Yet another "What TV series should I binge-watch next?" question
April 28, 2016 8:41 AM   Subscribe

We have Netflix and Amazon Prime. What should we watch? Shows we have liked: The Wire, Gilmore Girls, Deadwood, Battlestar Galactica, Community, Arrested Development, House of Cards, Orphan Black, Twin Peaks. Shows that we didn't like under the fold.

We have tried and disliked: Grimm, Fringe, Six Feet Under, Bosch, Lost, Boardwalk Empire, 30 Rock, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Sopranos was close, but maybe a bit too violent.

We like smart, well-written and well-acted stuff, I guess. My spouse has a lower tolerance for fluff than I do... I would have happily watched Lost and Buffy but he just wasn't into it. Preferably something with many seasons! Because last night, we literally spent an hour trying and failing to find something to watch and I want to not have to deal with that very often.
posted by rabbitrabbit to Media & Arts (67 answers total) 56 users marked this as a favorite
Seasons one through three of The Americans are on Amazon Prime. It's a good show!
Also, iZombie, the first season of which is on Netflix, was surprisingly enjoyable.
posted by Fister Roboto at 8:47 AM on April 28, 2016 [11 favorites]

Saving Grace with Holly Hunter! Great smart, strong women being flawed and flawless all at the same time. So good. This is on Netflix.

Justified with Timothy Olyphant from Deadwood. This is on Prime.
posted by jillithd at 8:47 AM on April 28, 2016 [8 favorites]

None of these have many seasons, but they are all incredible, smart, well-written, and well-acted: Top of the Lake, River, and Bloodline. I wish I could watch them all for the first time again!
posted by amnesia and magnets at 8:47 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

My standard answer (especially NOW that Garry Shandling, RIP, is gone) is the Larry Sanders Show - pure 90s gold.

Funnier and earlier than The Office, way more interesting characters than 30 Rock, Precursor to Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, and every other funny show you've loved in the aughts.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 8:48 AM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.
posted by Ftsqg at 8:50 AM on April 28, 2016 [18 favorites]

The West Wing. Friday Night Lights. I think Doc Martin reminds me of Fraiser combined with Gilmore Girls. The Good Wife. I don't see Mad Men on that list. We are currently watching something called Halt and Catch Fire that reminds me of Mad Men but in the computer era.

On edit: we LOVED Miss Fisher. And Sherlock. And Elementary, even though Lucy Liu is not one of my favs.
posted by dpx.mfx at 8:51 AM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

Amazon Prime has:

Louie and Broad City, both utterly brilliant comedies
Veronica Mars, which if you liked The Wire and Arrested Development and Gilmore Girls I can't imagine you wouldn't love
Firefly, since you liked BSG and Orphan Black

I would also have suggested The Americans, Justified, and Hannibal, but if The Sopranos is too violent for you then I'm not sure you'd like them - but they're all worth watching the first episode or two and trying them out.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:52 AM on April 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

Terriers. Only one season to binge, but it's so good. Available on Netflix.
posted by ndfine at 8:53 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles only has two seasons, but it's smart and well-written and well-acted and Lena Headey will knock your socks off. So good.
posted by suelac at 9:02 AM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

Seconding the West Wing and Friday Night Lights. I also enjoyed the Newsroom and Veep, which I believe are both available through either Amazon or Hulu. You might try Mad Men - the early seasons are good, although it drops off significantly toward the end. I also liked Mozart in the Jungle from Amazon, although it can be a little fluffy at times.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:05 AM on April 28, 2016

The IT Crowd
Better Off Ted
Bob's Burgers
Tin Man (short series)
Malcolm in the Middle
My Name is Earl (don't bother with the last season, it sucks)
Raising Hope
30 Rock
Freaks and Geeks
Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmit
The British version of Shameless
Downton Abbey
posted by myselfasme at 9:09 AM on April 28, 2016

Freaks and Geeks
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 9:09 AM on April 28, 2016

posted by DarlingBri at 9:11 AM on April 28, 2016

Friday Night Lights, Breaking Bad, Freaks and Geeks and Mad Men for drama. Raising Hope, Better of Ted, Party Down, Bob's Burgers, That 70s Show for comedy.

