I AM LIKE UNTO A GOD (of teevee)
November 3, 2015 2:28 PM   Subscribe

I just got a one-week Nielsen TV diary in the mail for November 5-12 -- including a crisp $1 bill to help grease the wheels. Yay! Unfortunately most of the shows I watch regularly, like Silicon Valley, Louie, Key & Peele, and Rick and Morty are on hiatus (or over) right now. I'm already planning to catch Last Week Tonight and Colbert's Late Show, but what other worthy television (that doesn't require a lot of prior familiarity) should I give my coveted (if minuscule) 18-34 ratings boost to?

Other shows I've enjoyed: Better Call Saul, Veep, Futurama, BoJack Horseman, The Daily Show/Colbert Report, Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show, Mythbusters, House, Firefly, Adventure Time

(I also loved Lost and Breaking Bad, but that requires a bit more investment.)
posted by Rhaomi to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've enjoyed Al Jazeera America's Third Rail when I've caught it.
posted by XMLicious at 2:34 PM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Right now is the time of year that network series shine, and also a good time of the season to get involved with a new show as we are only 4-5 weeks into the fall TV season.

Stuff I'm watching this season that fits that description includes:

- Supergirl, CBS (this next week is only the third episode, so it should be trivial to catch up or just jump in cold)

- The Muppets, ABC (not really serialized in a meaningful way; if you liked the 70s Muppet Show it's basically an updated version of that with the same timeless Muppet characters you already know. Don't worry about all the negative buzz from a few months ago about Kermit's new girlfriend, they dropped that storyline like a hot rock after the pilot.)

- Fresh Off The Boat, ABC (in season 2, but it's not so serialized that you'll be lost if you pick it up this week. It's basically the traditional family sitcom from a Chinese-American/"immigrant experience" perspective.)

- The Last Kingdom, BBC America (This show is SOOOO GOOD and just starting up. I've been recommending this show to my friends who like Game Of Thrones or really anything fantasy/period/drama adjacent. It's basically the BBC's response to Vikings, set during the Danelaw period of English history.)
posted by Sara C. at 2:38 PM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by moons in june at 2:38 PM on November 3, 2015 [10 favorites]

posted by bluloo at 2:40 PM on November 3, 2015 [8 favorites]

Nthing Fargo. It just started and you don't really need to have watched season 1 to follow season 2.
posted by brookeb at 2:50 PM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

As far as the newest network shows go I'm really enjoying The Grinder, The Muppets, and Fresh Off The Boat.
posted by AloneOssifer at 2:54 PM on November 3, 2015

[Couple comments deleted. OP is not anonymous, you can mail him with commentary that isn't show suggestions.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:05 PM on November 3, 2015

If you liked Lost, you might like The Leftovers on HBO, co-created by Damon Lindelof. Unfortunately, it's several episodes into its second season right now and I'm not sure how enjoyable it is without seeing the first season. The second season is a bit of reboot, in the sense that it takes place in a completely different town but with a bunch of the same characters, so you might be able to get enough backstory from the "previously on"s.
posted by mhum at 3:10 PM on November 3, 2015

Thursday Nov 5 starts the new season of Elementary. I'm not caught up through the end of season 3, but the first two seasons have been pretty fun! You should watch that (since House is basically Sherlock anyway).
posted by curious nu at 3:11 PM on November 3, 2015

Please, please give "No, You Shut Up!" a shot. It's airing two specials this Thursday and next Thursday. I think you will love it given your other leanings.

Can you do On Demand things? Review with Forrest MacNeil is on the bubble still, I think. Oh, and The Returned that just started back up on Sundance is GREAT, but I'd really recommend you go back for season 1. I think it's only 6-8-10 episodes or so.
posted by getawaysticks at 3:23 PM on November 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Jane The Virgin is delightful.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 3:24 PM on November 3, 2015 [7 favorites]

Brooklyn 99 and Modern Family are good. The League is also pretty good, though I didn't particularly like last season and haven't seen this season yet. All of these have general story arcs for the season, but are kind of the Friends/Seinfeld syndication model where you can watch a single episode and understand 95% of what's going on without seeing the rest.

SNL has been decent so far this year. Real Time with Bill Maher is usually good (if you're liberal). NOVA on PBS has a few episodes left this season.
posted by melissasaurus at 3:44 PM on November 3, 2015

a CBC show, Schitt's Creek (Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara)
The Good Wife
Brooklyn 99
The Doctor Blake Mysteries
posted by H21 at 3:48 PM on November 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

Forgot to mention My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which is the first and only CW show I've ever liked.
posted by Sara C. at 4:01 PM on November 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

I like The League as well, melissasaurus, but feel this current season is weaker than previous. More relevantly, The League is in its last season by design, so while Nielsen ratings will go towards setting the ad rates for the show, it does not need ratings to avoid cancellation.

