My Favorite Traditional TV Experiences Of 2019

A few years back, my wife and I decided to get rid of cable. With that, we signed up for Hulu Live or whatever it’s called so we could keep watching Jeopardy and I could enjoy football and basketball. So, we’ve got that streaming service as well as Amazon Video and Netflix. And yet, we still find ourselves watching quite a bit of traditional television. These are the weekly shows we do our best to keep up with!

Let’s start with the comedies! We’re still big sitcom fans and do our best to keep up with a whole passel of them. ABC still has a lot of our attention with shows like Single Parents, Schooled, Bless This Mess, American Housewife and Modern Family. Parents and Mess were both co-created by Elizabeth Elizabeth Meriwether who made one of my all-time favorite shows of the pas decade, New Girl. She helps bring in the deep, lovable and flawed characters that that show featured and puts them in very different scenarios (a group of single parents in L.A. and a NYC couple transplanting to the country), but with similar results in that I enjoy spending time with both groups.

Meanwhile, I think that Housewife seems to have found a few different engines that are working better than the “Katy’s just SO strong-willed” one that moved most of the other seasons along. Of all these shows, this one gets a little too arch sometimes, but I’m still in (for now). I also feel like Schooled (the Goldbergs spinoff) finally figured out what it wants to be and, now that CB is no longer pining for Laney, we’re in a better place moving forward. In an interesting turn, we actually haven’t watched Goldbergs at all this season because it felt eternally wheel-spinny last year. I’m sure we’ll go back, but not right now. And finally, I think Modern Family is one of the most consistently funny long-running sitcoms of all time and is still killing it as it rolls towards its series finale.

NBC’s also got some great comedies. We’ve been glued to Good Place as it also moves closer to its finale. I never know what this show’s going to do and I love that. It helps that creator Michael Schur, the writers and the cast are all geniuses. We also love Brooklyn Nine-Nine and can not wait for it to come back! The only new NBC series we started this year was Perfect Harmony which finds fancy pants music guy Bradley Whitford moving to the town his deceased wife grew up in and becoming their choir director. It’s got tons of heart, fun silliness and characters I enjoy spending all this time with (we caught up on the whole season in about a week).

In 2019 I also finished a re-watch of all seven seasons of The League. This is another one of my all-time favorite shows and every time I watch a group of episodes, I find myself having conversations in my head with all of the characters, which is probably not a good thing. I bring it up again this time because I realized something important about the series this time around: you’re not supposed to like these characters completely. You’re supposed to not necessarily look down on them, but see them for the bad people they really are which puts it up there with something like Mad Men in a way.

At the moment we’re looking for another hour-long action-drama to get invested in. We’ve been burned pretty bad the past two years. In 2018 we got into the (admittedly somewhat silly) magic-cop drama Deception which ultimately got cancelled. Then, last year we got into Whiskey Cavalier, a fun, sexy spy show that also got the axe. I’m not sure what it takes for a show like this to last more than one season, but I would like for that to happen and THEN we’ll start watching.

Alright, now let’s talk about reality and game shows! One of the biggest shows in our house has been Masked Singer, which is funny because the kids really get into it, even though they have NO idea who any of the celebrities are. I actually bust out my notebook and write down guesses and info, though I do think that the clue packages this past outing got WAY too obtuse and filled with lies. No more of that! My wife and I also binged the first season of Making It, the crafting/making contest series hosted by two of my favorite celebrities, Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. I just fell hard for all of the heart and creativity in this insanely positive series. Also, one of the season one contestants is from a town over from where I grew up, which is a nice bonus. Lastly, we get our trashy reality TV itch scratched still by Below Deck and the spinoff Below Deck Mediterranean. With the (I assume) cancellation of Flipping Out, these are the last Bravo shows we watch.

Finally, I won’t talk too much about it here because I already wrote about it, but I was really impressed with the crazy roller-coaster of a journey American Horror Story: 1984 took me on! It started as an amazing summer camp slasher and then skyrocketed into a world of insanity and ghosts that I just adored.

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