the journey to self enlightenment through television

Category Archives: Lists

It’s been a difficult week in that there was just so much to watch.  Not only were there a large number of pilots to watch and critique, but there were also quite a few returning shows that need to be ripped apart.

House, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Castle, Glee, Parenthood, Modern Family, Cougar Town, Bones, Big Bang Theory, The Office, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Community, the Simpsons, and Family Guy… all shows I’ve come to love very much for very different reasons.  You can find all of my thoughts after the jump. Continue reading


First up?  My DVR.

And for those of you who were wondering, this is going to be one of those posts where I talk about something painfully mundane, but seemingly interesting.  Well, to me anyway.

Of all the things that need a good cleaning out, my DVR is definitely on the top of that list.  Well, that and my entire apartment.  Because I just want to relax and not worry about anything from Christmas to New Years.

The simple fact is that there is way too much clogging up the DVR.  Way too much.  As in, I should really delete stuff after I watch it.  But some shows just deserve to be watched 2 or 3 times.  And mostly because there are so many other things on tv that are just boring and silly, and I hate daytime tv, so I guess my DVR will remain relatively full.

  • 13 episodes of The Office
  • 2 episodes of Men of a Certain Age
  • 3 episodes of The Big Bang Theory
  • 9 episodes of Two and a Half Men
  • 3 episodes of Accidentally on Purpose
  • 1 episode of House
  • 1 episode of How I Met Your Mother
  • 7 episodes of The Simpsons
  • 1 episode of Let’s Make a Deal
  • 1 episode of WAVY News 10 Local News
  • 7 episodes of Family Feud
  • 2 episodes of The Family Guy
  • 2 episodes of Legend of the Seeker
  • 9 episodes of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
  • 1 DOUBLE episode of Dollhouse – this one keeps recording in 2-hour increments, which is fine, because then it looks like I only have 1 episode, even though there’s 2
  • 1 episode of the Tonight Show
  • 7 episodes of Lopez Tonight
  • 1 episode of SNL
  • 1 episode of Community
  • 1 episode of Cougar Town
  • 1 episode of Glee
  • 1 episode of Modern Family
  • 2 episodes of The Jay Leno Show
  • 2 episodes of Late Show with David Letterman
  • 1 episode of The Price is Right
  • Something’s Got to Give
  • Talladega Nights
  • Dr. Suess’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas

Final count – 94% full with 85 episodes/movies/tv specials.  It’s sick.  And there is way too much on my DVR.  I wonder if I’ll make it through everything so I can make room for new stuff.

Entertainment Weekly, you never cease to entertain me.  I love the way you inform me all the pop culture news I ever needed to know.  But my favorite thing about you, EW, is your photo galleries that contain endless lists.  Oh, how you satisfy my list craving.

The latest of the lists has to do with favorite seasons of some classic tv over the last few decades.  They put their list in no particular order – I won’t list every show here, so check out the full list here.

  • The Simpsons, season 4 (1992-93) – home to great episodes like Homer the Heretic, Marge and the Monorail and Mr. Plow, it’s no secret that season 4 was a great season.  Because who can’t sing the Mr. Plow song every time they see a plow?
  • Alias, season 1 (2001-2002) – I really like when a show’s first season is a favorite.  Mostly because it’s a testament to the writers, show producers and actors that they had something good right off the bat.  But, on the other hand, when the first season is the best, it makes me wonder what went wrong later on.
  • Lost, season 1 (2004-2005) – The only season of Lost I could tolerate.  Unfortunately, it was never a show I could really get into.  But, with that said, season 1 was still excellent.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 2 (1997-1998) – A really amazing season, although not my favorite.  During the second season, everyone just locked step, and the Scoobies were never out of character again.  When I reintroduced myself to Buffy, it was the second season that really pulled me through.
  • The Sopranos, season 4 (2002) – I just love the Sopranos, from beginning to end.  But what I love even more was the show’s ability to go from being really dark to being really REALLY dark and complicated.  Season 4, in my opinion, is the darkest of all, but no less amazing than the others.
  • Sex and the City, season 3 (2000) – Carrie’s infidelity, Miranda’s breakup with Steve, Charlotte’s wedding to Trey, and Samantha and the guy with the “funky spunk.”  Classic.
  • Veronica Mars, season 1 (2004-2005) – The beginning of an amazing story about a young, girl detective with a penchant for lost causes and spying.  The first season of Veronica Mars has always been my favorite, as it was the introduction into the life of a teenaged super sleuth.

