99% full


If you have a DVR, you know what I mean.


Right now, there is simply too much good TV. My problem is this: I started watching The Mentalist re-runs on TNT this summer, and am recording two of those every Wednesday. But, I am also recording the new episodes of The Mentalist to watch when I get caught up.And then there’s Sons of Anarchy (SOA). I am caught up on SOA through the second season, which is available on Netflix instant watch. But the third season isn’t available yet, so I am recording the new episodes while waiting on that release.

And then, there’s Burn Notice, which I love, but didn’t have time to watch this summer. So I have six episodes of that on my DVR.

What this means is that I barely have enough room to tape the shows I watch weekly (Tosh.0, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, American Horror Story, Raising Hope, New Girl, Ringer, Vampire Diaries, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead, Fringe, and the aforementioned Mentalist reruns). Add to that the return of Beavis and Butthead, and next week’s return of Bones, and I’ve got a real problem.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m somewhat of an expert in solving recording conflicts, but the real issue here is space. Anyone else having these issues? How do you manage? I guess it’s a sign of good TV that there is so much to watch.

For the love of…love

Ann and Chris...aww.

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The snow is melting and if we’re lucky it might reach 50 degrees by the end of the week. Love is in the air. And as you know, I love love.

Right now I’m thinking of my favorite TV couples. And I don’t mean characters I would like to see together (there are plenty of those). I mean legitimate couples on TV right now who make me sigh and say “aw.” So here we go with a Valentine’s Day list, dedicated to my own sweetie.

Roses are red. Violets are blue. Here are three TV couples from whom we can all take a cue.

  1. Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) and Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) of Parks and Recreation. She’s a cute nurse and his body is a microchip. What’s not to love here?
  2. Holly Flax (Amy Ryan) and Michael Scott (Steve Carell) from The Office. They are so right for each other that it can be painful to watch.
  3. Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) and Avery Jessup (Elizabeth Banks) of 30 Rock. These two Reaganites are a real power couple. And now they have a Canadian baby. But they promise to treat it as they would a normal human baby.

I just noticed that all of these couples are from NBC. What do you know? It turns out the network that couldn’t make a good sci-fi show to save its life is pretty darn good in the romance department.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dear Thursday TV,

Elena escaped the clutches of Elijah, but this is just the beginning.

This note is to thank you for an utterly satisfying evening.

First, you served up a fresh episode of The Vampire Diaries on The CW, complete with a brand new villain, Elijah (after all, Katherine needs to cool off in the tomb for at least an episode). Not just any villain, he’s a super sexy, seemingly invincible vampire with a seriously cruel streak. And you gave us a very bittersweet scene between Damon and Elena, a scene that we’ve been waiting for since these two met. Swoon. To top it off, you gave us a blossoming romance between Jeremy and Bonnie as well as a newfound bond between Caroline and Tyler.

Second, you gave us new episodes of 30 Rock and The Office. What can I say? If I had to pick my favorite character on TV, it would be Jack Donaghy. He needs DIHC, and he’ll take it any way he can get it.

Then, you served up one of the best episodes of Fringe to date. Olivia began what promises to be an arduous journey home, with Peter as her spirit guide. Nowhere is the expertise of the show’s writers more evident than in an episode like this – which seamlessly weaves together overarching mythology with a single-episode storyline. In this case, Olivia and the Fringe team investigate someone who broke out of the amber, only to find that twin brothers have pulled the classic switcheroo, thereby leading Olivia to consider the possibility that she has switched places with her doppelganger.

Lastly, you ended the night with a new episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I have yet to watch it, but I know it will be funny, so thank you in advance.

Sincerely,

Your ever-devoted, Thursday-night, couch-potato friend, Andrea

TGIT

Jack Donaghy, Vice President of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming for General Electric.

                          Thank God it’s Thursday. All week long, I keep busy by going to the gym, watching re-runs of NCIS on USA Network, and catching up with Burn Notice on DVD through Netflix. It’s a pretty sweet existence, to be sure, but I’m always waiting. For what, you ask?

Waiting for Thursday at 8 p.m., when The Vampire Diaries starts and a full night of great TV begins. In addition to finding out what’s going on in Mystic Falls, tonight I’ll be tuning in for The Office, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Jersey Shore (no judging).

