In Search of Fantastic TV
November 15, 2014 9:00 PM   Subscribe

I'm halfway through my sophomore year of college and I feel as though I've binge-watched every good TV show in existence. Surely this can't be true, though. This is why I need your help!

I just recently finished Community. I'm at a bit of a loss for what to watch next...

Some of my favorites include Mad Men, Breaking Bad, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared, The Office (US... I still have to watch UK, that's on the list), Veep, Parks and Rec... so much more, it'd be a waste of my time to list them all.

I need a good amount of wit and charm. Not a big fan of reality television or of anything too, too soap-y.

Any and all input would be so greatly appreciated.
posted by ourt to Media & Arts (61 answers total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
The Good Wife, Scandal (at least the first couple of seasons), West Wing.
posted by youcancallmeal at 9:09 PM on November 15, 2014 [4 favorites]

The Shield. The Wire. Six Feet Under. The Sopranos.

If you like Parks and Rec, give Brooklyn Nine Nine a go. For darker, weirder comedy fare like Always Sunny, consider The League. For pure, uncut comedy goodness, there's nothing better than Reno 911.
posted by ronofthedead at 9:19 PM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Doctor Who, The Sopranos, The Wire, In Treatment, Twin Peaks, Louie, Archer, Six Feet Under, The Prisoner, Homeland, Dexter (the first four seasons), the first ten seasons of the Simpsons, South Park, the BBC Sherlock
posted by shivohum at 9:22 PM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

There's all the prestige dramas: The Wire, The Sopranos, etc. These match your like of Mad Men and Breaking Bad.

Based on the comedies you listed, I think you'd like a lot of the USA buddy comedies - Psych, White Collar, Suits.

You'd probably also like Chuck, which has a little bit of everything you seem to like mixed in.
posted by The Notorious B.F.G. at 9:27 PM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

True Detective.

Also, UK Office is a completely different show, in my view. I couldn't stand US Office but loved the original.

The UK show Veep is based on, The Thick of It, is also absolutely unmissable.
posted by Dragonness at 9:27 PM on November 15, 2014 [6 favorites]

Slings and Arrows (Canadian show about a theater,) definitely The Wire, Brooklyn 99, WEST WING, Being Human (UK), Bob's Burgers, Archer, and yes, Chuck and Psych for goofy bro-ish failure/humor.
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:31 PM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

30 Rock
posted by deezil at 9:37 PM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

The West Wing.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:38 PM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

I just want to nth West Wing if you haven't watched it yet. Great characterization, witty dialogue, such a great show.

Also, BBC's Sherlock. Not very many episodes, but it's so good. Go watch them now. I've also heard good things about Luther, but I haven't gotten around to watching it myself.

For comedies, definitely Arrested Development. For less quirky but still amusing entertainment, there's also Scrubs.

Oh also, a less well known show, but before Simon Baker did the Mentalist, he was in this show called The Guardian. It was such a well done show, and it sucks that they cancelled it after 3 seasons. I'm pretty sure it's on netflix streaming, and it's definitely worth checking out.

Friday Night Lights is good too.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:41 PM on November 15, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for the input, guys! A quick clarification:
I've seen The League, The West Wing, 30 Rock, and Arrested Development. Oh! Also, Gilmore Girls. Apologies on the lack of list - it's so hard to remember all the shows I've watched until they're mentioned.
posted by ourt at 9:43 PM on November 15, 2014

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The fountainhead of the current Golden Age. I shit you not.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:54 PM on November 15, 2014 [6 favorites]

Battlestar Galactica (both, you seem to have time), The Prisoner, Murder, She Wrote, Elementary, The Mentalist, The Mighty Boosh, Animaniacs, Batman: The Animated Series, Fringe, Chappelle's Show

and when you're ready to slow it down some,

Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People
posted by carsonb at 9:55 PM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

The IT Crowd and Fargo are both solid. Lost was great but it's hit-or-miss.
posted by Woodroar at 9:56 PM on November 15, 2014