I think "Ash Versus the Evil Dead" could be the best use of OP's ratings, though I have no idea whether it's any good at this stage. It *just* started, and early ratings could be critical to its success.
posted by Sunburnt at 4:01 PM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

It sounds like we have similar taste. My suggestions:
You're the Worst
Comedy Bang Bang!
Bob's Burgers
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The Grinder
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
The Muppets

I haven't been following this season of Fresh Off the Boat, Black-ish, or Modern Family. Grandfathered seems very network-y, but what I've seen (two episodes) has been fine.
posted by memento maury at 4:04 PM on November 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

3rding Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Also, they're still airing Rick & Morty reruns!
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:17 PM on November 3, 2015

I will not shut up about Jane the Virgin. Gina Rodriguez won a well-deserved golden globe right out of the gate for the first season. The show is amazing. It has a huge, huge heart. It's goofy, it's dramatic (it's modeled on telenovelas, a subject it playfully mocks while harboring some real twists and turns.) It's set in Miami, and both the set and costume designs are colorful and have real personality. The characters are multi-dimensional. Very famous Mexican actor Jaime Camil plays the most ego-loaded, ridiculous, utterly hilarious telenovela star (and Jane's dad) and he steals every scene. The show is narrated which is normally exasperating, but the "Latin Lover Narrator" is wonderful and witty and the only show narration I can think of that adds instead of detracts.
It's a difficult show to drop into, because the plot is so wacky, but it's not doing well in the ratings which is an absolute crime.
Please, please use your powerful power to help out Jane the Virgin!!
posted by missmary6 at 4:32 PM on November 3, 2015 [12 favorites]

Please save The Muppets and ... Sleepy Hollow.

Sleepy Hollow has a great cast and kitschy humor. All you need to know is that Ichabod Crane was preserved by a witch's spell and is now alive in current-day Sleepy Hollow to fight supernatural baddies with Abbie Mills, former SH detective and current FBI agent!
posted by kimberussell at 5:26 PM on November 3, 2015

Jane the Virgin!!!! For all the reasons above.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:18 PM on November 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

Agents of SHIELD is on ABC.
posted by irisclara at 6:51 PM on November 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Nathan for you .. bed time stories .. if those channels even count. Great shows, though!
posted by shownomercy at 7:35 PM on November 3, 2015

You're The Worst, to the umpteenth power. Please and thank you!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:47 PM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Forgive me for being the odd one out, but -

Nielsen wants to know what people are watching "in the wild," as it were. I do not think that you should be trying to game the system. If you watch very little, tell them so.
posted by megatherium at 4:39 AM on November 4, 2015

Nathan for You.

No, really, Nathan for You.
posted by General Malaise at 7:50 AM on November 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh, and Undateable (Live). NBC orphaned it to Friday, but it's one of the most interesting sitcom experiments lately.
posted by General Malaise at 7:51 AM on November 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Steven Universe! Its creator (the brilliant Rebecca Sugar, who also happens to be the first-ever female creator of a Cartoon Network series) used to work on Adventure Time, so if you like that show you should definitely check it out. It is amazingly insightful about the psychology of friendship, family, loneliness, specialness, and all kinds of other wonderful things (and is also hilarious and weird and sweet).
posted by Owl of Athena at 7:58 AM on November 4, 2015

Thanks, everyone. I'll be checking out Fargo (which I saw a bit of last season), You're the Worst (no, u), The Muppets, and Ash vs. Evil Dead. Plus the ongoing Daily Show/Colbert/Last Week Tonight circuit, and existing faves Adventure Time and Bob's Burgers.

I love Paul F. Thompkins, but don't get Fusion, so no No, You Shut Up! for me. I will be trying Aziz Ansari's new Netflix show, since it counts if viewed via TV.

Jane the Virgin and The Leftovers both look splendid and I've been meaning to get to them at some point, but not really something I want to start watching mid-season. Don't lynch me, though -- I've got a friend coming by Monday who insisted I record JTV for them, and visiting viewers count!

Most of the rest aren't really up my alley, but I'll mention them as recommended to me in the diary's comment section. Good vibes!

And a note to naysayers: I was planning on doing this anyway! Most of my usuals are on break, so sweeps was a perfect time to for me to sample the most enticing stuff and find new favorites. If I wanted to game things I'd just pencil in everything recommended here and not bother making time to watch any of it. And "forget" to admit watching Tuesday's GOP debate. But I'll be honest -- honest!
posted by Rhaomi at 7:56 AM on November 5, 2015

PBS Newshour
posted by clorox at 9:54 PM on November 5, 2015

My week starts tonight, and I was just linked to this question. I got five crisp dollar bills, and they are literally the crispness dollar bills I have ever seen.
posted by Ruki at 4:57 PM on November 12, 2015

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