Joss Delage

Recommended TV series?

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I need a new TV series (I use iTunes). My recent favorites have been Firefly, West Wing, Deadwood, Stargate: Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica, but they've all ended now... What would people recommend?

Thanks,

JD

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My two favorites right now are Chuck and Dollhouse (which just started getting really interesting). Chuck is on the chopping block at the moment, though. I still watch Heroes, although the quality isn't what it once was, and I've followed Lost nearly from the beginning, but it's a pretty malevolent show.

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The Unit (especially the first few seasons) is one of the best shows on TV. I also recommend Lost (if you like bizarre XFiles/Twilight Zone type shows), but you must start from the very beginning.

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I like Dollhouse too. I have also just completed Volume 1 of Dae Jang Geum (The Great Jang Geum), which I very highly recommend. Seasons 1-3 of Prison Break are quite interesting too.

If you don't mind going into the past, I recommend you see The Untouchables and Have Gun, Will Travel. The original Perry Mason is also quite absorbing.

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Chuck is my favorite right now. I think season 2 is even better than season 1, which is a rare for me. If we're going into the past, the first two seasons (perhaps three) of House were some of the best TV I've ever seen (especially season 1). The first two seasons of Heroes were pretty good as well (especially season 1), though I quit watching halfway through season 3.

A show that I originally disliked, but grew on me is The Office. It's different, but I find it absolutely hilarious sometimes. I used to think it was pointless, but now I just find it funny.

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Lost, but you will have a lot of catching up to do. It's hard if you miss even an episode. It's getting very science fictiony in the latest season. It's also a bit literary with lots of references to philosophers/writers, etc, that make you look for symbolism to work out the mystery. I have been wrapped up in it since the pilot.

I am reading "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency". It is the first in a series of books and I understand there is an HBO series of the stories. It's a good read, but haven't seen the show to make a recommendation.

Might be worth checking out, though.

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I strongly recommend Monk, which will actually be ending after this season. In fact, I've been meaning to offer this show up for rating.

PLOT SPOILERS TO FOLLOW

Monk, the "defective detective," is one of the most endearing characters I have seen on television. He is honest, has great integrity, is highly intelligent, and deeply sensitive. He also has an array of phobias, obsessions and compulsions, and complexes that constantly interfere with his life. He has a personal assistant who helps him get through his days, including as a consultant to the police department where he had previously worked full time. He also has an excellent psychiatrist helping him. His relationships with all these characters are really enjoyable to watch, and the supporting cast is excellent.

The way the show treats Monk's problems is mostly through very pleasant humor, showing the "fixes" he gets into because of his quirks. However, the intensity of his problems is also related to the loss of his wife, for whom he has a very deep, genuine, enduring love. In this way, the show masterfully mixes many humorous elements of Monk's character with his deeper emotional issues, which are quite moving at times. Tony Shalhoub, who plays Monk, is simply outstanding (and has legitimately won many awards for this character).

Monk is not an Ayn Rand type of hero in terms of self-confidence or similar qualities. However, he is an extremely virtuous character for whom one cheers in his pursuit of justice and wants to see overcome his problems to be happy. Overall, the show is light and benevolent, but with a stream of authentic but relatively mild sadness running through it.

Another show that I find very funny and without the sadness or disability is Psych, which comes on right after Monk. :) A great two hours of regular tv in a row, and perhaps even better on dvd.

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I occasionally catch cartoons like South Park, Robot Chicken and Family Guy* but otherwise don't watch much TV anymore. I really don't miss it. The one series I make it a point to watch is Dollhouse, every episode of which I've seen on Hulu.com.

Once in a while I catch Mythbusters or other nonfiction history or science shows.

I never ever watch the news, unless it's to catch Yaron Brook or another Objectivist on TV.

Fortunately there's a lot worth seeing on DVDs:

Dae Jang Geum is the very best TV series ever. It will amaze you.

Anything by Joss Whedon is magic: Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel

* Those three appeal to my sense of humor but aren't by any means Objectivist material.

