1. The Walking Dead
“Am I the only one zen around here? Good lord.”
“That’s pretty romantic. Screw around?”
(snorts) “I’ll go down first.”
“This is bad. This is really bad.”
“Think about something else. Puppies and kittens.”
“DEAD puppies and kittens.”
It’s interesting. I like The Walking Dead (particularly the later seasons), but it’s not a particularly quotable show. Four seasons worth of material, and I really struggled to pull just three lines. (I did like the one about peach schnapps, but I thought that might be a bit too obvious for current fans.) Obviously, strong dialogue isn’t the only thing that makes a TV show worth watching — acting and atmosphere count for a lot too, not to mention plot and character arcs — but it’s something I highly value in a TV series, and I wonder if maybe this is why The Walking Dead has never quite made the leap from Absolutely Totally Watchable Show to One of My Favorite Shows of All Times.
“There is not a warmer, kinder me waiting to be coaxed out into the light. I am acerbic. I can be cruel. It’s who I am. Right to the bottom. I’m neither proud of this, nor ashamed of it. It simply is.”
“Don’t touch any of the first editions. Or Watson.”
“I don’t care which cock I’m holding. I just want to know how it got there.”
I was surprised by Elementary. Maybe I shouldn’t have been, given how much I like both Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, but I was really worried about this show when it first came out. Not, I think, for the reasons a lot of people were worried: most people seemed either concerned that the American show would butcher the source material (which I clearly didn’t care about, considering I enjoyed Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes) or that it was a copycat and/or could never be as good as BBC’s Sherlock. (Which I kind of always thought was a dumb reason to hate something you’ve never even tried, and I LIKE Sherlock.)
No, mostly I was concerned about genderbending Watson, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself over the years, it’s that watching a consistently unequal power dynamic between a man (who’s Oh-So-Talented and therefore a selfish, arrogant bastard to everyone around him) and a woman (who, in theory, is all competent and independent but always ends up acquiescing to whatever the man needs) makes me want to rip out all of my cartoonishly colorful hair. Which is not what I look for in my television programming.
Thankfully, though, I really like how Sherlock and Watson’s relationship has progressed thus far. I feel like they’re on a more even playing field than other adaptations, and that works for me here. I also like that I can watch how they’re both evolving as characters. As long as they never EVER hook up, I think I’ll continue to enjoy this.
3. Boy Meets World
“Cory, the first thing I learned on the street is that any judge who spontaneously makes balloon toys will, at the end of the day, actually hang you.”
“This is classic. The locked door, the scary janitor, the bloody warning, and our soon-to-be first victim.”
“Me? Why me?”
“Well, Kenny, it’s certainly not going to be any of us!”
“It was raining. You had an umbrella. I grabbed it, stuffed it down your throat . . . and then I opened it.”
Damn you, Mekaela. I was sure nobody would get this one. I didn’t think anyone would connect horror movie tropes, homicide by umbrella, and spontaneously created balloon toys to a family-friendly sitcom from the 1990’s which now has a sequel on the godamned Disney Channel. I was all proud of myself and everything. I even specifically didn’t use, “You yelled at me! But I’m Topanga!” even though we say that to each other all the time.
Oh well. I was absolutely a Boy Meets World fan when I was younger. Shawn Hunter was one of my very first bad boy crushes. (Not my very first, though. I’m pretty sure that was Gambit.) You could never exactly call the show subtle, but I still like watching reruns now and again for nostalgia’s sake. (Especially the horror movie parody one. That was, shockingly, my favorite.)
4. Young Justice
“I feel naked, and not in a fun way.”
“I left you behind because you know my backstory. I didn’t want my best pal questioning my objectivity.”
“Dude. That’s what a best pal’s for.”
“If dislike is the opposite of like, is disaster the opposite of aster? See, if things are going wrong, they go right . . . uh, clearly, you’re not feeling the aster. What’s wrong?”
I always have to pick at least one superhero cartoon per TV Quotes Challenge, right? That seems to be a rule I’ve imposed on myself. And I really enjoyed the first season of Young Justice. Well, I should amend that: I initially struggled hard with the first season of Young Justice but eventually became pretty happy with where the story went. At first, though. Man. I basically wanted to punch Superboy in the face, and Miss Martian was inspiring all kinds of feminist rage. I didn’t even particularly like Kid Flash, probably because he kept obnoxiously hitting on the girl who clearly had no interest in him.
