What to watch
November 26, 2019 7:49 AM   Subscribe

The only exercise that works for me is walking on a treadmill for long periods (60-90 minutes, typically). While doing this, I watch videos on my laptop. Please provide me with more choices.

I am looking for multi-episode series. I prefer detective shows, but will sometimes watch comedies. I don't want to watch anything depressing or that makes me work too hard. I like quirky plots with a sympathetic protagonist. For detective shows, my favorites have been:
  • Midsomer Murders (all 20 seasons)
  • CSI: Las Vegas (all 15 seasons, but I don't care for any of the spin-offs)
  • Morse (all episodes of all three series)
  • Hamish Macbeth (all episodes)
  • The Brokenwood Mysteries (all episodes)
  • Father Brown (Mark Williams version)
  • Grantchester (though by the end of season 2 I was beginning to get annoyed by its "let's make a new Father Brown but with a prettier, more mainstream yet more troubled, priest" formula)
I found the following good but too depressing to watch while I exercised:
  • A Touch of Frost
  • Wallander
  • The Last Detective
  • Vera
For comedies, I've enjoyed the following:
  • Crazy Ex-girlfriend
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Dr. Who
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine
  • The Good Place
  • Dix pour cent
I don't like Seinfield or Curb Your Enthusiasm or either version of The Office, because, funny though they are, most of the characters are pretty repellent (in fact, I think that's the idea). I tend not to like mockumentaries.

Given all the above, please make your recommendations. I don't mind subtitles, so there's no need to restrict yourself to English-language stuff.
posted by ubiquity to Media & Arts (31 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Elementary and/or Sherlock, Trapped (sub-titled, Icelandic), Luther, Bletchley Circle
Schitt's Creek (it took me a season but now I love it so, so much), Community, Kim's Convenience, Parks and Rec
posted by velocipedestrienne at 8:00 AM on November 26, 2019 [5 favorites]

For comedies, I have been enjoying the heck out of Letterkenny lately and, if you have access to HBO, I thought Los Espookys was super delightful.

For mysteries, I LOVED Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, but alas, I think they took it off of US Netflix recently. Ditto Poirot, although that's been off of Netflix for awhile.
posted by helloimjennsco at 8:04 AM on November 26, 2019

Before they created Kimmy Schmidt, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock produced 30 Rock, so you'd probably like that too.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 8:07 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Shakespeare and Hathaway
Sleepy Hollow
Miss Fisher and Modern Miss Fisher
posted by ilovewinter at 8:09 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Castle is a detective show that’s also a comedy with likeable characters.

Nthing Miss Fisher, Parks and Rec, and Community.
posted by bananacabana at 8:12 AM on November 26, 2019 [5 favorites]

Derry Girls.
posted by gaspode at 8:16 AM on November 26, 2019 [6 favorites]

I'd recommend Murdoch Mysteries if you're able to stream it - it looks like it's available through Hulu or Acorn TV ($5/mo for Canadian shows). I got hooked really quickly. The characters are fun, it's not too self-serious, and it's set around the turn of the 20th century, so a big feature is Detective Murdoch and his crew using/discovering new technologies to solve crimes.
posted by enigmango at 8:17 AM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Death in Paradise (British murder mysteries set on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint-Marie)
Detectorists (British, very sweet, very likeable characters)
QI (quiz show, British, very funny)
Derry Girls (Irish, super funny, Sr. Michael is my hero)
Letterkenny (Canadian, ridiculous, you'll probably need subtitles because the dialog is so fast)
posted by cooker girl at 8:19 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Rosemary and Thyme
Jonathan Creek (esp the earlier series)
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:21 AM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Lucifer. You can't work too hard while watching this one; the writers certainly didn't.
posted by grouse at 8:26 AM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Monk and Psych - multi-season episodic detective shows, both pretty charming.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:34 AM on November 26, 2019 [5 favorites]

2nding 30 Rock, and I'm kind of jealous if you haven't seen it, because you'll get to watch it for the first time.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:40 AM on November 26, 2019

Seconding Murdoch Mysteries and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (looks like this is on Hoopla as well as Acorn, if your library has Hoopla). Maybe Murder, She Wrote?
posted by current resident at 8:49 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Leverage! And if you liked B99 and The Good Place you'd probably like Parks and Rec.
posted by junques at 9:00 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have a previous ask for tv series to watch - but asked concentrating on simple action; of which some have detective-like qualities. Burn Notice, and Leverage usually have a few turn abouts, but usually are more heist than detective. If you look in my ask, there's a number of comedies (better off Ted, Futurama, Scrubs, Bob's Burgers) listed as things I've seen and liked.

