Thrilling TV: What Rocks Your Tube?

This photo reminds me of a friend of mine. Back in college, she’d sit at her computer comparing her list of “future husband” traits to online profiles. Her list was equal parts long and specific. Tall, thin, light eyed, sensitive, artistic, dog loving, kid loving, financially well-off but not snobby, smart but not nerdy, loyal, never married or first wife died… I’m not joking. A few years later she met the love of her life—a short, stocky, divorced businessman from Saudi Arabia. Though he didn’t suit 80 percent of her proclaimed must-haves, he had the most important ones: loyalty, a loving heart, a sense of humor that tickled her and a penchant for her values. Years later, I doubt she could be happier.

Like Mr. Gump and his chocolates, when we open our hearts, we never know what we’ll get. Stories we fall in love with work similarly. 

I’m a thriller-oholic, and have been for as long as I can remember. But if I chose TV shows based on the cover and apparent genre, I’d miss out on some of my faves. I’ve noticed that shows that have swept me off my feet share similar characteristics, all of which suit, but aren’t limited to thrillers.

My favorite shows all have:

  • Captivating, relatable characters
  • Fabulous acting
  • Dramatic, emotional, suspenseful plots
  • Seriousness, some level of darkness
  • Surprising twists and secrets
  • Adult and family themes—family meaning blood-related or chosen units
  • High stakes—often life or death
  • Believable plots and endings (Events are often extraordinary, but they could theoretically happen.)

And tend not to have:

  • Kid focus (I wasn’t into YA, even as a YA.)
  • Alien life forms or cartoon characters
  • Endless violence or visual effects
  • Slapstick comedy (Funny moments, yes, but I prefer shows that enthrall me than keep me giggling or eye-rolling. ;))
  • Too many hum-drum, unhappy relationships (Everybody might love Raymond, but I find such shows depressing.)

We can learn a lot by examining the stories we’re drawn to. If I’d analyzed my tastes before writing my first novel, for example, I might have know it was a thriller from the get-go… What we’re drawn to in television, we’re often also drawn to in books, plays and films. They’re all, after all, story mediums. And I’m fascinated by what stories float others’ TV boats. If my favorite show attributes match yours, I bet you’ll adore these, if you don’t already.

My Top Three:

Lie to Me I nearly cried when Lie to Me was cancelled. It aired on FOX from 2007 to 2009, and features Dr. Cal Lightman and his colleagues, who together form an investigative, lie detecting team using applied psychological interpretation. Lightman is based on a real psychologist and body language and facial expressions expert, Dr. Paul Ekman. Ekman kept up with the show on his blog, which is still available and makes for a terrific accompaniment or followup to the show.

Criminal Minds is considered a “cop show,” but it’s far more. It centers around an elite group of FBI agents who analyze the most dangerous criminal minds in hopes of anticipating and preventing additional strikes. The main characters are sharp as whips and lovable, and having read the FBI’s criminal behavioral text (yeah, I’m nerdy like that), it’s extremely well-researched. CM focuses more on the victims than the killers, which would make The Gift of Fear author Gavin de Becker mighty proud. Season 8 kicks off next month on CBS.

Prison Break is a crime/action thriller that aired for four seasons on FOX, beginning in 2005. After Michael’s older brother, Lincoln, is sentenced for a murder he didn’t commit, he devises an elaborate plan for his escape. But that’s just the beginning… Prison Break is hands down the most suspenseful show I’ve ever seen, rich with surprising twists and drama, and believe it or not, a tear jerker. And the acting will knock your socks off.

More Faves Worth Mentioning:

  • Brothers and Sisters
  • The Good Wife 
  • Damages
  • Homeland
  • Revenge

Fabulous related posts:

Ellie Ann Soderstrom: The Best TV Shows in the World
Tiffany A. White and Amber West:  Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: Suspense & Stilletos
Diane Capri Reveals Karla Darcy (Shhhh! Secrets!)
Jess Witkins: Deadwood: The Town, the TV Show, My New Guilty Pleasure

What do your favorite shows have in common? Which thrill you the most? Do your reading, writing and TV interests match?

