new and noteworthy tv: 11/27-12/3

Thanksgiving is done so now we’re full force into the holiday season. I’m still a little backed up on tv and while I was planning to do some catch up over the holiday, I got sucked in to a Terriers rewatch when I heard it was leaving Netflix at the end of the month, totally worth a rewatch.

  • CMA Country Christmas (ABC) Monday, 8pm – Reba McEntire hosts.
  • A Very Pentatonix Christmas Special (NBC) Monday, 10pm – I believe that’s a band.
  • Glitch (Net) Season Premiere, Tuesday – The return of the Australian series where seven people come back from the dead.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (CBS) Tuesday, 8pm – You know Dasher and Dancer…
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Am) Series Premiere, Wednesday – I caught the first of this ’50s housewife turned comic from Gilmore creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and it has potential though I didn’t love it off the bat, looking forward to seeing what follows.
  • Christmas in Rockefeller Center (NBC) Wednesday, 8pm – I think Pentatonix shows up here as well.
  • Bruno Mars (CBS) Wednesday, 10pm – Performs.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (ABC) Thursday, 8pm – For those who need a reminder of what a Charlie Brown Christmas tree is.
  • The Menendez Murders: Erik Tells All (A&E) Series Premiere, Thursday, 10pm – For those of you who are fresh off the dramatic retelling.
  • Dark (Net) Series Premiere, Friday – Two children disappear exposing a town’s secret and tying to the paranormal.
  • Easy (Net) Season Premiere, Friday – I didn’t love the first season of this anthology of of love, sex and whatnot.
  • Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (CW) Friday, 8pm – An offbeat Yule tune turned show.
  • The Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special (CBS) Sunday, 8pm – Celebrating the variety series.

The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation. Times noted are typically PST.

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binge season

the-wire

Summer used to be known as a time to get outside because there was nothing on tv (and you know because of the nice weather). But today ‘nothing on tv’ is a little less true and even if you can’t find any live tv what better time to do a little catching up on series you might have missed the first time.

Personally I like to balance my standard catch up and new summer shows with one new series I plan to glut on, and I prefer that new series to be one that has already completed. I also prefer series that are available via one of the mediums I already have access to (I’m not yet ready to pay for a new cable or streaming service unless I’ve exhausted all my other options).

Following are a few of the things I’m considering as well as a few shows I might recommend:

  • Absolutely Fabulous (BBC) – These ladies are so culturally ingrained but I’ve only seen them outside the actual show.
  • Big Love (HBO) – Are we intrigued by the polygamists?
  • Caprica (Syfy) – I wrapped BStarG not that long ago and was wondering if this was worth a follow up.
  • The Comeback (HBO) – This is an exception to the complete rule because I read that the cancelled show is in fact coming back, what better time to jump in to Lisa Kudrow’s character try to revive her career?
  • Deadwood (HBO) – Outlaw misfits in the gold rush, oh and Timothy Olyphant, need I say more?
  • Oz (HBO) – Prison drama, as I understand it a little more serious than current OITNB.
  • Prime Suspect (Netflix) – I recently started pulling up this one, lady detective not so revolutionary but reminds me a bit of The Closer in the getting to squad to accept her sort of thing, considering putting it back at the top of the queue.
  • Rescue Me (Fx) – Recently tuned in to Sirens which I enjoyed and was sort of described to me as a lighter version of this.
  • The Shield (Fx) – Corrupt police with Michael Chiklis might fill my recent gap in police dramas.
  • The Wire (HBO) – Everyone talks about this but it’s a lot of episodes and until recently hasn’t been available enough without Netflix dvds, but am I ready to finally commit?

And for some of the shows I might recommend if you’re looking for summertime fodder:

  • Buffy/Angel/Firefly/Dollhouse – No surprise here, last summer’s plan (or the summer before) was to rewatch the previously unavailable to me Joss Wedon series start to finish, totally worth it.
  • Battlestar Gallactica/Friday Night Lights – Two of my more recent binge shows, very different but both well worth a watch for the characters and drama of their own communities.
  • The X Files – I’m not sure I actually finished this series once we moved to other players but I’ve recently started to re-gander at this one.
  • Arrested Development – I redid this one before Netflix picked up the last season, and though the revisit season was worthwhile but of mixed success the original series sure holds up.
  • Freaks and Geeks/Undeclared – Want to get a taste for early Apatow humor, Freaks particularly worth a look for the great cast in early roles with some teen angst and whatnot.
  • Don’t Trust the B- in Apt 23 – Recently went back to catch this since I’m not sure they ever aired them all and quite amusing.
  • Terriers/Saving Grace/The Riches/Chuck – A few series I haven’t been back to but quite enjoyed the first time around.