There’s quite a few more TV shows with great seasons on the EW’s list.  I definitely recommend checking them out, and voicing which seasons of your favorite shows are your favorites.

Honestly, I love EW for a lot of things.  But most of all, I love them for their lists.  They provide me with much needed blog fodder from time to time.  And who doesn’t love lists?  I mean, really.

But I love this particular list because it takes an honest look at what’s wrong with TV these days, and some shows that we just shouldn’t be watching anymore.  I will say upfront that I don’t completely agree with every show on this list, but I can certainly respect why they are on it.

  1. Heroes – Not gonna lie, I broke up with this one after season 2.  And then again after season 3.
  2. Dollhouse – One of those shows I love, that I don’t think should be on this list… but the ratings just aren’t up far enough yet to keep it from failing in its Friday night timeslot.
  3. America’s Next Top Model – I’ve never watched this show, and I don’t plan to start now.
  4. Project Runway – Um… same deal.  But hasn’t it been on long enough?
  5. The Office – I love this show, and really don’t see an end in sight.
  6. Gossip Girl – Ha!  I really tried watching this one, but it’s a daytime soap opera that airs at night on a crappy network.  The End.
  7. Hell’s Kitchen – This used to be a must-see… sadly, not so much anymore.
  8. Bones – I love this show.  I’ve always loved this show.  BUT it is one of those shows that you can put down for awhile, and pick up later and not miss much.  That could be deadly for a show.
  9. House – Yet another show that I love, but can drop for awhile and pick up whenever.  Sure, there’s new things going on this season…
  10. One Tree Hill – This is one that I tried watching, and it felt a little like a soap opera, and a little bit forced.  6 seasons might be long enough.
  11. Dancing with the Stars – They try to keep it new and fresh, but like American Idol, it’s just getting old.
  12. 90210 – I’m fairly certain I remember mentioning last season that this was a mistake to begin with.  Again, I will say, why mess with a good thing?  The original was good.  Leave it there.
  13. Glee – Ok.  I love love LOVE this show.  No, it’s not for everyone.  But I am definitely surprised that it’s even on this list.
  14. Private Practice – I actually finally got caught up with this one like I did with Grey’s Anatomy.  I never really like it all that much, but it was always something to watch when there was nothing else on.
  15. Fringe – Even though Joshua Jackson is my TV-boyfriend, I’ve always felt that this one needed to go.  Come on.  It’s the X-files.  It’s already been done.
  16. Mad Men – I often hear mixed feelings about Mad Men.  It’s good, it’s not good.  Truthfully, I’ve been wanting to check it out, but there’s always something else to be watched.
  17. CSI: Miami – Procedural shows are always great because they really know what they’re talking about.  But CSI has been on for a LONG time.
  18. Ghost Whisperer – Another soapy show that just doesn’t need to be on anymore.
  19. Smallville – Apparently this one has run its course.  Smallville is yet another show that I want to get into, but the more seasons there are, the harder it is, and the longer it’s going to take.  And do I really want to invest all that time?
  20. American Idol – Old and tired.  And I hate reality TV.  And without Paula’s crazy antics and sexual tension with Simon, I just think it’s a waste.  And besides, it’s been on way too long.  It’s just old.

There are definitely a few shows on this that list that I vehemently do not agree with.  But everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  As long as they can accept that Bones, House, Glee and Dollhouse are actually good shows.  And I will not be breaking up with any of these shows this season.

There are, however, a few shows that don’t show up on this particular list. Two and a Half Men is a great show, but with recent changes this season like Charlie being in a committed relationship are just things that are going to hurt the original premise of the show.  Plus, Jake is getting a little old to still be the “half” man on that show.

How I Met Your Mother is another show that I’m less than impressed with this season.  Not gonna lie, after that Britney Spears episode two seasons ago, I’ve been really turned off.  And I will say that there are a few good scenes in a few episodes this season, but Barney being committed and dating Robin just really takes away from his character mold.

I don’t see either of those shows ending anytime soon, but it’s something to think about.

What shows are you thinking about breaking up with this season?

I’m definitely behind on my TV this year.  I had to do quite a bit of research because I just haven’t been keeping up with everything the way I used to.  So far, I’m still unsure as to what I’ll be watching, but I plan to post every week and let you all know.  I also plan to take full advantage of my DVR AND the Internet to watch everything I think I need to watch.

So, without further adieu, here are the premieres for this fall (I’ve included everything from the beginning of September, even though we’re pretty much passed it already – but just in case you needed to know what you missed, it’s here).

