Tell me when to quit.
October 24, 2016 8:20 PM   Subscribe

For (drama or crime) television shows that you have watched the entire way through to the end of the series, please tell me which shows are worth watching through to the series end and, for those that aren't, where I should quit watching them.

I'm interested in drama and/or crime shows, basically, maybe a little bit of sci-fi. Here are examples of things I've watched the entire way through, and some things where I quit watching. My goal is to watch the best of the good things and not rile myself by getting stuck hate-watching shows that I used to love.

Have watched all of and found worthwhile:

The Sopranos, The Wire, Game of Thrones (so far), The Shield, Justified, Foyle's War, Breaking Bad.

Things I started out enjoying but quit:

Mad Men (end season 3); Friday Night Lights (mid season 2); The Walking Dead (mid season 3); Homeland (end season 2), Boardwalk Empire (end season 3).

It doesn't have to be current, it doesn't have to be American. It just has to be something you liked--if later seasons are still high quality, I want to know that; if the show starts out really strong and goes into a tailspin, I want to learn from your misfortune.
posted by MoonOrb to Media & Arts (71 answers total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
Homicide: Life on the Street
posted by H21 at 8:24 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

Vikings (it's still going) I have loved it right up to where it is about to start again.
posted by Youremyworld at 8:25 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Battlestar Galactica (2003) is great. You will get several recommendations of when to stop. Me, I wish I stopped at the midseason finale of 4. (i.e skipped the last half of 4).
posted by sideofwry at 8:26 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Longmire starts out as a great Wyoming postcard with good acting from Lou Diamond Phillips and Robert Taylor, a gripping storyline and what seems like some sort of insight into relationships between Native Americans and whites.

And somewhere along the way it seems to turn into one of those soap operas with cliffhangers for the sake of cliffhangers and I'm even tired of looking at that damn deputy with the tight jeans and the cleavage because seriously.

Stop at the end of season 3. DM me if you want to know how the cliffhanger turns out. You'll go "eh," and move on, if you know what's good for you.
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:26 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Continuum - 4 seasons, sci fi time travel, very good series conclusion. On Netflix.
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 8:28 PM on October 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

Ones to watch all the way through:

Broadchurch* (Season 1 was amazing, Season 2 was average. I'd advise you to stop watching at Season 1, unless you want to know what happens after the end of Season 1. Season 2 isn't a new story.)
Penny Dreadful* (period setting)
Ripper Street* (period setting)
The Killing (I've only watched Season 1, and loved it.)

*These are all British.

Disclaimer: I'm a particular fan of British TV.
posted by Everydayville at 8:38 PM on October 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

The Americans - currently running, watch them all.
posted by matildaben at 8:42 PM on October 24, 2016 [8 favorites]

Braquo is a crime drama that has some of the same feel as Breaking Bad — characters wind up in impossibly bad situations through their own flaws — only it's with French cops. And is awesome. Spiral likewise.

Seconding Everydayville on Ripper Street and Broadchurch. The Prime Suspect series is magnificent in the beginning; but skip season/series 5. It redeems itself, though.
posted by culfinglin at 8:42 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Good Wife, season 1-5. Stop at the end of season 5.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:45 PM on October 24, 2016 [7 favorites]

I've watched all of Elementary that's available and will continue to do so as it airs. There are some rough spots in season... three? But it fixes itself. And Lucy Liu is as incredible as you would expect; I jokingly call Elementary "the Lucy Liu in cute outfits walking around crime scenes show" but it's (and she's) much more than that. Oh, and bonus neurodivergent character who is not treated as a one-off or a prop or a lesson!
posted by Mizu at 8:47 PM on October 24, 2016 [9 favorites]

give Friday Night Lights another chance -- it does get real weird in Season 2, but then gets back on track and is incredible all the way to the series finale.
posted by changeling at 8:48 PM on October 24, 2016 [19 favorites]

I watched all of Sons of Anarchy. It's kind of inconsistent and dumb throughout but the ending of season 6 was amazing. Season 7 was pretty stupid and got really bad by the ending.

Downton Abbey I think dipped in quality in season 3 because it seemed like a rehash of season 1. It picked up again after that.

