About a year ago, I posted a list of television shows I wanted to catch up with. I’ve actually made it most of the way through that list, with a few stragglers that will also appear below. People keep calling the turn of the century period when television got good the “Golden Age” of television, and while I’ve seen a bunch of that stuff (Sopranos, The Wire, etc…) some stuff I just haven’t taken the time to watch. Catching up with TV shows like this is probably a big part of why I didn’t watch as many movies last year, and I don’t see that changing much. The quality of television has risen so dramatically, and technology for consumption has gotten so much better that watching TV is actually a fair amount of fun. This is, of course, not a revolutionary notion, but I’m catching up here, so cut me some slack.
I’m enjoying several series currently on TV (notably True Detective, Archer, Game of Thrones, and a few others), but there are still a lot of shows I could be catching up on, whether they be Golden Age staples or just obscure weird stuff, like my first pick:
- Clone High – After enjoying The Lego Movie so much, I decided to take a look back at what else Phil Lord and Christopher Miller had done, and this one popped up. I vaguely remember when it aired on MTV a while back, though it was originally produced and aired in Canada before coming to the US. I know the Extra Hot Great folks are big fans of the show too, and I’ve always wanted to check it out. Alas, streaming options are nil, so I’ll have to take a flier on the DVD.
- Look Around You – Short spoofs of 80s educational science movies from Britain? It sounds rather strange, but from what I’ve seen so far, it’s hilarious. Another recommendation from our friends at the Extra Hot Great podcast from Previously.tv, this was a canon entry from Dave a few weeks ago. Thanks Dave. Thave. Once again, streaming options are limited. That sucks.
- Louie – This is Louis C.K.’s show where he plays a presumably fictionalized version of himself. I’ve seen a couple episodes, and they’re pretty good, though this does get a lot of hyperbolic praise, so I’ll probably give it a more serious look at some point. And wonder of wonders, it’s on Netflix streaming, so it’s easy.
- Psych – One of those seemingly light and fluffy USA series that a friend actually really loves. I’ve seen a few episodes, and they really are a lot of fun, so I’ll probably make my way through the series, and it’s nice to have a procedural detective show that doesn’t depress the hell out of me. Also on Netflix streaming.
- Veronica Mars – I know almost nothing about this series except that Kristen Bell is the title character, and that she does detective stuff with her dad, or something like that. I figure I should probably check out the show before that Kickstarter movie comes out, and it just got added to Amazon Prime streaming, so that’s nice.
- The Shield – One of those shows frequently cited amongst all the talk of Television’s Golden Age, along with the likes of The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and the like (it seems to be the first basic cable show to challenge HBO). All I know about it is that it’s about a dirty cop played by Michael Chiklis – one of them anti-hero shows. It’s also on Amazon Prime streaming, so I should probably hop to it.
- Oz – HBO’s prison drama was kinda the first foray into that Golden Age of television thing, so I figure it’s the sort of thing I should probably nail down. It’s on HBO Go, but Comcast won’t let me watch that anywhere but my computer or tablet, so options are limited here.
- Mad Men – A holdover from the last list that I’ve just never pulled the trigger on. It’s another highly praised show that I’m sure I could get into, but again, that trigger won’t pull itself.
- Doctor Who – Another holdover, and I’m sad to say that I’ve made minimal progress on the show. That being said, I expect to make a concerted effort this year.
Phew, looks like I have my work cut out for me. Someday, I’d like to read Alan Sepinwall’s book The Revolution Was Televised, which covers 12 shows: The Sopranos, Oz, The Wire, Deadwood, The Shield, Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 24, Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights, Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Fortunately, I’ve got about 2/3 of them reasonably well covered (need to finish off a few seasons here or there) and several on the list above, so if I make good progress, I might be able to read the book this year without having to spoil the shows. Score. Or maybe not. That’s a lot of television to be watching!