Some less-oft suggested on metafilter but quality series that focus on wit and charm:
The Americans
Supernatural (quit after season 7)
Rescue Me, the first few seasons
Friends, if you've never seen it.
Misfits UK version
Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23
Silicon Valley
Utopia (UK) only one season so far.
Better off Ted. How this wasn't a smash hit will forever confuse me.
Green Wing, the UK medical show. Probably the funniest show ever.
Which reminds me, you've watched Scrubs right?
posted by fshgrl at 9:59 PM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I actually have yet to watch Scrubs. Is that worth it? I've heard mixed reviews... but then again, most people my age have questionable taste.
posted by ourt at 10:03 PM on November 15, 2014

i love scrubs. party down? peep show? psych?
posted by the twistinside at 10:05 PM on November 15, 2014

Scrubs is great, I don't watch a lot of tv (despite my post) and I've seen most every episode over the years. Can't think of a bad one. But skip the last season, its a travesty and didn't happen.
posted by fshgrl at 10:10 PM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sports Night
posted by JimN2TAW at 10:19 PM on November 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

Mod note: A couple comments deleted. Hey ourt, no problem, but just a reminder that AskMe isn't a place for open-ended discussion, so maybe ease back with the commenting unless people have specific questions for you. Thanks.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:24 PM on November 15, 2014

In no particular order: Broad City, Peep Show, The Thick of It, Office UK, Freaks and Geeks, Fargo, Sherlock BBC, Adventure Time, Home Movies, and Bob's Burgers. I've heard great things about The Americans but haven't seen it yet.
posted by dialetheia at 10:40 PM on November 15, 2014

UK version of Life on Mars and the sequel Ashes to Ashes.

Also Spaced and League of Gentlemen (with Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith and Mark Pempberton).
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 10:51 PM on November 15, 2014 [4 favorites]

The Americans is decent. Scrubs is not good unless you really like sitcoms. Sports Night is Sorkin at his Sorkinest - with a laugh track. It's addictive like Sorkin is but also a lower quality than his other stuff. I hatewatched it.

I agree that the following are great:

The Thick of It
Freaks and Geeks
Party Down
Mad Men
The Wire
Friday Night Lights
Slings and Arrows
True Detective
Six Feet Under
Life on Mars

I agree that the following are good and worth watching:

Justified (the first few seasons, the last one wasn't too much to write home about)
Peep Show
Parks and Rec
Office UK
Battlestar Galactica (modern version)
Twin Peaks

Others not mentioned that I loved:
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Eastbound & Down
posted by saul wright at 10:56 PM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Watch Fawlty Towers
posted by Qberting at 11:00 PM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Having lived overseas, we just watched Welcome to Sweden and thought it was cute... Free on Hulu, Amy and Greg Poehler. Easy to digest, handful of episodes so far.

You might also like Dead Like Me, Northern Exposure, Twin Peaks, and possibly Trailer Park Boys (this one's all on YouTube). I also think you'd really like Little Britain, and maybe Wilford.

Will add my vote for Office UK, Being Human (UK, though there's also a U.S. version), Sherlock. We've comfort watched all of the following several times: Fawlty Towers (John Cleese), Jeeves and Wooster (Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry - Hulu), The Mighty Boosh.
posted by jrobin276 at 11:32 PM on November 15, 2014

I really enjoyed Bojack Horseman, but cannot stress enough the importance of approaching the series as one long arc and not individual episodes. You will be disappointed if you're expecting the latter. It got abysmal reviews largely because the reviewers did just that.

Also for all my love for Shondaland Scandal is not a good choice if soap is not your thing.
posted by Anonymous at 11:42 PM on November 15, 2014

Please be the fourth person I have gotten super into Hannibal. It is fantastic.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:02 AM on November 16, 2014 [5 favorites]

For classic British TV (since no one else has mentioned it yet): Father Ted. You can find it available for streaming on Hulu. (I personally find Fawlty Towers incredibly stressful at times; Father Ted has all the cynicism and darkness I need without the Curb Your Enthusiasm-esque groans of terror). It's so good I put off watching the final episode for months, because I couldn't accept it coming to an end.

