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"Oh, I'm gonna go to the special hell."
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December 28 2003

TV's best (and blondest) moments ANGEL: What's scary is how good this smart, supernatural fantasy is. Enjoying one of its wittiest seasons to date, it's made life without Buffy The Vampire Slayer bearable. Credit an overhaul late last season when demi-god Joss Whedon made Angel's titular hero (David Boreanaz) the CEO of a demonic law firm.

Lists his top 10 shows and Angel is number five.

What I'm interested to know is what other shows Whedonverse fans are obsessed with. I saw 2 of my other obsessions on this top 10 list -- Alias and Six Feet Under. Now that Buffy is gone I do think that Alias is the best show on television, with Angel and SFU right behind it. So what is everyone else watching when it's not Wednesday night anyway?

Oh, and Carnivale in the top 10? I think not.
Carnivale would be in my top 10. As would Dead Like Me, SFU and The O.C and the West Wing. Alias, however, wouldn't be - unattractive leads, silly stories. I much prefer Spooks (MI5). Other series I tried but gave up on are Jake 2.0 and Las Vegas.

The writer of this article says Canadian Idol is an American idol clone. Does the writer not know the show originated in the U.K.?
I watched the entire run of Carnivale but was less than impressed with its glacial pace, though I'd probably check out season 2 just to see if it improves. I gave up on Dead Like Me after a few episodes, finding its whimsy and quirkiness a bit too forced. I do love me some O.C. though. But unattractive leads on Alias?! Now that's an opinion that makes no sense to me.
Victor Garber's interesting. But JG and MV are just too bland and well, unattractive to me. I think they are mediocre actors too, that doesn't help.
I don't like anything on network these days except Angel. I think I already whined to you guys about the dearth of quality tv out there, and that I had to re-subscribe to HBO to get any viewing pleasure.

My top choices were very similar to the writer's. I really do enjoy SFU, liked Carnivale (even though I'm totally in agreement on the glacial pace of the thing), and think Curb Your Enthusiasm is one of the funniest shows in years. (An aside here: I do happen to think King of Queens is hilarious. Doug is Homer Simpson! I know, I know, its sophomoric and formulaic, but if nothing else, it IS funny!)

Never could get into Alias. Las Vegas left me cold after about 3 viewings. I really want to check out Arrested Development, but I can never find it on the schedule.

Funny how similar we all think... like or dislike, mostly all the same shows are in the running. I mean, none of us are saying, "Oh isn't Charmed the greatest?"...
Haven't seen Carnivale yet but I really like Dead Like Me. Terrific characters. I'd love to see Rube turning up on Angel.
MindPieces, Scrubs is my flat-out favorite show right now, I've really been enjoying The O.C. (thank you, DVR), Joan of Arcadia is VERY well-cast and surprises and affects me each week, and I still keep up with 24, Alias and Smallville (all of which have had their moments). Also, after a late start, Bernie Mac has been up to par.

I don't have any of the premium channels, though.
I'm big on the O.C. and 24 and Smallville is finally starting to live up to its potential. Yay for an evil and insane Lex Luthor. I hope we get an Angelus level of evil from him in the coming weeks!
For some reason I can't stand to watch any sitcoms, even The Simpsons seems like a waste of time. I think after years of having my comedy mixed with pathos on Buffy and Angel the thought of listening to one poorly delivered one liner after another bores me.
Really, Angel is the only thing I'm obsessing over. Everything else is second-tier. (However, I only get the most basic of Basic Cable, so Dead Like Me and the like are forbidden fruit.)

The only new show I'm watching -- wonder of wonders -- is Joan of Arcadia. Got shoved at it by early reviews; stuck around for the extremely rich characterization and (yes!) ongoing plot threads. Really, really well-written and acted; delicate (yes, delicate) and intelligent plotting. Also possibly the only TV drama series (ever?) to try tackling questions of faith with a modicum of smart.

