My favorite TV shows, or: How I realized I might be a TV junkie

Last week, I may or may not have marked my calendar with the start dates of every fall show I watch. Because, apparently, I am obsessed with television.

OK, it’s not a clinical obsession. But over the years, storytelling on TV has gotten so dang good that I can’t help but get excited for more.

After reading Greatest Escapist’s top favorite shows of all time, I decided to shamelessly steal her blog post idea and come up with my top 10 favorite shows of all time. (Sorry ’bout that, Kate. And thank you!!)

10. Orange is the New Black–It has one of the world’s best ensemble casts, a notation often lost to the likes of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. The “girl power!” shouter in me adores that it gives meaty, interesting roles to women otherwise lost in TV land. And I love the invisible line between who is “good” and who is “bad,” a line I’d argue that Caputo walks brilliantly.

Litchfield’s best inmate. I don’t want to talk about it.

9. Roseanne–I watched this show religiously as a kid, and when I find reruns, I’m always amazed at how much it holds up. I mean … just look at that cast. Love her or hate her, Roseanne is a perfect, bitchy, loving mother. John Goodman is John Goodman. Aunt Jackie should have won a frickin’ Tony Award this year. Plus, the family encounters legit, real issues (let’s not talk about that final season, ‘k?) Dan and Roseanne’s constant battle with themselves to merge the crazy kids of their youth with the responsible parents they become is the show’s best conflict. And their Halloween episodes are my absolute favorite themed TV episodes.

Click on the pics to zoom.

8. Friends–Let’s be honest: I’m floored this isn’t higher on the list. It goes to show how much wonderful stories are being told out there. I was the prime age to be a Friends-o-phobe, and I have very distinct memories of it, including freshman year of college, where every single girl on the second floor of Humphrey Hall watched with their doors open, and when we learned that Ross was the father, every single girl on the second floor of Humphrey Hall screamed.

The One Where No One’s Ready, or: The single best episode of Friends. Could I BE wearing any more clothes?

7. Sex and the City–True confession: I hated this show when I first saw it. I didn’t get the appeal. Maybe because I was a virgin, I dunno. But this is one of the few shows on this list I could happily spend an entire evening watching. Each character is too much, but together, they’re all of us (except maybe Charlotte–I don’t think any of those women would actually like her). While I could never be as free with myself as Samantha, I think she’s about the best possible role model: strong but soft, successful, and the very best friend.

6. Game of Thrones–I do not like to judge people for their tastes. We should never be made to feel guilty about what we like. However, there is a contingency out there who refuse to watch this show. To them I say: Stop being stupid. “But I don’t like fantasy.” “It’s too rapey.” “There are too many characters.” Blah, blech, and blarg. GoT is storytelling and suspense at its finest. Nothing happens for no reason. The simple plotting such a detailed storyline requires, it’s completely fascinating. (And if you’ve watched it and don’t like it, two thumbs up. It’s that weird “I’m cool because I’ve never seen an episode of X popular thing” thing I don’t understand.)

Sir Davos, the savior or Westeros. (Or simply … my favorite character in a slew of A+ characters. Anytime he’s in peril, my husband all but smothers me with pillows to get me to stop muttering, “Anyone but Davos, anyone but Davos, anyone but Davos.”)

5. The Big Bang Theory–I love a show that focuses on nerds. I love how much science and physics and math is the draw, and I love how the writers make it all work, even though they know their audience probably has no idea what they’re talking about. I love that Penny unwittingly teaches the nerds how to be social, and I love how that favor is returned, showing her the value is being bright. In a world of sarcasm, BBT theory is sweet and hopeful.

“The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis” ends with one of those scenes that makes me double over laughing, no matter how many times I see it.

4. The Twilight Zone–I start every new year right: On the couch for as long as humanly possible, watching Syfy’s The Twilight Zone marathon. I love the stories. I love the twists. I love how sweet it is, and how creepy it is. I love baby Burgess Meredith in the most unfair situation on the planet and baby William Shatner freaked out by the single worst gremlin costume on the planet.

There are certainly more popular episodes of The Twilight Zone than The Hunt (including the two linked above), but this one is my favorite. If you don’t have a twinkly tear in your eye by the end, you have no heart–and I’m not even much of an animal person.

3. The Cosby Show–Until relatively recently, the Cosby’s held the top spot in my heart. I love this family so hard. It is rare to love every character on a show with so many actors. Cosby anniversary episodes could be a primer in how to do a sitcom right. Plus, it gave so many quoteables, even as a little kid: zerberts, jammin on the one (wtf does that mean?), the mating of the wildebeests (I’ve wanted to go to Nairobi ever since), I brought you in this world, and I’ll take you out.

PETER! Also, that little cutie on the end, in the striped leggins? Totally Alicia Keys.

2. The Walking Dead–Oh man, did I resist this show. I don’t like zombies, and I find zombie pop culture to be completely boring. Oh … you mean The Walking Dead isn’t about zombies? They’re just, like, a plot point? The writing and characters are some of the most fascinating in TV? Ohhhh. Got it. I got pretty into my early Walking Dead love a year and a half ago, if you’re interested. The love, clearly, has only grown from there. Because it is nearly my very favorite show in existence, second only to …

I follow so many Walking Dead actors and producers on social media. The cast seems simply spectacular. Hershel 4eva.