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The one series I make it a point to watch is Dollhouse, every episode of which I've seen on Hulu.com.

I went to hulu last night to begin watching this series. I have seen the weekly ads for awhile now, but they only have episodes 7 through 11 currently available. I looked at hulu's 24 page and there was a note saying they were only allowed to have 5 episodes available at a time, so Dollhouse must be the same. It's too bad, though, because I'd like to start watching the series and don't like to come in the middle.

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I need a new TV series (I use iTunes). My recent favorites have been Firefly, West Wing, Deadwood, Stargate: Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica, but they've all ended now... What would people recommend?

Thanks,

JD

The second season of 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor chronicles' has just finished in the UK. It was a bit in-and-out with some episodes better than others, but if you can get it, you might take a look.

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2 1/2 Men if you want clever entertainment. I just can't seem to get involved with the more dramatic stuff.

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Monk, the "defective detective," is one of the most endearing characters I have seen on television. He is honest, has great integrity, is highly intelligent, and deeply sensitive. He also has an array of phobias, obsessions and compulsions, and complexes that constantly interfere with his life. He has a personal assistant who helps him get through his days, including as a consultant to the police department where he had previously worked full time. He also has an excellent psychiatrist helping him. His relationships with all these characters are really enjoyable to watch, and the supporting cast is excellent.
Another show that I find very funny and without the sadness or disability is Psych, which comes on right after Monk. :) A great two hours of regular tv in a row, and perhaps even better on dvd.

I really enjoy both of these shows, although I usually only catch them when USA is playing a marathon.

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While not a series, I'd like to highly recommend "Red Eye" on Fox News. It comes on at midnight on the West Coast. It's like the View but with a libertarian/conservative bent and sardonic wit. It's the perfect antidote to the self-righteous Jon Stewart and Keith Olbermann.

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I need a new TV series (I use iTunes). My recent favorites have been Firefly, West Wing, Deadwood, Stargate: Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica, but they've all ended now... What would people recommend?

Thanks,

JD

Most HBO (mini)series are superbly executed, but they tend to either reveal a modern [in the bad sense] philosophic or esthetic streak (Sex and The City, John Adams) or be thoroughly modern (Deadwood, Rome). If you could stomach Deadwood, you'll like the gripping Rome. Check it out.

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I add my recommendations for "Anything by Joss Whedon" and Dae Jang Geum. You can check the Dae Jang Geum and Buffy threads to get a better idea of just what brilliant shows these are.

DJG is subtitled and Korean... and 54(!) episodes, but I was completely hooked at episode 1 and fell in love with the brilliant heroine and the turbulent, beautiful, and dangerous world I lived in with her while watching.

Buffy and Angel are often on sale on Amazon and I'm sure you could get cheap boxed sets used through the Marketplace.

I have scaled back my watching the past year, but I used to love to watch Monk and caught and enjoyed a few episodes of Psych as well. The Closer, another of the surprising cable shows, was also very strong.

I am really sad to hear that Chuck may not be renewed. I love that show. It's the one easy-to-watch show on the air right now. It's consistently funny, often way over the top, yet they manage to keep the action tight and well-plotted and, occasionally, especially the end of the first season and in this second season, they have added some affecting dramatic moments. The characters they've built pay off. It's great writing and some excellent directing and acting, so it's sad to see that the numbers may not be paying off for the network. I hope they reconsider: It's a strong show getting better.

Dollhouse is finally taking off in a big way. It's the slowest build, ever, for a Joss Whedon show. They haven't committed to a second season, but they'd be stupid to cancel -- it's finally reached the point where Joss usually starts and promises to become addicting from now on. He hasn't failed us yet.

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Dollhouse is finally taking off in a big way. It's the slowest build, ever, for a Joss Whedon show. They haven't committed to a second season, but they'd be stupid to cancel -- it's finally reached the point where Joss usually starts and promises to become addicting from now on. He hasn't failed us yet.

