Posts Tagged ‘Television Shows 2016
[Click above to embiggen: Cindy, the tee-eve’s leaking again!]
It’s fall (duh) and this is the time of year that decades ago a younger version of me would have been ecstatic about, with not only Halloween fast approaching but all the cool new shows airing fresh on the tee-vee. These days, I struggle to find much to watch that I actually enjoy (and it’s been years since I’ve even owned a tee-vee).
There are some high-quality dramas that the networks are putting out, but I really seem to prefer them when the season is over and I can watch all the episodes back-to-back, Netflix-style. It’s hard for me to follow complicated, twisting plots if the flow of a show is interrupted by commercials (or long hiatuses where the networks take the show off the air for months at a time).
I still like watching comedies week-to-week though. Their half-hour format and nonlinear, self-contained 30-minute storylines lend themselves to popping up on my screen once a week. I laugh and laugh. It’s like having lunch with good friends once a week and catching up on everyone’s hijinks.
I still call all of this that I am talking about “the tee-vee” even though I watch all my shows on the computer, through the networks’ websites now that Hulu has switched over to a pay service. I am what I affectionately refer to as “Cleveland cheap” (where I refuse to spend anything on myself that I don’t think is absolutely essential, but would never skimp on anything fun if other people were involved). Why would I shell out $6.00/month to Hulu when I can just go to NBC.com, ABC.com, CBS.com and Etc.com via my computer and the Googles and Internets? That’s not how we were taught to roll in Cuyahoga County.
But, with so many things on so many websites (instead of one convenient place like Hulu), I have to keep a little cheat sheet next to my computer (written, of course, in purple ink in my elegant cursive handwriting…hat-tip to you, Sister Francis Borgia of the Immaculate Conception school and all those delightful penmanship worksheets) reminding me what shows are on what networks on what days, since I don’t have a DVR or TIVO or anything to do that for me.
So, whenever something airs on a Monday for everyone else, that means I can watch it starting around 4amCT on Tuesday morning…since all the networks get their shows up on their websites around 4amCT the day after they aired in prime time. CBS is the only one that’s different because their content pops up on their website at around 1245amCT or so the day after it aired in prime time. I work most nights teaching English to people in Asia over Skype and that is why I am awake at 4amCT, since it is Some Other Later Time in the Future in Asia then.
Because we are friends like this, here’s a run-through of what I have playing in the background while I am working on my second book or writing up columns on this site or I’m supposed to be helping Korean business executives improve their conversational English:
* Timeless (NBC) = I really like this show. So much so that I’m writing recaps of the episodes. You can read them, and also incorporate them into puppet shows. Timeless features characters such as Captain Handsome, Lady Professor, and Angry Black…three people who use a Time Tickler vehicle to travel back to our past and screw around, messing things up, while trying to stop the Bad Guys from messing it up worse. Captain Handsome is super handsome and always gets wet, is shot, catches on fire, or something and has to take off his shirt in every episode. And every time it happens, I know it’s a shout-out to me.
* Conviction (ABC) = This is also a new show this year. The main character is supposed to be Chelsea Clinton if she was combined with John Kennedy Jr. (John-John) and Caroline Kennedy and at least one of the Bush Twins with a dash of Amy Carter. She’s a former First Daughter whose mother is running for the Senate, so she’s Chelsea in 2006 in that way. Her dad was president many years ago and her mother is now the political focus of the family. She’s a lawyer but she liked to party a lot (The Bush Twins) and the tabloids followed how much trouble she had in law school (John-John, who was handsome but as dumb as rocks, apparently). She is aimless in life and so her parents try to find her work (Amy Carter). She’s assigned to lead the Conviction Integrity Unit (which I guess is a thing) and try to find cases where the government wrongly prosecuted people (which for sure happens all the time, since we basically live in the Soviet Union now and our government is incompetent whenever it’s not actively being corrpt). One of the super cute Ashmore twins is on this show too, but I don’t know if it’s the one who played Ice-Man in the X-Men movies or if it’s the one who was on Warehouse 13 or that weird show that Kevin Bacon did about serial killers. They are identical twins who are identically cute, so I guess it doesn’t matter which one it is. The Angry Black on this show is a woman instead of a man like on Timeless, played by Merrin Dungey, who used to be on Alias. I’ve always liked this actress, but it’s hard not to note that her sister, Channing Dungey, is the president of ABC…which is the same network on which this show airs. I just note the nepotism in that, though it’s not the biggest deal in the world. But her Angry Black character sticks out and doesn’t really fit with the rest of the cast. It’s almost like she just wanted to really play an Angry Black, called her sister up, and Channing found Merrin a show to be shoehorned into at the last minute that didn’t already have (or need) an Angry Black. Just saying.
* Gotham (FOX) = Is this show good? I compare it to going to the Lucky Horseshoe male strip club in Boystown. Will you have a good time there? It depends. I guess. Maybe. It’s memorable and lively and there are all sorts of oddballs. What you will see can never be un-seen. But is it a good time? The world may never know. I watch Gotham because I have a crush on Ben MacKenzie, who plays Jim Gordon. He’s about as talented of an actor as a high-quality mannequin from the Men’s Department of Marshall Fields, but he sure is handsome. I do enjoy seeing the antics of The Penguin and The Riddler and everyone, but I wish they would get to the point where they start wearing all their crazy costumes and being more fabulous. I think the very best incarnation of Batman there ever was happened in the 1960s with the old tee-vee show. I never liked Adam West’s take on Batman himself, but I loved those campy villains. (My favorites were King Tut and whoever the hell Tallulah Bankhead was supposed to be when she was just camping around the set being Tallulah Bankhead for a two-part episode.) I keep hoping at some point that Gotham will wake up and start casting celebrities of today in one-shot cameos as interesting villains on Gotham. Katy Perry. P!nk. Zach Ephron. Meg Ryan. Kevin Hart. Find someone either really popular now or who used to be popular and is no longer busy and create a Batman villain character for each of them. There’s so much they could do with this show, just as the 1960s version in retrospect was a pop culture time capsule from those years. (Just check out the Who’s Who list of guest stars.) I will continue to watch this show for Ben MacKenzie’s handsomeness but when Gotham is on I just wish it could be more.
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