As we do, we’re gathered at Pub 32, Sarasota’s best Irish Pub, for Wednesday lunch. I ask, ‘Is it possible to have a favorite TV show? ‘John looks at me and then looks at Zach…Zach shifts in his chair and then looks at Nancy…Nancy raises an eyebrow and looks at John…And half an hour later, the four of us are laughing our asses off, confessing to loving all sorts of ridiculous TV, film and music.

Before I share the results of our informal cultural survey, I’d just like to say how much I love these people with whom I share the Wednesday lunch table. 

I took notes and they look like spaghetti (pictured above).

Zach spent a lot of time trying to find ways to include more than one TV show into each category.  He suggested qualifiers, including ‘re-watchability’ and whether it’s ‘night light TV,’ whatever those things are. When we put the screws to him, his all time favorite half-hour TV show is Jeopardy!  Honorable mentions must include Seinfeld, if only for the motto, “No hugging, no lessons!” When Zach said his favorite hour-long TV show is Breaking Bad, JB agreed that it may be the best crafted show, but it’s way too dark.  ‘Whole Lotta Love’ was Zach’s first favorite song: “Everything was different after that.” True to form, Zach’s favorite book is JRR Tolkien’s masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings: “The original work was submitted not as a trilogy, but as a single volume. The publisher broke it into three works.” Yeah, the rest of us didn’t know that either.

JB was full of surprises. Right off the bat, he knew that Hill Street Blues is his all time favorite hour-long TV show. John feels strongly about it, noting that he would defend his position ‘to the death.’ Ok, pipe down Francis.  His favorite movie was also easy: Blade Runner.  I’ve known that for years. John Barron’s first favorite song was ‘Rhinestone Cowboy,’ by Glen Campbell. Am I the only one who thinks that’s adorable?  According to JB, his favorite book “blew my soul away.” He credits a great teacher with helping him understand, interpret and enjoy Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I honestly thought it’d be Dorian Grey or some other great Irish novel. 

My all time favorite half-hour TV show is News Radio, which is super hard to find out there on the interwebs. My favorite hour-long TV show is Peaky Blinders, but that may be because I don’t watch a lot of TV. I definitely don’t have a favorite movie, but Star Wars is obviously the greatest movie in the history of the Universe.  Musically, it’s not pretty: the first tape I bought was ‘Hey Mickey!’ by Toni Basil. My first favorite song off the radio was ‘Safety Dance,’ by Men Without Hats, which I think is still a pretty cool tune.  My favorite author to read is Terry Pratchett, with honorable mentions to Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut. 

Nancy’s all time favorite half-hour TV show is MASH. Cool thing is that everyone had it on their short list, and the band would win a MASH trivia contest. Holy cow. Her all time favorite hour-long TV show is actually more like fourteen shows that feature either CSI or Law & Order in their title. Shoutout to David Caruso, and his extra cheesy quips! Nancy’s first tape was Queen: Night At the Opera, and it was her first favorite. Her favorite  author is Anne Rice, but not for the Christian books- those were horrible. 

So if you were on the bus with us, you would partake in this conversation and hear all of the subsequent derision, exclamations, and contrarianism. It’s makes for wonderful memories and healthy drinking disagreements. If you would like to join us on the bus this August, check out our Scotland Trip. We would love to have you!

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