Comments: I’m Dating the Elliptical

The Olympics! That should get you through the next couple weeks - meanwhile you can tape the regular shows you actually like and save 'em for later in the month! But do you not find it is massively more sensible to get seasons of shows on DVD, and watch them instead? I got through some tedious weeks of riding my bike on an indoor trainer with the help of Buffy...

Posted by Jenny at August 7, 2008 5:23 PM

If you like The Closer, don't you like Saving Grace? It's a little weirder a more violent, but Holly Hunter is a better actress than Kyra Sedgwick (sorry...). Shouldn't there be Monk, too? I haven't been home in 30 Fridays, and I am now stuck with a 9-year old who wants to watch baseball or football (or today, soccer!) endlessly.

Oh, and Mad Men. But maybe not. The journalist in me likes it, but it's not very whimsical.

Posted by dynagirl at August 7, 2008 5:32 PM

I love love love Saving Grace ~ she's foul mouthed and fiesty and the angel angle is just too much. Rent the first season so you can catch up ~ I promise it's worth it.

That's all I have that you aren't already watching, though. Sorry! Maybe get some Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD and watch those? I never get tired of Buffy. :)

Posted by Kim at August 7, 2008 6:00 PM

I would like to recommend The Middleman, or maybe it's just Middleman without the The, on ABC Family. Monday nights, I think. And ALSO, Eureka on the SciFi network on Tuesdays is BIG FUN. And the season only just started two weeks ago, I think. So you haven't missed much of that one yet.

Posted by Badger at August 7, 2008 6:19 PM

I still occasionally date the television. Otto is progressive enough to allow it, particularly when I do things like watch "Deadliest Catch" with him.

I submit that BRIDEZILLAS on the We Channel (as in... We Love Trashy Chick TV) would make for awesome paddling, but it's trainwreck television, not really plot television. Unless you consider some woman sitting at a wine tasting swirling her wine around and saying "BUT WHICH ONE WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO GO WITH FRIED CHICKEN?" a plot.

ALSO if you like Project Runway maybe you would like Top Chef? Dunno if it's on again yet, though.

ALSO Mad Men is FINALLY back on, and I big puffy pink heart me some Mad Men (AMC).

Posted by Mir at August 7, 2008 6:31 PM

We just rented and watched Freaks & Geeks. If you haven't seen that series, it's hilarious. And it was only on for one season, so that would take you nicely back into the fall TV season.

Also, I kinda like The Cleaner on A&E. Benjamin Bratt is the star.

Posted by Katie at August 7, 2008 6:36 PM

Oh gosh! You don't watch Psych on the USA network?!? It is so great! Every episode is filled with clever dialogue and there's such great chemistry between James Roday and Dule Hill. Seasons 1 & 2 are on dvd and Season 3 started two weeks ago. Saving Grace is excellent. Plus, it's on right after The Closer. What about Weeds? I whipped through the dvds of the first three seasons in one long weekend. Mad Men is pretty good,too. Oh! Pictures of "Stuckie" are on the way!

Posted by Carmen at August 7, 2008 6:47 PM

If you like Burn Notice, you will like In Plain Sight on USA. It is a great show with very strong characters. Marshall is hot and Mary, the lead character, is one kick-a** lady. A lot of fun to watch with interesting story lines.

Posted by Becca at August 7, 2008 7:18 PM

Boo to the YAH! I'm sure that Joss will bring his A game with Eliza Dushku.

Can. not. wait.

and the Closer....thank YEW...vehhhry much.

Wait that's all I have! I am seriously deficient in the work-out taping category.

I think I need an expanded cable package.

Posted by Lisa at August 7, 2008 7:48 PM

Lost. Definitely Lost.

I'm not sure if you have a previously mentioned aversion to this one, but it is my favorite show ever.

Actually, not true. My favorite show ever was Quantum Leap, but for the purposes of today's discussion...

Lost

Posted by Jenna at August 7, 2008 8:04 PM

I would second the Middleman, Psych and In Plain Sight. I'm right with you on Burn Notice, House, Bones, etc, and anything that Joss Whedon brushes his golden fingers against. Also? For reality TV, we like So You Think You Can Dance.

Posted by Jessica at August 7, 2008 8:05 PM

i haven't watched it, but i heard big love was interesting..........

Posted by dramamama at August 7, 2008 8:06 PM

I'm very far behind on the "Popular Culture", so forgive me if this is soooo obvious that it's painful, but mentioning Joss Whedon made me think of Dr. Horrible. http://www.drhorrible.com/ Have you seen it? I found it very entertaining. And now I heart Joss Whedon, too.

