Hello, my name is AJ and I am a TV addict and junkie. I have been my entire life. My earliest memories are of Barney Miller laugh tracks and Hong Kong Phooey on Saturday mornings (yes, I’m giving away my age). This gives you some insight into my viewing habits, what I like, what I don’t like, and what keeps me watching. Be sure to check back…the list can change at any time!
AJ’s Top TV Shows (currently running–updated October 15, 2013):
GAME OF THRONES (HBO)
Un-freaking believable. Since I’m not an HBO subscriber, I’m one of those who has to wait for the DVDs (and season 3 is on my calendar already!)…cannot even begin to explain why, it just is, simply, the best show on television. Don’t believe me? Red Wedding. Enough said.
Timothy Olyphant in the role he was born to play…one of the best written characters on television.
Two words…SAM and DEAN (and Castiel makes three). And for season 9, we get fallen angels.
A mix of old-west and modern day law enforcement. A quiet, unassuming and honorable sheriff maintaining law and order in Wyoming while battling his own demons. If you aren’t watching this show, you should be.
SLEEPY HOLLOW (FOX)
No one was more skeptical than I…seriously? Sleepy Hollow as a TV series? SO much fun and the actors are great. This show doesn’t take itself too seriously but manages to weave interesting plot twists and intriguing character development. Plus it puts a fun spin on American History (not normally my favorite subject). So glad it’s already picked up for another season (Note: Each season is 13 episodes)
This show gets better every year. The chemistry among the cast cannot be beat. Holding breath for season 11 now that Ziva has left the building…
THE BIG BANG THEORY (CBS)
Bazinga! Need I say more? Okay, how about “Sheldon Cooper for President.”
PERSON OF INTEREST (CBS)
I’ve long been a fan of Jim Caviezel (Count of Monte Cristo, anyone?) and the combination of him and Michael Emerson (Benjamin Linus from LOST) is phenomenal. With the recent addition of two strong female characters (Amy Acker and Sarah Shahi) who more than stand up to the male leads, I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Love it and from what I hear, it’s very loyal to its comic book origins. An interesting mix of past and present, back story and current motivation. I’m in it for the long haul.
SHERLOCK (BBC/Masterpiece Mystery)
I cannot count the number of times I’ve watched the premiere episode of both seasons one and two, but I can tell you this Sherlock might just have ruined me for all others (sorry RDJ).
A close second to the above mentioned Sherlock. LOVE Johnny Lee Miller’s portrayal and the twist on Watson is inspired. Lots of fun with lots of heart.
THE KILLING (AMC)
Seasons 1 & 2 left a little to be desired although I didn’t have as many issues as most. Season 3, however, blew everything else I’ve watched in 2013 out of the proverbial water. I’m still recovering…and grieving. Thank you, AMC for bringing it back to life.
Fingers crossed for a season 4.
Update: Alas, AMC chose to cancel this show just as it got its footing back. Very disappointed considering how season 3 ended.
Update #2: NETFLIX has picked up THE KILLING for a six-episode fourth and final season. For those of us who like closure, THANK YOU!
Why, why, why do the Brits just get how to do riveting, captivating shows that keep you salivating til the next episode? FOX is doing a remake of this series for American TV…with David Tennant as the lead (he was the lead in the BBC version). The US does not have a good track record when it comes to remaking shows and I’m not sure what to think about the casting, but I’ll give it a shot if not only to compare.
Aaron Sorkin does it again, this time shifting his focus from the White House to the newsroom. Is it as good as The West Wing? Not quite, but it’s still race-car fast, intricately written and a powerhouse career-altering performance for Jeff Daniels. My admiration for newscasters, for the most part, has been raised. (Note: I’ve only seen season 1)
It’s still got me…and they broke the Moonlighting curse!! Two main characters can get together and still make the show work. On behalf of all Nathan Fillion fans everywhere, can I just say, “whew!”
A group of retired police officers who work the UCOS (Cold Case Squad). Characters are rich and diverse, maddening and admirable. A mix of drama, humor, real life and life lessons. It’s a British TV staple, but available to us through Netflix.
Hanging on by a thread…
MARVEL’S AGENTS OF SHIELD
After a great pilot episode, I’m still waiting for this show to be one I look forward to. So disappointed especially given its connection to Joss Whedon. I just expect better.
My favorite new show of the 2011 season, season 2 lost its way with the exception of more Nolan (yay!). Season 3 better be great out of the gate otherwise I’m sayin’ sayonara. (Update: I’m almost ready to move it back onto my “not to be missed” list. ALMOST.)
ONCE UPON A TIME
It’s back on my “meh” list. Maybe once they get out of Neverland (season 3) and back to Storybrook, it’ll pick up again but for now…sigh.
With the plodding and completely boring subplot involving McGarrett’s mother along with some really crappy writing this last year (2012 season), if it wasn’t for Scott Caan and Daniel Dae Kim, along with the gorgeous photography, I’d have stopped watching. And still might.
Fallen off the list…
Alas, where CASTLE pulled off defeating the Moonlighting Curse, this show lost something for me the second Annie and Auggie got together. Can’t watch everything and unfortunately, this one’s off my list now.
At one time near the top of my list, but in recent years, the show has become too disturbing, even for me. It’s at its best when focusing on the profilers.
In my world, it ended after season one. Loved Chris Coffer, but not enough to keep watching. I did, however, watch the tribute to Corey and Finn and while touching, I have no idea who most of the cast is at this point.
