Television stuff I like to watch

I saw the “Three Worst TV Shows” thread and figured there were so -many- of them that I couldn’t begin to pick just three. So I decided to list stuff that I like to watch and why, and under what conditions.

Family Guy - In small doses. I like satire, since my second focus of study, after folklore, was Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope.

Swift and Pope both used a form of satire called “hyperbole,” which means to blow things out of proportion to make a point. For example, in “A Modest Proposal,” Swift starts off suggesting that Irish babies be bought by the English for food. Once that shocked people into having a cat, he then listed his real suggestions for helping the Irish, which were all decent and thoughtful. The idea is to shock people into seeing their prejudices in stark color, bringing them out of “respectable” thinking, and forcing them to see the ugliness in their own minds.

Family Guy does that, but unfortunately the satirical message gets lost in fornication, perversion, and unnecessary violence.

South Park - Now this show I can appreciate because, while it also uses a ton of hyperbole, most of the shows I’ve seen have a point where the main characters come and spell out the moral, and you’re surprised to realize that it actually is moral. For example, the episode “The Jeffersons” tackled both the belief that white cops go out of their way to plant evidence to convict rich black men (OJ Simpson anyone?) and the fact that parents, once they have children, must be willing to take responsibility for raising their kids, not trying to be a “friend” to them, but by being responsible adults. Again, the satire is designed to shock, in order to get you to think beyond your own prejudices. Unlike Family Guy, though, almost every episode has a moral to it, and you can see genuine positive emotions and friendships between some of the characters. …but I’d never let my kids watch it alone, and not until they were teenagers at any rate.

Transformers - Good old fashioned goofy 1980’s goodness. When cartoons could be corny and fun, when good guys were good and bad guys were cowards. The story line focused almost exclusively on character development, rather than on a plot with little characterization, so you got a good feel for the people in the story. Even if they were giant robots. When the FCC meant business and the Comic’s Code Authorites would shun anything that didn’t have a happy ending, and had too many blood splatters, and had bad guys actually trying to hurt the good guys…

Batman - Campy 1960’s goofiness, combined with a passion for science and technology. Unlike our beloved Dark Knight, this Batman was a kind soul, with a thoughtful mind and a scientific bend that encouraged kids to learn more about their world. He was there for the cops, to help and guide them, and to help them out when they were limited. But he never broke his own code of justice. And the Holy… lines were corny goodness.


Gundam Wing - a story about giant robots, a war, the need for peace, the desire to do good for God (two of the main characters are very Christian - Duo Maxwell having originally been raised to be a priest, and Relena Peacecraft, who’s denomination isn’t mentioned, but who believes firmly in non-violence and in the justice that God offers), the desire to be more than someone’s robot, etc. It’s an excellent story, and it deals heavily in morals. Right and wrong aren’t easily spelled out, but by the end you figure it out. Plus, I love anime.

The Sentinel - the Odd Couple with some quasi-native magic, some weird super-powers supposedly inherent in human beings, interesting cop cases, and rallying around the police department. Unfortunately the sexual innuendo is too evident, but at least it was toned down enough that there was no simulated sex in the show at any point. I have a thing for cop shows, so…

CSI - the Las Vegas one. Limited exposure. I usually fast forward my DVD to get past the personal stuff, to be honest, because I’m fascinated to see forensics at work. Although, I do like the characters. I think they do the wrong things a lot of the time, and it disturbes me that Gil Grisom is a former Catholic who seems to have Buddhist leanings now (though he does outright profess a belief in God, which means he doesn’t hold with all Buddhist beliefs). I’m not able to get emotionally attached to the individual characters. I just like seeing the science at work. I don’t watch the other two CSI shows because I get all the forensics I need from the Las Vegas one, and I don’t care about the characters. I’m a weird person.

COPS - My father’s a retired cop, so I feel a sort of connection to these people, since he used to do exactly what they do every day. I like being able to appreciate their hard work. I also have a disdaine that I know I shouldn’t, for people who get caught and arrested when they’re obviously doing something wrong. I like seeing some justice meted out to them in this life. Not that I want them to be physically hurt or anything. I just like seeing that sometimes evil is put in its place here on Earth.

