Hello world (that was humanly generated. if you get it, you’re my buddy).
I have come to the conclusion that my brain is incapable of multi-tasking. It is a single-minded organ who can work in one of many modes, albeit ONLY one at a time. Case in hand? I am an IT professional (sorry) and I’m also a writer, a husband, a father and a few other things all at once.
The thing is, when my creativity takes over, the rest tends to suffer and when the biggest stimuli is work related, I tend to lock into the old IT guy who’s logical, calculated and… not very creative (well, unless finding creative solutions for work related problems count…).
So, that should explain the gap between the last post and this one. It should also come as no surprise that this post, unlike the deep and thought provoking one I had in mind, is about TV shows 🙂 I decided to limit myself to 10 and divide it into comedy and not-comedy (although, as you will find, the line between them is somewhat unclear at times…).
One last (not too short) piece of preamble before we get to it.
We (my wife and I) decided, much to the initial protest of the kids, to disconnect cable services a few years ago. No, I am not one of these guys who’d brag about not owning a TV. I do and I watch it. I just don’t watch TV in real-time, for a few reasons.
- First, commercials… I know someone needs to pay, but I am not going to watch a 22 minute episode of a sitcom if I have to go through 22 additional minutes of brain numbing, seizure inducing, manipulative bull crap.
- Second, I work. I work in IT. That means that I either resign to missing episodes of TV shows I like, or I watch them on DVR or whatnot. And STILL go through the aforementioned commercials (I can skip, but I don’t work for the TV, it should work for me).
- And last but not least, I like watching TV shows with some perspective. Being a legal alien in the US, I don’t follow the news and I might have a few gaps in terms of understanding some cultural aspects of life in America. Since many of the shows correspond with the environments in which they’re produced, I like to take the time and when I’m good and ready, I can watch it and engage more.
Ok folks, here’s my list. It is not “The best of” and it is not ordered by any ranking system. These are the shows that I liked best. How did I narrow these down? Well, it amounts to the reality check. I watched every (or damn close to every) episode. I would drop a TV show like it was a used diaper turned inside out if I didn’t like it.
- Seinfeld – What’s the deal with shows that everyone talks about and I can’t watch??? I did not have cable when the show ran. Since it wasn’t available where I lived at the time. Many of the people around me were all up in arms about this genius show and they would drive me insane with their sense of self-importance. “Oohh, did you see Seinfeld?” one would say and the rest of the day would be spent dissecting every second of the show and analyzing each sentence to the ground. I remember thinking that there could be no TV show deserving so much hype and excitement. Well, thank god for re-runs… I watched all seasons on re-runs. Probably twice or three times by now. What can I say? I get it.
- Louis – The two funniest people currently are called Louis. Black and C.K. I like Louis’ style and his straight shooting, no compromise writing. Like Jerry Seinfeld, he is definitely not an “actor” in the way we were used to in the past. But he delivers his comedy perfectly and there’s really no one who could have done that role but Louis himself.
- 30 Rock – I do believe Tina Fey is a comedic genius. The writing (nothing short of magnificent) and a great casting (Alec Baldwin as Alec Baldwin?) make for a laugh until you pee (Liz?) marathon. It might be a matter of taste of course, but the writing is intelligent, pays great attention to details and gives the actors what seems to be exactly what they need to capitalize (in a synergy, corporate, Dick Cheney way of course).
- Fawlty Towers – The only thing I did not like about this masterpiece of a show is that it was too damn short! First, you could put John Cleese on my screen, sitting and twiddling his thumbs and I’ll be laughing just because it’s him. But this was so much more. British humor incarnate . Sharp, short, quick and brutal in the most English way, with characters that are as off the wall as one could come up with. This is the real situation comedy. If you were in a coma so far and haven’t watched this (coma is the only acceptable excuse), go watch it. Because Zee Germans are coming!
- Black Adder – I have two words for you. Rowan. Atkinson. The more popular choice would have possibly been Mr. Bean, but I think that as hilarious as Bean was/is, Black Adder has more to offer. The interactions are different and his unique style set the bar very high.
- Homicide: Life on the street – I was never a big fan of police TV shows. Homicide made it a whole lot more than solving crimes. It’s not every series that can bring out not one or two, but at least three really good and interesting characters (Pembelton, Baylis and Kellerman) and a bunch of fantastic figures like Munch, Giardello and Howard.
- Oz – Raw. Awesome (in both ways), scary, in your face. You’ve heard it all before so yes, you can hear it from me too. That was a groundbreaking show and to this day, whenever “Shillinger” or “o’Reily” or “Beecher” make a cameo in another series, my brain immediately puts them in prison. (e.g. Dennis of 30 Rock).
- The X Files – Mulder and Scully, The smoking man, conspiracy, aliens (or are they?), Men in black, and Scully. I wanted to believe. I still do.
- Prime Suspect – In two words – Helen Mirren. In more than two, this is in my humble opinion the best British show ever. Helen Mirren.
- Doctor Who – Is it a comedy? Is it sci-fi? Is it an action series? Is it inspirational? Well, it’s just so much fun that I couldn’t care less. Favorite Doctor? David Tennant, but they’re all good. “What’s not to like?”
A (really) few honorary mentions:
Justified, Cracker, House of cards, Arrested Development, That 70s show, Are you being served and on and on.
“What? No Sopranos?/Breaking bad?/That one with the killer?” In 3… 2… 1…
Well, If you’re asking about ones I didn’t mention, why don’t you list yours?
So long, I hope creative me will give IT me a good kick in the noggin soon and you be sure to come back and see me now y’hear?