NBC Finally Figured Out My Definition of Must See TV

So, as you, my faithful reader(s) know, I watch a lot of TV. A _lot_. I’m at a point where I couldn’t get by without my trusty DVR… in fact, I think it’s safe to say my social life would disappear without the thing.

That might sound strange, but think about it… what would i be doing on Friday nights when Battlestar Galactica is on? Sitting home and watching it. Wednesday night? Sorry, no, can’t go to a bar… _I have to watch Lost tonight_. What’s that you say? Use a VCR? What are you… a caveman?!?!? (Seriously, though… my VCR apparently chooses to ignore all programmed recordings, so *there*.)

But… I digress. On to the subject of my post. NBC has finally put together what I’d consider a truly great night of TV… and it’s on Thursday night, also known as The Place Where Must See TV Once Lived. And it is as follows:


“My Name Is Earl” (8-8:30 p.m. ET)


“The Office” (8:30-9 p.m. ET)


“Scrubs” (9-9:30 p.m. ET)


“30 Rock” (9:30-10 p.m. ET)

This all goes into effect on November 30th, so… set your DVRs! As for the shows themselves…

My Name is Earl was one of my new favorites last year, and this season so far has been pretty awesome. They’ve actually been changing up the formula some and not focusing on the list so much… they’ve also dialed down a bit of the Earl’s preachiness about karma, and the last few episodes have proven that he’s still a flawed guy.

I’ve just recently gotten into The Office, but it’s absolutely worth the effort, especially for those of you who may have been big fans of the BBC version and were turned off by the adaptation. The show has come into its own and done so gracefully.

Scrubs is actually finishing up this year, unfortunately. Apparently Zach Braff has some kind of movie career to pursue or something… Anyways, it has an amazing ability to cheer me up, without fail, every time I watch it. Even though I’ve seen most of the episodes two or three times by now, I can still watch them at the drop of the hat… those DVDs are next up to buy, let me tell you.

30 Rock is, of course, brand new, and might not make it (although, really, everything on NBC is doing terribly right now, so 30 Rock is doing about the same). It started off… just okay, but this week’s episode was absolutely hilarious, and I’m completely on board now. Even though I haven’t watched the last two episodes of Studio 60, if I had to choose for one of the two shows to live, I think I’d pick 30 Rock, simply because it seems to have a better sense of focus and direction, and for the most part it’s figured out that we don’t need to see bad sketch comedy when the characters are more interesting.

p(edit). EDIT: Okay, I finally watched the most recent two episodes of Studio 60, and my opinion about the show hasn’t necessarily changed. It’s good, but it still isn’t quite hitting its marks. I might renege on my choice of 30 Rock over Studio 60, if and only if Studio 60 gets a little sharper or has another truly great episodes – a handful of truly great episodes would be even better. I’m sure we’ll get to see all of the episodes play, so maybe the later eps will be a little sharper once they get into a writing groove. And for god’s sake, can we get some Matt and Danny interaction? Like, at all? Of course, it would be even _better_ if Studio 60 started hitting its marks _and_ 30 Rock continued to be sharp _and_ stick around, because then I’d have two more excellent shows to add to my stable of “need to watch”. Wouldn’t that be nice?

It’s kind of amazing that it took NBC this long to put together such a perfect line-up of shows, with not a dud in the group – all of them are single-camera and laugh-track free, both of which are developments in sitcom TV that I find waaaaay overdue.

I really need to read that “Crafty TV Writing”:http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/0805080287/ book now, don’t I?

could he treat you better?

so, as usual, i’ve been neglecting this website lately. i justify that because i only spent $9 for a year of hosting. who cares what i do with it, really? that’s practically free, if you get down to it. of course, that doesn’t necessarily convince me, either…

see, this webspace has all of this _potential_ that i’m not tapping into… fun stuff like ruby on rails and another two gigs of untapped storage. luckily daniel has movies stored on his site, or hardly any space would be taken up.

but, let’s be honest here – we all know what i’m _really_ talking about (take that, transitions!) i’m good at neglecting potential lately, according to my conscience and everyone i talk to when i complain about being bored with my life/job/whatever. beau gets an annoyed look whenever i complain about these things. we’ve been over this, he’s said his piece, and everyone else i talk to says the same thing.

so, really, what is it? i have some vague ideas knocking around in my head, but no compelling desire to write them down at the moment, even with the whining.

last night tony was talking about the creative writing program at UT, which is _very_ competitive and small, but sounded really nice. tony has a chance to get into a program like that – he’s about to take the GRE, and he has an ever-growing portfolio of work.

his enthusiasm for the idea was infectious, which was nice. it was good to remember what that kind of enthusiasm feels like… but then i turned over in my head what it would take to get me into such a program. all i can think about is the fact that my portfolio is anemic at best, and definitely dying on the vine (what with no new work since the mid 2004’s).

i am apparently the kind of writer douglas adams was. he was apparently legendary for his ability to make an endless number of sandwiches and take an equally infinite number of baths to avoid writing anything. one anecdote i seem to remember reading about him is that his agent once locked him in a hotel room with nothing but a typewriter just to get him to finish a book.

So, with no impetus, nothing happens.

The other problem that comes along with this is talking to people at parties about what I’m doing with my life: “Er, yeah, no… i work at Apple Computer. No, no… I haven’t written anything since I graduated. How about you? …Oh, working in a theatre, huh? That’s great, good for you…”


Q: So… you work at Apple now, but… what do you want to end up doing, then?

A: Uh, well… something creative. Writing, I guess, or maybe film, or photography. And… I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.



Yeah, so… when I got cable in my new place, I bit the bullet and decided to go without digital cable or a dvr in an effort to save money. I thought to myself “I’ll buy some more blank tapes and program the VCR. I’ll be fine with standard cable.”

This all came to a screeching halt when I realized that… no matter what I do, my VCR blithely ignores whatever program I enter into it. The screens say things like “10pm Saturday Channel 68” and “Program Saved” and then I wake up in the morning and my tape is still blank even though the program was very clear.

I try setting programs for a minute from now… nothing. I try leaving it on when the program should start, then I try another program with it turned off… nothing.

I’m starting to twitch here. I don’t think I’m going to be able to hold out on that DVR after all…