For more recent British TV (and a more palatable Ricky Gervais), Netflix's "Derek".
posted by nightrecordings at 12:03 AM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well, obviously you should start by rewatching all of Community at least twice. Trust me on this. It's not until at least the third viewing that you're able to fully realize the brilliance of that show.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:11 AM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Definitely watch Scrubs. But not the 9th season. True Scrubs fans refuse to acknowledge that season even exists. The first eight seasons, however, are great.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:13 AM on November 16, 2014

Some other good shows:
Twin Peaks
Battlestar Galactica
Lie to Me
Arrested Development
Orange is the New Black
Game of Thrones
The Walking Dead
Strange Luck
Flash Forward
United States of Tara
The Riches
Brooklyn Nine Nine
Sleepy Hollow
Sex and the City
The Sopranos
My Name is Earl
posted by Jacqueline at 12:24 AM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

BoJack Horseman - hilarious but also deep and moving
Andy Richter Controls The Universe - the original (and IMO even better) version of Better Off Ted
The UK series Whites (about restaurant chefs, not the White race) - on Hulu+
Another UK show, and one of the funniest of all time, Garth Marehghi's Darkplace - can be found on YouTube
Bob's Burgers
posted by Room 641-A at 12:58 AM on November 16, 2014

Two short-but-sweet recs:

Rick & Morty - devilishly twisted high-concept black humor science fiction. Only one excellent season so far, with a second coming next year.

Black Mirror - brilliant near-future dystopian vignettes, with each episode taking place in a completely different reality and with a different cast of characters. Only six episodes so far, with a Christmas special starring John Hamm scheduled next month.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:30 AM on November 16, 2014 [4 favorites]

Warehouse 13
Corner Gas
posted by SyraCarol at 3:24 AM on November 16, 2014

UK Comedy series Black Books
Old UK show The Sandbaggers
posted by rongorongo at 3:37 AM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Orphan Black.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:14 AM on November 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

I bet you'd like Strangers with Candy. Probably The IT Crowd too, if you're cool with British stuff. Both smart, genuinely hilarious comedies with a dark edge and a secret affection for their awful, selfish characters. (I could suggest a lot of weird and wonderful UK comedy, but not everybody is down with stuff like The Mighty Boosh.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:22 AM on November 16, 2014

Pushing Daisies
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:27 AM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Two of my favorite binge-watching shows are My So-Called Life and Wonderfalls. Each is only one season.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:27 AM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Homicide Life on the Streets (watch this first, then watch The Wire.)
The Wire (everyone is recommending it for very good reason)
Law and Order Criminal Intent (not as much an investment as Law and Order.)
Star Trek
Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries
Masterpiece Theater
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:23 AM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Miss Fisher
Hart of Dixie
The 100
posted by Sassyfras at 6:56 AM on November 16, 2014

Sons of Anarchy
Almighty Johnsons
Gravity Falls
Agree with the folks that mentioned Justified.
Agree with the person who mentioned Weeds.
Agree with the folks that mentioned Peep Show.
posted by willnot at 7:00 AM on November 16, 2014

I need to second The Americans, hard, because it's flown under the radar compared to some of the other great, basic cable shows.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:12 AM on November 16, 2014

Right now in our house we are binge-watching NYPD Blue - if you're an Amazon Prime member they have all 12 seasons available for free.
posted by lyssabee at 7:38 AM on November 16, 2014

Call the Midwife
posted by jgirl at 7:50 AM on November 16, 2014

Thirding/fourthing Fringe, which is a binge watch par excellence, and adding Felicity and Fresh Meat.
posted by Sonny Jim at 8:25 AM on November 16, 2014

The Killing
The Fall
The Returned (in French with subtitles)
posted by emelenjr at 9:25 AM on November 16, 2014

I hate sitcoms, nothing has made me really laugh at the TV since In Living Color, but Scrubs...

And Fringe was pretty damn funny too. And Sherlock had me on the floor. Hostages and The Following had me binge watching, but then I do like to imagine other flawed people triumphing over darker lives than my own. Nothing has ever gotten to me the way the first episodes of The Following did.

Touch. You borrow a little person and you watch that with them. And then you talk. Too brainy and strange to last more than two seasons. Shame on Fox. You must watch that with a child.

