Shows You May Enjoy (plus bonus musings)
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 | Author: Mad Typist
Contrary to what you might think, I am not dead, nor have I abandoned this blog. I've just had a busy couple of months, which hasn't left me much time for blogging. In any case, here's some random stuff that's been on my mind.

First, with the holidays rapidly approaching, many of your favorite shows will be going on hiatus, so this is a perfect opportunity for you to try out a few other shows that might have slipped below your radar. Thank god for the miracle of On-Demand, iTunes and Hulu, because you'll be able to catch these episodes online, or you can grab DVDs via Netflix.

Comedy gems for you. Did you know that the awesome Better Off Ted (which I've been pushing on you folks for some time now) was back on the air? Chances are, you might have missed last night's excellent episode, since ABC seems hellbent on killing this awesome show. At least ABC seems to be doing right by its new hit sitcom Modern Family, which is easily the show I look forward to most each week now. It's doing well both critically and ratings-wise, so it doesn't need much cheerleading from me right now.

However, while waiting for Modern Family to air (since it's one of the few we like to watch live while it airs), I always happened to catch the last 5 minutes or so of the show that precedes it in the ABC lineup. And every time I saw those 5 minutes of The Middle I found myself laughing and sort of wishing I had watched the whole episode to get the joke in more context. Finally, we DVR'd a couple episodes, and I found to my great delight that it's actually a really delightful sitcom.

The Middle stars Patricia Heaton as the frazzled mom of a family living in the midwest. Her husband is played by Neil Flynn (better known as The Janitor on Scrubs). Both are well-matched, but the real stars of the show are the three kids, particularly Brick the youngest, played by Atticus Shaffer. The show feels like Malcolm in the Middle meets a G-rated Family Guy. I highly recommend you check it out - I think it's a pleasant little gem that's flying below a lot of people's radars right now.

I must also remind you that Parks and Recreation deserves your love as well. It had a so-so first season, which I know turned a lot of people off, but now... I can honestly say it is the best comedy airing on Thursday nights right now. If you've been on the fence, do yourself a favor, go over to Hulu.com and watch the episodes "Practice Date" and "Ron and Tammy".

Sci-fi goodness. Have you been putting off checking out FOX's sci-fi thriller from last season, Fringe? If so, you're missing out. Fringe is top-notch, and the show is finally hitting its stride. The first season started a little weak (I almost gave up on it after the first 6 episodes). But the latter half of the season was lots of fun, and the finale was simply mindblowing. I'm pleased to see the show exploring the Walter/Peter relationship more deeply, as at first I feared Joshua Jackson was there merely to serve as a love interest for Olivia. This is one I highly recommend you nab on Netflix - you won't be sorry.

Also worth your time - Syfy's delightful series Warehouse 13. The show finished its initial run, and I must say, it's a great little show. It may never be on anyone's Top 10 list, but if you like sci-fi and humor, I think you'll really like this show. Eddie McClintock's character Pete is a real standout - it's refreshing to see sci-fi where the characters are actually ENJOYING themselves, instead of brooding over their powers or whatever. Pete is one of those characters you look forward to spending time with each week. The other characters have started to come into their own as well, and the last few episodes have started establishing some worthy recurring villains to spice things up as well (the finale was a nifty cliffhanger that has me excited for new season).

Assorted other thoughts:

Upgrading the old icebox. I like the talk that the government might roll out a "Cash for Caulkers" program, where you'd get pretty significant rebates if you upgrade things like your washer/dryer, refrigerator, or A/C unit. Here's hoping it comes true, because my old fridge in my basement is a real clunker, and I've been craving a fancy new fridge for some time now.

Regarding the Facebook privacy drama: yes, it sucks that Facebook will sell your info to advertisers, etc. You need to read this post (and the related links in it) so you understand how the new Facebook privacy settings will affect you. On the other hand, they can't sell what you don't give them. If you don't want particular information about yourself out there, don't post it. Simply email your friends or call them when you want to share pictures and personal stories.

Facebook is a social networking site. Its very purpose in life is to share information publicly on various levels. While I do wish they'd be more close-hold with your data, on the other hand, it's not their problem to keep your secrets. Facebook is for sharing, not withholding. I personally don't share my address or phone number on there, and I only share one of my personal email addresses (my most "public" facing one). It's your personal responsibility to decide what personal info you want to share with the world. Don't assume that it will EVER be limited to just your friends. If you put it on the internet, you must assume that anyone can see it. I also reject a lot of friend requests on there - don't feel bad rejecting strangers, or even people who you are casually associated with.

That being said, the main thing I'd like to see, if I could have any particular privacy setting put in place, is actually the ability to block people from "tagging" me in photos, as I can't control what my friends post on their photo albums.
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