Pop Culture

Becoming A Fan The Second Time Around

Because there are roughly a bajillion television shows on at any given moment, it’s very easy to miss out on programs, even the most popular. That’s why it’s fun to get into a show years later in syndication.

Recently, I started watching Will & Grace. I watched Friends and Seinfeld and the rest of the Must See TV line up that was on NBC Thursday nights in the late ’90s, but for whatever reason, I didn’t watch Will & Grace. One day a few weeks ago I stumbled across an episode at 9 a.m. while getting ready for the day. It was hilarious, and now I’m DVRing the re-runs on cable and watching them when I can.

I love the witty barbs, over-the-top shenanigans, and the fact that each character is horribly flawed in a charming way. The show holds up today, 13 years after its premiere and five years after its finale. Obviously, that’s not that long ago, but some shows do feel outdated just a few years after their conclusion.

For those who don’t know, Will & Grace is a show about two best friends living in New York City – Grace, a flaky interior designer and Will, a gay lawyer. Their peripheral friends, boozy Karen and flamboyant Jack, are my favorite. They’re loud, inappropriate, and just funny. I know that Jack could be seen as the stereotypical portrayal of a gay man (he loves Cher, for example), but I find him to be proud of himself and secure with his sexuality. Overall, I think it’s an entertaining show, and helps pass the time while I’m cleaning my room or trying to wind down at the end of the day.

Will & Grace isn’t the first show I got into in syndication. It’s also how I found Arrested Development and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I know a lot of people love to brag about being on the AD bandwagon from day one, but I’m fine with knowing I got to it after it had already been canceled. It doesn’t matter how you found it, as long as you found it, right?

Now tell me, what show(s) did you find via syndication that you now love?



By Catherine

Catherine is a Southern California based freelance writer, whose work has appeared in everything from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly. The highlight of her life (so far) was being featured on MSNBC for a story she wrote on Hello Kitty wines...she knew one day her love of all things HK would come in handy.

19 replies on “Becoming A Fan The Second Time Around”

I’m currently marathon-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time; I also fell in love with Party Down thanks to Netflix, and the summer before last my dad and I watched Arrested Development in a few sittings thanks to our local library’s DVD collection.

I think a show like Lost would be great to be able to watch back-to-back, like I’m watching Buffy. I watched it as it aired, almost always with a big group of friends, and I really enjoyed all of the talk and speculation and suspense, but I’m considering re-watching it on Netflix this summer.

I spend much time watching shows on Netflix, hoping to find a new obsession. I’ve tried (and enjoyed) Buffy, Eureka, Better Off Ted, Pushing Daises, Twin Peaks…but no show has pulled me into its web of love like Veronica Mars. I didn’t even know what that show was about when it first aired but I have seen every episode multiple times thanks to Netflix. I lust after the box sets in stores.

I love syndicated shows! I actually got more into Friends after it was syndicated (didn’t really pay attention when it was on). Will and Grace, too. And like BC03 Netflix really helps out, too. I’m now making my way through all of Cheers, which is fantastic. My parents discovered Everybody Loves Raymond in syndication and can’t get enough. I think, well, maybe I’ll like it better when I’m older.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Dexter are all shows that I didn’t watch the first time around (although the latter isn’t finished yet, I didn’t find it until last year), and absolutely blazed through once I’d found them.

I find my new old shows mostly through Netflix. Heroes, Pushing Daisies, and Eureka are ones that come to mind right away. I find all manner of great stuff on there that either ran opposite things I already watched, had weird notions of what it might be like so I avoided it, or never even knew it existed!

Also, the Mister got me into Stargate with his big old boxed set.

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