Forensic Files - on TRU TV. Like CSI, it’s a forensics show, but this is about true- life mysteries that are solved through forensic evidence. Unlike CSI, there’s no soap opera background to take away from seeing how the science works in solving a crime. I especially like when scientists can go back and open cold cases, and solve them. I like that justice gets done for people who suffered and thought they’d never find any kind of resolution.


Archy Bunker - Everybody was supposed to look at Archy as a “lovable bigot.” Everything he did or said was wrong, but you still liked him. And his nemisis, Meat Head, who was a young, urban, atheist, hippy love child was supposed to be the modern culture fighting against Archy’s tyranical abuses. I never see that. I see Archy as holding on to traditional beliefs but not understanding the world that’s changing around him. Yes, he was bigoted, but so was Meat Head, against the older generation that believed in, well, all the things that Archy believed in. I disapprove of his attitude toward blacks and Hispanics, I approve of his patriotic feelings, and as a target shooter, I like his gun stance. I feel sometimes like Archy stuck in the middle of things that don’t jive with what I would like. So, I like this show.

Highway to Heaven - okay, so they got the idea wrong about ghosts vs. resurrected bodies vs. angels. The story was good and it moved me. I liked Michael Landon in any role. Beat the pants off of Touched By an Angel, too, because it wasn’t sappy sentimental and it wasn’t excessively preachy, to the point of being trite.

Well. That’s all I can think of. As you can see, I’m not a big TV fan. But there are so many shows I think are disgusting or rotten or have -no- redeeming value out there, that this was the shorter list. I don’t expect anyone will agree with me on the South Park / Family Guy thing, and I don’t blame any of you. I’ve got a different mindset because I tend to over-analyze things from a literary perspective, so I see some value in things that, really, 99% of all sane humans would see as icky. (That would be all of you, not the producers or directors or writers of the shows.)

I hope that didn’t come off as boastful or prideful! :eek: I’m actually embarassed about it - the fact that I analyze almost all TV or novels that I watch/read. Most people don’t. They read a good book and enjoy it, then forget about it for a while. I read the same book three or four times in a row, once for entertainment, the rest to analyze, and sometimes I feel like a freak. :o

I just didn’t want to come off as snotty. It’s hard sometimes not to when you’re writing, since emotion can be hard to convey in the written word.

So… hope I’ve entertained someone anyway.

Interestingly, I liked Gundam SEED because of its take on what would happen if genetic manipulation would become widespread. It would produce people like Rau Le Crueset.

I like some of your choices.

Shows like Family Guy aren’t intended to portray the real world, but in the person of Peter’s bigoted Catholic father, instead of taking offense I think we ought to learn something: this is how much of the country sees Catholics, and not without reason. We can’t win hearts and souls with angry, finger wagging judgementalism.

I like a lot of anime, thought ‘Full metal Alchemist’ was great: the relationship between the two brothers was touching and very real [in an emotional sense, of course]. Cowboy Beebop, Trigun, Inuyasha, Ghost in the Shell: I think I’ve seen every episode of those.

Someone in that other thread hated ‘The Simpsons’, which mystifies me: here you have a family where the parents are still married and actually seem to love each other, attend church, never cheat on each other. They are probably as good a model of family life as you’ll find on American tv.

I love the CTV series ‘Corner Gas’, as good a comedy as you’ll find, and Scrubs-- sorry it’s going away. Other than that, very little mainstream contemporary progaming holds my attention.

I loved Buffy and Angel, which did not uphold Catholic sexual teaching but at least acknowledged some fundamental truths about human existence-- the reality of evil and the necessity of fighting it, the value of the soul etc.: you didn’t get that on the Brady Bunch.

I like the X Files for much the same reason: at least it was open to the idea that there was something more to life.

I don’t like to be lectured, though. I couldn’t bear Seventh Heaven, can’t stand EWTN’s childrens programing; and on the opposite end of the scale, never saw more than a few minutes of Will & Grace.

I watch television for 2 reasons: to be informed, and/or to be entertained. I don’t like it when either one comes with an agenda.

