Arts and Culture

Let’s All Nerd Out and Watch TV!

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Why does this promo photo look like it should be for an action movie?

It struck me last night, after a brief hiatus from TV-watching that led to a wealth of DVR’ed Thursday night NBC Comedies, that I really like Television. Obviously I don’t like all of Television because most of it is total garbage, but there’s some great stuff on right now that I am totally unashamed to get all nerdy about. And unlike with Music, the other major thing I nerd out about, I don’t have to hide the great stuff from the masses for fear that they’ll get all popular and be totally ruined by a major record label. So, with that said, here’s a totally unscientific analysis of the state of television right now.

If you’re like me and you’ll watch pretty much anything once, then this ought to help you cut the crap out of your DVR schedule. Even if you’re a Netflix apologist, I’ll help you clean up your queue of TV shows from a year and a half ago. Also, did you know you can make playlists on Hulu? Yeah, you don’t want that to get too long either or you’ll never leave the house again. Anyway, here we go!

Thursday Night NBC: I was worried about this for a little while! Well, not 30 Rock because that is consistently great and if you “don’t get” 30 Rock, then you’re just not watching TV hard enough. But The Office had a huge slump there where everyone thought the show should’ve just ended after Jim and Pam got married. But now the Jim-Pam machine is back to pranking Dwight, the Andy-Erin relationship deal is like an even more awkward Jim and Pam from Season 3, Daryl is starting to feel the ennui of office life which drives him to fuck with the creepy guy from Sabre Corporate, and Michael Scott is back to bumbling around while still managing to pick up hot women. All is right Scranton.

Dear Chevy Chase: please don't leave us ever again.

Even NBC’s B-squad has stepped up their game. Community is no longer “Saved by the Bell with an even weirder Mr. Belding” and is more like the single-camera show that you always wanted Scrubs to be but they kept turning it into a cartoon and also: Zach Braff’s stupid face. Meanwhile, Parks & Rec has stepped out of the shadow of The Office with a bunch of lovable, but awkward weirdos of their own. (I’m looking at you Tom Haverford and Ron Swanson.)

Breaking Bad: Holy crap, I finally caught up with this show about the dad from Malcom in the Middle becoming a meth cook before Season 3 started and boy is it great! The original comparisons to Weeds (because, you know, both shows are about suburban drug-dealing white people) turned out to be unfounded because Breaking Bad is intense. Appropriately enough, where Weeds made a turn towards comedy, Breaking Bad keeps you tweaked out and constantly on edge before dropping a huge cliffhanger on you that has you fiending holding on to every second of “scenes from the next episode of…” Be careful with this one on DVD because you might just watch a whole season in one sitting.

Robot hand!

Ax Men: I’ve been saying this for awhile, but Ax Men on the History Channel took over the spot once held by Deadliest Catch as the “Mindless Show I Justify Watching by Pointing Out That It’s On One Of Those Educational Channels”. There’s really nothing educational about it, except maybe you learn how guys in Lousiana and Florida go scuba diving for sunken logs that rich people will turn into a mantle for their fireplace. Also, there’s the one salty old logger who cut off half his hand in a chainsaw accident and now has a specially-designed robot arm that only serves one function: to hold a fucking chainsaw. Oh and lots of Oregon rednecks yell cursing at each other. Perfect television!

Look how beautifully stupid these two people are.

Gossip Girl: Again, I’m completely unashamed to admit I, as a heterosexual male in my mid-20’s, watch Gossip Girl. For awhile there we didn’t know how the gang would transition to College life, but they seem to be settling in nicely and returning to their old manipulative scheming and cheating and double-crossing. (Although Blair Waldorf just kind of seems like a whiney bitch now, she needs to pull her shit together.) Also, Billy Baldwin is Serena’s dad! When was the last time you saw Billy Baldwin act? He’s got the silk-bag-full-of-gravel voice of his brother Alec, but the retarded face and stilted delivery of Stephen. Having all of the Baldwins back out in the public eye is good for the American people though, I think.

Oh and Friday Night Lights comes back soon, just in time to get me through those wintry San Francisco summers.

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Andrew Dalton - Aggressive Panhandler

Andrew Dalton - Aggressive Panhandler

Andrew is an East Coast transplant from Virginia hamming it up in San Francisco without any intention of leaving. Having worked every typical job from Bike Shop Employee to Bartender to Ad Agency Hotshot, to Dotcom Layoff he now busts his ass covering the "weird things to do" beat for gracious local audiences at SFAppeal.com and rallies the Western Addy/Lower Haight/Panhandle neighborhoods into action at AggressivePanhandler.com. His work was published in a real, paper magazine one time. One day he might even figure out how to make money from it.