The three episodes total 42 minutes which is almost long enough for a workout. You'd just need to figure out how to watch your computer from the elliptical.

Posted by Melinda at August 7, 2008 8:06 PM

Psych
Monk
Eureka (pretty Joss-y in the writing. very snappy and fun with witty, quick dialogue)
Battlestar Galactica

I also like Saving Grace better than The Closer, though I am a late convert to each show.

Posted by paige at August 7, 2008 8:17 PM

I second- or is it third or fourth?- the suggestion of Saving Grace. Holly Hunter is not to be believed. Also, my sister has been raving to me about Weeds. Big Love is really good too. I know there are no new episodes for a while (probably too close to the Texas compound yuckiness) but you could get the past two seasons on dvd, I think.

As far as Project Runway goes, I sort of hated Mr. Tan at first, but he has grown on me a bit. He's pretty funny. Especially once he stopped saying 'girlicious.' Methinks he was hoping it would be this season's "FIERCE!"

But Suede must be stopped. Immediately. You know the rest of the contestants must want to KILL him.

Posted by Laura at August 7, 2008 8:20 PM

The first thing I wanted to suggest was Lisa Williams or John Edward (the medium, not the politician). You said you need a plot but it might be spooky enough to hold your interest.

How about Rescue Me? I'm not sure if its on DVD yet. I definetly wouldn't watch it if your kids come and go through the room but its very plotty and has firemen!

Posted by Em at August 7, 2008 9:22 PM

Dittoing what Paige said: Eureka, SciFi channel I think.

Posted by JulieB at August 7, 2008 9:56 PM

I second (third? fourth? whatever!) the recommendation of Saving Grace. I heart it a lot more than The Closer, although I watch them both. Love me some Burn Notice too and Project Runway, although I TiVo and have not yet watched this week's episode, so I'm trying VERY HARD to NOT figure out who No Fear of Big Hair is, even though I know Betty Paige (she's one of my faves) and Blonde Betty Paige and Way Too Tan Surfer Dude (sorry, I like my name for him....heh). I would also have seconded the recommendation of So You Think You Can Dance if it hadn't just ended tonight. I like Top Chef too, although I'm not sure when it's coming back on.

On the DVD front, have you watched Dead Like Me? If not, that might be one for you to try. It was darkly quirky. And how about Veronica Mars? Season One is by far the best, but season two isn't bad. Haven't seen season three myself yet. You'd recognize several Buffy/Angel alumni on that show, including the JossMan himself in one episode. He said in an interview it was his favorite show aside from his own.

If you like sitcoms at all, even a little bit or occasionally, you might try How I Met Your Mother. Most of them are fun, but in particular I think the "Slap Bet" episode from Season Two is one of the funniest TV episodes I've ever seen.

Posted by DebR at August 7, 2008 11:19 PM

I heart me some Closer and Burn Notice too. Can't believe that you don't mention Boston Legal?? Yes, it's network-ized but OH SO CLEVER. William Shatner? COMIC JEAN-YUS. And you call yourself a geek? Yet you've missed out on all of the Trek-related cameos and references? The Horror!! Say it ain't so. Recommend: get DVD's from Netflix.

Posted by Tammy at August 8, 2008 12:03 AM

I have this same problem, if it's not captivating TV I can't watch it and do laps. I was watching during Jeopardy, but then I found What Not To Where - I'm totally hooked. It's fashion reality tv with somewhat of a plot, fashion tips, interesting people in the same bad out fit I'm in --getting help. When watching it (Oh, on TLC) my time on the ellipical flies by.

Posted by Cele at August 8, 2008 1:40 AM

PCYCHE! USA at 9:00 on Friday nights (because I live such an exciting life). It has plot and it makes me laugh out loud. :)

Posted by liz at August 8, 2008 9:03 AM

Dittos to:

Saving Grace
In Plain Sight
How I Met Your Mother

add (if you do like sitcoms) The Big Bang Theory. Bonus points since you will get all the geek jokes. Hilarious. They are in reruns right now but it's new to you.

Posted by Jen at August 8, 2008 9:15 AM

scrubs. smart and silly.

ace of cakes is a little fun sometimes. When Mary Alice wears some of the threadless.com tees that I have, I get excited.

good eats. haven't seen a bad episode yet.

