Monday, January 18, 2010

Bring on the Drama(s)!

Now that Jay Leno is moving back to being the king of late night television, there should be five prime time hours in the NBC schedule opening up for new dramas. I can't wait!

Since the Fall TV season started, and some long-running NBC dramas were cancelled, I've moved most of my drama watching to CBS and TNT. With the Leno shift change, I'm hoping for new NBC shows like the cancelled ER, a show that had strong female characters and broad appeal.

My favorite top ten, current, dramas in order are:
The Good Wife – one of the best shows I've seen in years. Great multidimensional characters.
The Closer – wonderful ensemble cast.
NCIS – Mark Harmon, Mark Harmon, Mark Harmon
Criminal Minds – despite the very dark mysteries, the ensemble cast is appealing.
Medium – long time favorite with characters to care about.
In Plain Sight – interesting female characters with unusual mysteries
Leverage – fast, fun, with quirky characters and the good guys win in the end every time.
Men of a Certain Age – despite the lack of female leads, this is a quiet charmer.
Law & Order – love the original, the theme music will hook me every time.
Burn Notice – strong female characters – and I'd watch anything with Sharon Gless in it.

I don't watch many comedies and I've never liked the over-the-top ones. Instead of laughing, I'd feel embarrassed for the one getting the pie in the face. I didn't love Lucy. I didn't love Raymond. The Golden Girls were more a pale yellow in my mind and Gilligan could keep his island. Cheers was kind of sad. I liked MASH but it was more of a drama than a comedy. I like PSYCH and MONK for the mini-mysteries. I liked Frazier for the dog, Eddie.

Maybe the reason I've always liked dramas best is that I was rewriting the endings in my mind all these years. Writing an extra joke or two doesn't do much for me, but writing a better or extended ending to a drama is something I can really get my writer's teeth into.

What are your favorites? Do you prefer dramas over comedies? Or vice versa.

A TV Addict in addition to being the Southern Half of Evelyn David


  1. Hey, Rhonda! Hubby Jim is a big fan of "Medium" and he was out a week ago Friday so I decided to watch. By myself. It scared the heck out of me and I won't be watching again! Great show. Love Patricia Arquette (and the fact that she's not a size 2) and the rest of the cast, and I wish I had a stronger stomach for the kinds of thrills this show gives you.

    I love "New Adventures of Old Christine" and now "Modern Family" which is just a complete hoot. Maggie

  2. I must be narrow minded but some of these new shows just don't strike my fancy. LAW AND ORDER and CSI's are ones I love to watch and even the reruns. I do not watch much tv as I much perfer to read but I try and take in some tv. susan L. NCIS also and love Abby in that show. susan L.

  3. I love my dramas and we watch and like the same shows, but not in the same order. My top three shows are Burn Notice, The Good Wife and The Closer with Leverage and Criminal Minds rounding out the top five.

    I haven't seen Men of A Certain Age; is it worth it to check out?

    I tried to watch the Golden Globes last night, but it became rather boring. I did see Julianna Margulies win her award.

    Another TV addict.

  4. I don't like the new comedies at all. They don't seem funny to me.

    But I do love Medium, the Mentalist (when I can stay awake to see it), NCIS, The Closer. Tired of all the Law and Orders.

    Also hooked on the reality shows.

  5. Hubby and I love NCIS, Medium, and Burn Notice...we sometimes watch The Mentalist, too, if we remember when it's on. Oh, and we seem to catch a lot of Blues hockey, too, when they're away. Although I've been ODing on hockey lately!


  6. Hi,

    Men of a Certain age is well worth giving it a try. But I think you need to sample any new show about three episodes to really get a feel for it. So many times, we aren't given enough time before the show gets moved to another time slot or cancelled. I like The Mentalist too, but never remember when it's airing. It's a show that was moved too many times - now I'm not sure it will ever establish a firm place in "my" tv lineup.


  7. I'm a fan of many of your shows, Rhonda, but I was pleased to learn that NBC is sending Law and Order back to Monday (they were trying to kill it on Friday). I love Jeremy Sisto and I hope more people will discover Law and Order again. Trauma, another new show that got the early axe (it really is one of the shows that should be on in the latest hour)has been saved by the Leno thing. They are bringing it back at least through May. It will return after the Olympics. Another show I've gotten attached to is FlashForward on ABC. It's off until March and I'm missing it. So that's my scripted drama story and I'm sticking to it!

  8. Hi Leann,

    I like the original Law & Order too. But it's not the same without "Lenny Brisco." I watch it now but that character's (and actor's) death left a big hole in the show. I never had a chance to try Trauma. I'll look for it.


  9. Hi. Hard to believe no one has mentioned Lost. My favorite show! Josh Holloway. Yum! Two more weeks until the (sob) final season.

    I also love Medium, The Closer, and The Good Wife in the drama category. No one's mentioned The Big Bang Theory, but it's a great comedy. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention Project Runway and Top Chef in the reality category. Boy, I do watch a lot of TV.

  10. Hi Barb,

    I like Project Runway a lot. Of course some of the clothes I like get panned, but watching is great fun. Makes me almost want to try my hand at sewing again. Almost. Uh, probably not.


  11. I love both comedies and dramas. Love The Middle, and I also loved Frasier and Will & Grace. Don't know what you'd call Nurse Jackie, but that's a fav, too, along with The U.S. of Tara.

    As for dramas, I love The Good Wife, Big Love, Friday Night Lights, Medium, and Desperate Housewives. And, like you, Leann, I'm looking forward to more Flash Forward!

  12. While Southland is not as great TV as The Wire or Homicide or Hillstreet Blues, it does deal with the cop on the street, procedural in nature, and I like that; like the show overall. But the best new show on TV for my money, while not strictly a mystery, is The Good Wife and it was cool to see its primary actress win the Golden Globe. Every now and again "they" get it right and TV programming is done well. I loved Band of Brothers and many another HBO series and film for this, and am looking forward to PACIFIC. I also love the X-Files replacement show -- The Frigne. I love House, despite that they plots are running thin; just like to watch for the dialogue nowadays. May perhaps be that the success of the Good Wife will give us ten O'clock dramas??

  13. I don't watch much TV anymore. But there are a few shows I still love to watch - NCIS (Mark Harmon is WOW), Bones, The Mentalist, and CSI (must admit I loved it more when William Peterson was on it). I also like Burn Notice (Bruce Campbell fan from his Adventures of Brisco County Jr days).

    Been awhile since I enjoyed any comedies on TV. Those were Home Improvement and the Bill Cosby Show.

  14. I haven't seen Southland yet. The recent promos seem compelling. If I can figure out when it airs, I'll check it out. Bones is good, but I'm a big fan of Kathy Reich's books and the tv series is nothing like them. Was very hard for me to give up my vision of "Tempe." I keep waiting for Nevada Barr's "Anna Pigeon" to hit the small screen.


  15. Oh fun topic! Apart from those dramas that have been mentions (and with a special "love ya!" to "Lost"), I'm a huge fan of Damages, Mad Men, and Dexter. Indeed, it was great to see Dexter finally get some award love last night.

    I like comedies (especially the NBC Thursday line up) too, and one of my favorite shows is an hour-long comedy: Psych.

  16. The Closer, The Mentalist, and Burn Notice are must sees for me and I can't wait for the new season to start.

    Great blog, Rhonda!