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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Belated TV Wishlist

Over the years I have fallen out of an old habit I used to have of making wishlists starting at the beginning of the TV season.  I know we’re a month in already, but there are a few shows that haven’t premiered yet, and there are some that have premiered that I haven’t seen yet, so I wanted to put together a bit of a wishlist for this season.

This list does not cover EVERY show I watch, and while these things would be lovely to see, I know that some of them are impractical.  This is just for fun and entertainment.

In this season I want…

  • them to wait to replace Ziva on NCIS. The team has been three before, and while I do want to bring some female energy back in there at some point, I also think these characters need some space to grieve.
  • Ichabod Crane to show his protectiveness over Abby in a way that is awkward or culturally ignorant.  I also want Ichabod to never change. (Sleepy Hollow)
  • an answer to how Agent Coulson is alive. (Agent’s of SHIELD)
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character on The Crazy Ones to go on a date.
  • Will to wind up at the governors inauguration against his will.  I want the awkward and awful conversation that is sure to be Will and Alicia at the governor’s ball. (The Good Wife)
  • Rumplestiltskin’s magic to be used against him in Neverland somehow. (Once Upon A Time)
  • Alice to go to a tea party. (Once Upon A Time in Wonderland)
  • a West Wing reference in either Trophy Wife or Mom.  I would also be happy with a Good Guys reference in Trophy Wife.
  • Rose to be treated with the respect she deserves in the 50th anniversary.  Honestly, I’m a little scared. (Doctor Who)
  • Grissom to come back for the 300th episode. I know this is probably a long shot, but isn’t that what wish lists are for? (CSI)

What do you want to happen on your favorite shows this season?

This Has Been May 2013 Edition

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Just as I suspected, this month was very much a rehashing of the beginning of this year. Time spent at home alternating between blogging, watching Netflix, reading books from the library, and not quite knowing what to do with myself. Okay, there was a little more happening overall, but in general that’s what it felt like.

Probably the most exciting thing this month was a short trip to Seattle to visit my friend Allason. We hung out at sculpture gardens, went to the massive REI while on our way to a fancy film festival party (because we’re classy like that), and got to spend some time with another friend of ours. Of course this trip also included late night life decision discussions, accidentally weeding our friend’s backyard garden for two hours, and a very delayed flight. Overall a highly successful weekend.

I also got a chance to hang out with a bunch of old high school friends. Some I went for lunch or rock climbing with, others I met up with for a beach bonfire… which turned into hanging out in the mission after the wind started to get to us. It’s been great to see old friends and catch up on what’s happening with everyone. Some I’ve been keeping up with, others I was surprised by in the best sense. It’s weird to be in a group and slowly discover that I’m the only single gal in the group. How’d that happen? Craziness.

I did manage to get myself together enough to get a motorcycle permit and then to sign up for and take a motorcycle safety course, which I completed last weekend. I will be getting a certificate in the mail withing a week or so and then I can take it to the DMV and they will send me a motorcycle license in the mail. Magic.

For the moment I’ve abandoned my original script projects. I need to find a way to habituate writing and especially writing on stories and ideas. I’ve gotten blogging for the most part, but I need to find a way to consistently work on original stories. For now I’m trying not to beat myself up over it. I am still interested in the ideas and may return to them, but right now they’re not working. (Perhaps I need to find a writing mentor?)

While my story-writing fell through, I’ve been happy with my blog writing. I’m working on some bigger ideas and coming up with some concepts for what I want a redesign to look like. I also posted my first vlog. You can check out my channel here and if you like it subscribe! I’m not sure yet what my initial posting schedule is going to be, but down the line I’d like to put up one video a week.

On the entertainment front I finished The Good Guys and hemmed and hawed for a while deciding to watch Fringe next (other options included Chuck, JAG, and a West Wing re-watch). I finally got around to watching The Cabin in the Woods (review to come), and I’m so glad I did. I’ve also been reading a lot. I just finished Eat Pray Love and am working my way through a few others at once. I’ve made myself an account on Goodreads to keep track of my reading habits. I think I may have accidentally invited my entire Facebook friend list. Sorry guys!  If you’re a member we should be friends.

What have you guys been up to this month?

The Good Guys

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I vaguely remember watching The Good Guys when it was on in 2010, so that’s a win even if I didn’t get a chance to finish it until much more recently.  The Good Guys stars Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks and lasted only a season which is both sad and something I’m okay with at the same time.  It’s a complicated… emotion.

The show follows Dan Stark and Jack Bailey (Whitford and Hanks) as property crimes detectives whose investigations tend to end up bigger than they started.  This of course runs them into some trouble with their Lieutenant, Ana Ruiz, and the Assistant DA, Liz Traynor (who is also Jack ex-girlfriend, naturally).  Later in the season they bring in Samantha Evans, a lab tech who helps out on cases, usually illegally.

