Two Tivos To Paradise 07.27.12: The 300th Edition of Two Tivos To Paradise!
Posted by Al Norton on 07.27.2012
From Lost and Mad Men to Community and more, Ben Affleck, Joel McHale, Katee Sackhoff, Alison Sweeney and others list their most underrated and overrated shows in the 300th column of Two Tivos to Paradise!
Hello friends. As I get older – I turn 41 this year – I realize that all the stories I have that I think take place 8 or 9 years ago are now actually 15 years old (at least), so it's not a shock that I find it hard to believe that it's been six years since I debuted Two Tivos To Paradise at 411mania.com. I got my start on the site sending questions in to Leonard Hayhurst's fantastic Ask 411 Movies column, got turned down to write a NBA column for the site's now-defunct Sports page, and then, after coming up with the name month's before hand, jumped at the chance to pitch the Powers That Be on TTTP when I saw a posting about needing new Movie/TV columnists.
If you've got a few minutes you should use the links below to pull up my first column. First off, it was pretty damn short, at least compared to the novel-like dispatches I provide weekly currently. Second, it was all over the place. IT took me a few weeks…ok, months…maybe a year or two...to find my voice, along the way accumulating a truckload of epic fails and losses of all credibility. Yet here we are, at the start of my THREE HUNDRETH column!!!!
The folks at 411mania have my eternal thanks for giving me a shot, with special shout outs to Ashish, Leonard, Larry, and Chad for helping me along the way. The roster of 411mania writers is really quite strong in their skill and diverse in their opinions, which makes being a part of the site such a joy. I have to give a special mention to Tony Farinella, a young man with a purity of heart and soul the likes of which I wasn't sure was still possible in this jaded, cynical world.
There's a group of talented individuals we like to call "Friends of TTTP", folks who have made 3 or more appearances on these pages. Aside from always offering up entertaining and insightful quotes, they also allow the column to reach a wider audience by their presence. The group includes Sally Pressman, Danielle Fishel, Katee Sackhoff, Mark Schwan, Neal Baer, Shawn Hatosy, Anne Dudek, Matt Iseman, Vik Sahay, James Marsters, Jenni Pulos, Chris Hardwick, Eddie McClintock, Keith Powell, Will Dailey, Adam Richman, Andrew Zimmern, and the King and Queen of TTTP, Joel McHale and Alison Sweeney.
I am fully aware that many of you wouldn't have become readers without the assistance of Bill Simmons, who continues to be an inspiration to me, proving that as long as the content is interesting, people will read long form pieces on the internet.
No list of thank you's from this address would be complete without mentioning the TTTP All-Stars, a group of incredibly talented men and women who work in the world of PR and without whom I would never have access to any of the wonderful television folks who have stopped by over the years. Some of them work for PR firms, others doing publicity for the networks, but they all make my job a LOT easier, and, to be honest, they all are quite lovely people. While I apologize in advance to anyone I have forgotten, we offer up thanks and praise to Carrie Simons, Amanda Ruisi, Lee Wallman, Mona Loring, Jordyn Borczon , Jenni Weinman, Page Bingham, Craig Schneider, Annie Chen, Nicole Walther, Mike Liotta, Nicole Chabot, Dominique Grignetti, Cynthia Arntzen, Lisa Goldberg, Morgan DiStefano, Megan Tantillo, Kannie Yu Lupack, Michelle Rosenblatt, Rebecca Feldbin, Michelle Rodriguez, Tanya Taylor, Lauren LaRocca, Maureen Grandos, Erica Gray, Lynn Weiss, Joy Phillips, Chad Collins, Ashley Barrett, and others.
THE TTTP Facebook community has become a HUGE part of who we are and what we do and I am thrilled so many of you have joined us there. It's not just about delivering the news as it happens; it's the way in which I get to interact with all of you and watch as you go back and forth with each other that provides me such great pleasure. It's difficult to find a place on the internet where passionate people can have healthy, civil discourse and I'm thrilled that the TTTP FB page has become just that.
I continue to be lucky to have my brother Walter in my life, for the way he challenges my opinions, laughs at my jokes, and offers his unconditional love.
Becoming a Dad has changed me in ways I never thought possible and it's also deepened my appreciation for the wonder of television as now I get to see certain shows through their eyes. The twins are an incredible inspiration to me each and every day.
Anything I have written or will write is done only because of the support and love I receive from Mrs. Tivo, who is as passionate and loyal a person as I have ever met, which makes me all the more lucky that she is also the love of my life. Thank you, Tina.
Well I have known all those things and the joy they can bring, and I'll share them with you for a cup of coffee and to wear your news.
So Bring Your Good Times And Your Laughter, Too, We're Gonna Celebrate Your Party With You
For this anniversary column we continued with our celebrity round up theme of previous years, asking folks to answer the following questions:
*What's a past-or-present show that others love but you've just never understood the appeal?
*What's a past-or-present show that you love where you're clearly in the minority?
*You can control the time-space continuum and give any show in TV history one more season; what show would it be and why?
Some gave us short answers, some went into more detail, and we thank each and every person who took part. As always, these answers were given exclusively to TTTP for use in this column.
