Recommend For My Taste Filter
January 20, 2011 3:42 PM   Subscribe

My favorite ever TV shows are Frasier and Arrested Development, with Gilmore Girls coming in a close second. Can you recommend some shows and movies that would fit my taste?

I like to watch a movie or some TV shows every day. I do alot of work and projects sitting and typing, so I enjoy having a show that makes me smile in the background.

I need some new things to watch. I am kind of picky, I don't like settling when it comes to what I watch. I feel like I am wasting my time when I watch something that's only sort of entertaining to me, like King of Queens or Everybody Loves Raymond.

I appreciate the level of intelligence you can see in the writing of Fraiser and Arrested Development. What else might I like to watch?
posted by chocolatemilkshakes to Media & Arts (40 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
It's more than 10 years old, but I think Sports Night was one of the smartest and most entertaining shows on TV.
posted by rosa at 3:44 PM on January 20, 2011 [6 favorites]

Better Off Ted
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 3:45 PM on January 20, 2011 [5 favorites]

Community. I love Arrested Development but am actually liking this even more, at the moment.
posted by d11 at 3:45 PM on January 20, 2011

Seconding Community - that and Arrested Development are tops for me right now!
posted by shortskirtlongjacket at 3:47 PM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Came in to recommend Sports Night, especially to someone who loved Gilmore Girls. followed by West Wing. Basically, anything written by Aaron Sorkin.
posted by brainmouse at 3:48 PM on January 20, 2011

The guys behind Frasier created Modern Family. Watched the first season over the last couple weeks, great stuff. (For the record, I loved Arrested Development, never watched Gilmore Girls.)
posted by SuperNova at 3:48 PM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've seen better shows than Better Off Ted. But I have never in my life been so joyously, gleefully surprised by how much I loved a show. It's delightful and witty and has a dark streak that almost never gets onto broadcast TV sitcoms, even for this short a time.
posted by Tomorrowful at 3:50 PM on January 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Sports Night is great! News Radio might also be something you'd like. Those are classics. I'm definitely enjoying Modern Family right now, too.
posted by belau at 3:53 PM on January 20, 2011

Well, in current shows I think Modern Family would be right in your wheelhouse as a sitcom. It's kind of the successor to Frasier's and AD's intelligent farcical tradition. You'll love it.

Drama shows have a much wider range of great ones, though not too many on network TV. CBS' The Mentalist is a good, fun comic drama. Friday Night Lights a great drama in the "family first" tradition of Gilmore Girls and Everwood.

Cable is the main place for TV now, though. USA has the best light, comic dramas: Burn Notice, psych, White Collar. Most of the FX dramas in recent years have been great too, some with a comic flair: Justified, and the gone too soon Terriers. AMC's are also great but a bit heavier: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and the late, lamented Rubicon.

Beyond that are the HBO dramas like Carnivale, Deadwood, and the greatest, most intelligent TV show of all time: The Wire.
posted by Fortran at 3:53 PM on January 20, 2011

Can't believe I forgot Better Off Ted and Community (and even Parks and Recreation). You could love all of them.
posted by Fortran at 3:54 PM on January 20, 2011

As I thought about this, I came up with some older shows you might like as well. If you like Judd Apatow, his Freaks and Geeks was a great show as was its "successor" Undeclared.

If you go real old, I'd recommend Buffalo Bill and Police Squad! as well.
posted by Fortran at 3:59 PM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you like Gilmore Girls, you might also enjoy Northern Exposure.
posted by hot soup girl at 4:07 PM on January 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Northern Exposure was a great series.
posted by 6:1 at 4:13 PM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you're looking for movies, I figure that Arrested Development shares some of the DNA of The Royal Tenenbaums.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:13 PM on January 20, 2011

As an enormous Frasier and AD fan, I enjoy How I Met Your Mother. It goes for a smarter laugh than you'd expect for something with a laugh track.

Just finished both season of Party Down which was consistently funny as well.
posted by disillusioned at 4:14 PM on January 20, 2011

I am also a big fan of Gilmore Girls and Arrested Development. Bill Prady, the Co-Executive Producer of Gilmore Girls is now the Executive Producer for The Big Bang Theory. If you enjoy the quick wit of Gilmore Girls, you'll most likely enjoy the hilarity of Big Bang Theory.
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 4:14 PM on January 20, 2011

Nthing Community. Parks and Rec is also pretty excellent - you can just ignore the first season, but the second season is great. Modern Family is very well written and the cast has a great chemistry.

But yeah, Community. Wow.
posted by maryr at 4:15 PM on January 20, 2011

I agree with others that Modern Family would be right up your alley. I also think the first few seasons of How I Met Your Mother are really clever.

If you like Gilmore Girls, you might want to give Parenthood a try -- it has a similar family comedy/drama feel (plus it has Lauren Graham), though it's a bit further toward the drama side of the spectrum.
posted by enlarged to show texture at 4:18 PM on January 20, 2011

Larry Sanders.
posted by thejoshu at 4:22 PM on January 20, 2011

30 Rock!! I think it's way better than both Community and Parks and Rec. It's more silly than Arrested Development but similar in a lot of ways I think.

On the not-funny-but-very-intelligent side, I also highly endorse the Wire. May not have the quick-witted dialog of Gilmore Girls, but like Arrested Development it rewards you for paying attention and keep up with the fast pace.

