March 17, 2011

Some TV Favourites

Today is Talk About TV Thursday! Okay, I just made that up, but it works, right?

While this is a book blog, I think it's important to acknowledge that books aren't the only medium that tell a great story. I'm a movie fan as well, but in terms of media entertainment, I have to say that TV is where my heart is. My favourite type of book is one where we get a long, uninterrupted view of a character and insight into their life, so it's no surprise that I enjoy television, where episodes and even seasons are taken to show us progression in relationships and character development.

When it comes down to it, I think that a good story is a good story, no matter what way it's told. I've really enjoyed the posts I've seen on other people's blogs where they discuss their favourite TV shows, so I thought I would take a crack at it.

Here are five of my favourite shows, some currently on the air and some that are (sadly) finished. If you knew how much TV I watch, you would realize how hard it was for me to narrow it down to only five.

Being Erica

I absolutely have to give props to the show that convinced me that Canadian TV could be good. Being Erica is funny, smart, and sweet. The adorable and genius Erin Karpluk plays Erica, a woman who goes to therapy to deal with her regrets, only to find out that her doctor can send her back in time to literally relive and change her past. First of all, this is a genius concept, and seeing all the different versions of Erica from the past is awesome, and often times quite humourous. You also get to learn some great lessons as you watch Erica deal with some seriously tough things in her past, including the death of her brother, Leo. The best part is that none of this is saccharine. You will seriously feel for Erica and care about her and her family and friends.


Friday Night Lights

This is quite possibly the most real show I've ever watched. What I mean is that these characters feel like real people. They have problems and they deal with them like in real life. Nothing is sugar coated here: it's just not fake. Yes, it's a "football show", but not really. Do you think I care about football? No, I seriously could care less. But this show makes you care about the people of Dillon, Texas. It's about the community, centralized around the Taylor family. If you're looking for real emotion and true to life characters that you will fall deeply in love with, look no further. I couldn't recommend this show more highly.


Mad Men

AMC's tagline is "Story Matters Here", and the truth is, I think it really does. Mad Men is brilliant not only because of the time period and the style, but because it tells a great story. What really makes the show, though, is all the characters. Don Draper is this insane guy... I'm pretty sure he's not at all likeable, but he's magnetic. All of the actors on this show are amazing, making their moments on screen shine. This is definitely a slower paced show, which might not appeal to everyone, but there is absolute brilliance in all the silent moments.



How much do I love Merlin? So, so much. I totally fangirled it to everyone I knew after I started watching it and offered to lend my S1 DVD out to people: that's how much. The show strays quite far from the traditional Arthurian mythology in a lot of ways, but it always manages to sneak in those familiar characters and plot twists. The relationship between Merlin and Arthur (whether you want to be pervy about it or not) is absolutely brilliant, as is Merlin's with his mentor, Gaius. The show portrays a Camelot where King Uther Pendragon has outlawed magic. Obviously this is a problem for Merlin and those like him. There's definitely an epic quality to this show, and it deals with a lot of awesome mythology and legend, while still being focused on the characters.


Veronica Mars

I dare you to name a teen character as awesome as Veronica Mars. She's clever, hilarious, loyal, and tough as nails. But as Wallace knows, she's also a marshmallow. This show faltered in places, but it still always had heart. You could describe this is a teen detective show, but it's just so much better than that. This is another show filled with amazing characters. If you're into fandoms at all, no doubt you've heard of LoVe (Logan/Veronica)... I've gone back and forth with my love for LoVe, but believe me, you want to experience the epicness of their relationship. And what about Daddy Mars? He is one of the coolest TV dads ever, I swear. I absolutely adore the father/daughter relationship that Enrico Colantoni and Kristen Bell portray.


I mentioned how tough that was to narrow down, right? Well, let me list some honourable mentions: Alias, Criminal Minds, Everwood, Felicity, Modern Family, Roswell, & The Vampire Diaries.

As you can tell, just like with my favourite books, my favourite TV shows are generally character driven ones that also happen to feature some great plot lines.

So, what say you?

I'd love to hear about your favourite shows, past or current. What things you look for in a TV show? Are they at all similar to what you look for in a good book?


  1. I like a lot of the same shows, and I tend to trust your recs, so I'm planning to try a few of the ones I haven't seen. I just started Veronica Mars in the last week, and I recently requested season one of Mad Men from the library, so I have to go pick that up.

