SWF seeks Engaging New TV Show

Do any of you watch TV shows that are really really good? I grew up without one, so I'm really bad at this whole "watching TV" thing, and I'm starting this new workout routine that will allow me time to watch recorded TV shows, but I have no idea where to start. Classics are okay (I can just get the DVDs), as are new things or things that are currently on. I know we're generally all about books here (and trust me, I am too!), but I can't read and run at the same time (too much bouncing up and down). MsGamgee's thread made me think of asking here. If someone could suggest something, I would be grateful. Any genre is fine, I think, and even if you suggest something it turns out I don't like, I'm partially just kind of interested to see what other people are watching. You guys seem to have pretty good taste Smile Honestly, I would even take movie recommendations, because I'm a little behind in my general integration into the moving-picture culture. Thank you!

Forums: 
fairnymph's picture

Embodiment

But since 2004 I've been watching various shows with fanaticism.

No-longer-aired: Firefly, Veronica Mars, Miniseries + S1 Battlestar Galactica (stop watching after that, save yourself plz), Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Alias, Moonlight, Bionic Woman, Pushing Daisies

Currently: Supernatural, Gossip Girl, Californication, Big Love, Heroes, House, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Ugly Betty

I basically watch a lot of sci-fi/action stuff with some comedy and drama thrown in. The first three shows that are no longer on air are my top 3 shows of all time.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

Firefly is amazing. I checked it out and I am madly in love with Kaylee, as well as the show. I'm also digging BSG pretty hard core. Alias was pretty good, but I'm not sure if it's going to make the cut. I think I'm going to try to track down some Veronica Mars next. Thanks for the recommendations!

Do I need to have seen any of the terminator movies to watch the Sarah Connor Chronicles?

V's picture

Embodiment

Kaylee Graceful. (I guess that ballet training was good for something)

Saramander's picture

Petitioner

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA! This show is amazing, but crazy addicive so be careful. Rome also kicks major ass. For both, you should start in the beginning and rent them in order.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

The original run of Doctor Who is very long and an absolutely scific and/or BBC classic. THe *modern* run of Doctor Who is absolutely gorgeous, and not just because the male leads so far have included Chris Eccleston, David Tennant, and a major supporting role by John Barrowman (who's character also got spun-off into leading his own related show, Torchwood). The stories, the production values, the *music*, the dialogue, the ACTING (*especially* on the part of the guys who've played the Doctor)... As far as I'm concerned, it's the only television show worth watching besides NOVA and MythBusters, and I only buy the DVDs (and soundtracks!) of Doctor Who. All four seasons so far of the modern run are available on DVD, and they've released three soundtracks of music that's good to begin with, and will bring tears to your eyes once you've seen the episodes and remember the associated scenes and feelings. (Doomsday theme, anyone?)

I hear the recent show Heroes is good, too, but I've only seen bits and I'm not really a TV person (I don't even own one), so I don't actually know.

But Doctor Who. ZOMG. And MeiLin will agree with me Wink

Ely's picture

Petitioner

... Some of the Steven Moffat episodes, in addition to having won Hugos and the like, earned a permanent place in my inner world.

I'm currently girding my loins and all, before asking around at work for the Series 4. New job (so I'm a bit self-conscious) but with heaps of british geeks: I may avoid the strange looks I got last year when talking about the next Doctor Smile

I heartily recommend this show, for its delightful characters, its feel-good value and its bananas. Bananas are good!

And Torchwood, for all the fluid sexuality casually thrown in our faces, and the added blood, and the Cardiff accent. And the sex Smile

magalicious's picture

Postulant

Battlestar Galactica - seems to be a favorite!; Numb3rs; NCIS; Chuck; Stargate; Stargate Atlantis; Sons of Anarchy; Supernatural; Smallville; Sanctuary.
:O Lots of S's ... damn.
Firefly/ Serenity is an awesome franchise too. If you like SciFi, you will never regret renting the DVD's!
Also, as idiotic as this may seem, daytime television is awesome to exercise to. It doesn't require much brainpower, and it's entertaining if you're a people-watcher. Talk shows, soap operas, court shows - yeah. I feel a little dirty even saying it, but it doesn't make it any less true.