Matt Iseman is the co-host of American Ninja Warrior on NBC as well as Style's Clean House. He was also the co-winner of the 2008 Two Tivos To Paradise TV Entertainer of the Year Award. He is such a loyal friend of TTTP that the leadoff spot in our anniversary columns is his as long as he wants it
*Hmmm… I'm torn between Mad Men & Lost. I gave both multiple tries and just couldn't buy in. Both shows had time travel, lots of smoke and some other stuff that I don't remember because I just found both so utterly boring. I salute any show that inspires the passion that both these shows have, but, sometimes I think their fans are just pretending to like the shows to be cool. But thinking that makes me feel like I'm just some pawn trapped in a parallel universe as part of an experiment. Or in the 60s.
*Well, my first thought is the show that I feel is the greatest show of all time, Friday Night Lights. As it ended up canceled, I'd say it never got the love it deserved, but, critically it was beloved.
So, I'll go with a show where I truly was in the minority in my love for it and that was Reaper, a show where parents sold their son's soul to the Devil. It was a comedy. I love Missy Peregrym and Ray Wise was awesome as Lucifer himself, but Tyler Labine created one of the funniest characters of all time with Sock.
*Well, after 300 columns, I do believe Two Tivos to Paradise has the power to alter the fabric of time. It is a great power that, based on my previous answer you'd think I would use to give me one more glimpse of Reaper or another season of Coach Taylor on Friday Night Lights or even to bring back Sports Soup (yes, selfishly, I would like another season of me). But I would request one more season of Party Down. It's a show I found on Netflix and watched 2 seasons in about 4 days… one of the funniest shows I've seen, but, it left me wondering, will Henry & Casey find true love? Gimme one more season to find out.
Alicia Logano stars as Selena on Lifetime's The Client List, which will return for its second season in 2013. She can be heard on the big screen in the animated film ParaNorman later this year.
*Smash. The chemistry seems off and I don't believe it lives up to its hype.
*Shameless. The writing is great and however outlandish it may seem, it's pulled off in a very realistic way.
*Freaks and Geeks. Great cast, great writing and was as different back then as it would be now if it was still on the air.
Jon Hein is the host of Destination America's Fast Food Mania as well as member of The Howard Stern Show on Sirius Satellite Radio. He will also go down in history as the creator of the phrase, "jump the shark."
*Glee. I have kids who like it, and I love music, but I just don't get Glee. Never did, never will, just not for me.
*The easy answer is Arrested Development. I loved that show. I think it was one of the most brilliantly written shows, way ahead of its time. It was an Emmy winner and I was shocked it just couldn't find an audience. What a shame. It always baffled me that people didn't watch.
*Two answers. First is The Twilight Zone with Rod Serling. I'd love another season with Rod Serling at the helm because that to me is some of the greatest television ever created. A more contemporary answer is The Wire. I would love to get another season of The Wire.
Kelly Stables starred in ABC's Romantically Challenged, although it's her run as Alan's secretary on Two and a Half Men that she is best known for. She can be seen Wednesday nights at 10:30pm on TV Land as a regular on The Exes.
*Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Sorry. I know my sister in Kansas and half of America would disagree, but I just don't get it.
*Get ready for it... Toddlers & Tiaras! Can't get enough. When I was a toddler I wasn't allowed to be all frilly & fancy. My trunk of dress-up clothes consisted of my Dad's old shirt, a ragged tutu from a garage sale, and old Halloween costumes. I always wanted to dress up like a princess, but the closest I got was a homemade aluminum foil tiara. Looking back, I'm grateful b/c I think it encouraged creativity instead of vanity. Now, if I have a girl will I let her dress like the girls in T&T? Heck no! She's getting the same mismatched assortment of vaudeville-like attire I got. But until then, I'll keep watching T&T b/c after all, they look so cute!
* Uh... hello?? THE EXES on TV Land! Only I'd give it a good 10 more seasons. I absolutely love my job, and I get to play with some of the funniest actors in the Entertainment industry. The writing on our show makes me laugh out loud, and then "laugh more" if you will. And if there's one thing that can make ya feel good no matter what, it's a good laugh. Teehee.
Terence Bernie Hines has a lengthy TV resume, with guest spots on everything from Malcolm in the Middle and The Bernie Mac Show to ER to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to My Name is Earl and Raising Hope. He will be seen on the big screen with Ben Stiller and Kristin Wiig in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
*Jersey Shore. I mean, what else is there to say?"
*I loved Detroit 187! Two reasons: 1. Great acting and 2. great story lines – and producers who were not afraid to "go there" on any subject. Oh, and by the way, I'm from Detroit!
*That would be "The Sopranos." That damned ending. What a gip! I wanted to see Tony and his family either get away clean or get to sleep with the fishes. Does AJ grow up and get his own family or does he end up getting himself killed and bring Tony back into the game just as he was trying to pull away?! And what about Meadow? So many possibilities. They still could've gone out on top after even another season!
Elena Satine stars as Judy Silver on the Starz' original drama Magic City.
*I don't know if White Collar is cool or not...but I'm the only person I know who watches it.
