Saturday, December 6, 2014

What's the TV Show You Wish Everyone Would Watch?

Maybe it's on the air right now, or maybe it still would be if more people had watched.

We don't talk about a TV a whole lot on the site, but it's fun whenever we do because it's something in which so many of us are invested. We've named our favorite shows before and had a good response, so I thought it would be good to talk about the shows we love that don't get enough attention from everyone else. I mean, we all love Cheers, right? But how many of us really love The Tortellis? You can tell us. This is a safe place.

44 comments:

  1. I am a big series lover. I think we all love Breaking bad.
    But I would also give a shout out to Entourage. Dexter. Sherlock. Luther. And for me and Sol. The Trailer park boys too.

    All the above are shows I have enjoyed but I want to give a shout out to an unsung classic gritty drama. The Boys from the Blackstuff. 1982 by Alan bleasdale. There are only 5 epidodes. One hour each. If you want to see the rough life of young men just trying to get by and find jobs in a tough world this is for you. Its heartbreaking at some points. Tough at others. Well worth your time. You won't see anything else like it. All five are on Youtube

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  2. I know the movie was complete balls, but Avatar: The Last Airbender and (to a lesser extent) its sequel series Avatar: The Legend of Korra are great. Sure it's arguably a melting pot of various sci-fi and fantasy tropes, but it's fun and suprisingly emotive as the series matures.

    Pushing Daisies is a personal favourite of mine. Quaint, magniloquent; it is certainly a unique show.

    Also, the UK have had some cracking shows. The IT Crowd, Life on Mars and Misfits are a few that come to mind.

    Lastly, some homegrown shows (which have since been "translated" to American TV, and inevitably have lost a lot of its charm). If you can, check out the original Wilfred and Rake.

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    1. I'll second the motion for Life on Mars. Also, the American remake, which isn't nearly as good (why Harvey Keitel?), but it tries. Plus it's self-contained and less of a time investment than the original, so you'll get closure without a big commitment.

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  3. I don't really watch a whole lot of TV nowadays. The best I can do is recommend a YouTube series (TV on the internet!) that I really enjoy and like to champion. It's called My Drunk Kitchen. It's been around for over three years now, so people may have heard of it (I was late to the party), but It's a parody of a cooking show in which a girl named Hannah Hart gets drunk and then cooks some sort of meal, all the while cracking jokes and puns. She also is a very positive and uplifting person, which mostly manifests itself in her second, more vlog-centric channel. She's also happens to be a lesbian, and has done a lot to be a hero for people struggling with with sexuality, especially in telling her own difficult story, which I appreciate. AND She's ALSO very philanthropic, often combining her meet-ups into volunteer opportunities. Here's one of my favorite episodes of her show.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vl6azn-DzeE

    Agree with me? Disagree with me? That's cool.

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    1. The drunk ice cream episode. Very funny. I like the way it is edited with lots of quick inserts. Not seen it before. She is really cool

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    2. Sweet! I'm glad you liked it! I didn't think anyone was going to bite on this, haha. Yeah, she's great with the editing and quick cuts, and the humor is mostly high quality, IMO. Indeed, she's a super cool person! :)

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  4. Well, I'll be an injected-by-John-Pankow-with-smart-serum capuchine monkey! I got the picture for this weekend's topic dedicated to me and me alone (because really, who else wants to watch THAT?!). Thank you, Patrick, I feel like I belong here now. :-)

    If there is one show that I'd push on people because it doesn't get nearly the recognition, hype and standing that it should it would be HBO's Dream On. Here's a single-camera sitcom (back when those were rare) that would still be funny without its signature gimmick of B&W cut-away clips on the strength of both the talent in front and behind the camera. Both the actors and the characters they play (Brian Benben's Martin Tupper, Wendie Malick's Judith, Michael McKean's Gibby, Dorien Wilson's Eddie Charles, etc.) were pitch-perfect for the show's level of cartoony, adult silliness. John Landis did his best work after his 80's heyday developing, executive producing and directing episodes of "Dream On," and basically the creators and entire writing staff of NBC's "Friends" cut their teeth on this HBO show prior to getting rich on NBC/Warner royalty money. It's unlikely it'll ever be released commercially because the licensing of all those old Universal movie clips (cheap when the series premiered in 1990) would be murder, though I'm praying some enterprising company will give it a crack (Shout!, are you listening?). Scattered episodes are on YouTube (type 'Dream On HBO Episodes') in VHS-type quality, but anything after season 1 (which was rough with a different worse actor playing the Eddie Charles part) is gold.