Freegrassn's picture

I was going to say Dr Who. But on the other hand, unless you live in England it's hard to find, and behind by a bit, I think.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

All four seasons of the modern edition (new Who!) are on DVD, available on Amazon (both the UK and US sites), and so are the soundtracks.

I believe the BBC America channel carries it in sync with the original BBCOne broadcasts in the UK. I also think that the SciFi channel is showing it - but I think they're a year behind and show cut-down versions of the episodes (something 35 minutes/episode of out of the original 45) to fit US programming patterns. You'd have to double-check the last two, as I'm not a TV watcher.

The show is worth supporting by buying the DVDs and soundtracks. However, I'm pretty sure many of the episodes can be found by searching YouTube or Google Video. I know there are a TON of clips out there, but I've seen some full episodes too. And it's worth the effort to go in order, but it isn't absolutely necessary like it would be with a show like Lost or something.

PS: I miss Donna Noble soooooo much Sad

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

Which Dr. Who is the best one? I've seen a couple of the new ones, and they're not bad. If I'm only going to pick one old Dr. Who to watch, who should it be?

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Silly as hell, but that's the point. I have a soft spot for 4 and 5 (Baker and Davidson, respectively).

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

maybe I'll check a few of those out Smile Thanks! I'll post back when I have some opinions on how they went Smile I'll keep an eye out here, too, and hopefully I can get a long, long list going so I won't run out.

seia's picture

Devotee

I live in the Netherlands, so I have to import a lot of DVD's to avoid always being 2 or 3 seasons behind. This pretty much leads to me barely watching tv, but these are the shows I like: Supernatural, Stargate (SG-1 and Atlantis), House M.D., NCIS, the Mentalist and Bones.

magalicious's picture

Postulant

We're like, TV twins. I love Supernatural! And it's not just because of those shmexy Winchester brothers. Well, mostly. Remember that episode where Dean sings Eye of the Tiger at the very end? (I think it was after the credits.) FAV.
New Stargate series coming out - heard anything interesting?

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

If you like Jensen Ackles, there is a huge fanfic/fan(photo)art community dedicated to him and his characters from Dark Angel, Supernatural, etc. Most of it is the usual garbage, but some of it is quite enjoyable.

... I might have even posted over 30 chapters of a still-unfinished Dark Angel fanfic novella up there... Blush

Requiem's picture

Petitioner

If you like Scifi, definitely Dr Who/Firefly/BSG as the others mentioned are great (Dr who, especially the older stuff, can be hard to come by if you're in the US though). Farscape is another awesome scifi show, and might still be on the scifi channel.

For drama, I just got done watching Rome which is incredible (though not terribly safe if you're watching at a gym or there are kids present).

On the sitcom side, MASH (still on the air) and Dharma and Greg were always my favorites.

Edit: I should point out Rome is not for the squeamish, it is very violent, and they paint a disturbingly accurate picture of the morals of the time.

MsGamgee's picture

Embodiment

I have such a crush on Dr. House. Not Hugh Laurie; House. If I could be zapped into House-Universe, I would find a way to get some really rare and inexplicable disease JUST so he'd pay attention to me. Wink

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

House worked out really well for me. It's not good work-out TV, but it is good TV, and I'm having fun with it. Thanks for the recommendation!

MeiLin's picture

Most High

--Lost (so much love for Lost), though you have to watch the whole thing from the beginning

--Doctor Who/Torchwood

--Battlestar Galactica, which is the best thing on TV

--Hell's Kitchen and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, because I'm a fool for Gordon Ramsay (he's made a cameo appearance in the story, I'm surprised no one caught it)

--Top Gear occasionally

--30 Rock, which is FREAKING HILARIOUS

--The Office, the American version; the British version is too close to the bone

--Rarely, The Big Bang Theory

--Tons of stuff on History, Discovery and Science channels: Wreckreation Nation; One Way Out; How It's Made (absolutely and weirdly mesmerizing); and the one, the only MYTHBUSTERS!!!

