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Introducing… Jessica Finch!

As a way to let you get to know each of our contributors off the bat, we’ll be posting a little bit about each of us and our television preferences over the next week or so. Enjoy! ~ R. Lackie, ed.

A television enthusiast with a flair for journalism, Jessica Finch plans to bring her own writing style to The Signal. In her second year of the Radio and Television Arts program at Ryerson University, Finch has always had an interest in media production and hopes to someday work at an up and coming production house. She isn’t an avid TV viewer, but the shows that do catch her attention keep her riveted from start to finish. For more Finch, check out her writing & film portfolio.

Top 5 Television Characters

Uncle Teddy, Rescue Me: Teddy is a fan of instantaneous gratification. A fat, old man who drinks and gambles to excess, Teddy is a really fun character to have on the show. Rescue Me is heavy in a lot of places, with soap operatic drama in every almost every episode, but Teddy lightens things up (at least for a little while). His excessive partying with much younger women in season one, his influence on his much older brother (Tommy’s dad), his hilarious New Yorker accent, that time he killed a monkey; Teddy definitely brings a kooky flair to the show, and it’s a welcome change from all the firefighting.

Bill Haverchuck, Freaks and Geeks: Bill is one of the funniest nerds on the show. His appearance says clichéd nerd, but his unique interests bring him to a whole different level. What I enjoy most about Bill are his witty one-liners and his self confidence. Despite being nerdy, Bill doesn’t really care what people think of him and that’s what makes his actions all the more real and hilarious (i.e. dressing up as the Bionic woman for Halloween).

Lafayette, True Blood: Lafayette is a complex character with a lot of vices. He’s a part time chef at Merlot’s but he makes his real money as ‘V’ dealer (that’s vampire blood, for those unfamiliar with the show). He is smart, sassy, and unbelievably gay, but he wears it well. His sass and quick wit make him one of the more amusing characters. Season 2 shows a different side to Lafayette, as he must contend with deep emotional scars after being kidnapped by Eric, a vampire.

Hyde, That 70s Show: Hyde is an awesome representation of 1970s stoner dude. He always has a witty retort, and his constant lampooning of Kelso (which isn’t that difficult) is hilarious. He’s a prankster from the wrong side of the tracks and although I disapproved of his later relationship with Jackie, Hyde was always good for a laugh, and always had the most amusing things to say at the pot circle.

Jim Halpert, The Office: To be honest I only watched the American ‘Office’ until Jim and Pam got together.  Since then I’ve only caught a few episodes, and haven’t really enjoyed what the later seasons had to offer. All that to say, that I can’t comment on Jim as a character from beyond early season 4. But, Season 1 Jim, in particular has great chemistry with almost everyone on the show; with Pam, obviously, but also with Dwight and Michael.  Jim’s ability to outwit Dwight and Michael through sarcasm and practical jokes (i.e. Dwight’s office supplies in jello) really made the show worthwhile.

Top 5 Shows of the Last Decade

The OC (2003-2007): Initially the show didn’t appeal to me, but once I eventually started watching it, I was drawn in (up until the 4th season). Since I started watching in season 2, I had some catching up to do, so I rented the first season and watched it straight through. The characters have changed significantly throughout the seasons, especially Summer, who started out a valley girl and ended up being a genuinely interesting, down to earth girl by the last season (Cohen’s influence?). Ryan kind of stayed the same but it was always fun to try and guess who he’d punch the following week. Sure the show dealt with teen issues etc. but for me it wasn’t about the issues so much as how the characters reacted to them. This was my Thursday show, back when I used to watch TV on TV, and it was a nice ritual that I looked forward to every week. I miss that.

Family Guy (1999-present): I’ve always loved Family Guy. From before it was cancelled to when it was brought back with a vengeance, Family has always been there to make me laugh. When I was younger I watched A LOT of Simpsons, and in a way, Family Guy is the grown up, sassier version of the show. I can’t watch The Simpsons anymore (at least not the new episodes) but Family Guy stays current, and fresh, albeit it hasn’t been on as long as The Simpsons. What I like most about Family Guy is it’s lack of boundaries, it says what it wants to say, and makes fun of everyone, I love it.

CSI [seasons 1-6] (2000-present): This was another show I used to watch every Thursday (this was the big TV night in my house). Basically, I liked CSI because the stories were good and kept me engaged. I enjoy a good murder mystery, and CSI told the story in a new way. Today there’s CSI: NY and the infamous CSI: Miami, but nothing compares to those first six seasons of the original.

