Best of Bio Break 2013: Television

bestThe Best of Bio Break 2013 is a series of “end of the year” lists that talk about various forms of entertainment that I enjoyed this year.  They’re not awards, but they are ranked.  Each entry doesn’t have to be something that came out this year, but merely something I encountered this year.

doctorwhoTV and me have a strange relationship these days.  There’s a lot of hour-long series I’d love to watch, but I really don’t have the spare time to do so unless it’s something my wife wants to view with me.  Plus, we don’t have cable, so what we see is either on DVD or Netflix, leaving us behind the curve with the rest of the viewing community.

That said, here’s what tickled my fancy this year:

1. Doctor Who series 7

Out of the three newer Doctors, I’m very partial to Matt Smith.  Tennant was fine but eventually got too much of a God complex for me to enjoy, and I relished Smith’s somewhat more alien quirkiness.  He’s a total geek and he’s cool with that.  His final season had us saying goodbye to Rory and Amy (best companions ever) and provided many fine hours of viewing — but the best was the 50th anniversary special that we saw in the theaters.  Just great stuff all around, making me happy with the past and looking forward to the future.  It’s so odd that Doctor Who has gone from a very much fringe cult series to this mainstream phenomenon, almost taking the place that Star Trek used to have.

2. The Office season 9

Again, I don’t see shows until they come out on DVD, so I only recently wrapped up my experiences with the crew of Dunder Mifflin.  Even without Michael Scott, I liked the show a lot this year, much better than season 8, and I was definitely feeling that mixture of morose and exalted when it all came to a close.  It’s one of my favorite series to watch from start to end, and I’m sure I’ll be doing so again in the near future.

3. Arrested Development season 4

Whew, was this a mixed bag in so many ways.  I was extremely excited about my all-time favorite sitcom coming back, but how it did so was definitely different than the first three seasons.  Maybe it was a little too long in spots, too convoluted overall, and too disjointed as the main cast couldn’t be together much, but it was also pretty funny and just awesome to see them back.  I really hope they get a fifth season sometime soon.  I’m also pleased that the Arrested Development soundtrack finally released this year as well.

4. Community season 4

I don’t care that much that this was the season without Dan Harmon and got cut down to 13 episodes — it was more Community and it was still pretty funny, so I took it with a smile.  I dearly love this show and am so incredibly glad it’s coming back for a fifth season.  #sixseasonsandamovie

5. New Girl seasons 1-2

Yeah, so, I am unashamed of this — it’s a really funny show, and “adorkable” or not, the cast and writing made me and my wife laugh constantly.  I like how messed up and weird everyone is, not to mention how it’s not just about one girl but all four roommates.

6. Parks and Recreation season 5

Simply hilarious.  Love this show.  Ron Swanson is a hero to me.

7. Game of Thrones season 2

Yeah, season 2.  Again, a year behind.  But despite the gore and very excessive nudity, there’s a great show here and one that my wife’s been captivated with despite showing no interest in the books.  I thought the season went pretty well, especially the climactic battle, although some of the aspects (Daenarys) came off weaker than they should’ve.

8. The Simpsons seasons 3-15

It’s been many, many, many years since I watched the Simpsons, so long that I can’t remember what year I stopped viewing them.  So I embarked on a marathon to catch up on episodes old and new, and have made it through season 15 (which is where I think I stopped viewing regularly).  I’m pleasantly surprised to see that the newer stuff is still pretty entertaining.

9. The Mindy Project season 1

Mindy Kaling had great writing and acting chops in The Office, so I gave her sitcom a try.  I kind of like it, even if it is pretty uneven at times.

10. Happy Endings seasons 1-2

Another under-my-radar show that I’m glad I found due to its memorable characters, barrage of jokes, lack of a laugh track, and general weirdness.  It’s like a better version of Friends.

11. Raising Hope season 2

Another oddball sitcom that I hope lasts for a good decade.  Liked the second season a little less than the first, but it’s still willing to have fun with the pluck of the lower class and its dim-witted lead.

12. Warehouse 13 seasons 1-3

We’ve been working our way through this Syfy show.  It’s good in small quantities, kind of a less-intense Fringe.  While the plots and acting can get a little hammy, I genuinely like the humor and the fact that the leads have this brother-sister relationship instead of an unrequited love thing.

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6 thoughts on “Best of Bio Break 2013: Television

  1. No Sherlock? No Walking Dead? No Elementary? No Breaking Bad? No Robot Chicken? No South Park?
    At least you got Game of Thrones on there. (Watch the 3-part South Park episodes, it was awesome)

  2. I’m with ya, Syp. I’m a little out of touch with modern TV and movies these days, but you still seem to be doing okay with your pop culture. :)
    We don’t have cable, either, and we really don’t even turn on our TV most nights, preferring Netflix on our laptop/tablet/PCs. My wife keeps up with a few shows on Hulu, like Modern Family, and Raising Hope (which is a show that keeps getting better and better, and is one of my favorites when she puts it on), but she prefers rewatching much older shows. Small Wonder, Gilmore Girls, Mr Belvedere, Partridge Family, and Northern Exposure are her latest watches. I’ve been trying to watch every episode of Star Trek ever made for well over the past year, and that has pretty much kept me from watching all the stuff that would make me a “cool” geek, like the list ScytheNoire listed. Ah well. I figure someday I’ll get around to them, most likely when they stop being the cool thing to watch.

  3. My TV viewing all but ended back in 1999 on the day I installed Everquest. Prior to that, all my life I’d not only watched TV like everyone else but discussed it, analyzed it and written fairly extensively about it. Then it was gone, virtually overnight, and I missed it not one iota.

    Whether I’ll ever get back to watching TV in long chunks I somewhat doubt. It seems such a passive, inert activity now. I do watch the odd thing on iPlayer now and again and I did see the Dr. Who 50th anniversary special. We watched it after Christmas lunch. Not bad. I especially enjoyed the Tom Baker cameo. Made me consider getting the DVD sets of the previous post-revival series, but then I thought when would I watch them? Probably not going to happen.

  4. I could easily write a giant nerd rant on Amy and Rory, but suffice it to say that the only reason I can stand Amy is because she comes with Rory. I almost liked Amy for a minute, but then I watched The Girl Who Waited and it ruined any chance of that (Rory chose to wait TWO THOUSAND YEARS for you and you’re all mad because you had to wait forty?). Then I completely lost all respect for her with Asylum of the Daleks.
    The 50th special was amazing, though, especially in the theater in 3D. I wonder how long it’ll be before we see a Doctor Who movie (a real one, not like the 8th Doctor one).

  5. Sick of the hype on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Glad it didn’t make your list, I know it has great reviews, but I like the comic book so much more and nobody was writing about it for about 100 issues, all of a sudden Walking Dead is everywhere. Sickening

  6. More mainstream access to the show has helped Doctor Who immensely. I remember watching Classic Who on local PBS stations, and quality of effects and writing notwithstanding, the video quality varied horribly from station to station.

    And for all the complaints that people seem to have with Moffat’s writing, I’m perfectly fine with it. Classic Who was filled with plot holes so big you could drive a truck through, terrible acting, and special effects straight out of Plan Nine. Trying to say how bad the show is because of the looseness of the plot ain’t gonna sway me, because that’s as much a part of Doctor Who as that sonic screwdriver.

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