turns out there IS a limit to how many times you can re-watch Arrested Development
April 7, 2011 3:22 PM   Subscribe

What TV shows to watch next?

My boyfriend and I are looking for new TV shows to watch!

We tend to enjoy clever comedies and dramas with scifi/fantasy/supernatural elements. Some of the shows we've both liked:

- Arrested Development
- Futurama
- 30 Rock
- Parks and Recreation
- The Office
- How I Met Your Mother
- Fringe
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Most of these are fairly recent, and recent/still-on stuff is good, but we're open to old-school stuff too if it's good. (I didn't have TV growing up, so shows from before my college years in the early 2000s will probably be new to me!)

Stuff we've liked less: couldn't get into Community, Modern Family was kind of bland, Weeds and Six Feet Under got too crazy-crazy-drama (I prefer my crazy-drama to be more like "And then I went back in time and my mom shot me and now I'm my own grandfather!").

Bonus if the show's archives are available on Hulu!
posted by anotherthink to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (74 answers total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have Netflix? We've been rewatching the X-files (which is available in its entirety on Netflix) and the first five-ish seasons are great. I'd also recommend Lexx (which is way wacky), Dead Like Me, and Alien Nation.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:24 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh! Freaks and Geeks, too.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:26 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Farscape! It's a little heavy on the sci-fi, but I think you guys will like it.
posted by fight or flight at 3:27 PM on April 7, 2011

While everyone else was addicted to Seinfeld, mr.likeso and I occasionally partook, but were enthralled by Mad About You.
posted by likeso at 3:27 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I used to love Quantum Leap, but I haven't seen it in a while, so I'm not sure it holds up.

Have you tried Firefly? Very enjoyable!

I also recommend Battlestar Galactica.
posted by cider at 3:27 PM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]

the two that immediately spring to mind for me are Twin Peaks (at least the first season; the second season sadly went off the rails) and Northern Exposure.
posted by scody at 3:27 PM on April 7, 2011

Eureka, 4400.
Both scifi. Eureka is more of a comedy, while 4400 is more of a drama.
posted by yes at 3:27 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding Firefly!
posted by likeso at 3:28 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

The League
Curb Your Enthusiasm
posted by axismundi at 3:28 PM on April 7, 2011

Better Off Ted
and another vote for Freaks and Geeks.

I also enjoyed the first season of Legend of the Seeker with all its bad acting and magic and stuff.
posted by Sassyfras at 3:31 PM on April 7, 2011 [3 favorites]

Also, if you are into offside humor and like/don't hate animated shows:
The Venture Bros
posted by axismundi at 3:31 PM on April 7, 2011 [7 favorites]

Seconding Battlestar Galactica. Worth watching the whole series multiple times.
posted by norbulator at 3:31 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Everyone should watch Wonderfalls.
posted by milkrate at 3:32 PM on April 7, 2011 [10 favorites]

They're old but the first few seasons of The X Files are awesome.
posted by ghharr at 3:32 PM on April 7, 2011

I've really enjoyed tracking down Arrested Development actors to find out what they're up to.

Better Off Ted is just great. It's not Arrested Development by any stretch and it falls into of a lot of classic sitcom patterns, but it's still a solid comedy and it has some extremely light sci-fi elements.

Running Wilde is decidedly not good, but I could watch Will Arnett in practically anything and be entertained.

I'll second Eureka, but only the first (and maybe the second) season.

