My Year in Television 2013

As we near the end of the year I like to reflect on all the things I watched over the course of the year.  Warning: this is a LOOOONG post.  I watch a lot of TV.  I find that it’s good for me to keep track of things and when I’ve watched them, but just know that it’s kind of a lot.

I spent most of January and February at home in San Francisco, and took over the DVR as much as I could. I continued watching Elementary and Once Upon A Time, as well as being supremely excited about Community‘s return in February.

There are a handful of shows that overlap between what I like to watch and what my parents watch. We would watch Downton Abbey the night it aired, and we began House of Cards together. I also watched some of the shows my parents watched such as American Pickers and American Restoration. I left would leave whenever they started up Dog the Bounty Hunter. I have to draw the line somewhere.

During the day I would watch DVDs and Netflix. I finished Band of Brothers and re-watched Luther to prepare for my semester. I watched Leverage episodes as in order as I could find them. I wrote about Angel on the blog and got really into web series. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and a handful of others.

In March I moved to LA in a strange housing situation, and set all my usual recordings. I watched Doctor Who and saw a few episodes of Orphan Black that were fantastic. I wrote a spec of Luther that was the most complete script I’ve ever written. I’m proud of it, but I’m not sure it’s something that I’ll be able to use in the future.

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I spent most of April waiting for a phone call that never came. I watched documentaries on Netflix and rented DVDs from the library. Most notably I rented Roots and got through at least half of the series. In finished House of Cards and joined the rest of those who finished but didn’t want to spoil anyone else. With no word from school and no reason to stay in my weird housing set up I went back to San Francisco at the end of the month.

At home I dove back into my old routine of watching TV with my parents. I got back into shows that I had taken a long break on. I returned to my first television love, CSI and started watching Major Crimes when it returned in June. When I watched by myself I watched episode after episode of The Good Guys, finishing the entire series in record time.

June also saw the release of Much Ado About Nothing, which I first saw at the San Francisco International Film Festival. I know it’s technically not TV, but anything Joss Whedon feels TV-esque to me, and the cast is full of my favorite Whedon TV people, so I’m going to say it half-counts. Also half counting would be web series. I’m never quite sure where to put them, but over the summer I watched Welcome to Sanditon and An Autobiography of Jane Eyre.

In July I returned to LA just in time to start my summer semester in LA. I was a bit slow to set up internet access and TV, but when I finally did I pulled together all the recordings I could ever want. In between classes I watched Major Crimes, King and Maxwell, Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef, and Camp. I happened upon a Blue Ray of The Newsroom and watched the entire first season quickly in order to prepare for season two which happened to fall within my HBO free trial.

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Through my class, I found myself at San Diego Comic Con without much of a plan at all. I was woefully under prepared, but managed to make the best I could of the one day I had. I wandered the expo hall in awe and waited in line to see the Once Upon A Time pirate ship. I went to a panel for Husbands, the web series I was a PA for last year and got a chance to talk with a few of the people I had connected with there. All in all a good, if a little overwhelming, day.

As the summer ended I said good-bye to all my summer favorites, and geared up for premiere season. While a friend of mine was in town we went to see a taping of Mom, a new show because we both love Allison Janney. It was fun to be in the audience (I think it was the 4th episode), but neither of us fell in love with the show. Certainly something I would do again, and a great idea for people who are visiting from out of town.

In September I started online classes and internships and a whole slew of new shows. I watched or recorded everything. NCIS, Elementary, CSI, Parks and Rec, The Middle, Modern Family, Once Upon A Time, The Good Wife, and The Mentalist on the returning side. I started watching Agents of SHIELD, Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, Trophy Wife, and The Crazy Ones of new shows. I’ve stuck with most of these to varying degrees. While all of the ones listed are still being recorded, there are a few I’m woefully behind on.


There were two shows that weren’t even on my radar at the beginning of the season, but I wound up recording on a whim and then LOVING. The first is Sleepy Hollow, which I recorded because it was mentioned at one of my internships and wound up completely blowing me away. Now that I look back I vaguely remember seeing some Sleepy Hollow things at Comic Con, but think that it wouldn’t be for me. WRONG! I also wound up recording Brooklyn Nine-Nine because I was recording Dads. While I’m not a fan of Dads, I love Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

As the semester got started I returned to Leverage and started Orange is the New Black. I watched movies and TV pilots for my internships and fell behind on a lot of current TV. November brought on the 300th episode of CSI, and the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special. Thanksgiving rolled right into December and the live Sound of Music production. I have mixed feelings on the event, but do hope that the fantastic ratings will encourage networks to do similar things in the future.

As the year comes to an end I will be watching the Bonnie and Clyde mini-series, and tuning in for the mid-season finales of the shows listed above. I’ve finally caught up on a few and will continue to watch as the new year begins. While TV is on a break, I’ll be finishing shows that I can catch on Netflix including Leverage and Orange is the New Black.

This year has been full of great TV shows, and I’m excited for the year to come. What shows did you watch this year? Any favorites I’m missing?

