This is a list of all the TV shows I watch or have enjoyed watching in the past. After each one is a brief explanation as to why I liked it and why you should too.
Truly the funniest show I have ever seen. I don’t think anything I say can do it justice. If you have not watched this show yet, you must buy the DVDs, or go watch it here, or here. It’s about a severely dysfunctional family, which is always a good start. The characters are far more important than the stories. And there are no better characters than these people. They are all insane in different ways, even the “normal one” has some serious issues. The jokes are packed so tightly into the episodes that you can watch and rewatch it forever (trust me). Go watch this show, and I will look down on any of you who did not watch this show when it was on TV, it should have lasted at least three more years. But because America apparently isn’t smart enough to get this show, it was cancelled.
A show about a serial killer. The premise is hard to ignore, so let’s not. Dexter is a serial killer, he tries to only kill people who do very bad things. The reason why he feels the need to kill is the subject of season 1. Season 1 is also based on a book, the book is part of a series, which is actually very well interpreted into the show. But the second season really deviates from the books, which isn’t a bad thing. If you enjoy watching shows that will test your fortitude and make you question your morals, then this is the show for you. Also the character, Dexter, is amazingly well played by Michael C. Hall, he manages to be funny and inhuman at the same time. Season 2 was great. I don’t know why they didn’t save that storyline for the final season. But what do I know. Season 3 was terrible. Season 4 was glorious again. I don’t think it would be possible to skip Season 3, but I wish you could.
This was a very pleasant surprise for me. I put off watching Carnivàle for years, I figured it would be too depressing. But I finally sat myself down last fall and watched it. Of course I regretted not getting on board this bandwagon when it originally took off. This show is insanely good. Any self-respecting Lost fan should at least give this show a try. It has a mythology that far surpasses the Lost mythology. What it lacked was viewers and a budget. It may have become a better show than Lost if it had been allowed to continue on for the next 4 planned seasons.
Some say that The Office is the successor of Arrested Development, I say 30 Rock is. There is no where on TV where you can find a more hilarious group of crazy people. Everyone on this show is just so good, on their own they might unbearably neurotic and annoying but together it makes the funniest show on TV. Tina Fey deserves many more Emmys for this show as does Alec Bladwin. Even Tracey Morgan is getting more and more hilarious on this show. Also, I want to point out that no other network would have given a show like 30 Rock a chance. Arrested Development was a tragedy because it was on FOX, it was canceled because it was on FOX. NBC is a great network.
I really didn’t want to watch this show for quite a while. It just looked boring. I didn’t really like any of the actors in it, I had no appreciation for Glenn Close, I hated Ted Danson, and I had no idea who Rose Byrne was (not totally true, I did know her as Dorme in Attack of the Clones). So when a friend of mine told me it was a really intense drama I rolled my eyes. Eventually I took some time and watched the pilot, then the rest of the first season. I watched the second season as it aired, that’s a rare thing for me to do with a cable show. This show is insanely good. All other legal shows should be ashamed of themselves. I remember laughing about shows like Shark and Law & Order. No character from any other legal show would stand a chance against Patty Hewes. And the guest stars they get for this show are amazing.
On the other hand there’s my legal comedy. I love Alan Shore, James Spader really does deserve the Emmys for what he does with that character. I think that because the show isn’t terribly successful people don’t really see the talent in what he does, but it is amazing. I’ll try to explain how it works. Alan is given an impossible case, it doesn’t matter if he agrees with it or not. The case is truly impossible to win, usually people just want him to try. So he fights for this cause (again, it could be something that he doesn’t even believe in). Right near the end of the episode he’ll have his closing argument. His closing arguments are spectacular. It’s very rare that actors get to do soliloquies anymore, he gets to do them almost every week and they are amazing. By the end he can make you believe anything. I know that it’s mostly the writing and the huge amount of research the writers do but James Spader is the one that delivers it so all credit goes to him. Again though, the genre is incorrect, the show is a comedy not a drama.
This is the original reality show and none can be anywhere close to how good it is. It is relatively similar to Lost, in setting mostly. Reality TV does nothing for me usually but this show gets me so stressed out. During almost all of the tribal councils I am literally shaking with anticipation. My hat is off to the editors of this show who can make me doubt even the most obvious ending. The best thing about this show is that it never gets old, they always bring in new, crazy, interesting people, and bring them to the most beautiful places on Earth. If you ever want to talk about Survivor, please talk to me, it doesn’t have the potential to be a blog but it’s a great show.
