Monday, October 26, 2015

Ten years of TV

I've tried to keep this blog focused on sci-fi.

Blogs are supposed to be focused, or so I'm told by other, much more successful blogs. Go deep, go in-depth, specialize. Except I'm not writing sci-fi research papers and never will, so maybe it doesn't matter and it's time to write whatever the freakin' heck I feel like.

I was thinking about all the TV series I've watched over the last 10 years, what I liked, and what I didn't. Not what was objectively good (as much as anything subjective can be objective), but just what I responded to favorably.

After all, a show might have good writing, acting, pacing, cinematography, and direction, and still not be my cup of tea.

So I decided to do up a list. It has nothing to do with objective merits, however. It's not an argument. It's entirely, indulgently subjective, showing my bad taste in all its consumerist glory.

Went through Wikipedia lists of TV programs year by year. Some I'd forgotten about completely. Funny, that. And I stopped watching a lot after 1 or 2 seasons. Even ones I liked. Time issues? Just not really compelling? Dunno.

So how much processed entertainment have I consumed? Loads. Then again, it is over a ten year period.

I'll bet you're just dying of curiosity, aren't you?



Well, too late. I already wrote it up:

Game of Thrones
Breaking Bad
Mr. Robot
Battlestar Galactica (Season 1)
Suits (Season 1)
Damages (Season 1 & 2)
Orphan Black (Season 1)
Rick and Morty
Misfits (Seasons 1 & 2)
The IT Crowd
That Mitchell and Webb Look
Penny Dreadful
The 100
Fringe (Seasons 1 to 3)
The Wire
Band of Brothers
The Pacific

Suits (Season 2)
True Detective (Season 1)
Homeland (Season 1-3)
Black Mirror
House of Cards (Season 1 & 2)
Boardwalk Empire (Seasons 1-3)
Battlestar Galactica (Season 2 and start of season 3) 
American Horror Story (Seasons 1)
Community (Seasons 1 & 2)
Madmen (Season 1 & 2)
Six Feet Under
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Americans
Jericho (Season 1)
Doctor Who (Infrequently)

Orphan Black (Season 2)
The Walking Dead (Season 1, 3, skipped 2)
Fear the Walking Dead
Doctor Who (Sometimes)
House (Sampled)
American Horror Story (Seasons 2)
24 (First few seasons at least, not sure when I stopped watching)
Law & Order (Here and there)
Stargate Universe
Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles (Season 2, skipped 1)
The Tudors (Season 1)
Spartacus (Season 1)
Agent Carter
Lost (Season 1, first couple of episodes)
Jericho (Season 2)
The Killing (Season 1, first half or so)

Sopranos (Here and there)
Girls (Season 1)
House of Cards (Season 3)
Sons of Anarchy (Seasons 1 & part of 2)
Fringe (Seasons 4+)
Arrested Development (Season 1)
Borgias (Season 1)
Marvel Agents of SHIELD (Season 1)
Star Trek: Enterprise
In Treatment (Season 1)

The Strain (Season 1)
Misfits (Season 3)
Battlestar Galactica (End of season 3)
Spartacus (Final season)
Doctor Who (Currently)

Battlestar Galactica (Season 4)


  1. I admit the internet geek in me started to compose a rebuttal or endorsement to each and every show on your list. Luckily, saner aspects of my personality prevailed.

    There seems to be two types of TV (and movie) viewers: people who revel in character-driven scripts and people who delight in plot-driven stories. I'm of the latter persuasion and, as far as I can judge, I'm in a minority. Too many shows receiving popular chatter are nothing but high-toned soap operas. Who is doing dirt to whom and whom's reaction and blah-blah-blah. Which is why "reality" tv is so popular.

    I want my plot-driven stories to have well-developed characters, but I've enjoyed a clever mystery-chiller-SF plot with flat characters. I've rarely managed to sit thru a collection of magnificent talking heads scheming and plotting about trivial drivel.

  2. What would be your list, Murr?

  3. Ah. Putting my shekels where my mouth is, eh? (off I go...)

    Well, I only went back five years skimming my TV Calendar ( As with you, I was stopped cold a couple of times, trying to remember the show by the title. Five years was all the time I could really afford this morning and amply proved I perhaps watch too much TV. I know I've missed a couple-three choice UK titles because they were never available for the calendar.

    The bottom of the list is particularly embarrassing because they qualify as being "watched". Shows even worse are found wanting and abandoned. But for some reason, these dregs don't get the hook...I may need to do some thinking on this.

    *I say, jolly ripping good, wot!*
    Burn Notice
    Person of Interest (Seasons 1&2)
    Supernatural (Seasons 1-5)
    Go On
    Leverage (Season 1)
    Covert Affairs (Season 1&2)
    Castle (Seasons 1-3-ish)
    Bomb Girls
    Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

    *A bit of the all right*
    Person of Interest (Seasons 3&4)
    Law & Order UK
    Being Human UK
    Leverage (rest)
    Call the Midwife
    Once Upon a Time (Season 1)
    Game of Thrones (Season 1)
    Hell on Wheels (Season 1)
    Castle (rest)
    Franklin & Bash
    Common Law
    Harry’s Law (Season 1)
    Scott & Bailey
    Sherlock (Season 1)

    *Fills the time well enough.*
    Big Bang Theory
    Supernatural (Seasons 6-current)
    Hot in Cleveland
    Once Upon a Time (rest)
    Covert Affairs (rest)
    Hell on Wheels (rest)
    Sherlock (rest)

    *Rather bottom shelf goods, eh?*
    Hawaii 5-0
    Game of Thrones (Season 2)
    Transporter (Season 1)
    The Glades
    Harry’s Law (Season 2)

    *What complete rubbish…*
    Game of Thrones (rest)
    Transporter (Season 2)

  4. Thanks for the list! Best thing is that there are numerous shows I've never heard of, completely off my radar, that I can now check out.

    You seem to veer more detective and spy, while I like more silly stuff. Not too much overlap. So many options these days, so many channels and programs that the unified, shared viewing experience just doesn't exist anymore. The only water cooler show ATM at my office is Game of Thrones. That's pretty much it. I really enjoy the show, but there's a lot of padding. At least it feels that way.

    And yeah, listing all the shows together can be illuminating. I was a little surprised at how much I've seen. I'm not watching TV regularly, either. I didn't have cable for years. Now I generally just get season DVDs or Netflix it. I binge. So not as aware of what's out there anymore.

  5. Well, SF and Fantasy elements always get a close scrutiny when a new title pops up. Most don't sing, don't dance, don't fly. Two recent shows that are still in the running are "Dark Matter" and "Limitless".

    Beyond the character-driven vs plot-driven aspect, my personal tastes are drawn to stories with a certain wit and whimsy. A story where, somewhere in the adrenalin and desperate derring-do, the heroes share a smile and chuckle. That's why, for example, I couldn't take "Battlestar Galactica". So unrelenting in its grim misery and grit, I had to put it aside. Unrelenting silly can be just as tedious. It's all in the balance.