I was looking up US TV ratings while on the phone to a friend, via a wikipedia page that suggested one of our favourite shows is dropping alarmingly in the ratings. In 2013/14 the top rated (non football show) was one I don’t watch: The Big Bang Theory. I’ll probably get around to it though if only because it has Christine Baranski in it occasionally and I would watch her in anything.
Right now my current favourite television shows are all from the US. Here they are, listed in current order of preference and with Amazon associate links to DVDs of the shows referenced, if you like the recommendation and buy it through this link I get a small commission from Amazon.
- Girls, I really do rate this first. I love the interactions between the characters, their naivety, their attempts to create art while painfully self-consciousness of the fact their art is all about themselves. It’s lovely writing and acting and Lena Dunham is a genius. It’s slightly grimy reality. Not implausible, just uncomfortable. It reminds me a lot of my life as a university student.
- Empire, I’ve only just started watching this and I love it so much. The music really makes it for me. This is for me what Glee is for the people who love it, musically speaking. Taraji P. Henson is awesome, she makes Empire for me. Cookie should hire Diane Lockhart as her lawyer and form an invincible team.
- The Good Wife, I was introduced to this show by the same friend I was talking about ratings with and we’re both worried to see it sinking from a high of 16th to a low of 27th. It just doesn’t make sense that Grey’s Anatomy still ranks this show when there’s just so much to love about The Good Wife – not just the divine Christine Baranski. But it has admittedly lost its way between the politics and the law and needs to get back to a reasonable balanced between villain of the week and arc plot to recover the key strengths of the narrative.
- Orange is the New Black, I hate the protagonist (so much more than Hannah in Girls) but the ensemble cast make up for it. Kate Mulgrew is awesome in this, which surprised me – because I hated her in Star Trek Voyager. I also rate Danielle Brooks, Lea DeLaria and have a crush on Laura Prepon.
- Parks and Recreation, I got into this after 30 Rock went away and followed it through to the the current and probably last seventh season. Amy Poehler and Aubrey Plaza make this for me. I find some of the comedy really uncomfortable – the “Gary/Jerry” character especially – although in the last season I think the show has tried to make amends for making him the butt of every joke.
- Episodes, I love the UK/US divide of this show and the relationship between Tamsin Greig and Kathleen Rose Perkins – even though it wouldn’t pass the Bechdel test.
- Community, it’s still funny but it’s starting to become worrying how these people are incapable of moving on from their attachment to this eccentric community college.
Still on the list of shows I am watching but ones I don’t actually rate are:
- Greys Anatomy, I have been watching this show for so long and at time it has been one of my favourites but in its eleventh season now it’s lost all the characters I cared about and seems a vague shadow of itself. It amazes me to see it in at 15 in the ratings. It has had some incredible moments though so I guess I’m still hoping it can pull it out of the bag.
- New Girl, I’m not even sure why I like this show. It’s not because of Zooey Deschanel although she’s competent enough at this “adorkable” thing the show is marketing. It’s mainly the assemble cast I enjoy.
That turns out to be a list of nine so to tag this with a top ten I’ll add Suburgatory which only recently got killed off and had some brilliant character parts – most notably from Carly Chaikin and Cheryl Hines as Dalia and Dallas Royce who made this show for me.