The fall season always marks the beginning of several television shows trying to make their mark. I have found that I do not watch much television these days. I'm not some elitist who's above watching television. I don't have cable because if I did I wouldn't get anything done because I would spend all my time watching Forensic Files & Unsolved Mysteries reruns. However, lets talk about the rapid decline television has taken in the last few years. Reality or some twisted perception of it rules the tube now. You can't change a channel without coming across a singing competition, dating show, or some sort of extreme job. We have The Real World to thank for paving the way for reality TV. Don't get me wrong, I have fallen victim to a couple of these shows (American Idol & Rock Of Love) so I kind of see the appeal. I do draw the line at a bunch of greasy trolls from New York pretending to be from New Jersey tramping around in the outfits Forever 21 made on a dare.
Lately, if I have spare time, I generally spend it watching films or reading which I enjoy much more than The Simpsons. My main problem with television shows in particular is commitment. I hate committing to a show and being obligated to watch every week. Now that my relationship with Law & Order SVU has come to a tragic end, I no longer feel tied down to a show.
Let me take the time to discuss my all time favorite television shows.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
I could go on and on about why I love Larry David so much. Larry is one of the funniest people in the world. He says and does all the things mere mortals like us only dream about. I'm not talking about how much money he has; I'm talking about his social observations. Larry lets people know when they're misbehaving. I also really love Susie Greene, she's hilarious. Curb remains consistently funny unlike many other sitcoms including Seinfeld which was created by Larry David himself. Seinfeld got a bit ridiculous in the end there you must admit. I strive to become a social assassin like Larry. If you haven't watched Curb, do check it out. The Car Pool Lane & The Grand Opening episodes are personal favorites!
Obviously I wasn't alive during the original run of Dark Shadows. I was around to catch the Dark Shadows revival in the early 90s. My mother and I watched it when I was a kid and I absolutely loved it. I have to say it definitely influenced my vampire obsession. Yes, that is indeed a baby JGL as David Collins. The revival series was only around for one season but it encouraged me to go back and watch the original series. When I heard more than a year ago that Tim Burton would be doing a film adaptation of Dark Shadows, I almost lost my mind. I thought if anyone could pull that off it would have to be Burton. Then finding out that Johnny Fucking Depp was gonna be the dreamy Barnabas Collins I could hardly contain the inner goth girl! Upon initial casting, Johnny Depp said that he was born to play this part and I couldn't agree more. I have watched this project very closely and have come across some very bizarre photos from the shoot. Now I'm not gonna freak out just yet because I trust Tim Burton would not fuck this up. I know Tim Burton has had some major duds in the last few years (everything from PLANET OF THE APES to ALICE IN WONDERLAND) so he has one chance to make it right.
I read an article that mentioned a new show coming out that had a main character who was like a cross between Buffy Summer & Angelina Jolie in high school. An interesting description like that should peak anyone's interest. After watching a couple episodes, I determined Veronica was a lot like Buffy but in a Nancy Drew kind of way. VM also had great taste in phones! Even though Kristen Bell has been aggressively campaigning for a movie, I won't hold my breath. The creator of this show, Rob Thomas, is from Austin so you may catch a few Austiny references throughout the series. Rob Thomas also went on to do a much beloved & also gone too soon series called Party Down that you should check out.
Notable episodes: Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner & President Evil
There will never be another show like Twin Peaks. From the looks of it, there will probably never be anymore films from David Lynch either. The early 90s were plagued by one little phrase: Who killed Laura Palmer? I remember contemplating for hours who could be the killer. I almost called one of those 1-900 numbers at the end of the show but my mom told me I'd be in deep shit if I did. I also cannot think of another cast with as many good looking ladies as the women of Twin Peaks. I still have a girl crush on Sherilyn Fenn and Madchen Amick! Twin Peaks was a true rarity in that the entire cast was amazing. Did you guys know Donna Hayward's mom was played by Zooey Deschanel's real life mom? Or that Norma was played by Rashida Jones' mom, Peggy Lipton? And Pamper Tamblyn's dad was crazy Dr. Jacoby? Some of my favorite episodes are Coma & Cooper's Dreams.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Again with the vampire obsession! It's still hard for me to talk about the demise of Buffy. Most people I meet who watched Buffy were rabid fans and I am guilty as charged. It's like meeting a fellow former drug addict. I even named my dog after Spike the vampire. Buffy was one of the first shows to highlight a strong female lead who was heroic & vulnerable at the same time. I don't recall many role models in high school but Buffy was definitely one of them, even if she was fictional. The show itself was pretty groundbreaking. It dealt with a lot of personal issues like the death of a parent, love, fear of marriage, homosexuality, and addiction. I watched the final episode in a packed theater at The Alamo Drafthouse. I remember looking back and seeing dozens of people crying. I've seen the final episode maybe twice since it aired and I still get choked up. I'm really glad Buffy & the Scoobies live on in comic form. Buffy was a lot of things for different people, but I think the main thing she stood for was hope. It's hard to pick a couple favorite episodes but the most popular are Hush & The Musical (I have the soundtrack).
My So Called Life
I was an angsty adolescent in the 90s who dreamed about wearing Jordan Catalano's flannel shirt. I recently watched a few episodes and it is indeed pretty ridiculous but I still love it! My favorite episode was the Halloween episode. Fun fact: I once met Jordan Catalano. He said hi and I screamed like a little girl.