Posted by Dianna at August 8, 2008 10:24 AM

First of all, Project Runway. You know, I hated the tan guy until he started going off on Cheroin (TM the Project Rungay guys, Tom and Lorenzo) about her obsession with leather: "My husband's leathah. My kids came out... leathah." Now I sort of love him, though I do wish Tim would sit him down and explain how if he keeps tanning he'll look like he's 80 by the time he's 30. I agree with you on the likes, and Aimee looooooathes Suede.

Second, TV recommendations: You might like Top Chef, although I'm not sure about the wisdom of watching people cook high-cal food while you're working out. I'd recommend Weeds on DVD, also Flight of the Conchords and In Treatment. Flight is hilariously funny, with humor that sneaks up on you and hysterical folk-parody songs.

In Treatment is absolutely gripping drama -- Gabriel Byrne plays a therapist. The show is in half hour episodes that aired 5 nights a week -- I'm pretty sure it's on DVD. Each night focuses on one patient, with my personal favorite being Wednesdays with teenage Sophie, played by the phenomenally talented Mia Wasikowska.

Posted by Aimee at August 8, 2008 10:40 AM

The Cleaner
In Plain Sight
Eureka
Mad Men

And goood times were had by all!

Posted by Miss Monky at August 8, 2008 11:13 AM

* Delighted to hear that Life is coming back (for realz?? has this been confirmed?).
*Was also going to suggest some things until I realized (b/c you said so) that you'd need plot.
I watch gobs of HGTV for bkgrd - easy to multi-task too - until it gets too annoying (terribly perky hosts and repetitive).
* Rescue Me was an excellent suggestion. Not just firemen but Dennis Leary.
*** Mostly happy though that I finally get to ask, I've never heard you mention Charmed. Which I always associate w/Joss Whedon b/c Angel is on right before (TBS - up here in nyc at least) so I see his name at the beginning of each episode.
Charmed is silly/cute/fluffy but does have the supernatural element and it's clever how they relate it to "real" life situations. The Demons are pretty cheezy but the show is funny (intentionally, even) and I like the emphasis on the "Power of 3" being as much (or more) about the relationship of the sisters and that being their real force, than the witch thing.
Or, it's a supernatural Charlie's Angels. It is Aaron Spelling after all. Got even better after Shannon D. left and better still when Holly Marie & Alyssa became producers (got Producer credits at least) *** Oh! also, let me just say... Julian McMahon figures in largely!!

Posted by Elizabeth at August 8, 2008 12:22 PM

I love Cash Cab, too, but if they don't air some new episodes soon, my head is going to explode. I big pink puffy heart with sparkles Ben Bailey, but I am tired of watching the same episodes over and over. On the upside, I am starting to sound like a genius, because I can correctly should out the answer to every single question, having seen the episodes about three times each.

I am currently watching Scrubs in order on DVD from Netflix. I have only ever seen it in syndication and it is all out of order. I love it on DVD, and I really like the bonus features-- did you know the whole show is filmed and produced inside an old defunct hospital-- all of the apartments, the bar, everything is in that same building.

I loved the first season of Weeds, but have never gotten around to watching the other seasons.

As for Project Runway, I have never watched it (she said cowering in shame) (and I was raised by gay men, so really it is a wonder I have not been ostracized), but my sister, who is a big muckety muck with our state HIV/AIDS agency just spent a couple of days ushering Jack Mackenroth around New Orleans. He was a guest speaker at some event they had. She said he was a lot of fun. I had to Google him just to find out who he was (see ostracism comment above).

Posted by Jill W. at August 8, 2008 12:23 PM

P.S.- Did you watch Sports Night back when it was on the air? If not, you should definitely get that on DVD-- what a great show! (And not really about sports at all)

Posted by Jill W. at August 8, 2008 12:30 PM

I add my the recommendation to chorus for re-watching Buffy.

When you're finished, the last three seasons of Doctor Who are available now. The season that just ended will be available in November. The characters are brilliant.

Posted by Elizabeth at August 8, 2008 1:02 PM

i think Chuck is good entertainment (plus Adam Baldwin is hi-larious) but refuse to answer the phone when Pushing Daisies is on i heart that show so much.

if you haven't come on board yet, the remake of Battlestar Galactica is frackin amazing AND Jane Espenson has come on board as a writer. the last 10 episodes air in January (that plus Dollhouse makes January worth looking forward to even in MI) so you could catch up on DVD before then.

would books on CD work? World War Z is really good.