Sherlock has been worth watching all of it so far.
posted by cali59 at 8:49 PM on October 24, 2016

Strike Back (either American or British Versions)
True Detective (I liked both seasons, which are each standalone, but purists stick to s1)
posted by carmicha at 8:51 PM on October 24, 2016

All of Bron/Broen (the original Swedish/Danish version of The Bridge) to date is worth watching.

I liked seasons 1 and especially 2 of The Killing (American version), but season 3 was meh.

All of Fringe.

All of Bletchley Circle.

All of The Hour (British period piece).
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:52 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

Hannibal. Three seasons; watch them all.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:05 PM on October 24, 2016 [10 favorites]

Dexter you can stop on Season 4 or 5. It declines pretty sharply through an otherwise good Season 6, and while it's good production-wise through the last two seasons, it kinda spins its wheels on story and ultimately goes nowhere.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:17 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

Justified. Watch it all. Most people think that Season 2 was the best but I thought Season 4 was just spectacular and there are some that vote for the final season as the best. It got slightly soap opera-y in season 5 but they fixed it pretty quick. They never pandered to the audience and they ended the show before it got repetitive as is the fate of most crime dramas.
posted by fshgrl at 9:31 PM on October 24, 2016 [9 favorites]

I keep hearing about Bron in posts like this but I haven't found where to watch it. Where are y'all catching this series?
posted by toastedbeagle at 9:32 PM on October 24, 2016

Leverage, which remains remarkably solid throughout. There are a few episodes that leave me cold, but overall, it's pretty consistent, and their final episode is the single most satisfying ending to a television show I've ever seen. Two things: first, the pilot was shot so it could potentially stand alone, and is stylistically different to the rest of the show, and second, the air order and the viewing order of the first season are different--the viewing order makes more sense, but Netflix lists them in the airing order.
posted by mishafletch at 9:37 PM on October 24, 2016 [7 favorites]

I don't watch much crime drama, but maybe Narcos would be good. I thought the first season was decent, if not a bit too strict of a re-telling of the history (since it is based on actual events related to Pablo Escobar's life and the police pursuing him) but the second season has been great (I'm two episodes from the end) and they've really ramped up the twists and I look forward to finding out what happens next. (Don't read wikipedia and spoil yourself!)

I wouldn't blame you for giving up on Mad Men, but I will say that my favorite season was the fourth. Good drama, but actually a bit of humor as well and actually interesting storylines. That said, I didn't love the last couple seasons - get repetitive and boring to me, though not enough for me to quit watching.
posted by AppleTurnover at 9:37 PM on October 24, 2016

American Crime is also really good, I've only watched the first season but it was great and told in a completely different way than any other crime show I've ever seen.
posted by fshgrl at 9:48 PM on October 24, 2016

Justified and The Americans...definitely watch all of them.

I watched all of Downton Abbey and I think the best value is just season 1. I recommend that without reservations and found the next seasons to be of very mixed quality (season 2 was especially bad).

I also watched all of Sons of Anarchy and I think you could stop after 1 or 3 seasons.
posted by mmascolino at 10:04 PM on October 24, 2016

Grimm is pretty good to start with, but begins to get absurd in the last episode of Season 3 and from there develops a bad case of contrived character reinventions and increasingly dire villains/problems in the season-long plot arcs.
posted by sibilatorix at 10:14 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

"Better Call Saul" is something of a prequel to Breaking Bad and excellent in its own right.

Seconding "Luther"
posted by Rumple at 10:25 PM on October 24, 2016

Shameless seasons 1-4 were amazing. Then the show took a complete nosedive in both quality and tone. When it started out it was more of an even drama/comedy mix, but then they decided to try and turn it almost completely into a comedy and the show hasn't been the same since. I'd watch seasons 1-4 and then just invent your own endings for all the characters and stop.

Bones (crime show) was great seasons 1-5, meh in seasons 6 and 7, and I haven't really enjoyed 8-11 (soon to be 12) much at all. Everything feels like a rehash now, and they too have tried to make the show more comedic and have only succeeded in making it ridiculous.

If you liked Foyle's War (me too), you'd probably love Grantchester, a British show about a crime solving vicar and his cop friend. It's had two seasons, both great, and a third is on the way.

