What should I watch?
December 5, 2011 2:11 PM   Subscribe

What TV series should I watch next (online or via Netflix DVD)?

Here is a list of things I've enjoyed recently (in no particular order), but I feel like I've exhausted all of the really good stuff.

Mad Men
Breaking Bad
The Walking Dead (Season 1)
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Twin Peaks
Doctor Who (Note: I did not like Torchwood, mostly because it was not subtitled and was hard to understand)
Damages (through season 3, the beginning of season 4 was eye-rolling)
Dead Like Me
I Shouldn't Be Alive (cue up "one of these things is not like the others" - I also loved Survivorman)

I am currently watching:
Deep Space Nine
The Wire (in the first season, not especially enamored with it, and it's only on disc)

Things I have tried and didn't like:
Buffy (I know, I know, I should be banished)

Subtitles are a huge plus and are required if it's a non-American show. I am willing to pay if it's really really really good.
posted by desjardins to Media & Arts (86 answers total) 112 users marked this as a favorite
Downton Abbey! Binged on the complete first season in a few sittings. On Netflix, with subtitles.
posted by jbickers at 2:14 PM on December 5, 2011 [9 favorites]

I am here to say Deadwood.
posted by Jofus at 2:14 PM on December 5, 2011 [15 favorites]

Game of thrones
posted by elgilito at 2:15 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Six Feet Under. And stick it out with The Wire--I too found it difficult to get into until probably the second season even, but damn is it worth it.
posted by lovableiago at 2:16 PM on December 5, 2011 [7 favorites]

Seconding Deadwood. One of the finest series ever.
posted by eas98 at 2:16 PM on December 5, 2011 [3 favorites]

OH--and Battlestar Gallactica for sure.
posted by lovableiago at 2:16 PM on December 5, 2011 [5 favorites]

Arrested Development!
posted by argonauta at 2:17 PM on December 5, 2011 [8 favorites]

Keep watching The Wire, it gets better.
posted by fshgrl at 2:21 PM on December 5, 2011 [5 favorites]

Game of Thrones
Boardwalk Empire

I hesitate to mention "The Killing", because I got really irritated with it towards the end of the first season, but maybe it'll redeem itself?

And a couple of the greatest comedies currently airing, even though you don't mention other comedies:
posted by supercres at 2:22 PM on December 5, 2011

Seconding Six Feet Under and Community. Try House Of Cards for a clever English political thriller.
posted by Specklet at 2:24 PM on December 5, 2011

Best of British sitcoms: Misfits! Campus! Peep Show!

All on Hulu last I checked.

Misfits is the closest fit to the ones you listed. Give it time - it gets better and takes a few episodes to get into. All three shows are like that, actually. And all are hilarious.

Also enjoyed watching all the past seasons of 30 Rock on Netflix/Hulu. Good times.
posted by guster4lovers at 2:26 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you like British television/mysteries. Wire in the Blood, Prime Suspect, Waking the Dead.
posted by shoesietart at 2:28 PM on December 5, 2011

Thirding Community.

I also use subtitles, and they have been very good for this show on the DVDs.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:30 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also, the British show, The IT Crowd, it's very funny.
posted by shoesietart at 2:30 PM on December 5, 2011 [5 favorites]

From the one-season wonders department: If you liked Doctor Who (but not Torchwood), you'll probably like The Middleman. And I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Kings; give it a shot if you like "Deadwood" and want more flowery language & Ian McShane.
posted by Johnny Assay at 2:31 PM on December 5, 2011

You might like Supernatural based on your X Files and Fringe preferences. Warehouse 13 might be for you as well.
posted by katyggls at 2:33 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yessss! The IT Crowd, Misfits, and Peep Show! I second all of them. Spaced is fun too: early Simon Pegg.
posted by Specklet at 2:33 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Battlestar Galactica

I'm currently watching the entire run of "Homicide" while walking on the treadmill in the mornings, but I loved The Wire so it may not be your cup of tea.