Posted by debra at August 8, 2008 1:20 PM

Two words for ya - Mad Men. Just got to start watching this (now have a service that includes AMC and I got a DVR - BTW, I'm having a steamy affair with my DVR, let me just say). So. The weekend before the season premier, they showed the whole first season, and I was having conniptions of delight, as it is NOT available online or in my local Blockbuster. DVR'd the whole thing and I'm on Episode 11 of Season One, and I'm in TOTAL LOVE and ADOREMENT of this show. Now I'm older than you Joss, so I was a child during the period of the first season (1960) and this is so my universe, and I wanted to grow up to BE Betty Draper, yes indeedy do, with her Breck Girl blonde pageboy and her Grace Kelly beauty and her perfect house and handsome husband. Everything in this show is pitch perfect, and the writing is brilliant and the acting (especially by the two main females) is subtle and layered and SMART. The show portrays a realistic picture of the times, and yet manages to have a modern edginess too. Plus, the raw and honest commentary about the advertising business and what it's really about are pretty searing and funny at the same time. And Jon Hamm - well you must see the man in action. Yes ma'am. The Kennedy-Nixon election year is happening in season one, and it's a hoot to see the old ads and look at much of these events through the lens of current culture. Even if you start on Season 2 I think you'll love it. Or your money back.

Posted by Gail at August 8, 2008 1:53 PM

TLC. Holmes on Homes. Homeowners have extensive renovation work that has problems. Holmes comes in and uncovers source of problem. He isn't afraid to rip out *everything* to do it, either. Then he puts it back right.

If he had a Deerstalker and a pipe, this could be fiction.

I'm addicted...

Posted by Kelly at August 8, 2008 2:22 PM

I totally big puffy pink heart with sparkles and a side of fuzzy koala bears PROJECT RUNWAY. "Tanny Boy", as I lovingly call him, was annoying at first, but MAN, when he stomped "Leatha Girl", that was it for me. I love "Beautiful African Lady" and "Betty Paige". Jill can't STAND Suede, and if Suede doesn't cut the crap with the 3rd-per, I am probably going to stick out the first two fingers on my right hand, palm turned skywards, crook them both to make horn-shapes, and pick him up by his nostrils. I shall then dangle his carcass until he promises never to refer to himself in that manner. ever. again.

SHOWS: I know it's violent and gross and soap-opera-y, but Nip/Tuck can be quite entertaining. Also, love me some Big Bang, The Closer, Ugly Betty, The Office, etc. Have you tried finding the first season of Torchwood on DVD? It's an anagram for Doctor Who, and OH, MY is it good. It's all sci-fi, sexy, scary, techie. Love it. I was addicted to Anthony Bourdain until he started making more and more fun of fat people, so his zipper-like bod doesn't grace my TV anymore.

Posted by Jill F. at August 8, 2008 2:57 PM

I've watched a couple of The Cleaner with Benjamin Bratt, really he's reason enough to watch if you ask me, and it's pretty good. Also if you haven't watched it Battlestar Galactica on DVD, so good!

Posted by Bridget at August 8, 2008 3:33 PM

Rescue Me is one of my very favorite shows, ever...the writing is smart, funny and REAL, and the cast is good all around. (there are 4 seasons out on DVD, so that should keep you busy a while)

In Plain Sight (I see others mentioned that as well)

OZ--an old HBO series that I have just discovered on Netflix, about life in prison (I am addicted to the real life prison shows and absolutely love this--Edie Falco helps too--and I think there are 3 seasons at least)

Entourage (another HBO series, early seasons are on DVD)

Weeds (which until this season, several episodes ago, was one of my favorite shows for the writing, though it took a turn very recently and I am irritated with them)

Six Feet Under (if you like Dexter, you'll love this show too; especially since he's in it)

Off hand, that is all I can think of...


Posted by Kate at August 8, 2008 6:22 PM

Reaper-you've got to love a guy who's parent's sold his soul to the devil and now he has to capture escaped souls from hell for the devil, who is played hilariously BTW, while working at a HomeDepot type store. I'd work out to that.
Also Father Ted- sitcom from Ireland/England You will have to rent it. But you may not be able to work out while watching, you'll be laughing too hard.
Brainiac-BBC
and

I really like Pushing Daisies- If you haven't seen it yet you could watch the first season on DVD. I think.

I download everything on bit torrent so I don't know if it's on DVD yet.

Posted by carrien (she laughs at the days) at August 8, 2008 6:54 PM

I have to use the elliptical machine at the post gym and they always have ESPN on, which isn't so bad, other than the Viagra commercials every 10 minutes that kill me.

