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This is one of those diaries you might come to because you want a little levity. That's all I have to sell here, but I think it's a good thing to let our hearts be light now and then.

The other night I heard Rachel say this very thing:  "TV has never been better."  And I was SO relieved that such a smart lady agreed with me. I too think TV has never been better.

Every time I hear some good soul tell me they threw their TV out years ago, and now read via firelight a al Lincoln---just kidding---I think, am I really that shallow?  Shit, I love TV, can't imagine my life without it.

Which is not to say I spend hours a day in front of it, but hey, winters in Minnesota don't leave you with a lot of options come darkness, which occurs at about 4:30 in the deepest weeds of winter. My husband and I have had a nightly fire going since November, and we do like to hunker down under our warm throw blankets and watch a good show.

And seems to us there's so much more and better to choose from these days. We're both politicos and enjoy the news, but that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about sheer entertainment.  

My caveat is we do invest in cable and past season DVDs that we buy used.  We don't like our cable company any better than anyone does, but we've thrown our hands up. If we amoratize the cost of our enjoyment, turns out to be a good investment.

There's many a diary here about books, but none that I've seen about TV.  So I wanted to ask what y'all are watching. Or, why you don't miss your TV.  All viewpoints welcome.

Here's a couple of things we've really enjoyed, outside of politics and the news.

The Good Wife.

Good ensemble show. Good writing, good actors, good stories. Not a show you can just jump into and fully enjoy. Best to start at the beginning.  Used DVDs of past seasons are very cheap on Amazon or Ebay, and if you have Net Flicks you can probably start at season one and keep going.

Parenthood.

Some say it's too soapy, most haven't ever seen it. It's a very good family show, imo.  And I mean that both in that you can watch it with your kids, and that it portrays families
in a way that is a long way from "Father Knows Best." Again, fine writing and performances, imo. Again, past seasons are cheap on DVD, and then there's Netflicks.

Homeland.

Gripping. Claire Danes is great as the protagonist. It's gotten a lot of buzz, and I can see why.

Dexter.

I resisted the idea that I needed to watch a series about a serial killer for a long time. My nieces and nephews, almost all and many of them, kept telling me I was missing something. They were right.

Got a season for my husband for Xmas, figured he'd probably like it, and it didn't matter if I didn't. But I got hooked too. We've now watched everything up to the 7th season.

I guess it's that for our generation, TV was always black and white, and I mean that metaphorically, as well as literally. Good or bad, right or wrong, hero or villain.  No shades of gray for the better part.

Dexter will find you feeling affection and understanding for a serial killer. Yep, that's different. Excellent cast, multi layered plots, and surprisingly, often very funny.

Nurse Jackie.

Same deal as Dexter. A pill popping, wife cheating nurse who you end up liking for her better side. VERY shades of gray.

Downton Abbey.

Yep, we love it. Husband is chagrined. Can't believe anything so "chic" has hooked him like a big old trout.

And really, there's so much more.  Documentaries and specials on the History channel, my favorite cooking shows, even though I don't cook a lick, and the occasional afternoon with HGTV when I, like Hillary, just want to chill in the world of making our nests.

So there's some of my picks. Would love to hear yours.  And if you hate TV and consider it the devil's manifestation of shallow thinking and distraction, you too are welcome to comment.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

    by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:37:12 PM PDT

  •  Once Upon A Time. Doctor Who. Nuff said. (14+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:40:43 PM PDT

  •  Plus, I watch only two reality shows: (11+ / 0-)

    Worst Cooks in America and Next Food Network Star.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:41:07 PM PDT

  •  The Walking Dead!!!! (9+ / 0-)

    What about the most popular show on Cable right now?

    Also, Game of Thrones & American Horror Story are fantastic!

    Sons of Anarchy & g>Archer...

    ng>Louie

    Lastly, ng>Psych is the BEST detective show on TV.

  •  Tonight's Ed Shultz Show is one of his best (15+ / 0-)

    ever. We finally got to meet the MVP of the 2012 election.
    Scott Prouty , the guy responsible for the 47% tape - was interviewed and he is a hero through and through.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:46:24 PM PDT

  •  Morning News is total joke. If you took Hollywood (11+ / 0-)

    Celebs out of Network reporting the broadcast would be less than 2 minutes for news of the rest of the world.

    •  Compare: "Today Show" Frank Blair Reads the News (7+ / 0-)

      for the first minute. A more familiar voice follows with a commercial.

      Name me a major network today anchor who could hold a candle to Frank Blair.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:58:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This!!! I've tried watching HLN for..news, but (6+ / 0-)

      there is so much "fluff" (she said, trying to be civil) and so little news, it isn't worth the effort.  Thank goodness for the intert00bz.  

