We Like to Watch: Television 2010 – What’s Happened So Far

Autostraddle has now gone three months without a TV Editor (though we enjoyed one thrilling false start) which means you poor creatures haven’t had anyone to talk to about your favorite programs except yourself. We feel bad about that, we really do, and we’d like to make it up to you.

Therefore today, Scribegrrrl (pronounced out loud as “scribegirl. or like, scribeg’rrrrrrl or whatever”) an experienced television writer responsible for masterworks like this page of The L Word Episode 311 recap & many other things, is going to cover what we missed. A.k.a., everything except Skins. Without any further ado…

We Like to Watch:
A TV Roundup at a Random Point in the TV Season

by scribegrrrl

Is this thing on? Well, no — not if it’s a TV. Lately, clicking the brave little TELEVISION link on this site has probably left you feeling empty, alone, bereft. As hollow and abandoned as an Avatar fan on Oscar night. But I’m here to tell you that yes, some of us do still watch TV — and even like it! Come, let us begin to fill the giant TV-shaped hole: here are some flickering highlights of the last couple of months of TV, in no particular order.


30 Rock

If you haven’t been watching 30 Rock, there’s not a lot I can say, because this show is so totally insider-y and so quick-wittedly self-referential, it’s going to implode someday. And that’s why I love it.
Recent highlights include the sleepwalking (and sleep–pizza-ordering) nod to Paranormal Activity; guest star Julianne Moore’s crazy Boston accent; and Liz’s root canal procedure (and subsequent loopiness). If you didn’t see the last few minutes of the root canal/Valentine’s Day episode, stop depriving yourself. (In this clip, Liz is flying high on post-surgery meds and mashes up her ex-boyfriends with the Jamaican hygienists at her dental office. But don’t try to make sense of that; just watch!)

A lot of the jokes on 30 Rock are fleeting and don’t make much sense outside the trippy meta-context of the show. But one scene will stay with me, in a scarred-for-life sort of way. Jane Krakowski and guest star Jan Hooks, playing dependent daughter and manipulative mother, did the most awkward duet since “Afternoon Delight” on Arrested Development. They sang “Do That to Me One More Time,” made famous by the Captain and Tennille.

Do that to me once again!



It’s the final season, so of course Lost is taking the opportunity to be even more convoluted and confusing. Now there are mind-blowing flashes sideways in addition to the continually cryptic flashes forward and back. Plus after watching Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) die in last season’s finale, we had to watch her die OVER AND OVER AND OVER again in “previously” clips and flashbacks. Way to overwrite my fond memories of her in her “Motor Pool” jumpsuit!

Lately the highlight for me has been mad, murderous Claire — now seemingly possessed by dark smoke-monster forces. Unfortunately, I keep getting the urge to yell, “Maybe the dingo ate your baby!” a la Elaine Benes.

Like many, I’m beginning to question my investment in all the years and twists of Lost. Unless they all end up driving a convertible into the sky, accompanied by the sweet strains of “We Go Together,” the ending probably isn’t going to be very satisfying.


Desperate Housewives

Mostly I cannot stand this show. The voiceovers are creepy, everything’s unnaturally taut or unnaturally manicured or unnaturally shiny (and that’s just the electrical wires, the lawns, and the mailboxes, ba dum ching!), and the storylines are usually just boring. But oh, Dana Delany.

There she is kissing her stripper roommate. (How else would two women hook up on Wisteria Lane? I mean, nobody can be expected to resist a STRIPPER.) This is really all you need to see:

Oh, and THIS. (The ol’ oops-I-spilled-something-on-my-shirt-and-thus-must-disrobe trick has been working since The Hunger.)

The most recent episode was a little less promising, but still good — stripper Robin isn’t going to let suburban Katherine wiggle her way out of this attraction with excuses about being drunk or straight or DESPERATE or whatever.



No way! Long-suffering Lizbian finally got some action! Sure, Liz then stupidly freaked out about her new lady love’s special talent (hint: it rhymes with treenail freejackutayshun), which made the lady love freak out about gayness in general — this is Nip/Tuck, after all, where women can never be happy and often can’t even be human. But hey, it was hot for a minute there.

