Monday, April 8, 2013

5 Shows Everyone Should Be Watching

1. Happy Endings - If you have a Friends-shaped hole in your heart, like I do - then you must watch this show.  It is the best of the many Friends copycat sitcoms (although one could make a solid argument for Cougar Town - though having Courteney Cox on the show is an unfair advantage).  Happy Endings shares many similarities to Friends - six friends, two of them are siblings, two of them are an on-again/off-again couple, two of them are roommates and some of the characters parallel Friends characters (Jane = Monica, Alex = Phoebe and Brad = Ross).  The reason that this show works, while others failed is simple: It's hilarious, the characters have chemistry, it's smart and it's HILARIOUS.  If you have doubts, just watch one episode: "The Marry Prankster".  Easily the best episode of the series - references The Usual Suspects, showcases the talent of each cast member and presents my favorite line "I'm not as dumb as I am".  I can tell a show is succeeding if they can make an actress I'm usually not a fan of and slowly make her my favorite character (Elisha Cuthbert/Alex).  Despite the fact that the show grew in ratings by over a million viewers from season 1 to season 2, ABC failed to market it correctly.  They also changed the time-slot so many times that I lost count and are now asking the fans to "save the show" by watching it on it's current "death slot" of Friday night. Shame on them. I've already succumbed to the inevitable cancellation (but maybe the rumors are true and someone else will pick it up??). To be clear, I still have a Friends-shaped whole in my heart, but it gets a little bit smaller with each Happy Endings episode.

2. Scandal - I just got all caught up with the second season and HOLY HELL it is fantastic.  The last 2 episodes ("Snake in the Garden" and "Molly, You in Danger, Girl") had me glued to my television like no other show has done in a long time.  It's twist after twist, even when you know the twist, they make it even twistier.  The cast is spectacular, especially Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope and Tony Goldwyn as Fitz.  With the second season, there has been more emphasis on the supporting characters and there hasn't been a single weak link among them.  I love the direction they are taking Quinn (Katie Lowes) in, and man, Guillermo Diaz just has a way of ripping my soul apart as Puck.  The addition of Scott Foley has been incredible.  I don't really want to say anything else about the series, because I wouldn't want to spoil anything.  Political drama, psychological drama and romantic drama at its finest.

3. SouthLAnd - This is not your typical police drama procedural.  It's really an in-depth character study of LA cops.  By that, I mean that the characters change and develop with every episode, while the crime and action are the backdrop of the series.  Officer John Cooper is my favorite character on the show (and will probably make it to my all-time favorite characters by series end).  Flawlessly portrayed by Michael Cudlitz, John Cooper continues to surprise me with his complicated story arc.  The show teases his personal life, as a gay man, while balancing his alpha-male cop persona while on duty.  I miss his interactions with rookie cop, Ben Sherman, but I appreciate that the show consistently moves forward.  Ben Sherman is no longer a rookie and is now partnered with Sammy.  Both Ben and Sammy have changed drastically (for the worse) since season 1, yet we understand this change and still sympathize with the characters.  I fully admit that I started watching this show because I am in love with Ben McKenzie (The O.C for life!! Ryan Atwood is my soul-mate), but I no longer imagine Ben Sherman as an older Ryan Atwood (I refuse to believe Ryan Atwood as an asshole). Really everyone on the show can be classified as an asshole, but I love every single one of them.

4. Archer - Probably the smartest (and most politically incorrect) comedy on television. It's filled with so many pop culture references, and not in the way Family Guy is, instead they are mostly obscure references. So obscure that I am convinced I only catch about 50% of them.  The show is practically intimidating to watch, but if your willing to do your homework it's incredibly fulfilling.  Characters are voiced by several Arrested Development actors (Jessica Walter, Judy Greer) and popular comedians (Chris Parnell, Aisha Tyler) to such perfection that I actually forget that I'm watching an animated show (plus Lana Kane has to be the sexiest female animated character ever).  It's intelligently written, fast-paced, action-packed and laugh-out-loud funny.

5. Parks and Recreation - The best comedy currently on network television - no competition. This is what goes on in my head when I ask myself the question "who is my favorite character?" :  "Definitely, no question, Ron Swanson! No wait...April Ludgate! Oh...but it has to be Ben Wyatt or maybe it's Andy Dwyer!! I can't decide! Aaaaaaahhhhh!!" The good this is, I don't actually have to decide. Seriously, they are all fantastic.  It's the only show on television that consistently brightens my day, makes me laugh until my stomach hurts and warms my heart.  It successfully did a "wedding" episode that I actually LOVED (hasn't happened since Friends).  The vows exchanged between Leslie and Ben ended with the words "I love you and I like you"  - just absolute perfection (actually got me choked up a bit, but don't tell anyone!!).  For a show that started off as an Office rip-off, five seasons later it has grown into something so much more.  Here are just some of my favorite quotes from season 5:

-There's only one thing I hate more than lying: skim milk, which is water that's lying about 
being milk - Ron
-It's a heartwarming story, but it's just not believable! Which is why I give ET one and half 
stars. - Perd
-You're too beautiful to be funny.  It's not your fault but you've never had to compensate 
for anything. - Leslie (direct satire on the "beautiful women aren't funny" theory)
-Any dog under 50 pounds is a cat and cats are pointless. - Ron
-I can never tell if people are lying to me.  I hope that doesn't come up in my police work. - Andy


  1. I've just started watching Parks and Recreation, and it definitely is funny! I'm glad my sister introduced it to me!

    As for Archer, I thought it looked terrible in all the ads I saw for it, but thanks to all the good things I've heard, I'll have to check it out!

    1. Glad you started watching Parks and Rec! It continues to get better with every episode, which is so rare nowadays.

      The rumors are true....Archer is brilliant!!!