*Reunion ...too many unanswered questions that still haunt me to this day.
Giles Matthey can be seen on the current season of HBO's True Blood as Claude, Sookie's fairy guide.
*I'm Alan Partridge. To me this was the birth of the humor that is now everywhere and influenced comics like Ricky Gervais.
*The UK Office. It is just flawless. Rarely does anything hit the absolute core and epitomizes how a nation thinks, feels, and operates. Everyone has met all of the characters in their life which is why it is so brilliant!
Stacy A. Littlejohn is the creator, executive producer, & head writer of VH1's Single Ladies.
* Star Trek
*The Big Bang Theory
* I would give "Cheers" another season. I remember literally welling up on the last episode, because I felt like I was losing a good friend that I was used to hanging out with every Thursday night. I loved Sam, Diane and Rebecca. I loved each character. Norm, Carla, Cliff, Frasier, Woody, Coach... There are more to name, but they were all super funny and so distinct – and most importantly, well written.
Johnathan McClain was already a critically acclaimed stage performer when he booked the lead role on TV Land's Retired at 35, which can be seen Wednesdays at 11pm.
* I dunno, maybe it's just me, but doesn't anyone else find AMOS N' ANDY to be kinda, y'know, racist?
* My tastes are usually in line with majority opinion, but I guess I'd have to say...anything Johnathan McClain has been in thus far.
* Look, if I can control the time-space continuum, I've got a few other things I'm gonna do first. I'd stop Hitler, Pol Pot, and Idi Amin; then I'd prevent 9/11; and after that I'd make sure I got in on Apple stock early. Then, time allowing, I'd renew THE WIRE in perpetuity until the world ends - and give it its inexplicably overlooked Emmys.
Rebecca Da Costa will be seen starring opposite Robert De Niro and John Cusack on the big screen in Motel in 2013.
*Reality TV shows.
*Desperate Housewives! I love those girls. They were hilarious and a delight to watch.
Will Dailey is the official singer/songwriter of TTTP, and his latest album, Will Dailey and the Rivals, is available everywhere music is sold. His songs have appeared on numerous TV series including NCIS, Gossip Girl, 90210, CSI: NY, and Army Wives, and he has performed on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson as well as The CBS Morning Show.
*Where do I start? Friends? Housewives of anywhere? Anything with a Hospital in it.
*I think it is safe to say that people who love and appreciate Community are in the minority. I also felt in the minority within that community with my affection for the "Ken Burns Effect" episode. It married my love of the Burns Civil War Documentary with pillow fights. My Community friends could have cared less and maybe it insulted a few people who had great great great great great relatives in the civil war or those injured in pillow fights.
*I'll go into the future and save Community from cancelation next year and then go into the past and give Taxi one more year.
Alex Frnka is one of the stars of the new MTV comedy series The Inbetweeners, premiering August 20th.
*Arrested Development. That show was absolutely hilarious and I miss the characters so much! It seems my wish is coming true, too ;)
Noel Fisher was one of the stars of History's record breaking mini-series Hatfields & McCoys and will be seen later this year in Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part Two. He also appeared on the second season of Showtime's Shameless. We've loved him since he was Cael Malloy on The Riches.
*Anything that falls/fell into the reality realm. Not sure why but I just never got into that whole thing.
*Not sure if I'm in the minority but I really enjoyed Big Love. I think it went pretty under the radar but I thought it was really well done. Something to check out if you haven't heard of it.
*Up until a little while ago I would have said Arrested Development but apparently I DO control the time-space continuum because it's happening! The other show I REALLY wish I could get another season of would be HBO's short lived Carnivale. It was one of the most unique stories and worlds I've ever seen and had some AMAZING acting. It's really too bad the show only lasted two seasons.
Valerie Azlynn has a great TV and movie resume, including Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, Cold Case, CSI: NY, Mr. Sunshine, Tropic Thunder, and Hancock. She currently stars in the new TBS comedy Sullivan & Son, which airs Thursdays nights.
*Personally I have no idea why people like The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. It is so false and manufactured. Of course people are falling in "love" with each other. There on a show there world becomes isolated with no responsibility other than win the game and make the person fall in love with you. Just so silly to me. I will never watch those shows.
*I love Maude. Starring Bea Aurthur. I am a massive fan of hers and I don't think I am in the minority it's just a lot of people my age and younger are not aware of the series. It was ground breaking in its day. Bea could turn a joke in a second and sometimes all she had to do was just look off a little bit and be deadpan.
*Golden Girls I cannot get enough of that show and I wish it had gone just a couple more seasons. Also Murder She Wrote, I think if it went another season we would find out that Angela Lansbury was really a serial killer, Come on how many more towns could she visit were someone around her dies every episode, If there was DNA testing back then I'm sure she would have been a prime suspect!
Drew Roy stars as Hal Mason on TNT's Falling Skies, just renewed for a third season.
*Dancing with the Stars.
*Across the country it does well, but among my friends, I'm a lone avid watcher of 60 Minutes.
*Friends. All ten seasons and I still haven't gotten enough.