      That said, there is still a lot of good stuff that entertains or enlightens:
      Sons of Anarchy
      Walking Dead (followed by Talking Dead!)
      Grimm
      Person Of Interest
      CSI (yes, even now!)
      The History Channel
      BBC America
      PBS

      I don't watch "reality" tv, as there is damned little reality and not enough anything else in it for me. ymmv ;-)

      What a nice break from all the seriousness of the day this diary has been!  Thanks!

      Marti

      We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

      by The Marti on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:18:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ack! I forgot Warehouse 13 and Haven! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pucklady, worldlotus

        We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

        by The Marti on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:20:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ok, you're adding to the drum beat (4+ / 0-)

        for Walking Dead and Grimm.  Don't know about Person of Interest.  What's that about?

        Glad you enjoyed the break from seriousness. We have got to learn to love our shallow sides too. ;)

        "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

        by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:32:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thought I was the only one who watches Grimm. (5+ / 0-)

        Filmed in Portland, so I know most of the sites and scenes.

        Thought I'd like Portlandia, but grew tired of it soon.

        Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

        by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:47:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  not at all, we love Grimm too! and the late, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pucklady, StellaRay, The Marti

          lamented Fringe. Once-Upon-a... we're taping it but not watching... it's a pretty big energy sink, but interesting.

          I live down the valley, but grew up with Portland being "the City", so we went up a fair amount. LOTS of recognizable locations, even for an "Oregon-Valley-Girl", 8-)

          YES, Caviezel is gorgeous, if you like 'em tall & wiry & quiet, 8-) also a PNW boy. We really like Person of Interest, and Elementary. Castle (FILLION!) are waiting impatiently for Warehouse 13 return.

          NCIS, of course, but do NOT see the point of NCIS:LA. The original is a great ensemble; LA seems to be just another police procedural with a not-very-interesting cast.

          Those are the ones all 3 of us watch. Kiddo & I have a couple of others that DH can't stand (Touch, Falling Skies, Community)

          waiting impatiently also for Primeval:New World to show up, on SyFy, eventually!

          "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

          by chimene on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 12:26:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah looks like acting and story making a comeback (10+ / 0-)

    on TV.

    I like Grimm, Downton Abbey, Scandal, Dexter (which for some reason gets my wife horny!), and a few others I can't think of right now.

    SO glad Grimm has come back after a damn near six month hiatus.

  •  I'm addicted to television (9+ / 0-)

    There is so much good stuff on tv, and not that much of it is on the alphabet networks.

    The only reality show I watch is FaceOff (if you haven't tried FaceOff, give it a shot, especially if you love TV and movies!)

    I love genre shows, and there are so many - Supernatural (guilty pleasure. Don't call me on Wednesdays, I'm busy) Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Teen Wolf (I expected it to be lame, but it's great!), Lost Girl (from Canada) and Haven.

    I love The Mentalist, White Collar, Leverage (gone now - waaah!). I still watch Bones, and I catch Hawaii-5-0 when I notice it's o.

    I love The Borgias and Dexter. I'm getting on board with Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey.

    Lots of really good scripted stuff!

    Hopefully ...... soon, Mom. My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

    by pucklady on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:50:15 PM PDT

  •  The Americans is done well. Only Season 1 so (7+ / 0-)

    unsure if it will be able to maintain quality but great so far.

    On the plus side only Season One, so everyone can get on the train before it gets too complex or convoluted.

    On FX Wednesdays, Russian Sleeper Agents vs Reagan Era FBI and an interesting dissection of a marriage. Gripping.

    "Reason is six-sevenths of treason," said one of his neighbors. "Intelligence is what the enemy uses," said another.

    by Misterpuff on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:50:55 PM PDT

  •  Don't have cable, so limited. (7+ / 0-)

    I spent about 6 months with a friend who did and while there I watched, and loved, Suits. My friend watched a bunch of other stuff that I enjoyed as well, but Suits was my favorite.

    Non-cable favorite is Big Bang Theory. I know those people well and I find the writing and delivery to be crisp and consistently amusing. Again, my friend with cable introduced me to TBBT. I enjoy it so much that I've borrowed all back seasons from the library and have now seen every episode except for a couple from this season that I might have missed.

    Cable friend claimed that TV was best it's been in 40 years. I concur.

    The world is not interested in the storms you encountered, but did you bring in the ship.

    by Hanging Up My Tusks on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:56:10 PM PDT

    •  Oh yes, Suits is another must-watch for me (5+ / 0-)

      And Boardwalk Empire.

      If you like Suits, you would probably like Scandal. Or Mad Men.

      Hopefully ...... soon, Mom. My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

      by pucklady on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:57:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Have seen some of Mad Men and liked it. (5+ / 0-)

        Haven't seen Boardwalk yet - will give it a try if and when I have the opportunity.

