That List of Great Programs I Promised You!

That List of Great Programs I Promised You!

Okay guys. The VA Governor’s Election is over, and I will write a blogpost about my takeaways, adventures, and experiences with that, but it will take me a minute to articulate, so in the meantime, I went into that Facebook thread from a few weeks ago where I asked you to share suggestions of programs I can watch with Brett, being that we have a very narrow sliver of entertainment in common. You guys came through like crazy.

I was going to just share it in an FB post but once I got in there, I realized that won’t do at all. There are a million entries and you all offered little bits of interesting information that might help others make selections and none of that can be shared properly in a FB post. So I decided to make a blogpost so you can come back here whenever you want and find another selection, and so can I. Much better than scrolling through an ever growing FB feed. I will try share the commentary on shows where it was provided. I am going to number them according to the order in which the landed in the box and if it was recommended by lots of folks I will let you know. If I’ve seen the series myself, I will share my thoughts. Okay. Onward:

  1. Handmaid’s Tale– I watched about 5 of this series and it was making me a little sick to my stomach, because of our current political situation and what I fear is the oncoming American theocracy. It is brilliantly done, and takes exactly perfect license to translate the essential message of the book, without holding steadfast to every minute detail. It’s excellent and I highly recommend it, though Brett would hate it.
  2. Preacher- Only Heather recommended it, but she has very good though usually twisty, taste, so it’s probably good.
  3. Insecure– Lots of votes, funny they say. Many  have speculated however that Brett would not like it.
  4. Mr. Robot- Only one vote, and I haven’t looked into it yet, so I don’t know.
  5. Marco Polo-Lots of solid votes from reliable folks. Period piece. Brett won’t like it betcha cuz he hates period pieces that require costumes, but I might check it out solo.
  6. Ozark– Brett and I just finished the season. It’s outstanding in every way. Watch.
  7. The Crown– I’ve seen it and I liked it. Didn’t love it. Queen Elizabeth story. Good enough.
  8. Being Mary Jane– One recommendation. It was Heather. She said I might be annoyed but that it was good. Don’t know what to make of that.
  9. Westworld– Lots of votes. Reliable folks. It was suggested that I hang with it because it might be weird at the beginning. It’s on the shortlist for next show.
  10. The Deuce– One recommendation, that’s all I know.
  11. The Wire– I’m probably the only person in the world who’s never seen The Wire. I think Brett watched some of it in Iraq? I tried to watch it but the one episode I watched made me feel heartbroken and sick to my stomach. That kind of race and income inequity in the soul crushing projects weighs too heavily in my soul to watch on the regular. But it was SO highly recommended. Like everyone. Like ALL of you are telling me to watch. So I might try again.
  12. Designated Survivor– Only one recommendation, but I’ve heard from others that I might like it. Don’t even know what it’s about.
  13. Outlander– It got a few mentions. I bought the first book, but the prose was so tiresome in the first page that I couldn’t keep reading, though I’ve been told to push through. Sometimes average writing translates to outstanding programming. Only the prose is tiresome, not the storyline. That could be the case here, so I am willing to give it a go. Lots of folks like it.
  14. Atypical– I LOVE THIS SHOW. LOVE. It is beautifully written and beautifully and tenderly acted and carefully rendered. It’s perfect in every way. Brett won’t like it. You might. It’s about a teenage boy with autism and it’s wonderful. ALL the feels but also hilarious and real. NOT maudlin at all.
  15. Stranger Things– I like this show, but honestly I don’t LOVE this show. I like it though. Brett won’t for sure. I will definitely watch the next season, though I haven’t started it yet. You all know about this show already, so moving on.
  16. Shetland-Shetland Islands of Scotland, Glasgow, detectives. Very, very good. I love it. Brett won’t like it; following is a list of a lot of crime and detective shows some of which I’ve seen and some I haven’t, none are American, some have subtitles though, I don’t know which. These, including Shetland, were all suggested by Rebecca, whom I don’t know in pers0n, so I can’t comment on her taste necessarily, so I will just list. If I know something about the show, I’ll tell you my thoughts.
  17. Hinterland
  18. Rake
  19. Marcella
  20. Deep Water
  21. Luther-I’ve seen Luther, and I like it, but I know Brett won’t because no real threaded storyarc and it’s not terribly complicated. Idris though.
  22. Wallander
  23. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
  24. The Fall
  25. Happy Valley. This is the last of Rebecca’s crime/detective recommendations. The next are also from Rebecca but they are travel genre. I’ve not seen either.
  26. An Idiot Abroad
  27. Departures
  28. Chef’s Kitchen– a documentary series. Each episode highlights one chef. Chris said it’s fascinating, I haven’t seen it.
