghettoness he can really work well with. Plus... giant inflatable chicken sandwich.

24. Show With Your Favorite TV Actress/Female Personality
30 Rock. I want to be Tina Fey when I grow up.

25. Your Favorite Animated Show
The Venture Brothers. Started with a kind-of “What if Johnny Quest grew up and became a total jerk?” premiss, but has become so much more than that. It is the best show on Adult Swim, quite possibly the funniest show on right now, and some of the best TV writing I’ve seen in a long time.

26. Your Favorite Cooking/DIY Show
Paula’s Home Cooking. I’ve had better luck with Giada recipes, actually, but Paula Deen is much more fun to watch. I love her blatant disregard for things like cholesterol and blood sugar.

27. Favorite TV Theme Song
Mission: Impossible. Just listen.

28. Favorite Spin-Off Series
Ironically, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. I know, I know. Everything wrong with the original is wrong with this one, too, but it’s just so smarmy you gotta love it. And since Munch is on it, doesn’t it count as a double spin-off show?

29. Favorite Series Finale
Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I laughed, I cried, I pumped my fist in the air and would’ve shouted “You go girl!” if that didn’t sound totally lame coming from a white woman. Perfect way to end the show.

30. Favorite New Show from This/Last Season
Outsourced. At first I was skeptical, because it seemed that it could very easily become culturally insensitive and that the premise would wear thin quickly. But the characters really grow on you.

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