        I've wanted to watch Game of Thrones (Dinklage), but my friend's cable didn't include any of the premium networks. Must check library availability!

        The world is not interested in the storms you encountered, but did you bring in the ship.

        by Hanging Up My Tusks on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:02:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Love Mad Men. (4+ / 0-)

        But then, it pretty perfectly and sometimes painfully describes the America I grew up in. Don Draper's daughter is me, in terms of our age and where we were at when much of the era portrayed by Mad Men hit.

        Wish I'd started watching Boardwalk Empire from the get go.  Too late to jump in now.  Will look for a good deal on series dvds on Amazon and Ebay.

        "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

        by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:03:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I love Suits (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pucklady, StellaRay

        Suits is one of my favorite shows on TV,  Plus there are some absolutely brilliant shows like Dexter, Louie, Homeland, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, The Walking Dead, and The Following.

        But I have to admit one thing.  TV can be the greatest entertainment on the planet if you watch quality shows, or it can be the biggest cesspool of sludge if you spend your time watching Jerry Springer, Maury Povich, Honey Boo Boo, any of the Real Housewives and their knockoffs, or those redneck/hillbilly reality shows which seem to be all the rage on cable TV right now.

        •  Can't argue with your point, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pucklady

          but what is a quality show, or an acceptable "guilty pleasure" is
          up to each and every one of us.  And that's the glory of it.

          Yep, TV can absolutely be "the biggest cesspool of sludge" or an inspiration of nightly entertainment that movies can't match. It's all in the eye of the beholder.

          Whatever. It's here to stay, and for each of us to choose what works for us, no fuss no muss.  If only politics was this easy.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:45:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Note to self: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arizonablue, pucklady, worldlotus

      check out Suits. Thank you for the suggestion. And then Big Bang Theory. I'm going to have to google that.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:58:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Big Bang Theory in its 6th season right now. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StellaRay, pucklady

        I didn't start watching it until almost the end of the 5th season. It's wildly popular (with good reason, imo) worldwide and the cast is excellent. Think MASH, Cheers, or some other sitcom that had superior writers and cast. Very, very funny stuff - and this is coming from someone who watches very little TV.

        The main reason I enjoy Suits is I'm in love with Gabriel Macht. Tres sexy!

        The world is not interested in the storms you encountered, but did you bring in the ship.

        by Hanging Up My Tusks on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:36:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ok, you and others who have mentioned (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pucklady

          this show here, have convinced me I must look into it.  I didn't discover Dexter till it was going into its 7th season, but now I'm caught up, because I enjoyed what I'd missed enough to gobble it up in a short time.  Would love the same to be true again with Big Bang Theory, or any other series that earns it.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:13:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  At a higher/scripted level... (7+ / 0-)

    "American Horror Story", "Grimm", and "Downton Abbey" are all phenomenal. They're so unreal, yet the stories told on those shows connect with me in a strange way.

    And then, of course, I have my "TV junk food". I'll admit it: I watch "The Real Housewives" shows, along with other Bravo sh*t tests. They're so "reality", yet they're so unreal in their surreal drama. And it's funny to see these people fight over the silliest crap!

    And thank goodness for Joel McHale, Joan Rivers, Chelsea Handler, and Kathy Griffin! I love how they poke fun at all the surreal nonsense of today's "reality shows".

    •  Yes!!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady

      Finally a kossack who admits to watching 'The Real Housewives." Don't feel alone, I'll come out of the closet with you!

      While the Housewives nonsense is not "must see TV" for me, oh yeah, I've checked into some of them. As well as terribly embarrassing reality shows of different stripes.

      There are just nights when one needs to pull the sheets up to one's nose, in defense of the indefensible, and enjoy the passing show.

      Because the important things are very stressful, painful and risky. And I and every person on this site goes there, all the fucking time. But, imo, we all need a vacation from the important.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:12:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'll admit to a slight guilty pleasure (6+ / 0-)

    ..as Justified, Sons of Anarchy and Southland usually  get a 1st-run viewing.

    I find "Reality TV" completely unwatchable though - So I'll have to disagree with Ms. Maddow.

    For Christ's sake, let's help more of our frightened people get through this thing, whatever it is - Kurt Vonnegut on our "faithless custodians of capital"

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:01:12 PM PDT

    •  Ms Maddow never said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady, Sylv

      anything about "reality TV."  She said, "TV has never been better,"  And by better, I think she meant the depth and breath of the choices available, although you'd have to ask her exactly what she meant.

