Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Crap People Watch

I don't have cable. It doesn't bother me. I haven't had cable since college and I haven't missed it one bit. Ok, well, maybe a bit. I always enjoyed watching The Daily Show on Comedy Central and I also liked watching the Timberwolves play on Fox Sports, but other than that, there wasn't a whole lot I cared to watch.

The only channels I have access to are the basic ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX channels as well as two public television channels for a total of six channels. Now, you'd think that I might be able to find something I can at least tolerate watching on one of these six channels, but no matter what night of the week it is, there isn't a damn thing on that interests me... except for Tuesdays.

For one hour every week, I make sure that I am in front of my television. Amidst the sea of worthless faux-reality shows, CSI: Every City in the US, Law & Order: We Now Have One More Spin-off than CSI, boring hour long dramas, and shoddily written comedies there are two shows that shine through--Scrubs and Committed.

I have been watching Scrubs since its inception back when it was on in the Thursday night tv block that included Friends and ER and each episode is just as good as the last, which is to say each one is light years ahead of whatever else is on tv. The cast of characters is very fleshed out, with each character possessing a unique and quirky personality (even the minor characters have their traits that are instantly recognizable). The interactions between characters not only flows, but is funny as all get out. Looking past the biting humor and interesting character flaws/traits of each person, there is also a deeper theme running through each episode, what I like to refer to as the "life lesson of the night."

There's plenty of situational humor, lots of quick comical flashbacks that play on common phrases that are used, unbelievably interesting character interactions, and comical conflict aplenty, but underneath all of these attributes of the show, there is always a strong thematic rope that ties the entire episode together. Through comedy many serious situations and everyday life experiences are examined, often very intelligently and without the neat "the show is over so everything is ok again" wrapup that so many comedies make use of. Do yourself a favor and sit down on a Tuesday and watch this show--I know you'll enjoy it... unless of course you are a heartless, unfunny bastard that eats dead babies for breakfast and killed your parents just to hear them scream. Yeah, if you're like that you probably won't enjoy the show.

Committed is a new show this year and it's still growing. The first couple of episodes had their moments, but I thought that the show might end up not being able to work in the long run. Slowly, though, the show has been improving greatly mainly because the actress that plays the lead character, Marni, is so easily likeable. That and I think her care-free, happy, help everyone attitude reminds me a little of Kristin. Some of the punchlines to jokes feel forced and some of the comedic situations don't feel altogether natural, but I think given time this show will develop into a great comedy. Even if it doesn't, I'll probably keep watching it simply because it's on after Scrubs.

So, there you have it. The two shows I actually watch on tv. Lord knows what I'll do if they're ever canceled. I suppose I could give the American version of The Office a chance when it starts later this month. Watching an hour and a half of tv in a week, though? That might be pushing it for me.

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