We are arguably fickle with our TV series loyalty here in the Hood household. DVR (and adding a munchkin to our family) has changed our habits slightly, but we still have a pretty standard weekly TV routine. We have been fiercely loyal to a handful of shows over the years: The West Wing, The King of Queens, Big Love, The Sopranos, King of the Hill, and – obviously – Seinfeld. Sure, we have the occasional meaningless fling with such guilty pleasures as MTV's 16 and Pregnant or My Big Redneck Wedding. But they don't mean anything. Honest.
We also have a heart for the classics. We've been known to watch M*A*S*H and The Andy Griffith Show. (I'll NOT go into detail on the number of Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne westerns I've seen. That's another story…)
I've never been able to put my finger on it, but we just can't seem to get behind a reality show – with any consistency. We followed the last few seasons of The Biggest Loser – until the Winter Olympics completely chopped up the season and we lost all momentum with the contestants. I'll probably get kicked out of the country for admitting this, but I've only seen about 30 cumulative minutes of American Idol IN MY LIFE. I saw the final minutes of the very first season – when Kelly Clarkson won. (And I periodically get "A Moment Like This" stuck in my head for no identifiable reason.) And, like a good little Arkansan, I watched the final minutes of this past season – when Kris Allen won. (And, admittedly, I just had to Google him to be sure I was spelling his name correctly.) But that's it. It's not my kind of music, I guess. And is it on EVERY DAY? Or is that just me?
But what really, truly makes a show for us are the characters. Once in a blue moon you get a character that is just brilliant. Timeless. Cosmo Kramer. Hawkeye Pierce. Barney Fife. David Puddy.
And I'm prepared to say that there's a new candidate for the club.
Dr. Sheldon Cooper.
If any of you do NOT know who that is, stop what you're doing and get to the nearest store that will sell/trade/rent you a copy of the first season of The Big Bang Theory. Right now!
It's brilliant. It's tough to describe that kind of thing, but trust me – you will laugh. Hard. The show, set in California, is about two young, freakishly smart Caltech grads (one is an experimental physicist and the other is a theoretical physicist) who live across the hall from a cute blonde waitress (The Cheesecake Factory) named Penny who wants to be an actress (because don't all cute blonde waitresses in California want to be actresses…?). Anyway, Sheldon and Leonard are too smart for their own good and lack social skills, etc. while Penny has said social skills and "street smarts". The contrast is hysterical. And the dialogue is amazing.
Sheldon needs to be around a few more years before he officially makes it to the inner circle that includes Kramer and Hawkeye and such — but oh, he's on deck.
We don't watch THE shows. Not intentionally, we're just not cool kids. We've never seen 24. Or Lost. Or The Office. Or Grey's Anatomy. Or Heroes. I know – kick me out of the country. But I've seen almost every episode of The Ghost Whisperer! Does that count?
Now, since Mr. DVR joined our household a few years ago, it's possible for me to record and watch shows that don't interest "the rest of the family". Glee, for example. And Jon & Kate. (I miss them terribly.) And Nurse Jackie. And most recently, Parenthood. Sunday afternoon naptimes that aren't otherwise spent frantically updating blog posts are spent with a cold Diet Coke and the remote control.
And precious, precious peace and quiet.
No Barney allowed.