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MIT staff blogger Mikey Yang '05

Mikey’s Meta TV Post by Mikey Yang '05

...In which you find out about the good, bad, and really bad shows I love to watch.

Happy holidays to all! I am writing this post for several reasons, which I will list here (notice that lists will soon become the theme of this post):

1. I have not blogged in quite a while.
2. I finally have a small breather of vacation time between reading Early and Regular applications.
3. The end of the year is near, which always calls for lists and countdowns.
4. I’ve been meaning to write a post like this since the big TV premiere weeks in September, but traveling got the best of me.
5. Now that most shows are taking holiday breaks, I’ve been able to catch up a bit on my shows, and thus there is a smaller likelihood that something will get spoiled for me in the comments.

[Important sidenote: I watch almost all my TV online and/or several weeks after its initial airing, and I absolutely hate it when something gets spoiled for me (similar to most people, I assume) – so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE no spoilers in the comments! If you absolutely have to reference something from a show that’ll spoil it – even if it’s already been aired – please put a disclaimer above it!]

Anyways, as you’ve probably figured out by now, I’m a big TV fan. I watch a lot of TV. So, in the spirit of Advent calendars*, I’m going to countdown my top 25 favorite currently airing TV shows (along with the network it airs on, in case you’re curious):

25. Cash Cab – Discovery Channel
24. Dancing with the Stars – ABC (yes, I admit to watching this show…)
23. Dirty Jobs – Discovery Channel (Mike Rowe is amazing)
22. Best Week/Year/Night Ever – VH1 (does anyone else auto-download the Best Night Ever podcasts in iTunes?)
21. Mythbusters – Discovery Channel
20. Any Food Network show with Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, or Giada De Laurentiis (as you will see below, I love watching food-related shows, even though I hardly cook at all)
19. Throwdown with Bobby Flay – Food Network (see?)
18. Unwrapped – Food Network (Marc Summers brings back childhood memories of Double Dare on Nickelodeon…)
17. America’s Best Dance Crew – MTV
16. Survivor – CBS (yes, I also admit to still watching this show, although I missed a lot of seasons between the first two and the more recent ones)
15. Ace of Cakes – Food Network (I think if I ever met Duff or anyone at Charm City Cakes, I would have a heart attack.)
14. Iron Chef America – Food Network (even though it doesn’t quite live up to the original Iron Chef, this show is still highly entertaining.)
13. How It’s Made – Discovery Channel (I could watch this show for hours, if only there weren’t other TV shows distracting me from it…)
12. The Office – NBC
11. 30 Rock – NBC (Tina Fey is a comedic genius and all-around superstar)


And now, on to the TOP TEN:
10. LOST – ABC (only a few more weeks until the new season begins!!)
9. The Amazing Race – CBS (a show I am NOT ashamed to admit I watch. I don’t care what you say, this show is amazing. It’s right there in the name!)
8. Project Runway – Bravo
7. Brothers and Sisters – ABC
6. Desperate Housewives – ABC (this show has had its ups and downs, but this season has been pretty good imo)
5. Ugly Betty – ABC (always a feel-good, warm and fuzzy pick-me-up)
4. Top Chef – Bravo (again with the cooking shows, but this time on a different network)
3. Family Guy – FOX
2. How I Met Your Mother – CBS (NPH is amazing. ‘Nuff said.)
1. HOUSE – FOX (I just love the writing and acting on this show. I can’t get enough.)

Now, in all honesty, I don’t have enough time to keep up with every single episode of all of these shows (though you’d probably be surprised at how many I actually do keep up with). However, there ARE more shows that didn’t make the list, for various reasons. Here are a few more lists of mine:

Shows I Used to Watch, but Am No Longer Watching (in no particular order)
(either because I don’t have time for them anymore, or they’ve gone downhill**…)
– 24 – FOX
– American Idol – FOX
– Big Brother – CBS (I was forced to watch this in the summers because THERE IS NOTHING ELSE TO WATCH IN THE SUMMER)
– Grey’s Anatomy – ABC
– Private Practice – ABC
– Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – ABC
– Heroes – NBC
– Friday Night Lights – NBC
– Numb3rs – CBS