Actually, I DO want to point out one thing.  Officially, the ACTUAL fall season doesn’t start until AFTER the Emmys.  I had a discussion with my boss last September about his because there were shows that were premiering BEFORE the Emmys, and although they are still technically premiering in the fall, they do not count as being part of the actual season.  It’s an interesting idea to think about.  So, I like to look at the Emmys as being a bookmark for when the season is supposed to start.


Tuesday, Sept 8

  • 90210, 8pm (CW)
  • Melrose Place, 9pm (CW)
  • Sons of Anarchy, 10pm (FX)

Wednesday, Sept 9

  • America’s Next Top Model, 8pm (CW)
  • So You Think You Can Dance, 8pm (FOX)
  • Glee, 9pm (FOX)

Thursday, Sept 10

  • Vampire Diaries, 8pm (CW)
  • Supernatural, 9pm (CW)

Friday, Sept 11

  • Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, 8pm (FOX)

Saturday, September 12

  • Cops, 8pm (FOX)
  • America’s Most Wanted, 9pm (FOX)
  • Robin Hood, 9pm (BBC America)

Monday, Sept 14

  • One Tree Hill, 8pm  (CW)
  • Gossip Girl, 9pm  (CW)
  • The Jay Leno Show, 10pm  (NBC)

Tuesday, Sept 15

  • The Biggest Loser, 8pm  (NBC)

Wednesday, Sept 16

  • The Beautiful Life, 9pm  (CW)

Thursday, Sept 17

  • Survivor: Samoa, 8pm  (CBS)
  • Bones, 8pm  (FOX)
  • SNL Weekend Update, 8pm (NBC)
  • Parks and Recreation, 8:30pm,  (NBC)
  • Fringe, 9pm (FOX)
  • The Office, 9pm (NBC)
  • Community, 9:30pm (NBC)
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, 10pm (FX)

Sunday, Sept 20

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm, 9pm (HBO)
  • Bored to Death, 9:30pm (HBO)

Monday, Sept 21

  • Dancing with the Stars, 8pm (ABC)
  • Heroes, 8pm (NBC)
  • House, 8pm (FOX)
  • How I Met Your Mother, 8pm (CBS)
  • Accidentally on Purpose, 8:30pm (CBS)
  • Two and a Half Men, 9pm (CBS)
  • The Big Bang Theory, 9:30pm (CBS)
  • Castle, 10pm (ABC)
  • CSI: Miami, 10pm (CBS)

Tuesday, Sept 22

  • NCIS, 8pm (CBS)
  • NCIS: Los Angeles, 9pm (CBS)
  • The Forgotten, 10pm (ABC)
  • The Good Wife, 10pm (CBS)

Wednesday, Sept 23

  • The New Adventures of Old Christine, 8 p.m. (CBS)
  • Mercy, 8 p.m. (NBC)
  • Gary Unmarried, 8:30 p.m. (CBS)
  • Criminal Minds, 9 p.m. (CBS)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, 9 p.m. (NBC)
  • Modern Family, 9 p.m. (ABC)
  • Cougar Town, 9:30pm (ABC)
  • CSI: NY, 10 p.m. (CBS)
  • Eastwick, 10 p.m. (ABC)

Thursday, Sept. 24

  • Flash Forward, 8 p.m. (ABC)
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, 9 p.m. (CBS)
  • Grey’s Anatomy, 9 p.m. (ABC)
  • The Mentalist, 10 p.m. (CBS)

Friday, Sept. 25

  • Brothers, 8 p.m. (Fox)
  • Smallville, 8 p.m. (CW)
  • Law & Order, 8 p.m. (NBC)
  • Ghost Whisperer, 8 p.m. (CBS)
  • Dollhouse, 9 p.m. (Fox)
  • Southland, 9 p.m. (NBC)
  • Medium, 9 p.m. (CBS)
  • Numb3rs, 10 p.m. (CBS)

Saturday, Sept. 26

  • Saturday Night Live, 11:30 p.m. (NBC)

Sunday, Sept. 27

  • 60 Minutes, 7 p.m. (CBS)
  • Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, 7 p.m. (ABC)
  • The Amazing Race, 8 p.m. (CBS)
  • The Simpsons, 8 p.m. (Fox)
  • The Cleveland Show, 8:30 p.m. (Fox)
  • Family Guy, 9 p.m. (Fox)
  • Desperate Housewives, 9 p.m. (ABC)
  • Dexter, 9 p.m. (Showtime)
  • American Dad, 9:30 p.m. (Fox)
  • Brothers & Sisters, 10 p.m. (ABC)
  • Californication, 10 p.m. (Showtime)
  • Cold Case, 10 p.m. (CBS)