    I usually enjoy small town dramas that are very character driven. There's something about that insular environment where everybody knows everyone else and you can really see just how much place and people shape each other.

    There are also some things I enjoy seeing on tv that don't play out as well for me in books. I'm much more willing to watch Jack Bauer kick some ass then I am to read anything action/adventurey, for example. I think for the most part, though, my taste is probably pretty similar from one form of media to another.

  2. I really need to start Friday Night Lights. Every time I see a promo for it I remind myself that I need to watch the first couple seasons online so I can get caught up, I've heard it's awesome. And I'm kind of a fan of Taylor Kitsch. Yum.:)

  3. Veronica Mars is my favorite TV show. I adored the first 2 seasons. I don't really know what happened in the third one. Probably the fact that they went to college. That never bods well for a show started when the characters were in high-school (hello Buffy).

    Right now, I also love House, MD. It's the only show I've ever watched that gets better as the seasons go. (weird, right? It's unnatural. I don't know how they do it). I also really like Lie to Me because the concept of reading facial expressions fascinate me. Also, Cal (the main character) has a british accent. Um, yes, that is reason enough to watch a show.

    When I watch a tv show, I'm generally looking for an interesting plot, decent acting, multi-dimensional characters (+1 if they're funny) and realism. I hate it when something happens that causes me to (metaphorically) tilt my head and say "uhuh". If it happens too much, I'll stop watching altogether. I know you can only get so much realism in a TV show (it's TV, after all) but I hate it when you can spot mistakes even when you're not paying attention.

    Which is exactly why I loved Veronica Mars so much :)

  4. Melanie: Agreed, I just love the small town/tight knit community type shows, as well. And that's interesting, about the shows you watch that you wouldn't usually read about. I would agree with that, actually. I'm not a fan of detective fiction for the most part (like the police drama type), but I love Criminal Minds.

    Jenny: Yes, yes, yes! Definitely check it out. Oh gosh, major love for Taylor Kitsch. He's even hotter because he's a Canadian hockey boy as well.

    Lamia: Nice, I love hearing from other VMars fans! Agreed, S3 was kind of a mess, though it still had some good moments. I don't watch 'House', though my Mom really seems to like it. I haven't ever seen 'Lie to Me' but it seems like quite an interesting show. And yum, British accents are delicious! Agreed about inconsistencies, whether they be about the town or the character or whatever. I hate it when I think "that would never happen" or "that isn't right" ... so annoying. I guess that's why I love the shows that assume their viewers are smart.

  5. As always, great recommendations Ashley. I appreciate your insight and comments on these shows very much.

  6. I don't really have much time to watch TV anymore but I always watch The Big Bang Theory because always eat dinner at the same time that it airs on CTV. I used to always watch Criminal Minds but sadly, I haven't seen any of the newer episodes this season. I miss watching Reid... I love him! And Garcia- because she's cool. And Morgan... because his lines with Garcia are always sweet.

    I've watched some of The Vampire Diaries episodes this season but mostly the recent ones so I'm kind of like, "Who's this?" when I'm watching since they added new characters. I think I'm sort of getting the gist of what's been happening lately.

    And I've been watching Glee on and off too since my sister loves that show. :)

    You know what's really sad? I've only watched a few episodes of the first season of Veronica Mars when they still aired it on CTV in the beginning. But then they stopped playing it so I couldn't watch it anymore. I was a bit devastated because I'd been really enjoying watching it!

    And ohhhh!! I used to LOVE watching Alias. It was such a good show!! :)

  7. Ooh, love Big Bang Theory. It's freaking hilarious!

    I'm worried Criminal Minds is going to get crappy, since they're totally destroying the main cast. Loveee Reid, and Garcia and Morgan and everyone, really.

    Oh yah, Vampire Diaries is a show where you almost need to watch everything, because it moves so fast, that you would be a little lost otherwise.

    I have a love/hate relationship with Glee. I was one of those people who watched the pilot when it played back in May, and I obsessed over it all summer before it premiered, and I loved the 1st season so much, and then.... 2nd season happened. There have still been some good moments, but it has been so crappy so many times, too. I was on the verge of giving up on it, and then last episode was so, so good again.

    Ooooh yes, I do remember when it was on CTV, although I was a little bit late to watching it. You should definitely check it out, like see if your library has it, or possibly *cough* download it, or buy the DVDs if you can find them cheaper, because it's such a good show.

    Alias is definitely awesome... my Mom and I have the whole series in the Rambaldi artifact... it's so cool, lol.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


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