And 4400 is a comedy if only for the horrible music cues and overdone melodrama.
posted by ODiV at 3:33 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

On Hulu: Dead Like Me because you like the quirk of Buffy, and Peep Show because you like the uncomfortable hilarity of awkward relationships in Arrested Development.
posted by quarterframer at 3:33 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

posted by synecdoche at 3:36 PM on April 7, 2011

Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, and Pushing Daisies.
posted by lizzicide at 3:37 PM on April 7, 2011

I like all the shows you list but I am probably alone in admiring The Good Wife. I think the writing is solid and the show is usually interesting.
posted by bz at 3:37 PM on April 7, 2011

Stella - A surreal, absurd sitcom with a bizarre sense of humor that was unduly canceled after just 10 episodes in 2005. On the plus side, unlike certain other sitcoms that have outworn their welcome and turned into pale imitations of themselves, Stella never had a chance to get stale; there isn't a single dud out of all 10 episodes. I know you prefer to find shows free online, but the DVD is a great value: $15 for 2 discs, with lots of deleted scenes for each episode and commentary by all 3 stars on each episode.
posted by John Cohen at 3:44 PM on April 7, 2011

Oops. My reading comp skills suck.

I think Archer is the best thing going right now.

Oh and Breaking Bad on AMC. They're replaying the last season now in advance of the new season starting in June.
posted by birdherder at 3:45 PM on April 7, 2011 [3 favorites]

Netflix Watch Instantly for Sliders. I was a young sci-fi geek, and that was one of my faves.
posted by deezil at 3:49 PM on April 7, 2011

I recently finished a marathon Buffy session and am now hooked on Bones, a drama about a forensic anthropologist who works with the FBI to solve weird crimes. It's waaaaaaay more science-y than science fiction-y, but I enjoy it. Plus, it has David Boreanaz (Angel) playing an FBI agent.
posted by naturalog at 3:49 PM on April 7, 2011

Warehouse 13 is funny and goofy in an almost retro/steampunk way. Similar to Eureka, which it shares a limited cross-over with, btw.

The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Sort of a sci-fi western with Bruce Campbell. It was very well done.
posted by elendil71 at 3:50 PM on April 7, 2011

Doctor Who. Start with Christopher Eccleston and continue from there.
posted by afx237vi at 3:55 PM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]

Party Down!
posted by pollex at 3:58 PM on April 7, 2011 [6 favorites]

The West Wing.

No sci-fi, lots of politics, but your tastes seem pretty similar to mine and I consider it one of the best TV shows ever made.
posted by mmoncur at 4:00 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Psych! Their in-jokes and nerd-outs get deeper as they go -- in an enjoyable way :)

Father Ted and The IT Crowd, both available on Netflix Watch Instantly (if you have it). Oh my GOD, have I nearly peed myself watching those. (Black Books often gets recommended in the same breath, but I didn't really get into it.)

I don't know if you've liked Kids in the Hall, but get their eight-part series Death Comes to Town. Absurdly funny -- I wasn't a huge fan of the sketches, but this one was great.

Is Veronica Mars too drama-y for you? I loved it. Seconding Party Down; it has a lot of the same folks in it, including people from Freaks and Geeks and Reno 911.

Eastbound and Down -- another highbrow lowbrow. SO funny.
posted by Madamina at 4:02 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Also, if you are into offside humor and like/don't hate animated shows:
The Venture Bros

Totally these.
posted by Glinn at 4:03 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

i'm going to 3rd the party down under the clever comedy category and i'm sad it was first mentioned so far down the thread. but i guess no one really watched it. it's on netflix.
posted by sammich at 4:05 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

We really enjoyed Terminator ~ The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Weird drama/scifi, but with a dry humor.
posted by okbye at 4:09 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Supernatural, obviously! I think it's fairly clever and fills the Buffy shaped hole in my life. Like Buffy, the earlier seasons tend to be lighter and fluffier (more Monster-of-the-Week episodes) than the more recent seasons.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 4:11 PM on April 7, 2011

Cartoon Network's Adventure Time is gleefully weird and wonderful, combining vivid, eye-catching animation with a sense of humor that manages to be geeky, imaginative, innocent, and disturbing, sometimes all at once. It also avoids the topical/pop-culture/potty humor that plagues a lot of other shows these days. Best animated show I've seen in years, hands down. I did a post on it earlier in the year that has more detail; you can also watch free episodes at AdventureTi.me.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:13 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Andi'll 3rd (or 4th?) Firefly. I wasn't fanatical about it but if you were into buffy you might like it since it's made by the same dude and it has a crazy fan following ( it was only 1 season + a movie (serenity)). I'd start with the tv show before Serenity tho. and don't let the 1st episode pilot get you down because it gets better than that.
posted by sammich at 4:13 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Try community again, but start with the second season and move forward. The first season was good, but things really started to get good in the second season.
posted by TheBones at 4:18 PM on April 7, 2011

