Thursday Open Thread: Network TV

As you can tell, Raked has been a bit of a ghost town recently. There are a couple reasons for this. For one thing, I’m moving, which is limiting my time spent on the couch. The other, I’m switching cable providers, leaving me with an apartment that has no cable and no internet. You can see how difficult it would be to watch and write about TV in this situation.

On the bright side, we do have a digital antennae, so we get the basic networks (as well as some lesser known ones, like MeTV, where I spent too much time on Saturday watching The Brady Bunch). Now, this is well and good if I want to watch the latest episode of New Girl, Smash, and The Amazing Race. But little did I realize how much time I spend watching channels that are on basic cable.

So I’m curious, how much time do you spend watching the basic four: FOX, NBC, CBS, and ABC? How much time do you devote to the wee little duckling The CW? Or do you spend a lot of time elsewhere?

I’m discovering that I do spend a lot of time outside the networks for primetime, on stations like ABC Family, TNT, HBO, and SyFy. Not including some guilty pleasures on HGTV or TLC (ok, TLC only has my wedding shows). And as for the other hours in the day — non-primetime — I’m sure spending most of my time on stations that are anything but the networks and free local stations. (There are only so many reruns of The Big Bang Theory you can take. I am getting damn good at Jeopardy, though.)

So tell me. What’s your time on the networks? Would you be lost without dish, cable, or whatever you’ve got? Or are you on the other side of the spectrum and content with what’s free?

Image

Thanksgiving Open Thread: So Thankful

I think every Thanksgiving, I ask just about the same thing: What are you watching this Thanksgiving? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving episode? Well, this year, I’m opening this open thread up to a broader spectrum:

What are you thankful for this year?

Pretty simple question, and it doesn’t require a TV-related answer. I’m personally thankful for friends, family, health, and the many blessings life gives us. And hey, a kickass blog to keep me busy and great TV (even old favorites, like the one below) doesn’t hurt.

So be thankful today. And share why in the comments.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

The Return of the Open Thread: I Need Your Holiday Help

It’s the week before Thanksgiving. What does that mean? Christmas is right around the corner. If you haven’t yet been bombarded by holiday commercials and an already active holiday movie schedule on Lifetime and ABC Family, just leave your house. Tuesday was the first day I heard “All I Want for Christmas Is You” playing on an overhead radio at the mall.

And while I’m not yet allowed to be in the Christmas spirit, I do need to start my holiday preparations. Last year, I made it my goal to watch 25 Christmas episodes in the 25 days leading up to December 25. It was my Christmas Challenge. I have to say, it was rough, but worth it, and in the end, I had a good, diverse set of Christmas shows to recommend watching — or staying away from, as the case may be.

This year, I plan to do it again, though there is one caveat: I can’t include any episodes I watched last year. That will be a tough one, since I had a pretty hearty year last year. You can see the entire list here in slideshow form. Fortunately, I can watch the same series, just as long as it’s a different holiday episode.

Nonetheless, I need your help. What holiday episodes should I be watching? What do you recommend? I’ve got my collection of DVDs, plus Netflix instant and disks, so hopefully, whatever you name, I have a chance to see. But I need to start my viewing soon. Let me know what you recommend now.

In the meantime, enjoy your fall weather and your gobble gobble dinner next week. We’ll leave the red, green, and sparkly for December 1.

Thursday Open Thread: Shows You’re Giving Up On

Well, we’ve covered the old, the new, and the new again, so let’s go back to the old for a second.

What returning show are you giving up on?

TV Guide had a slideshow devoted to this (sorry I can’t find the link; if you’ve got the app, check it out), so I’m now asking you. Are there any shows you used to watch that you’re giving up on?

I’m not sure if this counts, but if I have to choose, I’d say The Office. Here’s why I think it might not count: I gave up on The Office last season. But with tonight’s premiere of the ninth and final season, I considered coming back. I mean, NBC suckered me in by a promo focused on Pam and Jim’s relationship over the years. But the show has just been so bad, especially last season, that I just really can’t go back. It should have ended a long time ago, and for me, it’s already done.

