Recently, I started a sort of confessional, telling all who care to read it the long list of television shows that I watch with any regularity.
Right now Sundays are the hardest to piece together. The pileup of must-see shows on Sunday seems to have hit a breaking point this spring, with the return of “Mad Men,” the return of “Game of Thrones” to HBO, and the start of “Girls” and “Veep.” On the same evening, there are the new dramas “GCB” on ABC and “The Client List” on Lifetime, among others.
“That whirring sound you’re hearing in the background is your DVR crashing,” the media trade magazine Adweek declared in a recent article on the long list of quality Sunday shows.
But what about Mondays?
Again, I’m not going to be listing the reruns that I watch daily, just the prime time shows that air on Mondays.
How I Met Your Mother: I didn’t start watching HIMYM until the end of the first season. I don’t quite remember what it was that prompted me to start watching, but I instantly became attached to it. While the idea of having Bob Saget voice Ted as an “adult” when Ted as played by Josh Radnor is already an adult is a bit odd, this show has had a plethora of good ideas. The show is creative in its use of time – flash forwards, flash backs, concurrent story lines. And the characters grow. Especially the programs most showy character, Barney played by Neil Patrick Harris. He might still be the same Barney who would come up with the “Ode of the Sexless Innkeeper”,
but of late he’s clearly stopped his one-night stands and become devoted to one woman. It’s not clear if that one woman is really Quinn, or Robin.
Speaking of Robin, you cannot applaud HIMYM without a little Robin Sparkles…
I do realize that I haven’t mentioned the search for the mother. For me, that’s just been a side venture. Sure I want to know who she is, but it really is all about the journey.
Bones: This is the sort of program that I forget is on, then I watch it and remember that I enjoy its mild form of entertainment. And then I forget about it again. Not that Emily Deschanel (Zooey’s older sister) and David Boreanaz aren’t a lot of fun, and the rest of the cast aren’t all highly enjoyable, but the show isn’t a must-see for me. I might leave an episode on the DVR for a couple of weeks before watching a whole bunch in a row. The deaths are gruesome enough to keep me watching, but the episodes mostly blend together. Perhaps it was the Gormogon storyline, that preposterous plot that was hurried to its demise by the writers’ strike, that soured me slightly on the show. But only slightly. This season seems to be handling the Booth+Bones+baby relationship well, so I suppose kudos on that.
House: House is now winding down to its series finale, a finale that probably should have come a few seasons ago. I adore Hugh Laurie. I loved him on Black Adder, I loved him as Bertie Wooster, and I definitely enjoy him as the modern day medical Sherlock Holmes. But the program and its plotlines have definitely run their course. When the show ended last season by having House drive his car into his ex-girlfriend’s house, it became pretty clear that the end was near. Each episode has the EXACT SAME STRUCTURE. At one point House will announce it’s not lupus and then five minutes before the end of the hour, House will have a conversation with someone, most likely his bff and long suffering companion Wilson, that will shed light on the case at hand, and voila! Diagnosis solved. It’s to Hugh Laurie’s credit that he’s kept the character of House as engaging as always, even with the ups and downs of vicodin addiction. It’s no longer surprising, but Laurie keeps it entertaining.
Castle: I loved Firefly, and not only because of Nathan Fillion’s Mal Reynolds. But, let’s be honest, Mal was a damned fine reason to watch the show. Even though I’m not crazy about police procedurals, I started watching Castle because of Fillion. And I’m glad to I did. It’s not the most surprising show, the mysteries aren’t all that deep for most of the episodes, but the show is a lot of fun. Fillion’s Castle is a giant kid who happens to write NY Times best-selling mystery novels and has a relationship with the Mayor that gets him in good with the NYPD. His glee at being a part of the team is palpable and no one does hang dog like Fillion. I do want to know where his relationship with Stana Katick’s Beckett, but as long as they get together at some point, I’m ok with things as is for the time being. Of course the show does seem to be pushing them towards some sort of resolution, even if it’s a temporary one, by the end of this season. Only time will tell.
Smash: In its freshman season, Smash is still trying to find itself. I don’t think the show really knows what it wants to be yet. A TV show about the trials and tribulations of creating a musical about Marilyn Monroe or an ongoing soap opera full of dramatic cliches or a slapstick comedy where Uma Thurman is a viable option to play Marilyn. It might be all of the above, none of it, or an odd mixture. But as we head closer to the season finale, they’d better get their act together. It helps that the cast is a lot of fun – Angelica Huston, my beloved Jack Davenport (Steve from the UK version of Coupling), Debra Messing in a bewildering array of scarves and chunky jewelry. I don’t mind Katherine McPhee and even though I’m getting tired of her “evil bitch” routine, Megan Hilty’s Ivy is a good kind of trashy with a great voice. Listening to them can be a joy,
Or as with that abomination “Touch me”, it can be painful. Uma has been a fun addition, even if her singing sorta sucks.
The Daily Show: This is every weeknight, Monday-Thursday. Jon Stewart continues to serve up commentary on the hypocrisy in media and government, giving truth to TDS’s claim of being the “Best Fucking News Team.” I miss the days of Colbert and Carell, but John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Al Madrigal, and the rest do just fine. Just fine indeed. And in this election year, I’m damned grateful to have them.
So, that’s Monday. A bit of a shorter list than Sunday’s, and thank god because I can spend the whole week catching up on Sunday.
Next up…Tuesday – Glee, Cougar Town… Good stuff.