02 December 2019

I wonder if I've missed anything


New acquaintances are sometimes startled if they learn that I've never seen a single episode of Seinfeld.  Or The Sopranos.  Or Game of Thrones.


The images embedded in this post are screencaps from an interesting 8-minute-long video graphically depicting the most popular TV series from 1986 to 2019.  I've not seen any episodes of any of the series depicted in these screencaps.


I did watch some Cheers in the 1980s and Mad Men in 2007 and House of Cards in 2013, plus Westworld and Chernobyl and some PBS series, but I seem to have missed out on the vast majority of the popular ones.  Recently, after reading some favorable reviews, I've started binge-watching Breaking Bad (way better than watching as originally broadcast because the DVDs have no commercial breaks).

Not sure whether to undertake any of the others.  Open to suggestions.  Here's the video FYI:


21 comments:

  1. I don't really watch TV (except for TRMS, ever since Trump became the nominee.) But I did see one show that made the list/graphic above that I can recommend -- The Mentalist -- I've been bingeing that one for the past week or so. So far, so good.

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  2. Except for some random NCIS reruns, I've never watched *any* of those shows, even when I still had cable (turned it off a year ago).

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  3. A lot there that I haven't seen and a lot there that I am never going to see, but I would recommend Justified (which doesn't make the popular list) but is a fascinating and manageable six seasons. It has one of the best characters ever on TV in Boyd Crowder.

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    1. I came to comments only to mention Justified as well! Great writing and dialogue. Takes place in Kentucky, around Harlan County. Definitely worth a watch

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  4. I only watch TV series I get from my local public library. For some reason, I mostly watch British TV series now, with a few exceptions. Some of the my favorites in the last few months are:

    Luther
    Marcella
    Line of Duty
    Broken
    Suspects
    Engrenages (Spiral) - French Crime Drama
    Shetland
    Doc Martin
    The Durrells in Corfu
    No Offence
    Striking Out (Irish legal drama)
    The Truth will Out (Swedish Crime Drama)
    Poldark
    Janet King (Australian legal drama)
    Taggart (Scottish crime drama)
    The Tunnel (British version)
    Inspector Winter (Swedish crime drama)
    Humans
    The Missing
    True Detective (the lone American entry)

    I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot.

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    1. IDK if you have Prime, but there are a lot of good British shows available there. Grantchester is very good (a young minister who solves mysteries; interesting layers added by addressing the trauma that vets suffered for years afterwards as, before he was a minister, he served in WWII). Father Brown is a classic as well.

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  5. After you finish Breaking Bad, you might enjoy "Better Call Saul". My Mom also hates most TV, but she loved Breaking Bad and The Wire. You really aren't missing anything, ultimately, other than a vague sense of being a little more connected with your fellow man. Doesn't mean you aren't connected though.

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  6. I've had similar experiences. There's a vast number of popular TV shows that I have heard of, but never watched. And there's probably a lot that I've never heard of. I have become quite disconnected from pop culture, although I know anime fandom fairly well--enough that I can follow what people are talking about.

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  7. There aren’t any in that video that I think are worth investing in them for any length of time. The problem with them is that there are numerous other shows now that surpass them in almost every way. In crime dramas Shetlands and Trapped are good, and Broadchurch is even better. In comedy, Schitt's Creek is worth a look. All three these are available on DVD, I've gotten them from the Library. Good Omens is next on my list.

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    1. The miniseries version of Good Omens is surprisingly well-done, although I confess it would be hard for me not to like something David Tennant is in. I normally despise any film version of a book -- and that goes double when it comes to messing with any book Terry Pratchett was central to writing -- Good Omens passed the test. That said . . . the film version shifted the focus to the angel/devil characters (and so took several liberties with the plot, including the ending) whereas the book focused far more on the child involved (who, as he was born to bring about the Apocalypse, really is the central figure.) The book is also quite a bit funnier. In any case, read it AND watch it and you'll see what I mean.

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  8. Of your screencaps, I watched Home Improvement, Seinfeld and Frazier.

    I would not consider them "most-see", but Seinfeld is really funny.

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  9. Yeah, where are the /good/ shows, like Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me, Firefly, Lie To Me, Farscape, Slings and Arrows, Stargate (SG-1, Atlantis, Universe), Battlestar Galactica, Northern Exposure, Sanctuary...

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    1. Aw, I had forgotten about Pushing Daisies - that was a great show

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    2. Sadly, "geeky" shows seldom make top 10 lists. (NOTE: I love sci-fi/fantasy myself; it's just an esoteric niche.)

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  10. Sopranos and The Wire should be required viewing, not because of their popularity or exploitative subject matter, or suspenseful story arcs, but because it is educational and profound. Though The Sopranos takes 7 seasons to the eventual reveal of what you have been viewing. And unlike so many other shows the ending was already conceived when the show began.
    People will list them in the same top 10s, with other pop-crap, but these two shows stand alone, even among other HBO stuff.

    Everything else is more or less without value, though it is tremendously entertaining and well produced, the rest of these shows could only possibly be described as guilty pleasures. Except people don't even feel guilty about the time wasted.

    Take Breaking Bad and Mad Men: they are largely exploitative, with little to no ambition to educate or show something true. It's just entertainment, that shows a distorted view of reality, with a little weak-sauce social commentary thrown in there as a gimmick: Remember (casual) racism and chauvinism? Or, remember how horrible car company execs are? But even these little scraps of wisdom make it so much better.

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  11. True detective season 1 is nice.
    Breaking bad is good indeed, especially s1e1.
    If you speak french Le bureau des legendes, all seasons, is very good.

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  12. You should watch The Wire, the best series ever in my opinion. Seinfeld is funny. Some of the British shows are very good.

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  13. And although I cannot stomach war movies myself, there's this from my son: I can not say enough good things about Generation War on Amazon Prime. The show is a fictional German miniseries which follows the lives of five friends through war on the Eastern front. It does an exceptional job at depicting the ugliness and futility of the war from a German perspective.

    And, in case you read unflattering reviews, yes - the Germans are sufficiently evil, so don't worry. And yes, the Russians are sufficiently brutal. It's not cardboard good guy/bad guy. If you liked Band of Brothers, you will love this series.

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  14. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel- 92% on rotten tomatoes
    The Americans (graphic violence, nudity) 96% on rotten tomatoes
    The End of the F***ing World (Language) 93% on rotten tomatoes
    True Detective Season 3 (avoid Season 2)
    Das Boot TV Series 2018 - 85% rotten tomatoes
    Stranger Things
    Barry (HBO)

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  15. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
    The Americans
    True Detective Season 3 (avoid season 2)
    Barry
    Stranger Things
    Das Boot TV Series 2018
    Peaky Blinders
    Mindhunter

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  16. I don't watch much TV, but if I had to pick from your 3 screen-caps, it would be Seinfeld, House MD, and Stranger Things. I think it is certainly "useful" to watch at least one episode of each, for at least the eventual Trivial Pursuit game update.

    Other recommended comedies that have titles that were off putting for me at first, but I found them witty and well written: "The Good Place" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt". I read your blog incessantly, so I must have good taste, right?

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