Also maybe Being Human (original, British version).
posted by JoanArkham at 2:33 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

I second Prime Suspect (the one with Helen Mirren natch), though the first season is about 20 times better than the other seasons. The first one is a classic. While you're going British: I, Claudius. Spaced. Peep Show.
posted by fleacircus at 2:34 PM on December 5, 2011

Community and Misfits are both awesome.
posted by mewohu at 2:35 PM on December 5, 2011

Veronica Mars
posted by doctord at 2:37 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Black Books must be added to the list of British comedies.
posted by winna at 2:37 PM on December 5, 2011 [4 favorites]

Babylon 5

:) Right now it's disk only but it's been on streaming too. Fun to compare and contrast with DS9. First season is a bit underwhelming in some places, but seasons 2, 3, and 4 are really great.

nthing: Veronica Mars, Deadwood, and Rome.
posted by PlutoniumX at 2:39 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

The recent (past few years) BBC "Jekyll" miniseries was really quite good.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:39 PM on December 5, 2011 [4 favorites]

Old British Comedies: Fawlty Towers.

I STILL watch it every year or so.
posted by Winnemac at 2:39 PM on December 5, 2011

Veronica Mars
Arrested Development
Battlestar Galactica

Give The Wire a shot, it takes a (long) while to get into it.

I loved Downton Abbey S1, but found S2 was soapy.
posted by jeather at 2:40 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

If British crime dramas are of any interest, Lewis is one of the best in recent years (succeeding, and almost the equal of, Morse).

I really like Foyle's War too.
posted by Flashman at 2:41 PM on December 5, 2011 [3 favorites]

Definitely seconding/thirding/etc-ing:
Game of Thrones
Six Feet Under
Peep Show (and this if you enjoy skits)
Black Books

Flashpoint (The most addicting show I've found out there, and I love 99% of your list.)
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 2:41 PM on December 5, 2011

Long as we're talking Brit-coms (though the OP didn't specifically ask for those): Father Ted, Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister.

You might also like Hustle and that new Sherlock Holmes (with Martin Freeman).
posted by bluejayway at 2:42 PM on December 5, 2011

Party Down
posted by girlmightlive at 2:43 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Coming in out of left field

Red Riding Trilogy,
Wire in the Blood,
Downton Abbey,
Kolchak: The Night Stalker,
posted by Ad hominem at 2:43 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Prisoner
Buffy wasn't good till the 4th season. Just sayin.
posted by DarkForest at 2:46 PM on December 5, 2011

Spooks! It was broadcast as MI-5 on A&E, but get the uncut BBC version.
posted by cyndigo at 2:49 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

30 Rock
Six Feet Under

and really, give Buffy a shot. If after the first two season you aren't hooked, then you must be a vampire without a soul.
posted by greta simone at 2:50 PM on December 5, 2011

N'thing Misfits and Peep Show. I also enjoyed Kingdom with Stephen Fry.
posted by phunniemee at 2:52 PM on December 5, 2011

In Treatment
Curb your enthusiasm (especially the last season)
I second Deadwood and 30 Rock.

And, if you're in the mood for a light but entertaining show, I recommend Drop Dead Diva. Such a guilty pleasure!
posted by Milau at 2:53 PM on December 5, 2011

Forbrydelsen (The Killing) and Durham County.

I hesitate to mention "The Killing", because I got really irritated with it towards the end of the first season, but maybe it'll redeem itself?

Which production? I thought the original Danish production was really good, but didn't like AMC's version all that much and stopped watching after the second episode.
posted by squeak at 2:55 PM on December 5, 2011

Which production?

AMC's. When plot twists became expected weekly events, it was no longer fun.
posted by supercres at 2:58 PM on December 5, 2011

Lost. Still one of my favorites.
posted by mamabear at 3:07 PM on December 5, 2011

I'm going through the recently posted to instant's Reaper. It's kind of a combination between Buffy and Chuck.