There are few shows that I’ve wanted to blog about, Lost, Arrested Development, and this show. Battlestar Galactica is a gloriously good show. It has a mythology almost as good as Lost, the difference is the setting and the budget. I highly recommend this show. I put off watching it forever because I thought it was another Star Trek clone. But I finally gave in and I’m a huge fan now. I actually think that this show does a far better job utilizing it’s characters and developing them.
I don’t smoke pot… I felt the need to say that. Anywho, this show is just too outrageous, I can’t even imagine how great it must be to a drug-addled brain. If you want to get into this show, don’t start with the premiere, it’s not nearly as good as the rest of the show. The episodes with Zooey Deschanelare the best, I am absolutely enthralled by that girl, “I’ll grow on you, you’ll see”. Another thing I love about this show is the way the writers keep the story going. One problem that I have with most TV writers is their inability to adapt and change the premise of their show. Los does that pretty well, but Weeds does it better. These writers weren’t afraid to burn down the old town, so to speak, and start new. And it worked. I know that change at the end of season 3 made many people angry but it thrilled me.
Saturday Night Live
If you’re a GenXer or even an older GenYer you may remember this show. I’m sure you still unconsciously quote it. The word on the street is that this show isn’t funny anymore. People say that all the funny people left. And yet all those former viewers go to see movies with current SNL stars, people like Will Forte, Kristin Wiig, Andy Samburg, Jason Sudeikus, Amy Poehler, literally all of them. These people are gloriously funny, and deserve the respect that they earn almost every Saturday. I am sick (and tired) of people who don’t watch TV later than 10pm telling me that this show isn’t funny anymore. It is, and I know that none of you watch it. I dare you to go to NBC.com and find the SNL clips, if you don’t think any of them are funny well you’re right (even then, I’ll probably just think you lack a sense of humor, you really can’t win in this situation).
Parks & Recreation
The first season of this show was about 2 laughs an episode. It was pretty unfortunate. But the second season knocked it up a few hundred notches. The show got extremely funny extremely fast. I think they were just having a hard time differentiating themselves from The Office. Obviously that was going to be the main challenge. Having the exact same format and, superficially speaking, the same setting does mean that people will draw some pretty obvious conclusions. But I can’t stress enough, this is not the same as The Office. Since I’ve spent time in a city office I find the show a lot funnier. It is extremely accurate. City offices are full of people like these people, there are bitter people life Ron Swanson who hate governments procedure and don’t allow anything to happen, there are naive idealists like Leslie who think they can make a difference and are shocked when they run into their own red-tape, and there are people like Tom who just take advantage of the ridiculous system.
Community was a surprise mostly because before it aired all I had seen was this terrible picture (see right). The only person in this picture I recognized was Chevy Chase, the others were all just sitcom character actors, that doesn’t inspire much confidence. But it turns out I was totally wrong. This show is very funny. And the cast is very funny. Ensemble comedies always get me, but this one works mostly because these idiots fit together in many different ways. This show reminds me of going to college, full of rejects and idiots. Good times.
To say this show came out of left field would be an understatement. I am continually shocked that this show is real. There is just so much about this show I love: Jim Dale as the Narrator, Lee Pace as the main character, Kristen Chenuwtfth in this show at all, the sets, pies, Molly Shannon as a guest star, Pee-Wee Herman as a guest star, the colors, the pace, the insanely dark humor; it’s all good. I’ve started to lose track about what I’m writing about. It’s a great show, you’ll like it if you’re anything like me (if not, try harder). Again it’s a show that
I managed to avoid getting caught up in the Twilight insanity (not surprising since I’m a normal male) so I wrote off True Blood as one of the many coat-tail shows. This show is nothing like Twilight. Comparing Twilight to True Blood is like comparing 24 to Lost (I’m just trying to start fights here). Like 24, Twilight only appeals to a select portion of the population (teenage girls/mindless right-wing drones). Whereas True Blood, like Lost, requires the viewer not just to watch the show but to think, not just go along for the ride but be part of it. It’s the smart man’s Twilight, or you could say it’s the man’s Twilight.
I really wanted to enjoy Mad Men from early on, but I had a hard time. I watched the first season a long time ago, and it did not hook me. Probably it’s because of my automatic dislike of Don and Betty Draper, they’re the main characters and I really didn’t like them. Of course I loved the characters that everyone loves, Joan, Peggy, and Sterling. But these characters get sidelined all the time. So I stopped watching the show. After the insane amount of press the show continued to get through it’s second and third seasons I realized I couldn’t put it off any longer. So I jumped back on the band-wagon and now I’m loving it. The third season was very good the finale was awesome.