Still watching Alias (fun -- manages to pull wonderful plot twists out of ludicrious situation, characters, etc. -- but not a series to obsess over), The Simpsons and The West Wing.

Tried Tru Calling, and still FFwd through it occasionally (thank you, TiVo). Tried Line of Fire -- some very good acting, but didn't like any of the characters (especially the FBI agents).

I have hope for Wonderfalls when its head pops out of the ground, though.
I thought The Wire was the best show last season, by far. I also liked Curb Your Enthusiasm, Scrubs, Dinner for Five, South Park, and the Simpsons.

I like the acting of SFU, but it's started to become too melodramatic, and is not nearly as witty as it thinks it is.

Trio was my favorite overall channel, with its Brilliant but Canceled lineup and performances by Lenny Bruce and Bill Hicks among other things as part of its primetime schedule.

Oh, and Sarah Silverman wins the award for best talk show guest.
I also really enjoy "Joan of Arcadia" and think it has a lot of potential. I don't have HBO so I haven't seen any of the other shows mentioned. I sitll enjoy "Alias" but I don't think it's as good as it was the first two seasons, but it's still entertaining. I do have to agree with Prolific though on I don't get what's the big deal about JG and MV being considered so goodlooking. I think they are both attractive but not gorgeous. My husband on the other hand does think that JG is very attractive during some of the scenes (Superbowl episode ring a bell to anyone?).

Also have felt that Smallville was getting a little boring until Lex started losing it, he is by far my favorite character and I'd love to see a lot more of him over Lana anytime. I also enjoy Stargate SG-1.

And of course Angel, which I think has been doing great this year and I can't wait until the new episodes start up again.

I did try and watch an episode of Tru Calling but it did nothing for me. I also hope Wonderfalls will be good.

I haven't really been watching any sitcoms either and I agree with vpecoraro's comments on that subject.
Here's another vote for MI-5 (Spooks) - had one of the most horrifying murder scenes I've seen on TV - put me off fries for a while.
I also like Joan of Arcadia. God has some great lines and Joan's relationship with God hasn't turned her into a I'm-so-wholesome-I'll-give-you-a-toothache teen (oxymoron!).
Both Jake 2.0 and Tru Calling got 1 hour - not interested.
I also watch 24 and Alias - mostly to see what kind of absurdness they'll get up to this week.
I don't watch much really, besides Angel (And Buff before obviously). Most shows simply aren't that good. For Eliza's sake I watch Tru on occasion, but it's really not very good. I enjoy Scrubs. Not much else. Mostly documentaries about nature or crimes.

Maybe I'm too picky, but most stuff just leaves me cold. I believe Alias could be enjoyable but it just didn't grab me. 24 is pretty decent, but not as mind-blowing as people say. CSI and Law and Order are too clinical to draw me in with the drama but are too scripted to be interesting as documentary-style watching. And reality TV is about the bottom of the barrel. (although to my shame, the Simple Life actually got some laughs out of me)

Joan of Arcadia and the like...ah I'm already tired of the 'spiritual' overload this season. And no matter how they cut it, their representation of God and the universe just pisses me off. "Hi I made everything a mess, I created pain, evil and hardship, and I could help you for real, but I'll just drop hints so I can watch you figure it out. More fun that way."
Sorry if I offend, but that's pretty much all I see, be it shows like that or Bruce Almighty or whatever. The 'moral' at the end is usually either 'the true meaning of puppies' or 'shut up, don't ask questions and obey god! And pray to him more often!". It just doesn't work for me any way you cut it.

I am happy to see though that most critical views on Angel have been pretty positive this new season.
I fully agree with you EdDantes on the Joan of Arcadia God issue, glad to here someone agrees with me.
My list would be pretty close to this, though I don't follow that many shows at one time (don't really watch a lot of TV). I'd include Dead Like Me near the top though. Arrested Developement and Curb Your Enthusiasm are both friggin brilliant.
Carnivale is my favorite 1-hour series of the season so far. I liked the slow pace. It was nice to get to know a lot of the characters gradually, before all the shit hits the fan next season. It was just different to see a show that didn't seem to be in a rush to get somewhere and turn its viewers on their heads at every turn. The first season is a prologue and that took guts. I just hope the writers know where they're going with it all now that everything's set up.

