Television has become a wasteland. Reality television either brings out the worst in humanity for everyone to see or tugs on our heartstrings. Sitcoms are now mostly just attractive people cracking sex jokes to laugh tracks. (See Two and a Half Men and How I Met Your Mother. Also, I hate laugh tracks.) I cannot even begin to communicate how much I hate prime time game shows. (The contempt and disgust I hold toward Deal or No Deal knows no bounds. It glorifies greed and the objectification of women. It makes me sick.) Dramas are often trying to one up the others pushing the envelope of what you can show on Network Television. Fortunately in all the unoriginality and garbage there are a few shows that entertain me.
LOST and The Office are the best shows on TV. Nothing else comes close. Last season I started watching three shows that I was sure would be cancelled but somehow where not. Of course, that means they will be cancelled this season.
First we have Chuck. It is about a nerdy but likeable guy who gets all of the United States’ secrets downloaded into his brain. He is forced to go on with life as normal while two secret agents watch out for him and sometimes take him on missions. The show has a playful tone and the action is comic bookish in nature. I like the memorable characters and the geek inside jokes. Sadly I get most of them.
Next up is the Terminator: Sarah Conner Chronicles. This show picks up with the characters after the events of Terminator 2 and answers the question of why Skynet does not just keep sending back Terminators after one fails. (The answer is that they do keep sending them back.) This show is darker in tone and relies much more on action sequences than Chuck. There is a real danger to the characters since aside from Sarah and John Conner, no character is safe from death. Unfortunately, ratings are low and the Fox Network loves to cancel shows (see Firefly), so it will probably not last the season.
The third show is Life. I consider it the best of the three. It follows a cop, Charlie Crews, who comes back to the force after spending 12 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Each episode he and his partner solve a different murder while Crews tries to figure out the conspiracy that led to his imprisonment. The acting and writing is great and I love the way Crews and Reese work together despite their personal issues.
Heidi and I almost never see a TV show on our actual TV. We almost always watch them on their network website or www.hulu.com. Feel free to comment on these or other shows worth watching.