Marissa Jarret Winokur is a Tony Award winning actress who co-starred with Pamela Anderson in the comedy Stacked and was co-host of CBS' The Talk during the show's first season. She can currently be seen in TV Land's Retired at 35. This appearance in our column is her third, giving her "Official Friend of TTTP" status.
*Wipe Out! Has anyone ever won!? It seems insane. It's my brother's favorite show and I don't get it. It's like a live video game that you will never win, I don't get watching people get hurt and falling into water!
*Angry Boys!!!! I read bad reviews for it and couldn't believe it! It was the best show so funny and full of heart. It lasted one season and HBO killed it off by doing two episodes a week! So obviously I was in the minority! Chris Lilley was / is a genius! I also love shark tank
* I would bring back "The Comeback" or "Arrested Development"! There is full campaign working to bring AD back so I will fight for "The Comeback". It was so painfully honest and real and by far the funniest show on TV. I am still obsessed with it! Lisa Kudrow was so amazing as aunt Sassy… "I don't need to see that!" Well, I DO!
You can see Ben Watson starring as Tariq Muhammad on The LA Complex every Tuesday on The CW.
*I would give 3rd Rock From The Sun another season because it was a clever and witty outlook on the human condition from an alien perspective.
Elaine Hendrix will probably always be best known for the remake of The Parent Trap but her resume includes great roles on The Middleman, Joan of Arcadia, CSI, Castle, Privileged, NCIS: LA, and 90210.
It's not so much that I didn't understand the appeal - it's just, holywow...if you didn't jump on the wagon early enough "Lost" left you feeling...lost. At least it did me. And maybe that was part the appeal in
and of itself? One of the execs is a friend of mine and he's genius. The show was genius. I just missed the window.
*One I loved that they pulled after one season - "Detroit 1-8-7." They didn't seem to be getting the viewership they wanted, but I thought it was fantastic. Particularly at the beginning of the season before they started
watering it down. It was so edgy and interesting. Michael Imperioli could read the phone book, though, and I'd probably watch.
*Well, of course, it would be FOX's remake of "Get Smart". Andy Dick and I had so much fun working together and it could have really been something if the show had been given a chance to find its voice. Plus, working with the legendary Don Adams was a dream - so many stories, so many lessons in
Nick Tarabay has The Sopranos and Crash on his resume but is best known for his role as Ashur on Starz' record breaking original drama Spartacus, appearing in Blood & Sand, Vengeance, and the prequel Gods of the Arena.
*Some of the last seasons of Lost because after couple of episodes I felt lost myself!
Mind you it could be very much my fault because I never saw it from the beginning, nor saw the first season but all I remember is EVERYONE saying "dude, you need to see Lost, it's pretty frecking amazing" and after seeing I thought hmmm... I don't get it!
*In Treatment I LOVED that show. It was simple yet very deep. The acting was superb & I'm a big fan of Gabriel Byrne. But every time I mention it to someone I get kinda the same reaction "ehhh ...it was ok" and I'm like "WHAT?! Are you kidding me! How can you not like it?" But to each his own, I guess.
*When I was a kid, one of my favorite TV shows was "The A Team" and I remember the last season that aired left us with a cliff hanger and I remember dying to know what happened next, but it just stopped. I would like to see it through. As a matter of fact, I'd be down to see that TV show now if they ever remake it. The film did well so would the TV show I think. So long as I have a part in it...... Haha, just kidding.
Tess Rafferty was a writer on The Soup for 7 and ½ years as well as frequent participant in their sketch pieces. She's also regularly seen as a pop culture talking head on VH-1 and The TV Guide Network. Her first book, Recipes for Disaster: A Memoir, comes out this October.
*Game of Thrones. With an asterisk. That asterisk being Peter Dinklage who is wonderful and funny. However, if you are over the age of 15, the appeal of tits and dragons should have worn off by now. Likewise, the only people who find a woman falling in love with her rapist (because he lets her have sex from the front!) compelling TV, should be 13 year old girls who read Fifty Shades of Grey under the covers at night. Yes, the Starke's are interesting characters, but nothing but bad shit happens to them every week and if I wanted to see bad shit happen to people I would turn on the news.
*I'd say Freaks & Geeks but that show was such a cult hit, it doesn't feel like a minority. However, I also have the unfortunate luck to love high concept dramas that never catch on because of their high concepts and then get cancelled before I can find out if Jason Isaacs is dead or in a coma, or which alumna killed their classmate at reunion or "Who is Will Traveler?" See? You get none of these references. That's because no one watched these shows. Shows like Awake, Reunion, Traveler, Daybreak, My Own Worst Enemy, Smith...I could go on but you're starting to lose respect for me. Also, I loved Swingtown. The world needs more Grant Show on TV.
*The Dick Van Dyke Show. I would love to see the writers of the Alan Brady show make jokes about reality TV and try to navigate contemporary network notes.
David Alan Basche is one of the stars of TV Land's The Exes, currently in its second season on Wednesday nights at 10:30pm
*The popularity of "Mad Men" baffles me. The performances are good, sure. Yes the suits are nice and it's fun to see everyone smoking in offices and I guess people like remembering that era. But honestly I've just never gotten into the show, tried several times, and finally gave up, knowing that either it's over my head or beneath my highly-set bar.