Leave a comment

66 Comments

  1. Love Criminal Minds because of the criminal story lines but also the closeness between the characters. The cast has a great chemistry. I’m also (way behind) but very much into Supernatural. It’s much more of a show about family than anything else. And of course, Bones! Can’t beat their chemistry, and it usually has the perfect blend of humor/darkness.

    Reply
    • I figured you were a Criminal Minds fan, Stacy. 🙂 I’ll have to give Supernatural a watch.

      It’s funny… I see Criminal Minds as a family show, too. The BA team is closer knit than many kin.

      Reply
  2. Great list. I just discovered “Lie to Me.” I’d add: Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Weeds. I share your penchant for “adult shows” (and also did as a kid—maybe a desire to grow up faster than I should have). I feel as if I learn a lot about writing from well-written shows (I wrote about this in one of my posts: https://audreykalman.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/everything-i-know-about-writing-i-learned-from-watching-tv/.)

    Reply
    • Great pics, Audrey. I’ve enjoyed Mad Men, too, and plan to watch Breaking Bad.

      I can’t wait to check out that post. Fabulous shows, like books, really are terrific teachers.

      Reply
  3. I haven’t seen any of those! My recent favorites are Hart of Dixie (characters, characters), Psych (mystery & fun characters), Castle (mystery, interesting characters, and writing) and Revenge (ooh, sweet guilty pleasure). My favorite books are about intriguing characters and puzzles–both interpersonal and external plot. I like bringing all my W-questions (who, what, when, where, why) and pondering them as I watch a show. And I write mystery and YA contemporary.

    Reply
    • I love Revenge, too, Julie! Just started watching last week. Sounds like your favorites suit your reading and writing style, too.

      A friend of mine was a poker player on Castle. Did you know that they feature real mystery authors as background characters? I didn’t love the show, based on 1 episode I’ve seen, but I LOVE that. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Fabulous post August and I love the way you think. To analyse the types of “entertainment” we enjoy to tap into the types of books we’d most likely enjoy writing.
    I must be honest, I’ve never seen any of your shows listed. LOL! I am a huge soap fan. Love General Hospital and Young and the Restless. I know…but I love them! Also huge reality TV fan – Big Brother, Bachelor Pad, America’s Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance are all on my PVR right now. And I love the wedding shoes – Say Yes To The Dress and the newly I Found The Gown…HAHAHA!
    Lord…what does that say about me. Like you, I am into Adult Shows and I have a great distaste for comedy (probably because I find so little of it truly funny). Simpson, Family Guy…I hate. And even with rave reviews, I tend not to watch 30-minute comedy shows…I definitely like DRAMA!! Tension…with love twists…
    Hmmmm…definitely FOOD for thought. Love it!

    Reply
    • Ha! I love that we have such varied tastes. A friend of mine is totally addicted to that dress show. It even appears in her WIP. Our faves really do seep into our lives in profound and fabulous ways…

      If you love soaps, you should check out “Revenge.” It’s probably the perfect blend of our tastes: total thriller with romance and scandal galore. 😉 For our first slumber party? (LOL)

      Reply
  5. Elena Aitken

     /  August 30, 2012

    Hmm. very interesting. Like Natalie, I’m all over the place. I LOVE my reality TV. (Bachelor Pad, So you think you can dance) And cooking shows (MasterChef and Hell’s kitchen- kinda reality I guess) and I must have some YA goodness (Glee and 90210- I realize this isn’t high entertainment) BUT then I need some drama too. (CSI, Private Practice)

    And I write romance and women’s fiction. Hmm..
    I’m sure there’s a correlation in there somewhere. ha ha.
    Great post!