I also just started Freaks and Geeks and am officially into it. I don't think it's as consistently good as some others but it's pretty easy to fall in love with.
posted by lovableiago at 4:26 PM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I always link Veronica Mars with Gilmore Girls in my head, but they are not really similar shows, both just feature a smart, witty teen girl with a single parent and class issues. She solves murders instead of having relationship problems, and it's much darker, but I feel like it's in the same spirit of ridiculously rewarding teen shows.

The first thing I thought of was Sports Night: it's in the same tradition of really smart, very verbal comedy. Newsradio is also one of my all-time favourites.

The NBC Thursday comedies right now are mostly pretty good: 30 Rock seems like the most like your taste, but these days I am really liking Parks and Rec and Community.
posted by SoftRain at 5:01 PM on January 20, 2011

Corner Gas if you can handle some decidedly Canadian content.
posted by davey_darling at 5:08 PM on January 20, 2011

Seconding the recommendation for Veronica Mars. It matches GG in witty banter and pop culture references, but in a less hectic manner.
posted by ridiculous at 5:10 PM on January 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Weeds all the way (and I say this as someone who doesn't care for the show even).
posted by ifjuly at 5:10 PM on January 20, 2011

Seconding Party Down.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:46 PM on January 20, 2011

As a Gilmore Girls fan, I have to say, it's hard to recommend something just like it. Some other smart shows I've really enjoyed are Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I know it's old, but just in case you missed it), Wonderfalls, Veronica Mars, In Plain Sight and The Middleman. Now that I think about it, these are all available on DVD (many on hulu as well), with only In Plain Sight still airing. For other current shows, perhaps Bones or House? Everything I've suggested is rather darker than Gilmore Girls, but very funny.
posted by Margalo Epps at 5:56 PM on January 20, 2011

I really enjoy Eureka on the SciFi channel. Colin Ferguson easily tops the physical comedy that popped up in Frasier and it also has a lot of nerd-based humor.

I'd also add my support for Sports Night, Community, Better off Ted and News Radio.
posted by lilac girl at 6:28 PM on January 20, 2011

I'm a big fan of Frasier, and I just went back and watched Season one of Spin City. Every episode was laugh out loud funny. I had forgotten how well written it is. Am watching season two now and unfortunately it's not quite as good. Same thing for the first one or two seasons of New Adventures of the Old Christine. Really funny and smart writing.
posted by daikon at 6:43 PM on January 20, 2011

I'm a fan of both the acting and writing quality on all three shows you name, and I think if you're looking for well written comedies, you might want to go back to 3rd Rock From The Sun and the Golden Girls (not surprisingly, the latter has AD connections!). Between the consistent high quality of acting and writing on both series, I never get tired of either show. Frasier fans need A Bit Of Fry And Laurie and Jeeves And Wooster. As far as I can tell Arrested Development was entirely unique in the way it became SO multi-layered. I don't think I've ever seen another show that was so clever that it seemed so... effortlessly complicated yet perfect.
posted by Mael Oui at 7:30 PM on January 20, 2011

Psych and Samantha Who? both have quick, witty dialogue like Gilmore Girls.
posted by puritycontrol at 7:54 PM on January 20, 2011

Community took a few episodes to find its footing, but it's excellent. I wasn't too sure about its meta/referential humor at first, but it handles it better than any other show. And there are a lot of character-based gags that go from one episode to the next.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 9:16 PM on January 20, 2011

Please go back a few years and check out Freaks and Geeks! It's just wonderful. I think if you like the Gilmore Girls you would also like Freaks and Geeks.
posted by shortyJBot at 4:27 AM on January 21, 2011

Why go back in time from Fraiser to Cheers?
posted by dzot at 6:43 AM on January 21, 2011

Err.. "Why not go back in time..."
posted by dzot at 6:43 AM on January 21, 2011

I have the same taste as you.

I loved sports night; I adore Friday Night Lights; I love West Wing; I liked Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip; and I'm currently enjoying Parenthood (it took a while to warm up on me).
posted by dpx.mfx at 7:54 AM on January 21, 2011

You can enjoy Arrested Development while it is on in the background? Part of its appeal to me is how deeply layered the jokes are and how very subtle the callbacks can be on that show. To me, I would go with things that are broader, dialog centric like a West Wing.
posted by mmascolino at 8:26 AM on January 21, 2011

A lot of my suggestions have been, um, suggested, but I came here to add The Newsroom, a 90s Canadian comedy which I've been enjoying recently.

Also Pulling. PULLING. I'll keep recommending it on these threads until BBC3 commission it again. Father Ted and The IT Crowd are trad sitcoms that are secretly very smart.
posted by mippy at 9:34 AM on January 21, 2011

Flight of the Conchords
Coupling (original British version)
Slings & Arrows

The defining characteristic of Gilmore Girls is rapid fire screwball style dialogue so the closest analogue that exists for it is either an Aaron Sorkin show (Sports Night, West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, as others have suggested) or Veronica Mars. However, you could also seek out screwball comedies in general. Watching a film by Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, the Thin Man series or the like is more akin to Gilmore Girls than 98% of modern television is. The Gilmores are even obsessed with watching these old movies and the show has various homages to the era.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:44 AM on January 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Add Pushing Daisies to the list as well.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:45 AM on January 21, 2011

Freaks and Geeks is great. Many of its cast and crew went on to become stars. Yes the early 80's really were like that.

My 17 old daughter likes similar shows (Arrested Development is her favorite show of all time) and has a pretty well developed sense of camp. With that in mind I'm recommending Degrassi, it's a completely over-the-top Canadian Soap about a bunch of hopelessly pretty teens.*

*I've never watched this I swear, but sometimes it's on in the background.
posted by JohntheContrarian at 4:20 PM on January 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

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