WKRP in Cincinnati – One of my absolute favourites of all time. Hilarious characters and situations, not smarmy or preachy, but still clean. Even the nastiest character – Herb – had his redeeming moments. And Arthur Carlson: although he was more or less incompetent as a manager, often didn’t know his head from a hole in the ground, and was easily bullied, when it came to moral issues, he suddenly became all-backbone. Plus, as a lad at the time, I had the major hots for Bailey. :thumbsup:

MASH* – I liked the first couple of seasons (the ones with Henry and Trapper John) before it became the Alan Alda Anti-War Show. Altho’ I did like Potter as CO, I found BJ and Charles actually annoying.

Happy Days – The show that spawned the phrase “Jump the Shark”. I liked the early seasons, when it was more “slice of life” and before Fonzie became the breakout character.

America’s Funniest Home Videos – from the Bob Saget days. He did very funny voiceovers. Although Tom Bergeron is a good narrator (with a very different style), I don’t like the fact that the new series seems to show a lot more mean-spirited videos – especially of kids getting hurt, which I have never found funny.

Barney Miller – another favourite comedy. My two favourite characters were Nick and Inspector Luger. I spoke once with a girl whose father was in the Toronto police; I asked her did he find any police shows realistic, and she said Barney Miller came the closest.

The Carol Burnett Show – The best variety show, IMHO. The best bits involved Tim Conway breaking up the rest of the cast – something he seemed to be unable to do very well with Vicki Lawrence.

ReBoot – Canadian 3-D computer-generated cartoon. Really liked it, especially when they did spoofs, like of Star Trek and The Prisoner. Too bad the series got canned before it was finished.

The Hilarious House of Frightenstein – Starring Billy Van, Billy Van, Billy Van, etc etc. Kids show ostensibly about an exiled vampire trying to animate a Frankenstein monster so he could go back to Transylvania. Interspersed with this were Bwana Clyde Batty (who showed wildlife pics), The Librarian (who tried to scare you by reading nursery rhymes), Griselda the Ghastly Gourmet, Dr Pet Vet (who brought different pet animals in and talked about them), and Prof. Julius Sumner Miller, a real scientist who did physics experiments. Each of these inserts was introduced by Vincent Price, who recited a funny poem about the host of the next segment. So it was educational as well as silly.

The Party Game – I loved this as a kid. A charades show from the seventies, where the “home team” (Billy Van, Jack Duffy, and Dinah Christie – my first TV crush) played against a visiting team made up of local (southern Ontario) celebrities. Usually ended up showing off Bailly Van’s madcap humour, especially when Ted Ziegler was on the visiting team. Sometimes ended with Dinah breaking out her guitar and singing. Apparently, most of the tapes were destroyed by the station. :mad:

General knowledge game shows, like Jeopardy!, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?, Reach for the Top, etc. I watch them, and wish I could be on them – I usually do pretty well. I’d prefer to be on the American version – the questions seem (to me) to be more obscure in the Canadian edition.
I used to watch a lot of police procedurals – the Law & Order franchise, Criminal Minds, the CSIs, etc. Now the only one I watch with any regularity is NCIS.

Doctor Who – Love the show. Too bad they lost Billie Piper. Can’t wait till the next season is shown here in Canada – I’m having a devil of a time trying to find it.

“Headlines” segment of Leno – About the only part of that show I ever watch, Monday nights I phone my dad (who lives in another province) and we watch it “together”.

Oh, and Babylon 5. Best Sci-Fi ever. I’d love to see what JMS would do with Star Trek. :eek:

Well pretty much all I’ve been watching is anime but I guess it would be polite if I listed some non-anime titles first.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. - Yes I know very well that sitcoms like this aren’t exactly pleasing to the Catholic eye… but I still find it so doggone funny. I haven’t watched the whole show entirely but as far as I’ve watched from some DVDs, but right now I find Chandler and Joey to be the most hilarious.

Numb3rs - I’ll be honest here… I hate math. With a passion. Still the way the show incorporates mathematical patterns into F.B.I. cases astounds me. Also, like most detective shows, it teaches me a little bit of how both police and criminals go about with what they do.

