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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?