It’s September, which means I’m putting my DVR through it’s last chance workout getting ready for all the new television that’s getting ready to head our way. It also means it’s time for my annual 21 hr. challenge! Since 2007 I have taken each fall to cull down the cornucopia of network television to 21 broadcast hours per week. Each day this week I will run down the network schedule and identify three types of shows. In green are the shows that made the cut for me, in blue are shows I don’t mind but don’t have time for, and in red are the shows that I wouldn’t watch even if I were The Doctor and could take my Tardis back and reclaim the wasted time. At the end of the week, I will add up the total and make any final cuts needed to get under the necessary 21. I will also select one show each day as the “must”, meaning I think it’s likely to be the one show not to miss on that night.
Wednesday is a night of seemingly good shows that I just can’t get into. Criminal Minds, Law & Order, Hell’s Kitchen, and Nashville all have established audiences and Red Band Society and The Mysteries of Laura both look like new shows that could work and might find their way to my “Ketchup List” come summer. And then there’s Arrow. Man, I’m close to pulling the trigger (or should that be bowstring) on Arrow. I’ve heard enough good things to think I might enjoy it, but I feel like I would need to go back and start from season one and that’s just not an investment of time I can make in the fall. So for now we will leave that one in the quiver.
What I will be watching are three of my favorite shows on all of TV. “The Middle” is still the most underrated comedy on TV and may actually now be funnier than one of my other favorites on this night “Modern Family”, a show that is starting to be a bit overrated as it’s formula begins to show signs of age. That’s not to say it still doesn’t have moments of hilarity, just that some of it is beginning to feel a bit over written and forced. Of course, there still is nothing as wonderfully fantastic as Phil Dunphy anywhere else on TV, so I’m still in.
Let me finish with a push that if you have stopped watching Survivor, you should come back. It’s the one reality show that somehow continues to get better with age, with the past few seasons offering some of the most compelling human drama anywhere on the small screen. There is no reality competition show that gets the essence of story telling like Burnett, Probst, and the crew do, and there is no show that consistently has me on the edge of my seat like I am as Jeff is getting ready to snuff someone’s torch.
As far as the 21 hr. challenge goes it’s nice to finally get a night with only a few shows, maybe I’ve got a shot at keeping this under my limit after all!
The rest of the week:
On to the color coded breakdown of the rest of Wednesday.
ABC – The Middle
CBS – Survivor
CW – Arrow
Fox – Hell’s Kitchen
NBC – The Mysteries of Laura (New)
ABC – The Goldbergs
ABC – Modern Family
CBS – Criminal Minds
CW – The 100
Fox – Red Band Society (New)
NBC – Law & Order: SVU
ABC – Black-ish
ABC – Nashville
CBS – Stalker (New)
NBC – Chicago P.D.
Wednesday’s Total: Two half-hour comedies, One 1 hours reality, 2 hours
Overall Total: 6 hours drama, 2 hours comedy, 4 hours Reality = 12 hours