The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (2/9 – 2/16)

With the Winter Olympics in full swing, there weren’t a lot of new TV episodes to contend with the hours of sports coverage airing from now until the end of next week. Tuesday was the only night to feature new episodes of shows I watch, and both of them were entertaining. New Girl introduced us to Jess’s sister, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine introduced us to the concept of going “full-Boyle” and the organization AAGLNYCPA.

The real star of the television landscape this week was the Olympics. From T.J. Oshie’s incredible shootout performance in the U.S. hockey team’s victory over Russia to the U.S. slopestyle ski team earning a medal sweep, there were some excellent winning moments for Team USA this week. And Maxim Trankov and Tatiana Volosozhar’s euphoric reaction to winning gold in pairs figure skating on their home ice was a gold medal moment I won’t soon forget.

My favorite moment of the week, however, wasn’t one that led to a gold medal. In fact, it didn’t lead to a medal at all. When Jeremy Abbott took a brutal fall during the men’s figure skating short program, I thought he was going to have to quit. But not only did he keep skating, he finished his program with skill, style, and a huge smile on his face. That emotional performance was followed by a free skate that was truly beautiful. Abbott may not have won a medal in Sochi, but he gave us what was perhaps the most inspiring moment of the games so far. He reminded everyone that true strength comes not from doing something perfectly but from getting back up after you fall down. I might not remember who won gold in the event years from now, but I will always remember what Abbott did at these Olympics.

Because the official NBC website doesn’t like to make embedding Olympic videos easy, here’s a recap of Abbott’s short program skate. 

And here’s his free skate. 

What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?

This Could Be Our Year: What Football Taught Me About Fandom


Are you ready for some football?

I know Thursday was technically the beginning of the NFL season (Thanks, Peyton Manning for those fantasy football points!), but tomorrow my beloved Buffalo Bills take the field for the first time this year. The first day of any season—football season, hockey season, Oscar movie season, a new season of one of my favorite TV shows—always fills me with the same feeling: hope.

I like to compare the start of a sports season to Christmas morning. You have no idea what exactly is going to be waiting for you under the tree; this could be the year you get the gift you’ve always wanted, or it could be another year of getting sweaters that don’t fit. But most of us race to the tree on Christmas morning and open that first gift with hearts beating a little bit faster because it’s way more fun to hope for something good than to expect something bad.

It’s the same feeling I got before the midnight screening of The Hunger Games. It’s the same feeling I got watching Harvey walk towards Donna at the end of this week’s episode of Suits, knowing she was the one he wanted to celebrate his big win with. And it’s the same feeling I know I’m going to have right before each season premiere begins in a couple of weeks.

It’s hope—pure and simple. It’s a belief that a movie, TV show, fictional couple, or sports team has the power to make us happy, and it’s a belief that this kind of happiness isn’t all that far away. Even when things don’t turn out perfectly—when your team ends up missing the playoffs again or your favorite show has a subpar season or Harvey doesn’t get into the car with Donna—what matters most is the reminder that we can still find reasons to hope.

I’m pretty sure sports are what taught me to hope. The Bills went to four consecutive Super Bowls when I was a little kid (I’ll omit all the stuff about them losing all four), and my formative years were spent among fans who—even when we faced heartbreak year after year—never lost their sense of hope. I grew up with family members (especially my dad and grandpa) who always believed that this year could be the year—our year. I grew up around passionate football fans (and passionate hockey fans—but I’ll talk more about that next month when that season starts), and I think that taught me so much about fandom from the earliest of ages.

It taught me that there’s nothing better than talking about the things you’re passionate about with other nerds (because sports fans are our own special kind of nerds). It taught me that it’s okay to overreact sometimes because it means you care. It taught me that shared interests can bring people, families, and whole cities together in ways nothing else can. And it taught me that it’s always more fun to choose hope than it is to choose pessimism.

We’re all nerds about something; we’re all fans. So from this football fan to all of you, it’s my wish that these next few weeks of new fandom beginnings give you plenty of reasons to cheer—and plenty of reasons to hope.

The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (7/14 – 7/21)

This was a very exciting week in the world of TV. The Bachelorette entered into its final stretch with the “hometown dates” episode, where it became even clearer that Brooks in the frontrunner. Suits returned for a new season with plenty of drama and the promise of much more to come. Hollywood Game Night was hilarious and thoroughly entertaining once again. And Late Night with Jimmy Fallon gave us the Jesse and the Rippers reunion we never knew we always wanted—plus a Jesse/Becky kiss!

My favorite moment of the week, though, came from ESPN’s annual ESPY Awards ceremony. Robin Roberts was given the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, and no one has ever seemed more deserving. Her acceptance speech was articulate, gracious, and truly inspiring. My love for this strong, beautiful, positive woman grows more every day.

What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?

The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (6/30 – 7/7)

This week, the world of television gave us another dramatic episode of The Bachelorette (and the promise of more drama to come), an episode of So You Think You Can Dance that saw some couples (namely Aaron/Jasmine H. and Fik-Shun/Amy) start to really separate themselves from the pack, and plenty of great marathons for the holiday weekend (a great Castle marathon on TNT and a marathon of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies on ABC Family just to name a couple). The world of televised sports didn’t disappoint either, with Andy Murray finally taking home the Wimbledon title for his home country after so many years of waiting.

My favorite TV moment of the week also came from a sports network, but it didn’t have much to do with sports, actually. On the Fourth of July, ESPN played a feature on SportsCenter about members of the military returning home to their families, and it was such a beautiful segment. It made me truly stop and think about the sacrifices men, women, and families make every day to keep America safe—and it made me feel so grateful for these brave people who do their best to protect the freedom we as Americans celebrated this week.

If you haven’t seen this video yet, I highly recommend watching it. But make sure you have some tissues on hand—you’re going to need them.


What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?