It’s that time of the year

2009 is at an end, already. The year was a quick one, I learnt a little about managing other people’s money, cooked a few toothsome dishes, watched a lot fun films, read some great books, and saw a whole lot of fantastic television shows. I did a mini project on this blog where I have been listing each and every film I saw and book I read this year. But I never talked about the most fantastic sources of entertainment for me – television shows. For I ♥ forty minute entertainment, if I can watch it at my own pace. So, I !♥  television and its ad breaks and fixed timings.

How I Met Your Mother

HIMYM (pronounced as him-yim) has become a constant filler in my life over the last two years. It is a story about five friends who live in New York. Sounds familiar? Well, it is impossible to completely disassociate it from Friends but then, I know people who believe that Seinfeld is based on Friends, so there. I am not arguing.

It is a witty show that takes us through daily escapades of the five buddies, two of whom are married to each other, and the other three keep dating amongst each other. I watched season four in the beginning of 2009 and am now watching season five. The fifth season began with the big boom of the Casanova friend hooking up with one of the friends and it was huge for the fans. I love the show for its characters, mostly. If you sit down to watch a random episode of season five, you may find it only mildly amusing. But for someone who has been following the show and knows how much these characters have gone through, their chemistry works terrifically. Also, the makers of the show keep referencing events that take you as far back as season one. I love it but you may not unless you sit down one weekend and catch up.

How I Met Your Mother

I am not too thrilled with season five mostly because I am getting a wee bit tired with the protagonist torturing his kids with his romantic adventures with every single woman in New York, none of which is their mother. Maybe they did not foresee the show being so successful and did not think though the feeble storyline. Or maybe they just don’t care.

Oh and Neil Patrick Harris is legen-wait for it -dary on the show. Watch it for him.

The West Wing

Right, it is not a 2009 show. As a matter of fact, it is a 1999 show but it is still brilliant and I saw it this year and this is my blog. I like Aaron Sorkin’s work and this show is no exception. Besides being a very tricky subject, American politics is also a subject of only academic interest to me. Having said that, the show gripped me beyond my own imagination and in that lies its power. The show has a storyline that stretches over the season, with smaller plots for every few episodes and even tinier arcs that finish in every episode. Although, I can bet that the people who work in the West Wing (the office, not the show) must have laughed their pants off on the simplistic solutions the story offers, but for a layman the show has terrific characters and perfect script.

The West Wing

Martin Sheen is a rock star as the President of the United States and if I have ever wanted to vote for a politician, it is Jed Bartlet! Besides him, I totally digged Rob Lowe as the deputy communications director because he is a true hottie.

In my opinion, the strength of the show is the development of its character and how one starts to care about each one of them despite their apparent flaws. The episode where the old secretary to the President dies is a favorite. Also, the clever one liners used to make my day.

Death Note

However much I may enjoy reading manga, I am not a huge fan of Japanese anime (yet). Desu Nōto is however an exception. As it came recommended by a geek, I decided to give it a shot and once I got past the first three episodes, I was charmed. Japanese anime is on a whole different tangent and it is what I call an acquired taste, but if you do succeed in acquiring it, a whole new wondrous world opens up to you. Incomparable with any other series I have watched this year, this show is about a young boy in Tokoyo who finds a notebook that belongs to a death God; he soon discovers its power and limits and slowly lets the notebook transform his entire personality. One soon finds oneself attached to the rib-tickling death God, Ryuk and his love for fresh red apples. I (and the rest of the world, going by the popularity of action toys) was hugely fascinated by the character L and his queer mannerisms.

The premise of the show is a cat-and-mouse chase between Yagami Light, who found the death note and L, who has vowed to catch him. True to anime/manga, the story is full of twists and bombards you every forty minutes. The female characters are overly endearing and you have no choice but to love them.

Death Note

I truly loved the show and diligently watched it every night until the last fifteen or so episodes where they kill a lovable character and bring another one who is exactly the same barring the color of their hair. Okay, if I am fair then the new character is wiser than its predecessor but this fangirl could never warm up to the wise fair haired newness. Unlike most other popular anime, death note has a beginning and an end, which is fantastic in my books. So if you are planning to try some anime, I would truly recommend that you begin with Death Note.

True Blood

Before you start to think that I praise every television show that I watch, let me tell you about True Blood. I love vampire stories and the whole mythology that surrounds them. In fact, two of the best films I saw in 2009 were vampire films. No, not the Twilight movies where vampires glow in the sun, but the Korean film – Thirst and a Swedish film – Let the Right One In. Both are greatly recommended. But what is NOT recommended is the True Blood series. I only watched the first season of the show, and I think I have had enough of it for this life time.

