Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Proud Member of the Robot Skeleton Army

So what, you ask, have I been watching these last few weeks if I haven't really been watching hockey? Well, there are a couple of answers to that question, but I'll get the big one out of the way first. I've been watching pretty much all the Craig Ferguson I've been able to get my hands on.

Back when the Late Night Wars were going on with Conan and Leno, I watched everything regularly for the first time in years, and while I was mostly on Conan's side there, I came away from those couple of weeks thinking that Craig Ferguson was the smartest, funniest, most endearing guy in late night. Even after that, it took a while for him to really take hold though. It was during the last few weeks of the college semester and the long, late nights of studying when I fell in love with him and while I try not to stay up as late now (emphasis on try), I did add him to the DVR and usually have a Craig-a-palooza at some point on the weekend.

His show is just wonderful. Ferguson has a super easy-going and likable presence and he's a really interesting and entertaining mix of sincere and irreverent. (He's also good-looking. And speaks in a Scottish accent.) I'm currently reading his autobiography, "American on Purpose," and so far it's been a good read. He seems like a thoughtful guy with some hard-earned wisdom. Success didn't come early or quickly and he has a good perspective on himself and what he does. Somehow he's able to speak sincerely and beautifully about things like the privilege of voting and the good in America one night and then turn around and use a cranky alligator puppet to host an entire show another night. And he makes both work.

If you've never watched Craig Ferguson, I beg you to give him a try. It's an easy and comfortable hour of TV, and I always feel happy when it's done. Which reminds me, one of my very favorite things about the show is the theme song which is one of the best things on TV period. I never, ever fast forward through it and I sing along every time, much to Mark's chagrin, I think. And he sings it himself! And I think he co-wrote it! Come on, if this doesn't make you smile, well, you have no soul.

While we're talking about TV, I've also been cranking through Simon & Simon, courtesy of Netflix on Wii which might be one of the greatest things ever created. Simon & Simon is an old favorite - I had a mad crush on Gerald McRaney's Rick and named my dog after his TV dog, Marlowe - and I've actually been looking at buying the DVDs so imagine my pleasure upon discovering that all 8 glorious seasons were available to stream right into my home. When I broke my ankle a couple years ago, I discovered the joy of sitting down and watching an entire season or series at one time (at the time I caught up on Battlestar Galactica), and now that there's not much new TV and no hockey, I'm hoping to tackle some shows I've been meaning to get around to. This is not the final list but I'm thinking Sports Night, Burn Notice, and The West Wing for sure. If anyone has any other recommendations feel free to share please!


joe said...

Totally on Conan's side. The interview that Leno had with Oprah was a complete shame. You should youtube it. Leno's worst quote came when he said (Paraphrasing) that Conan was destroying the Tonight Show, yet, when Leno was given the show, he was getting his teeth kicked in for 3 years until Hugh Grant came on his show.

Only thing I will say that Conan did wrong was that he ignored the older demographic that comes with the 1130pm time slot. He had to be more diverse and having the masterbating bear on isn't going to be funny to people in their 40's.

Conan has the younger audience, but the older audience likes Jay more and at the same time, I'm sure Jay has more younger people who like him than Conan has people in their 40's and 50's digging his style. OK, rant over and I'm sorry I didn't speak on half of your post.

I'll give Craig Fergie a shot. He's gotta be a lot better than Jimmy Fallon, who is quite possible the world's most unfuniest person ever.

Anne M said...

I love Craig Ferguson and I hope he has that 12:30 slot forever and ever. His humor would not work in the 11:30 slot and I would hate for him to move because he would either fail or change too much. I think that was at least part of Conan's problem--he could have used a little more time to figure out the right balance between his 12:30 wackiness and 11:30 sensibilities. The whole thing was such a disaster and NBC bears about 90% of the blame. Leno creeps me out for some reason, so I'll put the rest of the blame on him because of that. I think things will work out okay for Conan on TBS, though.

I LOVE Sports Night. I should Netflix that; I enjoyed that show so much. How about NewsRadio? Kind of similar sensibility to Sports Night. I almost can't stand to watch NewsRadio now; it was so hilarious and it still breaks my heart a little to think about Phil Hartman.

I totally thought your dog was named after Philip Marlowe in the Raymond Chandler novels! I wonder if that's the source for Rick's dog.

Heather B. said...

Joe, I didn't care THAT much have not really watched much of Leno or Conan, but I was more on Conan's side. Leno probably would have done better to just keep his mouth shut rather than to repeatedly say he was jerked around to. He ended up with the show he wanted which makes him the winner in the end, I think.

Anne, I agree that Craig fits just right in the time slot he's in. The laid back, we're-making-this-up-as-we-go feel is wouldn't work as well anywhere else.

I loved NewsRadio, but I'm not sure I've seen it all. That's not a bad idea.

I've always assumed the TV Marlowe was named after Philip. Kind of a tip of the hat from a show about private investigators to Raymond Chandler. That would make sense at least! But yeah, I'm not that high brow. :P

Ebscer said...

Agreed, Craig Ferguson is by far the best on late night...

If you are looking for tv series to watch may I recommend http://www.hulu.com/kings

brian s. said...

For TV series, I was drawn into Warehouse 13 last year and am looking forward to that starting up again soon. Also, even though it got cancelled, Flash Forward was pretty awesome. I don't watch much TV and those have been the only 2 shows in the past few years I've felt the need to actively seek out.

Ebscer said...

Warehouse 13 is good as well