Friday, August 26, 2011

To Capeside, Seattle and Dillon, Texas ...

In the last week, I've found myself watching the 1998 premiere of "Dawson's Creek," some episodes of the third season (1996) of "Party of Five" and an episode from the fourth season (1990) of "The Wonder Years," which was a pleasant surprise while flipping TV channels when a Cardinals baseball game was out of control.

Clearly, I'm stuck in the 1990s when it comes to my television preferences. Here are my favorites:

"The Wonder Years"

Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper. Enough said. Unlike the other shows I love, "The Wonder Years" does take place in the 1960's, but it's still full of innocent, coming-of-age stories.

"My So-Called Life"

One of my childhood best friends and I would watch "My So-Called Life" religiously. And we ate Funyuns and drank grape Kool-Aid while doing so. It's only 19 episodes, but it delves into stereotypical teen angst.

"Party of Five"

Watching this show again a decade later is especially fun because Matthew Fox, Neve Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt seem so young. It's a strong cast in a show that again conquers many rites of passage people experience as they're growing up -- high school, first loves, going to college and family dynamics.


I had no idea who J.J. Abrams was when I watched this show, but I loved it. Felicity was in college (September 1998 to May 2002) about the same time I was (August 1997 to May 2001), so I could relate to where she was.

And later I remained a J.J. Abrams fan, thanks to "Lost," "Fringe," and "Super 8." Although I gave up "Fringe," which is coming back next season, because I was ready for it to be finished.

"Dawson's Creek"

Admittedly, I've seen the entire six seasons of "Dawson's Creek" in their entirety and in order, twice, and neither was actually when it aired. I got the Capeside party late, thanks to its airtime next to "Felicity." My husband is a fan of Dawson and Joey's relationship, but I personally love that Joey ends up with Pacey, and together they watch the show their childhood friend Dawson, the dreamer in the bunch, created based on their lives.


A truly brilliant show, "Lost" did so many things right. Characters. Storytelling. Allusions to faith and literature. Sticking to a six-season plan. Really, the ending was the only thing that disappointed me about this show. You can read more thoughts than you probably really want on what I thought of "Lost" as it was winding down.

"Grey's Anatomy"

I stopped watching "Grey's" after the six season, but I loved the first five seasons. It just dragged on, and apparently is still dragging on. I loved the dialogue and character interaction as well as the medical drama. I also was introduced to some fabulous music when I was glued to the couch on Thursday evenings those early seasons. I did not love the repetition of story lines and who slept with who.

"Friday Night Lights"

Thanks to Netflix, we got into this show once the first four seasons were on DVD. "Friday Night Lights" wasn't just a football show. It was about community and how people strengthen each other. Although I was sad it went off the air, I appreciate them going out on a high note and not waiting to pushed off the air like other shows these days seem to.

"Army Wives"

My dear friend Jaclyn encouraged me to watch this show. I'm glad I took her advice. "Army Wives" follow the lives of -- I'm sure you could guess -- army spouses. I can't relate to the way the Army affects families, but I know first hand the value of a community where honesty is welcome, friends are real, hard days become better with conversations and meals together, and the belief that lives are meant to be shared.

I'm looking forward to the next season of this show, which seems to be the last of my favorites with more to come.

But, thankfully, I can revisit Capeside, the island, fictional University of New York or Liberty High School, Seattle Grace Hospital, or Dillon, Texas -- with just the push of some remote control buttons.

What's your favorite TV show? It's looking like I need some new recommendations if I want to dive into a new cast of characters and their stories.

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