Haven was an interesting, underrated little sci fi show. Seasons 1-4 were great, I didn't love season 5 (the final season), especially the ending.

Outlander is incredible. I love it, my brother loves it, and I thought hell would freeze over before he'd watch a period drama. My mom loves it. It's just fantastic. Part period drama, part historical drama, part fantasy (so weird but it works), part romance, part medical drama. It's strange but wonderful.
posted by katyggls at 10:30 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

No one's mentioned Person of Interest yet? Person of Interest! Watch all the seasons (there are five).
posted by rtha at 10:42 PM on October 24, 2016 [9 favorites]

thirding The Americans. Amazing show, every season (thus far) is great.
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 10:58 PM on October 24, 2016

Deadwood; watch the first 2 seasons out of the 3.

Veronica Mars: both of 2 seasons; the second veered towards being episodic because it was losing its audience for concentrating on the season arc too much. But you won't have that problem. Do watch the movie afterwards.

Seconding Person of Interest.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:29 PM on October 24, 2016

Criminal Minds 1-4 is great, 5-8 decent, 9 and on... eh. There's only so many out there crimes you can make a show about before it starts to get a bit much.
posted by Tamanna at 11:52 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

The first season of true detective is so. good.

and i liked Fargo alright, but i've only seen the first season
posted by speakeasy at 11:56 PM on October 24, 2016

Six Feet Under: whole thing.
posted by rhizome at 12:36 AM on October 25, 2016 [5 favorites]

Line of Duty! It's about a UK police anti-corruption unit. 3 series, all great.
posted by daisysteiner at 2:41 AM on October 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

Seconding Broadchurch--the first season is remarkable, and while the second-season gets a bit less believable plot-wise, the acting and setting are still good enough to make it worth watching.

Also absolutely the first two seasons of Veronica Mars, which hold up upon multiple rewatches. I usually pretend season three doesn't exist.

I don't think anyone's mentioned Prime Suspect (UK) yet, but if you haven't seen it, it's just about the best crime television series of all time. It doesn't really have seasons per se--it's more like a bunch of episodic miniseries, often with several-year gaps in between. Some are better than others, but they're all good.

If you don't mind subtitles, the first season of the original Danish version of The Killing (Forbrydelsen) is awesome. The second is weird; haven't seen the third yet.

(It occurs to me that all of the above are basically procedural--with the exception of Veronica Mars, that's private detective noir--serials with strong, solid and brilliantly-acted female leads, although each of the characters is quite different. anyway, that's clearly indicative of my tastes; they may or may not be yours.)
posted by karayel at 3:29 AM on October 25, 2016

Thirding Person of Interest. The premise is that a reclusive genius built a system after 9/11 to predict terror attacks but it predicts other crimes that the government ignores, so he (1) arranges a covert back door leaking him the SSN of perpetrators/victims, and (2) employs a former special forces operative to intervene. Put that way it seems to be just an update of The A-Team or The Equalizer with a high-tech twist, but by the end of the second season you realise that Jonathan Nolan has actually sold you a contemporary-setting sci-fi drama about what happens when artificial intelligence meets ubiquitous surveillance. And then it gets really interesting...

Battlestar Galactica I would sum up as follows:

Introductory mini-series: Ooh, this looks good!
Season 1: Wow, this is amazing. 13 episodes is a short season but about right.
Season 2: Mostly really good but the stretch to 20 episodes lets in some padding and a few clunkers.
Season 3: Starts off amazing, then has the same problem as Season 2, but more so.
Razor TV movie: Re-telling of the background to some of the best bits of Season 2.
Season 4 (first half): Very mixed, has a shocking conclusion that, had the series ended there, some think would have been best.
Season 4 (second half:) Also very mixed, comes to a conclusion that really split fans who either loved or hated it.
The Plan TV movie: Re-telling of events of the mini-series, Season 1 and part of Season 2 from a perspective that would have been a massive spoiler had it been depicted at the time. OK but for completists.
posted by Major Clanger at 4:01 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

All of Fringe. S5 is short & a bit weird, but ultimately satisfying.

The Killing (Danish version) - all of it.

X-Files - seasons 1-7. I ignore everything afterwards.