True Blood

Frankly, I was pretty into the show when I first began watching it. Set in a time where vampires are accepted (akin to how blacks are accepted in North America and backward casts are accepted in Bihar) in the society of human beings, the first season is about the struggle of a vampire to become a part a small town in Louisiana. But this town surprises you and the vampires by being a home to werewolves, telepathic waitresses, and a whole lot of murders. There are also religious extremists who are ready to kill a peaceful vampire, and this is what caught my interest. But as the season moved on, the story became more and more convoluted and the overall quality of the show deteriorated.

The fact that I found the protagonist highly irritating did not help either. Also, I struggled with the Southern accent of the characters a little bit, but that could be just me. Although, I would not recommend this series, but I can tell you this much that it is truer to the vampire myth than that Twilight thing that you are raving about.

And the other usuals

Of course, there was Dexter season four, the last two episodes of which are to be watched tonight. Although, there has never been a single episode of Dexter that I have not liked, I have to concur that the show dipped a little bit in season three. But fear not, my fellow fans, season four returns better than ever before. The season story arch is brilliant and the all new married Dexter is oh so much fun. If you are one of those who dropped the show during season 3, I urge you to give it another go. For me and my love for this serial killer. Pretty please.

More of Californication also watched as I have already told you before. I seriously have no idea why I watch this show. It could be David Duchovny.

Then there was Weeds, which has ended up becoming a filler show by the third season. I still watch it when I have nothing better to do.

And the winner of 2009

If you have read my blog in November, then this one should be a no brainer. Interestingly, I have still to make a worthy post about my favorite show of 2009 – Chuck.

I did a two season marathon in November and have been possessed by Chuck-thoughts ever since. It is an action comedy with no canned laughter and magnificent screenplay. Chuck is your next door geek who plays videogames and works in a computer store and cannot get over his college girlfriend who dumped him for his best friend; until his best friend dies after implanting the world’s greatest spy secrets in his head. Now, tell me that this is not awesome!

Chuck

The show is brilliant because its characters are well etched and always stay true to themselves. The humor is not filler after every two action scenes but a part of every single dialogue. There is not a single character in the show that you cannot feel strongly about, and that is what rocks. I was recently asked by someone how I could compare Chuck with Friends. Truth is that I cannot. Friends was/is just a sitcom with six characters that we know better than ourselves. We have grown with those six friends and hence, they will always stay special. But the fact is that Chuck is a better show, way better. It has a stronger storyline, characterization, and does not have canned laughter. Wait, did I already say that? I call Chuck my new Friends, because it has a tremendous repeat value.

And dude and dudettes, there is no two ways about this. To know Chuck is to love Chuck. So go start watching the show from the very first episode. Much love.

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4 Responses to “It’s that time of the year”

  1. You did NOT just call Chuck better than Friends! 😮 I feel like I dont even know you anymore man *sniff*
    Yenywazzz, lovely post and I’m definitely giving Chuck a try now 🙂

  2. Correction: People say that FRIENDS was based on Seinfeld. It is said that the scriptwriters for Seinfeld had churned out so much of material but the show wrapped up. So they gave off all those stories to FRIENDS.

  3. sunshin3girl Says:

    While that may be true, Preethi, I know people who have argued with me over this point. They somehow have no sense of time and insist that Seinfeld is inspired from FRIENDS.

  4. Hmm, so I see someone watching as much Telly as me 😛 Hang on, I watch way more. Hehe.

    I think for the Noughties, HIMYM has emerged as one of the smart,funny and awesome sitcoms. Similar to Friends and Seinfeld, it has awesome replay value [meaning you catch a re-run of a random episode and you still watch the whole episode and enjoy it].

    I watched the entire Death-Note in a matter of 4 days flat -from start to finish. It left my head messed up. And I started speaking Japanese still. One of those facts is not true 😛
    I love it to bits. And I have tried my hand at sketching some of them. Do check ’em out here.
    http://www.oneknightstands.net/sketch-kira-deathnote/

    http://www.oneknightstands.net/sketch-l-deathnote/

    http://www.oneknightstands.net/my-first-sketch-on-oks-ryuk-deathnote/

    We just got True Blood Season 1 out here in UK. Enjoying Season 1 so far, and someone pls stop Jason from taking off his pants at least in one episode 😛 It is a bit too graphic for my taste, but it is still very engaging.

    Never been into Chuck or West Wing (sadly).

    Am catching up on another awesome TV series called The Wire , lots of my mates call it their fav. So trying to see whts the biggie in it. And so far, it is indeed very awesome.

    And then there are the other sci-fi series. You know what. Try and do a similar post to my TV-meme list. It’ll be fun.

    http://www.oneknightstands.net/the-long-ass-list-of-tv-meme-i-can-haz-life/

    Cheers!

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