A good 75% of the answers were some variation on “watch Netflix and eat chocolate.”
Which meant that we spent a good chunk of the evening discussing our favorite television shows.
Bart and I don’t watch a whole lot of television, but over the decade we’ve been married, we’ve managed to make our way through quite a few shows (and we always have strong opinions about how good or terrible a show is).
Here are the ones we’ve liked the most:
- White Collar. Hands down my all-time favorite show about Neal Caffrey, a con man, artist, and forger, who escapes from jail just a few months before his sentence is up and is caught a second time by the same FBI agent, Peter Burke. Neal swings a deal where he can serve out his new jail sentence working with Peter to solve other crimes in the white collar devision. I love the crisp clean feel of the show and it makes me love NYC more than anything else ever has. I think the dialogue is brilliant and funny, and the show managed to really stay excellent over the course of six seasons. Also, I don’t know many shows with better characters. I loved everyone of them (many people recommended Suits since we liked White Collar, but after two seasons, we gave up on Suits because one thing we LOVED about White Collar was that both of the main characters are so smart and likable and their chemistry is fantastic, whereas Suits we basically wanted to strangle Mike every single episode). It is hard for me to end this paragraph because I just want to talk forever about how much I love this show.
- Friday Night Lights. This is a close second for me. It’s the story of a high school football coach and his wife (who is the school counselor) and the nowhere Texas town that basically lives for football. I’ll tell you, I don’t care at ALL about football and I barely even understand football well enough to watch a real game, but I was RIVETED by this show. We watched the first episode when we lived in Boston and didn’t like it well enough to keep watching when the DVDs were due back at the library, but when we moved back to Texas, our neighbors owned several seasons and this time we plowed through it like television was going out of style. This is another one with killer character development and I dare you not to love Coach Taylor and Tami and Tim Riggins (I can’t stand long hair on guys, but. . . somehow Tim Riggins manages to make it look very very appealing). Also, there is a stupid stupid plot line in season two and when it happens you’ll know it, and just rest assured that eventually they just basically pretend that plot line never happened and it goes away. Plow through.
- 24. This was really one of the first television shows I ever watched – when Bart and I went on a week-long cruise for our first anniversary, some friends gave us the DVDs of the first season. I has basically no interest, but we watched the first episode on the third day of the trip and then finished the entire season before our cruise ended. In fact, we got off in Jamaica the fourth day, looked around and said, “This is our vacation. Let’s watch 24 if we want to.” And we got back on the boat and watched more episodes. I am a Jack Bauer fan for life. (Also, Dave Barry’s commentary on every episode is just the best thing ever).
- Once Upon a Time. This is the only show we are currently watching. Bart watched the first episode on Netflix just before Ani was born and I was totally uninterested (do you see a pattern here) but he convinced me to give it a spin, and then I was totally won over. It’s a bunch of fairy tale characters trapped in a town by a curse set by the Evil Queen from Snow White and it’s so fun to see all the characters from various stories interact. I especially loved the first couple of seasons when you got tons of backstory with different characters and I REALLY love Hook.
- Lost. I love a show with flashbacks and backstory and this one had it in spades. Season 1 and 2 were excellent and then it really went downhill and never recovered (in my opinion) in season 4. But we watched the whole thing anyway. vI also discovered with this show that watching something live seriously detracts from my enjoyment. Give me the whole season in one go. Also, I live for snarky characters in television shows and Sawyer is one of the best. (And I just noticed that it’s been 11 years since the pilot. How!?).
- Downton Abbey. One of the things I love about Bart is that he doesn’t blink an eye about watching regency films or shows (or other British period dramas). When I started hearing some buzz about this one, I borrowed the first season from a woman in my bookclub (thanks, Carol!) and we watched the whole thing over the Thanksgiving weekend. We both thoroughly enjoyed it, but after the ending of season three (you know what I’m talking about . . . ), Bart said, “I refuse to watch this show anymore on principle.” I don’t know if he meant it, but we never started watching again when season 4 aired.
- Lie to Me. My mom introduced us to this show, and I loved this series about a guy who solves crimes by studying micro-expressions to tell if people are lying are not. It’s a little heavier than White Collar but not as crazy as 24.
- Smallville. I’m not particularly a Superman fan, but I loved the first 4 or 5 seasons of this show about Clark Kent’s high school years. After that it got all weird and we quit, but for a long time we loved watching it. We still quote Lex Luther’s line about “sanctimonious platitudes.” And I secretly pretended Lex wasn’t going to end up being the bad guy because he was just so likable. We also pretended not to notice that the 16-year-olds were all played by 25-year-olds and that also they appeared to have stayed in high school for practically a decade. We won’t quibble over those details.