There is Nothing on TV


There is literally nothing on television.

We are in this weird lull between the launches for the second half of the various television seasons, and the Christmas… But that doesn’t mean that the tube isn’t a turnin’.

For kicks let’s start this post with Thursdays.


30 Rock
People ask me what my favorite television show is. Hands down it is 30 Rock. Tina Fey is more than just the Mike Brady of my Celebrity Crush matrix. She is basically my hero, and the mastermind behind probably the greatest sitcom on all time.

I also watch The Office religiously, but am not married to any other show on Thursday nights, though I have watched most of this season’s Community and Outsourced on demand (’cause mise).

My wife, being an adult, loves both fiber and The Mentalist, so we have that playing on Thursdays as well.


I don’t actually watch Smalliville any more.


Dr Who
Please come back!

A week or two past there was actually a new one hour Christmas special, which was basically The Doctor v. Albus Dumbledore. Seriously.

Sadly, the folks over at Fox are peppering the leftover episodes of Running Wilde into whatever night / time slot seems to be available; I think I saw the most recent one with Sopranos alumna Drea de Matteo last Sat, but it could have been Sunday.

Seriously, how lame is Fox this season? They axed Lone Star — probably the most engaging new drama of the year — after two episodes, and already cancelled Running Wilde (essentially the second coming of Arrested Development, but starring Felicity). I just don’t understand some of these exec decisions, especially given the continued ability of AMC, FX, USA, and even TNT to produce sweet shows on basic cable.


Now we’re talking… Sunday is the richest night of television, from engaging competition tee eve like The Amazing Race, to the best in HBO and Showtime and AMC programming, from Entourage to Dexter to Breaking Bad, right?

Well… Not so much.

More tumbleweeds.

Is there anything to watch on television?


There was actually a new episode of How I Met Your Mother this week!

Katherine and I recently discovered Men of a Certain Age; it is hitting its season finale at just six episodes in. I wasn’t initially attracted to this show (and I doubt a lot of you have even heard of it) but it is kind of like a mishmash of Everybody Loves Raymond and Quantum Leap, but with more MILFs.


V came back this week!

I was staying up — and nodding off — until the wee hours of the morning this past Tuesday finishing an article, so I somehow ran the season premiere of V about five times without a whole lot of comprehension attached.

My general feeling is that I didn’t love it.

I super loved V last season, though; and Elizabeth Mitchell was my favorite cast member on Lost; plus we have some Firefly alum action, all wrapped up in a brand that I have fond memories of as a laddie.

I am going to keep watching as long as they keep making eps.


So I started with Thursday specifically so I could end on Wednesday, because in the dusty, tumbleweed-choked world of today’s television landscape, Wednesday is the one flickering birthday candle that banishes more than its share of oppressive shadow.

So, of course, Wednesday is the one night that I am almost never home to watch television.

Just finished – Survivor and Psych.

Survivor ended on a great note; I found myself liking a Fabio from the first couple of episodes, but Shark told me I was crazy to like him. If we had done a Survivor Draft on Twitter, I for sure would have shotgunned that famous-model-to-be early.

I was especially impressed with Fabio’s ability to switch gears and win puzzle challenges late in the season. Great job to him.

Psych is a top-five show for me. I watch a lot of television because I am up and active so late on a consistent basis writing, but there are relatively few shows that a really and truly look forward to, week in and week out. 30 Rock. Dr Who. The next tier would be Dexter, Mad Men, Breaking Bad… But the dark horse favorite, right up there with Karen Gillan and a “woman so talented she could keep the name Krakowski” (ironically, Jane’s birth name was Karajkowski) is the team of James Roday and Dule Hill. Dule Hill played my favorite character on The West Wing — I totally would have loved to be bff with Charlie Young — so it is amazing that he has been able to reinvent himself into another role, so different, and yet so charmingly successful.

This wasn’t my favorite season of Psych, but I watched and [mostly] enjoyed every ep. In my opinion it is the best written comedy outside of 30 Rock.

But as we said, Survivor and Psych both just passed.

What’s left?

Top Chef.

Specifically, Top Chef All-Stars.

As you know from here and here, I crushed our Worlds Draft on Twitter. The challenge? To repeat with a win in Top Chef draft!

Here is how the draft went:

We started Week Three, so there had already been some eliminations; but conveniently we had exactly sixteen chefs, so four to each of the four of us.

Now the problem here is that there are three chefs that can cook the pants off of the entire rest of the cast, Richard, Angelo, and Marcel.

