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10 June 2012

What's A Good Show To Watch? Hits and Misses of TV SEASON 2011-2012

What a good show to watch?

Ehhh.... I'm still having a hard time convincing people to love Friday Night Lights. But I have no problem doing the same for The Vampire Diaries. Both shows, I enjoy and get immense satisfaction from. Both shows, I consider good. But I wouldn't exactly group them together in the same category or calibre.

The truth is, the answer to this question largely depends on personal preference, 90% of the time. People come up with lists and awards, serving as good guides for which shows to check out. But still, everything depends on what the viewer is inclined to like.

I once had to convince someone who loves cheesy dramas to sit through Firefly, a sci-fi/action series I've watched a hundred times, and we ended up debating. We're still friends, but TV has tainted that relationship. (No wait, that's not true. That's just for dramatic effect! Haha!)

If you still can't tell, I watch most anything that's on TV. Sooooo much, that qualifying a show as "good" involves a lot of factors and considerations...and sometimes, feelings and attachment!  I am one fickle viewer, too. Coz I can like a show today, only to hate it three episodes later...or the other way around.

So --- "What a good show to watch?" --- is really a hard question to answer. That's like asking me a trick question.

Which brings me to this list.

Some viewers are just beginning to get acquainted with shows from last season, all of which ended in May. The other week, I got asked what I can recommend from it, and you know what happened? I was stumped!!! I couldn't blurt out one title. It took me minutes to enumerate shows, because there were so many I can recommend based on how much (or how little) I know about the one asking.

I actually didn't know where to begin, let alone begin to justify why I think it should be watched (or not). I realize, I had to get this organized.

Most of what's listed here are from the recent TV Season (Sept 2011-May 2012) and this post should serve as my round-up for the season, like I did with last year's Summer Shows.

If you've been watching some of these, you may not agree with why I've grouped them there. But like I said, watching is 90% personal preference. So this one's mine.
  • Refer to Wikipedia if you want a brief rundown of their plots.
  • These are both network shows and cable shows.
  • Some of these shows are already cancelled.
  • I did not include reality series and singing competitions, nor any other show I've been watching in between that doesn't belong to this TV season slate (such as The Wire).
  • For any other series I may fail to mention, it may be because I have not been watching it (NCIS!). Or I'm having a senior moment and forgot. Which is to say....it really didn't make any impact on me.

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A.) I get consistent joy from watching these shows. I still have a love affair with it, many of them running for more than two seasons already. Most of it are comedies, a genre I really enjoy. But the last two are crime dramas/procedurals:
  • THE MIDDLE 
  • COMMUNITY
  • BIG BANG THEORY
  • RAISING HOPE
  • MODERN FAMILY 
  • HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER 
  • THE VAMPIRE DIARIES
  • CASTLE 
  • THE MENTALIST 

How I Met Your Mother needs a special mention. It's been several years and viewers still have no idea how Ted met Mother, when the show has been promising this season after season. But I can let that pass (for now) since I'm still enjoying the characters and the way episodes are presented each week.

The Vampire Diairies, I should also single out. Since it's on its third season, I kinda get the way the writers do the episodes now and sometimes I complain about its predictability on Twitter. But I'm a sucker for love stories like the one Stefan-Elena-Damon have. I am on Team Stefan, by the way. (But I love Ian Somerhalder!!!! *1Million exclamation points!*)

