Television Taste


By: Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director

This week I was having some trouble coming up with some topics for my blog entry so I decided to ask for help from my facebook friends.  There were some terrific ideas thrown out there and they definitely helped to stimulate the thought process about what to pen for all those interested readers out there.

In the end, it was a suggestion by Grove City College SID Ryan Briggs that ultimately led to my blog topic.  Briggsy, as he is affectionately known, suggested that I write about what it is like to have grown up in the “real Jersey Shore”, playing on the name of the hit MTV show that it seems everyone except me has watched.

What Briggsy meant was to write about my hometown, Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania.  It is nowhere near New Jersey and worse yet it is hundreds of miles away from the nearest legitimate shoreline (unless you count the West Branch of the Susquehanna River).  I guess I could write the entire blog about how life in Jersey Shore is pretty much the antithesis of the fascinating lifestyle of such characters as “The Situation” and “Snookie”, but how interesting would that be?

Digital Video Recorder - The Greatest Invention Ever

Briggs’ suggestion did give me an idea for something that could be far more engaging for the 10 or so people who may end up reading this – breaking down the television shows that are watched in the Laubscher household, specifically, what is currently in our DVR and what is in our DVR schedule.  Hope you enjoy it and thanks to all those who wrote in with ideas (Jane Beall, Scott Musa, Austin Calhoun, Melissa Wiggins, Scott Harris, Dan Lunger and, of course, Briggsy).

First, the shows that are currently recording: I’m sure you can guess which ones are mine and which ones are my wife’s.  I must first state that she pretty much only watches her shows when I am not home or am engaged in other activities so I am extremely lucky for that.  And, when there’s nothing of relevance to her that is on, the remote is pretty much mine and I make full use of all the buttons.  Now, without further ado, our DVR lists:

I find there to be nothing redeeming at all about the Monday programming.  Probably because nothing can compete with ESPN’s Big Monday this time of year.  Go Villanova!

This Fox show belongs to my wife and although I’ve tried to watch, I’ve limited myself to just a couple of episodes.  It does well at the award shows and the music is pretty innovating (especially the Christmas episode where Chris Colfer sang a male-oriented version of “Baby it’s cold outside“).  However, I would say that the show lacks something for most male viewers.  Then again, Rachel talks smack about the show any time she can so I guess its lack of appeal isn’t simply gender-related.

If you’ve never watched, you may assume that Parenthood is one of Mindy’s selections, but you would be wrong.  We both love this show and NBC gets it right with this one.  It has the same great family interactions that make Friday Night Lights a tremendous watch, but it also has a terrific cast including Craig T. Nelson (Coach), Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Monica Potter, Erika Christensen and Dax Shepard.  Truthfully, what guy doesn’t like seeing Potter or Christensen too?  I feel like this will eclipse Friday Night Lights in my TIVO importance order sometime soon.

Ed O'Neill portrays a much more likeable character in Modern Family.

Modern Family

This ABC show is my favorite new comedy.  I love this show.  Good acting and writing and a good concept.  Mindy and I started watching this show this fall and loved it so much we bought the first season on DVD.  I was a little depressed when we finished the DVD because we couldn’t watch new episodes of the show any day of the week.  The beauty is that it is PG/PG-13 humor that everyone can relate to and enjoy.  Ed O’Neill does a good job of reinventing himself as something other than Al Bundy and Sofia Vergara’s voice may annoy some people, but I find it addictive in the same way that some like British accents.  She’s not bad on the eyes either, nor is Julie Bowen.  The gay couple played by Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson are hysterical as well.  If you haven’t watched it, please start!  There’s something for everyone though I must admit that I don’t really like the Manny character played by Rico Rodriguez.

Top Chef
I didn’t start watching this until I moved in with Mindy, but I’m glad she turned me onto this Bravo show.  As you may have noticed if you’ve met me, I enjoy food way too much and this show provides plenty of examples why.  It has the great elements of reality TV mixed with some good cooking challenges and some fantastic dishes.  The current season is an all-star show and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.  I started with Top Chef Masters and then moved onto Top Chef DC.  I’ve also seen Top Chef “Just Desserts” (which was not nearly as good) and so this is my fourth season of Top Chef.  If you enjoy reality TV and food, you’ll love this show.  I like Tiffany Derry and Tre Wilcox the most out of the remaining contestants this season.  I’m still wary of Angelo Sosa.  I either love him or hate him depending on the episode.

