New Fall Television Shows
Rob recently posted his surprise over my admitting to playing World of Warcraft (which is a massive multi-player online role-playing game or, aptly enough, an MMORPG. Ask your kids if you have no idea what I’m talking about). I’ve had some surprise here myself that Julie has admitted to watching television.
Mainly because I’m a television junkie. It goes back to an early age - my mother potty-trained me using Sesame Street. I thought everyone watched TV on a regular basis. But as I grew up, I kept hearing people at church saying over and over again that they never watched TV, that they didn’t have time for it or wanted to do other things. I figured my entire family were just horrible apostates since we enjoyed watching TV together.
So it’s something I don’t usually talk about. I’ve found that people sometimes look down at you if you do anything so lowbrow as watch television shows or act appalled/aghast/shocked that you would waste your time that way. It’s usually better to say nothing
But I’ve found TV to be so instrumental to my writing - the pacing, the plotting, the way the acts in an hour long drama are set up, the dialogue and timing in the comedies, the ugliness and beauty in human nature exposed on reality shows. I’ve discovered how to raise tension, how to move the plot and story along quickly. I love jaw-dropping twists on the great shows, the things you didn’t see coming. It’s also given me several great ideas that I’ve incorporated into my own stories either in character traits or using a plot that I can bend and turn until it’s my own.
That being said, the new fall season is upon us. There are a couple of great new shows this year that I’ve loved and look forward to watching regularly (note, this list doesn’t include the shows I already watch like Grey’s Anatomy or Gilmore Girls and also keeping in mind that I don’t much care for CSI/police procedural type shows or legal shows):
Monday is for Heroes. How fantastic is this show? The premise is that these ordinary people realize that they have superhuman powers - like the artist who paints the future, or the indestructible cheerleader, or the Trekkie who can slow down/speed up time and teleport. I got completely caught up in this show - a couple of the “twists” I saw coming, but when the one character tried to see if he could fly - total shock there for me in what happened. I love when a show can surprise me. It has the same sort of shadowy mysterious feel as Lost, but the producers have promised they won’t drag things out for three years before we understand what’s going on. On the same night, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip looks promising, if only because I love Matthew Perry so much (I miss Chandler Bing!). I missed the pilot, and I’m not sure what I’ll think of this show in the long run, but so far so good.
On Tuesdays my new show is Veronica Mars. Yes, I realize that this show has actually been out for two years, but when Joss Whedon can’t shut up about what a great show it is, I knew I had to watch and thus, it is new to me. But I wanted to watch it in order, so I currently have Season 1 and Season 2 which I’m going to watch before the Season 3 premiere. I’m halfway through Season 1 so nobody tell me who killed Lily Kane. The wit and the heart of this show feels very much like Gilmore Girls with a strong, female heroine who is very Buffy-like. Good show.
Thursday night is Ugly Betty. Another great premise - a non-supermodel woman who goes to work at a fashion magazine. While she’s not attractive on the outside, she’s the only truly beautiful person on the entire staff. I love that TV is showing us these women who look real (Betty, Callie on Grey’s Anatomy) and who look like they know what a hamburger is. So refreshing.
So for those of you who will actually admit to watching television (and I realize that the only ones may be Julie and me), which new shows have you liked? Any recommendations?