For me it’s Person of Interest. I was never a member of the JJ Abrams cult of personality, I was concerned about Caviezel because I wasn’t familiar with him except for that religious torture porn movie he made, and the “evil booga-wooga computer thing” had me nervous because I had made it into the third season of Lost before I gave up, but I watched it because I liked Michael Emerson. Then I backed up and watched the episodes I had missed. And now I’m trying to catch up to the latest. The weirdest part is that it is popular, but it doesn’t suck! In fact, it’s pretty darned good.
The promo ads they were screening just focused on Winger running around with a paintball gun. No dialogue, no Chevy Chase, no indication that it was a comedy. I decided it was some ditzy fluff aimed at the teen girl market. One day I happened to switch on just at the start credits. I thought ‘Chevy Chase? On a TV show? Does he need money?’ So I kept watching. My next thoughts were, ‘Oh my God, what the fuck has happened to Chevy? Is that make up and a fat suit?’ But once I got over the shock of what time had done to CC, I realised it was a brilliant show. One of the most perfect sitcoms, and in my top 10 for best shows ever.
And the promo ads would be in my top 10 for most misleading ads. I didn’t watch the first 4 shows of the season because of those crappy ads.
I enjoyed the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and figured the show would stink and be gone in three episodes. I watched the premiere because my husband was on a business trip and I figured I’d get some laughs at how horrible it was. Yeah, no.
I’ve heard so much chatter about Firefly on this board that it had just become a dull mumble in the background. Firefly this, Joss Whedon that, Buffy this, Angel that. Never watched any of those shows, wouldn’t know Joss if he punched me in the face.
So, one day, I was on Netflix and ran across Firefly and noticed that it was like, what, 13 or 14 episodes. With the way people went on about it, I always thought it was on for, like, ever. I would have guessed it was one of those shows that was 10 seasons long with multiple, complex, intertwining storylines that I just never wanted to bother with.
Anyways, watched it. Soooo not what I expected. Not only that, it’s exactly how they describe it. It’s a Space Western. It’s simple, funny, easy to follow and you very quickly get attached to each one of the characters in the core group.
I’m not a Joss Wheadon freak, I don’t list going to Comic-Con as one of my ultimate goals in life, I haven’t memorized every line from every show. I’ve only watched the series once (but probably will again) but I highly recommend it to anyone that’s ‘looking for a new series to watch/get addicted to’. And when they say “oooohh, I don’t like sci-fi stuff” or “Is that like Star Trek” I push it harder since it’s not sci-fi/Star Trek. Just watch it. It’s only one season and worth the few hours of your life.
About 25 years ago one of my co-workers kept recommending one TV show that I figured was a boring saccharin family show and avoided until he became insistent “Married…with children.” A few years before that: “Moonlighting”
I can’t think of a more recent one than The Wire and it was some threads here that persuaded me to give it another try. It took patience to get into the style of the episodes and the characters and once I made that adjustment to my expectations it has become the standard by which I judge newer shows.
I suppose my attitude toward shows like Downton Abbey has been adjusted by way of its quality and consistent efficiency in story-telling.
But I have been lucky in avoiding the shows that get cancelled before their first season has run its course. The last show that I kept waiting to get good was The Killing and it burned me bad!
New sitcom on FX I’ve never seen a commercial for, or heard anything about, here or elsewhere. Stumbled on what I think was the premiere last week, and caught (what I think was) the second episode this week. (It’s being replayed tonight at 2am Eastern, if you wanna check it out.)
The first episode was pretty good, but nothing great, just a few chuckle-worthy moments. I gave the second episode a shot, and I’ve got to say, it was pretty friggin’ hilarious! And that’s coming from someone who really doesn’t watch very many sitcoms these days. Actually, I don’t think there are any currently running sitcoms that I watch, at all.
ETA: Oh wait, just remembered It’s Always Sunny… (Which will give you an idea of why I might like Legit, come to think of it.)