In this week’s ATV, we discuss the new Netflix Christmas special, A Very Murray Christmas, and the inherent flaws in a celebrity Christmas special built around a depressive, alcoholic character who’s not great at singing. We also talk about the Christmas special as a genre and touch on some of our favorites, including A Colbert Christmas, the Rankin and Bass classics, Charlie Brown, and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
We then inaugurate It’s a Wonderful Life as a retroactively official TV Christmas special, and move on to discuss some of the emotionally fraught aspects of the holiday. Margaret and Andrew were gift receiving monsters at one point, Kathryn cried at the wrong part of Bridge to Terabithia, and we make some space for those of us who are just trying to muddle through somehow.
Special guest host Craig Getting of Overdue fame joins us this week for a discussion of game shows, those reliable workhorses of the daytime-and-early-evening TV landscape. We talk the hosts and formats we like, and the ones we think we would do the best on.
Craig also tells us about his (sometimes faulty) strategies for solving Wheel of Fortune puzzles, and the time he was robbed of the chance to be on the show.
This week we discuss The CW’s new series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Margaret is a fan, and Kathryn and Andrew have some reservations. Margaret tries to assuage their fears by discussing the show's strengths, and Andrew admits he has liiiiitle a crush on Rachel Bloom. Kathryn’s generally weary of television’s depictions of women as “crazy,” but she’s willing to give the show more time.
Then we move on to a slightly unfortunate TV vs TV, in which Kathryn and Margaret have a misunderstanding about the nature of the debate before finally settling on TV series most damaged by their jokey ironic titles. Margaret argues for the cut-down-in-its-prime one season series Trophy Wife, while Kathryn chides Andrew for his complete disinterest in a good show just because it's called Cougar Town.
On this week's episode, we dig into the recent Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Star Trek reboot announcements and share our deepest hopes and fears. We also share the shows we'd actually like to be see remade, though the list of properties that are ripe for a reboot that aren't already being rebooted is getting short.
Next, we move on to a midseason checkup on some of the shows we mentioned in our overview of Fall TV. For Margaret, it's Supergirl, which is well-intentioned even if it's sometimes a little too on the nose. For Andrew, it's The Muppets, which is still frustratingly milquetoast. And Kathryn has unexpectedly found herself drawn to the TV continuation of the film Limitless, something that spawns a limitless number of jokes.
It's Thanksgiving, and we're here to discuss the beloved holiday tradition of the Thanksgiving-themed TV episodes. Kathryn loves them, Andrew is dubious, and Margaret is a happy medium. Kathryn goes long on the relationship between bottle episodes and the Thanksgiving structure, and we discuss Friends, The West Wing, and Bob's Burgers among other holiday classics.
This week we have kick things off with a discussion of the comedian-driven sitcom, inspired by Aziz Ansari's Netflix original series Master of None and Louis CK's excellent FX show Louie. You really should watch both of them.
After that, we wrap up our TV Book Club series on the first season of Black Mirror, a show that we ultimately didn't like as much as some people do. The last installment, "The Entire History of You," takes an interesting premise and squanders it on a tired old story while asking us to sympathize with a questionable dude in the process. No thanks?
We open our episode this week with a discussion about the earliest shows we can remember watching even thought we either hated them or hated ourselves for watching them. Andrew has an ongoing love/hate relationship with The Simpsons, Margaret remembers a specific season of Must See TV with stunning clarity, and Kathryn has fallen back into a dangerous Tyra-themed habit.
Andrew and Kathryn then turn to a TV vs TV debate about the best television to watch when you're in a nondescript, underwhelming hotel room. For Kathryn, it's all about the magic of HGTV, while Andrew argues for anything that involves a mystery box of ingredients or Gordon Ramsay. Judge Margaret's wisdom prevails.
We kick things off this week with a discussion of the Bechdel Test and its strengths and weaknesses as a method of evaluating the kinds of shows we talk about. It's useful sometimes, just not always.
Then we launch right into our next installment of TV Book Club, this time about the second episode of Black Mirror. This episode included a more fully realized sci-fi dystopia, but its treatment of its female characters is more than a little problematic. It also kind of borrows its main point from the movie Network.
Join us for our Spooky Halloween Spectacular! Margaret, Kathryn and Andrew discuss what TV-themed costumes they would create if they had all the time and money in the world. Margaret has a brilliant costume, Andrew's costume choices require some very specific facial hair, and Kathryn reveals that she is truly terrible at coming up with costume ideas.
