I’ve noticed that even though I see movie reviews and whatnot all the time, it usually happens to be of movies or TV shows that just came out or recently aired. Not many people seem to say much about stuff you should watch on Netflix, so I took it upon myself to make a list of TV shows you should watch.
Now, I’m going to try to get a few different genres in here to get a little diversity as this isn’t a top 5 sitcoms or dramas, just “TV”.
5. Doctor Who
Doctor Who is the story of a time traveling alien and his spaceship shaped like a phone booth. He makes many different friends along the way and always finds himself an attractive lady to accompany him. The big twist is that he can “regenerate” when he comes close to the brink of death, transforming himself into an entirely new person (though memories are intact). This little feature has enabled Doctor Who to last the fifty years it’s been on air and become a staple of British life.
For those of you who love sci-fi, this is an absolute must watch. While it is a British program, it has been gaining popularity throughout the United States, so many of you have probably at least heard of it. Yet still, I find myself mentioning it at work only to be met with confused looks from most of my coworkers.
While the show has been going since the sixties (with about a decade and a half long break in the nineties and early 2000s), Netflix starts off with the season which rebooted the series back in 2005. As of now there have been three doctors since the 2005 reboot out of the eleven since the beginning (with a twelfth on the way).
Because of the whole “multiple actors” thing, this actually makes it easier to get into the show. While I’ve seen all the seasons since 2005, my wife started with the Matt Smith era (the current doctor) and, except for some very miniscule references here and there, hasn’t had any trouble understanding the show.
The show brings together sci-fi, humor, suspense, and even a little bit of action to make this show absolutely phenomenal. It’s always a lot of fun, especially never knowing what you’re going to get. One episode might deal with landing on an alien world, one could be set years and years in the future, and some even take place in the distant past.
One thing’s for sure, if you are watching Doctor Who, you are guaranteed to have fun. Or at least be able to ride an emotional rollercoaster with certain episodes.
4. Parks and Recreation
Leslie Knope, the deputy director of the Parks and Rec department of small town Pawnee, Indiana must deal with government bureaucracy in order to make her town a better place all the while being surrounded by the absurd antics of her office mates.
This is honestly one of my favorite sitcoms on TV right now. It is filmed similarly to The Office in its fake mockumentary form, but far surpasses The Office in every other sense. I normally wouldn’t suggest it, but skipping the first season would probably be in your best interest. It had a rocky start and didn’t get much acclaim in the first season, a whopping six episodes, but the show really hits its stride in the second season after changing up its form and has since become one of the best sitcoms airing.
The show has a perfect cast including Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza and more. Adam Scott, who comes in after a couple of seasons to play Ben Wyatt, plays my favorite character on all of TV (sorry, Abed).
While the show may at times lean on standard tropes for comedic reasons, it is definitely a breath of fresh air in a world of cable where Big Bang Theory is one of the biggest sitcoms airing.
3. Orange is the New Black
Piper Chapman, a now-law-abiding woman living the quiet life with her fiancée, is imprisoned for 15 months, ten years after transporting drug money for Alex Vause, a drug smuggler and her former lover.
This show was actually one that I wasn’t actually going to check out until I came home to my wife informing me that it was an absolute necessity that I watch it. I kind of rolled my eyes as I sat down, under the impression it was going to be a ridiculous drama-induced nightmare, the likes of Grey’s Anatomy or something.
In all actuality, it turned out to be a million times better than I thought. While still a drama, the story it tells is so captivating and it constantly keeps you on your toes. The characters make you frequently reevaluate your perceptions of them; you wanting to hate them one moment and love them the next (or vice versa).
It’s only one season in, so don’t expect it to hold you on for very long (unlike Supernatural, which I don’t think I’ll ever get through). However, it is definitely a show worth checking out.
Shawn Spencer, the hyper-observant, slacker son of a former police detective, convinces the police he is a psychic after he is suspect in a crime he tipped off the cops with clues gathered while watching the news. He and his childhood best friend, Gus, then establish a private detective agency and act as consultants to police cases.
Psych has always held a special place in my heart. The way it takes the standard police-procedural-type show and flips it on its head and establishes relatable characters and adds well written humor, it makes most other crime shows look weak.
The actors James Roday and Dule Hill have such amazing on-screen chemistry, you’d think they actually had known each other since they were young. And the rest of the cast is just as good, playing right off of each other.
While I’ve heard some say that it’s “too goofy” for a cop show, it really doesn’t come off as corny or anything. It is simply a humorous take on the overdone cop-show with a ton of personality. The method of “tell a story first, solve the crime second” makes it a lot fun to watch.
1. Breaking Bad
Diagnosed with lung cancer, high school teacher Walter White turns to a life of crime making methamphetamine with his former student, Jesse Pinkman, as a way to leave his family money before he dies.
I told myself I would never watch this show. I said there was no way I’d watch a show glorifying the drug trade, and starring such a terrible person at that.
Man was I wrong. I watched the crap out of this show. This was actually another one my wife got me to watch after she watched the first episode and decided she couldn’t go further without me watching.
While it does feature the main character making meth, it is anything but glorified. I would certainly hope that anyone watching this show doesn’t think it would be in their best interest to turn to the meth business. And while Walter White is the most horrible character I’ve ever laid eyes on, his shear crappiness as a person makes me want to keep watching, praying someone will just shoot him in the face and everybody he’s screwed over can be happy (that would be anyone he comes in contact with, actually).
The suspense in the show makes for some of the best written scenes I’ve seen to date (no wonder people are calling it the best TV show of all time). And while it is a very serious show, it always sheds a light full of humor when it gets too dark.
The characters always seem very real and grounded in real life. There are moments when you might dislike certain characters you always had, but this simply because they’re so human and make mistakes like one. No single character on the show ever seems to be this morally concrete person where they never change as they are constantly evolving (usually to Walter’s crapiness towards them).
The show actually ended a couple of weeks ago, so Netflix actually doesn’t currently have the last half of the season (no spoilers, I haven’t seen it) and probably won’t for a couple more months. This means you might want to take your time with it or be stuck where I am, not able to see the last episodes and dying a little more each day.