English Department

at the University of Michigan-Flint

Remember us?  We’re English Department faculty, and we can’t resist telling you more about ourselves, especially in mildly embarrassing ways.  This time around, respondents were asked to identify their favorite tv programming of yesteryear, along with what kind of trash they might be caught watching during an idle moment now.  Do English teachers watch tv while they grade?  We’ll never tell . . .

Tom Foster
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show—explains a lot, doesn’t it? Hey, Rock, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat! My go-to when students don’t understand postmodernism.
Columbo—the first incarnation. It broke the rules for detective/mystery shows.
The Nero Wolfe Mysteries—Timothy Hutton with an ensemble cast playing different suspects and victims every week, a sort of whodunit repertory company.
Kung Fu—again, the original run. Faux-Eastern mysticism, Western tropes, slo-mo violence. I could cite Then Came Bronson as an alternative mysterious-stranger series, but that may be weirder.
The Prisoner. Patrick McGoohan. Dystopian weirdness. Just because.

White Collar
Covert Affairs
—the only show ever in which I knew the star as a toddler
Royal PainsMonk with a stethoscope. Hey, I like some of the USA short series
This Old House—weak scripts but good action, esp. with nail guns

Fred Svoboda
An Age of Kings (1960). Shakespeare history plays in chronological order covering 86 years, Richard II to Richard III.
Get Smart (1965-70). Comic parody of James Bond.
Mary Tyler Moore (1970-77). Young, single woman in a TV producer job faces the humor of women’s move into the work force.
Bob Newhart Show (1972-78). Misadventures of dull Chicago psychologist and his droll, beautiful elementary teacher wife.
Hill Street Blues (1981-87). Prototype of current character-driven ensemble cop shows.
Project Runway People doing fashion design, something really, really difficult. This can be fascinating.
Mythbusters Guys blowing up things, mostly, in the cause of science. What could be better?
American Experience PBS documentaries on topics relevant to the American Literature student.
NOVA  Great PBS science series. “Things eating things.”
Downton Abbey BBC production of life in an English manor house just before, during and after WWI. Soap opera for the literate.

Stephanie Carpenter
When it comes to TV, I follow the advice of Paris Hilton: “Eat only fast food or the most fabulous food.”
All-time favorite shows: The Wire, Friday Night Lights, Deadwood, Twin Peaks

Things I watch now: Justified, The Bachelor/etteJersey Shore, Mad Men, Downton Abbey

Steve Bernstein
All time: The Wire, Seinfeld, Veronica Mars, Da Vinci’s Inquest, The Dick Van Dyke Show
Now: The Daily Show, Modern Family, Mad Men, Chopped, Damages

Janelle Wiess
In terms of all time favorite shows, I have always enjoyed MASH and Seinfeld. It doesn’t matter if I have already seen the episode. I will watch it again.
Several shows that I watch regularly are The Mentalist, Big Bang Theory, Grey’s Anatomy, and Storage Wars. I don’t care for any other crime dramas (NCIS or Law and Order) because I can usually figure out “whodunnit” early on and the puns are just really bad.

Stephanie Roach
All-time  Presented alphabetically: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Sports Night, Soap, Veronica Mars
Now Presented alphabetically: Castle, Fringe, Glee, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family

Cathy Akers-Jordan
All-time  1. Star Trek (The Original Series)  2. Lost 3. Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009) 4. Monk 5. MASH
Now  1. Castle 2. The Big Bang Theory 3. Mystery! (Sherlock and Inspector Lewis are my faves) 4. The Closer 5. Rizzoli and Isles

Jake Blumner
All-time: Simpsons and Family Guy and Daily Show and Lost.
Now?  Diego, Dora, Mike the Knight, Bones, and whatever Helen turns on.

Brian Boggs
All time TV favorites – Frasier, House, The Mentalist, Castle, and Will and Grace
– My time is limited to new episodes of the House, The Mentalist, and Castle – I have a thing for mysteries and puzzles.

John Pendell
All-time favorites: The Office (UK Version) , Taxi, St. Elsewhere, Law and Order, Six Feet Under
Currently watching:  Downton Abbey, Parenthood, Modern Family, The Mentalist, 30 Rock



Kazuko Hiramatsu
All-time MASH, Star Trek, Northern ExposureDoc Martin, Lost
Now Psych, White Collar, Castle, New Girl, The Voice

Stephanie Irwin-Booms
My favorite all time shows are Seinfeld, Six feet Under, Battlestar Galactica, and The Sopranos.
My favorite current shows are Once upon a time, True Blood, Dexter, Big Bang Theory, and American Pickers. I love anything science fiction but the older I get, the more time I spend on the History and Science channels.  I don’t watch very many shows that other women like.