Friday, October 9, 2009


I don't think I'm breaking any confidences by writing that my parents just hit two milestones, one deeply impressive, one, shall we say, a bit more trivial. The impressive part is that they recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. I've always admired them for their strong and vibrant marriage, still more now that I am actually married myself and have a better sense of what it's actually all about. They are my role models. Congratulations, Mom and Dad!

I'm obviously not in any position to offer them any advice on marriage. But the other milestone is one to which I might actually have something to contribute. After holding out for at least 30 years, my parents just got cable. So I've been thinking about cable-channel shows that I might recommend to them. I myself got cable for the first time in my life when we moved to our current apartment three years ago (cable comes with the place), and while the vast majority of what's on even basic cable channels is of little to no interest, there are a few shows I have really come to enjoy:

  • No Reservations: Anthony Bourdain's humanistic travel-cum-food show, which is a bit uneven, but in the best of which he presents the food of a particular city or country as understood through the people who love it and cook it. This is what makes it so much better than his "rival" shows on the same channel, with Andrew Zimmern, who is always shown eating alone. Travel Channel.

  • Modern Marvels: Also uneven, but at its best a fascinating introduction to industrial processes, materials, and technologies. The one about cheese was awesome. I think this is on the Learning Channel.

  • Castle: A new find for me, a somewhat fluffy but enjoyable crime show whose detective team is a police detective and her crime-novelist partner. The crime novelist, played by Nathan Fillion (yum), lives with his mother and daughter, who are really engaging characters as well. Whoops, I just looked up the network and realized it's an ABC show, which they actually could have seen on broadcast. Still.

What would you recommend to someone who's getting basic cable for the first time?


Anonymous said...

Mad Men! Holy cow. You should watch Mad Men on AMC. And Top Chef. Not in that order! Start watching Top Chef right away! It's all about FOOD, delicious and beautiful, and the astonishingly engaging preparation of it. Don't be fooled by the fact that it's a reality competition. Top Chef on Wed. nights on Bravo. (It's on at 7 pm in CA, which probably means 10 pm eastern time.)

Anonymous said...

Our problem is that we are cheapskates and only got the basic cable. So no Bravo. We might get the Travel Channel. I saw it when the guy was installing but when I went there later it was selling stuff. And not travel stuff!

mindy said...

::hearts:: your parents

"Mythbusters" is always fun -- and seemingly always on. And "Project Runway" so your mom can critique the sewing (now on Lifetime instead of Bravo). And anything on BBC America that isn't hosted by Gordon Ramsey (approximately three hours per week it sometimes seems, alas). (Your parents will probably not enjoy the 80s video blocks on VH1 Classic on weekend mornings as much as I do.)