The Return of My TiVo

This article, by our friends over at the Chicago Tribune, is even more exciting with the news that the writer’s strike will soon (like, by Wednesday) be a thing of the past. At least more exciting for the shows that could re-appear soon, for 24 fans, it might not be an exciting article. For me, it served as a reference article, as I could count the vast number of shows I watch regularly. Now, with the addition of the subject of my Friday post and latest obsession, the original series count is up to 11.

In honor of the strike being over, here are the 11 shows, ranked, that I look forward to seeing again most in 2008:

1. The Office = Absolutely the best show on television. Sometimes it gets a bit Carrell-y for me, because at the end of the day, it has the best ensemble cast in history. There are so many different things going on at once in this show, it’s fantastic, and I can’t help but care about all of them while laughing at all of the jokes.

2. 30 Rock = Yes, I think Tina Fey is a better writer than she is an actor (evidence: Mean Girls). And yes, I think Tracy Morgan is way too often over the top in almost anything I’ve ever seen him in. But Alec Baldwin is so pitch perfect for this show, and they have been able to use celebrity appearances perhaps better than any show ever.

3. Big Love = I push this one hard, because it’s the most unique storyline on television that has so many aspects to it. While polygamy itself presents an interesting framework of a story given its inherent jealousies and challenges, “Big Love” goes a step further with a look inside compounds and the way it affects business and children and so much more.

4. Mad Men = I wrote the post on Friday having watched 8 of the 13 episodes. The last five presented a whirlwind of new things, and hooked me into this show so hard I’m sad I went through it all so fast. Jon Hamm absolutely deserved his Golden Globe, and look, while I bashed the ensemble a bit on Friday, the Peggy-Pete storyline got some big Season 2 legs.

5. Heroes = Yeah, I agree, Season 1 was so much better than season two it’s rather embarrassing. But the first season also set a precedent that’s pretty damn hard to match. This show is billed too much as a sci-fi in my opinion, while there’s much of that, it’s really a show about love. So why aren’t more women watching?

6. Pushing Daisies = I have a habit of approaching television by the writing first, and Pushing Daisies has some great writing. It has a voice of its own, a unique story and plotlines that are often hilarious. i think there is a lot to be desired in the acting of the show, but it’s too smart not to watch.

7. Californication = I cannot believe this overtook Weeds as my top Showtime show, but it seemed with every week, Hank Moody brought me in a little more. At first, I didn’t like his character at all — the constant self-loathing wore on me hard. But the show is such an intense character study that it might be the most honest show on television, as vile as that sometimes implies.

8. Weeds = Once upon a time, this was probably #3 on the list. The first two seasons were fantastic. It’s such a good idea for a TV show, but what started as ridiculous is just getting more and more silly. A mother-drug dealer has enough inherent problems that I don’t really think we need to worry about throwing in natural disasters, do we?

9. Flight of the Conchords = Maybe this should be higher, maybe it should be lower. After a good episode, I feel like it’s as smart as anything on TV. After a bad, I think it couldn’t be trying any harder. So that leaves it here, with brilliance too often not to watch, and silliness too often to get too excited about it.

10. Tell Me You Love Me = I think I might be done with this, but I’ll give it a couple episodes in the next season to make one last push. The reason I say I would finish is because I watched an entire season only caring about one of 4 or so different plot lines. That’s really no way to watch a show, even if the one plot line was pretty good.

11. Entourage = Here’s one I’m almost sure I’m done with. I remember watching the first season of Entourage and falling in love — I felt like I had freaking discovered Jeremy Piven. But now, as they feed Piven too many lines, focus way too much on the sexual lives of Turtle and Drama and get further and further from the look inside Hollywood that the show was designed for, I’m checking out … soon.

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