That should do you for quite awhile.
posted by General Malaise at 9:12 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Seconding The Good Wife. Smartest law/politics/technology drama on TV in decades.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:16 AM on April 28, 2016

All on Netflix

Happy Valley
Occupied (Norwegian show on Netflix, so lots of subtitles)
Spiral (French show, subtitles, like Law & Order)
The Returned (the French version)
posted by brookeb at 9:17 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Broadchurch, the British one. Only two seasons, but it's seriously awesome and addicting.

Also nthing Mad Men (and I disagree with the previous poster who said the later seasons aren't good, with the partial exception of season six) and The West Wing (which drops off somewhat after season four, but remains enjoyable throughout).
posted by breakin' the law at 9:29 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

I can't believe no one has recommended The Shield yet. On Amazon Prime, and one of the most amazing examples of serialized drama that has ever existed. It's a bit violent, but no more so than The Wire.
posted by ronofthedead at 9:33 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

Grantchester (S1 on Prime)
Life (Netflix)
Battle Creek (netflix)
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:37 AM on April 28, 2016

Based on your like of: Battlestar Galactica, Orphan Black, and Twin Peaks, I would recommend Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. But I feel like it might be hard to appreciate DS9 without having watched The Next Generation, but TNG is really bad for the first couple seasons so... Maybe start with TNG season 3? Also, the X-files (though that is hit and miss for quality).

The standard follow-on for Arrested Development fans is Archer. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia also has some overlap with AD fans. Also in the well-written comedy vein is Bojack Horseman.

If you like vampires, but not Joss Whedon's take on them, you might want to give True Blood a try (the quality drops off after a few seasons, but maybe you'll be into the characters enough to keep going?)

And you should watch Black Mirror.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:38 AM on April 28, 2016

Detectorists. One season on Netflix (another is coming). I'm obsessed.
posted by cooker girl at 9:47 AM on April 28, 2016 [6 favorites]

If you haven't watched the (original) UK House of Cards yet, do.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:48 AM on April 28, 2016

Catastrophe on Amazon Prime. 2 seasons, with 6 20-minute episodes in each. You're welcome.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:11 AM on April 28, 2016 [6 favorites]

Seconding Grantchester, mentioned above, but came to suggest Sense8, which is a Netflix Original by the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski. Only one season (so far at least), but unlike pretty much anything else I've seen on TV.
posted by Naberius at 10:19 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Peaky Blinders!!
posted by dinnerdance at 10:21 AM on April 28, 2016 [5 favorites]

Re: Friday Night Lights. Shakey cam (constant random camera movement) made it unwatchable for some, myself included. Fans say the director toned it down after the first season.
posted by Homer42 at 10:24 AM on April 28, 2016

Parks and Recreation. Seriously. Some say skip the first season and start with the second. But give it a shot.
posted by dave*p at 10:26 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

Very strongly seconding River and Sense8. Unfortunately both have only one season (so far, anyway), but they are available on Netflix and are amazing.
posted by merejane at 10:29 AM on April 28, 2016

Nurse Jackie
The West Wing
Parks and Rec (start at season 2)
Broad City
Orange is the New Black
The League
Breaking Bad
Better Call Saul
Jane the Virgin (might be too "fluff" for your SO, but my usually-anti-fluff SO liked it)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (ditto)
Mad Men
How to Get Away with Murder
Broadchurch (British version, season 1)
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Bored to Death
Downton Abbey
posted by melissasaurus at 10:29 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Justified: 78 episodes on Prime. I didn't consider it particularly violent, but there are some graphic scenes. I'd say the same thing about Battlestar Galactica though. I think the violence is comparable, but your mileage may vary. I haven't seen The Sopranos and can't comapre it.
Broadchurch: 16 episodes on Netflix.
Better Call Saul: 10 episodes on Netflix.
Bojack Horseman: 25 episodes on Netflix. Fluffy yet dark.
Parks and Recreation: 125 episodes on Netflix.
posted by Green With You at 10:29 AM on April 28, 2016

Seconding Chuck. It is not perfect, but it is good for binge watching. There are lots of great actors and guest stars even if the storylines are not the best.
posted by soelo at 10:32 AM on April 28, 2016

Person of Interest. One of the sneakiest great shows ever. It starts out pretending to be a procedural. It is not. It's a very, very smart, considered story about AI. All four seasons so far are on Netflix. you can catch up and watch the final fifth season as it comes out.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:38 AM on April 28, 2016 [6 favorites]

Foyle's War. Ten pounds of awesome in a five pound bag.
posted by Billiken at 10:55 AM on April 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

ctrl-f why am I not finding the Expanse on this list? Did I miss it?