Also, I believe there are 5 seasons of Psych online as well. Both of my recs are pretty light, good for tuning in while you're eating dinner or need a brief distraction in between repeats of Mad Men and Breaking Bad that are also availabl.e
posted by Think_Long at 3:10 PM on December 5, 2011

If you haven't seen Sports Night, do. I don't like sports, but this character-driven dramady is just great.
posted by rosa at 3:22 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

I think three shows encapsulate all you need from TV about life.

The Wire (you're watching, it gets very engrossing after a slow start), Friday Night Lights (on netflix instant), The West Wing (not on instant, sub in Sports Night if you have to have netflix).

I like all the shows you like, btw.

Deadwood, Rome and Leverage are also shows I think you'd really like based on your taste.

You've hit most of the sci-fi stuff so...
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 3:31 PM on December 5, 2011

Also Sherlock is phenomenal but it's really 3 movie sized episodes instead of a TV show.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 3:32 PM on December 5, 2011

Pushing Daisies
posted by belladonna at 3:35 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

How about the various Stagate series? Seasons 1-7 of SG-1 were quite good, 8 was OK, and the last couple kinda dragged in my opinion. Atlantis had a different feel to it, but I enjoyed that as well and felt it had a couple more good seasons in it.
posted by barc0001 at 3:41 PM on December 5, 2011

Battlestar Galactica!
Also the prequel, Caprica, was awesome but they cancelled it after one season.

If you haven't seen Arrested Development, I highly recommend it. Soooo funny! Plus they're coming out with some new Hulu-only episodes and a movie soon!

You don't say how you feel about animated comedies, but if you at all like Family Guy, South Park and perhaps any other Adult Swim fare, I recommend checking out Archer. It's on FX but feels like an Adult Swim show. I heard it described as Arrested Development meets James Bond.
posted by radioamy at 3:43 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by thatelsagirl at 3:46 PM on December 5, 2011 [3 favorites]

Party Down and Archer are two shows that I never see recommended enough. They're both great.

And you should definitely give Arrested Development a good try. It's fantastic.

The reason that Archer is often compared to Arrested is that two of the actresses are the same, and they play very similar characters in both shows. Archer is animated, but is still really good.
posted by k8lin at 3:48 PM on December 5, 2011

Seconding Being Human (the UK version is superior but the US version isn't bad)
Leverage is awesome.
Pushing Daisies
Better off Ted
posted by sandraregina at 3:58 PM on December 5, 2011

Big Love
The Sopranos
posted by Wordwoman at 3:59 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Luther. It's streaming on Netflix, and stars Idris Elba (Stringer Bell from The Wire).
posted by peachykeen at 4:05 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding Babylon 5, though it's a pity they've pulled it from streaming.
posted by clerestory at 4:09 PM on December 5, 2011

posted by sandra_s at 4:21 PM on December 5, 2011

British comedies - not sure if they have subtitles, but I could check my copy of Blackadder:
Red Dwarf

American (some are nthing other's suggestions):
Northern Exposure
Battlestar Galactica
Mad Men
House (Seasons 1 to 3, at least)
ER (Seasons 1 to 4 or so)
Twin Peaks

I'm just starting on West Wing, myself, so don't know yet. Also wanted to see Weeds, L-Word, The Wire, Big Love, and Breaking Bad.

I'm currently watching and enjoying Boss. Pan Am and Grimm are okay.

I did not like 24 very much.
posted by rw at 4:24 PM on December 5, 2011

I think you'll really like the 2002 NBC series Boomtown. It's probably the closest thing to an "experimental" drama you'll ever see on American network TV. Set in Los Angeles, you might think it's just an standard cops and lawyers show from the description (actually, it covers several distinct groups involved in the pursuit of crime: politicians, cops, detectives, paramedics, and reporters) -- but it's the /way/ it tells its stories that sets it apart. More than one review has compared its fragmented, nonchronological, unreliable-narrators style to RASHOMON, and it's complemented by some really fantastic performances, particularly from Neal McDonough.