Off the Map
This is a new series that just started on ABC.  Mindy says its good but all she needed to do was tell me that it had some parallels with Grey’s Anatomy and I was immediately disinterested.  I believe it is on at 10:00 PM if you want to watch and give a scouting report in the comments section.

Grey’s Anatomy

Obviously this ABC show is all Mindy.  I’ve seen a few episodes by proxy (hazards of marriage) and it seems like there is always some sort of dating drama among the doctors.  Didn’t anyone ever tell them it might not be a good idea to date the same people you work with every day?

Private Practice
Umm, yeah.  This is another one that doesn’t really get played while I’m in the living room.  Again, I’ve casually observed pieces of a few episodes and I know that it is a Grey’s spinoff, but not much more than that.  The two episodes I saw involved a 700-pound teenager who was eating himself to death to keep his mom from molesting him and a brutal rape scene.  These were not encouraging signs for me to continue watching (that’s why the playstation is hooked up to the TV upstairs).

At least Monday has basketball games.  The only good thing about Friday programming is that it generally is a night when we watch our DVR’d programs.

Well, Saturday has never been a great day for television programming.  Thank god for sports and the occasional HBO Saturday Night Premiere that I haven’t already seen (like when they had Avatar and we were the only two people on Earth who had yet to see it).

Sunday afternoon is about one thing: Football.  When football season is over it’s about some good college basketball. Not too long ago Sunday evenings would have been packed with things like Boardwalk Empire, Entourage or The Pacific, not to mention How to Make it in America.  The HBO Sunday programming is terrific.  Too bad the shows that I enjoy watching have already ended for their seasons.   Currently, Sunday programming is just fine with Mindy as her Sunday evening selections are below.

Big Love
I tried watching this a few years back, but just couldn’t get into it.  Mindy loves it.  I had trouble with the polygamist lifestyle.  Kind of freaked me out.  I mean if you are going to mix with several women at the same time, why would you possibly want to marry them all?  Where is the fun in that?

Desperate Housewives

If Emmanuelle Chriqui is on Desperate Housewives, I'm watching!

You can guess this isn’t my choice.  Again, I’ve been in the vicinity when this has been played on the DVR and it’s not my cup of tea.  I saw enough to see all the neighbors turn on each other as things escalated into a full-scale riot because a halfway house was opening on the block.  Riveting if it had Blake Lively and Emmanuelle Chriqui as part of the lead cast, but Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman’s acting skills just don’t do it for me.  🙂

Brothers & Sisters
You guessed it, another one not ticketed for my free time though out of all the shows that Mindy enjoys exclusively, this is the one that I would be most likely to watch.  The Ally McBeal broad (Calista Flockhart) is in it, which makes it lose some appeal.  However, Forest Gump’s mom (Sally Field) is also part of the cast, which gives it some credibility.

So there’s the current DVR listing that Mindy and I funnel through each week on the HDTV in the living room.  We have another DVR that records on the non-HD playstation TV, but there’s a reason those shows are recorded in the auxiliary room.  Even Mindy has no problem calling “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and “Bethany Getting Married” trash TV.  I happily pay an extra $5 per month for those gigabyte-eaters to not live on the HD box and therefore find their way into my everyday life.

This blog is getting more like a novel every minute so I’ll spare the expanded details of the other shows scheduled to record throughout the year.  Here is a small sampling with a simple comment:

Mad Men (a Mindy fav courtesy of Rachel’s recommendation and I actually like it too even though it’s not really a joint DVR show yet)

Friday Night Lights (Easily one of our mutual favorites.  Best writing and acting on TV though the plot lines are a little far-fetched and every game ends with a successful hail mary)

Man vs. Wild (Man trash TV.  I’m coming to grips with the fact that it’s not real, but again the accent would always keep me coming back)

Project Runway (I tried to watch one episode for the models but that dude Casanova completely freaked me out)

Survivor (A Brian Laubscher staple since Richard Hatch won in 2000. The new season includes both Russell Hantz and Rob Mariano.  Going to be fun!)

The Amazing Race (I’m still surprised that I never fell in love with that show)

Boardwalk Empire (Great acting/sets/filming.  If it re-runs, watch it!)

Entourage (Starting to lose its appeal but once held the title of No. 1 favorite show.  It’s still up there in my priority list though)

Army Wives (Umm.  No comment other than the character played by Drew Fuller looks a lot like former W&L men’s basketball player Brian Ricketts)

Grill it! With Bobby Flay (Who doesn’t want to learn more recipes for the grill.  Got a killer flank steak recipe from this show)


One Response to “Television Taste”

  1. scott Says:

    Thanks for the shout out! 🙂

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