The 2012-2013 Refrigerator Rants End-of-Season Awards

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It’s time to (belatedly) celebrate the end of the television season by giving out meaningless awards!

Sorry for being so late with this. I’ve been busy with other things and haven’t had much time to reflect on the TV season that just passed. But more importantly, I had a lot of frustrations with TV dramas this past season, which sapped my motivation to do these awards. But this has become somewhat of a tradition at the blog, so despite the drama categories being even thinner than last year (based on what I watched), I’m still going to pick my favourite performers and TV shows. The awards can be found after the jump. More

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What I’ve Been Reading: February 3, 2013

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Things are running smoothly out here in the blogosphere. It’s time to throw a spanner in the works with this week’s What I’ve Been Reading. More

My Ten Favourite TV Shows of 2012

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Just like every other blogger on the Internet, I can’t resist making year-end lists. This one is the first of many and is about my favourite television shows of 2012. Some of them were funny. Some were suspenseful. And others were just plain weird. But all of them were awesome, in one way or another. The list is after the jump. More

The 2011-2012 Refrigerator Rants End-of-Season Awards

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The 2011-2012 television season came to a close last week with the end of May sweeps, so now it’s time for me to honour the best of what I watched with my annual fake awards show. The only problem is that it’s proving to be a little more difficult than last year. More

Pop Cultural New Year’s Resolutions for 2012

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At the start of every year, I make the same new year’s resolutions: get in shape (not going to happen); keep in touch with friends and family (not going to happen); and work/study harder (definitely not going to happen). This year, I’m keeping those same resolutions, but I’m also resolving to make some resolutions that I can actually fulfill. Saying “I’m going to start the day with sit-ups, push-ups, and jumping jacks” is a far more concrete goal than “getting in shape,” for example.

I’m applying the same principle to my pop cultural resolutions this year. Usually, I simply say that I want to watch “more” movies and “less” TV, or something of the sort. But this year, I’ve decided to lay out some clear, attainable goals. I doubt that I’ll achieve them all, but at least I’ll feel a sense of accomplishment at having achieved some of them by year’s end. More

Thoughts on NBC’s Midseason Schedule and the Benching of Community

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NBC recently released an outline of its midseason schedule, and it has a notable omission: Community is not on the network’s midseason schedule, being replaced by a returning 30 Rock. Understandably, many fans are disappointed, especially considering that critical punching bag Whitney is being left on the schedule. (Less understandably, some fans are outraged, but I’ll get to that in a minute.) However, I think this is actually a wise business decision for NBC. I’ll explain why after the jump. More

Kicking the Habit: Why It’s Easy to Give Up on Some TV Shows and Hard to Give Up on Others

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As you may have noticed, I stopped writing about Wilfred a couple of weeks ago, not because I stopped watching, but because I couldn’t bring myself to care enough about it to put my fingers to the keyboard and type 400+ words about it. The show has thus far been a mixed bag. I like the concept, and Jason Gann and Elijah Wood have great comic chemistry, but the execution usually falls flat. For that reason, I’ve voiced my disappointment about the show in various fora, both on- and offline. But to my dismay, in those fora, I’ve been met with the question: “So why are you still watching?”

My knee-jerk reaction, if I’d chosen to express it, would have been, “Why the hell do you care? It’s none of your business why I do what I do.” In many cases, being asked why one is still watching is a way to dismiss legitimate complaints as mindless kvetching from the peanut gallery, and it detracts from valuable discussions of a critical nature.

However, I still think it’s a valid question. Though TV viewers are far from the hyperrational model of Homo Economicus espoused by the mathematically-inclined, they don’t subject themselves to torture for no good reason. It’s therefore odd that so many people watch TV shows and perpetually complain about how awful they are (the cathartic benefit of complaining aside, of course). In the case of Wilfred, I can provide reasons for why I’m still watching: I like the ideas, I like the cast, and I think the show has the potential to improve. I stuck with Traffic Light for its entire run for similar reasons, despite the fact that the show almost never made me laugh:1 I loved its low-key vibe, and I sensed the possibility of improvement in its future (which never came because the show was cancelled. Oh well.)

But what about shows that have been running for a long time, or shows that used to entertain me, but no longer do? In those cases, the “I think it’ll get better argument” doesn’t work as well. I watch a surprising number of series like that. I recently realized that fact when I noticed that three of the series that I wrote about in my “Five Shows That Should Have Been Cancelled” post (henceforth referred to as “RR1”) a few weeks ago were also mentioned in my “Epic Fail” post (henceforth referred to as “RR2”) from last summer. In other words, this past season, I watched three series that I had vowed to abandon. After some self-reflection, I’ve been able to put some explanations for my TV watching habits to words. I can speak only for my personal experience, but I hope that the readers of this blog will be able to relate. After the jump, I’ll take a look at some TV shows that I’ve given up on or tried to give up on, as well as how fandom, critics, and other external factors may have affected my perceptions of those programmes. More

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