  29. Rome- reliable sources say this is good, and it came with a couple of recommendations. Again, I’m always afraid of period pieces with costumes for Brett. He bores easily and he judges harshly.
  30. Poldark– I love this program. It’s BBC taking place in Cornwall after the end of the American Revolution. Brett will hate it. Period piece, costumes…
  31. American Gods– reliable recommendation for this as well…might look into it for next show.
  32. Spartacus- this one same as Rome (Period pieces and costumes and recommended by the same folks) But also lots of seasons, which is a plus…
  33. Shameless– I watched several seasons of the British version before I just couldn’t take them anymore. They’re so gross. Lila assures me the same is true of the American version, and though I love all the actors in it, not sure I want to deal with such gross, icky, awful people. Brett for sure won’t tolerate it. Though the man happily watches Ridiculousness and any and all people falling down shows in any and all languages, so please don’t read this as meaning Brett is so discriminating with his viewing tastes.
  34. Man in High Castle-We tried it as a family for a minute. It was too dark without any charm. I only gave it one episode though. I don’t like alternative outcome type stories. They creep me out.
  35. The Sopranos– I’ve never even seen one episode. Years ago, my brother loaned me the DVD set. I still haven’t seen it. I realize it is among the best television of all time. I just haven’t seen it. It came out during that dry season when you had to have HBO, which we never had, and you had to sit down in front of the television at a specific time to see a program. I haven’t had the patience for that in decades. Once things started to be available to stream on my iPad my whole world opened up, cuz I could watch stuff while I waited for kids to get out of their activities, or I could watch while I was making dinner or folding clothes. Portable, streamable television on my own schedule was the golden ticket. The Sopranos came out in the window in between on HBO, bypassing me completely.
  36. Orphan Black– I watched a couple and didn’t like it. Brett won’t like it either. But people LOVE it.
  37. House of Cards– I have seen them all and loved them all. I can’t really believe that Kevin Spacey being an asshat sexual predator means that we won’t get anymore of that show.
  38. One Mississippi– No one recommended this on the list. This is MY recommendation and I am reminded of it because Louis CK worked on that show apparently with Tig Notaro and if his bullshit causes this show to be cancelled I WILL BE LIVID. I love every single thing about this program. It is so very perfect. It is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful show with two seasons and I LOVE IT. His bullshit better not ruin it for us. He’s not even in it, but he mentioned the program in his NYT apology for sexually harassing so many women. Watch it on Amazon while you can. It’s beautiful.
  39. Fauda– Kiran is watching this and he has highly recommended it as has Laurie. Kiran is watching it and working on his Arabic and Laurie works on her Hebrew, which is an added bonus. Sandra also said it is great. These are solid recommendations.
  40. Silver Spoon– It’s in Russian. That’s all I know.
  41. Schitt’s Creek– supposed to be hilarious and light.
  42. American Horror Story– Twisty, adult. Probably not my cup of tea, so I won’t watch it until I have run out of other programming. I am very easily scared.
  43. Wayward Pines– based on a book and that’s all I know
  44. True Blood– Highly recommended but I really don’t know what it’s about at all.
  45. Bosch– Besides Ozark, this was the most highly recommended. Maybe we should try to watch this next, because Ozark was exactly perfect. People whose taste I trust were raving about this program and apparently it has overarching, really involved plot. Crime show. Detective show. Takes place in LA.
  46. Spiral– French subtitles, so Brett is out. But maybe I’ll watch. I am always wanting to improve my French. No idea what it’s about. This reminds me, if you have never seen Amelie, go watch Amelie. So wonderful.
  47. Madame Secretary-Two recommendations. I don’t know what it’s about. Both recommendations by women who liked the strong female character, and they both love it.
  48. Peaky Blinders– I love this program.Brett won’t, too much chance of the Helena Bonham Carter period costumes to which he is allergic in a visceral way. But this is a fantastic program. Watch it.
  49. Narcos– I haven’t seen it, but everyone says I will like it. Maybe Brett would too, so I’m keeping it on the short list. He likes drug stories more than I do, though I loved Breaking Bad. So it depends on how perfectly written it is. Breaking Bad is perfectly written.
  50. Broadchurch– I liked this very much. I mean the English one, I’m assuming this is the English one. I vaguely recall they did an American version in which Felicity Huffman maybe plays?
  51. Sons of Anarchy– I tried and I hated this show. I couldn’t get into the characters and they all made me nervous. Everyone loves this show.