    Reply
  6. Coleen Patrick

     /  August 30, 2012

    Funny, I majored in criminal justice, but have not seen a single episode of any of your favorites. But I was a HUGE fan of Law and Order Criminal Intent (and sometimes SVU). I watch a lot of reality tv now, but some of my non reality faves are Nurse Jackie (love the edge and humor), Gilmore Girls (still record and watch even though I’ve seen every episode more than once) and Dexter. Yup, fascinated by serial killers, drug addicted nurses and small town relationships! 🙂

    Reply
  7. Love this post, August, and thanks for the mention for Downton Abbey! (Are you sure we were’t twins separated at birth? LOL!) Anyway….I enjoy the same types of fiction that you do, but your special choices are maybe a bit different from mine. While I liked Lie to Me initially (and watched through the end), I got a bit annoyed with the lead character because he was too egotistical — same issue I had with House after a while (which I stopped watching after a few seasons). Yes, I know all of these shows are simply a twist on Sherlock Holmes and he was as irascible and egotistical as they come, but after a while it becomes annoying. Loved Criminal Minds for a long, long time – but then it got too character driven for me. I think I lost interest finally when they made “Greg” (Loved him on Dharma & Greg!) so angst-ridden. While I love the characters and found Law & Order (for example) too lacking in that arena, CM eventually messed up the balance for me. Loved Prison Break for a while — until it became about “no-prison-break” for way too long and I lost interest in living around the inmates. Brothers and Sisters got too silly in the final couple of seasons, but I watched it through the end. Like most people on the planet, I really like Sally Field. 😀 The Good Wife is one I’ve loved — but I hate that CBS football screws it up every week during the regular season, so I stopped watching. (I meant to return during the reruns, but that never happened….) Damages never captivated me, although I adore Glenn Close. Homeland is excellent, but they’ve got to stop with the Claire Danes nuttiness. And Revenge — I’m still into this one so far, even though Madeline Stowe drives me nuts. Anything new on the horizon?

    Reply
    • If so, I must be the neurotic twin—ha! I preferred Lightman’s character less egotistical, too, though felt the shift was pretty realistic. But the off-kilter nature of Dane’s character in Homeland is one reason I love the show. 😉 Given the choice, my favorite season of Prison Break was the first; I agree that the camaraderie was a plus. One thing that kept me intrigued was observing what the writers did next… How they kept the momentum and surprises going, which I really felt they did.

      I watch most shows via Amazon on my Roku, so sports don’t interfere—whew! That also allows me to compulsively watch shows back to back, which I adore. A down side is waiting for seasons to be released…

      I’ve heard that Matthew Rhys, “Kevin” on Brothers and Sisters, is starring in a cold-war drama with Kerri Russell on FX. The Americans, I believe. Anyone else know of upcoming TV thrills???

      Reply
      • What TV on AMAZON!?!?!?

        What is this?!??!

        I am off to INVESTIGATE!!!

        Your blog is just chock full of Christmas presents today! 🙂

      • Check out Amazon “On Demand,” Natalie. With a Prime membership, you can watch oodles of shows and movies FREE. More are available for purchase and rental. 🙂 We use a Roku to watch Amazon shows on TV. Totally ROCKS!

  8. I just finished season 6 of “Dexter” last night, and it remains one of my favorite shows. Dark, humorous, well-acted, intense. My kind of show. Oh, and I loved “Lie to Me” as well. Was sad to see it go.

    Reply
    • Dexter is pretty groovy. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂 I’m planning to re-watch “Lie to Me” once more time has passed. *sniff sniff*

      Reply
  9. I watched a few episodes of Criminal Minds, but then one night I was alone in a hotel room and watched the episode where a woman is chained in a barn and dogs are let loose on her. You don’t see it, but you hear it and see the investigator’s faces (they are watching via webcam). It still gives me nightmares and it’s been over two years! I’m not a thriller gal. I can read thrillers, if they aren’t too scary, but no tv shows or movies for me, thanks! I tend toward the shows like Top Chef, Project Runway, Castle, Bones, Big Bang Theory, and Downton Abbey. My husband totally got me stuck on Sherlock, too. Character based, project oriented shows that can’t scare the crap out of me! Okay, sometimes the contestants on Project Runway scare me with their vile behavior, but still… 🙂 I have commitment issues with shows, so if there is a new shiny show that ‘may or may not’ last longer than a season, I’ll wait to commit to it until I know it has an end date.

