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Billie’s Best of 2023: Happy Twentieth!

My twin cats Kara and Dax
What I watched this year, the state of the site, and the state of me.

Can you believe it? Doux Reviews will turn twenty in March of 2024. That is something to celebrate. And we will! Want to know how?

Throughout the month of January, I’m planning to observe our twentieth anniversary with posts about our top twenty hitting television shows, a new one every day or so. I want the winners to be a surprise. Although if you’ve been hanging around here much, you probably have some idea of which shows get the most hits and comments.

Now for some personal stuff. Feel free to skip the following paragraph.

This has been a very tough year for me. I literally lost my best friend in August. She was also my cousin, so we became close when we were little; I even moved here to Pennsylvania (from Los Angeles) to be near her. She had serious health problems that she was being quiet about, and she took her own life. It affected me so strongly that I became depressed. I also stopped writing, and thought quite seriously about quitting completely and letting my wonderful writers take over the site.

But I think I’m ready now to get back into the game. And posting a lot of fun anniversary stuff might be exactly what I need.

So I’ll be posting the Doux Top Twenty TV shows in January, as I mentioned above. I’m planning to post our most popular movie reviews and articles throughout February. And in March, we’re going to have an online party of sorts. More about this later.

Here’s the “State of the Site.”

Doux Reviews has gotten so large that we have over 10,000 reviews and we’re nearing 60,000 comments. We get at least 120,000 pageviews every month, and this year we leaped over 200,000 pageviews several times.

Advertising: Google Adsense started posting disruptive ads without telling bloggers first, so I eventually decided to take down all advertising. It only made me a couple of hundred dollars a year, anyway. (If you have any suggestions about how the site could make money, I'm all ears.)

Comments: I've had to turn on comment moderation and leave it on. Why? Because about half of the comments on the site are either spam or exceedingly nasty trolls. It's a drag, but it's become necessary in order to keep the site a safe place.

I hope that won’t stop you readers from posting comments, because we love your comments. We moderate as quickly as we can! But fyi, if it's the middle of the night on the east coast of the United States, your comment won't be moderated until morning.

Please don’t get me wrong. I'm not deleting dissenting opinions. Never. But an attack on the writer, even when it's me, is always deleted. I also delete trolling comments intended to start a fight or evoke a negative reaction. It just isn’t what we are here.

Feel free to ask me any question about the site in the comments. I promise I'll answer.

What I enjoyed watching in 2023

I still love the two shows I’m currently reviewing: Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (which I'm calling Star Trek Snow), an exceptional new inning of my favorite franchise, and Outlander, a time travel show that just isn’t like anything else. Now that I’m getting my groove back, I intend to keep reviewing both of them.

This year, I also enjoyed the rebooted Quantum Leap. It started slowly, but it got good. Raymond Lee’s Ben Song has won me over, and I particularly like the added focus on the home team. Keri Russell and Rufus Sewell made The Diplomat one of the best series of the year for me, and I thought Apple+’s Severance was one of the most chilling sci-fi shows I’ve seen in years.

I try shows at random for all sorts of reasons. David Boreanaz is a reason. He’s why I tried Bones, although I didn’t stick with it. But I did stick with SEAL Team. I thought it would be a predictable action shoot-em-up with soap opera home life problems, but it was so much more than that.

SEAL Team is about everything that’s good about the U.S. military as well as everything that’s bad. It's about going to ugly parts of the world and doing ugly things. The show does mostly arcs instead of stand-alone episodes, and there’s an unexpectedly interesting focus on the addictive nature of the work and about how team members with illnesses and injuries lie to keep working. There’s honesty about how the higher ups are often untrustworthy because they put politics and their own goals over the health and lives of their soldiers. And there’s a wonderful dog as a long-running character. I found myself streaming the entire series (so far) and I’m looking forward to the seventh and final season when it arrives in 2024.

Let’s see, what else? I got into Ghosts (both of them), and Poker Face. I loved the final season of Star Trek: Picard, mostly as much needed closure for Next Generation.

My daughter Samantha and I rewatched both Gilmore Girls and The Mentalist and very much enjoyed them. I also rewatched Buffy and Angel and I have decided that Joss Whedon’s reveal as a major league a-hole will not diminish Buffy as a brilliant and extraordinary series that means the world to me.

I hope you all have a terrific 2024. And I hope you’ll check back in tomorrow, New Year's Day, for the beginning of our Doux Top Twenty Shows countdown.
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. 2023 has been trash, I second my Mom's sentiment there. Woohoo for site stats, and here's hoping we figure out how to monetize what we have this year! I pretty much agree with everything on your list, much of it was on mine. Although I haven't tried Seal Team for the reasons mentioned in your initial guess on the series. Seems like a military shoot em up, with procedural level emotional stakes. Glad to hear it is much more than that.