    Another show I'd wish more people would give a shot to is the original UK version of Primeval (streaming on Amazon Prime and Netflix last time I checked). Since the seasons are so short it's an easy-to-binge-on-and-complete dose of a neat cross between "The X-Files" monster-of-the-week template with TV's "Stargate," sort of. It took chances with its cast, and whenever changes were needed it felt like it had weight and wasn't just a Joss Whedon-type whim to dispose of a character just because. Even by the predictable standards of weekly sci-fi TV this show took chances, and there's something about the relationship between Douglas Henshall's Nick Cutter and his nemesis (Juliet Aubrey's Helen) that gives their confrontations an edge missing in most good guy-versus-bad guy premises. For my money Ben Miller steals the show as the government lackey with an eye on the bottom line.

    Anywho, I love other TV shows way more than "Dream On" and "Primeval" (hint: it rhymes with 'Halex Crack' :-P) but these are two excellent semi-recent shows that aren't nearly in enough TV conversations as the quality of their production implies they should.

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  5. The Adventures of Brisco County Jr might be the best thing Bruce Campbell has ever done.

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  6. I'm trying to avoid making this "name a cult show," or "be as obscure as possible." We'll see how it goes.

    Third Watch - I'm probably wrong, but I remember this forgotten (-ish?) show (or at least seasons 1-3) being better than your standard cop drama. It had a great sense of place.

    That Mitchell and Webb Look - brilliantly absurd comedy

    Terriers - because everyone should've watched it so Donal Logue wouldn't be stuck on Gotham and Michael Raymond-James wouldn't be on the abysmal Once Upon a Time

    Rubicon - the AMC show that couldn't

    Otherwise, for shows that lots of people are watching, but more should: Fargo, Justified, The Americans...basically FX


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    1. I really liked Terriers. I wonder if it was the name that did it in.

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    2. Nope, it was the freaking ads playing off the name of the show (like this one), that doomed "Terriers'" chance to get an audience to even sample it. FX is always swinging for the fences, and when one of their efforts doesn't make it past a single season (like 2011's "Lights Out" with Holt McCallany) it's because the start-up audience just wasn't there to sustain a potential growth curve. R.I.P. "Terriers" and "Lights Out," the little-seen quality FX shows that could have been.

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    3. I also love Terriers, but I'm inclined to agree with the FX president who basically concluded that the show looked too much like a run-of-the-mill cable cop procedural to attract high-minded, HBO-type viewers, but too funky and raggedy to attract consumers of run-of-the-mill cable cop procedurals. "A Chinatown riff cross-bred with The Big Lebowski" may sound awesome to the likes of us, but it likely makes the Sons of Anarchy FX crowd yawn and shrug. Maybe it would've thrived on HBO itself...

      And I'm not really one to foist my tastes on others, so the above question strikes me as kind of odd (no offense), but I do think it's high time Carnivàle got a blu-ray release. (Amazon has HD eps available for purpose, but I doubt the quality is blu-ray level.) And I have fond memories of the somewhat dopey family-friendly show Early Edition, and wish individual eps were available for purchase online, even if the first two seasons' DVD sales preclude a complete physical media release.

      As for stuff currently on, while the much-improved and now very enjoyable Agents of SHIELD is still hardly classic TV, I'd love for it to be a big hit so they could continue to get/get even more large budgets for international shoots and effects.

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    4. I will never get over the cancellation of Terriers. Ever.

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    5. I was reading everything to see if anyone mentioned Terriers. I love F-heads.

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  7. Get a Life with Chris Elliot. One of the funniest and weirdest shows of all time. Not many other "sitcoms" have the main character horrifically killed at the end of several episodes. Did I mention Charlie Kaufman wrote a couple episodes? Highly recommended.

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  8. Twin Peaks - obvious choice but with it coming to Showtime next year now is the time for all those who haven't seen it to catch up!

    The Prisoner (McGoohan; not the awful Cavezial (sic probably) remake.) Maybe the best show ever.

    Black Mirror - British miniseries. Parts 1 and 2 are both awesome.