Shows I Try to Catch When I Can, but Not All the Time (in no particular order)
– The Daily Show – Comedy Central
– The Colbert Report – Comedy Central
– Kitchen Nightmares – FOX
– Dinner: Impossible – Food Network
– Samantha Who? – ABC
– Man vs. Wild – Discovery Channel
– The Mole – ABC

Favorite Shows that are No Longer Airing New Episodes, but Must be Included in a List of Some Sort in a Post Like This One
(R.I.P., my beloved shows!)
1. Friends
2. Arrested Development
3. Seinfeld
4. Rob and Big
5. America’s Most Smartest Model (not as epic as the others, but still a wonderfully hilarious show)

Shows I’ve Always Wanted to Get Into More, but Haven’t Been Able to Yet
– Scrubs
– Dexter
– Weeds
– Other suggestions? (And do not say “The Hills” or “Gossip Girl”. Not gonna happen. Well…we’ll see about Gossip Girl. I may cave on that front.) And if you have ideas on shows from my top 25 that you think should be cut, I welcome your input as well!

Yes, I watch a lot of TV. And yes, I watch a lot of bad TV. But now it’s all out there on the table, guilty pleasures and all. So now it’s your turn – what are your favorite shows?

*Unfortunately, these TV shows don’t come with little chocolates, but wouldn’t it be awesome if they did?
**…or they were terrible to begin with, and I’ve finally come to realize it

50 responses to “Mikey’s Meta TV Post”

  1. anonymous says:

    I think DWTS is on ABC, but otherwise, it’s a nice list.

    Scrubs is hilarious, but it’s definitely on its last legs. Try to catch the earlier seasons in reruns or on DVD or iTunes.

    I recommend Chicago Hope and St. Elsewhere, too–both are available for free (though not all seasons) on

  2. wendi says:

    *high fives* Another House pal, eh? wink.
    And Arrested Development is insanely funny! :(. I always sympathize with poor Michael and George :(. Lucilla’s coldness never fails to get a chuckle out of me either.

    Apart from that…


    You must watch “Bones” smile.
    It’s on FOX along with House.

    Have a Happy Holidays, Mikey =D

  3. Katie '13 says:

    Pushing Daisies – best show ever. The plotline, the costumes, the scenery, and the characters are all the most delightfully eclectic, colorful things on the planet.
    Unfortunately, it’s about to get cancelled, so don’t fall in love with it like I did. You’ll just get your heart broken.

  4. Liz '13 says:

    Big Bang Theory is hilarious! It’s on right before How I Met Your Mother.

  5. Molly H. says:

    I love House, it’s my favorite show too. Food Network rocks!

  6. The Amazing Race is indisputably amazing because it’s in the name?

    I’m going to have to try that one out.

    And I’m not so much a big fan of Time Warp, I expected more from it.

    Then again, maybe I’ve been spoiled ( ). (That is my finger in the fan / I’m the one causing most of the slow-mo things in this video to happen).

  7. Efolse '11 says:

    Okay, Paula Deen and Giada De Laurentiis are T3H AWESOMEZ, but I really dislike Bobby Flay…

  8. Hannah '13 says:

    I am _so_ glad you’re a fan of House. It is, hands down, the most amazing show on television.

  9. Anonymous says:

    WHERE IS FRINGE? THAT SHOW IS AMAZING. On Tuesday’s I watch House and then Fringe comes on right after on FOX. Check it out.

  10. sepideh says:

    you’re on the right way! HOUSE is the best show i have ever watched. try prison break too specially season 1. gossip girl is just a loss of time, spare it for better things.

  11. Lex says:

    I’m gonna suggest Bones. And television is delightful! No shame should be felt or alluded to for watching… that many shows. >>

    Oh, and for what reason does Heroes exist on your “Do Not Watch” list? I’ve loved this last season so far.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Dexter is good, I’ve watched every episode :0 So instead of providing a suggestion I’ll just give an option a little more weight smile

  13. Ngozi '13 says:

    Mikey! The Big Bang Theory isn’t even on the list?? For shame!