I'll add that the Dirk Gently series from the BBC is a great and matches both detective-y and comedy. Similarly, I'd offer iZombie as matching both.

Jessica Jones is in theory a PI , but it is more super hero than detective. I found Daredevil the most engaging of the netflix marvell series on the treadmill.

I'll second Elementary as engaging detective multi season show.
posted by nobeagle at 9:01 AM on November 26, 2019

Grace and Frankie is delightful and there are 5 seasons. Also Lovesick, a sweet British comedy.
posted by something something at 9:43 AM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

I bet you'd also like Younger (available on Hulu).
posted by something something at 9:45 AM on November 26, 2019

Bones would be perfect. Its pretty charming, for a show about murder and corpses with a good cast. And there are about a million episodes

House is in the same vein, a bit more serious maybe but will keep your attention and had a great ensemble cast. The mysteries are the health conditions but it follows the same format as a detective episodic

Elementary is in a similar vein.

There are also some great mini series on netflix if you have that: The Five, Safe, Unbelievable, Alias Grace, Collateral etc.
posted by fshgrl at 9:51 AM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Here to agree with for Murdoch (14 seasons!), Miss Fisher, Elementary/Sherlock and Parks and Rec. I've heard good things about The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel but haven't seen it.

Other things I liked watching while treading

- Downtown Abbey & The Tudors (honestly mostly because the people in themwere a little irritating which makes for better treading for me)
- Peaky Blinders (period piece, super violent so maybe not quite right for you)

A few that I liked but I'm not sure how easy they are to find

- Doctor Blake if you can find it. It's set in some of the same places as Miss Fisher which is kind of neat
- Life on Mars
- Scott and Bailey - UK female detectives, nicely complex
- Inspector Linley
posted by jessamyn at 9:56 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hello My 20s and Good Morning Call are Korean dramas on Netflix, both very engaging.

2nding Kim's Convenience.
posted by ananci at 10:46 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also since you don't mind subtitles, Shetland. The first two seasons are episodic but the next one has a season-long arc. That's all I've managed to see. The location is stunning.

Foyle's War
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:30 AM on November 26, 2019

Nthing Parks and Rec, and 30 Rock. If you have a certain media-savvy smartass sensibility, 30 Rock is just about the funniest thing ever created, especially the first three seasons or so.

Mrs Intermod and I also love Bob's Burgers, up through season 6, but that can be more of an acquired taste. It's definitely gotten gradually weaker lately, like The Simpsons did after 6-7 seasons (and the latter is now unwatchable, of course).
posted by intermod at 11:37 AM on November 26, 2019

Bosch is pretty good dick fic.
posted by flabdablet at 11:41 AM on November 26, 2019

If you can find a copy, the A&E Nero Wolfe adaptations are light weight but enjoyable.
posted by praemunire at 11:49 AM on November 26, 2019

The Durrells in Corfu! Period comedy with extremely quirky and very well rounded main characters.
posted by bettafish at 1:37 PM on November 26, 2019

Throw this in the 'Maybe' pile, but I like the comedies you like and I found What We Do in the Shadows to be very enjoyable. There is a gore element, but it is very silly gore.
posted by Dmenet at 1:41 PM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Jane the Virgin was my favorite treadmill show. It’s mostly comedy, but has a detective plot and lots of quirk.
posted by galvanized unicorn at 2:31 PM on November 26, 2019

Jane the Virgin. It is surprisingly amazing. I don’t generally like soapyshies, but the writing and editing were so smart and enjoyable for me. (Along the lines of craxy ex girlfriend)

Currently watching Royal Pains. It’d like House lite. Very procedural, but some fun serial character arcs. Very minimal gross medical stuff (for a medical show), plus some fun lifestyle porn.

Lucifer is another semi-Detective show with “mystical” elements I had a lot of fun binging.

Republic of Doyle is a family that plays in the murky ground between private investigators and crime, but try to do good.

New Tricks is a U.K. investigation show with retired/disgraced detectives solving cold cases.

I agree with recommendations for Schitts Creek and Castle.

I love Letterkenny, but disagree that it’s good to binge on a tradmill. Way more fun when you can sit down and watch with a buddy. I laugh enough that it would disrupt exercise.
posted by itesser at 2:42 PM on November 26, 2019

W1A - satire of modern corporate culture, in this case the BBC.
posted by scorpia22 at 3:20 PM on November 26, 2019

You might like White Collar, currently on Hulu.
posted by pinochiette at 8:23 PM on November 26, 2019

Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm already working on some of them.
posted by ubiquity at 12:20 PM on December 30, 2019

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