    Eric Andre Show - If you get it, you love it. Season 1 is a must and pretty sums up how unimportant talk shows and their guests are.

    Garth Merenghi's Darkplace - Absolute spot on parody of 80's sci-fi/horror TV. One of my all time favorite discoveries last year.

    Homicide: life on the Streets - Arguably the greatest, most realistic cop show ever. Performances are top notch though the later seasons get a bit weak.

    Honorable mention - There was a sitcom this year called "Surviving Jack" with Christopher Meloni that only lasted 8 episodes. It was one of the funniest things I have seen on primetime TV in a while. Meloni was fantastic, the production was great and they DIDN'T USE A LAUGH TRACK!!! I seriously hate them; can barely get through a show with one without thinking "Hmmm...those are the same laughs from "The Flintstones" cartoons".

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  9. The Wire. Once a day, every day, twice on Sunday. I always compare it to Tommy (yes, I know) in that David Simon, like Townsend, not only had the ambition to attempt something so crazy, but the sheer talent to ACTUALLY pull it off. It entertains, educates, inspires and infuriates. No other television show has ever come close.
    After that, Orphan Black, because even though the Emmys are stupid (but I repeat myself), no one is doing anything remotely as amazing as what Tatiana Maslany does every episode (also the show is stellar).
    Hannibal is also ridiculously good and every horror fan alive is doing themselves a disservice if they aren't watching.

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    1. The Wire is the only arguable show I was referring to in my post above regarding Homicide! Also, bump on Hannibal. It amazes me that such a high production, dark as shit show is on network TV.

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  10. Sledge Hammer! because while it was a great parody when it aired, it's almost terrifyingly prescient now (while still being legitimately funny). David Rasche is so great in the lead and bonus points for embracing the exclamation point much like our beloved F This Movie! has.

    Speaking of shows being prescient, Max Headroom had the tagline "20 minutes into the future" and what's amazing is that even though it aired 30 years ago, it still feels like it takes place just about 20 minutes into the future. A much better show than it had any right to be.

    Finally, I've got to echo the support of Homicide: Life on the Street (at least the first 6 seasons). Complex characters brought to life by a stellar cast, procedural TV never got better. Also, familiarity with his blistering work as Frank Pembleton makes Andre Braugher's performance on the great Brooklyn Nine-Nine that much funnier.

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    1. I second all three of those.

      I also think everybody should be watching MST3K...but I think almost everybody already does.

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  11. Any animation/cartoon fans here? GRAVITY FALLS is one of the best shows around, and most people don't even know it exists. It's funny, smart, surprisingly dark, and is developing its characters over time. There probably won't be a second season because of the teensy-weensy ratings, but you never know.

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  12. This isn't anything that's on now, but I guess there is going to be a new HBO show about the 1970s music scene that Martin Scorsese is going to executive produce. HBO at least ordered a pilot for it. Sounds interesting to me!

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  13. It isn't as widely seen as other great shows because it's both a cartoon AND foreign, but Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a fucking fantastic fantasy/sci-fi/horror/drama series that is absolutely worth watching for all twelve of it's episodes.

    Aside from that, I really loved Black Mirror. That show also deserves wider recognition.

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    1. Oh my god I forgot Firefly

      Firefly is amazing

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  14. Due South-This fish-out--of-water dramedy about a by-the-book but quirky Mountie arriving to Chicago to apprehend his father's murderer is forced to team up with an abrasive Chicago cop embraces a lot of cliches(the pilot is basically a buddy cop movie). However, Paul Gross and David Marciano have great chemistry and the first couple of seasons give what could be one note characters surprising depth. The show isn't perfect(Paul Haggis was the creator and he sometimes lays his pretentious tendencies pretty thick) and the final season is kind of a clusterfuck, but I feel the show still hasn't got its due.

    Mission Hill was a great animated show that more people should checkout. It was very progressive in the way that it dealt with homosexuality in a way a lot of animated shows weren't.

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  15. I'm sure most, if not all of you have seen it, but I think Planet Earth is something that should be seen by everyone. Whether you're into nature shows or not, you owe it yourself to witness the incredible beauty captured for the show. From the awe-inspiring and almost uncanny time-lapse sequences of rain forest vegetation growth to mile long hunts on the African plains, the series showcases the wonders of our planet that are rarely ever seen.