RIZOLLI & ISLES
I LOVE Angie Harmon, but the dingbat family they’ve saddled her with on this show makes me cringe whenever I watch.
MIKE AND MOLLY
I watch for the comedic genius that is Melissa McCarthy. Or at least I did until season 3. They’ve turned her into a bumbling oaf who is almost cringe worthy to watch. It’s one thing to try to capitalize on someone’s film success if it’s done right. So far, it hasn’t been. Makes me sad.
Shows worth watching (or so I hear…)
THE WALKING DEAD (AMC)
I’ve tried. Twice. I am NOT a horror movie fan, but I will say this: the first episode is possibly the best hour of television I’ve ever watched. I’ve never had my heart pound in my throat to the point of not being able to breathe and for those first 45 minutes (most of which is silence), I wasn’t breathing. I can’t do zombies. Wish I could because I know the fan base is probably right, but this show is just too much for me.
MAD MEN (AMC)
Tried it and watched season 1. Wasn’t a fan. Not every show works for everyone. I don’t get it. Or Don Draper.
BREAKING BAD (AMC)
Can’t say yet…it’s on my Netflix list and I plan to dive in at some point. Fingers crossed.
AJ’s Favorite Shows (Deceased)
IMO, the best comedy ever to air. I remember watching the final episode when it originally aired. I dare you to sit down and watch an episode (esp from the first 3 seasons) and not burst out laughing. Not every show stands the test of time. M*A*S*H* is the exception.
You never knew where it was going and some still don’t know where it ended up. Doesn’t matter. The ride was amazing.
Not every season was stellar, but Jack Bauer was a hero you could get behind every year…and I still wish we had one in real life.
Law and Order (the original)
I’ve seen every episode…can identify every episode within 20 seconds. While it lost its heart when Jerry Orbach died, it was still a study in American law. It will be missed.
One of the best written shows on TV. Snappy, clever dialogue, great characters and a “will they, won’t they” story that played through the entire series.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The show that proved Joss Whedon (creator/writer) is one of the best in the business.
Buffy’s spinoff…let’s forget the season with Connor (please) and remember SmileTime, one of the funniest episodes of TV I’ve EVER seen…“Is there a Gepetto in the house?”
Joss Whedon…a western in space…and…well, Nathan Fillion. Enough said.
Unique, smart, and very much missed. She put Nancy Drew to shame. And now a movie! Can’t wait!
Stargate: SG-1 & Stargate: Atlantis
Notice I did not include Universe. And I won’t. The first two in the genre did it right…we care about the characters, especially when they’re killed off. And of course there’s Ronon. <sigh>
WKRP in Cincinnati
I had to put another comedy in…and this is my favorite of all time. Yes, I’m a child of the 70′s…and for those who remember this early 1980′s show…”I honestly thought turkeys could fly” is one of my favorite lines ever.
One of the most developed, flawed and gutsy female heroines ever to grace the screen. Plus she might just have saved the Ding Dong industry.
The British Mystery series is exceptional in portraying England during WWII. And it’s coming back! New episodes are slated to air this fall (2013) on PBS.
Prime Suspect (all of them)
Helen Mirren before she was Helen Mirren. Established the incredibly flawed Jane Tennison as one of the best female characters ever written for the small screen. She set the standard for a new breed of television cop. Would there have been a CLOSER without this series of movies?
BBC’s Pride and Prejudice
Yes, the one with Colin Firth. Is there another worth mentioning? The pond. Need I say more?
The sort-of-spin-off from the X-Files few remember…but the character of Frank Black is one of the most complex TV has ever seen. Creepy, sometimes terrifying, but always riveting.
Jesse Stone TV Movies (CBS)
Based on the Jesse Stone series of novels by Robert Parker, the movies star Tom Selleck in what I think is the 2nd greatest role of his career (Magnum being the first). Talk about atmosphere and character analysis…these movies are great.
The Brits do not shy away from gripping, in your face flawed characters and Luther is no exception. If you’re looking for a show ripe with internal conflict, you must watch this show (WARNING! Not for the faint of heart).
I love westerns, and, language aside, this is one of the most realistic and gut-wrenching shows ever to appear on screen. Plus this show introduced us to Timothy Olyphant and reminded us how amazing Ian MacShane is as an actor. (HBO/DVD–warning–explicit language)
Disturbing on so many levels with an interesting twist–the main detective has a serious case of OCD. I’m always thrilled when a crime drama can put a new spin on things. This task force uses the history of crime to help solve current cases. As Spock would say, fascinating.
Come on! It’s MERLIN!! New look at the classic story…originality abounds. Alas, as of the airing of season 5, I have decided to live in the land of delusion and pretend Merlin ended with Season 4. Season 5 was horrible and destroyed everything wonderful about the first 4 years. Seriously, if you watch…stop after 4.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (New Version)
As a huge fan of the original, I was less than thrilled to hear they were remaking the series. Updated, raw, thought-provoking and dead-on brilliant, this version examines everything from the human condition, morality in times of war and the power of hope and faith. Not for the faint at heart, but a must see if you’re serious about theme and character.
WEST WING (NBC)
Politics aside, no other show has come close to the level of detail when depicting the White House and its occupants. Did it lose its way? Sure…all shows do at some point, but it still makes you see the human side (good and bad) of politicians and those who believe they can make a difference.