Best of the web to help stop binge watching bad TV?
May 12, 2014 12:33 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I have a 6-month-old who goes to bed quite early (not complaining) which means we have lots of evening time at home these days. We have Apple TV and while air playing something last week - I thought, hmmm, maybe we can make a night of this?!?! So, we've decided that Tuesday nights are web-stream nights. We are looking for specific videos (or sites that have great ones) that are any of the following: Educational like any number of videos on vsauce, thought-provoking like videos on The School of Life site or even hilarious like Drunk History.

We are not opposed to ridiculously cute animal videos or general silliness but we'd like to err on the side of feeling good about the fact that we'd spent the time watching it.

What we don't want:

Nothing too grotesque, too violent, too intensely traumatic - we both hate horror films and I can't make it through one of the Sarah McLachlan ASPCA videos. Things that show torture, abuse, etc - I just can't handle it (even in cases where I might be better for being able to but alas, I will never see The Cove and Monster was the last movie I saw that involved sexual violence because it WRECKS me).

Past questions seem to focus on specific areas of interest (videos for kids, music videos, etc.) and we're looking for a complete variety of goodness. I think that's it - looking forward to the answers!

What've you got?
posted by jasbet07 to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Let me suggeest the Mental Floss channel.
Also, Tastefully Offensive curates fun, short videos of the day.
posted by FreezBoy at 12:53 PM on May 12, 2014 is a (US-only?) portal for British TV, but they have a documentary section that has some especially good miniseries like James May's 20th Century, and Theatreland (that's about the Stewart/McKellen production of Waiting for Godot). Some of the content is free, membership is $5/month.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:55 PM on May 12, 2014

I think you would like all of the "Fast Draw" segments from CBS Sunday Morning (just look for all videos in this account whose title begins "The Fast Draw").
posted by jbickers at 12:59 PM on May 12, 2014

Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Cosmos on Hulu!
posted by amaire at 1:01 PM on May 12, 2014

Response by poster: Just to clarify - I think we'd prefer to avoid streamed versions of TV shows so that we can experience something entirely new each week rather than settling in to another series. (and when we do watch TV we watch Netflix and Hulu so tend to try to find "good" TV when we can).
posted by jasbet07 at 1:06 PM on May 12, 2014

posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:09 PM on May 12, 2014

Some of my favorite web series (all pure entertainment):
Awkward Black Girl
Burning Love
High Maintenance
posted by chickenmagazine at 1:20 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you want to learn about history, literature, or science, try Crash Course.

How about modern web series based on classic books? Lizzie Bennet Diaries, The Autobiography of Jane Eyre, Emma Approved.

Geek and Sundry has lots of geeky web shows.
posted by wsquared at 1:42 PM on May 12, 2014

Convos with my 2yr old (and 3 yr old) - YouTube. Dad re-enacts some of the funnier things his little girl says, but with his friend playing the kid (the five o'clock shadow and deadpan expression nails it for me). I'm pregnant, and it always makes me excited to think about what weird things my kid will say someday. We also love drunk history.

Also on YouTube is Simon's Cat - simple drawn animated shorts that are cute/funny and nail cat behaviour!
posted by jrobin276 at 1:45 PM on May 12, 2014

There's also a cat named Boo on YouTube who's pretty cheeky, cats in shark costumes riding a roomba, a kitten train, cats playing patty cake in French (dansons la capucine), and a French cat named Henri with some existential angst ;)
posted by jrobin276 at 1:50 PM on May 12, 2014

Tabletop -- is a series of videos about board gaming, featuring Wil Wheaton and sometimes his wife and/or son, plus celebrity guests. Each show is a different game, and the purpose is to allow you to get an idea of what the game is about by watching people play it.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:11 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Video Game High School, a drama series about a high school in which gamer nerds rule, and First-Person Shooter Players are the football team. 2 season so far.

Learn French using the Capretz immersion method, thanks to French In Action! Pierre Capretz sadly died earlier this year, but we all benefit for his work. If you decide to engage this sérieusement, there are companion workbooks and a textbook. This really can get you conversational enough for travel. As for understanding a native Francophone, well, tell them to Parlez lentement, s'il vous plait.
posted by Sunburnt at 4:18 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

High Maintanance
The Actress
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:09 AM on May 13, 2014

Since you have your own little one sleeping in the next room, you might enjoy the album Wengenn in Wonderland.

Do babies dream when they sleep, or they simply rest peacefully? Queenie Liao, a free-lance artist and mother of three boys living in California, has tried to answer this question by sharing the adventurous dramas that her child Wengenn dreams of during his sleep.

Combining artistry and imagination with photography, Queenie has created captivating photos using plain cloths, stuffed animals, and other common household materials to create the background setting.

posted by CathyG at 2:07 PM on May 13, 2014

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