PLUS: What I'm Watching

I am ready to admit that I watch too much TV. I watch at least two hours a day - which for some people may seem like too little! But when that two hours is the only free time you have in an incredibly busy schedule and doesn't allow you to do much else - like reading a book or baking cookies or playing with children or pets - it may feel like too much TV.

But there's so much good television on right now! (And some incredibly bad television, but I try to avoid those shows.) How can I possibly pass up on the next TV show that everyone is talking about the next day?

This year I went back to a few of my favorites and introduced myself to some new shows. Over the years I have learned that if I'm not fond of a show, I will stop watching it. Past shows I've forsaken are Grey's Anatomy, Desparate Housewives, Bionic Woman (just like everyone else), and *gasp!* Glee.

Whenever I turn on a show, I want to have spent the entire day going, "Ooh! When I go home I can watch ______!" The benefit is that I am doing that every day, even though I am always looking forward to a different show.

This season I had to encounter an odd problem. I gave up my DVR and am recording shows from a VCR again. This has saved me money over the months, and I have no problem going back to the Stone-Age to find videotapes. I have had to deal with the fact that I can't watch other channels while I'm recording, I can't playback as that show is recording, and I only can set the recorder for 8 programs in a week.

This has resulted in me dropping The Big Bang Theory. While my family is having a hard time understanding it (my parents love the show), I have a very reasonable explanation. The Big Bang Theory used to be in a perfect spot for me: Monday evenings, when nothing else was on. Unfortunately, CBS decided to be greedy and move the show to get higher ratings. The highest-rated night is, and has been since Friends and Cheers, Thursday nights. And they scheduled it at 8 p.m., the same time as a show I began watching last season, Community.

This I had no problem with. I'd record Community (and with my limit of 8 programs, I'd also record 30 Rock and The Office on the same program to free space), and watch The Big Bang Theory online.

Oops! Little did I realize that The Big Bang Theory is not a show that they air online. All I could get were brief clips of each show. And that's where I have the problem. Every single other show I watch could be viewed online. Why does CBS think that TBBT is too good to be on the Internet? As a result, I had to drop it.

But this isn't about what I've dismissed from my VCR programming; this is about what I'm actually watching! Here is my list of too many TV shows:

8:00 p.m. Chuck
I have loved Chuck since it premiered back in 2007. It's quirky and action-y and makes me laugh. Plus Zachary Levi is awesome. I am sad that more people do not watch this show. I would prefer that they stick with the spy games and leave out all the "comedy" that takes place at the Buy More, but sometimes those plots intersect (take Monday's most recent episode), and it shows that both elements have to be present.
Watch this show, people! It's hilarious!

10:00 p.m. Hawaii Five-0
The only reason I started watching this was for Scott Caan. I had never seen Alex O'Loughlin in anything else, so I was not in it for him. I have been enjoying both of the actors' arguments with each other, and I have continued to watch because of it. The plots are a little thin, and if Grace Park has to go undercover every single episode I may give it up. But for now I'll keep tuning in.

Online: How I Met Your Mother
Hey CBS! Thanks for putting this show online! Now get The Big Bang Theory episodes available ASAP!
I don't know how I started watching, but I am hooked till they reveal who the mother is. I've also gotten my friends into it, so we have something to talk about! I just wish there were less Barney-centered episodes and more Ted-centered episodes.  

8:00 p.m. Melissa and Joey
I am a child of the 90s, so when I saw Clarissa had a new show on the air, I decided to give it a try. The show is striving to go back to the sitcom roots, including a sprawling set and a laugh track, but the comedy bits are actually pretty funny. The show is about a Toledo city councilwoman (Melissa Joan Hart) with a racy past who hires a nanny (Joey Lawrence) to take care of her niece and nephew. It's good to have some lighthearted nondrama in my Monday and Tuesday full of hour-long drama and dramedy.

8:00 p.m. No Ordinary Family
This show had an online preview of the pilot a few months ago, and I enjoyed the episode. I'm not sure how long I will last with this show if it gets too much into the family angst thing and not enough into the family fighting crimes together thing. But the end of the second episode was intriguing.

10:00 p.m. Detroit 1-8-7
I watched this show because it's filmed in Detroit and takes place in Detroit. Somehow it makes me feel more connected to it than other shows that take place in New York or LA. Someday it's going to be filming right by an area of Detroit and I'm going to go, "Geez, I've been there!" That's not something I can usually say about a scripted TV show. I do like the characters, and the third episode opened up a storyline that's probably going to last for the entire season. I just hope it goes on that long! 

8:00 p.m. The Middle
My parents recommended this one to me, about a middle-class family in the middle of Indiana (thus, "The Middle"). I started watching in the middle of last season, but it's incredibly funny. The three kids especially are hysterical!

8:30 p.m. Better With You
How did I start watching this show? My VCR (I am so not hip) programming problem strikes again. I watch The Middle at 8 and Modern Family at 9, so I just set up one program from 8-9:30. Since I had time, I decided to just watch whatever show was on in the middle. So here we are.
Shockingly, the show is funny! The humor reminds me of How I Met Your Mother with a family cast instead of a friend cast, and the leads all play their parts well. It's actually one of the better new shows that I'm watching!

9:00 p.m. Modern Family
Awkward family comedy that is very different from The Middle yet is just as funny. I love that all of my comedy shows are funny in their own way. None of the comedies that I watch make me laugh the same way! This show sometimes makes me groan at the uncomfortable events that family goes through, but at the end it shows that there's a lot of love going around.

8:00 p.m. Community
The plot is thin, but the way that the cast gets the jokes across is insane. Plus it has had quite a few perfect episodes (paintball, anyone?), and the cast is hilarious.

8:30 p.m. 30 Rock
I watched many 30 Rock episodes bit-by-bit, and the great part about the show is that even when you're entering in the middle of a season, it doesn't really matter. Another inclusion into my Wednesday-Thursday comedy block.

9:00 p.m. The Office
I started watching this show after finding all five seasons for about five bucks when I was working in China. After Christmas I had nothing to do except pack for home, and I watched almost every single episode in five days. So naturally I just kept watching.
Last season wasn't the best, but it still had Jim and Pam getting married and Pam having her baby. I am also invested in an Andy-Erin relationship somehow getting off the ground.

10:00 p.m. Ace of Cakes
This show is fabulous, and it makes me really want to have a pumpkin-chocolate chip cake for my birthday. It just looks so gooooood! I love that some of the second-tier decorators are getting more screen time, and it's not just Duff all the time. Duff and Geoff just went on a road trip making cakes for some small town events, and it was very fun to watch.

5:30 p.m. Inside Michigan Football
Hey - I have to incorporate Michigan sports in here somehow!

So there you have it. There are a few shows that I may catch up with DVDs later, but these are the ones I take the time to watch each week. So far, it's made for some very entertaining evenings! 


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