      But I'm damn sure it had little to do with reality TV.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:48:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wish I had a working tv but, hulu will have (6+ / 0-)

    to suffice for now. CBS helps out by putting two good shows online, The Good Wife and Survivor, yeah, i like to watch because i will  probably never see the places they go except on tv. The Americans is very good, Grimm is good, they filmed part of an episode outside by building. When I could watch them, Shameless, Weeds, Mad Men, Treme, Game Of Thrones. haven't seen walking dead. I miss Fringe. I miss Law & Order, but I hear Jesse Martin is trying to make a Marvin Gaye film, i hope they make it.

    Sequestration? GOP=Family Values, my ass.

    by blueoregon on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:03:19 PM PDT

    •  I miss new episodes of Law and Order too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady, SoCalSal

      Or maybe it's more correct to say, I miss finding them on cable less often, as I never watched the show at its appointed time and place and still don't.

      And that's another reason why TV is better than ever.  For those of us who are terrible at being in the right place at the right time, via any channel's schedule, On Demand, Netflicks and used series dvds give us endless choices.  It's all about choices, yes?  That's what's so great about TV today, imo.

      But yeah, Law & Order, in all its many versions, is to me the "Perry Mason" of our times.  Law and order is always an interesting subject, and Dick Wolf put out a darn good franchise on the subject.  

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:04:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Okay. I'll embarrass myself..... (6+ / 0-)

    .....Glee (the music and the occasional insights on dating and love and relationships); Walking Dead, bad, but Falling Skies, good!; Downton Abbey (randy footmen, wild heiresses, exploration of class distinctions); Rachel Maddow (seldom miss this).

    Refuse to watch the show about the mass murderer.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:06:16 PM PDT

    •  Bensdad, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady, Bensdad

      I'm loving hearing what you watch and escape to when you're not so serious. And geez, another tough guy who loves Downton Abbey. This will make my husband feel better, as he is as hopelessly addicted to that show as I am, but a lot less comfortable with his addiction. :)  Not really, he's all in to give him fair credit. But when I bought the DVDs home on a dreary November day last year, because we'd missed it all on PBS, he said, "maybe this is for your honey. " I said, watch one or two with me before you decide.  The rest is history,

      And by the "show about the mass murderer" I assume you mean Dexter.  I so get how you feel, resisted this myself for all the reasons you are resisting it.

      Then I gave in and became a fan. You won't understand this if you don't expose yourself to it.  And it's perfectly ok and understandable if you don't.

      But again, as the young ones in my life told me, you're missing something if you don't give this a chance.  It's surprisingly, a very good show, that won't turn your world upside down as much as you might suspect it would, being about a serial killer and all.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:15:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No premium channels (8+ / 0-)

    so Boardwalk Empire has to wait for DVD, but we love it.

    The one and only reality show to watch is Top Gear.

    Beyond that, it's

    TRMS
    Mad Men
    The Walking Dead
    Archer
    Doctor Who
    Ripper Street
    and most anything on Masterpiece Theatre

    I find myself looking forward to Orphan Black

    And at some point I'll get around to Breaking Bad.

    into the blue again, after the money's gone

    by Prof Haley on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:09:12 PM PDT

  •  Honestly? (5+ / 0-)

    My favorite show on tv is currently Duck Dynasty. There's hardly ever any swearing in it, there's nothing I would consider to be nasty behavior (unless you count not bathing for a week before the opening day of duck hunting season as nasty). Its just a good family show imo. In fact the only reason I think its shown a 10 pm is because they actually show the Robertsons going hunting.

    Still I do enjoy it and I've rarely laughed as hard as I did during the episode where the guys went after some wild honey.

    “Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton

    by bayushisan on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:09:26 PM PDT

    •  Have never seen Duck Dynasty, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady

      and frankly, doubt I ever will.  But I so understand and love your enthusiasm for it. We all deserve our moments of entertainment, drama, laughs in the MO that suits us best.  We all deserve our time on the sunny side of life.

      Thank you for sharing yours.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:25:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Justified. Parks & Rec. Game of Thrones. (8+ / 0-)

    Archer, Community, The Walking Dead, OBVIOUSLY Breaking Bad.

    And I'm currently shotgunning into Doctor Who after much procrastination (Thank you Netflix)

    Still, 'The Wire' remains the best TV show in the history of ever.  Saying that has become cliche because ITS TRUE.

    Follow Me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/ZeddRebel

    by TarantinoDork on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:09:28 PM PDT

    •  Totally agree about The Wire (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady, StellaRay

      but I have added Mad Men to the Pantheon.  It is such an artistic and entertaining endeavor I can't get over all that goes into it.   Breaking Bad too.  These are writers' shows first that have excellent acting and directing.

    •  Oh yeah, "The Wire" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady

      That is so on my list of things to see.  Again, as I made clear in my diary, you may have to order these past series on Netflicks, or pay for the DVDs on Amazon or Ebay.