    I somehow forgot about Picard, which was spectacular, I should have also mentioned Ahsoka being far better than I expected it to be. Let's hope 2024 is a lot better, because I honestly don't know how it could be worse.

  2. So sorry 2023 was tough for you. I hope 2024 is better and that you experience joy in the months ahead.

  3. Thank you, Billie, for your heartfelt and hopeful 2023 review. I’m still very much a newbie, but I couldn’t help but sense a troubled undercurrent as I spent a good amount of time here for various sad reasons of my own. Thanks for sharing and I’m very glad things are beginning to look up for you. May that continue!

    I agree on much of what you viewed and reviewed. I also rewatched Buffy & Angel and in many cases it felt like a first watch since it had been so long since I’d seen them. Seal Team is a favorite, and I’m looking forward to the final season wrap up.

    I’m glad you’ll be back for Strange New Worlds! I’m ready to enjoy the ride again. 🙂

  4. Not sure how you’d organise the logistics of it, but would Patreon be a possibility? I have two artist/crafters I subscribe to through this platform, only a small amount each per month, but I’m sure the income they get from those of us who subscribe is more than the stingy amount google gave you.

    1. Franni, thanks for the suggestion. Maybe it's time to give it a try.

  5. Seal Team....so, it's good? Would I like it?

    1. Josie, I don't know. I think they try really hard to show what the experience is like for SEALs without sugar-coating it in any way. It includes some of David Boreanaz' best work as an actor, IMO. But it's still a military drama.

    2. I may give it a try. I have Paramount+ right now to watch The Curse.

      I'm going to give Money Heist a try first, though. I need something fun to watch.

  6. So sorry that 2023 has been rough for you Billie. I'm still not sure what to make of the year myself, losing Karl certainly hurt, although Smokey has been quite the handful! Karl was 2 months old when I got him, and I've had other kittens before, but none have been as active as Smokey!

    I've used Patreon for years, mostly to support artists, and I've recently cut my bill down significantly by toning down how many I back, but as Franni posted, it might be a good idea.

    I found the site just looking for classic Who reviews I'll be honest! It's certainly grown from there though. I'm disappointed if not surprised that the comments have to be moderated. After seeing what people post elsewhere, especially YouTube and Twitter (I refuse to call it 'X'), it seems many just want to be nasty to be nasty, and that's a crying shame.

    Some of the shows from my childhood I just can't recall well enough to consider reviewing (like Space:1999 as an example), or I didn't see the who series for some like Forever Knight that I've seen covered already, as that was a show I liked but only caught it on occasion.

    Here's hoping 2024 is a good year. We need it.

  7. I don't remember exactly when I first started visiting this site, but it has been part of my routine for at least fifteen years and I still turn to it for guidance, It's been a rare gem in a world always obsessed with the next shiny new thing, despite everyone loving a good rewatch and TV has become harder to access without paying for like five different streaming services each month. I've been introduced to amazing stories through this site. There are not words to describe how much I appreciate it.

  8. Billie, I'm so sorry for your loss. But I'm glad you're getting back to writing - I've been an avid reader of this site for many, many years, and it continues to be my go-to place for recommendations for excellent shows to watch. While I enjoy reading everyone's reviews, it was specifically your reviews that brought me here originally (yes, Buffy, of course), and I tend to have very similar tastes to yours, so I've found many wonderful shows simply because you liked them enough to review them. Thank you for all the hard work you and the team have put into this site over the years! Let's hope 2024 turns out to be a gentler ride than 2023 was.

  9. Billie - I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of someone dear to you and wish you the very best going forward. I’ve been on and off this site since way back in the early Lost days, and finding a person that shared my excitement for that show, Buffy (my then 2nd favorite show), and Star Trek was like hitting a small jackpot in the lottery. The site has grown so much since then, and I am excited to see what comes next.

    My highlight of 2023 was watching Dark. I am currently binge re-watching and it is my secret Christmas wish that someone here watches and reviews it at some point in the future. It is not only that good, it’s exceedingly worthy of the Billie Doux treatment!

    I really enjoyed the final season of Picard, took in the excellent first season True Detective, and enjoyed the slightly uneven Mr. Mercedes. My only disappointment, surprisingly, was Strange New Worlds. Sadly, I think I might be at the point that I go out with the TNG crew, although I will probably take in the final season of Discovery before I go.

    In my queue for ‘24 is The Bear, Loki s2, and Silo. And anything else that I might discover from the excellent reviews here. Keep up the good work all!

  10. Happy 20 years!
    Has it really been that long? That's crazy. I remember I found the Buffy reviews before that on TV Tome (was that was it was called?). I have since then always stuck with Billie and her reviewers, because they are just simply the best.
    Can't wait to see what the next 20 years will bring...

  11. Thank you all. I've been so touched by these comments. They're the perfect example of why I love this site and have spent twenty years working on it. It's become a community. It makes me happy.


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