    Reply
    • Yipes. Nightmares are seldom a good thing. Sorry CM inspired them for you! I do love how varied all of our tastes are—a huge perk for writers, seeing as there’s an audience for just about anything.

      I can’t watch Project Runway for other reasons. Virtually all I can see when the models appear is anorexia. Too much experience in that world to look past that.

      Reply
  10. Great analysis about the uniting elements of your favourite shows, August. I wish that I was as consistent. My shows all over the genres and ditto with books. The all time favourites are SFF or historicals, like Firefly (Joss Whedon is a god), Game of Thrones, Deadwood and Rome. I’m also a fan of Survivors, American Idol and all kind of style and wedding programs. HBO style and dark adult themes seem to be my combining factor.

    Reply
    • Lack of consistency in this regard can be a great thing, Reetta. I end up so darn picky that I can’t just sit back and watch any show, the way others do. I did love the Adam Lambert season of Idol. 😉

      Reply
  11. mgmillerbooks

     /  August 30, 2012

    I don’t have TV, won’t even watch it online, but I do have “Police Woman” with Angie Dickinson on DVD. 30+ years later it still rocks, jive turkey

    Reply
    • Must be pretty spectacular to gain non-TV-fan kudos. I’ll check it out. Um… But what the heck is jive turkey? (Not a microwavable TV snacks, I hope…)

      Reply
  12. Great post August. I have never thought much about the shows I watch and what similarities may be found in each. My viewing tastes are all over the place. I love Criminal Minds, and I enjoy Dr. Spencer Reid’s character. I haven’t enjoyed the Joe Mantogna character as much as I did Mandy Patinkin, which leads to the show Homeland which is a big favorite. Homeland most closely resembles the type of books I read. I’m also drawn to the edgier shows like Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Hell on Wheels and Shameless, which might be the raunchiest, funny in a dysfunctional way show on tv/cable. For mindless fun we watch The Mentalist and Persons of Interest. I never watch reality shows, because “scripted” reality is so fake in its search for drama and conflict.

    Reply
    • I’ve wondered why Mandy Patinkin (I love him!) even gets started with a series. Maybe he believes they will only last a few seasons? I lost interest in Chicago Hope when he left. I was sorry he chose to do Criminal Minds (just not my cup of tea), but am not surprised to hear that he’s not in it anymore.

      Reply
    • Spencer rocks! If I could have TV characters over for dinner, he and Garcia would have open invites. I was thrilled to see “Gideon” (Patinkin) on Homeland, too.

      Sounds like we share similar taste in books and TV, Tim. I could never really stomach The Mentalist, though—paled by comparison to Lie to Me, which had a similar premise, but IMO, smarter. I may have to give Sons of Anarchy a whirl.

      Reply
  13. I, too, loved Lie To Me although I always wanted the lead to keep his head straight instead of tipped to the side. And of course Good Wife couldn’t be better. My current obsession is Newsroom. Again the characterization is what gets to me and the lead characters passion for life. You’re right that the shows you like reflect in your writing. Whether I’m writing a thriller or a romance I want that tension that these shows have. The suspense in good relationships always makes a book better. Great job.

    Reply
    • Ha! Dr. Lightman did have a penchant for skipping the V8. 😉 Hmm… I’ve never heard of Newsroom, but considering your taste, I bet it’s worth checking out. Thanks so much for weighing in.

      Reply
  14. I’ll second both Bones and Dexter, and add in Crossing Jordan (especially if you like Bones) and Flash Point. Flash Point is a lot like Criminal Minds, and might come off as more of an action based show, but it does a lot with team dynamics and has, least in my opinion, a lot of emotional range once you get into it.

    Haven’t actually owned a tv in…ten years? Maybe a little more. Everything I watch is Netflixed, rented (not so much anymore…not many rental places around where I live now. I blame Netflix), or I watch at other people’s houses (kept up with Dexter for two or three seasons and all of Deadwood by stopping in and hanging out with my folkes).

    Reply
    • Sounds like I should check Flash Point out. I’m always eager to find new great shows, so thanks. 🙂

      I watch most programs on TV through Amazon and my trusty Roku box. For some reason Netflix doesn’t come in as well here. And I’m with you—RIP, rental joints.