1. Boston Legal–Oh, Alan Shore and Denny Crane, my favoritest fictional relationship in the history of fictional relationships. Like Sex and the City and The Big Bang Theory, I can wake up at 9 a.m., turn on Boston Legal, and watch until 1 a.m., no doubt in my mind. I love how smart it is, I love how silly it is. I love how important its topics are and how silly its topics are. The episode Son of the Defender produces TV magic unlike any I have seen before or since, pulling from William Shatner’s loooooong career of acting. It can make me double over laughing and sob to the point of stopping my breath. Entertainment at its finest.

Runners up: Gilmore Girls, Breaking Bad, Girls

Potential runners up (as in, I’m mid-binge and loving these each SO SO MUCH, but I haven’t finished them yet so DON’T YOU DARE DISCUSS THEM IN THE COMMENTS): Parenthood, Mad Men. One of these could potentially take my No. 10 spot. Parenthood is dangerously close.

My famous clothes

I’m not sure I’ve ever properly expressed my love of “The Big Bang Theory” on here, but it needs to be said: The show is glorious.

It has a strong female character who doesn’t make me want to vomit for the future of womankind (I’m looking at you, Jess from “The New Girl”), the writing is some of the best 30-minutes sitcom writing television has seen since “Friends” and (my go-to standard for whether I like a show)  I wish they were real people I could hang out with. (When I was little, I used to dream I was part of the friend group with the cast of “Saved By The Bell” … and “Grease” … As an adult, I have done this with “The Big Bang Theory” … and “Gossip Girl.”)

Now, despite my love for Sheldon, Penny really is the star of this show. Watching how much, and how believably, she has grown from the 22-year-old aspiring actress who moved in across the hall to that same aspiring actress with less wide-eyed wonder and more streets smarts is fascinating. I love that she can hold her own against her brainiac neighbors, and, frankly, I simply feel a kinship with her.

A coworker, who is also a “Big Bang” fan, has told me on multiple occasions how much Penny reminds him of me. I can’t fathom a better compliment (though I remain doubtful as to the accuracy of the observation).

So, a few months ago, I was watching an episode of “The Big Bang Theory.” It was a scene at the very end of the episode, where it’s only another few seconds before the end credits appear and we move on to “Two and a Half Men.” Penny had on a very, very colorful shirt, short sleeved, drapey collar, from the Kohl’s junior department.

I know this because I had on that very shirt all day. I jumped out of my chair, galloped to the dirty clothes in our room, got the shirt out of it and shouted at Jeff, “Look, look, I have a Penny shirt!!!” And this is it. She wore it again on a recent episode:

And then, last week, it happened again. Except this time, my famous piece of clothing was not worn by a woman I admire on a show I proudly adore. It was on a whiny, obnoxious 14-year-old snit on “The Carrie Diaries.”

Yes, in last week’s Halloween episode … Dorrit had on my pants. These:

I got them in the super duper bargain clearance section of Kohl’s junior department. They’re skinny jeans that actually work on my big tush and little waist, and they are comfy. This is just me explaining why a 29-year-old woman in 2013  is wearing the same pants as a 14-year-old girl in a TV show based in 1984.

Has this ever happened to you before?? And … is it totally weird to get excited when you see a piece of your clothing be famous on TV? (Also … kudos to whomever is doing Kohl’s TV public relations. Clearly, it’s working.)


How you found my blog: One of my favorite TV character’s pit perspiration

One of my favorite blog-related end-of-the-year reviews is checking out how people found me. My general WordPress roundup was pretty uninteresting, as I’ve been blogging at Curious Jac for mere months (I started in September) (I’m still wondering if I was smart or not to ditch Snap, Crackle, Pop — I’m still going with “yes.” For now).

As I browse through search terms, some of them tickle me. Some baffle me. But hey, at least people are finding me.

I bring you: The top three funniest/strangest phrases people have used to find me me since I started Curious Jac, in no particular order:

  1. how to tailor a dress around boobs (definitely not a problem I have)
  2. non-isosceles trapezoid food (um … OK)
  3. kaley cuoco armpit sweat (I am nearly certain I have never written about Penny’s armpit sweat)

Hey man, I’m not judging …

Beautiful yellow things: The Emmys

I watched the Emmys last night on a whim — I saw a friend’s Facebook post about it, said, “Oh, the Emmys are on tonight?” I’m a TV watcher (I heart “Big Bang Theory,” “Girls,” “Game of Thones,” and “Glee” best of all), but I have to say, I’m also a sucker for pretty dresses.

Awards shows are really nothing but the September issue of Vogue, but live. It’s better than a fashion show because the models can actually speak, and have facial expressions, and be normal.

The standout winner for the night? Yellow dresses. It’s such a hard color to wear, and based on the ladies who pulled it off, I’d say say it’s better for you porcelain dolls — five of the six here have that Snow White glow. Which means I should probably stay away from it. Maybe if it weren’t quite a highligher yellow …

Julie Bowen

Claire Danes

And Julianne Moore

Clearly, I’m not one to spend two hours glued to the TV, because I missed lots of other yellow lovelies:

Kaley Cuoco

Hannah Simone

Leslie Mann

Which lady do you think looked the best? My vote goes for Julie Bowen, though I seriously dig Leslie Mann’s turquoise earrings paired with her yellow frock.