Monday, June 23, 2008

Annual Report, Best/Worst TV Shows

I worked on an exciting project, for me at least, today. I did send out some more information requests for the rehabilitation center project, but most of my work focused on doing articles for the annual report for Marshall University.

It's definitely a treat to be able to work on such an important project for my alma mater as part of my graduate internship at my current school. The annual report is in its early phases, which means we need articles to fill some of the pages with events from 2008. The general theme is "growth," which is quite appropriate for Marshall.

I can hardly believe the growth that has taken place at Marshall in the short 13 months since I graduated. New residence halls and a new student recreation center are just two of the most significant changes on campus, but there have been plenty more in the way of buildings. However, there have also been renovations. Both the Marshall Memorial Fountain and the Spring Hill Cemetery memorial have been restored and look great. Some other projects I'm writing about include an initiative by the College of Science to use blueberry bushes and bees to restore barren mountaintop removal sites and a million-dollar project sponsored by BB&T to enhance the studies of American capitalism at the Lewis College of Business.

I'll continue working on the annual report this week, and I'll travel Friday to sit in on a local public information meeting, which should be a great learning experience.

I started working on some projects for the Roanoke Times today as well. The paper is putting together its annual back-to-school issue already, and this year's theme is "Get Involved!" I couldn't think of anything more appropriate after the success of programs such as VT Engage and The Big Event this past school year.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm very interested in the idea of using social networking media online to get to consumers. The article I posted last time mentioned how you have to be willing to commit to such an enterprise, and here's another one that talks more about how you have to actually be involved and put some work into it to succeed when using apps such as Twitter.

So, just for fun, I was thinking today, what would be some of the best and worst TV shows that are on the air today? Leave some comments and discuss it — here's my list of best and worst of current TV shows.

  1. The Office — hands down, the funniest, wittiest, most entertaining show on TV. Steve Carell can just look at a camera and somehow make you laugh, and the awkwardness of Jim and Pam's relationship mixed with the frustration the employees obviously have with Michael makes for a ride you don't want to miss each week (and don't mind watching again and again in syndication).
  2. Scrubs — Sure, the series ended with this season, but you can usually find Scrubs on TV at any time of the day on multiple channels in syndication. It's sort of like one of those cheesy hospital shows, only with a touching storyline about coming of age and dealing with life and death, minus the unrealistic sexual frustrations and needless gore.
  3. Boston Legal — You thought Captain Kirk was gone. Well, you were wrong. The Shatner has been harassing women and narrowly winning cases as a lawyer on ABC for a few years now. This show doesn't get much press, but grab a season on DVD or check it out live, and I bet you'll be amused by what antics these lawyers can get into next. Better yet, there's always a drink and a cigar's worth of philosophical advice at the end of each episode.
  4. Two and a Half Men — The wife-beating Charlie Sheen (allegedly) may not be a good role model (allegedly), but his arrogance and (alleged) womanizing comes in handy when playing a socialite in this situational comedy. If you like quick puns and jokes about two middle-aged men trying to (allegedly) get laid, raise a kid and cope with living together, this is worth a half-hour.
  5. The Colbert Report — This would probably be higher in my list if it were more of a traditional show, but I'm a sucker for storylines. This is more comedy routine gone wild than a real news program, but the catch is — you have to be relatively informed to get the jokes. Clever, filled with truthiness.
Honorable mentions: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (The perfect balance of emotion and watching a cool house being built. Ty Pennington comes off as too much at first, but in the end, you really just wish you had his skills.); Army Wives (It's on Lifetime, so it can't make my list, but it's not bad for a Lifetime series.); 60 Minutes, 20/20 and Meet the Press (I decided not to include news programs in my list, but these are three of my favorites.)

  1. Jon and Kate Plus 8 — This TLC "masterpiece" is shown back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back (well, you get the point). If you enjoy hearing stressed-out women bitch at their husbands and eight kids scream for hours on end, be sure to tune in next time, folks!
  2. Real World (and any related spin-off or copy cat) — No, nothing that happens here is "real." Real people are not this stupid (I hope). Real people don't get paid to live in a house, have sex, cry, yell, rinse, repeat. The fact that this show and its relatives even still exists is proof that No Child Left Behind isn't working and that we really need more education in the U.S.
  3. American Idol — It has gone on long enough! How many failures (unless you count the fact that Reubens are considered tasty) can you produce before you kill the music industry? Like we really need another pop star... or Sanjaya.
  4. Grey's Anatomy — It's like ER, only not remotely exciting. It's like Scrubs, only not funny. It's like General Hospital, but it involves a little less sex. It's like they had an idea for a good story and a good setting and a good show — only they didn't.
  5. Ghost Whisperer — Even Jennifer Love Hewitt's hotness can't save this reject from the Sci-Fi Channel's dumpster.
Unhonorable mentions: Dog Whisperer (Like Ghost Whisperer, only with dogs... every episode is pretty much exactly the same.); CSI: Any City (Cool for the first couple seasons, but now every episode is pretty much the same formula, regardless of city, regardless of sexy murdered partier, and the unrealism that abounds in how quickly the forensics work has become quite apparent.)


Anonymous said...

You should switch The Office and John and Kate +8, thanks...and I love you...

Beamer said...

I concur with your list (of course I'd add Lost to the best 5). I never did Star Trek, but Shatner is amazing on Boston Legal. If I had a TV that was connected and a good work ethic I'd watch every episode.

JD said...

Of course, this list just counts the shows that I've seen or been made to watch extensively. But yeah, I can see Lost possibly making the list if I ever watched it. I almost feel bad for not watching it because it sounds great, and I was a HUGE ALIAS fan. That's sort of why I don't watch Lost, I guess, because I don't want to get so involved in a show again that I can't miss the episodes. Of course, there's always online replays now, I guess, which is what I do with The Office if I miss it. I'm waaaaay too late in the game now, though, if I know ol' J. J. Perhaps I'll get the seasons once everything wraps up.

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