The Expanse.
posted by instead of three wishes at 11:24 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

I just started Nurse Jackie, so I'm about six years late to that party, but goddamn am I enjoying it. Great role for Edie Falco, intriguing characters, witty dialogue.
posted by scratch at 11:33 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would suggest "The Blacklist." There are at least two (fairly long) seasons on Netflix. I think season 3 is currently on television. James Spader is excellent and the rest of the cast has a really good dynamic. I work through a couple or three episodes at a time doing housework and really enjoy it. There's the possibility that it could be a taste too violent for you but I would suggest that you give it a shot. Great show.
posted by friendlyjuan at 11:45 AM on April 28, 2016

I like a lot of what you like.

Here's stuff I've liked lately:
-Good Wife (Amazon Prime)
-Criminal Minds (Netflix - could be too violent, but varies by episode)
-Scandal (Netflix - could be too violent for you)
-Nurse Jackie (Netflix)
-The Americans (Amazon Prime)
-Downton Abbey (Amazon Prime)
-Broadchurch (Netflix)
-Sherlock (Amazon Prime)

Sort of long-shots, but things I've enjoyed:
-The Fosters (Netflix) - it's a bit sitcom-y, but well written, well acted, and lots of interesting characters
-Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
-Jane the Virgin (Netflix)
-Dance Academy (Netflix) - this is an Australian show about teenagers at a Dance Academy. Better than it sounds, but probably too much fluff for you.
posted by guster4lovers at 12:22 PM on April 28, 2016

Occupied, everyone should watch Occupied, and then we need a FanFare page about it so I can discuss THINGS.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:27 PM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Black Books, always Black Books.
posted by dreamling at 12:36 PM on April 28, 2016 [8 favorites]

Doc Martin
posted by Blitz at 12:38 PM on April 28, 2016

Mr Robot
Black Mirror
Breaking Bad (I tried and failed to get in to this show 2 times but third time was the charm and it is one of my all time favorite shows ever along with Deadwood)
Better Call Saul
Unbreakable (a bit fluff, my husband won't watch it)
Orange Is The New Black
posted by WalkerWestridge at 1:15 PM on April 28, 2016

HBO's The Leftovers is really damn good imo. Season 2 is stunning. I avoided this show thinking that is was about the Rapture. It is not. It rates a 8/10 on IMDB.

Season 2 was some of the most stunning TV that I have ever seen. Great story telling and visuals. You never know exactly what is going on a la twin peaks.

I think this show probably falls into the love it or hate it divide. It looks like the upcoming season 3 will be the last.
posted by futz at 1:40 PM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

CMD-F didn't bring up Daredevil, so hey - I'll recommend it.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 2:01 PM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Alpha House on Amazon. Fun and goofy counterpoint to House of Cards.
posted by look busy at 3:50 PM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

Try My Mad Fat Diary, my new obsession, on Hulu. The writing and acting are both excellent.
posted by Miko at 4:55 PM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

How do you feel about subtitles? I just finished all 3 seasons of Rita on Netflix. It's a Danish schoolteacher drama/comedy, and it was fantastic. Gilmore Girls-esque dialogue, gritty social issues, damaged yet strong female characters. By the end I felt like I was dreaming in Danish, which was awesome.
posted by Maarika at 9:03 PM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

Rome (since you liked Deadwood. It's a bit gory from time to time, though).
I, Claudius (like, seriously: even with the 70's production values it's amazing).

(most of) the Granada Sherlock Holmes adaptations with Jeremy Brett, although I am unsure about streaming availability.

likewise, much of the Suchet Poirot is good, although the adaptations change tone completely toward the end of the run. It starts light and ends up pretty dark.

current shows:
The Expanse.
posted by mwhybark at 11:24 PM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Americaaaans! The Americans The Americans The Americans.

