The TV meme returns, rearing its necromanced zombie head!

Day 08 – A show everyone should watch

Didn’t we do this already? While I appreciate the semantic difference between “more people” and “everyone,” I’m not sure what it means in the context of this survey. Is “a show everyone should watch” a show I feel has broad, nigh-universal appeal, and “a show more people should watch” a great show with more niche appeal in danger of cancellation due to low numbers?

Meh, I’m just going to say Leverage.

It’s smart, and it’s ridiculous amounts of fun, plus explosions. While it’s been known to toss merry bricks into my suspension of disbelief, and the product placement is hilariously obvious (the brilliant hacker uses Windows 7? BAHAHAHAHA.), it’s so delightful that I’m happy to go along with it. Hardison and Parker are two of my favourite characters on TV at present. ilu Parker. Crazy, crazy Parker.

Day 06 – Favorite episode of your favorite TV show:

As we established on Day 4, my favourite TV show is Firefly, though I can never decide between “Out of Gas” and “Objects in Space.”

I seem to like “Objects in Space” a lot more than my friends, and I wonder what’s wrong with them. You’ve got your existentialist-philosophizing bounty hunter, River’s craziness being a force for AWESOME, and Simon being snarky and shirtless. Plus some really amazing facial expressions from Nathan Fillion. What more could you want?

I have a great fondness for characters who are a little whimsical in the brainpan–Dru in Buffy, Auri in The Name of the Wind, Delirium in Sandman, and above all, River. The insight into the way she sees the world was just neat. It was fascinating to see her take center stage, then to see her acceptance of sorts by the rest of the crew.

“Out of Gas” is simply a revelation. It juggles three separate timelines–one present, one recent past, and one more distant past–with grace and wit. We’re given a hefty dose of backstory for a number of characters, but at no point does it feel gimmicky. It changes the way we see the crew, and it makes us love them even more. And Alan Tudyk’s story about stealing the shuttle recall button and giving it to Joss has been known to make me sniffle.

TV Meme, Day 05 – A show you hate
The dregs of Reality TV.

Not all of reality TV, mind you. I give a pass to shows like Project Runway and So You Think You Can Dance that are about identifying, honing, and rewarding real talent. Self/home-improvement shows like What Not To Wear and whatnot that help folks take pride in themselves and their surroundings also are undeserving of my ire. But shows that bring out the worst in humanity and give national soapboxes to vapid attention whores of society strike me as wastes of time and money. And when quality scripted television gets shunted aside to make room for more of it, I lose patience. I can hear the national IQ dropping.

TV Meme, Day 04 – Your favorite show ever

Forgive me, guys, but I’m going to have to be lame and predictable here. Firefly. But just because something is lame and predictable doesn’t mean it isn’t valid.

A few weeks ago, my friend Kait had a Fangirl Tea Party at her house, in which we giggled merrily about fannish things, ate a lot of baked goods, and watched a lot of random TV episodes. One of these episodes was “Safe,” which I consider lower on the spectrum as far as Firefly episodes go. It’s not “Objects in Space” or “Out of Gas” or “Our Mrs. Reynolds,” after all. But I hadn’t watched any Firefly in about two years, and I’d forgotten how good it was. I was dumbstruck. How could I have forgotten how much I love this freaking show?

I discovered Firefly in that awkward, torrent-tastic time between cancelation and the release of the DVDs. I watched the episodes in the order in which they finished downloading, “Serenity” being among the last and “Ariel” being among the first, putting me only slightly higher on the confusion scale as those who watched it on Fox. But confused or not, I still recognized greatness when I saw it.

This show has everything: action, romance, witty banter, plastic dinosaur fights, psychology, innovative cursing, gratuitous shirtlessness, chosen family, mystery, a deliciously genre-bending aesthetic, brilliant low-budget special effects that put higher budget productions to shame, folk songs about men with girls’ names, and the prettiest cast you’ve ever seen, including my BFF Nathan. And it did it all in 14 episodes and a movie.

Damn you, Fox.

Day 03 – Your favorite new show (aired this TV season)

What a perfect day to talk about how much I love White Collar! For those who don’t follow my Twitter, I visited the set of White Collar today (filming on my walk route to the F train) to try to nab new participants for Project Teddybear. Willie Garson (Mozzie) was the only big name on set at the time, but as I belatedly realized I only had one signature tag in my camera bag, this way I didn’t have to embarrass myself. :D I’m so grateful to the crew for allowing me to wait around, then facilitating our brief meeting. The photo turned out ridiculously cute!

So yes. Good grief on a stick, I adore White Collar. Everyone on the show is awesome, and above all, competent. This isn’t one of those shows where you have some characters carrying the Idiot Ball to make another character look cleverer–everyone is pulling their intellectual weight. There are so many characters who could easily have been played for laughs or as goofy caricatures–Peter and June particularly–but the show refuses to walk that road. Competence! We likes it.

And THANK THE GODS, it has a strong, functional marriage! And strong women! Elizabeth is brilliant, funny, has a life beyond keeping her husband’s dinner warm, and has a trusting relationship with her husband. She’ll get upset with him when it’s warranted, but she’s more likely to laugh at him than argue. And the OT3 writes itself. I considered using strikethrough for comedic emphasis there, but no, I am not ashamed. It’s true. I see you googling for fic.