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  16. david lynch's "on the air"… just kidding… how about "oz"? that show will ruin all telivision for you. not because it's superior to all other tv shows (just most) but because all television is now is "hey- there's ryan o'reilly… oh, hey- there's sa'id… there's shillinger… chris keller..."

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    1. Carmela Soprano is also in there early on. Plus Winston Zeddmore from "Ghostbusters" and the last season of "Law & Order." And Michael from "Lost." And Dr. Huang from "SVU!" Yep, any TV from late 90's to the present is accounted for and (mildly) spoiled by the "Oz" curse. :-)

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  17. As soon as I saw the name of this article my mind went straight to Community. I think it's one of the smartest and most original comedy series of my generation, and is great for the movie or TV fan because so much of its humor is based on parody. What makes it great, though, is that the parody isn't just lame jokes about a certain movie or show. Instead, it pokes fun at styles and tropes. For example, one time they did a "bottle episode" and everyone was aware of it as it was happening. Abed complained because he always hates bottle episodes.

    This show has been juggled around on the edge of cancellation for about 3 years now. After one threat of cancellation there were fan protests at Rockefeller Center, and they eventually brought it back to mid-season. It spent one season without its original creator, and finally got dropped by NBC, but is now going to be on Yahoo! Screen. Anyhow, if you can get your hands on the first couple seasons they are absolute gold. Dan Harmon is a mastermind.

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    1. After my own heart. I love those two shows.

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  19. State of Play, the original BBC mini-series, is absolutely brilliant and criminally under-seen. Six one-hour episodes of near perfect television in my mind.

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    1. I've seen the Russell Crowe remake... how similar are they?

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    2. It shares some of the basic plot DNA but, that apart, they are pretty different. The extra run-time makes for a much more interesting and involved story as you get so much more time with the characters. It's naturally a less polished product but in terms of writing and acting it trumps the film easily.

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  20. Huff!
    Hank Azaria as a psychiatrist who's life starts to be put in perspective after a patient kills himself in his office. Emotional and funny. The best Oliver Platt performance ever....seriously, so good. The second season loses its way it bit. They clearly had their sights set on a couple more seasons, but were unfortunately cancelled after 2. But the first season is some of my favourite TV. Hank Azaria, Jaget Brewster, Oliver Platt, Robert Forster, Lara Flynn Boyle, Blythe Danner, Anton Yelchin. THATS a cast!

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    Hahahahahahaha. A nymphomaniac virgin and an alcoholic with serious violent tendencies. Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson at their undiluted best. Hooligans Island was the biggest prick tease of all time. Rik Mayall RIP.

    Alan Partridge
    All of it. Any of it. Get into it. Knowing Me, Knowing You, Im Alan Partridge. Midmorning Matters. Any of the specials and one offs. Kiss My Face.

    From the home front, i have to give a shout out to the Working Dog Productions shows;
    Frontline, Hollowmen, (and to a lesser extent) Utopia. Rob Sitch is so good as the half a clue man of influence.
    While anyone outside of Oz is unlikely to ever see it, if you get the chance to see Mad As Hell be sure to take it. Its a news satire show, like an absurd Jon Stewart. Shaun Micallef is so good at comedy. You should all enjoy him.

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    1. I really liked Frontline. Rob Sitch is great. I'm also a huge fan of the Working Dog movies (in particular, The Castle and The Dish).

      Between Shaun Micallef and the Chaser Boys, we've done alright with news satire. Did you ever check out The Roast on ABC2, Brad?

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    2. I did, due to it usually being on before some other show I was wanting to watch. I never really liked it too much. Seemed too immature without anything overly interesting to say. They were a bunch of young guys, so their comedy style may evolve some more and they may be more up my alley. but for now, not my cup of tea.

      Im liking more Upper Middle Bogan, Agony of Life etc. even Anabel Crabb's Kitchen Cabinet and Julia Zemiro's Home Delivery.
      Love the ABC.

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    3. Fair enough. I always got the impression that The Roast was constantly trying to figure out how to make their show work. I enjoyed it on an experimental level of a group of young guys trying to write a 10 min show from sratch every day.

      I suppose two Australians talking about how much they love their national public broadcaster wasn't what Patrick had in mind with this Weekend Weigh-In, but... #ourABC.

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