Michael Vartan, the man well-known for being Jennifer Garner’s counterpart on Alias and Drew Barrymore’s crush-inspiring teacher on Never Been Kissed, lost his show, Big Shots, as a result of the writer’s strike. We talked to him at the Celebrity World Poker Tournament about what he’s watching on TV.
Favorites of all time:
1. Band of Brothers—It was such an amazing production and so realistic and so true to the essence of WWII. I grew up in Normandy, so I’m obsessed with WWII.
2. The Most Extreme—every week they have the most extreme fighters, the most extreme dirty animal, etc. It’s very weird. I love animals. But also, frankly, it’s hard to do a good network TV show, because you can’t curse, you can’t—there are a lot of things on network TV that limit you in terms of what’s real or not. The ability to say “F***”. It’s really a whole different ballpark.
3. Mad About You—Because it was the kind of show I thought I would hate. Paul and Helen Hunt are great and I just love it. I had a girlfriend at the time so that might have had something to do with it [laughing]. Now I’ve gone back to ESPN.
4. Anything on National Geographic
5. Pardon the Interruption—The PTI guys! Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser. Only because Thursday they used to go “what are you watching on TV” “oh! I’m watching Michael Vartan on Alias! Oh my god!” So I love them for that.
Best show he’s never seen:
Curb Your Enthusiasm—I’ve only seen one episode and the one I saw blue my mind away. I’m not a television watcher so I don’t know what’s on. When I get home I literally just put on the History Channel. I just sit there with my dog and watch TV.
Best TV Show Ever:
The Wire—Only because it’s raw, completely unedited and one of those shows that you obviously love or hate. But it’s really raw television and in this day in age when everything’s so fluffy and Us Weekly and all about billboards, it’s nice to see people that do TV that say “you know what, F U. We’re gonna do this and if it offends you then change the channel”
Michael on who holds the remote in bed when he has a girlfriend:
I think we could make a healthy compromise. I think Monday night, the Monday Night Football takes precedent. And with watching Monday Night Football I’ll have to relinquish the next four days of TV, but that’s okay because it’s worth it. Because there’s really nothing on that I wanna watch on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. As long as she gives me Sunday and Monday, we’re good to go.