      Reply
  15. I am sure I’m in the minority, but I haven’t watched a network TV show since M*A*S*H went off the air. (Well, Star Trek: The Next Generation–but that was syndicated, wasn’t it?)

    Reply
  16. I have a hard time watching anything violent that could actually happen. That scares me more than supernatural stuff (at least the super scary supernatural stuff). No Criminal Minds or Law and Order for me thank you very much.

    Like you, I loved Prison Break for the first season or two, but I packed it in after three. It just seemed like the violence kept getting worse (still get creeped out about the scene with Bellick and the hot coffee…and it’s been a long time…and I hated Bellick).

    I don’t have a clue about what my television viewing has in common with my reading or writing. Except maybe that I like variety? My current favorites are White Collar, Teen Wolf, Fringe, Haven, Vampire Diaries, Parenthood, Supernatural…if it’s not too bad or violent. I have been known to ‘beat feet’ for my office, where I will quickly turn on music to drown out ANY hint of the show that might make its way back here. I haven’t been able to look toward a mirror in the dark for quite some time…thanks to one of their episodes. I never used to read, or watch, anything supernatural, but for 3 or 4 years now, I’ve really gotten into it (the milder versions).

    Reply
    • Oh! I should add that one of the BEST shows I’ve ever seen was Terriers. I was so annoyed when it was canceled. So much so that I will never watch FX again. Yeah, I loved that show. 🙂

      Reply
      • Guessing Terriers was a dog show? I’ve never heard of it, but I do love dogs. 😉

        I’m not a fan of watching violence either, so I end up closing my eyes during bits of Criminal Minds, as I did during fight scenes in Prison Break. Suspense and rich, twisted drama holds my attention, and much of everything else, doesn’t. I can see your tastes suiting your writing, from the bits I know. 🙂 Thanks for the great thoughts, Kristy!

      • Oh no. Terriers, surprisingly enough, was an AMAZING series about a couple of scruffy private investigators (Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James). I don’t very often love a show like I loved this one…enough that I’ll join in sending protest letters when they’re canceled (just this one, Now and Again, and Jericho). FX did a poor marketing campaign…most people thought it was about dogs (which I love, too). Yes, I still miss it. 🙂

      • Aw. Who’d a thunk? I’ll have to check it out.

  17. Right now, my favorite show on TV is Breaking Bad. It’s very, very dark–which I like. The most interesting facet of the show is watching Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston)’s character arc. He starts out as a really nice guy, but by the final season he’s transformed into something else all together.

    I love crime shows (but not necessarily cop shows). Which is not to say I never watch shows that have a protagonist in law enforcement. I enjoy The Sopranos, Deadwood, Justified, Lillyhammer, Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, Weeds, Boardwalk Empire, Oz, Hell on Wheels (which is some about crime, some about history)

    I enjoy the supernatural and paranormal. I watch(ed) The Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead, True Blood, Twin Peaks, Lost, Teen Wolf, Once Upon a Time

    My preferences show up all the time in my writing. I write paranormal mysteries, horror, and crime noir.

    Reply
  18. Hey August,

    You’d be welcome on our couch for “movie night” anytime. My wife and I have just discovered “Damages” and we’re on Season 2 of “Criminal Minds.”

    The only change would be to swap “Prisoner Break” for “The Closer. 🙂

    Reply
    • Ooh, that’s a trade I can’t make… Seeing as I’ve seen all of “Prison Break” episodes, though, and enjoyed the few I’ve seen of “The Closer,” it’s a deal.

