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SALT LAKE CITY -- We’ve come a long way since the time when we all watched the same show every Thursday night ("The Cosby Show," in case you’ve forgotten) because we only had three options. With so many viewing options available today, coming up with only five shows to discuss could prove a daunting task. Here are five (in no special order) that make our “Make Room on Your DVR For These” list:
The Biggest Loser, NBC
We are a culture in love with reality television and this show, now in its twelfth season, fills that niche. More than 20 countries offer up a version of this program. Contestants compete in the United States for $250,000 and the title of “The Biggest Loser.” A $100,000 prize is also available to the contestants who do not make it to the season finale. The goal of the competition is to lose the highest percentage of weight and avoid elimination, thereby ensuring a place in the finale. This show, with its self-sacrificing players and tears in the elimination room is perhaps less competitive than other reality show and comes across as being more about the weight loss — where everyone can hopefully be a winner — than the prize money. Refreshing when viewed with other reality television shows.
This comedy-drama series is about a group of five con artists: Nate (a former insurance fraud investigator and mastermind of the group), Sophie (a failed stage actress who can only really act when she is working … as a grifter), Hardison (a computer specialist and hacker), Spencer (an all-around tough guy who protects the team as their hitter) and Parker (a thief who cracks safes, picks pockets, and jumps down elevator shafts). This group works together as a sort of Robin Hood bunch, helping less fortunates fight against evil corporations and individuals. Together this group provides, “leverage.” The charm of this show comes from the quirky characters and their well-written dialogue.
Phineas and Ferb, Disney Channel
Perhaps you’ve seen those platypus-faced blue tees on children in your community? That’s Perry the Platypus, docile family pet and secret agent for the O.W.C.A. (Organization Without a Cool Acronym). Perry co-stars in this animated television comedy series, a cartoon with laughs for all ages. Phineas and Ferb are step-brothers who spend their Summer vacation coming up with complicated projects (i.e., building a rollercoaster through the city, building a rocket ship to take cows to the moon and carving their sister’s face into Mt. Rushmore). Their sister, Candace, spends her summer trying to bust them and their pet platypus, the previously mentioned, Perry. Perry spends his Summer keeping the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz from taking over the entire “tri-state area.”
White Collar, USA Network
This comedy-drama was just picked up for a fourth season. Special Agent Peter Burke (FBI) captures an elusive con man, forger, and thief named Neal Caffrey. Caffrey, in true con fashion, works a deal with Peter to be his consultant in exchange for work release. As Neal is released into Peter’s custody the fun of this show begins. The relationship between the conservative, happily married, FBI agent and the flamboyant, womanizing con man sparks some interesting television.
This new sci-fi drama just aired its first season. This series follows a group of people with superhuman abilities as they fight bad guys for the DoD. They are especially active in fighting against others with similar abilities (“alpha” abilities) who use their powers for evil instead of good. This show is made up of a compelling cast of characters like Gary, an autistic young man who can see communication signals in the air and manipulate them hacker-style, and Nina, a woman who can “push” people, getting her way by simply talking to them.
Whit Larson loves her TiVos (all three of them!). She occasionally blogs at http://WhitLarson.com and is currently producing the competitive cooking show, Mom's Cooking Crisis (http://MomsCookingCrisis.com).