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What I’ve Been Watching (Summer 2013 Recap)

I love TV. I love a lot of different kinds of TV and even the TV that I don’t love I understand the existence of. Even in the dead of summer, there’s still a lot more TV around than people sometimes realize. This summer was a pretty good year for some of my favorite summer shows, and will continue to be for another couple of weeks while these shows, and others, finish out their run.

Of course I’m happy to see that’s it’s once again New Series advertising season (every bus in town is plastered with a new Fall show), I’ll be sad to see some of these shows go. Without further ado, a brief rundown of my summer favorites.

King and Maxwell
I love TNT shows. They tend to have great, slightly quirky, but always respectable procedural in the works that I’d be happy to watch till the cows came home. This one is no exception. King and Maxwell (one of whom is Rebecca Romijn!) are two former Secret Service Agents turned private investigators after an incident in the service. It’s set in DC, which makes me smile even when they don’t get it quite right.
They’ve also got Dichen Lachman who’s fantastic! It’s procedural, with a little bit of serial in there, with a few out there characters, and a bit of a will-they-wont-they thing going on between the two leads. A bunch of my favorite things all mushed together to make sure I tune in every week (Or every other week and a few days late on my DVR, but nonetheless).

Major Crimes
King and Maxwell‘s constant companion, I can’t watch K&M without a side helping of Major Crimes. A friend of mine thinks I’m a middle-aged woman for liking this show, but I don’t even care. It’s corny at times and pretty clearly not aimed towards my age bracket, but I kind of love it. I like seeing a show set in LA, filmed in LA, and referencing the obvious fact that we’re in LA and we’re going to run into some industry people. Maybe not as many as are on the show, but still, it’s fun.
Especially fun for me since my school’s classes were on the same studio lot that this show filmed. We would see cast members and crew in passing and one of my classes managed to get a tour of the set.

Risoli and Isles
I’ll admit that most of the summer season of this show is still hanging out on my DVR, but I needed to give it a shout out. I’ve been a fan of Sasha Alexandra since her NCIS days, and love seeing her on my screen again. As a lesbian medical examiner from Boston? Why not?
Like all the other ME shows (Quincy, Body of Proof), there’s a bit of suspension of disbelief that this exists, but it’s a leap I’ll take. The show is cheeky and fun while still being procedural drama-y. That’s a technical term right there.

The Newsroom
By far the most intellectual of my summer viewing habits, The Newsroom in continuing it’s increasing levels of awesome. This is the show I’m probably most loyal to. I watch new episodes every week the night they air.
At first I was wary of the framing device that Sorkin is using for this season, but after a few episodes I’m really okay with the way this is going. There’s a much stronger season arc this year and I’m absolutely in love. I’m also a little terrified that my free trial of HBO is going to cut out before the end of the season, but we’ll deal with that when we get there.

MasterChef
One of my best friends from high school thinks that my love of this show is strange. I am a self-proclaimed drama girl, why am I so gung-ho about a reality show? Well, there are a few reasons. I love food and I love cooking. I love watching people cook and my dad likes all these things too. My dad and I watch this one together, but I’d probably watch it even without him.
Following cast members on Twitter makes the show that much more exciting. It’s strange to see them all friends on the internet and in real life, when it’s so clear that at the time of filming they hated each other’s guts. A little disarming actually. And I do wish that they would be more understanding of each other on film, because not everyone knows they’re all good now.
The challenges they put on to these contestants through are hard. Going from near-zero to running a five-star restaurant is crazy, but they all handle it so well. It’s a crazy show (and the only one I’ve ever for a minute considered auditioning for), and I love it to bits. Still going on too, so if you’re interested I would be happy to recap who’s who for you so you can watch the last few weeks. Let me know!

Hell’s Kitchen
I’ll level with you, really, I’ll watch anything where we get to see Gordon Ramsey on camera (not even kidding). Something about his brash style and abruptness is mesmerizing to me. It doesn’t hurt that I love cooking. Love it. Add competition and varying degrees of incompetence in there and I’m with you 100%.
This season was a staggering production. As always there were divas and a-holes and a few that I rooted for. While I was kind of rooting for Mary to win it, I would have been fine with any of the top four taking it. Also, since I’m in LA now I keep watching the show and thinking, “Hey, I should go there.” Except for, you know, money.

Camp
I feel like every summer there’s a new scripted show that takes place at a camp. I’ve seen tons of variations from fat camp to drama camp, and they usually don’t manage to stick around for very long. My personal theory why this one’s doing well? They’re focusing on the counselors and staff of the camp instead of the campers.
While this show is NOTHING like the camp that I went to growing up (I went to a christian girls camp), it still manages to bring back memories. I love this show. It’s campy and a little bit awful, but in the best way possibleThere are so many characters, anyone is bound to find someone they can connect with. And with sdo many love triangles it might get hard to keep up with later. I don’t know if they’ve been renewed to come back next summer, but I for one would absolutely tune in again.

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What have you been watching this summer?