Moving Beyond CCTV9

I wish I could say this post is about how I’ve finally decided to change the channel from CCTV9 and delve deep into the Chinese psyche by watching period-piece soapumentaries about the Tang, Song and Qing dynasties… but it’s not.

All this snow and craptastic weather has left Suzhou a pretty uninviting place for anyone not willing to wait 45 minutes for a taxi, risk the slushy slippery roads on bike or invade the personal space of the unbathed masses on the bus.

As such, I’ve been watching a higher-than-usual amount of TVonDVD – the only “real” TV for us expats without a south-western sky view from their apartment. This rapid consumption of season upon season of boobtube brain number has made me reflect on just how many shows I’ve watched since coming to China.

So, here we go:


South Park (10 seasons)
Family Guy (3 seasons)
Friends (10 seasons x 2)
The Shield (5 seasons)
The Sopranos (4 seasons)
24 (4 seasons)
House (3 seasons)
Lost (3 seasons)
Arrested Development (3 seasons)
Oz (6 seasons)
The Office [uk] (2 seasons)
The Office [us] (2 seasons)
Prison Break (2 seasons)
My Name Is Earl (2 seasons)
Scrubs (5 seasons)
Tru Calling (2 seasons)
Medium (2 seasons)
Rome (2 seasons)
Firefly (1 season)
Desperate Housewives (3 seasons)
Carnivàle (1 season)
Journeyman (1 season)
Band of Brothers (series)
Taken (series)

Currently Watching

Battlestar Galactica (on season 3)
Grey’s Anatomy (on season 2 or 3 – discs are fucked)
Two and a Half Men (on season 1)
Dexter (on season 2)

I think that’s all of them – at least all I can think of. But anyway you cut it, that’s a lot of TV. It’s weird that I’m likely more “up” on my popular TV (alright, I realize “popular” is a stretch for some of those) than many of the folks back home.

The best/worst part about TVonDVD is there’s no wait time. When Mags and I hit the end of a show and it’s a huge cliff-hanger, we just look at each other with that “another?” look in our eyes, only to come out of a trance a few hours later feeling a bit dirty and like we’ve abused some cosmic law.

There’s just nothing holding you back. TV binging can be a bit painful too, as it causes you to get overly wrapped up in the plot – as when there’s no week-long lag-time, you are essentially watching one LONG movie. This is particularly a pain when we hit the end of a season just as the new season’s starting in the US, forcing us to wait a whole year before it’s on DVD in its entirety (Prison Break) – or when you find a show you just love only to discover they only made (and will ever make) one season (Firefly).

So, with a few more months before regular programming wraps up and a fresh batch of seasons from our favourite shows hit the shelves – anyone got any suggestions for series I should watch?

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  1. Pingback: Bill Moyers on Media Reform | A China Blog on Suzhou Expat Life | The Humanaught

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