I keep hearing praise about Person of Interest but gave up after the first 5 episodes that all seemed to be very average procedurals with a touch of weird.
posted by kariebookish at 4:03 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Broadchurch (season 1; it is self-contained)
posted by DarlingBri at 4:12 AM on October 25, 2016

Veronica Mars had three seasons but you only need to watch the first two. The pilot is one of the best ever, and the whole first season is amazing. The second season dips a bit but is still very good. Third season is a mess.
posted by lunasol at 4:49 AM on October 25, 2016

Start with Deadwood, the greatest show of all time. Yes, some of the third season is odd, as the show was cancelled abruptly, but it's worth watching it all, even without an ending (what in life wraps up neatly, anyway). Ian McShane's Swearengen is amazing.

Follow it up with Justified. It's a little slow to start but find its footing pretty quickly. Walton Goggins is the star here (you'll recognise him from The Shield).

Finally The Americans.
posted by booooooze at 5:47 AM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

Babylon 5. Skip the last season. It's a fumble, because they thought they were going to have to stop with 4 seasons, and put all their climactic eggs in season 4. I haven't seen Crusade or the movies.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:57 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'll second Better Call Saul. That is a phenomenal piece of work.
posted by mmascolino at 6:58 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sherlock! 99% wonderful so far (except for that weird Victorian special episode--what was that?)

Law & Order: Criminal Intent. A few clunkers but I enjoyed 95% of all episodes, with all the changing cast members.

Criminal Minds -- still going strong. Love the characters. A weird cast change in Season 12 (the current season) -- we'll have to see how that works out.
posted by JimN2TAW at 7:25 AM on October 25, 2016

i am chiming in with the Americans, because none of my friends will listen to me and watch it. I grew up in the 80's, so the nostalgia is a plus for me. Also, narcos is great. So is Vikings.

I liked the first three of seasons of the american version of the Killing. Not so much the last one and i preferred the 3rd season, if only because the case was more condensed and not so many episodes, whereas the first case was strung out over 2 seasons.

I am still a fan of Longmire, even though some of it is getting irritating. Part of what i like about it though is the nostalgia thing again, growing up with cowboys and native americans and being a huge fan of the area the show is filmed in. So, if you don't have a fondness for gruff , boot clad men and northern new mexico, it will wear on you much more quickly.
posted by domino at 7:37 AM on October 25, 2016

Fargo - Season 2 was phenomenal. I did not see season 1. Season 2 stood alone.

Preacher - took a few episodes to build momentum but well worth the slow burn.

If you don't mind subtitles (or you speak Korean) - Korean show, City Hunter was wonderful.

Sons of Anarchy - I believed I stopped at Season 4 and enjoyed it up to that point.

Warehouse 13 - totally fun and kinda campy. I only watched 2 season

Longmire - chiming in for season 1-3 (maybe 4). I greatly disliked season 5
posted by Sassyfras at 7:43 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh and Marcella - sort of The Killing vibe to it. I think there's only 1 season (thus far?).
posted by Sassyfras at 7:46 AM on October 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

toastedbeagle - my local library carries Bron in their "International DVD" section.
posted by 7 Minutes of Madness at 7:47 AM on October 25, 2016

Kind of surprised no one has mentioned Orphan Black yet.

Haven't seen the third season yet, but the first two are amazing, amazing work. And not just for the brilliance of Tatiana Maslany's performance as several very distinct clones. The supporting characters are (mostly) just as good.
posted by Naberius at 8:25 AM on October 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

Nobody has mentioned Terriers yet, which has a tiny but highly committed cult following. I haven't watched it, but the reports from folks I trust are that its one season was astonishingly good.
posted by suelac at 9:01 AM on October 25, 2016 [5 favorites]

Geez, I can't believe nobody has mentioned Orange is the New Black.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 9:11 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Person of Interest spends the first half of the first season looking like a procedural with a twist, and then starts ramping up and getting better, more complex and interesting and exciting with each season. It's astounding that it ran on CBS, honestly; it's really good Gibsonian sci-fi with a deft touch for pacing and plot and a fundamentally good emotional core. I find that a lot of the current crop of prestige dramas are too mean for me - full of unpleasant people doing terrible things. Person of Interest is about people with consistent principles and characters, doing their best to do (what they see as) good when circumstances are stacked against them. And there is character growth over time! And Michael Emerson! And fantastic score work!