First season's only ten bucks at Amazon, but avoid the /second/ season at all costs (it's not on DVD, so that won't be too hard). For the second season, the network lowered the boom and insisted that it turn into a standard cops'n'robbers show in an attempt to draw an audience -- didn't work, and alienated the people who loved the wonderful headgames of the first season.

As far as comedies go, I love "Newsradio" -- best sitcom of the Nineties, I think, with some really wonderful performances from people like Stephen Root, Phil Hartman, Dave Foley, and Maura Tierney. At least one other guy agrees with me about its greatness: Newsradio and the Comedic Art.

Seconds to the House of Cards trilogy (probably my favorite piece of TV ever) and Peep Show.

It's not TV, but you might like it anyway: the Pusher Trilogy. If you've ever wondered what the Sopranos might be like if it were set in Denmark instead of Jersey, here's your answer. Incredibly violent, wonderfully tense, leavened with dark humor.
posted by orthicon halo at 4:26 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm surprised no one yet mentioned "Life On Mars" (the British not the American version) as well as its sequel series "Ashes to Ashes"
posted by Poet_Lariat at 4:43 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh - must second "Pushing Daisies" - a wonderfully unique show.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 4:44 PM on December 5, 2011

posted by benbenson at 5:14 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

The first season of Oz.
posted by Milau at 5:15 PM on December 5, 2011

West Wing.
Burn Notice (I am probably damning myself by admitting I like it, but I like watching stuff blow up).
The original Prime Suspect with Helen Miram
Life on Mars UK version
Game of Thrones
posted by wwax at 5:32 PM on December 5, 2011

Wilfred is pretty great. Pushing Daisies is similarly awesome.
posted by Strass at 5:45 PM on December 5, 2011

Nurse Jackie
True Blood
The Borgias
Rescue Me
posted by fuse theorem at 5:50 PM on December 5, 2011

yeah based on what youve watched already, and its complete availability on netflix instant - you gotta jump on battlestar next!!!! there is a lot to blow through!
posted by c at 5:56 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Carnivale and Lost.
posted by SollosQ at 6:21 PM on December 5, 2011

Another vote for West Wing, Deadwood, Battlestar Galactica, Downton Abbey, Six Feet Under, True Blood, Burn Notice (totally underrated) and Rome. Also, if you haven't already: X-Files!

It's totally formulaic, but I really enjoyed the original NCIS for many years, and only dropped off because I got busy for a while.

I would recommend giving The Wire and Buffy a second chance. They really are terrific once you get into them.

Just finished Star Trek: Voyager and enjoyed it.

If you like travel shows: Michael Palin has a bunch of travel shows that are really entertaining. Stephen Fry in America is also good. Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations is always a lot of fun.

Reality TV that I am not ashamed to admit I love: So You Think You Can Dance. I hear good things about The Amazing Race.

Ken Burns' documentary series are so absorbing. We really enjoyed "Baseball" and "National Parks."

A fun, underrated comedy is It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Shows I never got into at the time for lack of time and/or cable but would like to eventually see: The Sopranos, Rescue Me, Lost, Game of Thrones.
posted by elizeh at 6:22 PM on December 5, 2011

Give Life on Mars US version a chance. I found the show did a great job of recreating the 70's look, at least as I as remember it from watching Taxi Driver, Serpico, etc. Plus, Harvey Keitel is in it!

Also, nthing Foyle's War.

And for two additional great British TV shows:

Horatio Hornblower


The Thick of It

If you do end up watching Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister as suggested above, you absolutely must follow up with The Thick of It.
posted by Bokmakierie at 6:27 PM on December 5, 2011

Wallander - the British version with Kenneth Brannagh or the Swedish version with subtitles.
The Hour - Dominic West's new mini-series about the BCC show of the same name
posted by honey-barbara at 6:27 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series (outstanding until Reichenbach Falls, then needs some picking-and-choosing afterwards; skip the final series)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Smiley's People

The early Poirot (with Captain Hastings still on board)

If you can see the subtitled Swedish Wallander, I'd recommend it over the Branagh version