But eventually a lot of that got better (I actually thought what they did with Miss Martian’s storyline was pretty clever) and I really grew to like the show a lot. Robin and Artemis are easily my favorites, and Aqualad’s not too bad himself. I do want to see the second season, but I accidentally came across a few things that are going to happen, and I’m not sure how I’m feeling about that yet. I’ll still try it out eventually, though, especially if they finally put it up on Netflix Instant. (This whole ‘only one season on Instant’ thing? It’s bullshit.)
5. Touching Evil
“I was clinically insane for a while there, but I’m all right now, near enough. Hey, can I have your goldfish?”
“The first thing you have absolutely no control of: where you’re born. You can leave, but it haunts you like a ghost. And then you come back and you are the ghost.”
“G-man by day, g-string by night.”
I was fairly confident nobody would get this one right, considering it’s a very loosely based remake of a British television show, only lasted one season, and is only available — so far as I know — on Youtube. (I watched it in the midst of a ‘I need to see everything Jeffrey Donovan’s ever done’ obsession, which actually didn’t go very far. I mostly just watched this. But I briefly CONSIDERED watching Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 because, man. That shit looks hilarious.)
I really liked Touching Evil, though. It was an interesting procedural, and it had a pretty great cast: Jeffrey Donovan, Vera Farmiga, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Durand, and Pruitt Taylor Vance. Donovan and Farmiga, in particular, had wonderful chemistry, and I wish the show had run longer. Or, at the very least, that they’d also put it on Netflix Instant or possibly DVD because Youtube does not have the best quality in the whole world, and I actually wouldn’t mind owning this one.
6. The Vampire Diaries
“Aren’t you worried that one day all the forest animals are going to band together and fight back?”
“You have a friend?”
“You say that with such a discouraging amount of surprise.”
“I mean, did you learn nothing from the moonstone in the soap dish?”
The moonstone quote is basically a dead giveaway to anyone who actually watches The Vampire Diaries, but I couldn’t help myself. I laughed so hard at this line. It had to make the final cut.
On recommendation, Mek and I started watching The Vampire Diaries on Netflix and — once you make it past all that awful diary writing in the first few episodes, oh my GOD, it’s so bad — it’s actually pretty fun. I like a lot of the characters (Elena, sadly, is easily my least favorite), and the snarky sense of humor is great. Damon gets a lot of the best lines and most of the love, but I’m also an unapologetic Stefan fan because I think he’s pretty hilarious. (Although, clearly, the best character is Caroline. She’s certainly the most improved character. Oh, there’s a list in that.) And the pacing of the first couple of seasons is ridiculous, and by ridiculous, I mean AMAZING.
Unfortunately, I started having some problems once the Originals came to town (and, more importantly, didn’t leave town, at least, not for quite a while, anyway, not until they finally got their own spin-off and left Mystic Falls behind). I’m behind on the last season (which had its own set of frustrating problems), but since I already know most of what happened, I’m considering just starting fresh with Season Six and hoping for the best.
“You do NOT let Vicki Vale into the Batcave! Ever!”
“RIDICULOUSLY dangerous. It’s like a danger cupcake with murder icing.”
“I need her to be the stick.”
“Well, remember that time I was the carrot and stabbed somebody?”
Another show I’m watching on Netflix because it was recommended to me. Mek and I watched the first season at a leisurely pace, swapping back and forth between this (which was my pick) and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (which was her pick). But once we got to the second season, we suddenly started speeding through it and are now currently on the last season. We’ll have to see how it ends, but it’s a fun little heist show with a lot of enjoyable dialogue, geeky references, and likable characters.
Well. Mostly likable characters. I love Parker, Hardison, and Eliot. I very much enjoy Sophie. And if I could occasionally dropkick Nate into another state, I would probably be a much happier person. (Not that he’s terrible, exactly. I am just so very often annoyed by him.)
8. Six Feet Under
“You hang onto your pain like it means something, like it’s worth something. Well, let me tell you, it’s not worth shit. Let it go.”
“This is my . . . uh, my girlfriend, Brenda.”
“I prefer the term ‘fuck-puppet’.”
“There’s just so many months I could have loved you better.”
I loved the hell out of the first two seasons of Six Feet Under. I then struggled HARD with third season because I suddenly despised almost every single character (I think David might have been the exception, and even then, Keith was driving me crazy) and, as we all know, likable characters is a Big Issue with me. So I dropped it for a while, always intending to go back to it, but never quite did. (Per usual, this is mostly Mekaela’s fault.) I’ve seen bits and pieces of later seasons, and I know how the series ends, but I haven’t actually watched it. I really feel like I should save that until I actually watch the series in full. (Which will probably be on my own. Damn it, Mekaela. Leverage? Teen Wolf? When have I steered you wrong?)