Not currently as easily available but worth a watch: Beverly Hills 90210 (the original), Bunheads, Flight of the Concords, Gilmore Girls, Men of a Certain Age, The O.C., Pushing Daisies, Six Feet Under, Sopranos, Southland, and Veronica Mars.

Let me know in the comments what you think I should pick next, I think you can tell what I’m leaning toward.

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stream it…

fnl

Just in case someone you know recently received or signed up for Netflix streaming, the procrastinator thought it might be time to do a recommendation round up to help with your distractions. For latest movies and all series you still might need to go to the full dvd subscription but I find enough to keep my backlog filled during my regular series downtime. I definitely lean toward the television (at least until I get a couple more series under my belt) but there are a few new and old movie options that are worth a peek as well.

TELEVISION

  • House of Cards/Orange is the New Black/Arrested Development – Netflix original series might be what drove you to pull the trigger and they’re worth a watch (plus the backlog of earlier AD still hold up).
  • BuffyAngel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Sometimes I just like to revisit the Joss Whedon backlog.
  • Battlestar Galactica/Friday Night Lights/Chuck/Terriers/The Riches/Saving Grace/Freaks and Geeks – These more dramatic series, some cut far too short and some a little long, are good slightly irregular watching.
  • Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23/My Boys – Some comedic fare for just a little something quick.
  • Sherlock/Luther/Parenthood/Sons of Anarchy A mix of dramatic series that are still going and definitely worth a look if you have yet to get on board.
  • Louie/Wilfred/The League/It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia/Parks and Recreation – And a little comedy catch up for those also still running.

On my to do list: Mad Men, The Fall, Rescue Me, Top of the Lake

MOVIES

A peek at some more recent releases back into the classics:

  • The Hunger Games
  • Safety Not Guaranteed
  • Jeff Who Lives at Home
  • Hit & Run
  • Adventureland
  • Young Adult
  • Lars and the Real Girl
  • Bernie
  • The Kids are Alright
  • Zoolander
  • Being John Malkovich
  • House of Yes
  • Lost in Translation
  • Memento
  • The Breakfast Club/Ferris Bueller’s Day Off/Clueless/13 Going on 30/Heathers – Some classics never get old.
  • The Italian Job, Parker, Blitz, Safe – I’ve developed a Jason Statham video weakness.

On my to do list: The American, Being Elmo, Cinema Paradiso, End of Watch, Extract, Flight, Drug War, Hoop Dreams, Melancholia, The Messenger, Our Idiot Brother, The Road, Tiny Furniture

Of course you can check the new releases and recently added to keep up to date. What’s missing from the list?

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stream it…

Some time ago when the Netflix split of services and cost hike hit many made the decision to lose discs (better selection but they’re just collecting dust) or lose streaming (there isn’t anything really available)… I chose to hold on to the streaming. The thought was that eventually there would be a better selection, I could order stuff via Amazon on my TiVo if I really wanted something new, and I was watching a couple of tv series that were cheaper this way. It’s been a while now and although I do catch the occasional movie I’m mostly watching TV.

What’s worth a watch:

  • Firefly/Buffy/Angel – They’re cult loved genre shows, but loved for a reason, strong characters, quirky dialogue, and just plain good action, Firefly (the space cowboy show) is probably the best introduction because as sad as I was to see it only go a season, it’s maybe the least uneven because of it, though the seven seasons of Buffy (the Vampire Slayer) and five of the spinoff Angel (that really came into its own), are honestly some great television and I can tune into these at any time like a comfort food.
  • Battlestar Gallactica – I’m up to season four on this and although it’s maybe not as rock solid all the way through I’ve really enjoyed the political futuristic sci fi struggles of the beleaguered band of survivors, what do you do when you’re struggling for personal and species survival and what makes a person a person, you know with some space action.
  • Friday Night Lights – I didn’t catch this the first time around, mostly for doubting that I would be that into a football town show, but after season one I’m on board with the small town drama, the primary family and the extended football family center around, well, football but its quickly much more than that.
  • Luther/SherlockMy faves of the BBC showings so far, complex gentlemen solving crimes, totally different tones but with a complex leading character who sometimes does things that maybe aren’t always seeming like the right things to do.
  • Terriers – Critically acclaimed but ratings challenged the single season of this misfit duo doing the detective thing is another one of the shows that was canceled far before its time.
  • Arrested Development – This may be part of the new model for streaming, not only is this funny show available now, but exclusive episodes (yes, the stories are true, they’re creating new episodes) will be released on Netflix (can’t wait!), and now’s a great time to catch up or rewatch.