      I’m grateful that my husband enjoys the same shows I do, though he blames me for drawing him to the dark side. 😉

      Reply
  19. Raani York

     /  August 30, 2012

    Hi August! – Another great blog post from you!
    By thinking aobut your questions, let me answer them one by one:
    1. My writing and my preferrence in TV shows don’t match at all.
    2. By thinking about what kind of TV shows I like I have to admit: I’m a TV addict… *sigh*
    3. I do like Crime Shows such as: Criminal Minds, CSI (New York and Miami), Navy CIS, The Mentalist, Hawaii 5-0, Criminal Intent, Law and Order, Leverage (which is quite definitely my favorite next to the others. LOL) Of course I can’t watch them all so I usually chose the one that’s on at the time I do permit myself to relax in front of the TV…
    4. I don’t like Science Fiction too much…
    My reading is kind of different. I like the fantasy supernatural there…

    Reply
  20. You’ve got some of my favs listed. Criminal Minds, yes! The Good Wife, yes! My new fav is The Newsroom (omg, such great writing!) by creator of West Wing and others. I love thrillers and cop shows but it’s the characters, the writing, the interaction that really attract me.

    Reply
  21. I can’t handle much violence or deep psychological thrillers, so I don’t think we have too many shows in common. I like believable adventures and mysteries that aren’t too heavy. So my tastes are fairly tame with shows like Castle, Body of Proof, and mysteries on PBS and the BBC like Inspector Lewis or the New Sherlock Holmes.

    Reply
  22. Kourtney Heintz

     /  August 30, 2012

    I enjoy Revenge, The Mentalist, Castle, Vampire Diaries, Trueblood, and the Big Bang Theory. I love a good mystery with puzzling people dynamics. My books tend to be slightly genre mashing too. 😛

    Reply
  23. lynettemburrows

     /  August 30, 2012

    Great post, August. TV Shows I like for mindless fun include Eureka (the ended the series last season), Warehouse 13, the Mentalist, Ghost Whisperer, and Dancing with the Stars (don’t ask me how that one got in there!?!) Dramas – love Sherlock, NCIS, CSI, Criminal Minds and Perception. So, am I supposed to write about a science fiction dancing ghost Sherlock and crew hunting clues? Hmmm, no dancing so far, but that’s not too far from what I write. LOL!

    Reply
  24. fivereflections

     /  August 30, 2012

    as August ends, i hope your look forward to dawning September…

    Reply
  25. August – there is a Danish crime series called The Killing that was shown on the BBC recently. Well worth looking out for.

    Reply
  26. I’m not familiar with the TV shows you listed. They must’ve been American shows. Am I right? I’m not sure whether they show them here in Down Under as my favorite one is The World Game on SBS. It’s about soccer, basically. So going back to your point, yes I’m quite similar to you. My reading interest doesn’t match my TV interest.

    Subhan Zein

    Reply
  27. Ooh I love Damages! I just got season 4 from the library so now I can catch up! Great show! I’m not surprised so many of your titles are thrillers. 😉

    Reply
  28. This is so true! All my favorite shows have some element of the paranormal or science in them, which is also what I’m drawn to write about: Fringe, Grimm, The Mentalist, True Blood, Warehouse 13, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures (actually pretty much anything on the Syfy channel!) The X-Files is still my favorite show of all time.

    I did get into Prison Break for a few season, though. Great show.

    The one type of show I cannot watch is anything apocolyptic. Like the one where everyone is either a zombie or trying not to be eaten by zombies. Way too much stress for me 🙂

    Reply
  29. Your likes & dislikes should have made The Closer one of your favorites, but it’s too late now – except for reruns. I do enjoy Criminal Minds, although it’s really a bit dark for me. Both of these do a wonderful job of making the characters individuals.

    Reply
  30. I have cut waaaaay back on my TV viewing, but love Castle! Isn’t that dumb? I think it’s the whole writer detective thing and the characters are fun to watch…

    Reply
  31. journalpulp

     /  August 31, 2012

    I agree that we can learn a lot by examining the stories we’re drawn to — and more: we can learn a lot by examining the specifics of why we’re drawn to them. For example, there are a number of things about the first season of Twin Peaks that I loved: it was new and strange and mysterious, and the information was delivered in such a way that it made me curious to know what would happen next. But at the same time there was something too intentional about it, too deliberately quirky, too off-the-wall. And yet, and yet … and yet it was filmed with such great clarity, such patience, such a dream-like quality, and there were so many of those unforgettable moments of dialogue when real-life unexpectedly broke through that for all my frustration, at times, I was in the end forced to acknowledge the artistry and intelligence behind it.