Third Rock from the Sun (1996-2001): This is kind of cheating because Third Rock was more of a 90s show, but it did finish in 2001, so I think it’s still somewhat valid in the best show of the decade category. The show’s concept was brilliant, and I loved John Lithgow as Dick Solomon. He made the show for me. I’d only ever seen the actor, Lithgow, is serious roles before (and mostly after the show as well) so to see his comedic side was fun. The dialogue was fast paced, witty and kept me entertained. French Stewart bothered me at point, but beyond that the show was great and thinking about it now brings back fond memories.

Gilmore Girls(2000-2007): Rory, Jess, Dean, Lane; I love them all. This show had drama, but comedic elements were mixed in. Like Michele, the annoying European desk clerk at Lorelai’s inn. He usually made me laugh, with his outrageous accent or stubborn antics. And Lorelai always had time to throw in a pop culture reference or two during an episode. Rory’s adventures in love and Yale were also interesting, especially the Jess vs. Dean situation. Tough choice Rory; short bad boy or tall boring guy, so much drama, so little time. If I could afford it I’d buy that giant Gilmore Girls box set I always see at HMV, but for now I’m content to reminisce.

Biggest Guilty Pleasure

MTV Shows: They are a real guilty pleasure for me. That station seems to be all about the reality TV, and some shows have really sucked me in (like Life of Ryan and Girls of Hedsor Hall). I can’t quite understand what it is I like about these shows, perhaps it’s the idea that they’re so different from what I typically watch that intrigues me.

Character You’d Most Like to See Killed By a Bus

Karen (Will & Grace): Her shrill, nasal voice as well as her odd mannerisms succeeded in putting me off Will and Grace. I enjoyed the concept of the show as a whole, but Karen did little to enhance anything in my view. She may have been a foil for Grace, but I felt her character was too much for the show to handle, especially with Jack in the mix, because it just made it too crazy for me.

Kim Kelly (Freaks & Geeks): Kim is a complex character. In addition to being a teenage girl and dealing with the pangs of growing up, she also has a dead beat mom, and her boyfriend’s not so great either. There’s a lot bubbling beneath the surface with Kim, but it’s almost as if there’s too much character for Busy Phillips (the actress playing Kim) to contend with. And the character comes off as utterly annoying and unreal, because I can’t focus on anything more than the poor quality of her acting.

Jim (According to Jim): I dislike Jim because his character is the quintessential cheesy sitcom guy. He is chubby, lazy and downright rude, yet he’s married to an extremely hot woman. This seems to be a commonality amongst many low rated sitcoms, like King of Queens, or Everybody Loves Raymond, which is a slight variation on the theme. I just picked the worst of the hot chick/fat guy motif, as Jim is the most disrespectful to his wife and, on the whole, isn’t that funny.

TV Character You’d Most Like to Hang Out With

Bill Haverchuck  (Freaks & Geeks): Because Bill marches to his own beat, and I think we’d have some really interesting conversations. He and I are really different so I’d love to learn more about how he sees the world.

Seth Cohen (The OC): When you think about it, Seth Cohen is really cool. If we were to hang out we’d go sailing (if he still had his boat), we’d go skateboarding along the pier and we’d check out some groovy bands at the Bait Shop. It’d be awesome.

Alex Mac (The Secret World of Alex Mac): Because who doesn’t want to brag that they have a friend who can shapeshift? This friendship would also make me kind of sad, because Alex was subjected to mass amounts of, what I can only assume, is radiation or toxic waste, so I’d have to go out of my way not to bring it up in case I offended her in some way. This could be awkward, but I’m willing to give out friendship a chance.

Wishbone: A dog that can act out my favourite stories, that’s awesome who wouldn’t want to hang out with Wishbone – well, other than Wanda, but she’s an exception. We’d go for walks, I’d give him dog treats and he could act out Othello or Great Expectations. Fun times.

Eric Van der Woodsen and Jenny Humprey  (Gossip Girl): I put these two together because for several episodes last season they were good buddies (before it went wrong) and of course they’re also step siblings. Their relationship seemed boring but nice, so I’d play Scrabble with them anytime.

Johnathan Ames (Bored to Death): The writer/private detective who always gets into shenanigans. I’d love to hear about his crazy cases, and maybe I could be his protégé, and we’d go on the road solving Craigslist mysteries.

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