It’s the most wonderful time of the year: TV Is back

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Acknowledgement: I am about to alienate everyone outside the US. I’m sorry. As a token of love, here’s an animated gif you’re going to have to decide your feelings on.

All the Magnums at the Magnum party. And maybe a Higgins on the right.

If I’ve seemed a little more chipper lately, it’s because it is an exciting time of year. It is the beginning of the 2011-12 television season. See, I have this Abed-like love for TV — always have. I will watch just about anything, and when I find a series I really like I’ll watch the whole thing obsessively. There is a painting of Thomas Magnum hanging on my studio wall. I may have made lists about repetitive happenings on The X-Files. My friends dressed up as characters from “my shows” once, and threw me a party with Teen Moms, several Magnums and Higginses, couples from COPS and characters from Lazytown.

Hands up: how many of you are looking forward to just getting home and watching TV tonight? There’s no shame in that! We are grown-ups and we do what we want, and sometimes that means going home and eating ice cream on the couch with the lights out, watching TV all. night. long.

It’s such a welcome retreat, the TV. Despite the community created by the internet, TV is still this central figure in our culture. The family in teen-book-wonder The Perks of Being a Wallflower shares a moving experience in the finale of M*A*S*H for a reason — it’s a sign of the times that we often only have time to connect over the shared stories of fictional characters. Storytelling has always been a part of human culture, and now that new stories are big and bright and coming to our homes every single hour of our lives, it’s worth finding and appreciating the good installments of those stories.

Today, I want to present you with my curated fall line up of often-overlooked shows I think Homies will dig — stuff you might want to add to your “I can’t wait to get home and veg out and watch TV” plans. Come, let us gather in the warm glow of our teeveeeeees.

Source: via Cat on Pinterest

Adventure Time

If you like adventure, monsters, really nice drawings, Neil Patrick Harris, songs, vampires, or things-that-are-kawaii — just watch it. I mean, it’s bizarre. So be prepared. It’s definitely in the category of Invader Zim and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack of cartoons which LOOK like they’re for kids, but they’re sooo not.


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I’m sorry, I’ll stop talking about X-files soon, I promise. But not yet — because J.J. Abrahms’ Fringe definitely makes nods in that direction. (There’s even one episode where they reference the hearings in the “X division.” I squeed.)

FBI agent Olivia Dunham teams up with a damaged-goods “fringe scientist” and his hunky son, Joshua Jackson. Everyone’s a genius. It’s got science, science fiction, interdimensional travel, easter eggs, and Leonard Nimoy.

The 4th season is airing now on Fox, and you can catch the season premiere on Hulu right now.

Parks and Recreation

Amy Poehler’s show started off as a copy of The Office, circa-Jim-and-Pam-getting-engaged. And it suuuuuuucked at first. But after the first season I think NBC execs gave Poehler a longer leash, and now P&R has the most original characters on TV. And Amy’s character — Leslie Knope — is not just the best lady character on TV right now, she’s fascinating regardless of gender. She’s likeable, nerdy, funny, and has just decided to choose her very awesome career over her very awesome relationship.

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You can start at the beginning of Parks and Recreation on Netflix, or jump right in to season four on Hulu.


It’s good again. It has been good for a while, but people mostly seem to like to watch Saturday Night Live for the hating on it.

And also? Bridesmaids was a legit hit this summer, so I’m excited to see Kristen Wiig take that power and run with it.


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OMG LOUIE. Louie is the most beautiful piece of art work ever wrought. It’s uncomfortable and horrible and really funny and weirdly-beautiful. Maybe it just rings a bell with me because my husband seems to have been cut from the same cloth as Louis CK, but just trust with me and go with it. It’s on Netflix and Hulu and I have NO IDEA when it’s on FX (no thanks to their awful website) but I’m fairly certain it’s a summer series, anyhow.

So. What’re you gonna go home and watch tonight?

