Watching TV: A To-Do List
by Emily Wiggins
Sometimes it will come up in conversation that I have a fairly substantial list of TV shows that I hope to watch in the near future. I’ll add to the list occasionally usually due to a reference to a TV show of the past. People have asked why I want to catch up and I then ask then why they would read books about historical events – Lincoln’s presidency, Kennedy’s assassination, or World World II – and they give me the same answer I give them ‘To learn more about how things evolved.’ Each of these shows have subtlety changed how television has been produced and that is why I want to catch up on things I’ve missed.
5 Cancelled TV Shows I Still Want To Watch:
1. The X-Files: The X-Files lasted for 9 seasons and 2 spin-off movies and is one of the best science fiction dramas to hit network television that isn’t like Star Trek.It is the definition of unsolved sexual tension between two leads (Mulder and Scully) and has been repeated on shows like Fringe, Bones, and Castle. The X- Files essentially invented banter between two romantic leads. Bonus: Vince Gilligan (a very popular writer/producer on the show) went on to create Breaking Bad.
2. The Wire: I grew up an hour outside Baltimore so I am still mad at myself that I haven’t caught up on this show. I remember going to Baltimore to go to the basilica and we walked right by filming and I didn’t realize what it was – I wasn’t super into television then. It has been 10 years since it started airing on HBO and recently the producers and actors told a writer for Maxim how they did it if you want to back. The Wire is critically acclaimed worldwide and our current President’s favorite TV show . It never won any major awards but was recognized by many for its realist portrayal of urban life and called one of the best works of fiction in the 2000s. If you ever watch one drama in your lifetime watch The Wire.
3. Freaks and Geeks: Three reasons: A) Produced by Judd Apatow (Heavyweights, 40 Year-Old Virgin, Bridesmaids) B) Directed by Paul Fieg (famed TV director, Bridesmaids) C) Starring James Franco, Jason Segel, Seth Rogen, and Busy Phillips (all super famous actors now). Paul Fieg recently did a walkthrough with The A.V. Club episode by episode that is a great read.
4. Friends: If you have never seen an episode of Friends I feel like you are missing out on something. You don’t know the absurdity of Pheobe, the smoothness of Chandler, the ‘we were on a break‘ relationship of Ross and Rachel, the utter stupidity of Joey, or the neurotic personality of Monica. You don’t know the significance of why Janice is so annoying, theugly naked guy across the street, or the Holiday Armadillo. Friends is one of those shows where I’ve seen about every episode but I want to watch it from the beginning and see the relationships grow (and don’t forget the hairstyles (the infamous Rachel haircut) and clothing choices). It is classic sitcom comedy and a reason why NBC has one of the greatest Thursday night lineups of all time.
5. Twin Peaks: Named after the fictional small town in Washington state where it takes place, Twin Peaks is a cult classic about the murder of a popular high school girl and the investigation surround it. It was an unexpected hit and defined the idea of the water cooler effect. It began an influence of makers of television to use innovative cinematography in their work instead of keeping with the standards of yesteryear. ABC moved it around too much its schedule and lost its audience and probably regretting it now as it it continually listed as one of the best TV shows to air of all time.