Apparently, I am seen by many of my friends as some kind of TV show and movie guru. That might seem like a compliment when it is presented like that but in truth, it is a euphemism for them thinking that I spend my days sitting on my ass watching TV (which isn’t that far off from what I actually do).
Because of this, I am always asked to recommend TV shows for them to watch. And because I am a lazy bastard, I am going to condense all my usual answers into this one blog post and just refer them to this when they ask. It’s just more efficient (and requires a lot less energy) this way.
This post is going to be divided into two parts: shows that are still on the air, and shows that have already ended/been cancelled/in network hell/just isn’t on TV any more.
Take my hand and let’s jump down the rabbit hole together.
SHOWS THAT ARE STILL ON THE AIR
Since I started watching this show, I’ve only met one other person who likes it, and she hasn’t even watched all of the episodes. This show is awesome though, let me tell you why.
Shawn Spencer grew up with his dad, an excellent police detective, and was trained since he was a kid to hone his senses so he can follow in his dad’s career footsteps. But things didn’t go as planned and Shawn grew up to be a bit of a troublemaker. One day, to get out of jail, he pretended he was a psychic by solving a case (Hint: he used his training with his dad to crack it). He got out of jail but things kinda spiraled from there. As of this writing, he is the police department’s official psychic consultant. His assistant is his level-headed best friend (who is quite possibly my favorite character in the show).
Great premise. Awesome acting. Light show. Gorgeous people. Watch it.
There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people: psychopaths and mystery writers. I’m the kind that pays better. Who am I? I’m Rick Castle.
In a nutshell, the show is about Richard Castle who, as mentioned above, is a bestselling mystery writer who feels that life is getting pretty boring. He gets his wish for more excitement when a psycho killer starts murdering folk the way Castle killed people off in his books. These killings lead to Detective Kate Beckett (who is a big Castle fan, by the way) asking Castle’s help to solve the murders. After that case gets solved, Castle convinces the mayor to let him tag along on Beckett’s cases, explaining that he will be basing his next bestsellers on Detective Beckett, his new muse.
Unless you missed the subtext there, Castle basically redefines how guys go after girls. Gone are the days when the guy sees a girl across a crowded room, meets her, falls in love, and lives happily ever after. In Castle, the guy meets the girl in the middle of a murder case, falls in love, and then follows her around like a puppy dog until she accepts that she likes him too.
I actually wrote an entire blog post on why I think you should watch Castle. Read it here.
Great premise. Awesome acting. Light show. Gorgeous people. Watch it.
For those who don’t know, this show is based off of DC Comics’ Green Arrow. The best (and also the worst) thing about this show is it tries to cram as many comic book characters into the storyline as possible. Which is why it has Deadshot, Deathstroke, Tommy Merlyn, and Roy Harper (Red Arrow/Speedy).
Basically, the plot of the show revolves around playboy-millionaire Oliver Queen who gets stranded on an island for five years. When he gets rescued, he vows to rid his city of evil, starting with the rich men and women who were plotting something (spoilers!). Viewers aren’t told outright what happened on the island that turned him into an archer vigilante, but there are flashbacks woven into each episode that just whets your appetite.
Also, gorgeous, almost-always half-naked people.
What made me fall in love with this show was the premise: it’s a combination flat-share show and supernatural. Two dudes–one is a werewolf and the other a vampire–are looking for a flat because they’re tired of the supernatural life and want to live normal lives. Unfortunately, the flat they choose also comes with a resident ghost who just can’t seem to stop making tea and coffee. What’s gonna happen next?
There are two versions of this show, one is the original UK version (which is the picture above), and the US remake. I’m not gonna get into which is better, but I’m watching the UK version and it’s awesome so far.
It’s a pretty dark show, with occasional light moments. Watch it.
Doctor Who is about an alien time traveler who, when dying, changes every cell in his body to survive. This means that his face changes, along with everything else, except for his memories. He’s the same man, but different everything (hence the picture above). In the current series, he is on his 11th version, starring Matt Smith. The Doctor uses his time machine to go to different planets and moments in history for the heck of it, and usually brings a human companion with him.
If you’re still not convinced, read my dedicated blog post here.
Two brothers living out of an ancient Impala, driving through the continental United States killing anything vaguely supernatural. That’s basically the plot of the show. The Winchester brothers are know in the supernatural hunting business as the best and the baddest; monster moms tell their monster kids stories about the Winchesters to scare them into behaving. The Winchesters have died multiple times in the show, but heaven (or hell) just keeps spitting them back out. They’ve saved the world multiple times as well. And my god are they gorgeous.
Also, this is where I first fell in love with Lauren Cohan. You might know her as Maggie from The Walking Dead.
QI (Quite Interesting)
I left this for last because it’s not exactly a TV series. It sort of like a game show, hosted by the awesome Stephen Fry. Fry asks questions that are quite impossible to answer and the panel members, instead of being expected to answer the question correctly, are given points for giving answers that are quite interesting.
Which usually results in hilarious and/or intelligent conversations.
The guest panel members include some of the most famous personalities in the UK, like Hugh Laurie (from House), David Tennant (from Doctor Who), and Daniel Radcliffe (do I really need to tell you why he’s famous?).
SHOWS THAT ARE OFF THE AIR
I’m gonna start this section with a bang by going straight to what I think is one of the best TV shows ever made. This show was made by the genius Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Avengers, Dr. Horrible) but was cancelled after just one season by the network bigwigs. It gained a cult following so large after its cancellation that it eventually led to a movie being made about it, which just shows that us nerds can accomplish just about anything.
