I wasn't a big TV viewer in the old days. Even as a little kid, I'd watch Sesame Street or something and shut the thing off (much to the annoyance of my mother, who wanted more time to herself). When I married Kim my evenings changed: Kim works in TV and loves the medium, so now we sit in front of the Boob Tube every night. Luckily we have Netflix Streaming and there's a lot of good stuff to watch. I've already talked about Mad Men; here are my thoughts on some other shows we've watched:
- Mythbusters. I always liked the "Worst Case Scenario Handbooks" that were popular a decade ago, and I enjoy Mythbusters the most when it's like those books, and tells you how to be Batman one way or another. Their love of explosions is endearing, but I don't get the same thrill from the big blasts as I do from, say, watching them break out of prison with watches and paper clips.
- Justified. Based on an Elmore Leonard short story, it's excellent overall but makes me uneasy. It's filled with Leonard's cutesy machismo, and as I noted to Ta Neishi Coates today, I'm uncomfortable with it when it's coming from a guy with a badge. I highly recommend Justified, but with that reservation.
- Breaking Bad. Extremely well done but I find it hard to watch. It's not that he's dying of cancer while being threatened by psychotic drug lords; I can accept that. Weirdly enough it's his family: I find his prissy, humorless wife revolting, for some reason, and the main character's cavalcade of dreary misery, from all sides of his life, more depressing than entertaining. Kim and I watch it occasionally but there's only so much we can stand.
- Archer. Very Adult Swim-esque in that every character is a mild sociopath, but we laugh anyway so who cares?
- The X-Files. It's amazing how well this show has aged over the last two decades, at least when you rewatch the comedy episodes (I don't remember the "mythos" ones being that great). That's until the 8th and 9th seasons, anyway, when I had stopped watching. I tried some ninth season eps for the first time, but even when the concepts were great (Burt Reynolds as God! The Brady Bunch as serial killers!) the execution was dull as dishwater. So sad.
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Kim likes this a lot better than I do, since I find the mysteries/"thrillers" to be simple-minded and crude (not surprising with only 30 minutes to cover them). Nevertheless the intros and closers with Hitchcock himself are delightful, funny and charming, and the show can be worth watching for those alone.