* Southland is the best cop show ever made, and that's not easy for me to say because I loved "Hill Street Blues" and "NYPD Blue" too. But it is. And yet they cancelled it! Now it's back on another network, but no one's watching it. I get the feeling there's a couple of execs over at TNT that feel the way I do, despite popular opinion. We should have lunch.
*Oh Grow Up, the one-season sitcom that Alan Ball wrote just before his film American Beauty won all the Oscars. It's what preceded Six Feet Under and now of course True Blood, and I think it had his wicked sense of humor in an even more brilliantly raw form. Full disclosure: I was a lead on that show! I would have loved to play with Alan more, along with Stephen Dunham, John Ducey, Rena Sofer, Freddy Rodriguez, Neisha Trout, and director Andy Cadiff. What a dream team. Oh, and there was a talking dog named "Mom."
In 2007 Anne Dudek had one of the best runs for a character actor in recent TV history, appearing in recurring roles on Mad Men, Big Love, and of course House where she created the memorable character known as "Cutthroat Bitch." She can be seen Tuesdays at 10pm on USA's Covert Affairs.
*The daytime soap Santa Barbara.
*The Wire. This was the first Netflix-a-thon worthy show I watched. I became obsessed. Each season is sort of like a new show, with a new angle on the drug problems in Baltimore, and there were some truly fascinating characters. A very smart show. I was sorry it was over.
Joe Bastianich is a restauranteur (including the owner of a James Beard award winning establishment) and winery owner who is in his third season as a judge on Fox's popular cooking competition show MasterChef. His memoir Restaurant Man was released this spring.
The Brady Bunch
*Glee- I am probably in the minority amongst my peers… they don't get it, but I love it. I watch it with my kids and we all sing along.
*Dallas… the old school version…Larry Hagman's JR Ewing was the ultimate devious character.
Montego Glover is a Tony Nominated and Drama Desk Award winning actress who was also seen in the season three finale of White Collar.
*I don't quite get the appeal of "True Blood". Here's the thing, I know it's brilliant, brilliant cast, writing, all the rage, but I just can't seem to get it!
*I'm clearly in the minority on "American Greed", which should be called the "American Trickery Show". It's the psychology behind thieves and stealing (all of which is so completely foreign to me) that I find interesting.
*I'd give one more season to the Cosby Show, but only if they used the Island Theme opener they had that one season. Bliss!
Danny Masterson is one of the stars of the TBS comedy Men At Work, his first return to series TV since his eight season run as Hyde on That 70's Show.
*Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I just never understood that show. It's probably one of those things you have to start at the beginning to get really into. The couple of episodes I saw I was thinking, "I don't get what everybody is talking about."
*The Sarah Silverman Program. It was my favorite show on TV and no one watched it and I couldn't figure out why.
*Action, with Jay Mohr and Illeana Douglas. I watched all 13 episodes and thought it was going to be the new Larry Sanders – something really ground breaking – but then they got cancelled.
Troy Johnson was the creator and host of Food Network's Crave, which TTTP named one of the top non-fiction shows of 2012. He was also included on our list of the 2012 TV Entertainers of the Year. He is currently the food critic at San Diego Magazine and has a new Food Network series in development
*Two and a Half Men. You know how all your artist friends like a band, so you try to like it but all it sounds like is a chainsaw making love to another chainsaw? My experience with Two and a Half Men is the exact opposite. All of America likes it, so I tried hard to like it, too. I failed. I love comedy that comes from nowhere and sticks you with a humor-shiv. For instance, I think Jennifer Lopez' movie The Wedding Planner was one of the funniest movies of all time. Especially the scenes where it's supposed to be dramatic, but it makes no sense (the entire movie). Unintentional or inappropriate/vaguely sociopathic humor is where it's at, in my opinion. With Two and a Half Men, I feel like some exec wrote a white paper called "The Algorithm of Comedy: Ride My Humor Spreadsheet Formula to Porsche-Land, Baby." And the creators of Two and a Half Men read that. And now they drive Porsches. I'm happy for them.
*ANSWER 1: Strangers With Candy. I'm not sure if my friends and I were the only sick ****s who loved Amy Sedaris in that series. Usually, overly dramatic characters give me the heebie jeebies. But there was something so purely pathetic about her character that I resonated with it (calling therapist now.)
ANSWER 2: I remember a talk show on MTV by a guy named Jon Stewart. I remember thinking it was funny and kinda intelligent and that guy should be a star. Then it got canceled, and I've doubted my outlook on intelligence ever since. I'm sure he's digging ditches somewhere in a very flat part of America now. But I want him to know that I thought he was talented.
*Arrested Development. I met David Cross in line to see Franz Ferdinand at South by Southwest Music Festival. Either he was very disinterested or I was very annoying for going up to him and telling him that he's David Cross.. Both are possible. Regardless, the combo of Jason Bateman and that kid from Juno was brilliant. Its cancellation ranks right up there in my Pantheon of Canceled TV Sadness with Aquaman, Quantum Leap and Inspector Gadget.
And congratulations on the 300th column, my man. Damn I know that ain't easy. Good work.