I was in arguably the worst spot, picking after Luis and Phil had (predictably) taking Richard and Angelo in the correct order. Now I am in the position to take Marcel. Why didn’t I?

I look at basically everything as a basketball team.

In order for a team to function optimally, everyone has to be running the same direction. A team member running off in a different direction, moving out of position, et cetera is going to reduce the efficiency of the whole; or at worst, can be disastrous.

For example, in LeBron James’s first year on the Cavs, one of his teammates was approaching a triple-double (ten or more tallied in three different statistical areas; generally points scored, rebounds, and assists), and knew it. He took a shot on the Cavs’ own basket in order to nab a rebound.


Put another way, I didn’t want to be in a position of cheering for Marcel, whom I don’t like; so I chose Casey. My thinking was that Casey is the best looking contestant ever to compete in Top Chef, and the best gamer ever (Angelo is the only other gamer on the season, at all, as far as I can tell). I figured a combination of charisma and cutthroat might make for a reasonable pick there.


  • The goal is to score the fewest points.
  • For a QuickFire win, a chef loses one point.
  • For a winner’s circle appearance in an elimination challenge, a chef loses one point, and a win loses two points.
  • When eliminated, a chef accrues points equal to the number of remaining chefs. Ka-pow!

Here is how the game has gone so far:

Week Three:
Double elimination week; so both Megan and Luis took beatings. Phil had slightly better horses in the challenges.

  • Phil -4
  • YT -2
  • Luis 12
  • Megan 13

Week Four:
With Spike’s elimination (a lucky 13 point tax on Phil), I jumped ahead. Especially lucky, my horses won both QuickFire and elimination challenges.

  • YT -6
  • Phil 9
  • Luis 11
  • Megan 12

Week Five:

Not only did I lose my first pick, but the bottom was littered with my horses, making it next to impossible to recoup points. Luis and Phil both improved, while I took a 12 point beating with very little buffer via Fabio.

  • Phil, YT 5
  • Luis 10
  • Megan 12

The future:
I think things are going to get worse for Megan before they get better. The MTGMom is stuck with Jamie, who has been the consistent worst performer of the season, poised to exit soon.

Luis is out of the lead by five points right now, but has arguably the strongest chef on the show in his stable.

Phil looks like he is probably going to win from where I am sitting. Filipino Dale, whom Phil picked up 15th pick, has been one of the strongest chefs so far, and Angelo isn’t going to finish out of the final three. Yes – Phil’s horses did in fact win both challenges this week.

Fabio went deep his season; Tre went too soon on the vicious Restaurant Wars loss, and Carla probably should have won her season if not for some bad advice from gamer Casey. So YT ain’t out of it… But for heroes to take Top Chef Draft, there is going to have to be some kind of dark horse long ball… You know, like picking Guillaume Matignon with your last #WorldsDraft pick or something.


Happy New Year!


facebook comments:


#1 glenhan on 01.06.11 at 9:51 am

awesome! top chef all-star draft is the best idea ever. its too bad jenn was eliminated so early. but i guess thats for the best, she’s super talented, but wouldve been awful for whoever picks her because her nerves just seem to get the best of her every single time she cooks on the show.

#2 jceol on 01.06.11 at 10:14 am

Yay Mike is back! I missed you. I’m currently building an Eldrazi Mono Green deck, but I’m also building a Valakut Ramp deck at the same time since so many cards are interchangeable. Which do you like more? And are you considering making a video of either?

#3 morley on 01.06.11 at 11:13 am

Archer (FX) and Parks and Recreation (NBC) are coming back this month. I think Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO) is coming back soon too.

If you have access to it, recently-canceled Terriers (FX) is probably the best new show of last year next to Louie.

#4 morley on 01.06.11 at 11:14 am

Also Friday Night Lights, the best non-AMC drama on television today, is entirely available for instant streaming on Netflix.

#5 MTGBattlefield on 01.06.11 at 7:06 pm

There is Nothing on TV…

Your story has been summoned to the battlefield – Trackback from MTGBattlefield…

#6 jmdjr on 01.06.11 at 10:34 pm

hey mike you know that young justice actually premiers friday right? just something i thought you might like.

#7 admin on 01.08.11 at 5:52 am

@jmdjr – Unfortunately we missed it; luckily Bella still loves me. I am DVR’ing its re-cast tomorrow night and we have it set to record from now on! Thanks though.

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