Quality TV – where are you?

What has happened? It seems that only a few short months ago I was luxuriating in TV shows that were defining a new style of television:

  • Life on Mars was the most inventive cop drama seen in years
  • Dirt may have left a bad taste in the mouth, but it was compelling
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was more of the same from Aaron Sorkin; but when the same is that good, why not have more?
  • Weeds was devilishly wicked; ripping the veneer of suburban America to expose a disenfranchised (and largely high) society
  • Californication was able to show that even someone who we should consider as unredeemable has a decent side
  • Heroes was a cool 21st Century take on superheroes and comic books
  • Even ‘What About Brian‘ was a nice little guilty trip (and ‘October Road‘ continued the same theme) both of which were probably made more interesting (for me at least) by the presence of some extremely easy-on-the-eye actresses (Sarah Lancaster, Tiffani Thiessen and a grown up Laura Prepon)

Each week I would get home from working away and was faced with a dilemma: Which of the quality TV shows on my PVR would I watch first?

And now…. I tried to get into the recent BBC period dramas (‘Lark Rise to Candleford’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility’) and they didn’t take. I am probably the wrong demographic for either of them, but you can’t blame the source material- after all I love the BBC version of ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

I am trying to stick with Damages (that one might last, but I am not convinced yet), Mistresses (which is IMHO a bit of a chick flick on TV- maybe I am trying to get in touch with my feminine side… Yeah right) but only Torchwood (think ‘Doctor Who’ for grown ups) is getting anywhere near the peaks of last year. And part of the appeal of Torchwood is the impending arrival of Martha Jones (played by the wonderful Freema Agyeman– is there a theme working its way through my viewing habits?)

At least I will soon be moving into my apartment in the Netherlands where there will be no TV signal; just a TV, a DVD player and a pile of DVD’s that I haven’t got around to watching- and the DVD’s are often of TV shows- just the good ones 🙂 .

I can’t wait.

Train Crash TV

I am still managing to stick to my New Year Resolution of only watching worthwhile TV. I fall off the bandwagon occasionally, but try to stick to the resolution, because I feel it is worth it. Anyway, the result of whatching these different TV shows, often back to back is that you see the differences between the watching experience:

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Is a glorious, life affirming experience that wants to make me a better, smarter person. And was the cause of the post I want to live in TV land
What About Brian
Reminds me of a shambles of a group of friends that I know called the Strollers
Is kind of cool and I can’t help but watch it even though it doesn’t give a warm buzz I keep watching it.
Is an apt name for the show. Courtney Cox is completely unlikeable as the lead actress (and she blew guest star Jennifer Aniston off the screen), the show is completely unsuitable to watch with your parents (or your kids) and it focuses almost entirely on the seamy underbelly of Hollwood.And yet I have been entirely unable to switch it off. Part of this is due to an outstanding performance from Ian Hart but beyond that I have no idea why I have been able to turn it off.

Which is the reason for the title. I have never witnessed a train crash, but apparently we can’t look away. Which is what I found with Dirt. I don’t really want to watch it, but I can’t not. At least the first season is done now and I can find something else to watch. Any suggestions? Anyone?

New Year Resolutions

Many people make New Year Resolutions: Give up smoking, Get Fit, Go on a diet. Most times these resolutions last for a few hours, days or sometimes even weeks. This year I made a resolution that I have pretty much been able to keep: Only watch worthwhile TV. To aid me in this endeavour I have a PVR (TiVO) that I program and then only watch the recorded TV. This saves time (skip the adverts) and means that I can compare some different, high (IMHO) quality shows. So the recorded shows include

  • Weeds
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
  • Heroes
  • Dirt
  • What About Brian
  • Life on Mars
  • Sensitive Skin

And you know what, it is working. Live is good. And if I don’t stick to it, I feel bad.