On my last post, I suggested a few shows that I feel make for “Must See TV” on Monday through Wednesday. Here are my suggestions for Thursday and Friday. (It was going to be through the weekend, but it ended up being more than I had bargained for. I didn’t realize I had so many shows that I follow! I will share those, along with nightly shows in part three of this series.) Hope you enjoy!
8:00 PM — The Big Bang Theory — CBS. This is a gem of a show that I just recently started to watch. The ensemble cast is perfectly in sync with each other. The show centers on the lives of four nerdy scientists who love all things comic book and sci-fi. Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) are roommates and remind me of the original Odd Couple of Felix and Oscar (you youngin’s feel free to look that up…). Penny (Kaley Cuoco) is the pretty girl-next-door waitress/actress who had a brief fling with Leonard. She has been joined by two other women, Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and the hilariously dead-pan Amy Farrah-Fowler, played to the hilt by Mayim Bialik. The only thing that sometimes gets in the way of the show is the laugh track. (Trust us, CBS, this show is funny enough without having to use that dated device. We will know when to laugh!) One point of caution: Even though this airs at 8:00 PM on a major network, it is not always “Family Friendly.” We learned this the hard way when we were watching with our 9-year-old daughter. You don’t want to have to answer s-e-x questions if you really don’t have to … .
8:00 PM — Community — NBC. I’m so glad we have two DVRs in the house! Again, this is a great ensemble comedy, sans laugh track, that is just so clever. The diversity of characters and how well they adopt their roles is what makes this so fun to watch. Sometimes the scenarios are a bit far fetched, but the absurdity is what makes this so enjoyable! Jeff Winger, a disbarred lawyer working to get his diploma at the community college (Joel McHale, also the host of The Soup on E!) is the leader of this crazy cast of characters, which include Chevy Chases’ Pierce (an old rich racist) and Yvette Nicole Brown (the very Christian Shirley). Another standout is the outlandish dean of the community college, played by Jim Rash. The devices they use, from claymation, to alternate realities, makes for one great show!
9:00 PM — Person of Interest — CBS. This fall's new shows really have been top notch (except for a few duds like Charlie’s Angels and The Playboy Club). The core characters are a computer genius who worked for the CIA, Mr. Finch (played wonderfully by Michael Emerson, of Lost fame) and former military operative Mr. Reese (Jim Cavizel, Jesus from The Passion). Finch developed a machine that identifies terror threats and other minor violent crimes. Since the CIA was only interested in the big threats, it was throwing away the information on the smaller crimes. Finch created a “backdoor” to the machine, and with each episode, the two men try to stop violent events before they happen. It is a solid suspense/action show, with a nice twist for the genre.
9:00 PM — Grey’s Anatomy — ABC. What can I say? This is THE medical drama to watch. Great actors/characters (please don’t leave at the end of this season, Patrick Dempsy!) and rich storylines by the fabulous Shonda Rhimes; this show is never dull. Will Mer & Derrick get back baby Zoula? Will Bailey ever trust Mer again? Will Christina and Owen be able to repair their relationship since her abortion by talking and not just by having “mind-blowing” sex? Will little Grey get back with her true love Dr. Sloan? These through storylines are what keep us coming back for more.
10:00 PM — Burn Notice — USA. LOVE!! I don’t know what’s better — that this is no longer a “just in the summertime” show, or that Michael (Jeffery Donovan) and Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) are back together? Intrigue, suspense, action, romance, great supporting characters (Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe, or Chuck Finley, depending on the scene, is too wonderful!), make this show a must-watch whatever season it is on. (For the record, it returns for its fall season this coming Thursday, November 3!) HOT!!
8:00 PM — Chuck — NBC (Last Season). In a way, I hate to see this show come to an end, mainly because Zachary Levi is so good in the title role. I mainly watch it out of loyalty, since I have watched it since its debut. However, this season has made a change, and I hope they get back to its origins QUICK. Chuck used to be the “Intersect” for the CIA. Basically, he had the entire CIA database downloaded into his brain and could “flash” when he saw a clue to a case. He became a spy by night, and a “Nerd Herd” computer fixer at the Buy More by day. (Think “Geek Squad” from the Best Buy, and you’ll get the idea.) Now, his bumbling best friend, Morgan (Joshua Gomez) is the Intersect, and I’m not really buying it. I do like that Chuck and Agent Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) are together. But, in order to make it to the END of their final season, Chuck needs to get the intersect back and fast…
9:00 PM — CSI: NY — CBS. Even though this is the least-popular of the CSI franchise, it keeps going like the Energizer bunny. Det. Mac Taylor (the incomparable Gary Sinise) and Det. Jo Danville (Sela Ward) make a great pair, leading the CSI lab in NYC. The stories have been quick-paced and very intriguing. It’s a great Friday night show.
9:00 — Fringe — FOX. By far the BEST sci-fi program on TV at the moment (aside from the British import, Doctor Who), Fringe never disappoints. Fringe is a head-trippy, psychedelic ride into alternate universes, mutant diseases, and shape-shifting agents trying to take over “our” universe. The possibilities are endless. It was touch-and-go during season 3 if they would be back for the current season 4, but due to a solid fan base and the re-energizing of their storytelling techniques, Fringe makes for must-see TV on Friday nights. Joshua Jackson, John Noble, and Anna Torv (Peter, Walter, and Olivia) are quite the crime-solving trio. However, with Peter now erased from their memories and wiped clean off the timeline, it will be interesting to see how he convinces his father, Walter, and his girlfriend/co-worker Olivia, to believe he is who he says he is. It returns this coming Friday night, November 4, now that baseball season is over. (YAY!)
10:00 PM — The Soup — E! Joel McHale (also on Community) is the host of this witty clip show of the most ridiculous shows on all of TV-land. No show is safe from his wrath, but the ones who are on the receiving endn really do deserve it. His mid-year and year-end shows of the worst of the worst are equally hysterical. If you miss it on Friday night, no worries, it shows about a bajillion times more throughout the week.
10:30 PM — Fashion Police — E! Joan Rivers hosts this shows about the do’s and don’ts of fashion. (I wrote about this show here on the Daily Pop when it debuted last year, and it hasn’t lost its luster yet.) The “must-see” looks of the week, Starlet or Streetwalker, Guess Me From Behind, and the Rack Report are just a few of the devices they use to make this show more than just about fashion. With Joan at the helm, you know this has got to be funny. Also, don’t miss their one-hour specials after big award shows like the Oscars or Emmys. You get to see all the fashion from the A-list events without having to sit through the three-hour pre-show events. And again, since it’s on E!, you can catch it on almost any day of the week.
Stay tuned for part three of this series, coming up after the break...
Conni Ironmonger-Mann is a professor, wife, and mother, who enjoys nothing more than snuggling with her two favorite people in front of the TV at the end of a busy day’s work…