Oh, also a nice one-season drama (with very light SF) is Jack and Bobby. It's not perfect, but it's surprisingly smart and many talented actors who later appear on Mad Men (which, um, you should watch, too) appear on it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:21 PM on April 7, 2011

No scifi element, but I like the New Adventures of Old Christine for an enjoyable sitcom. Adding my strong vote for Better off Ted, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, and Firefly.
posted by lemniskate at 4:23 PM on April 7, 2011

Way darker than anything you have mentioned but as far as I am concerned there were few better shows on tv than The Shield. Ditto the first season of Breaking Bad (the rest may be awesome too, I just don't know yet). I loved Homicide but people keep telling me they don't think it aged well.

Lighter, I echo others on Better Off Ted, Reaper, and Undeclared. I started watching Warehouse 13 with season 2 and am just getting caught up on S1. And in some ways liking it better.

In the much older arena, Parker Lewis Can't Lose is delightfully quirky. Two seasons on DVD at this point.

My Name is Earl and Greg Garcia's current show, Raising Hope, are both also funny and quirky.

Did you ever try Stargate SG-1? I think the early seasons had some interesting world-building that might appeal to a LOST fan and the later seasons had a great sense of humor. And if you decide you like those that means 10 seasons then several more of Stargate: Atlantis :)
posted by phearlez at 4:32 PM on April 7, 2011

Mystery Science Theater 3000! There are usually a few episodes on Netflix Watch Instantly.
posted by lucysparrow at 4:32 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

That 70's show
posted by jmsta at 4:36 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Wilfred, an Australian comedy about a man, his girlfriend and her dog (which is really a guy in a dog costume). It's very, very dark and very, very funny. They are remaking it in the US with Elijah Wood which is....well, I'm withholding judgement until I've seen it. I doubt that it is on hulu but it's totally worth buying the DVD (the only DVDs I own are Wilfred, all of Buffy, 30 Rock and a few Wes Anderson movies; so we have similar tastes).
posted by Wantok at 4:39 PM on April 7, 2011

For old-school:

Drop everything and get the Larry Sanders Show and It's Garry Shandling's Show.

Ditto Police Squad (only about 6 episodes)

Also, not sure how you feel about sitcoms, but the old Roseannes still hold up really well.
posted by Mchelly at 4:48 PM on April 7, 2011

The show you list are some of my (and my wife's) favorites. Some of our other favorites are:

* The Wire - the most literary show we've ever seen. like a Malcolm gladwell or DFW book, it makes you feel smarter for having watched it. Hands down favorite.

* The West Wing - great dialogue and gravitas. Takes a nose dive when Aaron Sorkin left after the four season.

* Sports Night - lesser known Aaron Sorkin show. Quick and funny.

* Modern Family - reminds me a lot of Arrested Development

* Castle and White Collar are two entertaining crime procedurals
posted by ktheory at 4:49 PM on April 7, 2011

Peep Show
posted by rhizome at 4:58 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Reposted from a similar thread. I just can't recommend this enough!:

I just finished (via netflix) working my way through the early-90s sitcom NewsRadio. Seasons 4-5 aren't that great, but as a confirmed, die-hard sitcom hater, I couldn't believe how good seasons 1-3 are. Amazing ensemble cast -- Phil Hartman, Andy Dick, Joe Rogan, Maura Tierney, Vicki Lewis, Stephen Root, Khandi Alexander, Dave Foley) coupled with *really* sharp, funny writing. I had never realized what a comic genius Phil Hartman was.
posted by Alaska Jack at 5:18 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

I've really been enjoying Outcasts – It's a bit like Lost, but on another planet. And British. I'm only about half-way through the short season (7 or 8 episodes in total, I think), but so far it's managing to hold my interest.

