March 2, 2009

The Best TV for Not Sleeping

Warning: WHIIIIIIiiiiiiine incoming.

I REALLY need to be sleeping. I have a busy day tomorrow, and I am still sick, of course, though that is hardly worth saying. At this point, more than a MONTH after my stupid ZINC first failed me and I got that pesky cold, staying I am still sick is like mentioning that I still have blue-green eyes, that I am still female, or that I am still an inhabitant of planet earth. It’s such an essential truth that I am BFF with mucus, why bring it up?

(That was probably rhetorical, but the answer is, BECAUSE I AM WHIIIIIIiiiining.)

Sunday night at 1 am there is a HORRIBLE DEARTH of watchable television. Almost everything on has David Hasselhoff in it, or is the second half of a movie no one liked the first time, and WHO IS UP, I ask you, at 1 am on school night who wants to watch the Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl? NO ONE, I hope, but there it is, taking up space on a perfectly good cable channel that COULD be showing RERUNS of NCIS and PS why did no one ever tell me what a great show that is?

It seemed highly unlikely it would be a good show because

1) It’s a spin off

2) OF JAG (which GRANTED I have never sat through more than 45 seconds of JAG at a stretch but it always kinda struck me as a TV show for gently medicated Catholic grammas who like men with UNBELIEVABLY HIGH levels of sex-drive-free nobility and heads shaped like cereal boxes, but HEY, I was SO wrong about NCIS maybe I am wrong about JAG, too? Say it ain't SO!)

3) that features a six foot tall twenty year old supermodel-slash-forensic scientist with Betty Page bangs and scraggled pigtails. But I accidentally watched five minutes of it one time, and realized that Michael Weatherly was on it (I like that guy), so then I went and watched a whole episode on PURPOSE, and I Netflixed SEASON ONE, DISC ONE and started watching the WHOLE show in order. I am most of the way through season four and I love everything about it. Love the writing, the chemistry, the ensemble cast feel, and I love the Betty Page Supermodel-slash-forensic scientist SO much that I have suspended disbelief WAY OUT over a pit of vipers and disbelief is welcome to die there.

It is such a good show that SCOTT will actually watch it with me, and he hates all television that doesn’t feature wise men in birth control glasses explaining quarks or sharks or Mayan history. We call it “Watching a GIBBS.” A Gibbs can mean an episode, as in, “I'm going to go watch a Gibbs, want to come with?” or a whole disc of episodes, as in “Netflix sent a new Gibbs today, want to watch one?”

I like it SO much that I am, in fact, trying to teach my children to say, “ON YOUR SIX, BOSS” When I say, “WITH ME, CHILDREN.”

It is not taking.

I also am really digging DOLLHOUSE. Joss Whedon is a long range planner who thinks in terms of YEARS LONG story arcs, and I love the set up and the cast and all the things that have so far defied my expectations, and I hope more people will stop having LIVES on Friday night and sit home and watch it.

My favorite show on TV right now is LIFE. Period.

I also quite enjoy THE CLOSER and on the lighter side, as far as shows with a low body count, I dig 30 Rock and The Office.

You know what ALL these shows have in common?

They are not on right now.

Posted by joshilyn at March 2, 2009 2:00 AM
Comments

You could always pop in the RENT! dvd like my sister & myself just did. It's 2:30 and snowing... heavily... in North Carolina! We're too excited to sleep, so we're just singing along with cheesy humanitarian-issues-awareness showtunes. And I'm rambling because... duh, it's 2:30.

Posted by: Dani at March 2, 2009 2:36 AM

I am also always annoyed by the lack of TV at this time (and I only have basic cable, so it's even more lame!) Also, explaining RENT as "cheesy humanitarian-issues-awareness showtunes" is AWESOME.

Posted by: Heather at March 2, 2009 4:44 AM

We're lucky enough to have "On Demand" programming (hubs talks them down whenever they try to up the cable rate, he has that magic touch). Unfortunately, I'm usually too tired to actually select and watch an entire movie!

Posted by: Brigitte at March 2, 2009 6:54 AM

my mother tried earnestly for YEARS to get me to watch NCIS solely on the basis of Supermodel Bettie Page character, claiming I looked just like that in high school...yeah right. A Goth dye job and a thrift store wardrobe did NOT make me into a SBP. Then when I finally did catch an episode, I was all, Wow, she's gorgeous and this rocks! The commercials should feature her and kick Mark Harmon to the curb, I bet their ratings would shoot through the roof!
Also, Mom watches JAG...