      But hey, the price of going to a movie, with popcorn and other various accessories, for two, even on a senior discount, is at least $15 to $20.  And I rarely regret that expense, as I choose my movies carefully, and almost always enjoy the in theater experience.  

      Still, one can buy many hours of fine entertainment, via TV, for alot less, if you amoratize the costs.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:33:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love television (7+ / 0-)

    and am not ashamed to publicly admit that.

    We do not have pay-TV, and in fact, we don't even have HDTV, but must use a convertor box for regular broadcast TV and an HD antenna.

    My husband and I watch a lot of PBS and since television went HD, we have 4 PBS stations now.
    And yes, Downton Abbey is a must, as is the new version of Upstairs/Downstairs and then there's the 21st century Sherlock and The Midwife, plus all the documentaries and one of my favorites - American Experience.
    Also watch Keeping Up Appearances and As Time Goes By.

    We watch movies on THIS TV, another new addition since HD.
    Sure, a lot of the movies are old, but there are some great older movies and they do show not-so-old movies, too.

    Another addition is Retro-TV, which is 3 stations, and so we watch reruns of Frasier and Seinfeld nearly every single night, and we also switch to a sub-station and watch old Star Trek episodes, Dick Van Dyke, and The Golden Girls.
    Also watch reruns of Old Christine and Everyone Loves Raymond.

    One of the stations shows Monk, The Closer and Burn Notice, all of them favorites and believe they are or were cable shows.

    For regular broadcast TV we watch The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, NCIS, Neighbors, Grimm, Once Upon A Time, Person of Interest, Elementary and another of my favorites - Subjurgatory.

    We record David Letterman and Craig Ferguson and watch those in the morning.

    Phew!
    LOL
    We used to be political junkies and watched PBS Newshour and then on Friday nights, we watched the full line up, but we stopped.
    We don't watch any news shows, but get our news from the Internet and newspaper and we are much happier.

    So yeah, I LOVE television!

    •  Wow arizona, this is such a juicy comment, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady, arizonablue

      so much to reply to.

      One of the many ways TV is better than ever, imo, is that you get to watch all those good things you missed, in one venue or the other, whether it's on cable or on demand.

      For instance, I never saw "The New Adventures of Old Chirstine" in real time. Catching it now in reruns and really enjoying it. Lots of laughs. Same is true of other series.

      Have never seen even one episode of "Everyone Loves Raymond," but am enjoying the star of that show on the latest season of Parenthood.

      And you know, I just know, that if Shakespeare had TV as a possible stage for his brilliance, he'd have jumped right in. As have many great artists.  

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:55:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My favorite shows are: (7+ / 0-)

    Amazing Race
    MSNBC in the evenings
    American Idol
    Dancing with the Stars
    Housewives of Atlanta
    Columbo (can they get some new episodes and stop repeating, already)
    Corny Lifetime movies
    Ninja Warriors
    Anything having to do with martial arts

    I want to start watching Downtown Abbey.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:16:14 PM PDT

    •  I've never watched Reality TV (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JoanMar, pucklady, worldlotus, StellaRay

      I don't know why, but my husband and I never watched any of those shows.
      They are very popular, though, because there are always articles on Yahoo about them.

      All we need is LOVE!

      by arizonablue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:35:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Would you call Amazing Race, (5+ / 0-)

        AI and DWTS reality tv? I guess they are in the truest sense of the word. I don't really think that the housewives, and the 19 kids and shows like those are really reality.
        Nobody can convince me that what you do when there is a camera crew in your face 24/7 can ever be called "real."
        Housewives of Atlanta is my guilty pleasure.

        Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

        by JoanMar on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:42:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know (6+ / 0-)

          Never watched any of them, but I do know about them.

          For awhile there were lots of mentions about Honey Boo-Boo and I Googled that and read about that show.
          Doesn't seem to be something that I'd enjoy.

          There is one that I sort of wish that I could've seen, simply because I read and heard so much about it, the one show with Ozzie Osbourne and his family.

          I still do not understand all the attention to the Kardashians.
          Jeeze-O-Peets, but can't seem to go a day without seeing something about them on Yahoo's front page.
          I don't get why they are famous at all.

          All we need is LOVE!

          by arizonablue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:49:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is a golden age of television (8+ / 0-)

    TV on demand through dvr recording and services like hulu and netflix have really opened up the ability for tv shows to tell epic stories.  They also allow shows to find some success and a following away from the Networks.  

    Really, there's just tons of great television that has been done over the last decade.  

    I just recently discovered Falling Skies, and the first half of hte first season has been really great.  