Next for me is either Mad Men or Downton Abbey. And a couple people have recently mentioned a couple of unsung shows from their queues Peep Show for awkward buddy comedy and My Girlfriend is a Gumiho a fantastical Korean romance. What’s in your queue?

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procrastinator picks – top tv of 2010

Well the critics have weighed in, and now it’s my turn. I should caveat that I don’t have ‘real’ cable, so although I am roughly up to date (at least on this season) of Dexter, this does skew my list away from Showtime and HBO series which I tend to catch on dvd. And as always a top ten list is a little subjective, different day I might have picked different shows, different order, but here goes…

  • Terriers (Fx) – It was good while it lasted, this show may have been handicapped by its obtuse title and marketing but the buddy PI show of two likable losers hit all the right notes as it balanced the episodic and ongoing plots with moments of hilarity and true character anguish.
  • Sons of Anarchy (Fx) – These guys are still a favorite as the motorcycle club and their families get into trouble after trouble trying to keep the small town a world of their own, the bad guys are bad but the good guys are badder.
  • Justified (Fx) – Oh Raylan… how do you describe the joy of a show about a questionably self defeatist trigger happy US Marshall in a small town with a surprising amount of crime.
  • The Good Wife (CBS) – What started as a silly premise has turned into a show with great layers where I actually care not just about the cases, but the relationships, the office politics, and the politics, with rich characters in every area.
  • Community (NBC) – Joel McHale has a great ability to come across as smarmy in a way that is still likable, and they’ve found a way to do that with each of these characters turning their best and worst characteristics into funny, while using popular culture to frame dialogue and episodes more successfully than I can recall anyone else doing.
  • Cougar Town (ABC) – Ok so maybe I find the drinking wine jokes funny, but this show which has evolved nicely from a show about older women dating younger dudes, to focusing on a group of friends (the cul-de-sac crew) and the dumb things they do that consistently make me laugh.
  • Bones (Fox) – So we all hate Hannah and every ploy they do to keep these two apart, but the moments between Bones and Booth whether amusing or touching is the best you’ll find in a weekly procedural, add fun supporting characters, situations, and science and you’ve got a good show.
  • Chuck (NBC) – I like this show more when they’re not focusing on Chuck’s parental conspiracies but still adore the interplay between the spies and the geeks.
  • Dexter (Show) – I don’t think I’ve ever worried about a criminal as much as I worry about Dexter, with his need to kill, the folks who suspect him, and of course his trying to work and have a family, I feel bad about complaining about my schedule.
  • Men of a Certain Age (TNT) – I missed the first season of this but catching up in reruns and watching the second, the men won me over with their regular middle aged lives, the late forties may not always be pretty, but apparently they can be entertaining.
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critic’s picks – top tv of 2010

Well it’s that time again, the time to reflect on the best of the year that’s passed. A tv season doesn’t quite follow the annual flow but I’ll go with it and note what critics are touting as the best of the year.

Abbreviations follow the alphabetical listing and links to posted lists are at the end.

Stay tuned to see what made my personal top ten list.