United States of Tara
I was concerned that I wasn’t going to like this show, but it is amazing. It’s mostly just an opportunity for the wonderful Toni Collette to show off her acting skills. The many characters that she plays are amazing. And I find that I don’t even have to suspend my disbelief about the premise. Multiple Personality Disorders and amnesia are common TV ailments and usually they are badly used, but in this show it somehow works.
This is the campiest humor I have ever enjoyed, I don’t even know why I like this show. I don’t get half of the 80s references, I hate Dule Hill, and I hate slapstick. But I really can’t stop watching this show. If you have old parents, like me, they’ll probably love this show. This is definitely the most family friendly of all the shows on this list. Also it’s filmed around where I live so that helps (same goes for Battlestar Galactica and Eureka. It’s fun to watch your local forests get blown up.)
White Collar is another great USA Network show. I’d say it’s as good as Burn Notice, it’s not quite funny enough to match Psych. The cast is great. Matthew Bomer from Chuck, Tim Dekay from Carnivale, Marsha Thomason from Lost (she’s barely in the show), and Natalie Morales from the Middleman. Pretty impressive if I do say so. After Matthew Bomer was on Chuck there was no doubt that he was going to do something pretty great with his career. He’s outrageously good looking, and he was a better actor than almost everyone on Chuck. Also, those clothes make me so jealous.
Everyone should watch this show. It doesn’t matter that it’s over, this show is an experience. The amount of money that was put into it is staggering. I love ancient, period movies and epics, but the problem with them is that they skip important details and/or they end too soon. The great thing about this show is that it is moderately historically accurate and it keeps going and going. This show is big-budget movie quality (which is probably why it only lasted two seasons). The actors and the characters are also amazing. All of you should rent or buy the DVDs and watch this series from beginning to end.
Bored To Death
Jason Schwartzman is one of my favorite actors, the sad little character that he always plays is funny everytime. This show is no exception. And not only that but this show has Ted Danson and Zach Galifinakas. It also has a constant stream of guest stars. The style of the show is great too, quite unique. It has a fake noirish style to most of the scenes, combine that with Jason Schwartzman and Zach Galifinakas acting like immature idiots.
I remember when Family Guy was on the first time, I really didn’t get the jokes back then, which is a shame. But I think getting canceled was the best thing for the show. You need to watch those old episodes a lot to get all the jokes, and you need the Internet community to really enjoy the jokes. Seth Mcfarlane may be one of the most egotistical men on the Earth, but he still knows how to make a funny cartoon. The show is still great, even though it relies very heavily on Manatee Jokes now, they are still really, really funny Manatee Jokes.
I have been watching ER since the beginning, unfortunately since I was a child when the show started I have very few memories of the early seasons, aside from what I have seen in reruns. I still love ER. The show has changed a lot, but the decline of the show is blown out of proportion by the media. It appears that critics have grown tired of the show and have been advocating it’s death for quite a while now. The show could really go on forever. The rotating cast makes the show infinitely renewable. And while we may miss Dr. Greene, Dr. Ross, Nurse Carol and everyone else who has left, the current characters continue to be extremely realistic and intriguing. The one fault I have with this show is the genre, it should be known as a tragedy not a drama, that is what it is.
In Treatment is an odd beast. It airs episodes five times a week (when it’s on the air). That means from about 30 to 40 episodes a season. That’s pretty insane. The show is about a psychiatrist, his life and his patients. Each episode is generally about a different character. I’ve only watched the first season, it’s a huge investment of time, so I can only write about those characters. My favorite story was the one about Sophie, the possibly anorexic, abused and jaded ballerina girl, played by Mia Wasikowska. It was the best out of all the sessions simply because it had a resolution, most of the other sessions were depressing.
Before James Spader came on TV, Phil Hartman was my idol. You cannot beat his deadpan delivery. I am still so sad about that poor man. This show was glorious, if I could have any cast in a sitcom I would want this one. Phil Hartman, Dave Foley, Maura Tierny, Stephen Root, Vicki Lewis, Andy Dick, Khandi Alexander, Joe Rogan (he used to be funny), even Jon Lovitz(who was in the terrible position of replacing his friend Phil Hartman). For years after this show ended networks were trying to use these actors to create new sitcoms, none even came close.
Here’s another show I didn’t really want to watch. There are parts that I really don’t enjoy. I really hate Jackie, I want her to fail. People tell me that this is how people feel about Nancy on Weeds. They think she deserves all the trouble she gets herself into. They want her to get what’s coming to her. I feel that same way about Jackie, she’s just a slut and a drug-addict. I do like some of the side characters in the show, Zoey mostly and O’Hara.
