This week, it's TV shows. I was never much of a TV watcher until the past two years or so. It was just too much trouble to follow more than a couple of shows each season. Now, though, with the popularity of TV on DVD and streaming Netflix, we've become much bigger TV watchers. I'm not sure whether this is a completely good thing, but I have enjoyed getting into series, and it's nice to have a way to unwind and relax with Darby. So, as of now, here are my 5 all-time favorite TV shows.
- Psych - This is a light-hearted comedy/detective show about the very observant, but somewhat aimless Shawn, who pretends he's a psychic in order to work with the police. The snappy dialogue and likable characters keep the formulaic storylines from becoming tired. I think the show really hit its stride in the third season when they started developing each of the characters a little more. And, of course, the friendship between Shawn and his partner and childhood buddy, Gus, is very sweet. The sixth season came out on DVD in May, and Darby and I are very impatiently waiting for it to become available on Nextflix.
- Friday Night Lights - We started watching this show after Kalyn and BJ recommended it. Although the show features a lot of football, it is truly about relationships of all kinds. The depiction of the relationship between Coach Eric Taylor and his wife, Tammy, is one of the most realistic portrayals of marriage I've ever seen on TV. The show occasionally veers into melodramatic, teen soap territory, but always finds its way back. We watched the first four seasons on Netflix, and the fifth and final season just aired on NBC. The series finale was one of the best I've ever seen, providing closure without seeming trite (take note, LOST!).
- Friends - An oldie but a goodie. I own all 10 seasons and have watched them straight through twice. And yet, I still tune in almost every afternoon I'm home to watch the reruns on TBS. Now, that's the sign of a good show. It is immensely quotable. Almost every time Darby and I leave the house, we say "Got the keeeeeyys?" And we never tire of watching and quoting "The One with Russ" and "The One with the Screamer [Ben Stiller]." I still cry every time I see the episode where Chandler convinces Erica to choose him and Monica as adoptive parents. Great show.
- The Office - I've been a little disappointed in the past three seasons, and I'm very skeptical of how the show will continue without Steve Carrell. But the first four seasons were good enough to overcome any shortcomings. Like Friends, I've watched episodes over and over and never get tired of them. And Jim and Pam are my absolute favorite TV couple. The episode where they find out they're having a baby gets me every time. And who can even count the hours of entertainment "That's what she said" has provided?
- Mad Men - A co-worker introduced me to this show, and Darby and I were immediately hooked. It's set in a New York advertising firm in the '60s and centers on Don Draper, the mysterious, womanizing creative director. I can't reveal much about the show, as there are a lot of surprises in the first season, but it has it all: excellent writing, acting, and cinematography. And although I would hate to be treated like the women on the show, I would sure love to wear their dresses. Be forewarned, though: This is not a feel-good show. You might want to follow each episode with an episode of Friends or something. :)