CSI (whichever city) - Usually the same reasons as with Numb3rs only I get to see more into the details of how a crime was committed. I could use stuff like that when I’m writing my own stories. Another thing I liked about the show is that it seems to reflect a lot problems happening in the world and how the crimes and motives behind them aren’t so far off from their real-life counterparts. I’m a person who likes to see things realistically you see…

Power Rangers (any season) - Please don’t laugh. I’m begging you all on my knees!!! I can’t help it! It was my favorite show when I was still a kid and to my shock (and to the horror of my other siblings, except my youngest brother) I still get drawn into it. It must be those Zords, I’ve always loved combining robots. Then there’s the weapons… oh and the morphing sequences… man, no matter what people say, they’re so hypnotic. :hypno:

Mr. Bean - I know it’s old but this guy still cracks me up. Honestly, is there any task on this planet that this guy cannot screw up doing?

Teen Titans - I liked the way they fused American-style humor with anime expressions and design. The storyline isn’t so bad either. It definitely inspired me to write a fanfic or two.

Ben 10 - I liked this show because Ben’s powers (or more technically the Omnitrix) are really unique. I mean a one-man alien super hero team. Sure there have been shapeshifter super heroes in the past, but they usually just transformed into something trivial like animals, elements, or items. They’re nothing like this kid. I mean each form has different abilities? Not something you’d easily see in past cartoons. Plus the show can teach you how a little responsibility can go a long way.

(Up Next - My fave anime)

Okay, now as to my fave anime shows, my mind sorta splits in two. One half is the serious viewer, the other prefers comedy (which most unfortunately, includes the fanservice variety. :banghead:)

Pokemon - This was officially the first anime I got hooked on to. The fandom that was my first step into my journey as an otaku. I’ve pretty much outgrown it but I still like the cute monster designs. Another thing is the new variations of Pokemon types. Before I thought it was impossible to find a Pokemon that was both Water-type and Thunder-type but a few years later voila! There was one. Now with Diamond and Pearl added into the mix the number of Pokemon species is starting to reach the level of a mini-animal kingdom. Finally, there’s always the good old process of EVOLUTION!!! XD

Digimon (Seasons 1-3) - I just love the way they Digivolve, plus their monsters look a lot fiercer. It gives me a nice break from the cutesy designs found in Pokemon. Another thing I love is the relationship between each Digimon and his/her partner. It can really tell you a lot about friendship and working together.

Naruto (Shippuuden included) - Okay I admit the show is a wee bit overrated but it’s still good. The action scenes are intense. The abilities of the characters are really unique to themselves yet at the same time, the variety of standard jutsus and the nature of chakra gives a feel of uniformity. Like Digimon, it tells you a lot about the value of friendship. It also however, teaches about the disease it can cure: loneliness. A lot of the characters tend to deal with their own kind of loneliness. Personally, that is a feeling I can relate to a lot.

Yu-Gi-Oh! - One reason why I like the show it’s connected to though is that it makes a nice forecaster for future cards. (:< Plus its nice seeing the cards you often use to come alive and actually act out their effects on your opponent. I also like the way it emphasizes the use of your skills only for good and not to hurt people. In case anyone asks though: Yes, I play the card game. Yes, I have my own customized deck. And yes, I actually spend time trying to improve it. What’s wrong with having a hobby? :shrug:

Death Note - Something I’m still currently watching. However, if the stuff I’ve been hearing from the show’s rabid fan girls are to be believed. I hear it’s a pretty suspenseful anime. I recommend it to everybody. The show can teach ya a lot about what it means to take judgment into your own hands and the dark consequences it brings.

Air Gear - Though I’m still watching the anime, I’ve already read the manga up to the latest chapter. I wish I could recommend it but its got huge doses of nudity and fan service. However, its got its good points as well. It focuses a lot on the value of freedom (symbolized by the Sky), and also about how its important to have your own strong wings to fly. You can say its a bit like “Hope for the Flowers” only in more graphic, realistic, and action-oriented form.

