I used to try to "keep up" with TV, but those days have passed. The older I get, the more I (a.) still see my 60-movies-a-year, and have a pretty solid continually contemporary opinion of the movies but (b.) watch less and less TV: stick to my "favorites"; sample here and there; never watch a show because it's "good for me."
That whole diatribe is my way of introduction for the following: a list of my current favorite shows (i.e. everything I watch in order of favorites). My criteria is simple. I only watch shows for which I can't wait to see the next episode. Gone are the days of 4 episodes languishing on my DVR because I'm not "in the mood." I've dropped those shows. And I'm a happier man for it! I recommend it.
Shows I watch, in order of favorite:
1.) The League (season 4, premiere: October 11th) Never in a million years would I have thought that The League would end up my favorite series. Last season I was DVR'ing each individual episode when I saw the hysterical promos during It's Always Sunny, then just set a series recording because it was turning out to be every week! I had seen a few of the episodes from both seasons 1-2: I've since watched them all. It's so brilliantly funny; the characters are great; the guest stars deliver.
2.) Archer (season 4, premiere: ?) Every episode isn't a knock out of the park, but I can't get enough. The good thing is they don't overdo it: 13 episodes a season is a "leave 'em wanting more" formula. And to tide us over was the brilliant book How to Archer, a MUST, I loved it-- hilarious!!
3.) Parks and Recreation (season 5, premiere: September 20th) Aged to perfection. Can't wait for the new season.
4.) It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (season 8, premiere: October 11th) One of my favorite shows of all-time. Unlike most people though I don't protest when my favorite show gets cancelled. Every dog has his day. I think the "gold standard" of 7 seasons set by The Mary Tyler Moore Show was close to target (I might even vote for 5 or 6). Shows just shouldn't be run into the ground. I would so much rather see the "gang" in another show with different characters. Or even better, I wish they'd collaborate on a really great movie that took 2 years to produce. I'll always love Sunny but with a guaranteed 9 seasons and an option for 10, my formerly #1-solid show is starting to tumble down my top ten...
5.) Wipeout (season 5 currently airing, renewed for a 6th season premiere: TBD [December 2012?]) My guilty pleasure. I know this is gonna sound weird, but I love the writing! Smarmy sometimes works well. And who doesn't love Smallsy? I'll miss Vanessa though, *sniffle*!
6.) Family Guy (season 11, premiere: September 30th) I haven't watched Family Guy from the beginning, but I've watched it for quite some time. It remains fresh and funny despite the years: this may be the exception to long runs— animated series— although I've long since stopped watching The Simpsons, which surely would have been in my top ten, you know, in the '90s.
7.) Breaking Bad (season 5, part 2 premiere: summer 2013) OK, I've identified my biggest issue with Breaking Bad right there: season 5, part 2— one year from now? Dudes, we know you said you'd wrap it up in 5 seasons and decided to get greedy. Call it season 6. We won't fault you. But why do we have to wait an entire year? Having said that, the show is still pretty damn good. I feel a little padding here and there (translation— in season 5: part 1 whenever Mike was on-screen it was amazing, and when he wasn't, I was climbing the walls), leading to usually one episode sitting on my DVR these days, unlike in seasons past. But just one. And yes BB fans, I know I've placed this show under Wipeout. I just have to be honest, my Wipeouts never remain on the DVR. BB seasons 2-3 and even 4 were way near the top of my list.
8.) 30 Rock (season 7, premiere: Oct. 4th) I'm sensing a "theme" to this blog post, because ta-da 30 Rock is doing it right. Although it's had its ups and downs episode-quality-wise for me, it's a series that knows how to bow out gracefully with this 13-episode final season. If not for this, I might have dropped the series, but for 13 last episodes, they've got me.
9.) Modern Family (season 4, premiere: Sept. 26th) I like it, but let's not pretend we're curing cancer.
10.) Survivor (season 25, premiere: Sept. 19th) I dropped Survivor for a few seasons in the early years, but have stuck with it since "All-Stars," so it's been quite a consecutive run of late. The only problem is the last season ("One World") was terrible. Will I watch season 25? Probably. (I mean Blair is gonna be on it.) And especially as next season, 26, is an expected "Fans Vs. Favorites." But it really is time to wrap it up.
11.) Saturday Night Live (season 38, premiere: September 15th) If I had a nickel... for ever time someone told me SNL wasn't funny anymore and then cited the "best" seasons as those which "coincidentally" coincided with their mid-20s. The fact is, SNL probably peaked in 1979. It seems to me that the show has exactly one great episode a season. I think I watch SNL because it's a culturally interesting way to mark time. I also like that it has kept that old-fashioned traditional Sept. to May season schedule. I do fast-forward when I get to a recurring sketch I hate: life is too short (example: "Garth and Kat"). Very excited that Daniel Craig has been announced as a guest host for October.
12.) Star Wars: The Clone Wars (season 5, premiere: September 29th) I watched the first two seasons or so of SW:TCW and dropped out. When I saw the promo for season five (with Darth Maul, etc.), I thought I'd make a return visit.
14.) Don't Trust the B... (season 2, premiere: Oct 23rd) I watched the entire first season, and think I may have had my fill. I'll check out at least the first episode of season two.
15.) America's Got Talent (season 7 currently airing)— my "one season pass" this summer was enough. Acceptable, but not must-see TV.