Today, FXX started their “every Simpsons ever” marathon. While I wish I could take a break from life and watch the entire series, I don’t think my office would consider it a valid leave of absence. TV has always been a major part of my life and a source of comfort for me. The Simpsons is a show I grew up watching with my family and seeing the ads plastered all over town makes me nostalgic about other series that have made an impact on me.
From across the pond: Sherlock (BBC America)
I binge-watched the series and with only three or four episodes a season, I was dying to see more. Besides the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are stupendous actors, the series really is a flawless piece of work. It’s consistently clever with surprising plot twists and gut-wrenching cliff hangers. Every role is perfectly cast and the Holmes/Watson bromance might be my favorite on-screen relationship.
Vintage TV: The Twilight Zone (CBS)
While channel-surfing in the days before on-screen guides, I stumbled across an episode of The Twilight Zone titled “Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?” and my addiction began. I’ve seen every episode, own the complete series on DVD, and my favorite holidays are 4th of July and New Years because Syfy does a Twilight Zone marathon all day. It’s fun to see all the familiar faces that appeared on the show early in their careers, particularly William Shatner. Though certain episodes are especially cheesy to the modern viewer, there’s no denying that plenty of TV shows and films have drawn inspiration from the legendary series.
The best show that premiered in 2013: Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)
As someone who works in the entertainment industry and considers watching TV a hobby, I try to sample most new series, particularly broadcast network’s fall premieres. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the only broadcast series that premiered last fall that I continued watching and am looking forward to this year (I also loved Surviving Jack, but FOX didn’t give it a fighting chance). Andy Samberg is hilarious in his own right, but the ensemble is what really brings the show to life. I’m hoping that the show’s Golden Globe recognition will help build a strong following so the series can survive many more seasons.
My reality not-so guilty pleasure: Married at First Sight (FYI)
With the launch of FYI came this gift to reality TV. I understand that many are jaded and don’t believe there is anything real in reality TV anymore. But this is special. Marriage rates are declining and some are abandoning the practice all-together saying that it’s dated. Long ago, marriage kept peace and transferred land and money between generations. But it’s been said that arranged marriages have a higher success rate, in part because you learn to make it work. Millennials feel entitled to a life free of discomfort thanks to helicopter parenting. At the same time we’re overwhelmed with options and our FOMO keeps us from committing. This experiment seems like an absurd ploy for reality TV ratings, but doesn’t it also make sense?
The most underrated veteran series: The Middle (ABC)
The Middle premiered at the same time as Modern Family and unfortunately has lived in MoFam’s shadow ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I also like Modern Family, but quite often I enjoy the week’s episode of The Middle more. It’s dysfunctional, working class, and awkward, the way most real families are. I see a lot more of my family in the series and there are more than a few scenarios that hit close to home. If Modern Family is making you too delusional about what your family should be like, get brought back to reality with The Middle.