Thursday, July 29, 2010

Well, that, and food and science shows...

Ok, he's exaggerating a BIT, but really...He kinda has a point....

Nearly all the fiction programming we watch is crime or crime related at this point... at least for the summer anyway.

Hell, four years ago we barely watched TV at all... Then we got a DVR and we started actually liking TV again. We watch whatever we want, whenever we want, without commercials now. I'm pretty sure without a DVR, we'd stop watching TV again.

...and yeah, most of what we watch fictionwise, is about crime in some way.

Actually, we pretty much watch a fairly limited subset of genre: crime, medical, sci-fi, fantasy, adventure/espionage, cooking, science, and history shows.

The only things we watch that don't fit into those categories are "Bullshit!" "Pawn Stars" and "Top Shot", all three "reality" shows that are kinda hard to classify. 

Espionage/action shows used to be big... now not so much, and most of them are more crime oriented too. We WILL be watching "human target" again when it comes back on, but that's really about crime too. Burn notice? Crime... espionage is a crime, and most of the time what they are dealing with is just plain crime. The new show "Covert Affairs" is pretty much the same. Theoretically it's about espionage, but so far it's mostly been about murder.

Even all the Sci-Fi and fantasy is pretty much crime/mystery sci-fi... Though I suppose "true blood" is more about kinky sex than mystery; all of the major plots involve murder, kidnapping, and drug dealing.

We like other kinds of SciFi and Fantasy, but right now, that's pretty much all that's being offered.

There aren't any military shows left on the air at the moment. We used to watch a bunch of those (JAG, The Unit etc...), but there aren't any really on right now.

There were some decent modern westerns in the past ten years, but none right now.... and even then a lot of them were about crime or law enforcement or somehow otherwise crime related.

Same thing for legal shows. The once mighty genre (at one point taking up more than 50% of  one hour prime time shows) has been brought low so to speak... and even then most of them were also about crime, or crime related.

I SO miss the genre blending or genre defying shows like Firefly, and "Briscoe County Junior". SciFi western crime adventure comedies with dramatic moments...

We only watch two sitcoms... in fact the only 30 minute fiction series we watch at all, are "Hung" (a show about prostitution. Crime related); and "30 Rock" and "big bang theory", which are both on summer hiatus.

Oh wait... "Royal Pains" isn't about crime... usually (unless you count Evans shirts). Same thing for House. Both are mystery shows, but they're medical mystery shows so they don't really count.

And Mad Men started back up last week, so that's not about crime either...

Glee isn't about crime, but it's on hiatus as well

We WERE watching "Miami Medical", but they only produced 11 shows, and it hasn't been renewed. Same thing for "The Deep End", a legal show. Both are potential pickups for next year, but neither did particularly well on ratings so they aren't likely. So no legal shows and only two medical shows right now.

We used to watch CSI, and CSI Miami, but they just got too awful to keep watching.

Crime really has taken over the networks schedules.

As of right now, here's what our DVR list looks like (in order, but that order changes around based on season. In the summer we move the summer season shows to the top. When the fall season starts up we move those shows back up to the top):
1. True Blood
2. Mad Men
3. Rizzoli & Isles (new show for the summer)
4. The Glades (new show for the summer)
5. Memphis Beat (new show for the summer)
6. Scoundrels (new show for the summer)
7. Covert Affairs (new show for the summer)
8. Hung (summer season)
9. Leverage (summer season)
10. The Gates (new show for the summer)
11. The Good Guys (new show for the summer)
12. Lie to Me (summer season)
13. The Next Food Network Star
14. Burn Notice (summer season)
15. Royal Pains (summer season)
16. White Collar (summer season)
17. Haven (new show for the summer)
18. Glee
19. Chuck
20. Bones
21, Castle
22. NCIS
23. The Big Bang Theory
24. 30 Rock
25. House
26. In Plain Sight
27. Chopped
28. Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
29. Mythbusters
30. The Best Thing I Ever Ate
31. Dinner: Impossible
32. Human Target
33. The Mentalist
34. Criminal Minds
35. Pawn Stars
36. Law & Order: Criminal Intent
37. Good Eats
38. Throwdown With Bobby Flay
39. Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
40. Man v. Food
41. Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
42. Top Shot
43. Dexter

Oh and NO, that doesn't mean we watch 40-50 hours of TV a week. More like 25 or so. Half of these shows are summer only or split season, and half are currently on hiatus for the summer.

We usually sit and read, or play on our computers, in front of the TV from around 7 or 8pm, 'til around 11pm most nights. We don't go out much at night since we've got young kids.

We're also multitasking that whole four hours. It's when I do most of my reading, and most of my writing for example. Also when I mess around with my hobbies the most (last night I built a model airplane). The TV is really on as background noise most of the time.

Also, a lot of the time, we're watching DVDs of movies, or of foreign TV series, or older TV shows etc... Right now for example, we're about a third of the way through re-watching the entirety of Joss Whedons creative output (which we have, in its entirety, on DVD), in order.

Some of these we're just trying out, to see if we like them. The networks have really jumped on the split season/summer season thing the last two years so we don't really have the classic "summer re-run" season anymore. dvr's pretty much killed that.

Also, not on this list are Eureka,  Breaking Bad, and Fringe, which I watch on DVD after each season is over... and all three are about crime or law enforcement. I'm anxiously awaiting the U.S. DVD release of the UK show "Ashes to Ashes", which is the followon show to "Life on Mars" (the UK version is some of the best TV ever produced. The U.S. remake... wasn't). I watched the entirety of the UK series "Kingdom" recently; sadly it's been cancelled.

I also watch a bunch of shows and movies on Hulu, and on Netflix streaming. Usually old canceled TV shows, and foreign shows. I'm a big fan of British comedies and mystery shows.

Some of these things, Mel doesn't watch, just me. I sit up and watch them when I can't sleep; which being an insomniac is frequently. The combination of a TV show on DVD and a book tend to occupy my mind enough with relatively passive reception (rather than active participation and analysis as when I'm writing or on internet forums and blogs etc...), that after an hour or two I can sleep.

Listening to a fiction audiobook while I read a non-fiction book, or vice verse works well for me too. I can't listen to a fiction and read a fiction, or the other way round, because my head won't stay immersed in either, and I end up concentrating on one or the other.

Just plain reading, or listening, to one source at a time also works; but not as well for putting me to sleep. Something about having to process two completely independent sources of input prevents me from getting too deep into either and just reading it to the end (which is what will frequently happen with just one).

Anyway, of 30 scripted fictional shows we record, and another two we watch on DVD... there are only six that aren't crime related: we've got Glee, Mad Men, House, Royal Pains, 30 Rock, and Big Bang Theory. Of the six,

It's not that we disklike other genres, it's just of the good TV out there, that's what they are offering.