  • 30 Rock (NBC) – EN, AFI, TG, KT, GG, Sat
  • 30 for 30 (ESPN) – AS, DF
  • Archer (Fx) – TGBetter Off Ted (ABC) – MR
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) – E, GG
  • The Big C (Show) – AFI, GG, Sat
  • Boardwalk Empire (HBO) – SK, MR, EN, JP, AFI, JL, TG, AS, TVG, GG, Sat, DF
  • Breaking Bad (AMC) – SK, MR, JP, AFI, TG, AS, TVG, KT, Sat, DF
  • The Choir (BBCA) – TVG
  • Chuck (NBC) – E
  • Community (NBC) – EN, E, JL, AS, KT, DF
  • Cougar Town (ABC) – MR
  • Damages (Fx) – SK
  • Dexter (Show) – SK, E, GG, Sat
  • The Event (NBC) – SK
  • Friday Night Lights (DirTV) – SK, E, JL, KT, Sat, DF
  • Fringe (Fox) – MR, E, JL, KT
  • Glee (Fox) – E, AFI, TVG, GG, Sat
  • The Good Wife (CBS) – MR, EN, JP, JL, TVG, KT, GG, Sat
  • Great Migrations (NatGeo) – TG
  • Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – E
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) – E
  • The InBetweeners (BBCA) – TG
  • In Treatment (HBO) – EN
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Fx) – TG
  • Justified (Fx) – JL, TVG, KT
  • Life (Disc) – TG
  • The Life and Times of Tim (HBO) – TG
  • Lost (ABC) – MR, E, TG, TVG
  • Louie (Fx) – EN, JP, E, TG, AS
  • Mad Men (AMC) – MR, EN, JP, E, AFI, JL, TG, AS, TVG, KT, GG, Sat, DF
  • Men of a Certain Age (TNT) – TG, KT
  • Modern Family (ABC) – MR, E, AFI, JL, TG, TVG, KT, GG, Sat
  • Morning Joe (MSNBC) – SK
  • Nurse Jackie (Show) – GG, Sat
  • The Pacific (HBO) – JP, AFI, TG , AS, TVG, DF
  • Parks & Recreation (NBC) – MR, JP, E, JL, TG, AS, KT, DF
  • Party Down (Starz) – MR, JP, E
  • Raising Hope (Fox) – E, Sat
  • Rubicon (AMC) – MR, JP
  • Sherlock (PBS) – TVG
  • Sons of Anarchy (Fx) – SK, E, TG
  • Spartacus (Starz) – MR
  • SpongeBob SquarePants (Nick) – SK
  • Terriers (Fx) – MR, EN, JP, JL, TG, AS, TVG, DF
  • Treme (HBO) – EN, TG, AS
  • True Blood (HBO) – E
  • The Tudors (Show) – Sat
  • United States of Tara (Show) – EN, Sat
  • Vampire Diaries (CW) – E, DF
  • The Walking Dead (AMC) – SK, E, AFI, TG, TVG, GG
  • Work of Art: The Next Great Artist (Brav) – KT

AFI – American Film Institute, DF – Daniel Feinberg for Hitfix,  SK – Entertainment Weekly, MR – Maureen Ryan for TV Squad, EN – Emily Nussbaum for NYMag, JP – James Poniewozik for Time, E – Dramas and Comedies, GG – Golden Globe Nominations, JL – Jace Lacob for the Daily Beast, KT – Ken Tucker for EW, TG – Tim Goodman for Hollywood Reporter, Sat – Satellite Awards, AS – Alan Sepinwall for Hitfix, TVG – Matt Roush for TVGuide

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my schedule

Until mid-season or the schedules shake up again I’ve mostly settled in to a lineup. So far here’s how things shake out. Though there aren’t any new breakout hits for me I have added a couple new picks.

Monday

  • 8pm – Chuck (NBC)/How I Met Your Mother (CBS) [House (Fox)]
  • 10pm – Castle (ABC)/Hawaii Five-O (CBS)

I’m still tempted to drop House but I get into this mental state where I feel like I’ve invested so many seasons into it so I kind of want to see how things play out. Other than that old favorites Chuck, HIMYM, and Castle are joined by fluffy fun enough so far 5-0.

Tuesday

  • 8pm – No Ordinary Family (ABC)/Glee (Fox)
  • 9pm – Raising Hope/Running Wilde (Fox)
  • 10pm – The Good Wife (CBS)/Parenthood (NBC) [Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC)/Sons of Anarchy (Fx)]

So far NOFamily is a nice mix of family drama and super skills [though this isn’t a bad show I found I wasn’t engaged enough to keep it on the listings] while the uneven Glee still keeps me coming back. Keeping SofA on the schedule is not a problem since FX replays stuff repeatedly, but debating on what to do about wanting to add 1-8-7 to my already booked hour. Since both Hope and Wilde are on my chopping block I wish I could move one of these up an hour.

Wednesday

  • 8pm – The Middle/Better With You (ABC)/America’s Next Top Model (CW)
  • 9pm – Modern Family/Cougar Town (ABC)/Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
  • 10pm – The Defenders (CBS)/Law & Order: Los Angeles (NBC) [Terriers (Fx)]

Am losing interest in ANTM and the Law & Orders but keeping them in the running with the comedies. Better w/You isn’t quite funny but the episode about living in a fire house kept me interested just because I’ve always wanted to live in a fire house (or light house) but it may go soon. Terriers is probably my favorite new show so keeping that on the agenda isn’t a problem while Defenders is so far sort of charming enough to keep me tuned in.

Thursday

  • 8pm – The Big Bang Theory (CBS)/Bones (Fox)/Community/30 Rock (NBC)
  • 9pm – Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)/The Office (NBC) [Project Runway (Life)]
  • 10pm – The Mentalist (CBS)/It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Fx)

Another tough first hour as I’m not willing to give up Bones, Big Bang or Community though the rest of the night seems to fit in fine. Holding out to see if Office picks up or drops off, especially with Michael’s scheduled departure.

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