Plus, there's a dog. I love that dog.
posted by oblique red at 9:12 AM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

Thirding Prime Suspect.
Orphan Black goes off the complicated plot rails in S3, but S4 reels it back in.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 9:23 AM on October 25, 2016

Nthing Person of Interest. All of it.

I'd disagree with Babylon 5. You can skip a chunk of Season 1 and the first half of Season 5. The second half of Season 5 is actually fairly good and wraps up things nicely. Do watch the first episode of Season 5 and Day of the Dead (episode 8).

Fringe, I found the last season bizarre. I'd go with only the first four seasons.

If you ever watch Buffy, stop after season 5. Watch the musical episode, but other than that you can skip the last two seasons.

Veronica Mars, seasons 1 and 2. 3 if you really, really get into it.

Luther and Sherlock. Bones through season 5 or 6. When she announces she is pregnant, turn off the TV, the series is over.

Alias seasons 1 and 2. Things wrap up nicely at the end of season 2. This seems to be a pattern with JJ Abrams shows.
posted by Hactar at 10:21 AM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

Seconding the recommendation for Alias seasons 1 and 2.
posted by merejane at 11:30 AM on October 25, 2016

The Missing is great, and the first season is on Amazon Prime. I found it pretty addictive.
posted by mollywas at 11:45 AM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

The episodes in The Twilight Zone aren't linked, but it is a terrific series. So much of the writing is tight and intense although the ones penned by Serling are a bit too mankind-lamentation for me.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 12:25 PM on October 25, 2016

Dollhouse: End after season 1.

Firefly: Definitely watch all 3 seasons*.

Twin Peaks: End after season 1 (maybe the 2017 series will redeem season 2)

Scandal: End after season 3

Rome: Both seasons

Deadwood: All of it

True Blood: End after season 3

*ok, I shouldn't have done that.
posted by sparklemotion at 12:44 PM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wallander. Both the British and Scandinavian versions are worth your time.
posted by medeine at 12:57 PM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

Caveat: these shows are not AAA Quality Golden Age Television With Something Profound To Say, but just good clean non-American arc-less murder mysteries.

All of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. This one starts off poorly with easy-to-spot murderers and bad acting, but gets much, much better as it goes. It's fun enough that you don't mind that Phryne knows everything and has done a bit of everything, a common kiss of death for long-running shows of any stripe. The strained and labored Christmas special is redeemed by John Noble who has I think one line in the entire episode? This is a period piece that is so much fun for my eyes.

Seasons 1-3 of Death in Paradise. Keep going if you like it; there's no real overall arc to the show, and *minor spoiler* nearly all of the main characters have been replaced by the end of the current season but none of them occupy the same niche interaction-wise. It's fun to try and figure out the solution to the mysteries.

Vexed is a mystery comedy where if you liked Season 1 you'll love Season 2. This show was asked "Will they or won't they?" and the creators decided right at the beginning that "they won't." Season 1 had a married female lead; Season 2 had a single female lead. Both ladies have good chemistry with the male lead that's fun to watch.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:17 PM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

Seconding Line of Duty!! (British)

Borgen is beyond fantastic. Everyone that I have recommended it to has LOVED it.
posted by futz at 1:21 PM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Speaking of Paradise, the series of Jesse Stone mysteries are pretty good, unless you hate Tom Selleck for some reason. By the last few, he's clearly too old to be the character he's playing, but it's still good.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:37 PM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Came back in to say:

Rectify (all)
Jekyll (miniseries)*
and seconding The Missing*.

These last two star the very, very, very excellent James Nesbitt, who I totes-omg-fangirl love.
posted by Everydayville at 3:10 PM on October 25, 2016

Seconding Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries for the fun of it all. They're based on Kerry Greenwood's books, set in 1920s Melbourne. There's only three seasons, available on Netflix. Witty and gorgeous.
posted by MovableBookLady at 5:01 PM on October 25, 2016

Endeavour. It's a current series with, so far, no spot to break off at. Prequel to Inspector Morse. Soooo good.
posted by sldownard at 12:06 AM on October 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Huh. It appears that Burn Notice lasted seven seasons. I really enjoyed the three or so seasons I caught before cutting the cable, so I'll give you my guarantee up to there.