  14. Steph says:

    You’re in good company because I like watching TV as well! (Er…except for numbers 24, 17, 16, 12, 11, 10, 9, 7, 6, 5, 2, 1). Giada De Laurentiis is my favorite Food TV chef. I make her Italian stuffing every holiday and pass it off as my own. :p

    I also love, love, love Discovery Science and History and History International channels. Anything on those channels is fair game because history and science are awesome.

    I suggest checking out Six Feet Under. I know the series ended, but you can probably find some episodes and watch them. Really good show.

    Do you like watching movies?

  15. mohit says:

    Friends is one of my favourite shows too…..and yes I really like brothers and sisters as well….I noticed that Greys anatome was absent from the list…although this season is sooo ridiculous what with the stubbornly unmelting icicle and other things…..
    And I would also like to add in a good word for Gossip Girl….You know, that’s what you call a guilty pleasure…you dont like that you like it but you just do…..
    You could try the O.C. too…the first season was just amazing….

  16. I would suggest the OC
    and Bones, aboslutely
    But I am not sure you would have time after watching all the food shows
    And I would difintly recommend Grey’s Anatomy-it’s one of best shows ever-
    and smantha who? is hilarious
    anyway it’s a matter of taste

    before I go I want to ask Don’t you get distracted holding remote and changing the channel between each break?
    because I try it but miss part of shows
    I sure you have a trick to watch +35 shows

  17. anon says:

    Survivor is pretty much the best thing ever!

  18. navdeep says:

    hey don’t u watch prison break ?
    u should …its very good

  19. Christina says:

    Mikey! OMG! I think you need to talk to someone about this addiction.

    I only watch one TV show per week and I admit it’s totally mindless…The Hills. LOL!

    At home, I watch everything that’s on Bravo, especially Top Chef and all of the Real Housewives shows (totally ridiculous and frivolous, but guilty/pleasurable).

  20. Mikey says:

    Made a couple edits – anonymous at 12/24 8:20am was right – DWTS is ABC, not NBC.

    @Steph – I think I’ve watched part of a couple eps of Six Feet Under and wasn’t that intrigued, but I’ll give it another try if I can find some episodes.

    @Christina – Of course, The Hills. Not surprised one bit. Do you watch it at the house with Kim?

    @Dimitris – I’ve never been able to enjoy crime/law/forensic shows that much, so unfortunately shows like the CSIs and Law and Orders just don’t do it for me. And after the first two seasons of Greys, it just got way too soap-opera-y for me.

    @anon 12/24, 7:36am – I’ll have to check out Time Warp! Thanks for the link.

    @anon 12/24, 8:20am – I have a ton of friends who are in love with Scrubs, so I’ll have to pester them for some old seasons…

    @wendi – Bones? I don’t know that much about the show, but from the looks of it, it seems like a CSI-like show (see above comment to Dimitris)…I might give it a shot though, so many people seem to really like it.

    @Katie ’13 – I did watch a few of the first eps of Pushing Daisies when it first came out, but a bunch of other shows took over my time that season…I just never got hooked. It’s a shame the show is ending, although the concept doesn’t seem that sustainable. How long can you keep bringing people back to life and then killing them again?

    @Liz ’13 and Ngozi ’13 – I know, I’ve seen a couple of eps of BBT but HIMYM is just so much better. BBT’s a great show, but it doesn’t crack me up as much as the other comedies on my list (Family Guy, 30 Rock, The Office…) Some of the writing is pretty funny, though.

    @Efolse ’11 – Yeah, Bobby Flay can get a bit annoying after a while, but it’s fun to watch him get beat in Iron Chef or Throwdown and be humbled a bit. In the end he seems like a nice guy, though. Small doses, I suppose.

    @anon 12/24, 12:21pm – I haven’t quite gotten around to FRINGE just yet; I think there’s only so many J.J. Abrams shows I can take at once, and the previews looked a bit too gory for me (someone’s face melting off?!? yeah, I have a weak stomach)

    @sepideh – I actually watched the first half of s1 of Prison Break when my roommates were doing a marathon but had to go to bed (by then it was around 3am and I knew I wasn’t going to make it to the end). I’ll have to catch the second half at some point. I hear that after the first season, the show isn’t that good, though…?