--and last but hardly least, my secret girlfriend Rachel Maddow. It's such a secret SHE doesn't even know. Seriously, she sends me over the moon; I am so gay for Rachel it hurts. Wicked smart, funny AND adorable? *swoon*

MsGamgee's picture

Embodiment

Was he the jerk that Britt had to put in his place by stealing the pot lifter?!

MeiLin's picture

Most High

hee!

MsGamgee's picture

Embodiment

That's most excellent. I need to go back and reread that with him plugged into my mental image.

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

Actually thought of him with that because there was a commercial for the new Hell's Kitchen. Just didn't put two and two together.

applejax's picture

Supplicant

I am so obsessed with LOST, but I've only just finished season one. I can't even watch the current season Sad But I try and watch a few episodes every night after work, and it frustrates me during the day when I have no work to do but of course I can't watch any!

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

I checked out 30 rock and Top Gear, so far. (Not a ton of episodes of anything yet, but I'm picking some out to watch for real.) Love them both. 30 rock made me laugh harder than most TV shows have in a long time. Top Gear is also fantastic. It turns out I had a friend who has a bunch of them. I think my favorite (of his favorite episodes) is either the caravaning episode or the Africa episode. That is a really funny show.

I was not crazy about the Big Bang Theory. I didn't think the characters were very believable. I think it might only be funny if you're not an engineer. I have a cousin who recommended it to me as well, so I thought I'd give it a shot, and I think it's just not my thing.

Mythbusters was pretty sweet, but I'm skeptical of their understanding of the scientific method. If I suspend disbelief, it is *incredibly* entertaining. Thanks!

Marri's picture

Supplicant

Heroes, Season 1. I love decent twists. After that... meh. Once they have to make people be related to everyone else on the cast to keep their viewers, you know they're having problems.

House. I will contribute to the House

Gossip Girl. I started watching because it's set in my neighborhood and I felt somewhat compelled; then I realized that the characters actually sort of have personalities and there are weird things like, oh, consequences to actions. Which doesn't usually happen in trashy TV (90210, I am LOOKING AT YOU). So I continued. Also, Nate is a beautiful man. Yum.

FIREFLY. Firefly is my all time lover. Seriously, if I had to recommend one show, it'd be Firefly. There are not words to describe the awesome. (And given how long this post wound up being, the "this is the one" comment has to mean something? I hope :D)

West Wing and Mad Men are my mom's favorites, but I know next to nothing about them except that West Wing is political drama adored by liberals and Mad Men... has the busty redhead from Firefly in it? (/end disclaimer)

My boyfriend loves Dexter, and I've seen a few of the episodes. It's all drama, though I suppose it's amusing in a sort of twisted dark way. If death and murder related jokes bother you, steer clear.

I know some people like the US version of the Office or Scrubs, but they (and Friends) are on my list of "Too Awkward and Bizarre" for me to enjoy. Though that might be your kind of thing. They have their priceless funny moments, but in my opinion they tend to be outweighed by the "Ooooh, that's SO AWKWARD" moments, and I don't go for those.

Gilmore Girls is good for quirky people who catch and appreciate lots of obscure references delivered at high speed. If you enjoy wry sarcastic fast-paced humor, Gilmore Girls is good, but you often need to understand the references for the sarcasm to make any sense. I really enjoy the show, but a) my trivia brain is eclectic and b) the 'daughter who disapproves of her stuck up rich parents' thing rings true enough for me to get extra Funny.