  52. Bloodline– I tried to like this show and I love Kyle Chandler so much, but I really didn’t like it after a few episodes. People rave about it. I’m not sure why.
  53. Homeland– I loved this program for the first 4 seasons and then Renee stopped her subscription to Showtime so I stopped watching. It was really good for the first 4 seasons though it is clearly anti Arab and pretty racist. That’s problematic. Truth is that I liked it anyway. I hate it when my wokeness interferes with my viewing pleasure.
  54. Black Mirror- I have never heard of this show and know nothing about it.
  55. Mindhunter- Kelly said that if you liked True Detective you’d like this. I LOVED that first season of True Detective so might give it a go.
  56. Catastrophe– I don’t know a thing about this one.
  57. The Americans- This is a wonderful program. I watch it on Amazon, so I am always a season behind. It’s outstanding, tour de force acting.
  58. Grace and Frankie– No chance Brett will watch this. Maybe I’ll tune in one day. So far hasn’t compelled me to do so. I’ve not seen any of it. It’s a comedy.
  59. Call the Midwives– This is sweet programming. No overarching story lines. A story about midwives in East London in the 50’s. The beginnings of the NHS. Sweet. Each episode is much like the last. It is only sweet.
  60. The Bletchley Circle– Not seen it, but that’s an interesting time and story so, could be nice.
  61. Foyle’s War– Not seen it at all, but i’ve heard its quite good.
  62. Doc Martin- I think this is BBC and a crime one, but I’m not sure.
  63. Fargo– people say this is great, and I don’t even know what it’s about. Is it based on the movie? I don’t know. The movie, of course, is superb.
  64. Better Call Saul– This is fantastic, hilarious and heartbreaking. The prequel to Breaking Bad. The Story of Saul Goodman. If you are a Breaking Bad fan, of course you already know about this. If you haven’t seen Breaking Bad, watch that. It’s the best thing ever. And watch that before you watch this. Once you’ve seen that, there’s no way you will miss this.
  65. The Night Of– Many recommended it. I don’t know what it’s about.
  66. The Good Place– A few people recommended it. It’s a comedy. Really brilliant I’ve heard.
  67. Newsroom– from days old. MANY recommendations. Old show.
  68. Friends From College– New show, only one season. Keegan-Michael Key. Very very very very good. Beautifully, touchingly written. Very funny, very smart.
  69. Vikings– I started it, it’s good. I got tired of it. Ragnar got meaner, it got less good.
  70. Mr. Mercedes– I got nothing.
  71. Friday Night  Lights– If you’ve never seen this show and you love really wonderful character development, and you love characters to root for, and stories that touch you and make you feel good, watch this show. Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton are so adorable. Everything and everyone so wonderful. And of course, Tim Riggins will break your heart on the daily.
  72. Good Behavior- I know nothing about this.
  73. Dear White People-Or this.
  74. Atlanta– Kiran said this is brilliant, and we tried to watch it together over summer break, but there was no convenient medium on which to watch it, I don’t even know how to watch it. But I’m gonna watch, even though Brett likely won’t like it, because Donald Glover is a genius.
  75. Berlin Station– I was repeatedly encouraged to watch it. So I will definitely try.
  76. You’re The Worst- No clue.
  77. Casual-Or this
  78. The Five-Or this
  79. Sneaky Pete-Or this, except that this is Giovanni Ribisi, who is an amazing actor.
  80. Dexter-I think most people have seen this and I think it has to do with a serial killer.
  81. Jem and the Hollograms– which I know sounds like Josie and the Pussycats, but Marina assures me it is not alike.
  82. Justified– several recommendations. “Like Breaking Bad, not quite as dark.” Sounds intriguing.
  83. The Blacklist– Sue Holbert recommended it to me a couple of years ago and the first season was so good and then it got so very very very bad. So I stopped watching it. And I think she did too.
  84. Rectify-got a couple of recommendations, and I haven’t a clue.
  85. Jane the Virgin– This was not recommended on the FB list, it’s my recommendation for you. It is so adorable, so sweet, so funny, so easy. It is something to watch when you fear the downfall of the republic. It’s good for that. Rogelio warms my heart. Not kidding. When you have to untie your mind from current events in and around the globe, turn this on on Netflix. It is so very good. Long story arc and funny in the most endearing way. Truly perfect for the anxiety of these days.

And that was the end of the list. I will provide more information as I watch shows and if anyone watches anything and has anything to add, send a comment so everyone can see that and add it to their information. By the way, there is no reason behind the image I chose. I was looking for one of us watching television, but there isn’t one. In my search I came across this one, and it gives me the feels. It’s Lila on her first birthday. She is hugging her music-making present. I don’t remember who gave it to her. She loved it so much, she was hugging it. The image stands for being super into your arts and entertainment.

Happy Watching, my beautifuls!!


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