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More TV shows

I previously wrote how much Ailish loved West Wing. I thought perhaps I would list some other shows that Ailish enjoyed.

Again, you have to realise how hard it was to get Ailish to sit still long enough to watch even an hour-long show without commercials. For every show on this list, there were probably five that I tried to convince her to watch, only to be met with scorn or general boredom.

Boston Legal — This is a rather silly show about high-priced lawyers taking outrageous cases. The show has two redeeming factors. First, the friendship that develops through the seasons between Alan Shore (played absolutely perfectly by James Spader) and Denny Crane (played with gusto by William Shatner) is absolutely beautiful and heartwarming. Second, the character of Jerry Espenson (played by Christian Clemenson). Jerry has such an amusing array of tics and hops, Ailish just fell about laughing. Ailish and I were half way through watching this show for a second time (something basically unheard of in Ailish’s world) when she died.

The Big Bang Theory — I suspect much of Ailish’s enjoyment of this show came from watching me break up laughing. Certainly, she found some of the characters to be tiresome. But I think everyone knows about Sheldon. Ailish adored Sheldon and his interactions with the other characters.

The Office — A staple of our Friday evenings. After we got home from date night, Ailish would make noodles (noodles!) and search for chips, and I would queue up The Office. I understand James Spader may be added to the regular cast list next season. It breaks my heart that Ailish won’t get to watch those episodes.

How I Met Your Mother — Less of a must-watch show, but a regular staple for us. All five main characters contribute meaningfully to the show, and the relationships are wonderful.

Top Gear (UK edition) — What? A show about cars? Really? Well, no. It’s not really about cars. You really have to watch it to understand.

These are not all the shows we watched. Nor would they necessarily be the shows Ailish would highlight if she was writing this list herself. Still, they are five shows that we watched and enjoyed regularly.

West Wing

I never totally figured Ailish out. I didn’t expect that another forty years would help, and this was a continual source of joy for me.

Growing up in a small town, I learnt that dates, at least dates that do not involve going out for food, typically involve watching movies. Sometimes in a movie theatre, but more generally just watching a movie in your basement. I’ve watched a lot of movies. Heck, I’ve watched one movie more than 150 times. So it came as quite a surprise to discover that Ailish really did not enjoy movies. She found it hard to really care about the plot once we passed the half hour mark. Sometimes she didn’t even make it that far.

So, movies were out. But, I knew Ailish was fascinated by politics. As all sensible people know, West Wing is one of the greatest television series ever aired. Or, well, the first few seasons anyway. I figured it was worth a shot, and introduced her to the show fairly early in our relationship.

Ailish loved it. I figured, with seven seasons, this should last us quite some time but then, I didn’t figure on Ailish. Here was a girl who groaned whenever I suggested watching a movie more than 100 minutes long, and she just ate West Wing up. She’d demand that we watch episode after episode, back to back. In one weekend, we’d sometimes get through ten or more episodes. We would talk about the show when we weren’t watching it. She’d demand that friends (Jordan Lien!) buy the whole seven seasons immediately.

West Wing lasted us only about six months. Every television show afterwards was judged against it, and never favourably. The grand events in a relationship are, of course, memorable and important, but the joy comes from the little things, the days just hanging out, doing fun things and enjoying each other’s company.