True Blood is also something you might enjoy. It's a bit ridiculous, but very entertaining.

Farscape, Battlestar Galactica and Firefly are also must-sees, but already mentioned.
posted by damonism at 5:38 PM on April 7, 2011

Strangers with Candy (features Stephen Colbert, pre-daily show, amy Sedaris)
The Tick (live-action)
The Wire
posted by fizzix at 6:01 PM on April 7, 2011

Totally going to let my 'Unreformed Nerd' card slip by saying so, but Babylon 5 is probably right up your alley - sci-fi political intrigue with a humorous vein throughout. It takes forever to grow its beard, is often very uneven in terms of quality and is frequently showing the most shameless sandwich combination of hammy acting and cheesy writing.

Hugo Award-winning ham-and-cheese. Mmm, mmm, good.
posted by Appropriate Username at 6:03 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Black Books (British sitcom)
Flight of the Conchords
posted by lucysparrow at 6:32 PM on April 7, 2011

Have you watched Star Trek: The Next Generation? It's on Netflix, I think. (I like Deep Space 9, too. But I'm pretty nerdy.)
Warehouse 13.
Dr. Who (the new ones)
The IT Crowd
The Big Bang Theory
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 6:42 PM on April 7, 2011

I like most of what you like (I'm not so much into the sci-fi, but probably would be if I gave it a chance). This is most definitely not sci-fi, but I really like Californication.

+1 for Big Bang Theory and True Blood (I know, I know, vampires are trendy, but give it a chance.)
posted by AlisonM at 6:47 PM on April 7, 2011

It's not always 100% great, but a station where I am has been showing Hyperdrive. It's pretty funny and has a sci-fi setting. It stars Nick Frost, who has been Simon Pegg's collaborator in a bunch of stuff.
posted by eulily at 7:22 PM on April 7, 2011

Seconding Doctor Who (though I'd suggest you start with Matt Smith and work your way back once you're hooked), Firefly, and The West Wing. I'd also suggest the BBC miniseries Jekyl, as well as Coupling.

For sci-fi, I'd honestly suggest Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (even if you've never seen the movies). I went in not expecting much, and found it to be absolutely incredible.
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:23 PM on April 7, 2011

My girlfriend and I watch most of those shows together, hits with both of us include-- Slings and Arrows, Doctor Who, Pushing Daisies, Community (give it another try!!), The Office (UK), Extras, Flight of the Conchords. I would also recommend Sports Night, Farscape, and Teachers (UK) (but I don't have my girlfriend to yet vouch for those).
posted by haveanicesummer at 7:44 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

3rd Rock From the sun is pretty delightfully sci-fi (in concept) and comedy at once.
posted by maykasahara at 8:08 PM on April 7, 2011

Doctor Who (David Tennant), The IT Crowd, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace. Definitely Pushing Daisies. I agree with maykasahara above me here -- 3rd Rock From The Sun is genius and it's held up surprisingly well since it originally aired!
posted by Mael Oui at 8:32 PM on April 7, 2011

The Dresden Files. Just one season, all episodes available on Hulu.

"Paul Blackthorne as Harry Dresden – a reluctant hero, a professional wizard who often helps the police with cases involving "unusual" circumstances and others who seek his help."
posted by halcyon_daze at 9:47 PM on April 7, 2011

Not super science-fictiony, but you can watch all of Strangers With Candy on Netflix. Also, try Weeds. Again, not sci-fi but very *smart* anyway.
posted by bendy at 9:52 PM on April 7, 2011

You might enjoy the surreal and quirky comedy Green Wing.

Seconding SG-1, it's very much of its era (sci fi romp rather than dark and menacing a la Battlestar) but if you can get through the first series it has some genuinely likeable characters and an excellent sense of humour.