I started watching Dollhouse because I am a true Browncoat FireFly fan and was hoping for something of comprable quality by Joss. It lost me by about episode 5. I found it unbearable because nothing seemed to be really happening intra-episode and it was a nearly identical in setup to Alias, which had a riveting and excellent season 1. Maybe I'll give it another try if it gets a season 2 by some miracle.

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Here are mine, although I watch very little tv.

House (seasons 1 & 2 are the best - brilliant actually, 3 & 4 are a pale comparison and season 5 is a sham)

Perry Mason - the original series, not the movies. I haven't seen them since I was a kid, but I remember them being very good.

Mythbusters - is shooting fish in a barrel easy? Let's find out!

Arrested Development - best sitcom series ever.

Sliders - could be kind of dumb at times, but it did have John Rhys Davies in it.

Monk - already suggested. First 4 seasons very good, but I tired of it after that.

Wings - has same basic premise as Arrested Development. Stellar cast including Tony Shaloub of Monk fame, this is where he got known, and the main reason I tuned in Thomas Haden Church who played the mechanic Lowell Mather. Loved the Franz Shubert music intro for first three seasons with the beautiful New England scenery.

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I need a new TV series (I use iTunes). My recent favorites have been Firefly, West Wing, Deadwood, Stargate: Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica, but they've all ended now... What would people recommend?

Thanks,

JD

I recommend West Wing highly. We bought the entire series because the episodes are worthy of reviewing. The show deals with concepts and ideas. The people are highly motivated and principled. Conservatives may have to be convinced as the show comes with liberal credentials, but I found the politics agreeable because the writers fairly balance the viewpoints on specific issues.

In Season 1 "Six Meetings Before Lunch," Sam Seaborn crafts an opposition to public school funding. By the end, he recants, as this is only an opposition view, but the arguments are valid on their own.

(I'm sorry that I cannot find this in the episode guides on the fan sites...) Ahead of a State of the Union address, Sam Seaborn meets with some Chicago radicals who want the President to excoriate the rich. Sam says that last year -- when he was a corporate attorney -- he paid 27 times his fair share of taxes (see below) -- and maybe that's what we need sot that everyone can be served -- but, you what? when I call for an ambulance, it does not show up 27 times faster.

In the 2nd season episode "In This White House" (where President Bartlet takes on a Christian fundamentalist) we meet Republican lawyer, Ainsley Hayes (Emily Procter, later a CSI person), beats up Sam Seaborn on a Sunday morning political show. Pres. Bartlet hires her for the White House Legal Office. "But she's a Republican!" objects Chief of Staff Leo McGarry. "So are half the people in the country," replies the President. In the next episode, "And It's Surely to Their Creidt," she shines against a couple of Democratic Party functionaries who misled a Congressional committee on the existence of a memo.

That is all fine, but the show is deeper on many levels. These people are doing the most important job they likely will ever have in their lives. They put in long hours around the clock dealing with crises, one after the other, from political hassles with Congress to terrorists and an assassination attempt that roughtly follows the events of the Reagan incident. They deal with conflicted loyalities and conflicts of values.

As a writer myself, I appreciate the way the shows writers boost the writing of the White House speechwriters.

Toby: "I read the Stanford Club speech. I thought it was good. Not as good as other people thought it was. . . . Call and response isn't going to work in front of a Joint Session. You're alliteration happy: 'guardians of gridlock', 'protectors of privilege'. . . . And when you use pop culture references, your speech has a shelf life of 12 minutes. You don't mind constructive criticism, do you?"

Will: "No, sir."

Toby: "Anyway, thanks for coming in. I told Sam I can do this by myself."

Will: "Well, maybe he thought that your speeches were obscurantist policy tracts lost in a cul-de-sac of their own internal self-righteousness and groaning from the weight of statistics. --- I'm just speculating. I can't say for sure."

Will Bailey's writing attracts the Vice President who needs a chief of staff to help him craft his own bid for the nomination later. That pits Will against his former co-workers as the President's agenda does not mesh with the VP's. Later, they all take on different nominating campaigns.

