Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What you SHOULD be watching. . .

I've gotten some requests to give you a handy-dandy schedule that you can use to plan your TV viewing week. I've pared this down, cutting out the completely unnecessary stuff, and I think you'd be mostly ready to go with this lineup.

Of course, I don't actually expect you will watch ALL of these shows. Only someone who's COMPLETELY INSANE would do that.


This schedule assumes you have at least one VCR and/or DVR with which to record stuff. The * means the program is recorded.

So let's start with. . .

8 p.m.: How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
8:30 p.m.: Everybody Hates Chris (The CW)*
9 p.m.: Heroes (NBC)
10 p.m.: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC)

A note: When 24 returns, it bumps Studio 60 priority-wise. So you would watch 24 at 9, then follow it up with your recording of Heroes at 10.

This is a mostly lightweight night. HIMYM and EHC are two of TV's best comedies, and watching them back-to-back is always a nice way to forget the start of the work week. So is Heroes, an increasingly goofy good time. And then you can watch Studio 60 and make fun of it, like we do in the VanDerWerff household! Until 24 comes back, that is.

8 p.m.: Friday Night Lights (NBC)
9 p.m.: Veronica Mars (The CW)
10 p.m.: House (Fox)*

Three of TV's top dramas in a row. While FNL looks to be moving soon (probably to Sundays, if TV Guide can be believed), it and Veronica Mars need all the help you can muster. That's why you're going to record House and watch it later, because that show doesn't need the extra eyeballs. It was tough to exclude Gilmore Girls here, but maybe we can bring it back later in the week.

8 p.m.: Read a book or watch something else you have taped.
9 p.m.: Lost (ABC) (but until it returns in February, read a book, unless you really, really, really like Taye Diggs)
10 p.m.: The Nine (ABC)

For a night that was mildly overcrowded last year, this cleared out in a hurry. Especially with Lost gone, Wednesday is kind of a wasteland, unless you really like reality TV. In that case, you've got two of the finest -- America's Next Top Model on The CW and Top Chef on Bravo. I'm not a huge fan of either, but maybe you will be. The Nine, flawed though it is, still needs your support. It's compelling!

8 p.m.: My Name Is Earl (NBC)
8:30 p.m.: The Office (NBC)
9 p.m.: Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
10 p.m.: Ugly Betty (ABC)*

A note: Once Scrubs and 30 Rock move here permanently on Nov. 30, bump Grey's to some other night. It's the biggest show on TV, and it has just as much bad in it as good. It doesn't need your help.

Thursday is colossally overcrowded. I've left out the spooky good time Supernatural, the resurgent The O.C. (though I was never a huge fan), the "some people still like it" ER and the entire CBS lineup (I don't need Survivor or CSI). Mostly, this is another lighthearted night. NBC's comedies are, again, two of the best on TV, and the ABC dramas are both spectacular fun. Close with Betty, which is easily the better show.

8 p.m.: Doctor Who (SciFi)
9 p.m.: Battlestar Galactica (SciFi)
10 p.m.: Watch your tape of either Gilmore Girls or Grey's Anatomy here or, God help me, tape 1 vs. 100

SciFi serves up one of the best blocks of science fiction TV in memory, which is nice, because the networks have essentially given up on this night. However, 1 Vs. 100 is weirdly compelling, what with its ridiculously easy questions, fine hosting by Bob Saget and strange, strange concept. It's going to stop being compelling very soon (See: Deal or No Deal), but for now, it will do.

8-11 p.m.: Watch college football or taped stuff or go out and do something. Come on! Pull yourself off the couch!

The networks have abandoned Saturday. "Go have fun!" they say. I think you should take them up on it.

7 p.m.: Spend time with your family -- who wants to deal with 60 Minutes anymore anyway?
8 p.m.: The Amazing Race (CBS)
9 p.m.: Dexter (last week's episode, Showtime)*
10 p.m.: The Wire (HBO)

Showtime and HBO really suck, putting their two class acts on at the same time. As fun as Dexter can be, it's no The Wire, so you're going to have to sit on that tape all week long and avoid spoilers. Meanwhile, you've got The Amazing Race to keep you warm.

Now, there are plenty of other shows out there that you can put on your viewing schedule, but if I find out you're an avid Criminal Minds fan. . .

Well. . .you know how mean I can be.

Coming soon: HDTV and the complete lack of objectivity.

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