Monday, Sept. 28

  • Lie to Me, 9 p.m. (Fox)
  • Trauma, 9 p.m. (NBC)

Tuesday, Sept. 29

  • Hell’s Kitchen, 8 p.m. (Fox)
  • Shark Tank, 8 p.m. (ABC)
  • Dancing With the Stars, 9 p.m. (ABC)

Wednesday, Sept. 30

  • Hank, 8 p.m. (ABC)
  • The Middle, 8:30 pm. (ABC)

Thursday, Oct. 1

  • Private Practice, 10 p.m. (ABC)

Friday, Oct. 2

  • ‘Til Death, 8:30 p.m. (Fox
  • Stargate Universe, 9 p.m. (Syfy)

Sunday, Oct. 4

  • America’s Funniest Home Videos, 7 p.m (ABC)
  • Three Rivers, 9 p.m. (CBS)

Tuesday, Oct. 6

  • Scare Tactics, 9 p.m. (Syfy)

Friday, Oct. 9

  • Ugly Betty, 8 p.m. (ABC)
  • Sanctuary, 10 p.m. (Syfy)

Thursday, Oct. 15

  • 30 Rock, 9:30 p.m. (NBC)

Friday, Oct. 16

  • Supernanny, 8 p.m. (ABC)

Friday, Oct. 23

  • White Collar, 10 p.m. (USA)

Tuesday, Nov. 3

  • V, 8 p.m. (ABC)

Saturday, Nov. 7

  • The Wanda Sykes Show, 11 p.m. (Fox)

So… that would be the 2009 Fall Premier lineup.  Ummm… a few things I’m looking forward to are the number of returning shows, like House, How I Met Your Mother and Dollhouse.  And then there are the shows that are returning that I haven’t seen before, like Castle, starring Nathan Fillion.  And of course there are the new shows like Vampire Diaries and Glee that I’m looking forward to.  Every show gets the 3-episode rule, even existing shows.  So if something isn’t really living up to par, it’s going to have to be taken off the DVR.  This is going to be fun!


– Maybe.

What makes a TV show a “cult favorite”?  A lot of times when you’re talking about cult favorites, you think of movies, but either way, the definition is the same.  A film (or TV show) that has acquired a devoted but specific group of fans.

Yup, that sounds about right.  But is it the writing?  The cast?  Is it a favorite by association, because you’ve seen previous works (ahem *cough cough* Joss Whedon *cough*)?

I’m not entirely sure what makes each one so special, except that they are all different, and each posses their own thing that makes them a favorite.

So, now I’m going to thank Entertainment Weekly for providing me with another list, because we all know how much I LOVE lists, on the 25 Greatest Cult TV Shows Ever.   I’m only going to comment on the shows I’ve seen, and you can view the entire list and all comments over at EW.

25.  Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990) – CBS

24.  Sports Night (1998-2000) – ABC

23.  The Venture Brothers (2003-Present) – Cartoon Network

22.  Get a Life (1990-1992) – FOX

21.  Police Squad (1982) – ABC

20.  The Ben Stiller Show (1990-1993) – MTV, FOX

19.  Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988-1999) – Comedy Central, Sci-fi

18.  The Comeback (2005) – HBO

17.  Chuck (2007-Present) – NBC – I started with a few episodes of this, and decided initially that it wasn’t worth my time because it coincided with other TV shows on at the same time.  And my DVR could only do so much recording at one time.  Maybe I’ll have to give this one another look, especially since it’s still on TV.

16.  The Wire (2002-2008) – HBO – I’ve heard nothing but good things about this one.  I’ve spent many nights walking by this one in Blockbuster, but never thought to pick it up.  Hmmm…. I think I may have to update my list of things to watch.

15.  Pushing Daisies (2007-2009) – ABC – I absolutely fell in love with this show from episode one.  It was really a shame that ABC decided to axe this one.  I mean, come on!  Who didn’t ADORE Kristen Chenoweth?

14.  Profit (1996) – FOX

13.  Veronica Mars (2004-2007) – UPN, The CW – I was a little surprised to see this one fall in the #13 spot.  I guess I was hoping that it would rank a little higher.  But I am definitely impressed that it’s a cult favorite.  I love it.  I’m hoping for a movie.  There aren’t any fans like VMars fans.  Dedicated and loyal to the end.