Another awesome point, which I technically made earlier in this post: It’s filmed in New York. It’s not like Castle, which is supposed to take place in New York, only to make me fall over laughing when they try to depict any major landmark. Oh, honey, that’s not what Grand Central Station looks like. *pets* But New York is all New York on White Collar! I get a little thrill of delight when I recognize some building in the background. And when I get a fan favourite actor to participate in a breast cancer fundraiser… well, that’s just gravy. :D

In conclusion, Matt Bomer needs to play Thomas Raith in The Dresden Files: The Movie. And Natalie Morales I adored from The Middleman, so it’s always good to see her on my TV. I feel no shame in referring to White Collar as “The Thomas Raith and Wendy Watson Show.” Except how Natalie’s character was woefully underused to the point that she was eventually completely phased out, though I’m glad to see the return of the aide from the pilot episode, as TV needs more awesome lesbians. And as “The Thomas Raith Show” is kind of unfair to all the other fabulous characters on the show, I may have to retire the nickname.

But yes. White Collar. It’s good, fun TV, and my favourite new show this season. Can I have season 2 yet?

TV Meme, Day 02 – A show that you wish more people were watching

This is the first season in a while that I haven’t had a proper bubble show in my viewing list. I’ve almost always had a “MORE PEOPLE NEED TO WATCH THIS SHOW OR ELSE IT WILL DIE” show in my lineup, be it Veronica Mars, Pushing Daisies, Middleman, or any of the other shows I sent packs of M&Ms or Mars Bars or NYC postcards or whatever to.

Castle seemed to be on precarious footing after season 1, but for now, it’s safely renewed for a third, thanks to solid ratings and an ABC exec’s wife’s crush on Nathan Fillion. And Dollhouse was pretty bubbly, but Joss seemed to do his best work when he was operating under the belief he would be canceled, so I wasn’t too broken up to see it axed. Except for how I wouldn’t get to see Dichen Lachman and Enver Gjokaj on my teevee every week anymore, and that’s tragic.

(I am so gay for Dichen Lachman. Maybe because she needs to play Kitai. The number of photos I took of her versus Joss, Eliza, and Fran at the SDCC Dollhouse panel last year verges on creepsterdom.)

Anyway, to answer the question, I’m going to surprise myself and say I wish more people were watching Community. It no bubble show; it doesn’t need higher ratings to stay afloat. It was just renewed, in fact. But as Jane Espenson raves, “it’s a master class on new and fresh ways to tell jokes. And on how to actually be about something at the same time.” (How much do I love that Jane is blogging again? A lot, I can tell you.)

It’s consistently hilarious, and it’s a love letter to film and television culture. Also, Abed is a god. It’s very episodic, so you don’t need to watch every episode to understand or fully appreciate it. Just tune in and be entertained!

Katness is doing a 30-day TV meme! Because nothing short of an Act of God gets me to blog nowadays, I shall ape her.

Day 01 – A show that should never have been canceled
Kat said Middleman, which would’ve been my answer, too. It’s gleefully absurd, stuffed to the gills with geektastic sci-fi references, and infused with genuine heart. Plus, it soars triumphantly over the Bechdel Test, whooping and hollering with awesome lady character joy. Natalie Morales in a catsuit as a plot point should also not be underestimated. ART CRAWL!

But because Kat got there first, I’ll pick a different one. I think a “Veronica Mars at the FBI” would have been awesome, but as seasons 2 and 3 couldn’t quite capture the brilliance of Season 1, I’m not going to suggest it shouldn’t have been canceled. Except how everything else on the CW sucks, and I’d have rather seen something else get the axe. But yes! Something else!

Wonderfalls was pretty freaking brilliant, and canceling it after FOUR EPISODES WERE AIRED is stupid beyond measure. Fox’s sole purpose seems to be to create awesome shows, then squash them flat as soon as I fall in love with them. I can easily imagine its formula growing tired and stale if it continued much longer, but it was still fresh and thriving when the end came, and if the DVD commentary from the creative team was any indicator, there was more greatness to come. Stupid Fox.

I’m still sore about Pushing Daisies, so I’m going to go with that. This show is guaranteed to perk up the foulest mood, except when you emerge from the high and realize that no new episodes will be produced, and you delve back into depression. This show was part star-crossed fairy tale, part Hitchcockian homage, and a feast for the eyes and the heart.

What shows do you miss most?

The rest of the days, if you want to participate:

Day 02 – A show that you wish more people were watching
Day 03 – Your favorite new show (aired this TV season)
Day 04 – Your favorite show ever
Day 05 – A show you hate
Day 06 – Favorite episode of your favorite TV show:
Day 07 – Least favorite episode of your favorite TV show:
Day 08 – A show everyone should watch
Day 09 – Best scene ever
Day 10 – A show you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 11 – A show that disappointed you
Day 12 – An episode you’ve watched more than 5 times
Day 13 – Favorite childhood show
Day 14 – Favorite male character
Day 15 – Favorite female character
Day 16 – Your guilty pleasure show
Day 17 – Favorite mini series
Day 18 – Favorite title sequence
Day 19 – Best TV show cast
Day 20 – Favorite kiss
Day 21 – Favorite ship
Day 22 – Favorite series finale
Day 23 – Most annoying character
Day 24 – Best quote
Day 25 – A show you plan on watching (old or new)
Day 26 – OMG WTF? Season finale
Day 27 – Best pilot episode
Day 28 – First TV show obsession
Day 29 – Current TV show obsession
Day 30 – Saddest character death


India’s poor urged to ‘eat rats’

And an even more brain-injuring political move: A McCain advisor seeks to solve the health care crisis through semantics. I did a double-take, convinced I was reading an Onion analogue.

Illustrating and cartooning blog Drawn! posts some excellent Ronald Searlerelated links! So much love for Ronald Searle! Anyone that hasn’t read Molesworth is missing out on something extraordinary.

Aaron Sorkin writing movie about Facebook. My face looks like this: o_O?

Biden: “Think About It”

Chris Crocker’s soulmate in an angry rant against the Twilight haters

“Vlad the Impaler had two loves: feasting on the blood of his impaled victims and puppet shows.”

I can’t wait for tonight’s Middleman. Preview here!