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B.) I consider these shows epic. And I use the word epic in the real sense: timeless, grand, legendary; not in the sense people would describe ice cream (as in, "This Magnum ice cream bar is epic!" IT IS SOOOO NOT.) Some people may find these shows an effort to sit through, especially when it's all talk, talk, talk. Or when the scenes are so violent or PG-rated for 30 year-old virgins. But what I love about this is the richness of the stories. So much can be picked from it. 
  • GAME OF THRONES 
  • SPARTACUS 
  • THE WALKING DEAD 
  • MAD MEN 
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C.)  In the beginning, I thought these freshmen series were blah. But I gave it another viewing, after giving up the first time. And you know what? I'm glad I did. Because I would've missed out on something meaningfully entertaining.
  • PERSON OF INTEREST 
  • ENLIGHTENED  
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D.) I have yet to give these shows a try. People seem to like it, but I just haven't had the time to watch. Or I've watched these before, but wasn't able to continue with it, for one reason or another. The last show is a new series (but it's been cancelled):  
  • FRINGE 
  • BONES 
  • CRIMINAL MINDS 
  • JUSTIFIED
  • PARKS & RECREATION 
  • ALCATRAZ 
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E.) After a few seasons, I decided to quit watching these shows because...what is the point, really? The stories were going nowhere, and I'm not going to waste my time with it any longer. It's a real shame especially for the last show listed, which used to be my favorite comedy series three or four years ago:
  • GOSSIP GIRL 
  • NIKITA 
  • THE OFFICE 
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F.) These became my filler shows for this season, meaning, I sometimes keep it on when I'm working, or having a massage, or cooking. It's fun to watch, but it's also perfect as background noise.  The no-brainers, the time-fillers and the guilty pleasures. I don't really miss a lot of the plot when I'm not looking at the TV, but I can follow it fine when I do. And then, I don't want to give it up entirely because I still get some enjoyment from it, especially when it's a Sunday and there's nothing else to watch. Besides, the last show on this list has one of TV's cutest. Why would I wanna ditch and miss all that eye-candy? :P
  • LAST MAN STANDING 
  • FAIRLY LEGAL 
  • THE CLIENT LIST 
  • GCB 
  • COUGAR TOWN 
  • ROB 
  • HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN
  • PORTLANDIA 
  • HOUSE OF LIES 
  • BODY OF PROOF
  • HARRY'S LAW
  • HAWAII 5-0 
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G. ) I was so upset these freshmen series were pulled off the air. I would've kept watching these. They had potential. I thought they had good stories/concepts, especially the first three on the list.
  • AWAKE 
  • THE FINDER
  • MAN UP  
  • THE FIRM
  • BENT 
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H.) Now these...I loved these 1st-season shows in the begining. I thought, Fall TV was shaping up to be a good one, compared to two years ago or the year before, when none of the newer shows really made an impression. But my eagerness and excitement? Apparently premature. Coz somewhere in the middle of these shows, stories began to fall apart. While I will continue to watch these (or at least those that come back for their second season), I am hoping improvements will be done so that couch potatoes like me can sleep well at night.
  • REVENGE 
  • ONCE UPON A TIME 
  • MISSING 
  • AMERICAN HORROR STORY 
  • 2 BROKE GIRLS 
  • TOUCH 
  • SMASH 
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I. ) Ahhh...my promising NEW favorites. These shows can go in category A (scroll up) next year , if all goes well. The last two shows may technically be considered as summer shows, by the way...
  • SUBURGATORY 
  • DON'T TRUST THE BITCH IN APT 23 
  • NEW GIRL 
  • GRIMM 
  • GIRLS  
  • VEEP 
Special mention needed for New Girl, which I think I'd categorize as most improved. It was harder to follow the series in the beginning, because Zooey Deschanel is just soooo weird, even for my own weirdness. But what the writers left viewers with during the last 4 episodes of its first season, makes me hopeful about the where this show is going.

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J.) I would group these shows under....."Whuuuuut??!!!" Enough said.
  • SCANDAL 
  • RINGER 
  • BEST FRIENDS FOREVER 
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K.) I say a special goodbye to this show.  I can't believe I was able to watch all eight seasons of it, considering how I easily get tired of a show that follows a strict format (procedurals).
  • HOUSE 

House's series finale didn't hurt me the way Friends or Lost ended, where I ended up crying buckets and declaring in between sobs that, "I'm gonnnnnna miiiiisss this shooooooowwww!" I was actually glad House is done, as there wasn't any more to tell. We all need to move on now.

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L.) I saved THE BEST for last. These are my TOP 3 FAVORITES this season because they are well-written, well-acted and well-executed. Thus, it's well-worth spending time watching.
  • HOMELAND
  • THE GOOD WIFE
  • HAPPY ENDINGS

So, what's on your list? Lemme see!!!

8 comments:

  1. I really admire your love of current TV. The only current series I really followed from beginning to end is Game of Thrones. The comedies I can watch per episode. But the drama series, once I miss one, I can't seem to follow them anymore.

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  2. How come Smash is not on any list?

    I totally agree with Homeland and The Good Wife

    -halfnakedraise

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  3. Oh, yeah! I forgot to put Smash. It's right up there in the same category as Revenge. =)

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  4. what about supernatural not a fan

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  5. Only saw the first season of that show and was too afraid then to really get hooked.

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  6. Really enjoyed this post and basically the whole blog! Keep up the good work!

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  7. Team Damon!! He is just so darn hot, but hey, if Elena let's him go, I need some witch to throw me into that series.

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  8. Using on demand, I just watched all of Game of Thrones and Homeland and am totally hooked on both. Maybe I will try The Good Wife, Mad Men or Breaking Bad.

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