In the season premiere of Happy Endings a couple weeks ago, Penny (Casey Wilson) was convinced that her new condo had the “spinster curse” when two “old lady” TV shows, The Good Wife and The View, mysteriously showed up on her DVR queue. I wasn’t totally convinced those were old lady shows. I mean, I’m 25, and I DVR those shows! The Good Wife is just good TV, and I just give myself the option to watch The View in case there’s some crazy Hasselbeck news. Plus, I’m one of the few EW staffers who loves New Girl, a show made for my demographic!
But then I reexamined my queue. I realized I have an awful lot recording on Friday nights (Kitchen Nightmares), and a bunch of shows way more spinster-y than The Good Wife (The Biggest Loser). And though I don’t like admitting this to anybody, I look forward to Dateline Friday all week. I don’t get to watch the recording until Sunday because I’m too busy doing cool Manhattan stuff every weekend. (Let’s take a moment and pretend that’s true.) But I always perk up when I see that the correspondent on assignment is Keith Morrison, he of the squinty eyes, pained smile, and impressive mane of fluffy white hair. I mean, I won’t change the channel on Kate Snow or Josh Mankiewicz, but Keith Morrison truly knows how to spin a yarn. His gravelly, almost musical voice is perfectly suited for telling a spooky story (if not perfectly suited for an SNL spoof). At the beginning of one of his broadcasts, when he’s describing how a happy couple met for the first time, he practically sings the narration. But then, he inevitably says something akin to, “But the honeymoon didn’t last for long,” and I get chills. One spouse killed the other! How did I not see this coming?!
I’d like to say I enjoy my favorite Friday night newsmagazine in an ironic sense, and in some ways, I do: I’m amazed by how many people choose to wear cargo shorts to a sit-down interview with Lester Holt, and I’m shocked by how many women still rock two-toned asymmetrical bobs (à la Kate Gosselin or Lauren Alaina’s mom) in this day and age. But I really get embarrassingly involved in the cases. After the episode about the Ryan Ferguson case, I totally Googled “Free Ryan Ferguson.” After the one about the disappearance and murder of Brooke Wilberger, I was willing myself not to cry. Maybe TV really can turn you into an old spinster. Or maybe Keith Morrison is just awesome.
To my fellow 18-49ers: what are some of the shows that are above your demographic but you love anyway? Do you never miss a Matlock or Designing Women rerun? (Golden Girls doesn’t count because of Betty White’s cool factor). Anyone watch CBS past 10 p.m.?