And, finally, The 'Spensive Cable with the DVR is almost totally worth it so you can watch all the good shows on the weekend when you have time.

Posted by: Elena at March 2, 2009 7:39 AM

Yes! NCIS is good stuff! :D Congrats on the discovery! :) I don't think I've seen all the earlier first 2 seasons but finally got to see a bit of the first (after watching for 2 yrs) and I was impressed.
---
Scott would like NCIS of course since Ducky their autopsy guy. will on occasion, not always, pass a side trivia tangent.
---
As for Abby.. *grin* me & the guy friends will on occasion happily refer to NCIS as "tats & a microscope" :-D
---
OH and sense of disbelief needn't go that far, as I've actually seen a few Feds/most scientists (field even) that kind of dress like Abby. :D but more Riot grrl punk. .. those were REALLY good job days. ahhh blis ..:D

Posted by: KlintD at March 2, 2009 7:51 AM

OMG. I JUST REMEMBERED!!

Have you seen "Saving Grace" (has Holly Hunter in it)? SERIOUSLY! You should, I dunno.. Netflix season 1 if they don't have it on Hulu. It's starting the middle of Season 2 someday this month on TNT. It's REALLY REALLY GOOD. Not for the kiddies though. But yeah.. oh yeah. Good stuff. It's like "Joan of Arcadia" meets 'oh I dunno something that likes to drink, have sex,and party a lot' meets "Murder She Wrote w/a badge" (Though they work as a team). :) Discovered last summer than it took a Battlestar Galactica/Medium like long term break. ooh good stuff.

Posted by: KlintD at March 2, 2009 8:01 AM

Oh I am so with you on NCIS. That Mark Harmon, yummy...

Posted by: pam at March 2, 2009 8:06 AM

NCIS is one of the few shows that my brother and I both enjoy. (His favorite recent movie is Paul Blart, Mall Cop.) I like it much better in the last few years - the way Kate let Tony get to her drove me nuts. I like that Ziva can smack him down when he needs it.

Netflix has some movies and TV shows that you can watch instantly on your computer.

Full episodes of Life (also my favorite show - I have every episode except the first stored on my DVR) are available on the website:
http://www.nbc.com/Life/video/categories/season-2/568221/

Other shows I have loved (and lost, in many cases):
Veronica Mars, Firefly (yes, I'm one of THOSE people), Coupling (Netflix it - the British version of Friends, only much funnier), Cupid (they're doing a remake, but come on, without Jeremy Piven, what's the point?)
For late night endless reruns, I really like CSI (the original) and CSI:NY. Can't stand CSI:Miami. Can't stand redhead God's gift guy.

Posted by: Sandi at March 2, 2009 8:47 AM

I am also loving Dollhouse but I'm afraid to get too attatched because fantastic shows that I look forward to watching have a habit of being cancelled...go figure.

'On you six, boss' : LOVE IT!

Posted by: Amy-Go at March 2, 2009 9:21 AM

Birth control glasses?

ROFL!

Posted by: Katrina Stonoff at March 2, 2009 9:33 AM

I'm glad I'm not the only one who was thinking that tv was terrible around 2 am last night. Even the Discovery channel, which can usually be relied upon to provide relativly harmless shows about really poor escape artists or how things work, was showing a very graphic program about animal bites. For those lucky enough to have missed it, the snake bit disolved the guy's arm...and they showed it...at 2am when my brain is not equipped to process that kind of thing.

Posted by: Dani at March 2, 2009 10:21 AM

Yay for NCIS.

One of my favorite moments was when one character asked Gibbs what Ducky looked like when he was younger. Gibbs, with a definite eye-twinkle, answered, "Illya Kuryakin."

Most of you are too young to remember, but David MacCallum was one hot dude back in the day.

Posted by: Jan in Norman, OK at March 2, 2009 10:23 AM

I was wondering when you would write about Dollhouse! I'm really liking it too, and I too hope that people will abandon their social lives in order to watch. I'm sorta mad at Fox for sticking it on Friday night. Shouldn't it be on Wednesday or something?

Anyway, if you have HBO, then the next time you need something to watch in the middle of the night watch Big Love (for drama that is seriously emotionally riveting) or Flight of the Conchords (for comedy that is indescribably funny and charming). Not being able to sleep in the middle of the night is WHY we have On Demand.

PS sorry you are still BFF with mucus.