  •  unless you like scifi and comedy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pucklady, The Marti, arizonablue

    in which case it sucks circular reproductive organs.

  •  Our tv set is now a DVD monitor (6+ / 0-)

    we gave up cable when Keith got bounced from/quit MSNBC. We're fairly unaware of any tv shows since then. We'll rent new seasons of shows that we already know, or have heard good things about, when they come out on DVD, like Doctor Who, or Treme, or Bored to Death (which is now over).

    We tried Game of Thrones but the first 15 minutes were so gruesome we turned it off and haven't tried again.

  •  Embarrassed to admit how much I watch (7+ / 0-)

    Had a love/hate thing with House but loved Laurie from his Jeeves days.

    Addicted to the cizzies (CSI, NCIS [hell, I remember the Man From Uncle!]), Criminal Minds (can't take empathy for a serial killer as in Dexter; this is jarring enough), not yet sure about Elementary but love seeing Ling, Bluebloods (the politics offends but the actors don't).

    Not counting Downton 'cause the season's over but follow several Scandinavian mysteries (Beck, Huss, Mankell...) and get tons of British mysteries on PBS (WETA-UK)...the writing and acting invariably are superb.

  •  Oh, good! (5+ / 0-)

    I love my TV, too. I also love my books (sometimes simultaneously) - they aren't mutually exclusive despite what some people say.

    Not many series that I absolutely love right now but there are a few:

    Psych - I loved Monk and this came on right after so I watched from the first. The buddy cop show has been done to death but this one spoofs it lovingly, with a great cast that has great chemistry.

    The Big Bang Theory - I am a nerd, I married a nerd and we've raised a nerd.

    Face Off - A reality show on SyFy (I cringe when I write that) that's a make-up competition. Effects make-up, not beauty. I find it fascinating.

    Chopped - Another reality show, this one is a cooking competition. Four chefs compete making an appetizer, entree and dessert, one being "chopped" after each course until there is one winner. They are given baskets with odd combinations of food which they must use in their dishes. I love to come up with my own ideas. There are a few shows I enjoy on the Food Network besides this one.

    Pawn Stars and American Pickers, etc. - As a seller on ebay and a collector, I enjoy watching these shows to learn more about antiques and collectibles.

    And, of course, Rachel Maddow  ;)

    Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

    by Purple Priestess on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:29:58 PM PDT

    •  Don't be embarrassed about FaceOff (5+ / 0-)

      Snuffleupagus and I already raved about it up thread.

      Hopefully ...... soon, Mom. My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

      by pucklady on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:32:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ms. Purple Priestess, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Purple Priestess, pucklady

      I SO get this:

      I also love my books (sometimes simultaneously) - they aren't mutually exclusive despite what some people say.

      Oh yeah. I sometimes read and watch TV simultaneously. Hello, can anyone say "stimuli junkie?" LOL.

      But really, point is, sometimes I challenge the book vs. the TV show. One or the other will win out, if either is really good.  And if both are so-so, then I can hop between them easily.

      And yeah, I too love me some Rachel. I love how much information she puts out there, in more depth than most, and without ever wearing me out with anger.  

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:17:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, so you get it! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StellaRay, pucklady

        I keep books that I call "mental popcorn" for reading while watching TV. Sometimes the show will make me put down the book but, mostly, I can take in both at once. Hop between them, as you say. ;)

        Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

        by Purple Priestess on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:49:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Doctor Who, Torchwood, Nova, (7+ / 0-)

    Masterpiece Theater, various British mysteries. My wife watches Downton Abbey and Antiques Roadshow.

    For news, C-SPAN, Maddow, O'Donnell, Hayes, Harris-Perry, Stewart, Colbert.

    We watched the pooties and woozles on Too Cute! for a while, but there was too much talking.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:31:58 PM PDT

  •  The Good Wife is my fave. (5+ / 0-)

    Best thing since "The West Wing" IMHO. And it reminds me of that show. Really smart people walking in the gray areas. And I'm madly in love with Elsbeth, the quirky genius lawyer.

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:47:36 PM PDT

    •  Boston Legal (5+ / 0-)

      We so loved that show.
      Never did watch it when it was actually on TV, but checked all the DVDs out from the library.
      Gosh, that was such a good show.

      Also saw The Sopranos from library DVDs.
      That was a good show, too!

      All we need is LOVE!

      by arizonablue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:57:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As I stated in my diary here, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady

      The Good Wife is also one of my faves.  And yeah, I get your thing for Elsbeth.  In past seasons it's been all about Kalinda, and her intriguing dark sides.  Elsbeth is the exact polar and delightful contrast to that.  Love a show that can give us both.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:22:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Compared to most TV, "The Good Wife" features (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pucklady, StellaRay

        beautiful "older" women. You might have noticed that Elsbeth hardly wears any make up and still looks great. Of course that's all relative because they're still way too young for me. HeeHee.

