I watch a lot of TV. I love television for many reasons, number one reason being that I consider it art. It’s an artful collaboration among many different people, employing hundreds of creative souls. Some people consider it a commercial enterprise and that there’s no art about it. I disagree. Other forms of art also aim to make money, to pander to people who they hope will find their artwork interesting or beautiful or moving and will purchase it. TV just has a bigger income threshold.
Just like not all art is very good, not all TV is very good or even close to being artful.
But I love TV for the in-depth journey they take us with their characters. If you fall for a character, the show has done its job. If you still like that character after two, five, seven seasons; till the finale even. They’ve done a helluva job. Good TV shows make you feel; it moves you, it shows you things in a whole new light sometimes. For example, I thought of Sherlock as kind of this stodgy, serious character from the novels first. Not even the movie Sherlock Holmes could erase that first thought. That is, until I watched BBC’s dynamic, neurotic, a bit sociopathic, Sherlock. They are superbly done, and a bright example of how great TV beats a good movie.
With our busy schedules (hubs is going to work and to school at the same time, and I’ve picked up a big share of his household and some of his parenting duties), it also serves as our bonding time. The spirited discussion watching thought-provoking shows generate is another form of entertainment.
My greatest wish is that the shows I enjoy could be enjoyed by other people too, so we could discuss it together and squee with understanding. That said, here are my TV show recommendations for shows currently still airing. Why should you listen to me? Because I did say I watch TV a lot. I’ve also professionally reviewed shows for high-traffic sites, and personally reviewed shows just for fun. So let’s get to it!
If you like quirky comedies with rapid-fire one-liners, great physical comedic actors, and frequent pop culture references, then Happy Endings is my recommendation. It’s my favorite show right now. Next in that category would be New Girl, but it’s not in my top comedies.
If you like irony, clever word play, weird but charming characters against a political backdrop, and Amy Poehler of course, I recommend Parks and Recreation. It’s my 2nd favorite next to Happy Endings.
Best mass appeal comedy: Modern Family. Massive support from the Emmys, massive ratings. Everyone seems to love it, and it does give me laughs.
Best procedural comedy with a couple you can ship: Castle. (Note, shipping means to want a couple to get together. i.e. She ships Hermione and Harry, but everyone knows Hermione and Ron are made for each other).
Best cable show with a dark premise and still strong after 7 seasons: Dexter (Yvonne Strahovski, my idol, is in it this season so I may be biased).
Best cable shows hands down (2 out of 3 I’m not caught up on):
- The Walking Dead, zombie-pocalypse premise (not caught up, I’m scared)
- Breaking Bad, about a chem teacher who finds out he has cancer and starts selling crystal meth to leave his family with money (But I’m not caught up)
- Game of Thrones (HBO show about dragons, and kings and queens and a queen who uhm has an unorthodox relationship with her twin brother(!))
Best period drama: BBC’s Downton Abbey. If you like English accents, period costumes, that stiff upper lip type of relationships, and yes, more shipping! This show is for you.
Best sci-fi on network TV: Fringe. The cast is top notch. The story lines are mind-grabbing, the twists are…just watch it.
Favorite (not best) new comedy: The Mindy Project. This one is a freshman comedy written and created by Mindy Kaling from The Office. She’s on a quest for true romantic love, she’s kind of a mess, I wouldn’t want my daughter taking after her but the show is totally adorbs nevertheless.
I don’t want to overwhelm you. There’s so many good TV out there. Again, this doesn’t even take into account shows no longer airing but ones you should definitely get a DVD copy of and watch. And yes, your favorite is probably not on here. This is a subjective list but I do consider my recommendations carefully. These are top-notch shows. The comedies are the ones that are more likely to be hit or miss depending on what you find funny.
So what are your favorites?