Posted by: Aimee at March 2, 2009 10:38 AM

I'm not a big fan of tv either. However had to buy the first 3 seasons of Supernatural. Good stuff and love me some Sam and Dean :)

Also, my SIL loaned us the first 3 seasons of That 70's Show. I didn't think I would like it, but it is funny.

Posted by: Nancy Clark at March 2, 2009 11:21 AM

What WAS it about last night that had so many of us up at unaccustomed oh-dark-hundred times?! I had an article I had to finish for a client, and I came the closest to pulling an all-nighter that I have in decades. (Slept from 3:30 to 4:30 a.m. before a killer rainstorm swooshed in, at which point I got BACK up and finished the article.) Yes, DOLLHOUSE is being interesting (although I, too, am FIREFLY burned and so hesitant to give my whole heart). And tonight Mal (oh, all right, Nathan Filion) has a new series starting, called CASTLE. The writing won't be Joss (sob), but it will be fun to see NF doin' his thing again. (And it's a good thing that you've already been sick for a while, Joshilyn, or we would fear that your birthday broke you!)

Posted by: JMyersbook at March 2, 2009 11:26 AM

Who needs tv when there's hulu?? Seriously, we just got an antenna for our tv in January but until then we only watched what was online. And the best part? It was on whenever I wanted to watch it. :) I will admit live tv is so much cooler...it really sucked having to wait until the next day to watch Life or The Office.

Posted by: Jenn at March 2, 2009 11:55 AM

You mentioned that you were a fan of Life a while ago, so I watched it on Netflix and it really is a great show! I am also a fan on NCIS, so I will trust you and watch Dollhouse. I love Buffy, Angel, and Firefly. Go Joss Wheden! Can't have too many Josses, right?

Posted by: Jayne at March 2, 2009 12:21 PM

I'm a huge Buff/Ang/Fire Joss fan, BUT I can' get past the whole "she's an expensive hooker who's just been brainwashed to not know it" of Dollhouse.

Posted by: Juli at March 2, 2009 1:16 PM

Bonus for you, Patrick Labyorteaux was in the first season of NCIS and JAG and was Andrew Garvey on Little House on the Prairie. I love when I see kid actors all grown up when I haven't followed them. I'm also pretty sure it is little Chip from Kate and Allie in that fiber cereal commercial.

I actually like Sunday nights for TV. I don't know if your cable company has American Life station. On Sunday nights, the play twice (8,9 and 10, then repeated 11,12 and 1) awesome 80's/early 90's dramas I knew about but were too young to follow: St. Elsewhere, Hill Street Blues and LA Law. Good theme songs and always good for a Snuggie or Sonic hearing commercial which I love and hate.

Posted by: Em at March 2, 2009 1:41 PM

We are such NCIS geeks at our house. Even the kids are in to it. I never thought of teaching them to say "On your six, boss", but I have practiced the back-of-the-head slap. On my husband of course. Never on the teenager. cough*lie*cough

Posted by: Tammy at March 2, 2009 2:05 PM

Joshilyn, I must thank you for talking up LIFE. The show, that is. I love it more than any new shows I have watched in ages, altho I must admit I did not watch from the beginning and I am having a hard time figuring out all of the backstory.

Have you watched "Saving Grace" with Holly Hunter? THAT is a very spectacular show as well, with a female lead that kicks ass!

Posted by: Bernice at March 2, 2009 3:28 PM

I love NCIS. I never watched an episode of it until I was in Italy and crime dramas were pretty much the only thing they had that I could watch in English. I watch it whenever it's on. I'm watching one now funnily enough. I missed the debut of Dollhouse! But I will catch up. Oh,FYI, there is a new Nathan Fillion show starting soon. Castle- March 9 on ABC.

Posted by: Amanda at March 2, 2009 5:32 PM

Oh, I have turned into a serious NCIS fan, and I watch it so much that Lillian started to dream about it. She was trying to get someone's attention in her dream and he only answered when she shouted, "PROBIE!". I hooted. I do so heart Abby and Ziva and McGee and Ducky and Gibbs and. . .well, yeah.

And I apparently was a bit luckier than some of you with my insomnia last night, because the movie "Deep Impact" was on, and I was astonished at how many talented people are in it. I never knew.

Posted by: Fran at March 2, 2009 5:39 PM

Thanks for the recs! I agree with the suggestion of "Saving grace." I saw it when I was sick -- think it should be on pretty late for you in the time zone to the east.

