I found a great site for some free TV: http://www.dailymotion.com
Over there I’ve been watching many hours of two shows. One is House, which is, of course, about a brilliant asshole doctor, medical mysteries and his untermensch staff. This show really tries to be a medical show or some sort of procedural [like Law & Order in the hospital] or even a drama, but it really is a comedy at base. The stock plot — dramatic falling ill, weird symptoms, doubting co-workers, brilliant deductions by House, diagnoses + fascinating/revealing/icky revelations about the sufferers involved — are so fixed that I don’t notice them, although I do like to see what weird disease cocktail the writers think up next. Plot aside, the show basically consists of House proving what a genius he is and making fun of other people. Since he’s always completely vindicated, despite his momentary hang-ups, his triumphant conclusions are never in doubt, so I just go along for the ride, laughing mostly at the character’s ruthlessness and arrogance. Laurie’s long resume as a comic actor serves him well here, as his expressions add hilarious nuances to his condescending remarks. So basically House is an hour of a magnificent bastard making faces. Being a sucker for magnificent bastards, especially when they make faces, I really enjoy this show.
The other show that I’ve caught up on is Heroes. Like a comic book in TV form, it tracks the slowly interlocking story of a bunch of adolescents and post-adolescents who have superpowers. This show leaves me emotionally unegaged [except for the story involving the cheerleader, realistically and engaging played by Hayden Panetierre, and her evil dad] and the creators can’t really create strong female characters. However, I really enjoy the leisurely way in which the stories unfold, then slowly interlock. The show’s structure, suspense and clean use of comic tropes pulls me in. Although they could do without the pretentious beginning and ending narration.
I also tried watching some Smallville season 6, but so far it’s a big fat turd without much soapiness to make for enjoyably slumworthy viewing. There’s also some Gilmore Girls up there, for those interested. AND LOTS OF SOUTH PARK!
Now I just have to find me some Supernatural [available on dailymotion.com, but in French dub] and, of course, BTVS!
EDIT: You can find the latest eps of some primetime NBC shows on their Web site: http://www.nbc.com . Beware, though — there’s nothing beyond the latest ep, and each ep appears in 5 chunks of 8 minutes. I do have more success loading NBC shows than I do with ABC shows, though.