It’s a scifi/Western TV show that paints a universe so gorgeous that I really wanna live in it. Basically, protagonist Capt. Malcolm Reynolds was once part of the rebel force that fought against the mighty Alliance. They lost, and now Mal and his loyal crew ply the fringes of known space in their trusty Firefly-class starship, Serenity, living a life of crime just to survive. The story starts when the crew picks up two people who are on the run from the Alliance whom Mal chooses to shelter and protect. Adventures ensue.
This show is awesome, seriously.
Confession: I wasn’t too sure about this show at the start. I only watched it because my ex liked it and I wanted to be nice. But after the initial horror of seeing horrible 90s fashion again, I eventually fell in love with the show. It grows on you, really.
The main premise of the show is pretty simple: at the basement of the FBI building is a little office, no larger than a broom closet, that holds all the X-Files, or those classified too weird for normal FBI business. This office is handled by Agent Fox “Spooky” Mulder, who is only given free rein to investigate the weird because he’s one of the best agents in the business. A rookie agent, Dana Scully, is assigned to be his partner, partly to keep him grounded, mostly to spy on him and report to the higher-ups.
Aliens, conspiracy theories, sexual tension so thick you can cut it with a knife. What else do you want?
8 Simple Rules
8 Simple Rules is one of those family-friendly shows that your mom would approve of but isn’t boring as hell. It stars my favorite comedian John Ritter as the head of the family who is trying to get used to being a stay-at-home dad while his wife works long hours as a nurse. As a dad, he has to deal with two teenage daughters and a pre-pubescent boy who always seems to get into trouble. What could be better?
I love this show because under all the comedy sketches and the jokes are excellent life lessons that the whole family can relate to. Also, it stars pre-Big Bang Theory Kaley Cuoco as–you guessed it–as the dumb blonde sister. And she’s hot even then.
That 70s Show
Oh come on, you know about this show. What rock have you been living under when you were a kid?
This show is about Eric Forman, a lanky closet nerd who happens to be in love with his gorgeous best friend who lives next door. He lives in a small town and, with the help of his friends, has to find ways to not die of boredom (read: weed). It’s a show made in the 90s but set in the 70s. How could that not be fun?
The awesome thing about this show is that it stars now-famous actors and actresses such as Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and Topher Grace and we get to see them in their teeny-bopper days, doing stupid teenager crap. Ah, fun.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
I will never stop recommending this show because I love it and I know zero people who have also watched it, which is really kinda depressing because this is an awesome show.
Remember in the early 90s when Will Smith was still some crappy rapper who kept getting into trouble? Well, this show is loosely based on his life. It’s about a fictional Will Smith (played by, surprise!, Will Smith) who got into trouble in his old neighborhood so his mom sent him off to affluent Bel-Air to live with is rich aunt and uncle and their family (and their English butler). He’s expected to straighten up and be a proper young man, but on the way there he tears up Bel-Air with his comic shenanigans. There are life lessons somewhere in there as well.
Also, any one who knows Will Smith knows that he’s a funny dude, and this show will not disappoint.
The most awesome thing, however, is the fact that when this show started, Will Smith had no acting experience whatsoever. But that didn’t stop him from delivering phenomenal performances during the course of the show, eventually landing him the lead in Bad Boys a few seasons in. Now, he’s one of the most famous actors in the business.
I am gonna slap you in the face with a chair if you say you’ve never heard of this show.
I’m not even gonna explain it or get into it any further. I fully expect you to know about this show and the only reason you’re here is because you need a little push to actually watch it.
Well here’s your push: WATCH THE DAMN SHOW.
If you’re still on the fence about it (you stubborn bastard), check this out.
I just realized that this is the only show on this section that actually aired in the last decade. I should really watch more current shows.
This show is tailor-made for nerds. Here, check out the premise:
Chuck Bartowski is stuck in a rut. He got kicked out of Stanford, he’s working at a dead-end job repairing electronics, and he hasn’t had a girlfriend in a long time. But his life gets turned upside-down when he gets an email from a friend-turned-enemy, with thousands of photo attachments. He opens the photos, not knowing that each file is encoded with government secrets. By looking at the images, the secrets are burned into his brain, effectively turning him into a walking, living computer filled with explosive secrets. So now, with the help of a CIA and an NSA agent, he has to protect his family and friends from rogue secret agents and evildoers galore.
Also, pretty people.
The show is also Chuck-full (heh.) of geeky and nerdy references. There’s an entire episode dedicated entirely to Star Wars references. Enjoy.
Whose Line Is It Anyway
Like Quite Interesting up there, this is sort of a game show, but everthing’s made up and the points don’t matter. Seriously, that’s the show’s tag line. It’s an improv comedy show where comedians are given scenes and they have to come up with funny skits/jokes/anything on the spot.
It’s a hilarious show and the comedians that are part of it are considered gods in the industry.
You’ll love it, I promise. Watch it.
Wow, that went on far longer than I thought it would. But, at least, everything’s in here so if people ask me for recommendations and I direct ’em here, there won’t be a lot of questions afterwards.
So did you find a TV show you might want to watch? (Hint: All of them.) If you’ve got any questions, feel free to leave a comment here (I answer all comments, I promise) or contact me here.