Comments on It’s the most wonderful time of the year: TV Is back

  1. Supernatural! After catching random episodes here and there, I decided I really wanted to know what’s going on. So I’ve bought three seasons in about three weeks. Two have been watched, and I’m waiting on the last one. Once I get through season 6 and the few episodes of 7 that have aired so far, I can actually watch it when it airs! I adore this show.

  2. Our Thursday TV-watching consists of The Office, Community, and Parks & Rec! We also watch that new show Terra Nova (Hi, I’m a super nerdy geologist and would sob hysterically with joy if I saw a dinosaur in person, alive) and Glee!

  3. My Little Pony!! YAY! Except we have to wait yet another week for this season to actually start. Argh.

    Castle. I love Castle. It’s a genuinely good show, and it’s got witty dialogue.

    Also, Archer. Archer is not for the faint of heart. Fabulous cartoon about horribly, hilariously dysfunctional private spies. It is in the the WORST possible taste and I LOFF EET.

  4. Has anyone else been watching New Girl on Fox? I have actually stopped scheduling other activities and even hung up on my husband once because this show is SO. DAMN. FUNNY.

      • Man, I still seriously miss Better Off Ted. I was going to give New Girl a miss because I usually loathe the type of manic pixie dream girls that Zooey Deschanel so often plays, but I might have to give it a try.

    • My husband loves New Girl, which he certainly didn’t download, oh no, the magical elves just put it on his computer. He got me to watch the first episode but I only made it half way through, I couldn’t cope with the ‘you do that’ comments every thirty seconds.

  5. I cannot wait for the new season of PSYCH! It’s a hilarious, exciting show. Part comedy, part mystery detective show, and full of awesome 80s references. I love it.

  6. I am in LOVE with so many shows this season! My DVR is literally exploding with stuff I have to watch. Every night it’s recording at least 3-4 different shows. New Girl is hands down my favorite.

    Adventure Time is awesome! My teenager watches it regularly and sometimes I can’t help but get sucked into an episode.

  7. You are my TV doppelganger. Thanks for the Community shout-out; my FH works on the show. And OMG, Louie. SO GOOD. He should have won alllll the Emmys. Modern Family is “eh” … Louie is amazing.

    Have you been watching Up All Night? My fav new sitcom. Also, Happy Endings, my fav new sitcom from last season.

  8. Canada FINALLY got the new season of Futurama, which my husband and I watch every Sunday. As well, Amazing Race is back. And we just got the most recent season of Project Runway.

    I’ve actually started watching Pan Am, because I’m curious about it. It’s okay so far. I really like Christina Ricci’s character. I am curious about The Playboy Club too, but I only caught the season opener and haven’t seen an episode since (Project Runway is on at the same time…so that has priority).

  9. oh how i love adventure time! and louie. those are the best. but we canceled our cable like six months ago, so we’re confined to netflix and hulu. argh!

  10. My fiance & I are hooked on Terra Nova! Think the 24 series, but with dinosaurs. Also, the overall theme of sustainability and going green makes my inner hippy happy. XD

    Another great show that we both really like is 2 Broke Girls. It’s cute and pretty easy to relate to.

    Also, Big Bang Theory. Totally love the geeky references in it!

    • I love Terra Nova! It kinda reminds me of Lost meets Jurassic Park.

      And I totally love Big Bang Theory too. I only recently just started watching it…only the re-runs they show on TBS though. Haven’t caught any of the brand new episodes yet. But man is that show hilarious.

  11. I watch an amazing amount of TV. I don’t really apologize for it anymore, especially since TV has gotten so good, but I am also relatively indiscriminate. The past couple weeks, I’ve been going “My stories! My stories!” I’m SO glad Community and Parks and Rec are back. Highlight of my week is those babies.

    We have watched a lot of the new shows:

    Up All Night – not the best, but definitely showing promise. I laughed a lot.

    The New Girl – promising. Better than I thought it would be.

