My Tivo Season Passes April 2013

My Tivo Season Passes April 2013

I don’t always feel like I give my opinions to you enough on the shows I watch. I figured one way to do that was to go through the Season Passes on my Tivo, and just give you a comment on some of them.

For those of you who don’t know, you can ask Tivo to record a series for you, rather than an individual episode. That does make things easier, and there are several options: you can tell it how many episodes to keep at a time, for example, and whether or not to record reruns.

Here are a few of the key ones I actually watch: ๐Ÿ˜‰

Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites

I take credit for having predicted the success of Survivor before the first episode was broadcast in the USA. I used to like it better in the earlier season, when it was so dependent on strength (there were more intellectual challenges back then). However, I still watch every episode. I typically watch them live, but we do record it just in case. How would I do on Survivor? Well, being a vegetarian would be quite difficult. They did have somebody who said that they were a vegetarian in an earlier season, but then ate a “worm”, which isn’t how I define it. I still think it’s worth watching

King of the Nerds

This one isn’t still currently running, but I did enjoy the first season. The challenges were fun, although some of the people were (perhaps not surprisingly) a bit irritating.


It’s gotten a bit big and epic for me…I like it best when they sing, and could do without some of the soap opera-style plots.


Not crazy about it…my SO likes it more.

So You Think You Can Dance

We do like this. ๐Ÿ™‚ My Significant Other and I disagree about who was best, Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly. For me, Gene Kelly always struck me as a superbly trained athlete with an artistic sense. Astaire was just magic. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It seemed like you could train and train and train and dance something Gene Kelly had danced…but that you couldn’t possibly do what Astaire did.


There are times when this is great and geeky fun…and then they can get too serious. I do love the pop culture references, and when Gus and Shawn are just being goofy. When Shawn was vengeful about his father being shot, well, that just didn’t work for me.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

I watch a lot of news, but I’m amazed when Jon Stewart and his writers have the best insight (and often the best clips). I also love that he has so many authors on the show. I like John Oliver (and think he has the best chemistry with Stewart, the latter of whom is quite generous with his staff), and will look forward to him hosting this summer.

Cake Boss

My SO and I watch a lot of cooking shows, especially competition shows. However, even if you don’t like cooking, you might like this. Buddy is just such a great character, and the cakes they make are truly “awesome”, as Buddy would say.


I watch it, but I’m not riveted. I can go for really silly series, or really serious ones, but this seems a bit stuck in the middle. I can’t buy the characters, but the behavior can be really cruel.


Quite simply, this may be the best show on television (and that’s saying a lot, with television as good as it is). It’s a raunchy (really raunchy) spy satire…silly, pushing the envelope, and well-written. There are a lot of people who won’t like it, and I’d be surprised if it ย isn’t regularly condemned by somebody. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Big Brother

Not back on until the summer (June 26th), but I get into this every year. Unlike Survivor, it hasn’t become all about the pretty people, or all about physicality. Is it lowbrow? Absolutely. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Walking Dead

This season has been great! This will be one of TV’s legendary shows. I didn’t like it that much the first season…I thought the characters, particularly Rick Grimes, were too simple. Well, that has changed, and every show has emotionally moving moments, mixed with appropriate action and twists and turns. I think next year they may have to gives us some more intimate, small-set pieces…it’s in danger of getting “topititis”, that condition where a show tries to top itself every week, and ends up sailing out of a connection with the audience.

Face Off

One of the coolest competition shows on TV. These are make-up artists, but of the full on, Rick Baker/John Chambers variety. The finale this season was remarkable: I had no idea how the makeups stayed together! I used to do some fantasy make-ups in the theatre, but nothing to that extent. It just finished up the current season, should be back on in the summer.

The Glee Project

A competition show for who gets a guest spot on Glee. A former actor myself, I found this a lot more interesting than I expected. While it is a reality show, the stakes are real…and decisions are made on what the best choice is, not the best television for this week.

Teen Wolf

I won’t say I’ve seen every episode, but this was a lot better than I expected. It’s a bit mythology heavy, but the acting has been fun, especially the Stiles character. Returns in June. It was quite a feat to turn the silly Michael J. Fox movie into this…sure, it’s melodrama, but well-done melodrama.

Finding Bigfoot

Every episode, every week. ๐Ÿ™‚


Ryan Cartwight’s performance as Gary Bell is astonishingly good. Not only is he realistically autistic (and able to portray genuine emotions, which can be difficult with that condition), I had no idea he was British! I’m usually quite good at picking up accents, and yes, the British have gotten to be good at American accents, but I can often pick up a trace…nothing here. Again, the show can get too heavily into mythology, but I enjoy it.


It can be wonderfully geeky, and Bones and Booth are strong central characters surrounded by a great supporting cast. My SO is more into the ongoing story of it, and I don’t mind if I miss an ep, but I do think it’s a good show.

Burn Notice

Bruce Campbell! There’s more to the show than that, but isn’t that enough? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’d still like to see John Saxon as Sam Axe’s father…returns June 6th.

American Ninja Warrior

I watched the original Japanese version of this as well, and they now have it down where the American one is also worth seeing. It’s reality competition against the world’s toughest obstacle course. You have to be fine with almost no one ever winning to love this show…that’s not typical with most shows designed for Americans, but regardless, you might be caught up in the athletics.

Doctor Who

Well, you know, it is bigger on the inside. ๐Ÿ˜‰ While my first Doctor was Tom Baker, I like Matt Smith. I think The Girl Who Waited is one of the best episodes of any TV series. At this point, I’m not a fan of Clara…she’s more of a gimmick than a character for me, and not at all as interesting as the Ponds. I’m hoping that may change.


Having written a contemporary Holmes myself (mine is a parody), I am finding that I like this one. Playing Holmes as a “damaged detective” does work for me. Just stay away from building a mythos, please. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Following

It wants to be a lot smarter than it is, but I am watching this. Part of that is Valorie Curry’s performance, which is magnetic.

American Idol

Gee, am I still recording this? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I don’t watch it regularly, and I used to be really into it. One season, I think I predicted the last ten…in order. Now, well, I think the judging is part of it…when Simon was fresh, it made the show better. Also, I feel less like an unusual singer has a real chance here.

Robot Combat League

It took a little while, but I am hooked. Giant robots? A single mother who plays Wonder Woman on the street and named her kid Justice Lee after the Justice League? Pools of hydraulic fluid and burning robots? Robots being literally cut in half by their opponents? For me to get into it, the fighters had to be able to improve by learning skills, and that’s happened.

Bates Motel

There have been good shows based on movies before (M*A*S*H, for one), and this one faced a particularly steep challenge. It’s fascinating, though. It is harsh: it’s going to be too horrific for many, but Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore have great chemistry.

Monsters and Mysteries in America

This is a new show for me, and I haven’t seen it enough yet to really judge it. With this kind of show, the question is going to be what makes it stand out? It’s a bit risky to launch a show like this now without a recurring cast…people invest in individuals.

Let’s see…with zooming through commercials, that probably still adds up to twenty hours of television or so a week. Where do I find the time? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in theย The Measured Circle blog.

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