I dont have that many shows on my must see TV list.
There are a few network sitcoms that I try to catch each week -- "Big Bang Theory," "New Girl," "Raising Hope" -- but I don't freak out if I miss an episode here and there. They are sitcoms, after all, with relatively uncomplicated plot lines.
But it's the well-produced, plot-driven cable dramas that really draw me in. The issues I have with these shows have nothing to do with their content -- it's their relatively short seasons (usually 13 episodes) and the fact that they either overlap so I'm having to keep up with three shows at once (I'm looking at you "Boardwalk Empire," "Dexter" and "American Horror Story") or they're spaced so far apart that I go months with nothing decent to watch.
But last week was my perfect transition: As season five of "Mad Men" came to a close, season five of "True Blood" premiered.
Thrilled as I was, watching the two episodes back-to-back was quite a change of pace. Did anyone else view these shows in close time-proximity and experience some sort of mental whiplash?
I found myself applying analytical methods used on "Mad Men" to "True Blood," which just creates a lot of meaning where none was likely intended. When contemplating the significance of the song "Cherry Bomb" during a party scene, I had to remind myself what show I was watching.
The "Mad Men" finale was subdued, as expected. It provided such an element of closure, in fact, that one reviewer wrote that it could have been a series finale. "Mad Men" is masterful at subtlety.
"True Blood," on the other hand, is anything but. Whereas a glance from Don Draper can replace minutes of dialogue, "True Blood" relies on constant action -- usually involving blood, sex and violence.
But isn't it fun to get everything thrown in your face sometimes?
"True Blood" kicked off with all the adrenaline and intensity fans have come to expect from the supernatural soap opera, picking up exactly where it left off -- Tara is dying, Sookie rejected both vampires Bill and Eric, a naked Jason Stackhouse finds Rev. Newlin at his door (with fangs), Lafayette is dealing with the fact that he murdered his boyfriend. It's all kinds of drama.
But each show has its place. "Mad Men" certainly appeals to my more analytical, intellectual side; however, "True Blood" has the gore, melodrama, sex and camp that satisfies the horror movie-lover in me.
It may be a strange transition -- from 1960s Manhattan to present day Louisiana, from a well-dressed and perfectly-coiffed ad agency to backwoods vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters and fairies in a one-restaurant town -- but it's certainly not difficult to adjust to.
Katie McCarthy, features writer, can be reached at email@example.com or 706-571-8515. Visit her blog at ledger-enquirer.com/junkfood for more commentary.