Best in Show

Welcome back, you hopefully-now-faithful readers!

Since this blog is a chronicle of my media consumption and opinions, I should probably start by letting you know what I’m currently watching on television and, more importantly, why. The full list is below, and when you see it, I know what you’ll think: “Holy CRAP, that’s a lot of TV.” Well, yes. Yes it is. It’s more television than a human being who isn’t getting paid to watch it should be consuming. But with a handy assist from my DVR and Hulu – miraculous inventions, both – I still have time to sleep, work, eat (usually while watching TV) and have an occasional life beyond my living room.

So, without further ado, here are the programs that I currently watch (excluding only-in-rerun classics such as Friends or I Love Lucy), ranked from “I wouldn’t put the remote down unless a tornado was approaching” to “There are multiple episodes of this on my DVR, I hope I get around to them someday.” Important note: the descriptions and rankings do not reflect the opinions of Betsy’s roommates, who would rank Bones and NCIS higher, and one of whom would describe Wheel of Fortune as “Sweet Lord, make it stop.”

  • Glee – I love big movie musicals and clever dialogue. I was a music geek in high school. This show is damn near perfect. In fact, its full, official title should be Glee: Betsy’s Wheelhouse.
  • Modern FamilyOn the air for less than a season, but it’s already one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen. I rewound the Lion King moment from the pilot about seventeen times and howled with laughter every. single. time.
  • 30 Rock – Consistently hysterical, and Alec Baldwin is beyond marvelous (Exhibit A: his “therapy session.”). Also, I see way more of myself in Liz Lemon than I feel comfortable with.
  • The Office – Perfectly executed, even though it occasionally makes me so uncomfortable that I need to pull my sweatshirt over my head and feign deafness. But therein lies the brilliance. Also, re: John Krasinski – I would like one, please.
  • Mad Men – Utterly fascinating, but requires endless concentration. It’s also a strange contradiction – the show is so slowly-paced that it feels like nothing much happens, and yet I gasp in surprise about once or twice an episode.
  • House – Hugh Laurie keeps it interesting, though the show has lost a step in the past few years. In fact, I may still be watching primarily because of the adorable Australian doctor. Maybe I shouldn’t say that, it’s kind of embarrassing. Moving on.
  • So You Think You Can Dance – Uses the same template as American Idol but is an all-around better show: greater talent, more likable and insightful judges, a personable host who isn’t an animatron. And yet…
  • American Idol – It’s still a juggernaut, and rightfully so. I refuse to miss it, even though the talent both onstage and at the judging table seems to be – to put this politely – declining. Rapidly.
  • The Good Wife – Much better and more surprising than I thought it would be. It always zigs when you expect it to zag.
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – Smarter than any other show on TV by a country mile. It’s the only way to get the news.
  • Big Love – It’s just a huge, steaming pot of crazy. Well-acted crazy, but still. If I had to write a two-word review of each episode, it would be, “Wait, WHAT?!”
  • The Closer – Kyra Sedgwick is a blast. The drama, suspense and comic relief is superbly mixed.
  • Law and Order: SVU – Each episode feels like an extended Homeric journey. “Wait, did this really begin 40 minutes ago with a hooker getting attacked in a park? Because now a rogue cop is getting tried for the murder of a drug kingpin. How did we get here?” Always interesting, and if there’s a six-hour marathon on, I’m watching it.
  • Life Unexpected – The heir to Gilmore Girls, which I loved. It’s not quite up to Lorelai-level yet, but an engaging show nonetheless.
  • Top Chef – It’s remarkable what these chefs can make in the time that it takes me to heat up a Lean Cuisine (which then seems pitiful by comparison).
  • Grey’s Anatomy – Four years ago, this show was amazing. Now, well…not so much. It’s not bad, but I watch for the glimpses of what it used to be.
  • Project Runway – Seven seasons in, it’s just not as…fierce. Yeah, I went there. Still watchable, but no longer must-see. Though I would dearly like to be Tim Gunn’s best friend. Carry on.
  • Bones – A dynamic duo, and David Boreanaz is lovely. Two main issues: Brennan (Bones) randomly becomes devoid of human emotion for long stretches of time; and the modern-day lab inexplicably has Star Trek-era technology.
  • NCIS – A pretty standard procedural, although the team chemistry is fun to watch. I’m waiting for Mark Harmon’s facial expression to change.
  • The Today Show – Always on in the morning as I get ready for work, even though I only really pay attention during the weather updates. And the celebrity interviews. Wow, that sounds shallow.
  • Wheel of Fortune/Jeopardy – I watch about once a week, to keep my spelling/trivia skills sharp. In a related story, it is damned difficult to carry on a conversation with a roommate who is NOT watching the show. “How was your day?” “It was fine, nothing too SIPPING MARGARITAS ON THE BEACH!!! Hey, a prize puzzle! I wish I was on a beach in Mexico. I’m sorry, what was the question?”

I do have some other guilty pleasures, but, well…I think my shame deserve a post unto itself. Is there anything else I should be watching? Convince me in the comments. And as a prize for making it this far: a link to a hilarious Modern Family clip. Enjoy.


  1. Um, I would clog dance publicly before watching a show featuring the Kardashians. Apologies, Kardashian fans. Actually, scratch that – if anyone’s actually a fan of the Kardashians, they should be apologizing to US.

  2. Betsy–I can’t believe it no shows from Public Broadcasting! I wouldn’t answer the phone during Antiques Roadshow or any Jane Austen flick on Masterpiece Theater!
    Shows how poorly you were brought up.

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