    @Lex – I loved the first season of Heroes, and then s2 was a bit mediocre (except towards the end). I wasn’t very impressed with the beginning of this season, either, which is why I stopped watching it (though I’m told that it’s gotten better since I stopped watching, so maybe I’ll pick it back up again if I’m really compelled).

    @anon 12/24, 2:53pm – woohoo! another survivor fan! I think we’re like the only two left out there, haha. wink

    Did anybody ever watch Kid Nation? That’s another show I’m a bit ashamed to say I watched, but it was kind of funny and interesting. GOLD STARS!

  21. Dimitris says:

    CSI anyone?? CSI miami, or CSI NY??? i don’t like CSI las Vegas.
    Mikey: i strongly suggest you, to watch Grey’s anatomy!!!do you watch basketball games?? NBA?

  22. mischa says:

    haha I watch the hills too, it is completely mindless but so fun at the same time>haha I watch the hills too, it is completely mindless but so fun at the same time><

  23. Seinfeld still airs on TV36, it is my favorite and i am glad you like it too.

  24. Ooh. Blog. says:


  25. Anonymous says:

    umm….id like to disagree with the statement “THERE IS NOTHING ELSE TO WATCH IN THE SUMMER”


  26. Anonymous says:

    Bones…. like House only crime!

  27. Tiffany says:

    My top shows:
    NFL (not a show, I know)
    Fringe (It’s kinda rly sci-fi so it’s kind of science-y. And you work for MIT…)
    Gossip Girl

  28. anonymous says:

    TIME WARP!!!!

    Seriously, you don’t watch TIME WARP with MIT”s own Jeff Lieberman from the Media Lab? Check it out on the Discovery Channel:

  29. Anonymous says:

    Bring back the Mole! that was the best show

  30. Becca! says:

    I absolutely love Mad Men! The 60’s are highly exciting and you can watch the episodes multiple times and still get something out of it. Others in no particular order:
    -new Doctor Who (BBC/SciFi although you have to wait for them to come out in America or track them down online)
    -Big Bang Theory (CBS endless nerd jokes)
    -Pushing Daisies (NBC but it’s getting canceled)
    -Big Love (HBO)
    -Ugly Betty (ABC)
    And some guilty pleasures:
    -What Not To Wear (IDK (not a channel))
    -True Blood (HBO)
    -Next (MTV)

  31. tina says:

    what about Good Eats, also from the Food Network? being a foodie AND MIT grad, you would love it!

    i started getting into dexter a few months ago, it’s … interesting. definitely a change from the usual stuff.

  32. Anonymous says:

    America’s Next Top Model is so bad but so good.

  33. sepideh says:

    yes i totally i agree with the persons who say it isn’t much interesting after the first season, it just gets to abnormal specially season 3. me too watched it till the first episodes of seasons 3 i just got too bored about different prisons and breaking out of them. but i can’t deny i really enjoyed the first season.

  34. Victoria says:

    Heroes definately doesn’t belong on that list.
    I kept scrolling down up your top25 list expecting to see it closer to the top.

    This Season of Heroes was spectacular.

    You’re left in awe realizing there is no heroe and there is no villan, they’re just people.

    You have to watch it, it’s all online.

  35. Droan Rishi says:

    The big bang theory… the funniest show i have ever seen… lol.. Mikey, if u ever get time, do watch that show!

  36. Droan Rishi says:

    Peter Griffin rocks!! *hehhehhehehhehhehheeeeehehhehehe* the Peter Griffin laugh..

  37. shawn says:


  38. Kasey says:

    Fringe is amazing! I’m obsessed. Although it may not be great for the weak of stomach…but if you can get through the gore, it’s great :D

  39. Anonymous says:

    definitely watch Bones!!
    and Scrubs now has a spot on ABC, Tuesday nights

    I would also definitely recommend “Eli Stone”, but unfortunately, it’s getting canceled, like Pushing Daisies..