Smallville... Tom Welling is pretty. Very pretty. There's also lots of inside jokes for people who know anything about Superman or the Justice League, if you happen to trend towards comic books. For example, Martha Kent is played by the woman who played Lana Lang in the Superman movies, but that's just obscure random trivia that amuses people like me. I live for Superman references in this show Smile Also, I take back the comment about Tom Welling. He, and everyone else in the show, is pretty. Chloe/Lana/Jason/Lex/Lois/Oliver/etcetcetc. Bet "Lex Luthor is pretty" is a comment you never thought you'd hear Biggrin Well, see. Whatever.

Will and Grace cracks me up. Particularly Karen. Disclaimer: do not watch for plot. Half hour shows fail at plot. They DO manage lots of giggles, though.

Dawson's Creek is just angsty teen drama. But my friend Ellen LOVED it with a fervent passion. So I guess it has its appeal Smile

My dad loves Magnum PI and Burn Notice. Though I have seen neither, I can extrapolate this to mean that there is lots of sarcastic humor, guns, explosions, and women in skimpy outfits.

Psych is like Sherlock Holmes if Sherlock Holmes were an immature twenty-something. Amusing at points, but probably just as worthwhile if you watch the beginning to figure out the problem and skip to the end to find the solution.

Monk. An OCD detective. Seeing how basically everyone in my family has or should have OCD, I find him HILARIOUS. He's like Sherlock Holmes too, but with a better plotline and more of a character than the guy in Psych.

I think I'm out...? Why can I list so many random TV shows? Biggrin

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

Heroes is amazing, so far. Thanks for pointing it out. Love Firefly. Can't get past missing plot on Will and Grace, but I can see why you might like it. I saw an episode of Monk, the other day, and I liked that a fair amount, too. Thank you Smile

ETA: That's as far as I got, so far. I'll keep you posted if I check any of these others out. Thanks everyone for your help. I really appreciate it. Smile

Ely's picture

Petitioner

- Short and sweet, in an absurd teenagy way: Dead Like Me. The first episodes are worth their weight in peanuts.

- Farscape. When I discovered the first series, it was the best space-opera show ever. Alien aliens, icky biotechnology, naked blue plant, and a human guy completely out of his depth most of the time. Finally!
I don't know what it's worth later though, as I missed too many episodes to get the big picture.

- Dexter: I don't like it as much as my beloved, who's a psychiatric nurse and chuckles pretty much all the time watching it; but I enjoy discussing it with other people, finding out where they freak out and why they don't like it.

- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yeah, yeah. Not a big fan of the story arc, but everyone should watch at least "Once more with feeling" and "Hush" - especially people writing episodes for other series (though it probably wouldn't go well with 'Lost', which takes itself much too seriously).

fairnymph's picture

Embodiment

Farscape and Buffy are excellent indeed.

V's picture

Embodiment

Nat Geo runs 3 or 4 shows a day, it seems, on weekdays. If you have a DVR they should be easy to collect. Not really a "show" but entertaining or time-wasting TV.

temporaryglitter's picture

Petitioner

Most of the shows I watch have been covered, but I'm surprised no one's mentioned How I Met Your Mother. I am seriously in love with this show. The basic premise is that this guy is going to tell his children the real story of how he met their mother, but he starts at the very very beginning. It's funny hilarious and quirky and features the voice of Bob Saget as the father and Neil Patrick Harris as the world's greatest playboy.

I'm also going to put in another vote for BSG. It's the greatest. I just started watching The West Wing, but I think it's wonderful. It has brilliant writing, fantastic acting, and the story lines are quite touching and poignant, even now. I hear only the first couple of seasons are this good, but I'm haven't gotten any further than the first 8 episodes.

I watch a lot of other TV, but most of it isn't really worth watching.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

--Firefly: I don't caaare, see, DVDs! You can't take my show from meeee!
*ahem*

--Buffy/Angel

--Dead Like Me

--Stargate (sometimes. other times? mostly asinine.)