Mark Margolis has been working as a character actor on stage as well as the big and small screens for 30+ years, with noteworthy performances in films like Scarface, Pi, The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream, and Black Swan and TV roles on Oz and Kings. Earlier this month he was nominated for an Emmy for his work as Hector "Tio" Salamanca on Breaking Bad.
* Big Love
*The Equalizer............It died before its time, still with a big following & for no apparent reason.
Lenor Velera can be seen as Marta Del Sol on TNT's Dallas, recently renewed for a second season because of stellar ratings and reviews.
*Dexter. Watch and root for a serial killer...really??
*I was addicted to first and second season of Flavor Flav's realty show "Flavor of Love". I know it was bad, but it was like watching a train wreck! Amazing and dirty as could be!!
*I just think that "Games of Thrones" should be on ALL THE TIME, year around. We should NEVER be deprived of another episode on a Sunday. Ever.
Chef Graham Elliot has won numerous awards and rave reviews for his cooking skill and has appeared as a contestant on Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America. He is now in his third season as a judge on Fox's MasterChef.
*Chappelle's Show – best show ever!
Greer Grammer can be seen Thursdays at 10:30pm starring on MTV's hit comedy Awkward, just renewed for a third season.
*Would have to be a lot of the reality shows. Specifically The Hills and Laguna Beach. I just never really hopped on that phenomenon.
*I don't know if I would necessarily be the minority but a lot of people used to make fun of me for it but my favorite show of all time would have to be The OC.
*I would have to have it be Friends. Even though Friends ended perfectly, I just don't think there would be one complaint about giving it another season. Because, well, it's Friends. And who wouldn't want to see more new episodes of Friends?!
Aldis Hodge has guested on Supernatural, ER, Private Practice, CSI, Friday Night Lights, Bones, and Castle, but he is undoubtedly most known for his starring role as Hardison on TNT's Leverage, currently in its 5th season (Sundays at 8pm).
*Dancing with the Stars.
*Across the country it does well, but among my friends, I'm a lone avid watcher of 60 Minutes.
*Friends. All ten seasons and I still haven't gotten enough.
Meghan Markle has an interesting IMDB page; she held case # 24 on Deal or No Deal for a year, did guest spots on CSI, The League, and 90210, and had a two episode stint on Fringe. Her current gig is starring as Rachel Zane on the TTTP fave series Suits.
*I actually feel horrible saying this, but the honest answer is GLEE. I know! It doesn't really make sense -- because I love musicals, I did musical theater growing up, and they are all supremely talented on that show. I just can't seem to get into it. I think I'll have to do a Glee marathon one weekend, and then I'll finally get it...and probably develop a girl crush on Lea Michelle.
*I don't know if I'm the minority, but JEOPARDY is still my favorite show. None of my peers talk about watching it, but it's been my favorite show for over a decade. I know...that makes me a nerd. I'm perfectly ok with that.
*This is possibly the most random answer ever, but the show I was left hanging on was Models Inc -- an Aaron Spelling show that was a spinoff of Melrose Place. It ended with a cliffhanger of a shooting at a wedding. I was in high school at the time, and loved that show, despite how glossy and soapy it was (or perhaps because of how glossy and soapy it was). I've always wanted to know what happened, so I would be very excited to see one more season of it.
Josh Gates is the host of Destination Truth, currently in its 5th season on Syfy.
*True Blood. Judging by the fact that this show is in its 5th hit season, I'm clearly in the minority, but is anybody else a little vampired out? From the Vampire Diaries to the seemingly endless installments of the Twilight Saga, the vampire is easily the most overexposed monster in pop culture (you're pulling a close second zombies, so cool it). True Blood has all the elements of a show that I should love, namely a ton of gratuitous nudity. But with all the contrived plotting, bad accents, and ever-expanding cast of pale-faced characters, True Blood has drained every last drop of interest out of me.
*Family Feud. Sure it's been on for 36 years, has had six hosts, feels perennially outdated, and has a seriously flawed set of rules (newsflash: you only need to win the last game to beat the other family), but man do I love this show. To begin with, Richard Dawson is the greatest game show host in history. Period. Moreover, The Feud is master class in what not to say under pressure and a seemingly bottomless well of America's least capable competitors. "Tell me a man's name that starts with K." Actual answer: "Kentucky Fried Chicken." You just can't write television like that.
*That's easy. Deadwood. One of the best acted period westerns ever made, Deadwood was a foul-mouthed yet finely scripted drama that gave us TV's most terrifying villain in Ian McShane's Al Swearengen. The series never resolved its tightly crafted story, and the follow up movies that HBO promised were up in them there hills…well, they turned out to be fool's gold.
Ken Baumann is now in his fifth season starring as Ben Boykewich on the huge ABC Family hit The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
*Two and a Half Men. I feel weird when the television laughs for me.
* I'd say Breaking Bad. That show deserves The X-Files numbers. The story and its episode to episode aesthetic and how it evolves... all so damn brilliant.