And The Walking Dead is the Necronomicon of parenthood. It is all about community and keeping your loved ones safe.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 9:39 AM on November 16, 2014

Korean dramas are pretty cool. I started watching them four years ago and have yet to burn out on them. They are strange, silly, addictive, and filled with good-looking people. You can find some on netflix, hulu, or dramafever. Examples: The Master's Sun; Secret Garden; You're Beautiful; Rooftop Prince; My Girl; Queen In-hyun's Man; Arang and the Magistrate.
posted by jabah at 9:42 AM on November 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

Terriers, Peep Show, Broad City, Friday Night Lights, Party Down, Better Off Ted, Slings and Arrows, Orphan Black, Bojack Horseman, Veronica Mars, Flight Of The Conchords, Bob's Burgers, American Horror Story, Get A Life, Orange Is The New Black, Eastbound and Down, Buffy, Chuck, Elementary, The Prisoner, The West Wing, Transparent, Girls, the first couple seasons of Trailer Park Boys, United States of Tara, Cowboy Bebop, Louie, Drunk History, Archer, Portlandia, The Wire, Da Ali G Show, Rocko's Modern Life, The Golden Girls, The Riches, Mr. Show, Fishing With John, Extras, The Avengers, Absolutely Fabulous.
posted by ifjuly at 11:37 AM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Your comedy likes suggest that you would be a fan of the hilarious NewsRadio.
posted by ridogi at 12:00 PM on November 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

I don't think anyone's mentioned it yet: New Girl has gotten pretty good and the first 3 seasons are on Netflix right now.
posted by yeahyeahrealcute at 12:23 PM on November 16, 2014

The only shows not mentioned yet I would add are:

The Venture Bros.
Avatar: the Last Airbender
Clone High
Person of Interest
posted by john-a-dreams at 1:01 PM on November 16, 2014

jabah mentioned Korean shows. Yes! My fav has been City Hunter. That has to go down in my history as the show I most binged on.
posted by Sassyfras at 1:08 PM on November 16, 2014

Moone Boy and Miranda are both fun comedies.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 1:15 PM on November 16, 2014

I want to echo ridogi's endorsement of Newsradio, a criminally underseen show that easily deserves to rank as one of the best sitcoms ever made.

Last Christmas I gave my (adult) sisters Veronica Mars DVDs, which proved to be a tactical error because they got so hooked that they Could Not Stop Watching Them until we'd run out of episodes.

And I like and would recommend the BBC/Masterpiece Theater venture "Foyle's War" quite a bit. Good mysteries, engaging characters, and lovely settings.
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:35 PM on November 16, 2014

New BBC series The Missing is three episodes in and so far is quite excellent. The Fall and Les Revenants are other good choices. We also really enjoyed Detectorists. Permit me to further recommend Veep.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:46 PM on November 16, 2014

I have to second Party Down and Bojack Horseman. Both of those are just absolutly fabulous, depressed-real-world-problems-but-still-hilarious TV.
posted by ruhroh at 4:40 PM on November 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

No one has mentioned Coupling, a British series. Six friends in their 20s and 30s deal with sex, dating and assorted misadventures. There have been, are, and may be multiple sorts of relationships between the six, but it's not soapy - it's a source of laughs. Sounds too much like Friends? I couldn't stand Friends. Coupling is the first British comedy I recommend to others.

+1s for Archer, Better Off Ted, Jeeves and Wooster and the criminally neglected Sports Night.
posted by Homer42 at 7:34 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

I can't believe nobody has mentioned Monty Python's Flying Circus! They inarguably ushered in what we know as modern comedy. You've probably seen or heard references to their classic sketches. Anyway, better to watch the episodes in their entirety, than to cherrypick the bits.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:50 PM on November 17, 2014

Avatar: The Last Airbender
Sillicon Valley
The Venture Bros.

I'm just going to assume that you've already seen Firefly.
posted by JimBJ9 at 11:46 AM on November 18, 2014

Just came back to make sure Flight of the Conchords was mentioned!
Also Hyperdrive, Black Books, and Father Ted... all on Hulu I think.
posted by jrobin276 at 12:37 PM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

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