As soon as I read this, I thought, "I must comment and tell Joshilyn to watch Saving Grace." But of course you have such a fine quality of readership that this has been fully covered. Holly Hunter as an Oklahoma City detective with a redneck angel bothering her is the best thing I've seen on TV in the last few years.

I do not like PR's Betty Page; her winning dress from last week was vomitrocious. Terri is my favorite at this point.

DVD-wise, you do need to see Big Love. 'Member the mean big brother from Weird Science? He's got 3 wives now and at least one of them is batsh*t crazy.

I think you should also watch In Plain Sight because I want to know if the blond lady's mouth bothers you. Because I think it's an interesting and good show, but there is something very strange about the lead actress's mouth. I need your opinion, because you seem like the kind of person who would have an opinion on this.

I might possibly have made a little note and taped it to my bedroom TV. It says LIFE - premieres 9/29. It doesnt' say "my TV boyfriend Charlie will be back!" because DH would have issues with that.

If you need to know when shows are returning or if they've been cancelled, etc., check out www.thefutoncritic.com. Excellent source of information.

Posted by Becca at August 8, 2008 7:16 PM

If you didn't catch them when they aired--Dead Like Me and Heroes. I couldn't stop watch watching either. I would happily paddle for 6 hours straight if it meant these shows would keep going.

Posted by BonnieAnn at August 8, 2008 7:17 PM

I like to read on the elliptical. Only magazines. And only the sort of magazines that make women seem like an endless self-improvement project and YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. Because then I get the shame hit RIGHT WHEN I'm doing an anti-shame activity. Is excellent.
It does make me feel a little queasy, though.

Posted by Kira at August 8, 2008 11:55 PM

I'm definitely adding my vote for Psych and Eureka. Both very clever, lots of humor. and, for Psych, add some pretty, pretty boys.

Don't tell my husband I said that, though, as I want him to keep watching it with me.

Posted by Laura at August 8, 2008 11:56 PM

I am so glad to know there are other fans of Life out there...I couldn't understand why it was renewed because as far as I knew I was the entire audience. Whew!

OK, I know this one isn't everyone's cup of tea (er, shot of whiskey) but Deadwood might just be the best show I've ever seen. Adapt to the rhythm of the language--admittedly some of the bluest out there--and you may find yourself transported. Plus - it's yogurt free! (Canned peaches, however, are another matter entirely.)

Also, I'll repeat the recs for Dead Like Me and Veronica Mars (seasons 1 and 2 only) and most especially for Battlestar Galactica - I'll spend my last breath explaining to non-viewers that it's an amazing dramatic series that just happens to be set in space. Overcome that one little hurdle and you'll be rewarded with some of the best acting and story arcs on TV...outside of All Things Joss, of course. Happy paddling!

Posted by Margaret at August 10, 2008 11:55 PM


THE RICES- Mini Driver is terrific and Eddie Izzard unbelievable. Definitely plot and a storyline that is not the norm.

Posted by BridgetF at August 11, 2008 5:51 PM

That would be THE RICHES- bloody spell checker :)

Posted by BridgetF at August 11, 2008 5:52 PM

Get the first couple of seasons of House on DVD. I got really lucky and got them on sale for $15 each on Black Friday. S3 is still $45 so I can't have that until it comes down a bit in price. Like by at least half.

We're kind of weird here at our house in that we don't watch TV. But we do watch TV on DVD almost every day. And no commercials demanding that I have a happy period.

Posted by Dory at August 11, 2008 7:05 PM

Lost. It is a 1-syllable title, sprinkled with the Supernatural, AND thickly plotted as heck. It's not on the air right now, but you could catch up on a few seasons and love love love you some Matthew Fox. And it's fun. Always a bonus.

Posted by Emily at August 12, 2008 11:23 AM

I had to write to you...u have to see a website called 66stage.com. There are links to zillions of tv shows. What i do is download torrents of law and order and watch them till i drop! All the best!

Posted by Anu at August 12, 2008 4:09 PM

This has nothing to do with t.v. recommendations, but have you hopped on over to Project Rungay? It is a FABULOUS blog and so very funny (not as funny as yours, of course, but whose is?). Anyone who likes Runway as much as you do has to go. Daily. More than once.

Posted by carolie at August 12, 2008 11:47 PM

How about "Damages", starring Glenn Close? I liked that pretty much and she is terrific. You'd have to get the DVDs, but they must be available.

Posted by Beth at August 17, 2008 8:11 PM