    Pan Am – Made me really appreciate Mad Men even more than I already did. Maybe it’d be fun in a trashy kinda way but it’s like they completely misunderstand what makes Mad Men so good (hint: it’s not just the period costumes).

    Homeland – so far, so good. Claire Danes is crazy good in it and Damian Lewis is one of my favorite actors, so even though brainwashing is kinda stupid and implausible, I’m on board.

    Revenge – So trashy, but so fun. It’s like a revenge procedural! One revenge a week!

    And even with all the new TV, I still find time to watch a LOT of Star Trek (Voyager right now, then DS9) on Netflix streaming.


    • Super snaps for Star Treks! My husband and I were getting DS:9 through Netflix on DVD, but when they raised prices we cx’d our DVD subscription and went to just streaming. I was sad because DS:9 wasn’t on streaming yet, but we just saw they added it, so we alternate Voyager and DS:9 episodes. Quark and Janeway are totally worth my time!

  12. I am a TV addict. I have gotten my husband hooked on some shows since he somehow didn’t watch tv before we started dating. My iCal has a calendar just for when TV shows are on. Being in Canada, I’m stuck downloading because we are pretty particular on what we like, would have to DVR everything because our schedules are crazy, and it works for us until Netflix gets more stuff.
    So I’m watching:
    – Being Erica – One of my guilty pleasures, Canadian show, gal who is figuring out what the heck to do with her life after a major crisis but with a mix in of some fantasy elements like being able to relive past events.
    – Terra Nova – DINOS! Plus the guy from Charmed!
    – Castle – Nathan Fillion. Enough said.
    – NCIS
    – NCIS: Los Angeles – Chris O’Donnel and a rapper? Yeah, what’s not to love!
    – Unforgettable – Brand new and I’m liking it. Eidetic memory helping solve crimes while the chick slowly remembers details about the day her sister was murdered.
    – Criminal Minds – Thrilled they’ve brought back the cast of female characters they tried to axe last season. Hah! Fans won. Plus Kirsten Vaugness is fantastic and nerdy and amazing. With Nicholas Brendan occasionally appearing? Awesome!
    Fringe – I too love this.
    Supernatural – I’m curious to see what they’ll do with this season since last one had so many issues (and the stars supposedly had said there was no way they’d ever come back).
    Big Bang Theory – Geek love!
    Sanctuary – can’t wait for this to start up again! Amanda Tapping did an awesome job getting this one going!
    Mentalist – Con artist and hypnotist? Yeah, he reminds me a bit of my hubby. Curious to see what they’ll do this year!
    Bones – still waiting but it starts soon! Emily Deschanel is actually pregnant so woohoo!
    The Finder – a spin off from Bones that is going to rock.
    Yeah. I’m a tv addict. Waiting to see how the new fairy tale series end up panning out, both of them.

    • I used to watch Criminal Minds, but I had to stop because I started freaking myself out every time I watched it and I would be up all night thinking that someone was about to break in and murder me. I don’t know if I’m just easily scared or if they just do a fantastic job of touching on people’s fears.

    • I LOVE Criminal Minds. Those marathons on Friday? I totally watch them. But I haven’t seen any new episodes because my husband is sick and tired of it. (I seriously watch it as often as I can). I love the characters Dr. Spencer Ried (such a cutie! Plus he played the Intern in Steve Zissou and the Life Aquatic, and his most recent modeling job is for Aldo), and Penelope Garcia.

    • Criminal Miiiiinnndsss. I am a crime show addict, but also Kirsten Vangsness is my dream woman. I was so excited when I found out she was queer, and then so sad when she got engaged. Why are all the good women taken?!

    • Oh, how I love Being Erica!! I’m in the U.S., so I have to get my fix via Hulu. I hope they are still planning on airing the fourth season (heard some internet rumors they may not). So sad it’s the last season! It’s one of my favorites.

  13. Wednesday nights are the best TV nights for me. Survivor followed by Americas next top model followed by CSI. Although I DVRd CSI last night in favor of watching the new show “american Horror Show”
    Did anyone else see it? What did you think of it?

