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Top 10 Shows To Enjoy During December Break

We have hit the rerun season.

Most series have wound down with so-called winter finales before they start up again after the New Year.

As a friend told me recently, it is odd that they are called winter finales since the winter hasn’t officially started yet.

With most series going into reruns, viewers have to devise some strategies to get through the holidays without overdosing on all the sugar that holiday concerts and other specials provide.

We have On Demand, Hulu and Netflix and network websites to thank for all the options there are today.

I’m no technical whiz, but even I have been able to get shows online for free before hooking up my computer to my 42 inch TV to watch them that way.

I also have one advantage. I spend much of the month watching the pilots for the new shows that premiere in 2013. The nets need more of them to hit than did this fall, which as I predicted didn’t have many winners.

Since you don’t have that advantage (or disadvantage), here is my short list of the top 10 things to consider watching to get through December and prepare for programming in the new year.

1.“Downton Abbey”: I hadn’t seen a minute of the PBS series before Sunday, but my erudite friends swear by it. Both of them. Seriously, episodes of Season 2 are currently airing on PBS on Sundays, then made available on the PBS Video Portal for a week after each episode. Try them if you want to know what your smart friends are watching or prepare for season three in January. CBS’ “Sunday Morning” had a nice recap of the first two seasons of this British series and its incredible number of characters as well as a preview of the upcoming season with Shirley MacLaine coming aboard. Or is abroad?

 2.“The Walking Dead”: Amazingly, the AMC series gets more viewers age 18 through 49 than any network series in many weeks. It airs on Sundays when there are several great shows so I haven’t seen an episode of the zombie series since the first season. I am knocked dead by its incredible popularity.  Many of the students in my classes swear by it and have made it a water cooler series Monday morning. The winter finale set ratings records last Sunday. This is the perfect time for those who haven’t seen it to check this season’s episodes out. Several episodes are available on Time Warner’s Entertainment on Demand and online.

3. “Elementary”: The new Sherlock Holmes series starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu is the most popular new broadcast series. That’s largely thanks to old people, who view it in high numbers and remember when Basil Rathbone played the Scotland Yard detective. I didn’t love the pilot, but have been told by some of my younger friends that it has become more lively and enjoyable. Several episodes are available on Time Warner’s Prime Time on Demand or CBS.com.

Jonny Lee Miller

4. “Revolution”: This NBC series about what the world would be like if all modern conveniences were history is considered a bigger success than “Elementary” because it appeals to the younger viewers that advertisers love. I didn’t love the pilot, which I thought had a silly ending and also foolishly had all the characters look great when they were supposedly living under less than sanitary circumstances. A buddy of mine says he still likes the show even though its plots are often repetitive and ridiculous. If you want to give it a try and see what people are talking about, episodes are available on Prime Time Demand and NBC.com.

5. “Boardwalk Empire”: I spent eight hours last weekend watching all of the season’s episodes. It was a strong and incredibly violent season that featured a terrific villain played by Bobby Cannavale. The body count is high but I don’t want to provide too many details about who lives and dies. If you get HBO, the season is available On Demand.

6. “Homeland”: TV’s best drama of the season got off to a ridiculous start, found its footing in episode three and only recently has slipped a little. If you get Showtime, episodes are On Demand.

7. “Modern Family”: TV’s best comedy gets the biggest audience jump via secondary viewing in the seven days after it airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday than any series. That’s somewhat surprising since it isn’t on Prime Time on Demand here. Some of this season’s episodes are available online on ABC.com. And it has been another strong season.

 8. “Grey’s Anatomy”: It remains one of the most popular series in WNY. I must admit I stopped watching it early in the season. Now it is time to catch up with Patrick Dempsey and company On Demand or on ABC.com.

Patrick Dempsey

9.“Castle”: Because of the success of “Revolution” on Monday nights, the ABC series starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic has experienced a ratings drop. You can catch up with the romance between Castle and Beckett On Demand or at ABC.com.

10. “The Office”: The NBC comedy probably should have ended when Steve Carell left, but the network kept it around for two extra seasons. Mercifully, this season is its last so you might want to catch up with what you’ve missed before it says goodbye. I know I haven’t watched a minute this season. Among the places you can watch some episodes are Prime Time On Demand and NBC.com.


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1 response to "Top 10 Shows To Enjoy During December Break"

  1. Mike says:

    The Office has been very good this season. Getting rid of Robert California was a great move.

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