As a sci-fi fan I found Outcasts to be laughably bad, couldnt get through the first episode.
posted by Ness at 2:43 AM on April 8, 2011

Check out Pulling.
posted by purephase at 4:43 AM on April 8, 2011

How about Dexter? Not so much sci-fi, but lots of inner drama and lots of murder mysteries and such. We're on season two and can't. stop. watching. it.
posted by elisebeth at 8:21 AM on April 8, 2011

Nerdy Stuff:
if you can get a hold of E4's Misfits I bet you'll love the shit out of it
The Lost Room is a pretty fun LOSTish couple of episodes thats become sort of a cult hit among some nerd circles
BBC's new Sherlock Holmes was surprisingly fun

The League (reminds me of arrested D, on netflix instant)
Louie (on netflix instant still i think)
Saxondale (on netflix instant still i think, sort of like a british Eastbound and Down that's not as harsh)
Party Down (love this show)
The Mighty Boosh
Portlandia (some pretty good bits in this)
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 8:47 AM on April 8, 2011

I too have overwatched Arrested Development, Futurama, and LOST.

Summer Heights High
Upright Citizens Brigade
nthing Strangers with Candy
Twilight Zone is on netflix instant watch now, in all its campy splendor
Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!
The Prisoner (UK)
posted by ghostbikes at 10:29 AM on April 8, 2011

Best answer: Oh oh oh and Twin Peaks
posted by ghostbikes at 10:30 AM on April 8, 2011

All of the Rob Thomas-connected stuff I've seen has been really good (Party Down, Veronica Mars, Cupid, etc.). A bunch of it's on NF Instant too.
posted by ifjuly at 10:59 AM on April 8, 2011

Hm, some others off the top of my head: Downton Abbey, Slings and Arrows, Breaking Bad, The Avengers, The Up Series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Decalogue, Fishing With John, Degrassi Junior High for that trashy My So-Called Life vibe, Fawlty Towers (give it some time), Absolutely Fabulous, Peep Show, Flight of the Conchords, Louie, Da Ali G Show, Soap, 3rd Rock From the Sun, Space Ghost, The Brak Show, The Tick, Eerie Indiana, Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me, The Middleman, Friday Night Lights, Nurse Jackie, The West Wing, Sleeper Cell, The Wire, Generation Kill, The Corner, Treme, Sons of Anarchy, Justified, Lie to Me, Damages, Archer, Chuck, The Venture Brothers, Pole to Pole/Around the World in 60 Days, The Outer Limits, The Prisoner, The Riches, Hustle, Monk, Homicide, Terriers.
posted by ifjuly at 11:07 AM on April 8, 2011

Seconding Downton Abbey!
posted by jgirl at 7:42 PM on April 9, 2011

Just to make sure you actually do take time to watch it, go with Party Down!

Also, HBO's Bored to Death is funny -- especially if you like Jason Schwartzman.
posted by carpyful at 10:35 AM on April 11, 2011

Definitely, definitely Veronica Mars.
posted by insectosaurus at 1:26 PM on April 11, 2011

Daybreak (only 1 season, so it's quick and good)

The first season/season and a half of Prison Break.
posted by inigo2 at 8:33 AM on April 12, 2011

The X-Files is my favorite show of all time. So once you've exhausted the seasons (don't go past 7), I would also put my vote in for Battlestar Galactica, The West Wing and Dark Angel (season 1 only).
posted by northxnorthwest at 8:45 AM on April 13, 2011

In case anyone is still reading the thread, I might just withdraw my recommendation for Outcasts. Having now watched it in full, I don't think it deserves the scorn heaped upon it, but it has been cancelled, and the story is far from being resolved when it ends. It's immensely unsatisfying to get to that point and realise you're never going to find out what happened next. Such a shame.
posted by damonism at 6:14 PM on April 13, 2011

Just started watching The Killing. Great stuff!
posted by littleredwagon at 7:34 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: very belatedly: Twin Peaks is getting a best answer (we loved it)! we will slowly be moving through some of the others...
posted by anotherthink at 1:39 PM on August 8, 2011

« Older some tuck, some no-tuck   |   Sticky Messages in Android Inbox Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.