Tuesday, September 1, 2009


It's pretty much the off-season for good television and can I just tell you that it's killing me?

What happened to the days when Sunday was Sopranos. Monday had Rome. Tuesday-Thursday held American Idol AND Lost AND The Office AND Project Runway. It was almost too much TV. There weren't enough evening hours to fit in all of the entertainment in front of us.

But now? Desperation. Jon & Kate Plus 8 rolls across my television screen like a lone tumbleweed in the desert.

Despite the tragedy of it all, we've managed to get by...and with some really random shows too.

1. Weeds - Ok. Weeds doesn't count as "getting by", it's just good television. And yeah there was a span of time just before Nancy got FULLY involved with Esteban that it got a little ridiculous. But as far as I'm concerned since she moved to Mexico it got SO good again. (And how much do you love the place she lives in?) Huh. Too bad the (amazing) season finale was yesterday.

2. Shaq Vs. - Wow. You need to check this out at least once. In this series Shaq challenges some of the best athletes in the world at their own sports. So far he's competed against Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Olympic Volleyball duo Misty-May Trainer and Kerri Walsh, and St Louis Slugger Albert Pujols.

In each of these instances Shaq has lost - but I think the most interesting thing about the show is that going in to it, you feel like there is always the possibility that he has a fighting chance. I mean, the man is like 7'2. And as far as his coaches are concerned, he's extremely agile for a guy of his size - and on top of that, you know, there are just some people who are all-around athletes? Like Steve Nash, Bo Jackson, "Neon" Deion Sanders and AC Slater? Shaq is one of those guys. It's good TV.

3. Hardknocks - Yeah this is how desperate it is. Two of my favorite shows during the week are sports shows. Please trust that as soon as the actual games come on I completely tune out, but something about the reality shows with the players are so damn good.

Hardknocks follows the preseason of the Cincinnati Bengals (they follow a different team each year). From training camp to the preseason games, you see players join the team and get kicked off. Star players getting season killing injuries, and personal stories that put an interesting twist on a sport I would not give a shit about were it not for my boyfriend's obsession.

4. Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern - This Travel Channel show is such a wonderful and random jewel. The best part about it is, I don't know when new episodes are going to be on, but every time I turn around there's another one I haven't seen.

Andrew Zimmern is the perfect host because no matter where he is (Africa, Asia, Appalachia) or what he is eating (Squirrel brains, bugs or beavers) there is nary an awkward moment. And seriously - can you imagine how not delicious some of those meals are?

But food is a delicate subject. Telling someone that you don't like their culture's food is almost like not accepting the culture at all. And so Andrew Zimmern always finds something to say and manages to be pretty funny about it all in the end.

5. Project Runway - Finalmente! I am loving the new Project Runway and am so glad that despite the delays, we finally get to see it. I haven't fully formed my opinions on the contestants yet; I think I'll have a top 3 to report by the end of this week.

The designers are obviously the focus of the show, but I would not even consider tuning in if it weren't for Michael Kors and Tim Gunn - they are hilarious - and I can't even think about them without remembering Santino's impressions...