Must Watch Shows

I wouldn’t say that these shows are unknown, but they certainly seem to be underrated in terms of popularity. The Golden Age of Television is in full steam and there are just so many good shows on air and hopefully this can help people narrow down what they should watch. I don’t even have cable so all of these shows are able to be watched online in some way. In no particular order here are a couple of shows that I watched and absolutely adored and enjoyed.

Man Seeking Woman
abstract man seeking woman
Of all the shows on the list this one may be my favorite because of how they twisted one of the most ubiquitous premises, a single person in NYC looking for love, and made it unique by taking normal dating/relationship clichés and taking them to extreme literal metaphorical situations. For example the pilot episode has main character Josh going to a party hosted by his ex-girlfriend and she’s now dating literally Hitler. After breakups people can sometimes feel that the next person their ex dates is the worst person in the world, and here they poke fun at that by making him literally Hitler. Another example is when Josh gets a new girlfriend and his mom literally tortures him for more information about her. Hyperboles are taken seriously and the characters acting like the scenario is normal makes the humor of the absurdity better. I didn’t like leading man and Michael Cera knockoff Jay Baruchel or best friend and total weirdo Eric Andre before the show, but they’re both great because of the unique situations. The first season probably felt the funniest and most relatable for me as a single male while the 2nd season felt weaker by comparison, almost as if they were running out of ideas a little bit. The 3rd and final season was the strongest and I thank whoever gave this show a third season because it may have been the funniest and most relatable handling of a new relationship. Kate Findlay only comes in for the final season, but she stole the show from her introduction onward. The first two seasons stream on Hulu and I’m sure the third will follow eventually.
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MTV Scream: More Yawns than Screams

Scream MTV simplistic
Is this a good show? No. Is it an entertaining show? Sure, if you watch with someone who frightens easily and don’t take it seriously. The show is set in MTV’s typical drama filled high school, but with a Scream themed slasher thriller backdrop. All the fun and suspense of the movie Scream drawn out over 10 episodes with a modern twist.

The show was surprisingly popular and earned itself a second season halfway through the pilot. Scream was a successful movie because of how meta/self aware the characters were and how they at least tried to subvert typical horror story cliches. Still, I’m pretty surprised how durable the franchise has been, but then again any success with an initial horror movie spawns countless sequels. They’ve made, what like, 6 Paranormal Activity movies? Logically, TV shows were the next step.
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The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

late show set probably illegal

The Colbert Report wasn’t a great show, it had far from an original format, but it did have a great host. The character Stephen Colbert played was obviously satire, taking a good bit of the character from Fox commentator Bill O’Reilly, but the energy, wittiness, and enthusiasm that made the character widely loved carries over into the Late Show. Aspects of his real life personality slipped in on the Report, his deep love of Lord of the Rings for instance, but his true persona, at least his persona for TV, now shines brightest on the Late Show. In college I drove 3 hours with some buddies to attend the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear at the National Mall back in 2010. That was the first time I saw Colbert live; this was the second time.
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Supergirl Recap: Pilot

she's super hot...and kind of weird looking, like emma stone, but still hot
Kara – “My name is Kara Zor-El. 24 years ago my planet, Krypton, was in serious peril.”
Do they speak English on Krypton?
“My cousin, Kal-El, was sent to a planet called Earth.”
Wait…so is Superman only ~24 years old? Also who is she talking to?
“You may know his story, the story you don’t know is that I was sent to protect him.”
Babysitting, extreme edition. Also are there only 2 escape pods? They couldn’t make bigger escape pods? Is this why they send a 13 year old to take care of a baby?
Her Mom – “Because of the earth’s yellow sun you’ll have great powers, you will do extraordinary things.”
Like protecting your much more important baby cousin! Has sunscreen been holding me back all these years? Why can’t the yellow sun do this for me?
I guess the father doesn’t get to say I love you or goodbye or anything because…
The planet explosion knocked her escape pod off course and sent her into the Phantom Zone. Ironically it’s a great neighborhood, just got a Whole Foods. Time doesn’t pass there and she arrives to earth 24 years later as a kid… Krypton exploded 24 years ago and she slept for 24 years, but her voice is clearly older, so either I’m missing something or the writers can’t do math.
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Heroes Reborn: Should’ve Remained Dead

heroes reborn...put it up for adoption
Heroes was a great show once and even launched a few careers, like Zachary Quinto as Spock in the new Star Trek movies and Hayden Panettiere becoming more than just the little girl in Remember the Titans. Not so long ago Heroes and Lost, a fantastic show overall but its legacy muddied by its disappointing finale, ruled the Sci-Fi thriller market and had a huge audience. The first season of Heroes was great and debuted during a time when superhero blockbusters weren’t rolling out every few weeks, it was surprisingly unique then. Unfortunately the Writers’ Strike threw the show’s trajectory off the rails and it never recovered its momentum, the hole the show wrote itself into only got worse with each passing season.

