What We Really Watch on TV

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Every morning we address the important topic of something big, significant, funny, weird, etc. that happened while we were lying on the couch in front of the TV last night. Today we sing the praises of some typically unsung heroes.

In the daily deluge of urgent morning TV coverage -- "Are Meredith and Mayor McCheesy going to make it?" "WTF was that on Fringe last night?? Oh, it was Joshua Jackson!" "Has Glee jumped the shark and then done an emotional episode about how the shark has feelings too?" -- it's all too easy to forget the unheralded staples of our nightly television diet. So, following a particularly unremarkable TV evening last night, let's take a moment to honor those right now

Chopped: Perhaps the Food Network's most entertaining show, Chopped has both the benefit of being a single contained episode each time, it's like a whole season of Top Chef in 46 minutes, and always being on. There is a limitless supply of Chopped episodes! Who cares if they're new that night, chances are you haven't seen it and, new or not, watching someone try to make a meal with elk steak and bubble gum is going to be good TV. 

House Hunters: Finally a show that indulges our voyeurism. Isn't it nice to see where people live? Or, more specifically, where they might live? Like Chopped, there is a seemingly bottomless well of House Hunters episodes, especially when you include the international addition, which takes us to thrillingly far-flung places like Ulan Bator and rural Slovenia. You might not always agree with everyone's taste (Ugh, that kitchen! Ew, that "great room" -- let's stop using the term "great room," please), but that's kind of what makes it fun. 

Recommended Reading

Reruns of Planet EarthLike Chopped, this is just always on. Thank Animal Planet for that, a network that has only so many hours of footage of addled alligator trappers to put on its schedule. To fill those gaps we have this always breathtaking nature documentary series, a five-year endeavor that captured an almost absurd amount of fascinating footage. People might gripe about the American narration by Sigourney Weaver, but we think she's pitch perfect every time. Last night they aired the chimp fight again. Oh, the chimp fight! Nice night for a chimp fiiiight. It always is. 

The local news: Do you like where you live? Do you feel safe and secure and positive about the community? Well, Pollyanna, why not tune into your local 11pm news then and see just what kind of a den of horrors you're really living in. Not to make light of terrible murders and abductions and water main breaks, but good grief is the local news ever increasingly grim and fearsome and satisfying. Pro tip: You must consistently watch in order to peep that most elusive of segments, the one about the horrible thing that happened right on your block. When you get to that moment, you know you've arrived. 

So that was what we really watched last night. How about you? 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.