--Star Trek DS9, the darkest and most complex of the Treks and thus my fave

--Deadwood, a Shakespearean exercise of a Western, though as one of my Browncoat acquaintances observed, "It needs more spaceships."

Nothing else is coming to me. It's late. damn.

magalicious's picture

Postulant

It *does* need more spaceships. Wink

sherinik's picture

Postulant

doesn't have to mean daytime TV - remember Hogan's Heros? I zee nozink!

How about The Thunderbirds - the original puppet version. I used to get up at 6am on Sunday mornings to watch it. Of course, that was when Tom Baker was The Doctor - a little while ago Wink

If you like British sitcoms, but sorta real life characters instead of the overblown French & Saunders type, try Ballykissangel or Hamish Macbeth - a personal fave even before The Full Monty movie.

Then there's British comedies like The Goodies, Black Adder and The Young Ones. The quirks of Tuesday evening programming used to have The Young Ones followed by The X Files when I was 18 or so, which made for some great regular weeknight get-togethers...after emulating the Young Ones' lifestyle for an hour, we were ready to 'believe' along with Fox.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

We even have a boxed set of Thunderbirds! I love Gerry & Sylvia Anderson!

Speaking of whom, if you've never watched MST3K, any time's a good time. I had a major obsession when the show was still on Comedy Central. I used to dream of making a Joel and Mike sammich. Sad, really.

SkyRider's picture

Devotee

As a college student with a TV, a bit too much time, and a predisposition for becoming incredibly distracted, I watch a variety of shows. Several of these have already been mentioned, but I am going to give them a thumbs-up anyway.

#1 THE BIG BANG THEORY!!!! This is an incredible comedy on CBS about 4 nerdy science guys (early to mid 20s, masters or PhDs for all of them, incredibly socially inept, a touch OCD, etc) and the cute, very average, flirty blond girl who moves into the apartment across the hall from them. The show runs for 30 minutes and is currently in it's 2nd season. It's a great comedy if you are looking for something lighthearted but intelligent. I love it because each of the characters either reminds me of myself or someone I know. Great show!!
#2 House - insanely good doctor, definitely worth it. MsGamgee, I totally agree!!
#3 Monk - OCD detective, Marri described it extremely well. (I prefer Monk to Psych because it has a more intelligent plot line, but both are amusing to watch.)
#4 Burn Notice - This show's about a spy who got burned and is trying to discover who burned him and why. It's set in Miami, FL and yes, typically shows lots of skimpily clad chicks, nice cars, big guns, and explosions. I find the show interesting to watch and also enjoy the technical spy equipment and method tidbits the show provides.
#5 Crime Shows: These are on TV pretty much any time of the day or night and may run on several channels at once. They are usually easy to pick up in the middle if you start late and include: CSI (set in Las Vegas or Miami, depending on which cast you prefer), NCIS (about crimes related to naval personnel), Law and Order - CI: Criminal Intent (regular crimes) or SVU: Special Victims Unit (sexually based crimes), and Cold Case
#6 Discovery Channel: I thoroughly enjoy Myth Busters (intelligence and explosions!) and How It's Made - I suppose these shows prove how much of a nerd I am Blum 3
#7 Older Lagniappe: MASH, Who's Line Is It Anyway?, The Golden Girls, occasionally the history channel

(Wow, I cannot believe I watch that much TV!)

TheGrayCrayon's picture

Devotee

I dont pay for TV. Or at least i didn't when i had a good internet connection. Used Hulu.com, TVlinks.uk(when it was alive), and Project Free TV to watch Seasons of shows. so i guess i'll list a few that havent been listed here. Though i will say everything Joss Whedon ever put on the air was wonderfull and you should watch it (GOD I CANT WAIT FOR DOLLHOUSE).

Sons of Anarchy: Biker Gang tv show. I like to see a story about the badguys sometimes. The episode where they remove the tatoo is quite possibly THE most hardcore thing i've ever wittnessed in a TV show. Also it took me 3 episodes to spot it but Burtier from the "Remeber the Titans" is in the show. also RON MUTHEREFFIN PEARLMAN.......mmmmmmmm.