        We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

        by PowWowPollock on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 04:30:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes Julia Margolis is a knock out "older" woman. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pucklady

          But like you, not my idea of old.  But in TV land it seems you go from your thirties to being a grandmother.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 12:11:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I have to plug PBS (6+ / 0-)

    since my Hubby works for the Seattle station. I see lots of folks like Downton Abbey - never watched it myself but I may ask Hubby to grab the DVDs, now.

    Thank you for watching PBS and fighting for it, too. It keeps a roof over my head.

    Forgot to mention a couple of shows - one is in syndication and one is on DVD...

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Yeah, I didn't watch at first because I'd seen the movie. But the show is a gazillion times better. Such brilliant writing and acting. Chiller runs it every night at 2:00 am and again at 5:00 am (that's Pacific) and I'll watch even though I own the DVDs.

    Homicide: Life On The Streets - My pick for best cop show ever. I bought the entire show - every season - on DVD last year and am still catching back up. Again, the writing and the cast are superb. If you have never seen this one, view the 1st season (which is a short one) and you'll be hooked, too.

    Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

    by Purple Priestess on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:00:34 PM PDT

    •  All the Buffy fans (3+ / 0-)

      are now in the Supernatural forums.

      I actually started with Supernatural, and everyone was talking Buffy, so I went back and watched that, too.

      Both are good and both have rabid fan bases.

      Notice, every "People's Choice" contest, Supernatural wins all the awards. Best Actor, Best Drama (over all the HBO shows!). I'm not saying that Supernatural is better than those, but the fans are dedicated. It's in its eighth season and has already been renewed for seasons 9 and 10.

      Eric Kripke is our Joss Whedon. EK has left Supernatural now for Revolution, which is why I'm now watching that one, too.

      Hopefully ...... soon, Mom. My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

      by pucklady on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:04:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've watched a few episodes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pucklady

        of Supernatural. I always seem to miss it, though. It's filmed in Vancouver, at a studio of a friend of my Hubby. We got to have a tour around the sets one day - no filming, though, so didn't get to meet the actors. Maybe someday....

        Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

        by Purple Priestess on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:19:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are in Vancouver? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Purple Priestess

          Then you should look for an episode called The French Mistake in Season 6 - episode 15.

          It's where the boys are blasted through into our universe and find out they are really actors named Jared and Jensen filming Supernatural in Vancouver. Then they have to go to work acting.

          So, you have Jared and Jensen playing Sam and Dean playing Jared and Jensen playing Sam and Dean.

          And the fact they are in Vancouver is a big part of the funny.

          Hopefully ...... soon, Mom. My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

          by pucklady on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:23:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  PP, DO ask your hubby for the Downton Abbey DVDs. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Purple Priestess, pucklady

      I promise you, you're in for a treat. It's somehow, just the most calming show, at the same time it intrigues.  

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:25:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Homicide (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StellaRay, pucklady

      Did you ever read The Corner? That was the start of it all, and the Wire too. Very good book about life in inner city Baltimore by a cop and a reporter, who went on to working the shows.

  •  Me, four decades, beginning in the early '70s: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pucklady, arizonablue, StellaRay, Randtntx
    And if you hate TV and consider it the devil's manifestation of shallow thinking and distraction, you too are welcome to comment
    My poor deprived offspring got micro doses of shows like Electric Company, Sesame Street, Little House on the Prairie....when we actually owned a telly.

    And they grew up to become world champion middle age TV watchers.  I have one who will not miss Family Guy or South Park

    Heh, & I've gotten hooked on a few shows & I mean "tivo -plan my schedule around" hooked.  Currently, "my" shows are The Walking Dead & The Network (which has been on hiatus).

    Have watched & enjoyed some Game of Thrones, Grimm & Big Bang Theory with family... only because I happened to walk by & something piqued my interest.

     Lol, I am so used to not watching TV that I forget about shows I'd probably like or follow.  So much so that when I was glued to the telly during 9/11, Katrina & elections, that my family became very alarmed.

    I agree with the diarist that there are many more options today that offer quality (aside from the "news")

  •  I love TV too. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pucklady, StellaRay

    I'm a news junkie but hate reality shows. Don't watch even one except for maybe that race thing before The Good Wife because......it's background noise.

    DH made me watch Duck Dynasty and it is not realistic, those are not rednecks, they seem pretty average to me, probably above average. I think it's all the facial hair that sets them apart. They seem like good guys.

    I like Grimm. I love Hawaii 5-0 because I like seeing Hawaii, even though the acting is a little cheesy, the characters are fun.

