Pimp Your Show To Me
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | Author: Mad Typist
When CBS's sitcom How I Met Your Mother first appeared on the scene, I tuned in for the first episode, but ultimately it didn't capture my heart. Perhaps it was the traditional sitcom-y feel of the show at a time when I was reveling in the new comedic stylings of shows like The Office that turned me off. Maybe it was that the show's first dramatic arc - Ted's maybe romance with Robin - fell flat for me, because hearing a character talk about "the girl of my dreams" when you KNOW she's not going to be the titular Mother in the end doesn't hold any tension for me (rather, it seemed a season or two of Ted/Robin romance was something to be endured while we waited for the real contender to show up).

Nevertheless, I didn't watch the show. However, everytime it would get mentioned on a blog, or when I'd scan the occasional recap, I'd get wind of some of the jokes and the ways the characters' plots were moving along, and I'd think, "That does sound like a show I'd like." I had lots of friends online encouraging me to watch the show as well, and they were people who seemed to have corresponding tastes to my own.

Finally, I got word that Lifetime was re-airing the series, showing two episodes every Monday night, starting with the pilot and moving forward. So I finally broke down and set my DVR to record it. And you know what? My friends were right - this is a delightful little show, and I'm happy to be watching it.

I'm opening the floor to all you good folks out there on Teh Interwebz. What show do you wish more people were watching? Specifically, which shows do I need to be watching? I promise to give them a fair shake. I know that a certain Mr. S out there is going to push Friday Night Lights on me, so that one's pretty much covered (season 1 is in my "watch instantly" queue already).

I'll start the conversation. It pleases me that I'm finally able to recommend Fringe to you all, which has seen a huge leap in quality over the past 4 episodes or so. Thus far they've avoided hooking up Peter and Olivia, which is nice, because I'd like to see a show where a male and female lead can be friends without the show forcing them together. Anna Torv is finally winning me over and showing me why Olivia might just be the right woman for this job. And I continue to absolutely love John Noble as Walter Bishop, who steals the best lines every single week (now if only they'd give the other regulars, like Astrid, something more to do).

I also am enjoying the fact that unlike other shows (*cough cough* LOST *cough cough*) that create false tension by having characters inexplicably hold out critical information from their friends, the characters on Fringe actually seem to realize that sharing information is what normal people do. Like, if I were seeing visions apparently inherited from my maybe-dead fiancee, I'd probably go ahead and mention that to my friends as well. In another nice twist, the characters seem to be getting more and more non-plussed by the monster of the week. That's good, because again, if I saw a huge alien slug growing in a guy, mind melded with my comatose fiancee, and saw a woman with a fully functional biotic arm, after awhile, I wouldn't be shocked by anything, such as the lizard monster from a few episodes ago. And the latest episode this past week was a real stand out, with the mysterious Pattern finally starting to make a little sense and Olivia's role in the endgame finally starting to become more apparent.

Moving on, I'm sad more people aren't watching Damages on FX, because Glenn Close is giving the performance of her life in that one. The only problem with the show (and the reason its audience can only continue to shrink) is that it demands that you watch every single episode. I'm not joking here - to miss even a lone episode is to miss crucial information that will mess up the rest of the season for you. That kind of show is difficult to get people to buy into (also, the fact that one of the main dramatic plots involves whether or not Ted Danson's billionaire dumped stock in his company because of insider info isn't exactly one that grabs your interest right away doesn't help either). Nonetheless, the first season was super rewarding for me as a viewer, and season 2 is just as good so far. I recommend you go out and rent just the first disc from Season 1 at your local Blockbuster (or via Netflix). I'd be surprised if you weren't hooked by the end of episode 2.

To help guide your recommendations, here's what I'm watching right now.

Shows I love and never miss: Damages, Battlestar Galactica, The Office, 30 Rock, Dexter, Mad Men, and now Fringe

Shows I watch, but with less fervor: Ugly Betty, How I Met Your Mother, The Closer, Reaper

In other TV talk, via Whitney Matheson at Pop Candy, here's a little tip on a show populated with awesome "Hey It's That Guy!" actors (including the always welcome Jane Lynch and Ken Marino): Party Down
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