Posted by: JulieB at March 2, 2009 8:21 PM

Oh I love with all of my possible lovey love love NCIS. I watched an episode one night because I was TiVo'ing The Biggest Loser and I've been unbreakingly hooked since. I love love love it!

Posted by: MissMonky at March 2, 2009 11:26 PM

OOOOOOOoooooh.... good shows! Love the Life show (yahoo Damien Lewis)we also follow Medium, Lie To Me, Mentalist, Eureka, Dr. Who, original CSI. I also despise the redhead guy on CSI Miami - what an ass! What a bad actor! Love Big Bang Theory, and getting fonder of 2.5 Men and pretty much like NCIS. (Yes, I was a major Illya Kuryakin fan as a kid. Oooooh!) Rereading this, you'd think I never say television in my life, huh? I liked Heroes but now they are just messin w/ the audience because they can. Bick.

Posted by: Peggy in Tulsa at March 3, 2009 10:41 AM

oops... meant to say "you think I never saw any television my whole life" erp.

Posted by: Peggy in Tulsa at March 3, 2009 10:42 AM

I was a bit miffed with NCIS when I first saw it, because they were calling the David MacCallum character Ducky. I did not think it was dignified enough for the former Ilya K. (who was MUCH hotter than Napoleon Solo!! And is still pretty darn warm, for middle age!) But by the second time, I watched it, I was hooked. You have, of course, seen the Halloween episode where Abby is dressed up as Marilyn Monroe, and the non-Gibbs males are tongue-tied?

Posted by: Judy at March 3, 2009 11:55 AM

I'm guessing you've probably heard of Bones, but it sounds like you'd like it based on your liking of NCIS. If you haven't seen it, consider giving it a try. I am a humanities grad student and I must admit that my tv taste often errs on the side of birth-control glasses guys (but talking about art and stuff, not science), but my science-y roommates forced me to watch Bones. I am not hooked, but I like it- I think tv for me is like songs for you. I don't seek it out or watch it all the time, but every now and then I'll catch an episode and be like, oh, this is okay.

Posted by: Haley at March 3, 2009 12:27 PM

NCIS is such a cool show-well acted, interesting characters. I agree about nothing being on on TV at 2 in the morning.

Posted by: Rob at March 3, 2009 8:47 PM

"Deep Impact"--wasn't that the movie that started with Characters A and B in diving suits on the ocean floor, and the following dialogue:

Character A: "Look at that!"

Ch. B: "What is it?"

Ch. A: "The jellyfish are spooked!"

Whichever movie that was, in only three lines of dialogue, they managed to do SO MUCH WRONG that I didn't even wait for LAME LINE #4.

CSI (AAGH!!! They let William Petersen LEAVE!!!! I have had a raging crush on him since "Manhunter," in the 1980's.), NCIS, Bones, Dollhouse...I am glued to them all. I will have to check out "Firefly."

Feel better soon! (Death to phlegm!)

Jennifer

Posted by: Jennifer at March 4, 2009 8:22 PM

harry damned leak-inclined author leading irregularly expository journalism op-ed article without halt levitra list exactness vanquish picking swop extract.

Posted by: DetEtededig at March 7, 2009 1:18 PM

onset discern approaching long tolerably probably deficiency fidget with up, spouse wild squirks, guarantee disposition of that in group of levitra online soundness"

Posted by: oxissebom at March 9, 2009 9:44 AM

NCIS is one of the very, VERY few shows on TV that my husband and I both like. FWIW, JAG was another we used to watch together, although I like NCIS a LOT more than I ever liked JAG. Usually though, he thinks most of the shows I like are stupid, while I maintain that no one who has seen every single episode of Walker, Texas Ranger at least six times each has any right to criticize my taste in television viewing. Then I walk away whimpering "ooooooh, Walker, you saved me" and muttering about writers who would create a character who is smart enough to pass the bar exam but too stupid to get her long-term boyfriend-then-husband the martial arts expert to teach her some basic freakin' self-defense! Wouldn't that occur to her after the 22nd or 23rd time she'd been kidnapped or held hostage??? ANYWAY....

I'm really diggin' Dollhouse too, but I haven't been able to talk J into trying that one, which is probably just as well since 1)I like it and 2) it's Joss Whedon and 3) it's FOX, so that pretty much guarantees that it is doomed. Plus he'd probably think it was stupid. :-)

Posted by: DebR at March 9, 2009 3:02 PM