Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
August 5, 2020

Delve into the lives of television characters

By RACHEL WITKIN | March 13, 2014

I'm the type of person who has an incessant need to know about anything and everything that’s happening in the world. I constantly read the news and listen to new music releases and attempt to stay as up to date on pop culture as possible. This means that I also try to watch as much T.V. as I can. When I tell people that I’m currently watching 13 shows/week with 19 total shows that I watch throughout the year (not counting Netflix or shows I’m trying to catch up on) they’re usually shocked. I promise that I have a life outside of watching T.V. (well, most of the time).

I watch so much T.V. because I love getting immersed in the lives of these characters — many whom I’ve followed for years. My favorite shows are the ones that I get emotional over where the shows seem so real that I almost think it’s real life. That’s mostly why my list doesn’t include many supernatural shows because it’s hard for me to get very involved in shows that stray too far from real life.

Here’s a review of some of the shows that I think you should’ve watched this week, some of which I’d argue are the best on T.V., and some that I really should stop watching but I can’t:

 

Dramas you should have been watching already:

Grey’s Anatomy: It’s on its 10th season, and it’s still going pretty strong (though nothing can beat the good old days of Addison and McSteamy). There hasn’t been any insane drama lately, which is a relief, and the core cast is still mostly intact. Grey’s is so great because of the hilarious banter among the characters, patients, whose characters are always developed well, and intense romantic relationships that we either root for or hate. I’m particularly into the most recent storyline, which finally addresses the fact that all of these surgeons should probably not have been dating their interns.

Scandal: Shonda Rhimes’ (the same genius who produces Grey’s Anatomy) latest masterpiece has gotten pretty ridiculous lately, but let’s be real, that’s what makes it good. I’m into this show for more of Rhimes’ witty banter, the intense political scene, and for Mellie Grant, who is probably my favorite First Lady ever. I am not one of the diehard “Olitz” fans because this “leader of the free world” is a terrible person and does not deserve someone as fantastic as Olivia. For people who haven’t started Scandal, this is a great show to binge-watch. I watched the first two seasons in one week this summer.

Parenthood: If you’re into sobbing during T.V. like I am, then you will love this. This is a show about real people, experiencing everyday problems and emotions. Pretty much anyone, even if you don’t have a big, crazy, annoying, supportive family can relate to what the characters go through on this show. The entire cast is great and the characters have really developed over the past few years. If you don’t get emotional at least once during each episode, then you don’t have a soul.

Reign: It’s only on its first season, but it was already renewed for a second one, so it’s going to be around for a while. If you like attractive actors (which The CW always does so well), 1500s French court drama, fantastic outfits and hair, a little bit of the occult and randomly appropriate indie music, then this show is for you.

I like that this show is centered almost entirely on its strong, confident women. However, it’s going to have to continue to have creative plots to keep me interested.

 

Comedies (these don’t even take too long to watch!):

Parks & Recreation: This is, for sure, one of the funniest shows on television. The dynamic among the characters will never get old, and the writers will continue to come up with great moments, such as when Ron Swanson described his iPod as an “excellent rectangle,” or the notion of a pizza with crust stuffed with pizza whose crust is made of chocolate. To be honest, last week’s episode fell a little flat for me. I don’t want Leslie Knope to be stuck in Pawnee forever, but for the show to keep running, she has to be, which makes me wonder how much longer this show can last.

How I Met Your Mother: I’m still watching just to find out exactly what happens with the mother, but the first few seasons were way better than the current one. Though there were a few shining moments this season, I’ve spent the entire time waiting for it to finally end. I also binge-watched the entire show this summer so it’s doable.

Girls: This probably qualifies more as a dramedy. It may be about a bunch of white privileged girls living in New York, and sometimes I hate all of the characters. On the other hand, I also think that they could be my best friends, and this could totally be my life in New York once I graduate and become a poor writer. Sometimes, I watch this show and unexpectedly start talking like Shosh.

New Girl: The cast has always been great, but I sometimes get a little bored with this show. The characters can feel too exaggerated, as if the writers are working too hard to be funny. The first season is definitely worth watching though, and Zoeey Deschanel will always be quirky and adorable if you’re into that.

 

ABC Family Shows (that I’m totally not embarrassed to say that I watch):

Pretty Little Liars: Recently, there have been far too many plot twists, and we are never going to find out who “A” is. However, the outfits are all so great, and I thoroughly enjoyed the black and white episode a few weeks ago that really played to the show’s cinematic strengths. It brought me back to some of my favorite Humphrey Bogart movies.

The Fosters: You will not regret starting this show; it has one of the most diverse casts on T.V., and it’s badass enough to center on a biracial foster family with gay parents. Plus, it tackles tricky issues such as the emergency contraception drug, Plan B, and illegal immigration. The Fosters gives you what ABC Family does best: dealing with trivial teenage issues alongside serious issues. This is also a show that will make you cry.

 

Shows you shouldn’t watch but that I have thoughts on anyways:

Revenge: It was fantastic in its first season, but it’s all gone downhill from then. I honestly dislike all of the characters now and want bad things to happen to all of them except for Nolan. Of course, keep in mind that I’ll continue watching to figure out if Emily ever gets her revenge.

Star-Crossed: There have only been four episodes so far, and I have to admit that I’m not caught up. It’s a show about attractive humans who have to deal with even more attractive aliens, and there’s a Romeo-Juliet-esque relationship. There’s probably going to be a war, too, and I’m just not sure if it’s worth spending any time on.

 

What I watch while I do my homework:

The Voice: Watch this for the amazing dynamics among the coaches. They’re all hilarious, and I will forever be in love with Adam Levine.

 

Shows I watch that aren’t airing right now:

Mad Men, Downton Abbey, The Newsroom, Veep, Masters of Sex and unfortunately, The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I also watch House of Cards and Orange is the New Black on Netflix and am on the first season of The Good Wife.

 

If you think this is excessive, just realize that this is nothing. I learned everything I know about T.V. by consuming an excessive amount of media from my friend. She’s currently watching 18 shows/week, and she watches a grand total of 51 shows throughout the year. My goal in life is to make it to her level.

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