Midori Days - Again another anime with a lot of fanservice. ^^;; It’s the story about Seiji, a guy who’s hopeless with girls because of his delinquent reputation but one day ends up, having his right hand mysteriously replaced with the body of a very, very small girl named Midori. She claims to be a girl who’s had a crush on him for a long time and a lot of crazy stuff ensues. Still, it’s pretty romantic (especially around the end) and its taught me what it means to go all over to find something only to know that you’ve had it all along. :wink:

I probably have a few more I wanna give but it’d be too much so this’ll do for now. :o

Most of the shows I fandom probably aren’t against Catholic sensiblites, but the except would probably be Boston Legal. I love this show and I’m very sad to know this season…half season no less, only 13 episodes…is going to be the last. Yes, it is liberal leaning. Yes, it makes points for things that Catholics don’t believe in. But it makes people THINK which I don’t think most of the shows on TV do any more, and I do think it’s alot more balanced then people admit. Generally we’re left to make up our own minds on the issues and I have not seen a show that sparked so many around the water cooler discussions of things that MATTER in my lifetime.

It’s funny. I used to enjoy the crime drama shows (Law & Order, CSI) but ever since my daughter was born, I just don’t want to see that stuff anymore. It weirds me out. :shrug: I do enjoy Monk and Psych, though. They are more humorous and less graphic (for the most part), so I don’t get weirded out by them.

I’ve also been enjoying Lost and The Office.

I’m just watching Gok Wan’s ‘how to look good naked’, oh my dayz I forgot how much I loved it :smiley:

I always like British Sitcoms, especially from the “Golden Era” of mid to late 70s.

“Fawlty Towers”(Best TV show ever!)
“Are You Being Served"
"Some Mothers Do Have 'em”

and the latter ones
"Mr Bean"
“Keeping Up Appearences”

Of American Shows, Seinfeld comes to mind as does “The Twilight Zone” which I saw with one of my friends who kept on bringing it over on DVD.

Deathnote-- wow, I dunno. Saw every episode because it is VERY suspenseful, but unlike Full Metal, I won’t be watching it again. Quite disturbing.

Dr. Who: love that one, here in the US the newest ones are on SciFi, the year or two old are on BBCA. Hear they are getting a ‘New Who’, pity, love David Tenant. I really enjoyed Bill Piper, too: she made it look so easy, no one recognized her talent.

Love the older Britcoms. One Foot in the Grave, Blackadder-- who would have ever thought Hugh Laurie would go on to be Dr. House [pretty decent show too, come to think of it].

I really liked Still Standing, an American show about a somewhat disfunctional Catholic family. Some very talented people involved, and they treated the church much more respectfully [without preaching] than you see in most shows.

The only shows I watch with any kind of (semi-)regularity are:
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
The Colbert Report (with Stephen Colbert, naturally)

ahhh still on every sunday just as your eating the big lunch time leftovers for dinner :yup:

Wife Swap
Nanny 911

Steve Wilkos Show – The bald ex-cop who was the security guard on the Jerry Springer Show.
His show is not like Springer. Steve tries to help his guests better their lives.

Mine, in no particular order:

Corner Gas – I’ve got the first 4 seasons on DVD and don’t get tired of watching it.

Mysterious Ways – what can I say, I have a thing for Adrian Pasdar :wink: I’ve probably seen every episode 3 times.

Zoe Busiek, Wild Card – another series I’ve probably seen 3 times. This one Mysterious Ways accompany my morning coffee on Saturday & Sunday.

I will watch most British comedies: Waiting for God, Keeping Up Appearances, Fawlty Tower, Yes, Minister & Yes, Prime Minister, etc. Some I really liked I haven’t seen in years: “After Henry” with Prunella Scales and “Bless Me, Father”.

The last series I really got interested in only to have it cancelled and leaving me very p.o’ed was “Joan of Arcadia”.

I haven’t really watched any US shows regularly since Gilmore Girls and Everybody Loves Raymond went off the air. I always watch these from across the pond:

Doctor Who
Masterpiece Theater

You should not watch these shows at all. These two shows I used to watch before I became Catholic. these do not promote morality. I would know as a former South Park fan since I was in the 3rd grade and a former Family Guy fan since I was in high school. Stay away from this stuff, Their not good, their not smart and their not funny. Besides this all South Park does is really make fun of religion.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit