Question: I've watched a lot of TV in my life, but I don't know that I've ever experienced a night as full of great TV as I did last Sunday. I'm not arguing it was the best TV I've ever seen, or even that any one series had its best episode ever, but as a combined lineup, I don't know that I've ever been more satisfied. I started with the return of The Amazing Race. The teams seem like they'll be a whole lot of fun this year, and they even seemed diverse enough that a half hour in I was still able to remember who was who. Then it was time to switch over to ABC's Desperate Housewives/Brothers & Sisters combo. This time jump really seems to have freshened things up on Housewives, and I hope the mystery surrounding Edie's creepy husband is worth our time. Brothers & Sisters had a strong start, and I found myself not really begrudging them the questionable plot twists the show took at the end of last season. Then I caught the replay of Mad Men. I believe they've raised the bar even higher this season. I loved the night out with Don, Roger and the sad Freddy. I'd never taken much notice of this peripheral character before, so I was especially impressed how touching a character they made him in just a few scenes. Perhaps my favorite moment of the episode was when Don ran into Jimmy and punched him in the face. Then, of course, the final bombshell of Roger's affair with Don's secretary and the end of his marriage had my jaw on the floor. Then I was able to see the premiere of Dexter. I expected it to be a bit of a letdown after such an amazing episode of Mad Men (and it was, a bit), but it was still a really enjoyable way to cap off the night. I totally did not see the final reveal of a pregnant Rita. So what do you think, Matt? Was this one of the best TV lineups in memory, or what? And thanks to cable's replay strategy, I didn't even have to bother taping anything. I know it'll only last a few weeks, as Mad Men only has four episodes left, but for now at least, this crazy good Sunday night line-up is certainly a huge exclamation point at the end of my weekend.
Answer: Do I love an enthusiastic TV watcher? You bet I do. Joe went on at much greater length with his thoughts on many of these shows — it was great reading — but I thought this conveyed quite well the exhilaration and exhaustion one experiences after a full night's smorgasbord of great TV. This just skims the surface of the bounties available on Sundays (and Mondays and Thursdays as well). I agree with just about everything Joe said, except perhaps for Brothers & Sisters, which aggravated me with all the cutesy over-the-top bickering. Not that I'm giving up on that one anytime soon. Housewives in particular felt refreshed by the time-jump gimmick, and both Neal McDonough (as Edie's silkily sinister new hubby) and Gale Harold (in his most appealing role in ages as Susan's lovesick swain) are terrific additions. Mad Men was inspired, Dexter was thrilling, and we didn't even mention True Blood, Entourage and the hilarious new Little Britain USA. What a night.