*Deadwood. There hasn't been another show on television with such philosophical and lyrical intensity. And the performances were incredible, especially under the production's circumstances––actors receiving huge scenes an hour before filming, receiving calls at 2am informing them they should show up to work three hours later, etc. Its death was untimely, awkward even. Bring Deadwood back!
Paula Marshall has been a regular presence on TV for more than 15 years, with starring roles on Gary UnMarried, Snoops, Californication, Cupid, Chicago Sons, Out of Practice, and Hidden Hills as well as guest runs on Sports Night, Veronica Mars, Nip/Tuck, Shark, and House.
*True Blood. I can't stand the accents.
*Gary Unmarried. The ex-wife was hilarious.
*Cupid. ABC even tried to re do it but with a different cast. See actors are important! Yes I was in the last two shows I mentioned. But hey, I cannot tell a lie. ;-). Unless I'm being paid for it.
Eddie McClintock just began his fourth season starring as Pete Lattimer on Syfy's hit series Warehouse 13. He has previously been recognized as a TTTP TV Entertainer of the Year.
*There are four. The first one is called "Holding the Baby," on Fox the next one is called "Stark Raving Mad," on NBC followed by "AUSA" on NBC and of course "Crumbs" on ABC.
*Sigmund and the Sea Monsters because I like Sea Monsters. :)
Bill Lawrence is the creator of Scrubs and the co-creator of Spin City and Cougar Town.
*Jeopardy! If you're not a smarty-pants it's the rare combination of humiliating and boring. I remember being in college, and I wasn't sure if I was an idiot (I was pretty sure); luckily the double major types in my dorm would put it on. Then I'd get to listen to them be smart for 30 minutes and silently hate them.
*Two answers. Pretentious answer #1. Most "smart" comedies (especially on network tv) are very low rated (Nielsen-wise) while many crass, dumb ones flourish, so I assume that I'm in the minority for loving 30 Rock, Archer, Flight of the Conchords, Larry Sanders, etc. Real answer #2: I remember liking Two Guys and a Girl (and at one point, a pizza place). Ryan Reynolds was a true TV star, and I'd love to see him be funny like that again. Also, no one talks about Newsradio much. They should.
*MASH. But I'd want it as a reboot, doing pathos/comedy/drama in a current war, to see if the geniuses behind that show (I truly loved it) could make us laugh at current day dark situations the same way. Larry Gelbart was my idol.
Katee Sackhoff will forever been associated with her fantastic work as Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica but she is hardly a one trick pony, as her role on A&E's record breaking new drama Longmire has shown.
*I am not a big fan of Mad Men at all. I don't know if it's that I haven't given it enough of a chance but I can't wrap my brain around it.
*Good Christian Bitches. It was probably the funniest show on TV last season and when it didn't get renewed I was blown away. Leslie Bibb – the entire cast – was spot on perfectly cast. I was truly, truly disappointed that it didn't last.
*The Golden Girls. It's my favorite show ever, of all time.
Sally Pressman is currently in her sixth season starring as Roxie on Lifetime's record breaking drama Army Wives. She is also on the VERY short list for the single nicest person I have has the pleasure of talking with over the course of our 300 columns.
*This is always a dangerous path to walk down...no one likes their TV faves to be critiqued or knocked down. But, I guess if I HAVE to, I have heard a lot of people speaking favorably about Matlock. Don't get it. Not at all. I watched a few when I was home sick from school and I always fell asleep within 10 minutes. He's so old, I didn't trust he would figure it all out before I could, but I don't know, cause I never stayed awake to watch. Sorry Matlock fans.
* THIS list could go on forever. FOREVER. I know I could embarrass myself in some crowds by saying Models Inc, which I watched EVERY episode of…every caddy, superficial moment. I also watched this show called Invasion years ago. It went off the air in less than a season without revealing the mystery. Since my mom and I MAY have been the only ones watching it, it might not matter to anyone else, but we're still curious and unsettled. Shawn Cassidy, could you enlighten us??
*Without a moment's hesitation: ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. Best show ever. Travesty it did not have more viewer support. I know there's a movie in discussion, but the show every week would be a dream come true. Second behind that, Friday Night Lights. I mourn the loss of that show every day.
Ben Affleck is a actor, writer, director, and producer whose resume includes an Academy Award, a Golden Globe award, a SAG award, and movies that have grossed almost $3 billion dollars worldwide. With this appearance in our column he also joins the "Official Friend of TTTP" list.
*I can't say there are shows that I don't understand why others liked, mostly because I wouldn't want someone to say that about my show. There are a lot of popular shows I didn't watch. I guess I can say, generally, that I am not a great fan of the reality TV genre--which has swept the nation in the last decade. Although it would be fair to call me a hypocrite given that we produced Project Greenlight which was a kind of quasi-reality show.
*The shows I like now the most are Downton Abbey and game of Thrones. Clearly I am not in the minority with either. I have also gotten really into Breaking ad after working with Bryan Cranston. Also like Modern Family a lot--also definitely not in the minority there. I get the sense these days, and I didn't always feel this way, that there is a lot more good television on than I have time to watch--even with DVRs.