Inspector Morse, although it runs into trouble once they start doing original stories

Lewis, the Morse spinoff
posted by thomas j wise at 6:53 PM on December 5, 2011

Warehouse 13
posted by get off of my cloud at 7:59 PM on December 5, 2011

Spartacus: Blood and Sand
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

each is a 6 episode mini series, I enjoyed them and don't see them recommended above.
posted by Iax at 9:12 PM on December 5, 2011

Get on Party Down soon, as the Starz shows will be going away from Netflix in the near future.
posted by shinynewnick at 9:56 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

As has been mentioned, Six Feet Under and Pushing Daisies. They go well with Dead Like Me.

Six months ago, I was having to be convinced to stick through The Wire (I found Season 2 especially hard to get through), but I'm glad I did.
posted by Kingsk at 10:02 PM on December 5, 2011

Modern Family
posted by northxnorthwest at 11:13 PM on December 5, 2011

Green Wing, outstanding British comedy.

Also, Kingdom Hospital, but the original Danish series by Lars van Trier.
posted by arcticseal at 4:32 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

nth-ing Six Feet Under. My most favorite show ever. If you like following the development of complex characters, and family dynamics, you'll love Six Feet Under.

If you're a fan of Dead Like Me, you'll likely enjoy Pushing Daisies. Similar people involved.

Also nthing Battlestar Galactica. Its one big cheesy, cliché, sci-fi soap opera in the best possible way.
posted by teriyaki_tornado at 5:47 AM on December 6, 2011

Response by poster: Here's the count of how many times a show has been mentioned in this thread. I guess I know where to start!

Battlestar Galactica.. 9
Deadwood................ 8
Six Feet Under......... 7
Peep Show............... 6
Pushing Daisies........ 6
The Wire .................6
Sherlock Holmes........ 5
Community............... 5
West Wing............... 4
Downton Abbey....... 4
Rome................... 4
Game of Thrones...... 4
Arrested Development 4
Misfits................. 4
posted by desjardins at 9:27 AM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


posted by Studiogeek at 9:58 AM on December 6, 2011

From that list, I'd start with the series that are no longer on the air. There's something nice about having a definitive number of episodes to go through, and you can plan accordingly.
posted by shinynewnick at 12:38 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

other david simon: the corner, generation kill. both are more accessible, initially, than the wire, but only have 1 6-8 episode season, each. maybe the first season of treme is out too?
posted by cupcake1337 at 1:44 PM on December 6, 2011

Band of Brothers
From the Earth to the Moon
posted by cnc at 6:03 PM on December 6, 2011

The Tudors

Can't believe nobody mentioned it yet. I like almost all the shows mentioned so far but IMHO, The Tudors is better than the majority of them.

Also, for Game of Thrones, read the books first if you enjoy reading at all. It will be worth it!
posted by 1awesomeguy at 9:18 AM on December 8, 2011

+1 Deadwood
+1 Carnivale
+1 Rome (1st season)
+1 the Shileld
+1 the Wire
-1 Six Feet Under (tried to stick with it for 3 seasons but couldn't get into the characters)
posted by storybored at 10:34 AM on December 8, 2011

Almost forgot:

+1 The Riches
posted by storybored at 1:24 PM on December 8, 2011

Don't overlook these Sci-Fi gems free on Hulu:
- Daybreak
- FlashForward

Other amazing shows no one seems to know about:
- Thief
- Terriers
- Life
posted by xammerboy at 6:47 AM on December 10, 2011

Bored To Death. Funny and smart, and Ted Danson as Graydon Carter if Graydon Carter was a stoner.

I do not know that Carter isn't a stoner. I don't know the man.
posted by everichon at 10:21 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's only a couple of seasons, but before Sorkin created/wrote The West Wing, he created/wrote Sports Night. Many of the actors show up again in West Wing; Sorkin is also good at casting.

I've been enjoying Lewis, and will probably go back and watch Morse.
posted by theora55 at 5:29 PM on December 12, 2011

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