Ok, I might see how they end the whole thing, just out of curiosity, but that’s one episode out of 22. So in essence, I’ve given up.

What about you?

Thursday Open Thread: Anticipated New Series

It’s September.

Let me restate that.

It’s September.

It’s fall, people! That means new episodes of our old favorites and new series premiering. It’s possibly the most exciting time of the year. It’s basically Christmas for TV reviewers.

So what new series are you excited about?

There’s a wide assortment to choose from. After all, later today, I’ll be attending a screening in Boston of the new show Revolution (and for you not in Boston, you can watch it early, too). It looks like an interesting premise, but I’m not quite certain what we’ll be getting yet after seeing more promos.

A show I’m particularly excited about (and I may be one of the few) is Elementary, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, two of my current favorite-but-unappreciated actors. I may not be spoiled by the BBC series’ interpretation, so I won’t be watching it, playing a comparison game (even if they are two very different series). And frankly, I want to see what these actors can do.

What else? Surprisingly enough, Arrow on the CW. Who would have thought a CW show would make the list? I have faith that they can do a superhero series right after Smallville  (though now that I’m thinking about it, Smallville did have its best seasons on the WB). Nonetheless, I’m curious.

I guess the last show I might add is Nashville, the newest show to join the singing and dancing trend. It’s not necessarily the songs that get me as much as the cast. Connie Britton has impressed me in recent years, and I’ve tended to follow Hayden Panettiere’s work around (perhaps I shouldn’t admit that; I even saw her horrible Bring It On sequel). While country music doesn’t grab me, the show might. Of course, I’ll have to get over my mild freakout that we’re supposed to see Panettiere as an adult.

Anyway, that’s a small, initial list. I’ll, of course, catch some of the other shows, but those are the ones grabbing my attention right now. Here’s a list of the new shows that are coming up.

What shows on your list?

For any of you interested, looks like there are some sneak peek pilots of The Mindy Project and Ben and Kate online, too. And, of course, Go On is still available after its premiere during the Olympics. Feel free to check them out and report back.

Thursday Open Thread: Returning Favorites

I can hardly believe it myself, but summer is just about over. Summer series are ending. And fall series are premiering. What does that mean?

Our favorite shows are coming back! Hurrah! Hurray! Huzzah!

So I must ask…

What returning favorite are you looking forward to the most?

With a sense of moderate caution, I mention Community. As much as I love the series, I don’t think any fans know what we’re getting into with a Dan Harmon-less season. But hey, it’s got a great cast, and I’m sure there are more wonderful jokes to come.

But let’s talk drama because two shows rank high on my list: Revenge and Vampire DiariesRevenge was a show I couldn’t get enough of last season, so of course, I want to see more. As for Vampire Diaries, that was one I wasn’t too convinced by last season, but the final episodes grabbed me. And that final reveal? Whoa.

So yes, those are my top three. What are you looking forward to returning?

And for those of you who want a little extra credit, here’s a little assignment. Up next week: What NEW shows are you looking forward to? Start brainstorming…

Open Thread Thursday: What Big Shows Have You Been Missing?

Last year, we started marathoning our way through Mad Men in anticipation of season 5. I’ve just started working through Breaking Bad (I’ll have a post up soon with some early impressions) and I also just recently finished the first two season of The Wire. The critical and cultural acclaim of all three of these shows have vastly overshadow their rather modest ratings. If you’re plugged into certain sections of the TV critic blogosphere, it seems like everyone is constantly talking about these shows, so eventually we just had to get around to watching them. There are other critically beloved shows that I need to catch up on too, like Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Deadwood. Netflix, HBOGO, and Hulu all make it easy to see what you’ve missed. Now all we need is more time in the day.

Which popular, critically acclaimed shows do you feel like you’re missing out on? What’s next on your catch-up queue? Let us know in the comments.