Friday, May 11, 2012

The 2012 Ketchup List (VOTE NOW!)

Here are the 10 shows I've completely missed.  Read further thoughts on them below and then vote on which of the 10 you think I should catch up on this summer.  I'll try and binge on the top two vote getters the next few months and then regurgitate my thoughts in August!

In alphabetic order:

Curb your Enthusiasm (8 seasons, 80 episodes) (2000 - ?)

I keep hearing how Larry David is a genius and one of the key reasons behind why Seinfeld was such a huge success. I've also heard that some of the comedic payoffs in this show are transcendent. The problem is (begin ruining of comic credibility) Seinfeld was never my favorite. I didn't hate it, I just didn't see it the way everybody (and I mean everybody) else did.

Dexter (6 seasons, 72 episodes) (2006 - ?)

So let me get this straight, our "hero" is a serial killer who kills other serial killers? My friends who love this show continue to tell me it's worth the gore because the human stories it tells are deep and engaging. Not beyond the realm of possibility I suppose, but I'm doubtful. What do you think?

Downton Abbey (2 seasons, 15 episodes) (2010 - ?)

The newbie on the list. I scant 15 episodes means I could probably eat this one up in a day or two. I'm just not sure I can get into the Jane Austiness of it all.

Friday Night Lights (5 seasons, 76 episodes) (2006 - 2010)

One of two shows on the list that are finished. I missed this one simply because it never picked up enough steam to interest me. I've heard it's a story filled with authentic and beautiful characters, and some great core values as well.

Game of Thrones (2 seasons, 20 episodes) (2011 - ?)

Another recent offering from HBO, all I know about this show is that it's based on a book series and that anything can happen, with a significant emphasis on the word anything. My friends who love this one talk about how it's changing the face of storytelling.

Happy Endings (2 seasons, 34 episodes) (2011 - ?)

This one just completely slid under my radar, but I've heard from 3 different sources that it may just be the funniest thing on TV. I highly doubt that considering how consistently New Girl is hitting it out of the park, but if you like I'll give it a shot.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (7 seasons, 84 episodes) (2005 - ?)

This one just seemed a little abstract for me, but I've had friends tell me that the surreal humor is some of the most satisfying they've seen.

Justified (3 seasons, 39 episodes) (2010 - ?)

I know the least about this show as any of them. It's fairly new and apparently dramatically intense and engaging. I just figured it was another crime procedural and I honestly could do without every watching one of those again in my life. Yet some of my friends compare it to Breaking Bad. Really?

Mad Men (5 seasons, 65 episodes) (2007 - ?)

Easily the most critically acclaimed of the shows on my list this year. Critics have squawking about how good it is for years now. I do like John Hamm, but I just never could bring myself to invest in the show. This might be my summer of Mad Men, but it's up to you.

Sopranos ( 6 seasons, 86 episodes) (1999-2007)

This shows been off TV for 5 years now. I think that's the statute of limitation on The Ketchup List. If it's not elected this year, it will get retired and remain a missing piece of my TV repertoire. I've never been much of a mob show kind of guy, but I know it's often looked at as one of the greatest TV triumphs ever. We shall see, or not, last chance Tony.


  1. Dexter is the only one of the ones listed that I've watched and not hated. I don't think it's as fantastic as many make it out to be, but it's certainly not horrible.
    Thought to consider, though: Game of Thrones... Unless you're super excited about nudity (and lots of it), I'd guard your heart and skip it. You know how much of a sci-fi nut I am, and I've read the books, so I'm not biased against the genre. I just prefer to pass on the porn.

  2. I should have said I read the first three books. In hind-sight, not a good idea (for the same reason that I didn't feel right about watching the show).

  3. I would definitely recommend most of those; the rest being ones I haven't seen or b/c of my dislike for Larry David.
    Dexter is one of my favorites. I wait every year on a long hold list for the library to purchase the newest season. It's got some unnecessary gore, language, nudity, etc., which is hard to look past at times, but the story is well worth it.
    Downton Abbey isn't very Jane Austin. Not even the same time period. It's fascinating to see how the two sides of money live under one roof. The fiesta episode honestly makes it hard to get into it, but if you can make it thru it's worth it. Assuming you like chick-flicks.
    Happy Endings is, in the words of Penny, "hilare." My Wednesday nights are incomplete without it! It's really one of the better sitcoms in the last few years.
    It's Always Sunny is bizarre in a good way. It doesn't make sense half the time but you laugh anyway. I started watching it b/c I kept hearing how my husband looks and sounds just like Charlie Day. True!
    Personally, I've learned that if multiple people tell me is really like a show then I should check it out. So far it's been true for Firefly, Doctor Who, and Heroes.

  4. I would choose Mad Men, quality every season... this season is the best yet.
    Have always had a struggle with The Sopranos... it's the best show that's ever been on television... and it's one of the worst shows also when it comes to guarding your heart. That being said, I rented and watched every episode and paid for HBO just to watch the final season without waiting. Incredible television, but can't say I'm glad I watched it all anymore. Same struggle with Dexter, but not nearly as good as The Soprano's.
    Tried watching the first two episodes of Game of Thrones and the good just didn't outweigh the bad in my mind.