Kathryn then returns to her controversial judicial podium to decide between Margaret and Andrew's compelling arguments for best TV Halloween episode. It's a very spooky nail-biter.
This week’s show sees the return of Hatewatch Watch, here renamed “Bashville” because of all the hate that Margaret has to aim at ABC’s Nashville.
We then move on to the newest installment in our TV Book Club series, the first episode of Black Mirror. It is, how you say, not what we were expecting. Andrew also explains the art of faking an orgasm, which you should be able to use if you ever find yourself in a Black Mirror-esque situation.
This week, we talk about sitcoms and social issues as Kathryn makes Andrew and Margaret watch The Carmichael Show and they wonder what the heck she was thinking. Once we're all on the same page, Kathryn discusses the way The Carmichael Show reminds her of Norman Lear's All in the Family, and we talk about the importance of having TV shows on the air that we don't necessarily like.
We then turn to a show Kathryn bets you did not know existed: ABC Family's Monica the Medium. Andrew reveals that he has witnessed a medium reading, Kathryn recommends a ghost-hunting realtor, and we agree that Margaret would make a great medium.
This week we continue our examination of fall TV by jumping into the first two episodes of ABC's The Muppets. Our verdict is mixed but mostly negative, and we share our concerns about the show's tone and format.
We move on to a mailbag about Kathryn's controversial ruling last week, and then close out with a talk about TV tropes and why it's not always bad when they work out.
We're also trying a new experiment: for the next few weeks we're going to try posting slightly shorter shows every week rather than one long show every two weeks. If it goes well for us (and you!) we'd like to keep doing it, so let us know what you think.
(Apologies for Andrew's audio this week, there was a mic problem that clears up about a third of the way in.)
Kathryn moderates a debate between Andrew and Margaret about TV's best, primarily non-sexual female friendships—Kathryn must choose between Abby and Ilana from Comedy Central's Broad City or Emma and Maggie from USA's Playing House.
Then, Andrew tells everyone about a gem of a show from former professional wrestler and Minnesota governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura, the show bids a fond farewell to Terriers, and we make our next TV Book Club announcement.
Andrew, Margaret and Kathryn add on to the pile of fall TV previews with a rundown of new series they're excited about, new series they just don't quite get, and returning shows they're looking forward to seeing again. After a brief dip into the mailbag, TV Bookclub returns with a discussion of episodes eight, nine and ten of the much mourned one season wonder, Terriers.
Last week Margaret and Kathryn argued about the best summer reality TV show; this week, we sadly wave goodbye to summer with a discussion about TV seasonality and whether it is fading away. Andrew and Kathryn share their TV-trawling discoveries with a brief chat about Airplane Repo and Bait Car, and then we all return to TV Bookclub to talk about episodes five, six and seven of Terriers.
Ah, summer, the time when TV usually takes a break from trying too hard. In this week's TV vs. TV segment, Margaret and Kathryn try to convince Andrew of the value of two experimental, off-the-wall summer reality shows: Whodunit, or For Love or Money.
After letting Kathryn talk about how awful Celebrity Family Feud is, we then move on to the second, third, and fourth episodes of Terriers, that FX buddy cop show with the dumb name that was cancelled before its time.
In episode two of Appointment Television, we tackle the art of the TV rewatch. Why do we do it? What do we watch? How do we feel about these shows and these characters the second or third time around?
In the second half of the episode we call the first meeting of the TV Book Club - this week, we talk about the pilot of Terriers, a one-season wonder from FX. It's got a bad name, but it's a diamond in the rough among buddy cop shows. We'll be watching episodes two through four for our next show, so you definitely have time to catch up!
Welcome, friends, to Appointment Television!
The first subject we tackle in this, our inaugural episode, are the mechanics of “behind-the-scenes” TV shows. These are the shows that attempt to show you the way something works—maybe it’s a radio station! Maybe it’s the White House! Maybe it’s a sketch comedy series! In any case, these shows use their real-world settings to drive stories that may or may not become increasingly detached from those same settings.
Our second segment this week is a little something we like to call “TV vs. TV.” These are debates where two of your hosts present an argument to the third host, who then uses her or his infinite wisdom to determine a winner. This week, Andrew and Kathryn let Margaret settle that age-old question: which Star Trek series is best, The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine?