Charlie’s Guide to TV


I am a picky watcher of TV. In fact, I don’t even subscribe to any cable or satellite services. I don’t take suggestions easily, mostly because anytime someone says the words “You would like” I have to wonder how anyone else knows what I like when I can’t even tell whether I’ll like something in advance. There are a few TV shows I simply love to watch, and in the spirit of hypocrisy, I’m going to tel you why you should like them too.

1. Doctor Who

Why I love it

As a child, I had very little appreciation for Doctor who, but in my defense, I cared very little for TV in general. The only show I ever watched was America’s Funniest Home Videos and that was only because I could watch one five minute segment, laugh at people getting hit in the crotch, and then go back to whatever book I was reading.

I didn’t like Doctor Who because my mother and my sister used to record it from PBS and devote all their time to watching and then talking about it. I preferred it when I got to pick the show, so I could leave the room and leave everyone huffy and watching a cartoon. I couldn’t figure out what was so great. Keep in mind that these were the old episodes with all their kitchen-utensil special effects and people-generated robot voices yelling “Exterminate!” But then I met Nine and I was in love with the show. In fact, it’s playing as I watch it.

Why you should try it out

If you like adventure, pretty convincing pseudo-science, making fun of historical figures, or David Tennant in floppy hair, Doctor Who is a good show for you. The beauty of the show is that it pulls the viewer in. Half the time, I’m pretty certain that my living room is just some back room of the TARDIS. I’m not folding my laundry, but rather folding alien laundry, which explains why the sleeves somehow always end up tied together. Doctor Who is a rollicking, campy sci-fi series, and the best part about it is that it never gets stale. The characters are constantly changing over.

Memorable Moment

Donna is my favorite companion, and my favorite bit was when absorbed a bit of the Doctor and became even better than normal.

2. Supernatural

Why I like it

Three words: Sam, Dean, Castiel. Google them yourself; I can’t decide which picture I like best. Here’s the breakdown: two brothers are one epic, cross-country road trip, but instead of your usual road trip movie shenanigans, Sam and Dean encounter monsters straight out of Urban Legends and ancient religions. Thanks to Supernatural, I know that most angels are douche bags, except Castiel of course. Hot guys plus all the urban legends that left me trembling in the dark as a kid equals so much fun. Plus, the show is never afraid to pick on itself.

Why you should give it a shot

Supernatural has somehow balanced freaky as hell with hilarious ridiculousness. This impressive feat will leave you trying to decide if you should laugh at shadows or put salt on all the entrances to your house. Trust me, once you know what a Ghost Facer is, you are never going to be the same, in a good way, of course.

Memorable Moment

James Dean look-alike, Dean gets infected by cowardice and screams like a little girl when a cat jumps out at him. Also, Bon Jovi rocks. On occasion.

3. Ghost Adventures

Why I like it

Ok, so I don’t usually do reality shows, but I have a soft spot for ghost hunting shows. I used to watch Paranormal State, but the super dramatic everything got to be just too much for me. That’s when I discovered Ghost Adventures, which is as close to Ghost Facers as the real world gets (Nope, I take that back. A&E ran two episodes of Extreme Paranormal. The first episode was filmed in New Mexico, and they were definitely Ghost Facers IRL). Basically, three guys go into creepy old buildings and ask ghosts to molest them (sometimes in both senses of the word). I don’t like it because they are hard-hitting paranormal scientists or because Zac is hot (a hardy har har to both). I like it because it’s so unintentionally funny. These fellows probably have stock in adult diapers. Season after season they still squeal like little girls and shout “Dude!” after every noise. I love watching buff men freak out.

Why you should give it a shot

People who take themselves too seriously are terrifically entertaining. It’s why Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have careers. People who turn fringe science into into massive stunts and ask to be taken seriously are even more fun to watch. I will admit that sometimes the show can get legitimately scary. The trips to Bobby Mackey’s are notable for their freak-tastic-ness.

Memorable Moment

Zac spends an entire night trying to attract an incubus (he meant succubus) by putting an EMF detector in his pants.

4. The River

Why I like it

We are currently in a state of strong awareness of our post-colonialism. The attempts to preserve rain forests, native peoples, and salamanders in jungles dense like dictionaries creates an element of curatorship for all the do-gooders. The practical upshot of all this saving is that stories have to change. On American soil, we can laugh at so-called ignorant folktales, but in the jungle, the American is in a magical world. While this whole concept still reeks of post-colonialism, The River weaves a web of moral super-naturalism that traps the white explorers. I am itching to write an essay about this show, but I’m waiting for the first season to end.

Why you should give it a shot

This show is as scary as it is billed. The horror never grows stale, although it occasionally gets a little thrill of the week. Even though it’s scary, it’s not without substance. The characters are believable, flawed, and sometimes a little bit pompous.

Memorable Moment

A few characters sing “Sons and Daughters” by The Decemberists. It’s surprisingly good.

5. Good Christian Bitches

Why I like it

While this show has been controversial, that’s not why I checked it out. I didn’t realize it was causing controversy until I watched it. The show is about a woman who escaped Dallas society (and her spoiled-brat lifestyle) only to be tossed back into it when her husband dies after bilking people out of their money in a Ponzi scheme. All the girls she burned as a teenager do their best to use the church to get back at her. It’s like a sequel to Mean Girls.

Why you should give it a shot

This show is only controversial because of the title. If people actually watched it, they’d probably realize that the titular Christians are as about as close to reality for most women of the church as the cast of Grey’s Anatomy are to real doctors. Watch it because it’s funny.   Watch it because it ticks people off that it’s on TV. Watch it because Kristen Chenoweth sings.

Memorable Moment

The show had me when the main character’s husband drives right off a cliff because he’s… uh… distracted.

6. Modern Family

Why I like it

I like to think of Modern Family as a much funnier sequel to Married with Children. Al Bundy and Peg divorced and Al remarried a feisty Colombian who brought her son along. Kelly got married, had kids, and grew a brain. Bud realized he was gay, found a partner, and adopted an adorable little girl. I have to be careful not to watch this show when I need to empty my bladder or while eating or drinking anything because accidents are likely to happen.

Why you should give it a shot

Surely you like to laugh. And undoubtedly you like to see relatable characters who are involved in shenanigans that you will never have to suffer through. It’s much easier to laugh that way.

Memorable Moment

Here it’s a toss-up between Gloria jumping into the pool, wearing a gorgeous dress, to save a supposedly suicidal dog and Lily, who defuses a tense moment between one of her fathers and a Christmas tree salesman by saying, “I have two dads.”

All in all, I think that I have thoroughly proven that my taste in TV is superior. I encourage you, therefore, to go try these shows out and see which ones work for you. Report back on your findings or else squee like the fanboy/girl you are in the comments.

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About charliegreenberry

I grew up in the wilds of New Mexico in a strange combination of free and restricted. Now, as I stumble unwillingly into adulthood, I find memories resurfacing. So I dust them off, sand them, slap on a coat of paint and display them with the hopes that at some point they'll make sense and pull the room together. The blog is a space for writing, for sharing, someday sharing without worrying about who is reading it, and a place to practice. Virginia Woolf said, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." Well, here's to having a room at least.
Aside | This entry was posted in lists, love, pseudoscience, religion, tv/movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Charlie’s Guide to TV

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh, dear. You forgot Justified. Timothy Oliphant for starters. Then there’s Timothy Oliphant. And a brilliant supporting cast, cleverly nuanced plot lines, and oh, yeah, Timothy Oliphant.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ah, you have a treat in store. I’ll tell you more in person.

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