Man vs. Food: just a guy (Adam Richmond) who goes out and finds the best pig-out spots in each city he visits. The food is amazing and Adam is hilarious. At the end of each episode Adam tries to beat some food chalange a restaraunt in the city he's visiting poses. And this is what i love He's NOT a competitive eater. Just a hungry dude. sometimes food wins and i find that very humanizing. overall just fun to watch.

John Adams: it was a 6 episode mini-series on HBO about our second president. Paul Giamatti plays the lead and is just amazing. I didn't think a historical biography could pull me in the way this show did but when i get the money i'm getting this on DVD.

NCIS: Keep your CSI, Keep your law and order (though i watch both of those on occasion too) just give me my weekly Abby fix. Naval Criminal Investigative Services. The character development in this show (in my huble opinion) is whedon worthy. also quite possibly the most shocking season one (or was it two?) ending in any series i've ever watched. Its produced by david belissario who also produced J.A.G. which was a good series. Maybe he has a naval fetish or something but good show is a good show. MMMMMMmMMMMMMM abby MMMMMMMMMMmmmMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Due South: This one might be hard to find but is my very favorite show of all times (sorry Mr. Whedon). The story, and i'm not making this up, follows Constable Benton Fraiser R.C.M.P. as he goes to Chicago on the trail of the killers of his father. For reasons that don't need explaining at this juncture he remains attached as liaison to the canadian consulate. Basicaly he teams up with a chicago cop named Ray Veccio and they have zany adventures through chicago. Oh and Fraiser has a deaf wolf named Diefenbaker. i tell you i'm not making this up. I own this series on DVD. The first two seasons are some of the best television that has ever been aired. The last two seasons (in my opinion) arent as well written and the Veccio switch saddens me (different actor, but very well explained in the series.) but i love them anyways. And the episode "All the Queens Horses" is by far the funniest thing i have ever seen EVER, i nearly wet myself laughing (Fireflys "Our Ms. Reynolds" being a CLOSE CLOSE second).
On a small side note Constable Fraiser played by canadian actor Paul Gross is quite possibly the most perfect male specimen I have ever seen and if he asked me to bed my only response would be a nod of assention and a half mumbled "will you wear the hat?"

or is that sharing to much?

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

NCIS

Love the team.

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

Abby Rocks!!! I loved how she deadpaned when Ducky got stabbed and was at the hospital. Such a change compared to her normal reaction, but still so Abby.

magalicious's picture

Postulant

THE BEST cop/drama/mystery/crime scene show *evar*. Right now, it's pretty much my favorite show, and not just because Gibbs is ... well, Mark Harmon is just hot, and as Gibbs, he's like the toppiest top in existence. That being said, I adore everyone on the show!

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

Holy crap, I'm not the only one who's ever heard of Due South? Yay! I watched a few episodes when it originally aired and enjoyed it, but it seemed to fade rapidly into obscurity.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

Leverage. In its first season on TNT.
I'm enjoying it anyway. Interesting intra-group dynamic. Curious schemes and scams--sort of like (I imagine) the original Mission Impossible (not Tom Cruise does everything and pretends to have a team attached) sort of way.

shy_gryphon's picture

currently playing shows have to be
House - the docs are way too cute
Bones - booth (the fbi agent) is totally hot and so crushing on Bones (main char female anthropologist named Temprance but most everybody calls her bones)
Numbers - both of the main boys are hot and its got a good crime fighting through math underline
old shows
Star trek - any and all
Charmed - three witches battle evil while trying to keep their famlies together

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

.. that no one has mentioned Good Eats or Iron Chef.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Iron Chef, both Japanese and American, and Perfesser Alton Brown are so venerable here we've seen them all--too many times to want to see them again.

Laureril's picture

Supplicant

Definitely feeling the AB love (technically on both shows... >.

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