Then I'll guarantee the parts I didn't watch because Bruce Campbell.
posted by whuppy at 11:30 AM on October 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Burn Notice was decent enough throughout, but it was total cheeseball the whole time. The upside to that is that it didn't get bad toward the end as so many series do. Just lighthearted fun, IMO.

Person of Interest was mostly boring procedural story of the week for the first couple of seasons but got crazy freaking good by season three, at which time the person-of-the-week stuff started having actual payoff down the line a bit.

The Blacklist is much the same way, actually. I haven't watched any of the current season yet, but the past two or three seasons have been quite good. It helps that James Spader is always entertaining to me.
posted by wierdo at 5:46 PM on October 26, 2016

I know you asked for drama, but hear me out: Scrubs.

It's classified as a comedy, and relies pretty heavily on comedy for most of its run, but even if you only enjoy drama I think you'll like the entire first season.

If you also enjoy comedy then you'll definitely want to watch the first six seasons, probably the first 8 (everything except the failed-spinoff season). If you insist on high drama content then you'll probably want to quit shortly into season 2, but you'll want to watch at least "My Philosophy" (s02e13), "My Screwup" (s03e14), "My Lunch" and "My Fallen Idol" (s05e20-21), and "My Last Words" (s08e02).
posted by roystgnr at 5:48 AM on October 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

OMG, I am totally surprised no one mentioned 24. It doesn't get better than that for edge-of-your-seat crime (and lots of terrorists) drama. Each season melts easily one episode to another and they're all great. Intelligent, fast-moving and legendary at this point.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 2:57 PM on October 27, 2016

I liked both seasons of Broadchurch.

Also, The Missing (season 2 is going right now) is fantastic.

Downton Abbey is good start to finish.

I loved seasons 1-2 of Homeland, but burned out after that.

While it's not a popular opinion, I loved Good Wife all the way through the end. And I like Scandal and Criminal Minds still.

Currently loving Designated Survivor.
posted by guster4lovers at 8:18 PM on October 27, 2016

Happy Valley, unless you have trouble with Yorkshire accents. Great female leads.
posted by scorpia22 at 6:40 PM on October 28, 2016

Broadchurch (all)
Forbrydelsen (Original Danish version of the Killing. SO GOOD!)
Bron (Original Swedish/Danish version of the Bridge. SO GOOD!)
Borgen (Danish Political thriller. SO GOOD!)
The Fall (all)
Top of the Lake (mini series)
Happy Valley isn't amazing as the above but pretty good overall

**currently desperate for more Scandi noir crime amazingness**
posted by barnone at 1:49 PM on October 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you want to get into Person of Interest without having to wade through the less great monster-of-the-week episodes in season one, Io9 has an episode guide listing the season one episodes essential to the overall plot arc. I think it's solid gold from season two onwards - by far the smartest fictional depiction of artificial intelligence I've seen anywhere.

Whatever you do, do not watch the last season of Dexter. It's such garbage it spoils the previous seasons, which are mostly excellent - especially the ones with John Lithgow as one of the nastiest villains in TV history.
posted by simonw at 1:56 PM on October 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sherlock! 99% wonderful so far (except for that weird Victorian special episode--what was that?)

Law & Order: Criminal Intent. A few clunkers but I enjoyed 95% of all episodes, with all the changing cast members.

Criminal Minds -- still going strong. Love the characters. A weird cast change in Season 12 (the current season) -- we'll have to see how that works out.
posted by JimN2TAW at 10:25 AM on October 25, 2016 [+] [!]


Sherlock Season 4 is a different show. Instead of an exciting, amusing crime solving bromance, Season 4 is an apocalyptic, hallucinatory POS. And the episodes don't stand on their own, so watch all three together (if you must), and don't try showing it to anyone who hasn't seen and loved Seasons 1-3 (my mistake).

Criminal Minds -- Season 12 is watchable but getting distinctly meh.
posted by JimN2TAW at 3:22 PM on January 16, 2017

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