Pardoe’s Perspective: Please stand by

So, while the rest of the country embroils itself in debate about the federal debt limit, sequestration, gun control, and other ways to divide ourselves…I thought a lighter subject was required. I am weary of serious subjects for a while. I need something mindless. I need TV.

It’s the middle of winter so my TV is on much more than normal. In all fairness, I don’t watch much television. When I am at home, the TV is usually on as background noise, getting only a few minutes of viewing each hour which is more than it deserves. In that spirit, I thought I’d share my thoughts of what is “good” on TV for those of you forced to watch due to the weather.

The Big Bang Theory.
Alright, I’m a geek. I make a pilgrimage to the comic store weekly. I’m a techno-geek, a gamer, heck…I am one of the guys portrayed on the show. I work and associate with people just like the characters. This show has made nerd acceptable to the public. It is one of the few shows I know of that actually makes me laugh, if only at myself.

Game of Thrones.
The creators of this series sum it up best; this show is where the Sopranos meets Lord of the Rings. This show is visually stunning and the plot twists and turns are fascinating. You find yourself unsure of who to like, and then, when you least expect it, main characters are sometimes killed. This show is high drama with just a twist of fantasy thrown in. Game of Thrones is more like my office than a fantasy show.

Catfish.
Normally I can’t stand MTV and my disdain can be summed up in two words, “Jersey Shore.” But MTV has one show that my daughter and wife turned me onto that is worth seeing – Catfish. The show is about a guy who brings together people who are involved with online relationships. Almost always these end up being complete lies – and in some cases, carefully staged attempts at revenge. The people who live on-line lives have issues and this show exposes them. Watch two episodes of this and you will never chat with another person online again.

American Pickers.
The History Channel only delves into historical subjects on rare occasions. When did Swamp People become history-worthy? I watch American Pickers because my dad and my grandfather were antique collectors (pickers) and I spent a lot of my youth climbing in barns and basements looking for “rusty gold.” Sure aspects of the show are staged, but I enjoy watching Frank and Mike pull out an occasional treasure from a trash heap.

Gold Rush.
This is the American dream ala the twisted view of the Discovery Channel. A bunch of inexperienced and often inept unemployed men from the lower 48 go to Alaska and attempt to mine for gold. I have to admit I find this show entertaining if only because it’s a miracle these guys have not managed to get killed up to this point. I know nothing about gold mining and think I could do a better job than these guys…which is what makes the show fun to watch.

Moonshiners.
Who would have thought that Good Old Boys brewing ‘shine could be a TV show? I find it funny that the police claim, “Moonshiner’s are pretty crafty and smart,” but each episode proves quite the opposite. I like that Discovery puts spotlights on criminals (literally) and somehow they evade capture. You think by now the police would follow the film crew around. Seriously, the show puts up a map to tell you where the moonshiners are. “Crafty and smart,” are words you’d never apply to Tickle who is on the show. Despite this obvious gap in logic, I like the “renegade” feel of this show in what feels like a victimless crime. Let’s be honest, we all think now that we can brew a batch of moonshine having seen these guys try it.
While the media is likely to drag us all through the gun control debate or the next wave of fiscal crisis, perhaps it would be better to let our minds clear and take in some mindless TV. So as the sting of winter’s biting cold nips at you, give these shows a try.