I have very mixed feelings on this show.  On the one hand, what’s not to love?  The show is filled with busting punks, driving fast cars, and all sorts of buddy cop antics.  There’s the will-they-wont-they of Jack and Liz, Dan’s constant womanizing (it’s surprisingly endearing), and at least one car chase in every episode.

The relationships on this show are fantastic.  Dan and Jack are partners and later friends, Jack and Liz’s relationship is one of my all time favorite pairings, Dan and the Lt. have a sort of thing which is hysterical, and then there’s the ‘ship between Dan and his trailer.  And Dan and booze.  And Dan and the punks he busts.  And Dan and his Trans-Am.  And Dan and his gun.  And did I mention that Bradley Whitford is fantastic in this show*?

I’m also a huge fan of the fact that the show is set and was filmed in Dallas.  They use lots of footage of the Dallas skyline an I think it really grounds the series with a sense of place.  Paired with Dan’s love of Foghat and 80’s fashion, alongside the cars and dive bars, the feel of the show is completely unique.  It transports you to the world of the show in a way that I’ve never experienced before, and it’s absolutely fantastic.

But on the other hand… when it was bad it was horrid.  Liz’s boyfriend, an unseen entity up to this point, is suddenly a suspect in an investigation.  In one episode he goes from boyfriend to suspect to dirty lying cheat, all as an effort to break them up and allow for Liz and Jack to get back together.

Around the same time they bring in Samantha.  I love the character and I see her uses in later episodes, there was no immediate need for another character in the show.  It seems to me that they were told to bring in more characters (Julius a sometimes informant also starts to play a bigger role around this time), and I didn’t see the need for it.  I loved the show from the beginning, but the complications made it tedious to me.

Thankfully they managed to finish on a strong note with Dan and Jack bringing down a dirty cop and Dan’s old partner Frank coming in to help out for one final showdown.  But overall, what executives did with the show left a sour taste in my mouth (yeah, I’m blaming the network on this one).

Bottom line: If you’re looking for a fun, episodic buddy cop show, The Good Guys is going to be your jam.  The vast majority of The Good Guys is just good clean fun.  If you’re looking for more intellectualism and a continuous story, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Have you seen The Good Guys?  What did you like or dislike about it?

*If you’re noticing a Bradley Whitford theme between this and Cabin in the Woods, you should know that it’s entirely unintentional.  Though I may do a West Wing re-watch.  Than would be intentional.

I Ship It

Oh fandom, how I love thee.

By the time I realized that ‘shipper was short for relation-shipper I was already in too deep.  I probably got sucked into fandom around the age of twelve or thirteen.  In retrospect, I was much too young to be there, but there I was anyway.  It started with CSI, then House, NCIS, and all the procedurals.  I watched for the characters, and stayed through the changes.  Ships may come and go, but shipping itself is forever.

A note: some of these contradict each other.  I don’t care.  I ship it.  Shipping is not rational, it is completely based on my whims, and this is how I feel damn it.

Books
Harry/Ginny – Harry Potter
Luna/Neville – Harry Potter
Jessica/Marcus – Jessica Darling Series
Nancy/Ned – Nancy Drew
Nancy/Frank – Nancy Drew
Mary/Bert – Mary Poppins

Movies
Jack/Elizabeth – Pirates of the Caribbean
Jack/Rum – Pirates of the Caribbean
Jack/Jar of Dirt – Pirates of the Caribbean
Captain/Maria – The Sound of Music
Rapunzel/Flynn Rider – Tangled
Tarzan/Jane – Tarzan
Jessie/Buzz – Toy Story
Tony Stark/Pepper Potts – Iron Man

Television
Josh/Donna – The West Wing
CJ/Toby – The West Wing
CJ/Danny – The West Wing
Donna/Sam – The West Wing
Gabby – NCIS
Tiva – NCIS
Harm/Mac – JAG
Chuck/Sarah – Chuck
Nine/Rose – Doctor Who
Rose/TenToo – Doctor Who
Eleven/Idris – Doctor Who
Two/Jamie – Doctor Who
Liz/Bailey – The Good Guys
Casey/Dana – Sports Night
Jeremey/Natalie – Sports Night
Spuffy – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Willow/Tara – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Angel/Cordelia – Angel
Fred/Westley – Angel
Victor/Pria – Dollhouse
Topher/Adelle – Dollhouse
Sybill/Branson – Downton Abbey
Anna/Mr. Bates – Downton Abbey
Snow/Charming – Once Upon A Time
Cora/Rumple – Once Upon A Time
Emma/Hook – Once Upon A Time
Leslie/Ben – Parks and Rec
Parker/Elliot – Leverage
Sophie/Elliot – Leverage
Parker/Nate – Leverage

Mini-series
Glitch/DG – Tin Man
Alice/Hatter – Alice

Web
Penny/Billie – Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
Cheeks/Brady – Husbands
Dizzie – The Lizzie Bennett Diaries
Cereal Guy/Faux Fur Girl – Hipsterhood
Jack/Mitchelle – The Outs