9. Cougar Town
“I hate documentaries. They’re too preachy, and you can’t clap when someone dies because it’s real.”
“I think we’re both going to have the ‘You’re Hooking Up With My Mom’ Hamburger.”
“What’s on that?”
“Who cares? It’s free.”
“I ate dead baby lasagne?”
This is that show I tell my geeky friends I watch, and they look at me like they don’t know who I am anymore or maybe just don’t want to. And I’m like, “But! But! There was that mini Community crossover event, remember?” And they’re like, “Yeah, but it’s called COUGAR TOWN.” And then I sigh and just give up, knowing I’m doomed to always be the friend who watches the TV that other TV fiends scoff at.
But terrible and almost completely inaccurate name aside, Cougar Town is actually a pretty good show with a great cast and some hilarious dialogue. I sometimes tire of all the Jules Cobb crazy, but I feel a special snarky nerd connection to Travis and Ellie says a lot of the things I want to say and don’t because I sometimes pretend to be a decent human being. (Stop laughing. I totally do pretend. You have not seen the worst of me.) And for all the wacky antics, this show can be surprisingly moving when it wants to be. I’m really glad TBS saved it (however temporarily) from the inevitable ABC chopping block.
10. Criminal Minds
“When a woman tells a man about her feelings, she doesn’t want him to fix her. She wants him to shut up and listen.”
“There are many paths to the same place. Trust me.”
“Just so you know, you sound like a fortune cookie.”
“Can you guys do me a favor?”
“Can at least one of you look like you’re going to see me again?”
I was totally obsessed with Criminal Minds for a while. I still like it, but you know, it’s on like its tenth season or something, and I checked out two or three years ago now. I really think TV shows, but especially criminal procedures, should probably cap out at six or seven seasons, max. Still, I love Reid. I love Prentiss. Morgan and Garcia are awesome. (I’m actually not a shipper, but it wouldn’t bother me all that terribly if they did get together. I can see arguments for both.) The only character I never really cared about was Rossi. And maybe Gideon. Like, I liked Gideon because Mandy Patinkin is great, but I also thought the team dynamic was a little more interesting without him.
“They say the snow on the roof is too heavy. They say the ceiling will cave in. His brains are in terrible danger.”
“We need to resort to cannibalism.”
“That was fast. Don’t we have rations or anything?”
“Bye now. Have good sex!”
I’ve resisted using Firefly for these quotes challenges thus far because it’s probably the most quoted show on the internet, and I knew there was absolutely zero chance that I could pull three awesome quotes that nobody would know. But I tried to at least stay away from the ones you always see on buttons. Like, I figured that “curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal” was probably not the best way to go, no matter how perfect it was.
Firefly was like fourteen episodes long and aired over ten years ago and is still one of the biggest cult shows ever. Some people hate it (which I just don’t understand) and some people are still infuriated at FOX for canceling it (which I kind of get, although I also think those people had seriously unrealistic expectations on how far a sci-fi western show where people mostly swear in Chinese was going to go). I won’t lie: I was pretty devastated when it got cancelled, but I’m also not one of the people who are still clamoring to see it magically come back to television, either. Cause, yeah. I think that ship has sailed, you guys.
I have my Firefly box set, my Serenity DVD, and my memories. Ultimately, I’m okay with that.
12. Veronica Mars
“So my Grandma Reynolds was always saying, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’. I wish she was still alive because I’d really like to ask her what she suggests for when life gives you chlamydia.”
“Mr. Echolls, I was wondering if I could have a word.”
“Anthropomorphic. All yours, big guy.”
“It’s an expression of excitement and enthusiasm. Joe and Frank Hardy and I used to say hotdog all the time while we were waiting for the carhop to bring us our malteds at the drive-in.”
“I hate you.”
Oh, Veronica Mars. You were brilliant and hilarious and often frustratingly uneven. You were also cancelled before your time, although you now have both a movie and a meta spin-off web series, neither of which I ever thought which actually happen, at least, not if you asked me two years ago. I would like to edit the holy hell out of Seasons Two and Three (or just entirely rewrite Three), but whatever your flaws, you were still precious to me, and Veronica Mars will remain both one of my favorite detectives and favorite female heroines of all time.
All right, that’s all. Thanks for playing, everyone.