  14. House. Sons of Anarchy. Boardwalk Empire. Strike Back – these are the staple of my fall, though I am watching Fringe season 1 to see what the fuss is about. I was a huge LOSTie, so I’m game for geek. I’m trying out American Horror Story and Terra Nova to see how they fit. So far, so good.

    Oh, and Bones. I am a sucker for David Boreanaz.

    I have totally got my husband sucked into series-shows. He gets me to watch Swamp People, Sons of Guns, and various others in that vein. I tried to tell him that is reality TV (which he hates x10), but he denies that fact because those are “at least interesting reality shows. Project Pregnant Runway Jersey Housewife is just crap stuffed between the more interesting hour of commercials.” LOL.

  15. Oh, crap do I love TV. In terms of comedies, I think Parks and Rec is great (and I totally sat right behind Adam Scott on a plane earlier this year…it.was.awesome.) Community, How I Met Your Mother (mostly for Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Seigel,) and Modern Family. Happy Endings just started its second season and it has really come into its own. It’s really funny now.
    In terms of dramas, Breaking Bad is probably the best show on TV right now (but I think the season finale is next week.) It’s really an amazing show and there’s a reason Brian Cranston keeps winning awards for it. Fringe is great and while I’ve missed the first episode of Dexter, I have faith that it’s still really good. I’m sad that Mad Men has been delayed, but at least it’ll be back soon as well. I’m not sure if it’s started a new season yet because I don’t have cable, but the first season of Justified with Timothy Olyphant from Deadwood was pretty good. I haven’t kept up with it, but I’m intending on Netflixing the most recent season of Sons of Anarchy as well.

  16. My husband and I get into TV shows through Netflix. We’ve just finished watching all of Mad Men and we’re deep into Star Trek Voyager and DS:9. We also watch the cheesy reality shows like Swamp People, Mall Cops, and Parking Wars. Sometimes a few 20 minute episodes of something is just the TV hit you need. I’ve just begun watching Sister Wives as it’s been added to Netflix. I thought it’d be awful, but the wives are sassy, so I’m still intrigued. Tonight it’s Parks and Rec, Community, Office, and then probably jump on Netflix for more brain candy. 🙂

  17. The tv shows I absolutely will not miss if I can help it are The Big Bang Theory, Glee, and 30 Rock. (Tina Fey is my idol. I dream of being her padawan.) There are way too many other shows that I catch when I can. lol

  18. besides the fact that reading the comments and this post have me inspired to go dvr more tv i already watch certain special shows like Criminal Minds, Awkward, New Girl, Project Runway (anyone going to watch project accessory??) and i just got into Bedlam on BBC America. Watched the premier after the Dr.Who Finale and got hooked! and dear lord am i excited for bones

  19. Once, when my husband and I were first dating, I said something about “that guy who played Spock – what’s his name, Leroy Nimrod?” I thought he was going to die from laughing so hard. So now that’s how we refer to Leonard Nimoy, to the extent that I had to pause to figure out who you meant.

    Anyway. We don’t have a TV so we DVR stuff at my mom’s, since she lives next door. We just finished Doctor Who, and we still have some F Word and Law and Order UK to watch. (Although the latter is my obsession, so maybe I’ll watch it when the husband is busy.)

    We’ve also been going through some classic television lately: all four seasons of Blackadder (which my mom had never seen – now she’s full of cunning plans), ‘Allo ‘Allo, and Quantum Leap.

  20. This year is great for tv! Did anyone see the premiere of American Horror Story last night? A-maz-ing.
    We’re also watching Sons of Anarchy and I loooved the first season of Wilfred.

    • Holy amazing show batman! American Horror Story sucked me in from the first second and now I can’t wait to watch the rest of the season! Definitely creepy, and I’m a huge wuss who usually hates scary movies, but I am so hooked on this show! I watched the whole episode curled up, hands to my face, yelling at the characters. Love it!

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