THE ONLY TV SHOWS I HAVE EVER DEVELOPED A SERIOUS OBSESSION WITH

I don't always watch TV. But when I do, I analyze the crap out of everything and think the characters are real.
  1. Northern Exposure
    I don't understand why more people don't recognize how supremely genius this show is and think that if it was on the air today, it would be a huge flop. People today are simply too stupid to understand the glorious magical realism and literary, philosophical, and obscure pop culture references. The moment when Shelly asks Chris if Carl Jung and the Collective Unconscious "tour or just sell records" is comedic genius. Side note: Shelly is the best. I got my ears pierced because of her.
  2. Mad Men
    The costumes. The mysterious end credits music. The plots and dialogues so layered with subtleties that you have to watch each episode ten times to fully "get it." The literary genius of Mad Men can't be understated - I rank Matthew Weiner up with Flannery O'Connor and Nabokov as authors who have most influenced my writing. Watching it is like reading a well-crafted epic novel - the unity from season to season and the evolution of the characters is beautiful, even if their actions aren't.
  3. Lost
    I admit it - I was late to the party on Lost by about a decade and now I finally understand what everyone in college was freaking out over. I think I binge watched the whole thing in a month. The genius of Lost is that it takes a worn out concept - people trapped on an island in the middle of nowhere - and completely subverts our expectations. It draws from classic literature, science fiction, popular music, and physics to create something that messes with your head in the best sense.
  4. Monk
    Laugh at this one if you must, but Monk was comedic genius. The personalities of the characters hooked me, especially the fact that Stottlemeyer and Disher were obviously a modern day Andy Griffith and Barney Fife. There was also the fact that everyone who watched it could relate to it - we may not all have OCD (well, actually I do) but we are all "Monkish" whether we like it or not. Also, coming up with ways to keep it funny for eight years took incredible skill on the writers' part.
  5. Star Trek: The Next Generation (or I Married a Trekkie)
    Until my husband's TNG fixation unveiled itself, I had little interest in this sci fi gem. Yet, when he started rewatching it, I found myself slowly being hooked. I know it's weird, but I would liken TNG to Northern Exposure in that it is all about the ensemble cast - a group of quirky individuals in an unusual location. The futuristic elements are awesome, but I fell in love with the details of the characters - mainly, that it is centuries into the future and Picard still reads actual books.