12.  The Tick (1994-1997) – FOX

11.  Supernatural (2005-Present) – The WB, The CW – This was another one I didn’t have time to watch.  But I’ve heard so many great things.  Plus, it has that kid from the Gilmore Girls.

10.  Farscape (1999-2003) – Sci-fi

9.  The X-Files (1993-2002) – FOX – The movie killed the series.  It was a great show, and the first movie was good.  But after that, total crap.

8.  My So-Called Life (1994-1995) – ABC – I actually remember watching this on MTV from time to time on Sundays.  It was pretty good, but to be perfectly honest, sometimes Angela’s depressing, teenager with angst was just too much to watch for too long.

7.  Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009) – Sci-fi – I promise, I WILL get around to watching this.  I must.

6.  Firefly (2002) – FOX – A introduced me to this show.  I’d heard about it for a long time, and never really thought much about it.  And then I watched.  And I fell in love.  And there’s a great crossover with Wash going over to Dollhouse.  When Joss loves someone, he puts them in EVERYTHING he can.

5.  Twin  Peaks (1990-1991) – ABC

4.  The Prisoner (1967-1968) – ITV

3.  Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000) – NBC – I rented this one.  Didn’t really get into it.  A few bonuses were that it starred Jason Segel of How I Met Your Mother and Seth Rogan.

2.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) – The WB, UPN – My all-time favorite show, EVER!  It jumped networks.  It spawned a spinoff.  And now there’s talk about another movie.  There’s comic books and toys, and prop replicas and books and commentaries.  It just doesn’t get much better than this.

1.  Doctor Who (1963-Present) – BBC – I’ve seen it here and there on the BBC.  Actually, it’s really a great thing that it’s been on since the 60’s.  And they’ve gone through several cast changes, but that should be expected.  Definitely a good choice for the number one spot.  And also, it is the longest running show on the entire list.  That alone gives it credibility.

It’s funny.  Looking over the completed list and seeing which networks have cult classics and which do not.  ABC seems to be the leader in the cult favorite TV shows.  And I wonder if that’s because they are doing that on purpose.  Canceling shows before they really have a chance to get their stride.  Or is it just because the shows weren’t really going to ever go anywhere.

Either way, so far, I DID notice that Joss Whedon has not one but TWO shows on that list.  Both Firefly AND Buffy are considered cult favorites.  And can you argue?  I’m a little surprised that Angel didn’t round out that trend.  And I wonder if Dollhouse will make it to cult favorite status.  I know I already love it.

What are some of your favorite cult TV shows?

I was milling around on Twitter this morning because who doesn’t obsess over Twitter like I do… I mean, seriously.

ANYway, I was milling around on Twitter this morning looking at some updates, and I found a very interesting feed that talked about the sudden, or not-so-sudden, downturn of the Soap Opera.

Sure, channels like Soap Network are trying to keep the genre alive by broadcasting them 24/7 so those who work during the day can keep up with all the things going on in these fictional worlds.  I will admit that I once found myself obsessed with such things, and scheduled my college class schedule around All My Children.

But as far as the major networks are concerned, are our formerly favorite soap operas still as cost-efficient and popular as they once were?  Apparently not.  According to Showbiz 411, things are not looking good for the long-running shows.

With All My Children, for one, it has been announced that the current/former NYC show will be transferred to LA, where it would be more cost-effective to film.  But does that really mean ANYTHING?  Will ABC really be gaining that much by moving the show?  Don’t know.  And what’s more is that the entire cast and crew LIVE IN NYC.  Casting tends to be easier there than in LA, and once they move to the town of PLasticA, what will happen to the integrity of the show?

I know, I know.  Soap Operas are kind of lame, and the time lapse thing has always been an issue for me.  But that doesn’t mean they weren’t cult favorites.

And believe it or not, there are a ton, and I mean a TON of actors who got their start on one soap or another.  Just google any of them, and you’ll see.

A while back, I posted a list – because I LOVE lists – on the 11 longest running soap operas in history.  I’m looking back at that post now in awe.  Just seeing that a lot of them started in the 50’s and 60’s and are still running today is incredible. 

But the real question is: does it make sense?  And the answer is a little complicated.  On the one hand, yes.  Soap Operas are definitely on their way out, and the reason is because there is so much on TV right now, and viewers have enough difficulty trying to decide what to watch.

On the other hand, again, I feel the need to mention that a lot of actors got their start starring on soaps. 

So, I leave it to you, gentle readers.  Love them, or leave them.

Either way, when anything ends, it’s always interesting to find out why.