Friday, March 26, 2010

Tubal Anticipation

Tonight brings the mid-season finale of Caprica, and I can't wait. Of course I was going to be interested in a "prequel" set in the Battlestar Galactica universe, even if Ron Moore and company didn't exactly stick the landing on the finale of that seminal series. Caprica has struggled a bit, as all new series do, to find its footing with tone, story arcs and character development in this first run of episodes, particularly with the adult female characters*, but in my opinion, it's never been less than interesting, and has frequently been captivating and addictive. Tonight's ep, "End of Line," wraps up the first 10 of the show's 20 episode first season, before returning sometime in the fall. The producers claim to have a handle the on the nature of the show now, and say that things really come together in that back run of 10 episodes, which have already been shot. That's very encouraging, since I've been glued to my set for the first half.
*Which is odd, given Jane Espenson's position as head writer. Jane has written for some of the most iconic female characters on television, serving as part of the creative teams behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly and Gilmore Girls. Plus, the two adult female leads, Paula Malcomson (Amanda Graystone) and Polly Walker (Sister Clarice) are terrific, immensely talented actresses.
Which brings me to my point for this post. As we know, I watch a LOT of TV. There are some shows that I watch out of habit, or loyalty, and put on while I'm folding the laundry, reading a book, paying bills or surfing around the intertoobz. Then there are others that I actively anticipate, can't wait to watch, and drop everything for when they come on. So what programs rise above the DVR's "I'll watch it when I get around to it" convenience, and become "must watch?" Glad you asked.

This is a list of the "most anticipated" programs each week, not necessarily the "best." (Similar to a discussion of "best" vs. "favorite" TV shows, where the former would almost certainly be topped by The Wire, and the latter would probably be headlined by one of the Whedon tales, like Firefly or Buffy; they're not necessarily mutually exclusive, but are definitely different lists).

So, my Top 5 Most Anticipated Dramas Each Week:
  1. Lost
  2. Caprica
  3. Justified
  4. Supernatural
  5. Fringe

Top 5 Most Anticipated Comedies Each Week:
  1. Archer
  2. Glee
  3. Community
  4. Parks & Recreation
  5. Big Bang Theory
Because of the nature of split seasons and airing schedules, some shows I would ordinarily include aren't on here. For example, Sons of Anarchy, True Blood and Doctor Who would probably compete for a place on the list in the "off season" among the dramas, as would It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Party Down with the Comedies.

So what shows to you anticipate most each week?


  1. Here are mine
    Top Most Anticipated Dramas Each Week:
    Top Most Anticipated Comedies Each Week:
    Parks & Recreation
    Big Bang Theory
    Modern Family

    I have also been pleasently suprised by Caprica. Really did not know what to expect but it has been consistently intriguing. Does a good job ob providing the prequel threads to the theology shown in BSG.

  2. I don't know why I never got caught up in Damages. It seems right up my alley. On FX, edgy, twisted, brilliant acting and a minimum of family and kids pablum. Maybe because I don't find Glenn Close that engaging, despite her obvious talent? Maybe that's one of those I'll consume on DVD or on-demand. (And speaking of FX, if you're not watching Justified, you should check it out. The closest we had to a living, breathing, visual Elmore Leonard novel before was the regrettably short-lived TV version of Karen Sisco - and Justified is even better).

    Modern Family is another one I never latched onto. I saw "family" in the title, and just tuned it out. I just have a low tolerance for, and interest in, shows about families (though I've been pleasantly surprised on rare occasions, like with Gilmore Girls). I did watch one episode (with one of my celebrity crushes, Judy Greer) and thought it was pretty well acted and written, and funny. I might try a larger sample in reruns or in the off season.

  3. How did you know Elmore Leonard is one of my favorites? I will check out Justified.
    I am really not big on Glen Close either but I still love Damages. The plotting is really well done and the show plays around with chronologly in a very effective way. Each season has involved alot of characters and Glen Close does not show up as often as you might suspect.

  4. Oh, then you MUST check out Justified. Elmore is a consultant, the writers wear WWED bracelets, and the dialogue is that rare combination of laconic and crackling. All the performances are wonderful, but Timothy Olyphant OWNS as the lead character, Raylan Givens. It's been hard to get Leonard "right" onscreen (with Out of Sight and Jackie Browne working at the movies, and Karen Sisco, as I noted above, working on TV) but this hits the bulleye. It's on FX, so there are lots of airings, plus I think it's also online and on demand. A great show.

    I think I'll add Damages to my summer catch up agenda, too.

  5. Drama:
    Chuck (does that qualify?)
    That's about it. The rest (because of my schedule and hatred of waiting a week) I buy on DVD.
    I still watch House (mostly out of habit). I'm looking forward to Caprica on DVD and I'm almost finished S4 of Supernatural. I didn't really take to Fringe but I'm willing to give it another chance if I find S1 for less than $20.

    Community & Parks & Recreation have clearly outshone 30 Rock and The Office this year. (Ron Swanson is my fuckin' hero)
    Modern Family (I predict you'll like it, despite the presence of a family)
    The Big Bang Theory

    BTW, If you ever come across The Trailer Park Boys in your neck of the woods, I suggest you watch it.

  6. I would put Chuck there. On my list, it's probably just outside the top 5. And there are another 15 or 20 shows I "watch" (like House) that are enjoyable, just not "must get to TV NOW."

    As someone who mainlined BSG, I'd be interested to hear what you think about Caprica. Some folks were turned off by the BSG finale, and others find Caprica too different in tone. Personally, I love Caprica for its differences (and the acting). I enjoy Fringe as a modern day X-Files, with (thus far) a better constructed mythology. Can't totally recapture that Mulder and Scully magic, of course, but I dig the blend of the procedural and the freaky. (And John Noble is an Emmy-worthy, heartbreaking hoot).

    As for your comedy choices, I totally agree about Community and Parks stepping to the front of the Thursday sitcom block. Ron Fucking Swanson is the man.

    Trailer Park Boys? Is that a Canadian production? I'll look that up. Thanks for the suggestion.