    It’s been noted by many before me that the artist’s mode of execution — i.e. the style — as well as the artist’s choice of subject-matter gives us an in-depth glimpse into the artist’s soul, and that in turn we, the viewer, disclose our souls in responding (or not) to a given work of art.

    The choice of subject-matter (thriller, romance, western, erotica, comedy, so forth) reveals what the artist and the viewers who respond regard as important: important in the philosophical sense — which is to say, this subject is meaningful enough to take the time to capture in a work of art. That very act of selecting a subject, out of all possible and innumerable things we could select for a subject, is in and of itself extraordinarily significant.

    The method of presentation, in turn (the style), shows the way in which the artist thinks about the subject — i.e. clearly, foggily, dryly, excitingly, antiseptically, et cetera — and when we the viewer respond to that style, it shows our commiseration, or lack of. For this reason, it’s possible and very common to love an artist’s style but dislike the work as a whole because you don’t like the subject-matter that the artist chooses, and vice-versa: you may love the subject — e.g. crime investigation and crime-solving — but not care for the way its presented. Which is pretty much how I feel about, for example, CSI.

    But more important: It’s the last day of August, Ms. McLaughlin, a bittersweet day for me and perhaps for you.

    Reply
  32. We watch more sports than anything else and tape Criminal Minds, The Good Wife, Damages and (gulp … I can’t believe I like it …) Dexter, to watch in marathon sessions skipping commercials. Everyone is telling us to to watch Newsroom so I’ll check that out. But … I MISS BOSTON LEGAL!!!! *whine, whinge,sniffle*

    Reply
  33. Criminal Minds used to be one of my favorites too, but this last season it started becoming more about the killers. We got to see who they were and why they did stuff before the team ever figured it out. I didn’t care for that. Btw, I bet you would love Flashpoint; it’s got the characteristics you listed, and is also another favorite of mine. 🙂

    Oddly, I’m very compartmentalized in my reading and watching tastes. I prefer urban fantasy and some YA fantasy in books, but not in TV. And I watch mostly crime dramas, but don’t read thrillers or mysteries. 😕

    Reply
  34. EllieAnn

     /  September 2, 2012

    This post made me want to watch Criminal Minds, as I think we have some of the same tastes in TV shows. Lie to Me was fantastic, and ever-enthralling. I think it’s a must-watch for every writer, as it helps you write facial expressions and body language SO much better.
    And thanks so much for including my post! Whoo-hoo! =)

    Reply
  35. First off, thanks for all your help, August; you’re a great blogging friend!
    Secondly, sorry I haven’t been around much lately, but my book, The Bellman Chronicles, will be FREE to download on Sept. 10 – 11! Check it out on my Amazon Kindle page.. You won’t be disappointed. And if you can slip me a review, I’d be forever grateful…

    Reply
  36. mgedwards

     /  September 8, 2012

    Your blog posts are so diverse! My favorite TV show is a classic…a dark screen. I could not watch it for hours. LOL

    Reply
    • Hilarious! 🙂

      Reply
      • mgedwards

         /  September 8, 2012

        🙂 My favorite Far Side cartoon is the one that shows children lying on the floor, elbows propping up their chins, staring at the wall with the caption “In the days before television.” Ah, the good ol’ days. 😉

  37. Ha! Finally, someone else who doesn’t love Raymond! I was starting to think I was the only one. We seem to have similar goals with regard to television, but the only shows we share in common are Homeland and The Good Wife.

    I followed Criminal Minds for three years (very well-done show), but grew uncomfortable with the body count. As I age, I grow increasing uncomfortable with death for my entertainment; that might be that high-sensitivity thing you just wrote about. (You might enjoy the TV Tuesday series I did recently.)

    Reply
  38. Thanks for the mention, August!! You know I LOVE TV!! Criminal Minds is one of my favorites. I really believe that it is a program that can help mystery writers dig deep into their killer’s heads… I could go on and on as to the TV shows that I watch, but right now Revenge, Bones, and Pretty Little Liars are top on my list.

    Reply
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