A and I don’t have regular TV. We’ve been watching on the internet since we were married, before it was a thing and TV’s came with internet-ready hookups. (The day A figured our how to jerry-rig his old computer to our TV…that was a proud moment in the Aylesworth house, my friends.) Anyhoo, we made the decision to not have regular TV because I hated the advertising and we figured that newlyweds had more important things to do than watch TV all evening…like get to know each other as newley-marrieds! Minds out of the gutter, folks. But that didn’t work out so well in the long run. With internet TV becoming a major thing, we watch all the shows (for the most part) other people do, just a day later. So I thought I’d share the five shows A and I wait for the other to watch. The best current shows on television (that we can see on Hulu or Netflix, that is, since not all networks put their shows up yet), according to Bigger in Real Life are:
1. Modern Family
I feel almost trite putting this up here after the sweep I heard it did, once again, at the Golden Globes, but it’s the truth. This show rocks. There isn’t a better ensemble cast on TV right now, and unlike my perennial favorite Friends I can’t think of a character I dislike. I love the patriarch in Jay and how he’s softened by the comic genius in Gloria. I love the whole dynamic of the Dunphys. And Cam is my absolute favorite. So soft and lovable, yet so hard-core. Awesome.
This show had us since we heard the two magic words: “Nathan Fillion.” Sure the plots are semi-formulaic, and A and I usually figure out whodunnit before Beckett and Castle do, but shaddup, it makes us feel smart. There’s no better combo of lighthearted fun and dramatic twists than Castle. And the almost there love dynamic between Kate and Castle? Television gold. Listen up, writers of Castle: if you ever let Castle and Beckett get together it will ruin the show. I know you’ll be tempted if you ever have to end things, but trust me, the almost-there is what makes the show. Although it would help a lot if NF could go back to looking like the dashing hero if the first season. He’s starting to look more like Kate’s older and less attractive uncle than a serious love interest.
3. How I Meet Your Mother
This one almost was #2 for me, as the show neatly fills the hole Friends left behind, but while the HIMYM gang makes you wish you could have a beer with them, Castle just makes me feel good about life. So it’s in at #3. And why is that? Oh, I’ll give you six reasons, in three words or less: Robin Sparkles. Slap bet. Suit Up. Legend-waitforit-Dary! Theme Songs. Neil. Patrick. Harris.
4. 30 Rock
Honestly, this show is so freaking good it could have usurped any of the ones listed above. I only ranked it lower because the non-linear plot line makes this show closer to sketch comedy than something where you can really invest in the characters. But oh my goodness, I love everything Tina Fey does. And prior to 30 Rock I never thought I’d say this, but Alec Baldwin really makes the show. First time in his career I’ve been laughing because of him, not at him.
This show has been a bit of a sleeper on the acclimation scale, but I’m here to tell you that it deserves a place on any top five list, with a bullet. This show has served up paintball wars, a claymation Christmas Special, anime foosball, Dawn of the Dead-type plots, blatant fun-making of Glee, alternate timelines, and Troy and Abed in the Morning. You don’t have to have attended a community college to love this show, you just have to be able to recognize greatness when you see it.
Runner up in the drama category: Parenthood
I felt bad that all my top picks were comedies lasting half an hour, so had to throw this one in as an honorable mention to show that I don’t only like the funny shows, and that I have an attention span longer than a goldfish. Because really, could Parenthood have won over any of the above? I don’t think so.
A doesn’t like to admit it, but when he’s up in the loft playing computer games he totally pays attention to the plot-lines of this oh-so-well-written show. Do I agree with every decision the writers make? No. Do I think some of the things they write intending to be heartwarming are stupid and shallow? Yes. But I love this show for the way it portrays families. I come from a crazy large family, and we all talk over each other, just like the characters in Parenthood. I’ve been every teenager on that show at some point in my life, and have had friends like all of the Bravermans. I love how they have problems and make choices for better or worse, but in the end family trumps all. I will say one thing, though. I still don’t know the name of Lauren Graham’s character, because to A and I she’s still Lorelei Gilmore.
Potential List Addition in the Future: Alcatraz
This is the first show in a long time A and I have been really excited about. I’m a straight-up sucker for any show set in California (another reason I love Parenthood. Watching them take a road trip down Hwy 5 was like taking a trip home for me. But I digress.) but set it in my favorite city in the world and I’m in. This show is full of intrigue and secrecy, and we can’t tell yet if Sam Neil is a good guy or a bad guy. Plus, they have Hurley, who I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to call by his new character name either.
And in case you were wondering, here are some shows that would have made the cut, had circumstances been different:
Best show if it was three years ago:
Best show if I wanted to admit to loving a dressed-up soap opera:
Best show if I was over 50 and wanting to still feel like I’ve got it:
Best show as long as Steve Carrell stayed on:
Best show if I wasn’t burned out on the mockumentary-style filming thanks to The Office:
Parks and Recreation
Best concept turned disappointment by uninspired writing:
Once Upon a Time
So that’s my list. Do you agree? Disagree? What are your picks for best shows on TV right now?