I've also heard Fargo is pretty good.
posted by Team of Scientists at 11:44 PM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by zinon at 12:20 AM on April 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

Fargo for sure.
posted by thebots at 1:58 AM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

It doesn't have a lot of seasons, but Hinterland is so good.
posted by neushoorn at 3:34 AM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Came here to second Saving Grace (and happy for myself to find that it's on Netflix because now I'm going to revisit it!) It's a vastly underrated show, and dismissed I'm sure because it sounds ridiculous and lightweight: detective gets visited by an angel. But the complexity of its story takes you by surprise, weaving in the Oklahoma City bombing, good, evil, sex, family, loyalty. Holly Hunter is absolutely amazing in it.
posted by Bresciabouvier at 3:36 AM on April 29, 2016

Yeah, I gotta say I really enjoyed Saving Grace. Leon Rippy is great in that, too.

The Expanse was magnificent, IMHO, but there's only 8 episodes. But they're terrific.

Also Firefly.
posted by Thistledown at 5:22 AM on April 29, 2016

Coming in second/third/n-th the following

Breaking Bad
The Americans
Freaks and Geeks
Mad Men
Broad City (hulu plus)
Key and Peele (hulu plus)

Only one season in, but these are great so far: The Expanse, Fortitude (not streaming anywhere yet), and Mr Robot
posted by 6ATR at 7:44 AM on April 29, 2016

It's not binge-worthy, but if you ever have 15 minutes to kill, Mike Tyson Mysteries (not to be confused with Snoop Dog's Unsolved Situations) on Adult Swim is perfect. Norm Macdonald as Pigeon could be one of the greatest casting decisions ever.
posted by sixpack at 8:39 AM on April 29, 2016

Nobody mentioned Jessica Jones? What is wrong with you people?
posted by wintermute2_0 at 11:21 AM on April 29, 2016

Also, The Man in the High Castle on Amazon Prime. Only one season, but it has some damn fine worldbuilding. The writing can be a bit limp at times, but I still enjoyed it.
posted by wintermute2_0 at 11:28 AM on April 29, 2016

JUSTIFIED! You and I have similar tastes in television. You should absolutely watch this show.
posted by ghostpony at 11:30 AM on April 29, 2016

Seconding Veep. Only 4 seasons on Amazon prime, but we watch them over and over.
posted by EarnestSchemingway at 12:15 PM on April 29, 2016

We have similar likes and dislikes. I suggest NYPD Blue. One of the best shows ever.
posted by Dolley at 12:43 PM on April 29, 2016

> 10Better Off Ted

OMG. That show was hilarious! So sad they cancelled it.

Also: Strangers with Candy
posted by sarah_pdx at 2:52 PM on April 29, 2016

Peaky Blinders. Watch it. The only reason everyone you know hasn't seen it is because it's British. Watch it. It's amazing. If you take one thing with you from this conversation, it should be Peaky Blinders. Trust me. It's the best.
posted by panama joe at 4:15 PM on April 29, 2016

Oh you have to watch Breaking Bad (and, after, Better Call Saul).. and Mad Men. Both excellent. I'm not sure if it's on Amazon Prime, but I'd recommend Pushing Daisies, if you haven't seen it.
posted by Mael Oui at 5:58 PM on April 29, 2016

HBO NOW is having a free month trial right now. So - Game of Thrones !
posted by pintapicasso at 6:58 PM on April 29, 2016

The walking dead is so well written.
posted by pintapicasso at 7:00 PM on April 29, 2016

For a good time travel series, I really enjoyed Continuum. Very well acted, interesting characters, and the show had a solid finale.
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 11:00 AM on April 30, 2016

Bored to Death (HBO) and Blunt Talk (Starz) are both created by the same guy -- quirky writer Jonathan Ames -- and are both great, very smart, funny and off-center. The former stars Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson and Zach Galifinakis; the latter stars Patrick Stewart and no one else I've ever heard of. Looks like both are on Amazon. They are 30-minute episodes, so easy to digest.
posted by Clustercuss at 3:33 PM on May 2, 2016

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