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The Guys’ Guy’s Guide To Great TV Shows

Guy’s Guys love television.

It’s part of our DNA. After a day at work or a long run, it’s great to kick back and unwind in front of the tube. That doesn’t mean we’re couch potatoes. Guy’s Guys are active and well informed about the news and pop culture. But, we believe in pacing ourselves and television is a great way to tune in or tune out. Fortunately, with the advent of so many cable channels, the quality of television has risen over the past decade. It’s a writer’s medium.

There have been countless great Guy’s Guy shows over the years, but here is a short list of nuggets culled from over thirty years of staring at a screen that has increased in size, clarity and definition. You can learn a lot about a man by what he watches on television. If he’s addicted to HSN and DWTS, you may want to rethink your relationship. Criteria? The shows must feature guys, demonstrate imagination, and be great for viewing with a hangover. So in no particular order I offer you The Guys’ Guy’s Guide To Great TV Shows.

1.    Mr. Ed – A horse is a horse of course of course. What Guy’s Guy wouldn’t want a talking horse? Mr. Ed was sarcastic, clever, and always helped his owner, Wilbur, get out of jams. Best episode? Mr. Ed tries out for the Los Angeles Dodgers and hits a home run by sliding into home plate. Are you kidding me?

2.    Entourage – Four young bucks take on Hollywood. Sex, drugs, rock n roll and lots of hot women. The cast had chemistry and they knew enough to end the series before it jumped the shark. Most memorable character? Ari, hands down. He gobbled up the screen.  “LLOYD!!!”

3.    The Sopranos – I’m from North Jersey. Got a problem with that? There is an actually a Bada Bing club and Jersey has never been portrayed so truthfully as gangster lifestyle blurs the suburban landscape. I met James Gandolfini in a bar in MePa after season one and drank with him for two hours. When I asked the key to being a great actor, he pointed to his heart and said, “It’s gotta come from here.” True story.

4.   Miami Vice – Talk about changing the game. This Michael Mann production ignited South Beach’s restoration from the doldrums. This was the first show that integrated music into the storylines and it featured so many up and coming actors in guest spots. Remember Frank Zappa playing a coke dealer? How about Bruce Willis and Willie Nelson? The cast? Perfecto. Lieutenant Castillo? Incredible. A true, no-nonsense Guy’s Guy.

5.   Californication – How could your Guy’s Guy not love a bawdy series about a drunken, horn dog novelist who moves from NYC to LA in search of fame and fortune? David Duchovny nails his role as Hank Moody, the writer who takes on the world, and a lot of gorgeous women. Hilarious. But after seven seasons is the show is beginning to lose it way?

6.   The Three Stooges – Mission critical viewing in frat houses across America. For some reason three little guys hitting one another with fish, hammers, and nail guns provides a great release for men in need of balls out laughs. With respect to Shep and Joe Besser, I’m a Curly fan.

7.    Charlie Rose – This man is like a porpoise. He has no shut off switch. He’s on the morning news and an evening interview show on PBS. When does he sleep? And he asks really good questions. Let’s toast our Red Bull to this tireless, brilliant newsman and interviewer. Love the black backdrop. Someday, Charlie, someday…

8.    The Odd Couple – Possibly the ultimate Guy’s Guy show. An advertising neat freak moves in with a lovable sportswriter slob. Instant conflict. Instant laughs, and adult stories that any New Yorker can relate to. I prefer the TV show to the movies, because the show stayed fresh and kept growing on me. I cannot recall a boring episode. That’s special.

9.    The Wild Wild West – There has to be one western adventure shoot em up on the list. Robert Conrad plays James West, secret agent in the 1860’s. Pretty cool concept for the 1960’s. His partner, Artemus Gordon plays a master of lame disguises, but the show is purposely over the top as the two agents travel by train across the west solving federal conspiracies. And who can forget a three-foot tall arch villain named Dr. Miquelito Lopez? Classic!

10.  ESPN’s SPORTSCENTER – Guy’s Guys love sports and as annoying as this show can be, it is the first of its kind and remains the gold standard for sports info and highlights. There a innumerable versions and spin offs now, but it’s reassuring that when you need a score for your fantasy league or just want a shot of seeing someone drain a three point shot, Sports Center continues to deliver.

Well kids, that’s but a sampling of some of the favorite Guys’ Guy’s favorite television shows. So next time you are wondering just who the heck is this man I’m sitting next to look at what shows he’s watching and you may find out that he is in fact a Guy’s Guy. Or not.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Philo Farnsworth, whom many credit with inventing the television.

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