*I would say Alias, because I loved watching my wife on that show. But that would mean a-she would never be around and b-i would have to take on far more home management than I am capable of. So I guess my answer would be The Sopranos, which I feel was the best show in the history of television. I would like to know what happened to Tony after he looked up in the diner. But I guess that means the ending was perfect as is.
Lost is a close second but it more just because I loved the show than because I didn't like how it was resolved. I thought the ending of Lost was great. They were really good at flipping the show on its head periodically and surprising the audience--which is one of the hardest things to do in drama.
Alison Sweeney may very well be the hardest working women in TV; at one point this year she had three different shows on the air (Days of Our Lives, The Biggest Loser, and Hollywood Girls Night) plus she's written a book, is a tireless activist for multiple charities, and has a family. As importantly, she's the Queen of TTTP, with more appearances on these pages than anyone not named Joel McHale.
*American Idol. I only watched a few episodes, trying to get what everyone loves about it. I totally get why people love it, but it's just not my show.
*LOST! I just can't get enough...
Joel McHale may have The Soup, Community, and the hit movie Ted on his resume as well as being an accomplished standup comedian but he is best known for his many appearances on these pages, where he reigns as the King of Two Tivos to Paradise.
*For fear of retribution I can't say but it rhymes with "Alf".
*Anything on Telemundo. I always feel like a minority when I watch that.
*Gunsmoke. Just some many unanswered questions.
Al Norton is the creator and writer of Two Tivos to Paradise at 411Mania.com. He also spent a year as the TV Editor for BostonNow, a daily news paper. The most important things in his life are his wife, his kids, the Red Sox, and his Tivos.
*I know everyone expects me to say The Big Bang Theory here but I've got to go with Big Brother. Or Jersey Shore. Or The Bachelor. Or The Real World. I've never understood the idea of deriving entertainment out of watching people on TV and thinking, "boy, look at those idiots behaving like idiots." Just does nothing for me. I see enough stupid people over the course of a day that I don't need to see them on my TV screen, too.
*The Class. What a warm and wonderful show that just didn't catch on. The level of success the cast has enjoyed since (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jon Bernthal, Jason Ritter, Andrea Anders, Lizzy Caplin) shows just how much potential The Class had if CBS had given it a second season.
*Terriers. One of the best shows of the last 10 years, Terriers was doomed to a one season run on FX by a terrible title and an even worse ad campaign. It was the best private eye show since The Rockford Files, with what should have been star making performances from Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James. It's one thing if a show gets a full season and simply doesn't generate an audience but when the network so righteously screws the pooch when it comes to letting the public know that it has a high quality show for them to sample as was the case here, it's a true shame.
And there we have it! Use the comments section below to give us your answers to our three big questions.
Two Tivos To Paradise 3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, 30 Rock, After the Catch, American Idol, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Antiques Roadshow, Archer, Around the World in 80 Plates, Auction Hunters, Baby Daddy, The Big C, Boardwalk Empire, Being Human, Bent, Betty White's Off Their Rockers, Bones, Breaking Bad, Bunheads, Burn Notice, Cake Boss, Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, Chopped, The Closer, Comic Book Men, Community, Cougar Town, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Deadliest Catch, Destination Truth, Don't Trust the B- in Apt 23, Eureka, Fact or Faked, Falling Skies, Fairly Legal, Family Guy, Fast Food Mania, Flipping Out, Food Feuds, Food Network Challenge, Food Network Star, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters Academy, Ghost Hunters International, Ghost Lab, Glee, Gossip Girl, Great Food Truck Race, Grey's Anatomy, Happy Endings, Haunted Highways, Haunted Treasure, Hawaii 5-0, Hell on Wheels, Hollywood Treasure, House, House of Lies, How I Met Your Mother, Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis, Iron Chef America, Justified, Key & Peele, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Law And Order: Special Victims Unit, Longmire, Lost Girl, Louie, Mad Men, Men at Work, The Middle, Mike and Molly, Modern Family, Monster Man, Necessary Roughness, New Girl, Next Iron Chef, The Office, Outside the Lines, Parks & Recreation, Private Practice, Project Accessory, Project Runway, PSYCH, Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook Off, Raising Hope, Real Time With Bill Maher, Restaurant Impossible, Revenge, Royal Pains, Rules Of Engagement, Saturday Night Live, Shark Wranglers, Shear Genius, So You Think You Can Dance?, Sons of Anarchy, The Soup, Suits, Suburgatory, Supernatural, Texas Multi Mammas, Top Chef, Top Chef Just Desserts, Top Chef: Masters, Top Design, Tosh.0, True Blood, Up All Night, The Vampire Diaries, The Voice, The Walking Dead, Warehouse 13, Wilfred, Worst Cooks In America,
People Love You When They Know You're Leaving Soon
Here ends another edition of Two Tivos To Paradise. We are off for the next month, back on Friday August 31st with a HUGE Labor Day weekend edition including the announcement of the winners of the 2012 Norty Awards. The TTTP Facebook page will continue to be updated daily and will be the best way to keep up with all-things-TV while we are on hiatus. Again, thanks so much for reading and use the comments section below to take part in our celebration of 300 columns!
Feedback is encouraged at firstname.lastname@example.org as well via the comments section below.