Fringe, another great Thursday night show, is taking a break for the World Series and won’t be back until next week. If the previews are any indication, the real Olivia might finally escape the alternate reality and face her doppelganger. Wow – just re-reading that sentence makes me feel like I have finally reached the pinnacle of Mount Nerd. Nevertheless, it’s an amazingly good show.

30 Rock is also taking a break tonight, presumably to make time for something NBC calls “Scared Shrekless.” Sounds like a most unworthy replacement to me. Speaking of 30 Rock, could it get any funnier? A week later, and I’m still laughing about Jack’s line, “I have to go tell Rachel Maddow that only one of us can have this haircut.” And the live episode from two weeks ago was pure genius.

Top 10 moments from True Blood season 3 season finale

We’ll miss you until next season, Sook.

Even with a full line-up of fall TV shows about to start, I am mourning the passing of True Blood season three. Unlike past top 10 lists, I have left my comments brief, as I have a few concluding remarks on this season. As I move on to Vampire Diaries (what a great first episode that was last week!), here’s what I’ll remember from the True Blood finale.

  1. Maniacal laughter from Sookie as she disposed of Talbot’s remains
  2. Russell Edgington, extra crispy recipe – Kudos to the makeup team.
  3. Russell Edgington, encased in cement for at least 100 years
  4. Bill vs. Sophie Ann – She’s old, but he has nothing to lose.
  5. Bill vs. Eric – I didn’t see that one coming.
  6. Sookie vs. Bill – Invitation revoked.
  7. Jesus is a man-witch.
  8. Tara’s new haircut is super cute, even if she is still annoying.
  9. Sookie’s close encounters of the Fae kind
  10. Alcide is still gorgeous, dreams of Sookie, and is quite eligible now that Debbie is missing.

Before I move on to other remotely entertaining shows, I have a few thoughts on season three. Even for devoted Truebies such as myself, there were times during last season when my interest in Marianne waned. And, truth be told, the season finale was lacking – it felt more like a prelude to season three than a wrap up of season two.

Despite some less than thrilling sub-plots (ahem, Sam’s dog-fighting biological family), this year’s story arc was awesome, and Russell stole the show as the primary villain. A quick look back at my top 10 lists reveals so many great moments that it’s hard to believe this wasn’t a network show with 22 episodes.

What’s a girl to do over the next few months without True Blood? Well, there should be a new book in Charlaine Harris’s series. And there is no shortage of good TV – I’ll be watching Vampire Diaries, Boardwalk Empire, Eastbound and Down, Big Love, Dexter, Fringe, 30 Rock, The Office, as well as trying a few other shows including Detroit 1-8-7, Blue Bloods, and The Walking Dead. So stay tuned, dear readers, as we deal with this nine-month fangover.

Wanted: First two episodes of Justified

Timothy Olyphant (of Deadwood hottie sheriff fame) plays the lead in Justified.

I’m always on the lookout for a good, new show to watch. Some of my favorites have been suggested by my co-blogger, Mark (he’s the one who pointed me in the direction of Fringe and Lost), and I also got a great suggestion from a couple of pals about It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

This morning, I talked to my dad, who is also a great source of TV inspiration. We like a lot of the same things – Deadwood, The Office and 30 Rock, to name a few. He highly recommended Justified, which is in its first season on FX. I had heard buzz about this show, but was not really listening until my dad told me that Timothy Olyphant (of Deadwood hottie sheriff fame, not my dad’s words, but that’s how I know him) is the lead.

So now I’m really interested, but in a bit of a pickle. The first season is airing right now (Tuesdays at 10 p.m.), so it’s not on DVD yet. So I turned to the Web, but the FX site and Hulu don’t have the first two episodes. What’s a girl to do in this situation? I don’t want to start watching it mid-season and miss the important stuff from the initial episodes, but I don’t want to wait until it is on DVD either. Any suggestions?

Does anyone else watch Justified? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The rewatchability of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

There are some shows that are great, but you can only watch them once. A good example of this would be Big Love, a show I love but probably would not watch repeatedly.

Then there are shows that have a little something I like to call “rewatchability.” This is a term coined by me and the husband. Essentially, whenever we watch a show or a movie we rate it on its quality (using the Netflix five-star system), but we also rate it on its potential to be watched again.

