The winter season used to be a giant void of good television. There was nothing from October through March that was worth watching, save a few HBO shows here or there. Well folks, the times are a-changin’. There is some legit good TV as well as some really great guilty indulgences that grace the airwaves in the offseason. Long gone are the days of pining for the return of Game of Thrones to fill the emptiness consuming my DVR, because my life has been enriched with what are objectively the best shows on right now:
1. Better Call Saul – It seems that people either are die-hard fans of Breaking Bad (count me among them) or they suffered through the heartache that comes with that series just because the storyline and character development had sucked them in and they were too invested to quit. Better Call Saul has only been on for a few weeks but has already proved itself worthy of pleasing both parties. BCS follows the story of Bob Odenkirk’s character on Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman, in his life before it was destroyed by Walter White (Bryan Cranston). Vince Gilligan is back to direct the series, and it’s already so extremely satisfying to see how similar the show is to Breaking Bad in its tone and direction. The series seems to be much less intense and painful to watch (i.e. no one has had to wear the horrible prosthetic black eye yet), and paced much more slowly. Suffice to say, I am a huge fan already. I saw an interview a while back where Bob Odenkirk expressed how there is no way he could ever carry a show on his own, that he’s just not engaging enough or talented enough. His humility was endearing, but he could not be more wrong.
2. Vanderpump Rules – VR is my #1 guilty pleasure show of all time. Lauren and I discuss VR as if we’re discussing our own friends, but way more judgmentally as they do ridiculous things that invite the most indulgent fandom ever. The show is a spinoff of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, following RHoBH star and restauranteur Lisa Vanderpump’s bar staff at her restaurant Sur. The premise sounds boring as hell, but the characters are so ridiculous and dramatic that it makes for a super fun watch. A lot of reality shows seem slightly scripted or at least the stars seem nudged into certain roles or storylines, but VR does not seem to need any help with the crazy shit these people do and are willing to do in front of the camera. Give it a couple of episodes and see if you can stop. You can’t.
3. The Mindy Project – If you don’t love Mindy Kaling as much as I do, we probably can’t be friends. Or you live under a rock, which means we probably can’t be friends for other reasons. She is one fierce, talented, hilarious human and is a great leading lady. A former writer for The Office and current writer of her own show, she has seriously honed the art of writing to an actor’s strengths. The jokes can be somewhat cheesy on this show, but they are always delivered so well that you’ll laugh along anyway. Brian was not a fan of the show when it first started, but now watches it with me and laughs as hard as I do.
4. Dance Moms – My name is Jill and I am a huge fan of Dance Moms. There, it’s out. I’ve gone public with this humiliating secret. It’s one show that I look forward to each week and feel totally bad about it, but not bad enough to stop watching. The show has been on for like 4 years already, and it just keeps getting better (or worse if you’re a decent person). The series follows a group of competitive dancers who are all around age 10-12, but more importantly it focuses on their mothers. These moms are crazy dramatic, their dance teacher is a horrible person in every way, and it makes for great TV. Between watching awesome choreography and talented kiddos on stage and following the constant mama drama behind the scenes, it’s worth the embarrassment of being a fan.
5. Cutthroat Kitchen – Alton Brown is the man, amiright? Well, now he has his own show and it’s awesome. Cutthroat Kitchen is a show that Brian and I always watch together and we each get really upset if the other one even suggests watching it while the other one isn’t there. Airing weekly on the Food Network, CK is a cooking competition show hosted by Alton Brown that allows the chef contestants to pay money to sabotage each other while they cook. The sabotages are hilarious and range in cruelty, from forcing chefs to swap all their ingredients for random things to forcing chefs to fashion all their cooking utensils and apparatuses out of aluminum foil. It’s a sadistically good time.
Alright folks, today I have a snow day and am off of work! All this talk makes me want to go marathon everything on my DVR.