My half-hour series is Scrubs. So funny, great actors, and even on occasion genuinely touching. I wish NBC would treat it better. It'd probably be in competition with Futurama for my favorite comedy if that series was still around. Scrubs and its like (Malcolm in the Middle, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, etc) are the future for half-hour comedies. I think once Friends ends this year I'd like to see sitcoms dumped and networks move towards more daring formats.

I stuck with Jeremiah and I'm glad I did (Season 2 is consistently better than Season 1. Still the interesting "look", mix of actors, and ambitious plotting--who knows if it'll all pay off--that keeps me coming back to this unique post-apocalyptic drama). When J. Michael Straczynski is good, he's very good.

Slings & Arrows follows Carnivale as my favorite new series. Just a little 6-episode mini-series on Canada's Movie Network though, so I doubt many saw it and I can't predict whether or not there'll be more made.

Waiting for the third season of 24 on DVD, I missed too many episodes after the season premiere to bother getting into it. Still a favorite though. I liked Season 2.

Smallville, Enterprise, and Jake 2.0 are habit TV. Smallville is failing in my eyes. It was never a series to get attached to (I still haven't seen the majority of Season 1 due to the pilot leaving a bad taste in my mouth and me not giving the series another chance until the season finale), but after a lot of what they did in Season 2, especially some of the darker elements, I'm finding Season 3 and the annoying increased focus on Clark/Lana very dull. The third season of Enterprise is its best so far, but it remains to be seen whether that means much. I mostly tune in just out of a basic need for any kind of space-setting sci-fi, not out of any loyalty to the Trek franchise. Hopefully the arc will make sense. Jake 2.0 is the biggest surprise of the season for me. I tuned in not expecting much, I pretty much loathed the premiere, but the second and subsequent eps hooked me so bad. Christopher Gorham is one of the most likeable new male leads in a long time and the rest of the cast is superb as well. Some great writing on some of the eps as well (it's not the re-hashed spy/sci-fi plots, it's all about the character interaction and development).

Angel I was really worried about up until Wesley's ep and "Destiny", which were both in some way impressive and/or excellent. It might be okay now though. We'll see. I'll breathe again when I see concrete evidence that an arc is staying throughout the rest of the season and that Spike is being put to better use.

We're now getting Season 2 of The Shield up here and it's just as awesome as the first season. I never thought I'd actually enjoy a cop show.

Sex & The City's still tops. I'm glad it's ending 'cause it's time, but I'll still miss it.

Even though it's not yet a part of the 2003/2004 season, I can't wait for Six Feet Under Season 4 to begin (possibly the concluding season). It's still my favorite series.

I've been catching up on a lot of shows by renting DVDs. Oz, The Sopranos (which I still think is a bit overrated, but now that I'm getting into the so-far-excellent Season 3, I'm re-thinking that opinion), maybe check out Farscape eventually...

[ edited by Kris on 2003-12-30 12:27 ]
Thanks for pointing me towards Joan of Arcadia. Very much enjoying episode 1. (Except for the drab music)

(update: currently at episode 9, it's starting to get a little 7th heaven.)
I love Nip/Tuck, but it seems to be a summer show.

Drama: Nip/Tuck, West Wing (Sorkin is right up there with Joss, IMO)

Comedy: Arrested Development (marathon on Fox tomorrow), Homestar Runner

News: Daily Show, Nightline

(update: currently at episode 9, it's starting to get a little 7th heaven.)

Uh-oh. I'm only up to episode 6. Drat -- hope they're not losing their way. (Though the creator of the series appears to be the primary scripter -- at least for the first few episodes.)

[ edited by bookrats on 2003-12-31 19:25 ]

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