    I like all the forensic-y crime murder police stuff. Southland is excellent. The new Dallas is really good. Copper, Ripper Street are exquisite for the sets and wardrobe alone.

    I bought the first two seasons of Game of Thrones, now I want the books.

    There are a couple of shows that were spectacular and they were canceled, like Jericho, Flash Forward and Journeyman, Terra Nova; they probably hit too close to home is my guess.

    Revolution is good. Something new is coming, something sci fi, I forget what it is called.

    •  Flash Forward is one of the biggest (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Misterpuff

      disappointments that I can remember.

      It was so effing good at the beginning. You see the flash forward and watch as everything comes to pass. It was edge-of-your-seat great.

      But then suddenly, it lost its way. It went from awesome to suck all at once. (Actually, it's a meme I like to call the Heroes Syndrome)

      I watched every single episode. And I really wanted it to get picked up for the second season to fix everything that went so wrong 2/3 of the way through the first. And it ended on a cliffhanger. Not fair!

      Hopefully ...... soon, Mom. My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

      by pucklady on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:12:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, the cancelled show you loved is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady, nookular

      a whole other diary. For me recently, that was "Boss" starring Kelsey Grammar, on STARZ.

      Just two seasons, and it's gone. It was a grim, but oh so compelling show.  From the amazing credits and series intro music, and right through to every last dastardly detail, this show was fantastic.

      You may not like Kelsey Grammar for his politics, but he is absofreakinglutely brilliant as the protagonist of this series. If you get the chance to watch it, you'll appreciate how completely Grammar blows all memories of Frasier to the wind, and insists through the force of his acting talent, that you believe him in a totally different and polar opposite role---a difficult thing for any actor to do.

      I'm hoping maybe HBO or Showtime, networks with the muscle to market their shows, might pick up "Boss."  But I'm not holding my breath.  Still, even at just two seasons, this series was another amazing "TV" accomplishment.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:46:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  TV on Netflix (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StellaRay, pucklady

    Futrama. American Dad. Weeds. Arrested Development. House of Cards. (Maddow put in an oblique plug for this last week.)

    I started Mad Men today.

    •  Hope you enjoy Mad Men. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady

      I sure have.  It's like being a bug on the wall in a different time for some, and for others, like me, it's like being a bug on the wall to the social context of your own times, replayed on TV

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:49:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Netflix: HOUSE OF CARDS (3+ / 0-)

    But only after you watch Downton Abbey. (Of course!)

  •  I watch a pretty eclectic mix of shows. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StellaRay, pucklady

    Among my favorites being, in no particular order:

    Doctor Who (in particular the David Tennant episodes, though Matt Smith is growing on me)
    NCIS
    Law and Order SVU
    Dexter
    Avatar the Last Airbender
    Torchwood
    Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
    Restaurant: Impossible

    You'll largely find me going between Netflix, USA and Food Network with the occasional stop on Animal Planet and Discovery.

    Heck, I've even taken to Netflix to watch old episodes of... Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Yes, I am a huge 90's geek. >_>

    •  Love to meet up with another Dexter fan, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady

      and interested to see yet another Doctor Who fan, a show I've long heard of but know nothing about.

      And as for Law and Order, it's still a damn good franchise. A good show about the law, I think.  All its many rules, the caveats to those rules, and how hard it is to prove and live by those rules.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:14:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  TV beats the movies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pucklady, StellaRay

    Loving this TV discussion! Don't forget - you should be able to get many TV shows at your public library, or at least borrow them through interlibrary loan.

    I am a picky horror/SF nut, so my favorites include:
    American Horror Story
    The Walking Dead
    Supernatural
    The Vampire Diaries
    Primeval
    Being Human (the British version only - the American version blows)
    Game of Thrones
    True Blood

    Loved Buffy and Angel back in the day. Why must all Joss Whedon shows after them only last 1 season?

    I also love:
    Man Men (as an antiques dealer on the side, sometimes I'm more interested in the set, wondering where on earth did the set designers find THAT!)
    Dexter (did you ever think you'd root for a serial killer?)
    Downton Abbey
    Breaking Bad
    Treme

    Thanks for the Homicide: Life on the Street shoutout. What an amazing show that was. sigh

    Also would recommend Big Love, The Sopranos, Weeds (at least the first three seasons), Battlestar Galactica (minus the crappo ending), Lost, and The Wire.

    I hate all reality TV except Anthony Bourdain. Honey Boo Boo - shudder. Is not the apocalypse nigh?

    •  Yeah, the Dexter thing is kind of crazy. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady

      You absolutely can't help but like the guy, and root for him.  Amazing job of characterization on the part of the writers and the actor.  

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 12:14:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I forgot Chicago Fire. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pucklady, StellaRay

    Lots of things to like....

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