The Flight of the Conchords
This show is hilarious and extremely unique, but since I didn’t discover it I feel bad pretending that I’m a huge fan. By all means watch this show. These guys are hilarious and completely unique, their humor will take you completely off-guard. Their Shtick is that they pretend to be extremely mild-mannered and shy, then they start singing ridiculous songs.
There are a lot of adult cartoons these days but Clone High was most definitely the best. I don’t usually get excited about voice casts, but this is an exception. This group is glorious. If you haven’t watched an episode look for it on the Cartoon Network or Teletoon. I’m actually surprised at how few people have watched this show, it is very good. The story is that these historical figures have been resurrected and now they are going through high-school. Each character is a complete high-school stereotype, but it’s hilarious.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
This is an amazingly good kids show from Nickelodeon. If you’re between the ages of 5 and dead you’ll probably like this show. The style of the drawings are amazing, and the stories are so solid. It is undoubtedly a kids show, but the themes and the story-telling is far beyond what you would expect. At least buy the DVDs and let your kids watch this show. Aaaand M. Night Shyamalan is making it into a trilogy of movies. BTW, don’t get tricked by the masses, this show was made by white people for white people. It may seem like an anime but it isn’t.
The West Wing
For a Canadian young person who knew nothing about American politics I liked this show a lot. I don’t know why, I didn’t even get most of the historical or political references. I think it was just the pace and the fact that it made me feel so smart. It’s unfortunate that it ended just as Jimmy Smits was being elected. (It’s funny how similar the campaigns between Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda is to Obama and McCain.) I really wishAmerica was as liberal and open minded as the country was in that show. On a side note, there are things about this show that make me want to stab myself in the eye, most notably the fact that no one ever said “yes” or “OK” on the show the only said “yeah”, and they had terrible lighting everywhere: extremely bright tiny spotlights every 2 meters.
Out of all the Lost imitators this one had the most potential and delivered the most. It is comparable to Lost but ultimately inferior. That’s not to say I dislike the show, I think it’s great. It has many obvious weaknesses but you can’t beat an X-men TV show (whoops maybe I shouldn’t say that). Seriously, I think Marvel Studios should just buy the rights and pretend it’s some sort of alternate universe. It’s a good show, if you want some light mythology and drama you might as well watch this show.
A procedural about a cop (novel stuff). The tag-line for this show was: “Life was his sentence, Life was what he got back”. So now that I’ve done all I can to make you not want to watch this show, it was a really good series. Damian Lewis, from Band of Brothers, is the main character and he was awesome, he had great confidence and a wonderful onscreen presence. It’s a shame that the show got cancelled but we should be happy that it lasted as long as it did.
I have many shows that I fiercely promote, The Office is not one of them.. I see the genius in the show and I enjoy it immensely but I can’t bring myself to recommend it. As with many of the other shows, it’s the characters that keep me coming back. You’re probably well aware of the show anyway so…moving on.
This is the only successful show on The CW, for good reason. Not that this show is especially good, I only keep watching because it’s some simple fun. Nothing really crazy happens and I know nothing will. One thing I have to say is that you’ll never find a comparable group of overactors. Tom Welling, Kristen Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum, and Allison Mack are just awful actors. On a more upbeat note, almost all of those actors have been written off the show, I’m sure they’ll be back in the future but at least we’ll be free of them for a while. My favourite thing about this show is probably Erica Durance as Lois Lane, she’s the best Lois Lane ever. One suggestion I have for the producers/showrunners/writers, change the name to Metropolis and make Clark Kent Superman already.
Burn Notice is awesome fun. Not only do you get to see a spy do spy stuff but he tells you how! You can’t beat that. Also I’m in love with Gabrielle Anwar. Aaaand Tricia Helfer joined the show in season 2. This is just one of the many great new shows on the USA Network, I had never even heard of the USA Network before this.
In Plain Sight
Every time I think about this show I think what a great concept it is. This is a show about a federal Marshall. Her and her partner check in on and escort people in the witness protection program. As the intro will tell you, some of them are criminals some of them aren’t. This is such a great setting for a show. How have we ignored this for so long. We have a thousand cop show, a thousand lawyer shows, a thousand FBI/CIA shows, why have we ignored the Marshalls? This show proved that it’s a good setting because every episode is unique and it could probably go on forever.
First let me say that for a “family channel” ABC family has more frank discussions about sex than any other channel. Again, I am puzzled with my addiction to this show. It’s really not that good, and I hate teenagers. Why do I like this show? I think it’s just the promise of a potentially intense mythology. Also I want to be in that family, for a “dysfunctional” family they are just way too functional. The show was canceled, but it still had a pretty good run. I still think it was very ungrateful of ABC Family to cancel it, I don’t think anyone was watching any non-Disney shows on ABC family before this show aired.