As is to be expected, while they are nominally "liberals" there is a range to that. Leo McGarry was a pilot in Viet Nam and promotes the military view. Interestingly, Press Secretary C. J. Craig -- typified in one outburts by John Lyman (Brad Whittaker) as a "Berkeley shiksa feminista") -- supports covert actions, saying that our freedoms might depend "on a waiter with a silencer." So, this not all tree-hugging and wealth-sharing.

Admirable Republicans include Temporary President Glenallen Walken. Speaker of the House in an administration withouth a Vice President, Walken fills in under the 25th Amendment when the President's daughter is kidnapped. Probably everyone's favorite Republican is Alan Alda as Arnold Vinick, senator from California, the GOP nominee for the highest office in the land. When the campaign threatens to turn ugly, he and Democratic nominee Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) take the high ground, leaving their staffer to wallow. Other GOP goodguys include staff lawyer Joe Quincy (Matthey Perry) and naval attache Cmdr. Jack Reese (Christian Slater).

Also, if you pay real close attention... in the staff area where everyone comes and goes... you will see Reason magazine in the rack. As a numismatist myself, I noticed soon that speechwriter Toby Ziegler has Obsolete Currency ("wildcat notes") adorning his wall. Far more prominent is Sam Seaborn's Don't Tread on Me flag.

We never had much TV in the house, some years not even owning one. My wife and I travel for business and in a motel room one night, we ran into the show. A couple of years later, I rented some DVDs... then more... then. We bought the first five seasons. (Aaron Sorokin is an outstanding writier.) Then finished with the last two to complete the set. (Not as good, honestly, but still worth the time spent.)

Fan episode guide here

Fan "continuity" guide here

(Congressioanl Budget Office data shows that the topmost income earners pay far more than their "fair share" of taxes.

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/77xx/doc7718/Ef...iveTaxRates.pdf

The top 1% pay 25.3% of all federal income taxes

The top 5% pay 41.3%

The top 10% pay 52.3%

The broad middle class -- the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Quintiles combined or 60% of the people -- pay 31.8% of all taxes.)

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I started watching Dollhouse because I am a true Browncoat FireFly fan and was hoping for something of comprable quality by Joss. It lost me by about episode 5. I found it unbearable because nothing seemed to be really happening intra-episode and it was a nearly identical in setup to Alias, which had a riveting and excellent season 1. Maybe I'll give it another try if it gets a season 2 by some miracle.

If episode 11 is any indication, now is when you want to start watching again.

And if we're talking about shows that are noncurrent, then I'd have to second Arrested Development. Also, if you never watched Seinfeld. :) There was another comedy that didn't last long but I thought was very clever, by the writers of West Wing called Sports Night.

One show I really enjoyed as a kid was Quantum Leap, although I don't think I would like it as much if I first saw it as an adult. I've always liked Scott Bakula. Another actor I like is Patrick McGoohan. I have a couple seasons of Secret Agent aka Danger Man, as well as The Prisoner.

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Thanks all. I have seen Rome already, and I found it very good, and close to Deadwood in its naturalism. I don't think I've ever seen as much nudity (including male) on a TV show...

I just started watching Heroes. For now, I'm done with season 1, and I think I'll keep going.

Looks like I should check Chuck and Dollhouse. I wanted to see the Star Trek Next Generation series, but it's not on iTunes for some reason. I watched the 1st episode of Buffy a few months ago, and I thought it was horrible, from an acting stand point. Maybe I should have persevered.

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I wanted to see the Star Trek Next Generation series, but it's not on iTunes for some reason.

I'm a huge fan of TNG, so I was also disappointed that the episodes aren't available for download. The boxed sets are ridiculously priced, and if given the choice I would rather just buy my favorite episodes.

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I liked "Yes Minister", which is a British political satire. I think any student interested in politics should watch it.

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Forgot to mention Burn Notice on USA network. Nicely stylized spy intrigue.

Also the original Star Trek - have a feeling you've already seen those. The original was vastly superior to all the others. Just going to assert that.

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