  40. Reena '13 says:

    Imma go with Boston Legal, Friends, Gilmore Girls, and sometimes Saturday Night Live. Except that I only rarely end up having time to watch TV, anyway.

  41. Reena '13 says:

    (*Gasp!* Mikey, you watch that much TV and not Boston Legal?)

  42. Anonymous says:

    I suggest NCIS. If you love House, you will love this show. I’m not really all that into crime shows, but this one is no more about crime than House is about medicine. Which is some, but the main entertainment is watching the team interact. I can’t even pick a favorite character, they’re all so great.

  43. joaquim says:

    “two and a half men” with “how i met your mother”

  44. Liz '13 says:


    I love Chuck too! It’s an awesome show.

  45. Jacob Herman says:

    Hi Mike (or Mikey),

    I started reading this blog and I received a shock. I realized I met you at the Ann Arbor visit by MIT. And then an even bigger realization came after I read the article halfway through. We are really similar. I don’t know if its the fact were both from Michigan, or that we both watch alot of T.V. (sharing many of the same favorite T.V. shows) and I recently gained an interest in biology and medicine. I even watch all of my T.V. online too. You graduated with a biology degree and I heard that MIT biology degrees are some of the best for graduate medical school. We talked at the Ann Arbor Seminar towards the end about the Biology Program. I don’t expect you to remember but it I nice to send you a message again.

    Ok. Now it is time for Serious Business. I strongly recommend Dexter. Great Story, very intriguing plot twists. Weeds is good but not highly recommended. House is my new found love. And Scrubs is a love long gone and a love that you must experience. Watch SCRUBS now. It is too good to be true.

    Salutations from Cold, Warm, Snowy, Windy, Humid, Wet, Soggy, Groggy, Grey, COLD, Michigan.

  46. Mikey says:

    @Tiffany – I’ve seen a couple eps of Chuck, but never really got into it. I think if I had watched it from the start, I’d probably still be watching it.

    @Anon 12/24, 7:13pm – haha, I’ve seen many eps of ANTM – my sister really likes that show, and there was one day where I was bored and they had like a 5 season marathon…after that, I can’t watch the show anymore.

    @tina – yes, Good Eats is great too! Although, I can only take so much Alton Brown at a time…I usually get enough of him hearing him commentate (is that a word?) on Iron Chef America.

    @Becca! – yes, I’ll have to try and find a way to watch Mad Men. I saw a couple episodes of True Blood, but there’s way too much blood for me (and I’m not that into vampires either). I’ve never heard of Doctor Who or Next, and I think What Not to Wear is on Bravo?

  47. Mikey says:

    @joaquim – I’ve never seen two and a half men, but I always see commercials for it. I’ll have to check out a couple eps and see what it’s like.

    @Anon 12/27, 9:01pm – sad to hear Eli Stone didn’t do so well. I thought about trying it out, but I just didn’t have the time. :(

    @Reena ’13 – nope, sorry, Boston Legal and Gilmore Girls aren’t really my type of shows. But I do know a lot of people here who love them!

    @Anon 12/28, 4:45pm – interesting. I’ll have to check out NCIS sometime – that’s an interesting analogy with House, I always lumped NCIS into the same category as the CSIs and such.

  48. Mikey says:

    @Jacob – great to hear from you! The bio program at MIT really is fantastic, I can’t say enough positive things about it. If you’re interested in things like cancer bio, molecular/cell bio, pre-med, biochem, computational bio, or bioengineering (among MANY other bio-related fields), MIT’s definitely the place to be. One of the best (if not the best) undergrad preparation for medical school, I’m told.

    We have a lot of other bloggers who have written a bit about bio/premed-type stuff as well (e.g., you may want to check out the past musings of Mollie and Melis)

    And as for the serious business – one of these days, I’m definitely going to try and get my hands on some Dexter DVDs or something! (As well as old Scrubs eps!)

    P.S. I was back in Michigan for the holidays – did you at least enjoy that one random 60 degree day after the snowstorm? It was like ‘let’s dump all this snow on you, then melt it all, and then snow again the next day…’ haha