The Sarah Silverman Program
Sarah Silverman is my favorite Jew. I just love her. No one else can go as far as she does and get a way with it, that’s why I love her. Her show is literally outrageous. Her little world is so much fun. She could do without her gay friends, but I guess they are there to balance out her insanity, and to slow the episodes down. There are so few episodes and yet she’s managed to do so much crazy stuff, like when she dated God (an older black gentleman), or when she reminisced about her abortions, or when she put on black-face in order to experience the life of an African-American. I just love it all.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
I did not discover this show when it first came on but I have happily jumped on the bandwagon. This show is Seinfeld, on crack, with Danny Devito. You will never meet a more pretentious shallow group of people on TV like these four (plus Danny Devito). I still can’t believe the writing on this show, I hope it stays on the air forever.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
I don’t really purposefully watch this show. Every once in a while someone reminds me that it’s hilarious and I watch it. After I watch it I’m reminded about why I don’t watch it, this show is extremely cringe-worthy. I just sit back and barely get half the jokes because it’s just too awful. The problem is I sometimes agree with the way Larry acts, but he just goes so far with all of his causes. Ugh. I do like Jeff, he’s the best friend a guy could have.
This was based on a comic that was made by one of the former writers of Lost, so there’s a good sign. It’s essentially a comedy about comic books. There is a character called the Middleman who protects the general public from comic book style villains and dangers. He has hired a new sarcastic young girl to be the next Middleman and she is eing trained. The show is ridiculously unique and quite funny. Unfortunately it’s on ABC Family so you’ll have to go through the mill in order to watch it. But I believe it’s worth the work.
This is the second most stressful show, after Survivor. Everything goes wrong for this poor family. The creator/showrunner should be given many Emmys, the concept and setting are phenomenal. The acting in this show is phenomenal. Minnie Driver does one of the best southern accents ever, and Eddie Izzard is a wonderful hero (he’s almost a hero, not really). The kids too are wonderful and the neighbors are always fun. It’s been cancelled though, which is extraordinarily sad because this last season had a large(ish) cliffhanger and it had really upped the dark-factor in the show.
I know this show was ridiculous, but it was entertaining. It did many things very well. For example, in Lost we get mythology once every 4 or 5 episodes, in Alias it was pretty much every second episode. What I would have liked is some permanent death. No one ever actually died in this show (until the finale). It was a great foretaste of Lost and I don’t regret watching this show. It has screwed my up a little though, now when I see someone die on Lost I don’t believe it until they are proved dead beyond a doubt.
I don’t love Eureka but it’s highly addictive and pretty funny. It’s not one of my favorites but I will continue to watch it as long as it stays interesting.
This is my least favorite out of all of the USA Network shows. It’s moderately good, but it doesn’t come close to Psych, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight or White Collar.
This show was hilarious. The cast was amazing. You can see the improvisation take hold about halfway through the episode and then it just goes crazy. If you haven’t watched it, head over to the Lifetime website and watch it.
Jeff Goldblum is amazing, I’d probably watch him do anything. But this show was especially awesome. It was terribly marketed and therefore crashed and burned. It wasn’t Medium or The Ghost Whisperer, there were no ghosts involved, Detective Raines was just a little insane, and he could use his powers of logic by talking to his own projections of the dead people he was investigating. It is such a shame that it was cancelled so soon.
Do I really have to talk about this show, you know it’s good I know it’s good, let’s just leave it at that. BTW my favorite episode was "The BizarroJerry".
The style of this show is different than any other show, I still don’t fully understand whats happening behind the scenes. It appears to be a moneymaking, corporate show, but it’s consistently good, and funny. And the characters, Chuck his sister and his friends are just so likable.
Firefly deserved a better life. I’m not a hardcore Joss Whedon fan, I never watched Buffy and I don’t plan to, but I can see the attraction to Firefly. I think I like it more for it’s carefree spirit more than anything else.
Strangers With Candy
Jerri Blank is one of the best TV characters ever. Amy Sedaris is absolutely insane, and she needs to do characters like this. Combine Amy Sedaris with Paul Dinello and Stephen Colbert, and you have a comedic team of epic proportions!
This is what the BBC does best, getting the ugliest people to do the funniest things. These two are so funny, if you’ve ever watched it you’ll know what I mean. Hopefully the American version won’t ruin it.
Futurama seems to have stolen all the hilarity out of The Simpsons, and then was cancelled. I still watch the reruns of this show, and I still enjoy them. The movies they are currently making are also wonderful.