Then, in the very last episode ever ever ever, fucked-up Sean and egomaniac Christian finally made Liz a partner in the plastic surgery biz. She may never be happy personally, but professionally she’s even more of a catch. Meanwhile, Julia (Joely Richardson), the other “lesbian” on the show, ended up married to a dude and brooding about her brood. Touché. And cliché, and fuckyouRyanMurphyché. You’ve almost redeemed yourself with Glee, but that’s really only because Jane Lynch is mighty and cannot be felled by half-assed writing. Never mind that the last hugs-around-the-dinner-table scene of Nip/Tuck actually made me tear up a little. *sniffle* Stupid show.



The snoozy second season set the bar pretty low for this season of Damages. But even without that, the storylines have been much more interesting. Of course, I really only watch for Glenn Close generally and flirtatious scenes specifically — like this one, in which Patty drunk-dials Ellen (from the office at 4 in the morning, while eating Oreos and drinking!):

Damages: If the preceding clip disappears, try this one. Note: DO NOT SELECT A QUALITY; just press the play button twice!

Who can resist a classic cat-and-mouse game? If there’s a God, Patty and Ellen will end up in bed together before the show meets its demise — which I fear is probably really soon, so never mind, God.

Oh, but at least we get Lily Tomlin this year, wearing a fright wig and delivering unintentionally campy lines. She’s ready for her close-up!

Grey’s Anatomy, American Idol, Parks & Recreation,
Better Off Ted, Modern Family and more

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  1. omg, Scribegrrl lives. I love you Scribegrrl – I spent many a work day reading your recaps from 2004 onward!

  2. I couldn’t stop thinking “Oh my God, it’s Scribegrrrl!” while reading this. That’s how much I love the internet. (Btw, Hulu only works in the US)

  3. I had such high hopes for Lilly Tomlin in Damages but alas the writing has degenerated. How bout Ellen and the hot new brit lawyer lady make out and Patty walks in on them? I know a girl can dream.

    Lucy Lawless in Spartacus is kinda awesome although the red wig throws me every time. Damn I miss her in BSG but she might make an appearance on Caprica. Speaking of Caprica last weeks episode was pretty good.

    • Ooooh, yes, please (re: Ellen and hot new Brit lawyer getting interrupted by Patty). Write that up in a fan fic, STAT!

      And hi everyone!

  4. When I read “by Scribegrrrl” my brain exploded into thousands of tiny rainbows! Yay!

    And is it just me, or did Julie Benz get a LOT of work done since season 1 of Dexter?

  5. Hooray for television! I’ve missed you so, so, so much!

    Also, hooray for Scribegrrrl!

    It’s a good day.

  6. This is great! I need to watch me some goddamned television. I can’t even keep up with LOST or Caprica and those are like…two shows. Technostraddle will cover ’em all proper like some day! Also I don’t know anything about TV and thus don’t know when seasons start and end and why there are breaks and all this other zany shit. When does Fringe begin again? Also I absolutely must watch Season 3 of Mad Men.

  7. Funny this article came out today because I just watched Spartacus: Blood and Sand last night for the first time… and HOLY SHIT. There were a lot of “holy shits” and “what the f-cks” passing between by brother and I, hahah. Anyway, I’m kind of into it.

  8. don’t give up on dollhouse, folks.

    it’s a really, really clever show with some truly deeper meaning. it’s such a shame that it takes so long to actually get to that point (everything pre-season 2 is actually pretty crap and doesn’t really matter), but i keep recommend it for everyone because it is getting really awesome somewhere in s2.

    sdo yourself a favor and keep on watching, even if it seems unlogical and boring sometimes. it will unfold and eventually catch you too, i promise.

  9. What? Dollhouse is mentioned, and no mention of the lesbian character on it? Very last episode, Joss throws us a lesbian. This is why we love him. Seriously, that show turned out to be amazing.

  10. loved your LWord recaps….
    fan of damages but can’t stand lost and 30 rock…tired of tina fey’s buzz and i’m not alone (cf ratings)

  11. So…..I’m in the middle of season 5 of Lost, did the dumb thing and read the blurb about it, and have now lost my will to live. Oh Elizabeth Mitchell, I have too much love.

    At least we can still see her killing aliens on a failed TV show from 1984. Better than nothing..

  12. First, my love for Scribegrrrl knows no boundaries. Second, according to a recent Live Science article, “For better relationships, just be yourself” so I’m saying this because I love you: Aziz Ansari is pure greatness. RIP DJ Roomba.

