ONE thing I've noticed in my 33 years of TV watching (34 if you count stuff my mum watched while pregnant) is that, over the decades there have been a lot of shows. Like, heaps and heaps. TV shows seem to be like rabbits - they multiply at an incredible speed, and are terrible for national productivity. And these days there are more than ever, thanks to the proliferation of pay TV and digital channels - when I was growing up there were only four channels, or 4½ including SBS, but today there's Foxtel, which has, at a conservative estimate, 1600 channels, and even the free-to-air networks have three channels each, a luxury that has allowed Ten to dedicate one channel purely to unpopular reality programs (the ''Ten'' channel).
What this means is that you can't possibly watch everything. There is bound to be a lot of great stuff that passes you by. As devoted as I am to television, what chance do I have of being fully informed of what's going on when I'm still catching up on L.A. Law? At this rate I'll be dead before I ever get to Friday Night Lights.
It's just a sad fact that we'll never get to experience all the television world has to offer us. But we can do our best, and as a responsible pseudo-journalist, I feel it's my responsibility from time to time to inform you of the great programs out there that you may have missed, due to the mainstream media's obsessive focus on the Big Brothers and Underbellys and Fake Kerry Packers of the world.
So I'm going to tell you some shows that could have flown under the radar, that you should watch because you'll like them. Or you won't. That's the nature of TV. But as I'm the one writing in the news-paper, you should do as I tell you.
First, you should watch Archer, which is on ABC2 these days as well as the Comedy Channel. It's a '60s-looking cartoon spy-spoof starring voice-acting god H. Jon Benjamin, and it's clever and silly and dirty-minded and gut-bustingly funny. More adult than most adult cartoons, and more entertaining than almost anything.
You should also watch Sweet Genius, on LifeStyle Food. The publicity material for this show suggests it's some sort of dessert-making competition but when you watch you realise this is a smokescreen, as it is actually a show about a mad Israeli scientist and his robot bride performing cruel pastry-based experiments on sweaty Americans. It will blow your mind.
You should watch Would I Lie to You? It's a British panel show in which famous Brits attempt to work out whether the stories they tell each other are true or false. The host is Rob Brydon and the team captains are David Mitchell and Lee Mack. This makes it possibly the most phenomenal comedy perfect storm ever generated - it's sort of like a funnier, more chaotic, more dishonest QI.
And you should watch Armstrong and Miller and Episodes and Boss and Come Dine with Me and Bob's Burgers and Miranda and Boardwalk Empire and Rake and The Hamster Wheel. And a hundred others at least.
So many shows, so little time. All we can do is try our best to climb this unclimbable mountain, and hope the gold doesn't slip by us while we're watching old episodes of The Love Boat.