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TV Shows Worth Checking Out
08.22.14

I watch quite a bit of TV and often ask friends (or even new acquaintances) what TV they watch -- there's so much TV out there that it's always helpful to get some recommendations. I thought I might share some of the TV that I'm watching / catching up on right now.

The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
An oldie but a goody. I've watched quite a bit of Big Bang over the years -- but never consistently (i.e. week in / week out). However, I just watched the two episodes that Jim Parson and Mayim Bialik were Emmy nominated for for this year and the show is brilliant, light, and as funny as ever. The writing, jokes, and execution are terrific. Jim Parson and Mayim Bialik's performances are excellent.

The Knick (Cinemax)
I actually signed up for Cinemax because I wanted to see The Knick. I've been a big fan of Soderbergh over the years. I don't necessarily like everything he does (and he certainly has a lot of super experimental stuff) -- but I like a ton of it and was all-in when I heard of this idea. I'm still working my way through the show, but the performances are great, it's an extremely visceral show (the surgery elements are maybe unlike any surgery I've seen on TV previously), and it's really clear seeing just how much Soderbergh brings to the table. (Not only does he direct, he also shot and edited the entire show.)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox)
Andre Braugher got a well earned Emmy nod for his role in the show and it's just a terrific relatively new comedy. It's funny and the characters are great. Well written. I laugh out loud multiple times every episode. What more can you ask for?

Tyrant (FX)
I'm still catching up on this show, but I love the premise. If you follow the history of Syria (particularly the Hafez al-Assad / Bashir al-Assad history) -- it seems to closely mirror that. I think it's a brilliant idea. From Homeland and 24's Howard Gordon. I think it's a real interesting view of a society that has significant impact on our lives but yet is quite foreign to us.

The Americans (FX)
Andy Greenwald of Grantland might be my favorite TV critic / reviewer / fan -- and this is his favorite show on TV. It's probably not my absolute favorite show -- but I like it a lot. Superbly written, acted, and executed. I'm not typically into period but The Americans is extremely well done.

Garfunkel & Oates (IFC)
I knew a little about Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci before Garfunkel & Oates. I've listened to Riki's podcast and Kate has recurred on The Big Bang Theory as Koothrappali's love interest -- and I knew they had this two person band where they sing unusual folk-type songs. (that's probably a ridiculous way to describe what they do) I was blown away by how much I like this show. It's funny, strange, quirky, and incredibly inventive. They had a puppet show in one of the episodes! It's just great. 

Hannibal (NBC)
I'm a lot of episodes behind on Hannibal -- but this is a great show. The sound design on it is amazing. The cinemtography / color is stunning. Everything about it is just great. I was dubious when I first heard the concept (partly because I so loved The Silence of the Lambs) -- but as someone who loves dark dramas, Hannibal has been a real stand out for me. I just need more time to catch up on it all.

Satisfaction (USA)
I haven't typically watched a lot of USA's fare -- but totally got sucked into Satisfaction. It's edgy and bright -- but also sophisticated in how they dissect human longing for meaning as one ages. I wasn't planning on adding another one-hour drama to watch, but added Satisfaction.

Undateable (NBC)
Easy easy to watch. Funny. Very likeable characters. Multi-camera sitcom (seemingly so much rarer these days.) It's just good. So much of what I watch takes an investment -- you need to sit down, prepare yourself, and then enjoy. This I can watch almost in the way I used to watch the multi-cams of my youth -- just a great break.

Of course -- there's a ton that I'd recommend that's been out for a while:

Dramas: The Walking Dead, Fargo, Game of Thrones, True Detective, House of Cards

Comedies: Children's Hospital, NTSF:SUV:SD, Kroll Show, Louie, Silicon Valley, Veep

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