Currently, I am watching It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia on DVD. This show has classic rewatchability – it’s hilarious, the plots are simple and there is always some comic gem waiting to be discovered in an episode watched while, say, you are writing a blog post. I love Charlie Day. Five stars of rewatchability, hands down, for his comedic stylings alone.

Some other shows that have great rewatchability for me are The Office, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed. What shows do you find yourself rewatching?

Ode to Netflix

While most of my posts up to this point have focused on what I watch on TV, I haven’t taken any time to wax poetic on how I watch TV. Mark and I have both praised the DVR, but for me Netflix trumps the DVR as the most innovative way to watch TV.

Specifically, I’m talking about the Netflix Instant Watch service, which comes with the mail plans. In case you aren’t familiar with it, Netflix Instant Watch allows you to stream movies and TV shows from the Internet to your TV. There are a variety of devices you can use – Roku box (that’s what we have), Nintendo Wii, X-box, and others. You can also stream on your computer.

The Instant Watch catalog is impressive – with tens of thousands of movie choices and past seasons of shows from nearly all the major networks. In fact, there have been numerous shows that I started watching on Netflix. Given my rave reviews of Lost, you would probably assume I’ve been watching from day one, but I actually watched the first five seasons from December 2009 to February 2010. Warning: this can become quite addictive and often results in a sleep-deprived, zombie-like state that your friends and family may assume is related to drug use. I also started watching The Office, Dexter, The Tudors and 30 Rock on Netflix.

Of course, for those shows not available on the Instant Watch, there is always the old-school, DVD-in-the-mail option. We have the three-movie-at-a-time plan, and have watched several great shows this way including Deadwood and The X-Files. Right now, I’m catching up with Big Love through the mail. Sometime I’ll talk about these shows.

What prompted this Ode to Netflix? Twas the night before last, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring except for my two cats. My husband in his boxers, and I in my PJs, had just settled down to watch nothing on TV. When I pulled up the Instant queue and realized The X-Files was added, I arose from my couch and shouted “Yippee!” I browsed to see what else was added, when what to my wondering eyes should appear – Bones, 24 and Arrested Development. I spoke not a word, just frantically clicked “Add.” And as the night waned, I watched 24 with bloodshot, tired eyes. As I dragged myself to bed at an all-too-late hour, I arose from the couch and said with a tired stammer, “Happy viewing to all and to all a good Netflix night!”

Thursday: Big night in

Thursdays are a big night for TV at the Rogers Residence. Not only do we have The Office and 30 Rock on NBC, but also Fringe on FOX and Vampire Diaries on The CW.

NBC is fresh out of new episodes, but that’s OK because I am really excited for the return of Fringe. I love this show, and I have to thank my co-blogger, Mark, for getting me interested in it. If you have never tuned in, I highly recommend you check it out tonight at 9 p.m. It’s like The X-Files on steroids.

Vampire Diaries is also new tonight, and I can’t wait to find out more about Elena’s birth mother and father (I hope). After last week’s episode, I am wondering if Elena will ever forgive Damon for turning her mother.

What do you watch on Thursdays?

Catching up on The Office, 30 Rock, Parenthood

 I did some catching up last night with my DVR, so you’ll have to forgive me for the delayed reaction to one of the better episodes of The Office in recent memory. Although I love Jim and Pam, it is the awkward, quirky interpersonal relationships that make this show really great. This week’s episode “Happy Hour” got back to basics – Michael making a fool of himself as “Date Mike,” Andy acting like a complete lunatic with Erin, and Dwight in classic form. I mean, who didn’t cheer when Isabel whacked Angela on the forehead. I replayed this scene twice.

We also got a big surprise on 30 Rock with the return of Floyd from Cleveland. I, like LL, was hoping Floyd was back to rekindle their love connection, but alas he has moved on to an exercise instructor. Bummer.  I laughed my butt off about the Silver Panthers and “Twig and Plums,” and Kenneth’s silver NBC hot pants.

That brings me to Parenthood. Honestly, the show is just not that great. But I keep watching it. Why? Because it will always do in a late-night pinch when I’ve watched everything else on my DVR, there’s nothing on HBO, and I haven’t received my Netflix in the mail. Maybe the show is just too vanilla for my taste. It definitely should be on at 8 p.m. instead of 10 p.m.