I still hold fond memories of Heroes for what it was originally, so when I learned about Heroes Reborn coming out, it sparked my interest. However, the double helping of “Brave New World” and “Odessa” showed me nothing to keep me invested and my interest in the reborn show has waned. Creator Tim Kring returns, but it’s as if he never adapted to the changing media environment and expected a show that may have done well 10 years ago to be received as warmly today. Maybe nostalgia lifted my opinion of Heroes higher than it should be, maybe the show was never good. Maybe my perception of the superhero genre has become saturated with all the content currently out there; I’m unsure, but I can say for certain that Heroes Reborn isn’t a good TV show.
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Community Season 6: Disappointment 101

community season 6

The magic is gone, but they’re still waving their wands expecting sparks to fly out. Community returned for a 6th season on Yahoo! Screen; on the bright side it’s free, but it’s also been a huge disappointment.

The first three seasons of Community were amazing- the cast had great chemistry, the story lines were weird and creative, the cinematography and music felt inviting, all the little things were done right and perfected, every episode felt like a hilarious adventure, there was continuity between episodes and meta-jokes, so many jokes that I would need to rewatch to notice them all. During its peak Community was better than Parks and Rec, and I love that show! It felt smarter and more inventive than any other comedy show on TV, how many series have included claymation or cartoon animation spontaneously in episodes? Epic paintball battles? Pillow fort documentaries? Remedial Chaos Theory is still one of the best episodes I’ve seen across any TV show.
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Daredevil: Id Have to be Blind to Like it

I’ve watched a ton of superhero screen adaptations and I just can’t do it anymore; Daredevil broke me, I’m tired of the genre. Daredevil’s character is basically Marvel’s take on Batman, swap out money with blindness and you get Daredevil, but with none of the coolness and with lamer villains. Daredevil takes itself too seriously and tries too hard to be a Batman knockoff, and even then it falls short. There’s a reason the Ben Affleck Daredevil movie bombed, and it wasn’t all Ben’s fault surprisingly, the source material just isn’t that good. I couldn’t sit through one episode of Gotham, so this show’s not the worst superhero adaption out there. Jada Pinkett Smith is horrible on that show, no wonder her son Jaden Smith is so bad at acting, mom’s teaching him.

Is it unfair to only judge a show on the pilot? Yes, but here’s my edited instant reaction and thought process during the Daredevil pilot, hopefully it makes sense.

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

iron lion and kimmy in times square

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is not unwatchable; it’s actually odd, weird, corny, and incredibly funny. It’s a unique and strange comedy, but feels familiar. I never watched 30 Rock, but it feels similar to 30 Rock, probably because Tina Fey was part of both projects. Like most things on Netflix, I binged-watched the entire first season…and then rewatched it immediately after because I’m terrible at managing my time. I missed handfuls of jokes on the initial viewing because every second of the show is trying to make you laugh, it’s impossible to absorb it all. While the jokes feel totally different than Parks and Recreation the two shows feel similar because the main character is from Indiana and is overly cheerful, there are a myriad of weird side characters, and Amy Poehler is basically a blonde Tina Fey. The show has everything I could want, heck, there’s even a Game of Thrones reference.
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The Jinx: What did I just Watch?

jinx skinny

The Jinx is a HBO documentary examining millionaire recluse Robert Durst and a string of murders that mysteriously followed him around. Okay it’s not that mysterious, but it is creepy, disturbing, and oddly addicting.

It’s similar to the podcast Serial, probably, I’ve never actually listened to Serial, but I’m sure it’s similar. I haven’t seen too many documentaries, something I should change, but I recently saw I Know That Voice and that was really enjoyable because I watch a ton of cartoons. If you want something more lighthearted, then watch that, it’s fantastic. I don’t watch shows like CSI because murder and blood makes me uncomfortable, but much like the voice of the title character, The Jinx hypnotically keeps my attention despite the subject matter. If this documentary has taught me anything it’s that money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy freedom.

If you haven’t watched this documentary and want to watch it in the future then stop reading this review, it’s better to watch this with as little information as possible. I went into this not knowing anything and I feel like knowing the ending could spoil the ride.

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Underrated on TV: Sunny and Nightly

always sunny in philly season 6
One’s in it’s 10th season and one just started, but both these shows are able to consistently make me laugh, but it feels like no one’s talking about them. Well I’m talking about them.

After being banished to FXX I almost forgot about this show, I even tuned into part of the Every Simpsons Ever Marathon, but for the life of me I can’t remember what channel FXX is. I recently caught up with the new season of Always Sunny in Philadelphia and I have to say the gang still got it.I held the top NY spot in Always Sunny in Philadelphia for a couple hours on Quiz Up, so you can pretty much call me an expert. Always Sunny just started its 10th Season! That’s when shows start getting bland and repetitive, all  TV shows run into this problem because running back to the well of recycled jokes runs old.
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