    • OK, I’ll give you that: DJ Roomba was kind of awesome. And I did feel kind of sorry for Tom when his green card wife dumped him. Maybe he’ll grow on me the way Ron Swanson has. (eww, that makes me think of Ron’s shot-off bald spot after the hunting accident)

  13. Modern Family is great. I don;t think there aren;t enough women on the show because any other women would be out of place on the show so its fine. Besides the two they have are beautiful/funny/talented so its all good.

    I really like Spartacus Blood and Sand. Its my guilty pleasure. It has gotten better each with each episode. Although I don;t watch it for Xena, even though I love her, I hate Lucretia and I can’t wait till she gets whats coming. Mostly I enjoy the Crixus, the fights scenes, Crixus/Naevia, Barca/Piertros, and Crixus.

    Vampire Diaries last episode were so good. It has also gotten better. As long as the keep the focus off of elana and stephen, which are the main characters.

    Also I still love SMALLVILLE!! It was been an amazing season. It has gotten SOO good in its 9th season. It continues to get better, there have been twists, shocks and surprises. And Tom Welling is still beautiful and Cassidy Freeman, Tess, is still badass!

  14. Holy Lord, I totally forgot about the “Afternoon Delight” duet on Arrested Development. Incest will never be as amazing as it was on that show.

    My favorite sitcoms going right now are Parks and Rec and Modern Family.

    I feel like P&R has finally hit its stride, and I’m glad Poehler isn’t doing a poor man’s Michael Scott doing a poor man’s Ricky Gervais like the early episodes of season one. Leslie is a doof, but so she’s earnest and lovable and driven. Best feminist on primetime!

    Cam makes me laugh out loud every week. (Re: their gardener “I don’t know; he comes when we need him. He’s like Batman, but straight.”) The episode where Lily kept saying “Mama” made me cry, too. So sweet.

    Someone said Caprica upthread, and holy crap: Clarice and Amanda are gonna get their frak on, I am telling you!

    Hi, Scribegrrrl. You know I love you. XOXO. (That’s from Gossip Girl, by the way — which you’re too proud/smart to watch.)

    • DUDE. THEY WERE TOTALLY MAKING EYES AT EACH OTHER. they are totally going to frak. I think they wait another another ep so it is the one before the break.

  15. I cannot believe you think Aziz Ansari should leave Parks and Rec! Tom Haverford is soooo awesome and hilarious, though I must say I’m so glad Paul is leaving, he did not delivered the funnies the least bit.

  16. whoops, shouldn’t have read the grey’s anatomy one, i missed last week’s episode. oh well. if callie and arizona break up then that is it for me!

  17. Caprica!! Sister Clarice as the pansexual teacher in a group marriage, not to mention lots of metaphors about trans stuff with Zoe transformaing into a Cylon. And ther’s also the tattooed gay assasin Sam whose married to a guy called Larry. Finally some really queer sci-fi!

  18. You guys really have to get on Legend of the Seeker. There are TWO hot women on that show, neither of whom is interested in being a victim or needing rescuing, and they often kill people together. But only bad people. Because they’re good guys who happen to have quite a lot of cleavage.

    • I watch LoTS but i end up yelling at it for the most part because I have read the books and it does not follow the plot. I agree on the cleavage. It feels to me like the show moves very slowly and if they are going to move slow lets see more Mord Sith and less whats his name running ’round sans shirt who acts like a dufus. ok ok i am jaded because the books were pretty good up to around 5-6 i read all the way up to ‘pillars of creation’ which did not advance the plot at all. I mean he has not even taken up the title of Lord Rahl which is stupid also the palace of the prophets ep was LAME. He should be training as a war wizard not this dumb ‘OMG dead rahl in the underworld plotting something.’ LAME ASS. ok i am done ranting. MOAR MORD SITH MORE RED LEATHER.

  19. I thought Big Love was also excellent this year, although I know a lot of die hards didn’t love it. Also, where is the Gossip Girl coverage? Where’s Carly? What happened to Carly? (mostly joking, please do not take offense Scribegrrrl. You’re recaps were great.)

    Also, is Better Off Ted canceled? Ultimate boo.

  20. I think Better off Ted is cancelled alright which would be a shame. In other news, am I the only one who’s starting to prefer Parks over 30 Rock, (dont tell Tina) that latest possum episode was flipping brilliant! Also, I didnt know that a Roomba was an actual thing, we’re deprived this side of the Atlantic evidently!

  21. OK, people, you’ve got me watching Caprica — I’m catching up on Hulu. Pretty great stuff!

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