Recently I was talking with a few friends about TV shows and new series to watch. Like a lot of people, I enjoy a good binge session. If there is one thing I have learned to love about Netflix, HBO GO, Hulu and the other apps on my AppleTv it’s that if I don’t have plans, I can easily make them.
Quickly the conversation went from finding new things to watch to “dude, you watch too many shows.”
Is there such a thing? I mean the average American spends 33 hours a week watching TV. Some weeks, I blow that average out of the water. Other weeks, I would say I am right on and maybe even under.
The biggest difference is I don’t spend a lot of time watching network TV anymore. Growing up it seemed like every night of the week there were 2-3 shows that consistently were watched by the Dannelly family. Early on I remember “The Wonder Years” and “Rosanne” to be a couple the family sat around to watch each week.
You also have to understand that for a good portion of my childhood, I didn’t even know NBC existed. Where we lived in the country the over the air signal was limited to ABC and CBS. Because of that I credit my parents nightly ritual of KOLN/KGIN News at 6 (RIP Mel Maines) and Wheel of Fortune at 6:30. Of course this was all contingent on whether or not we were done milking cows, but I digress.
Since then, I’ve gotten hooked into other shows. I think it started with “The Shield” on FX being one of the first shows I had to watch religiously. It took me over six years and 88 episodes to finish that show. To this day Vic Mackey is an anti folk hero of mine.
If that show came out now, I could finish it in three weeks easy. Consider each episode is about 45 minutes, 33 hours on average a week with a few plus or minus days on the average. Boom, done. It would have taken me less than a month to learn that a crooked cop will eventually get caught and stuck on desk duty. (OMG did I spoil it? Come on, the show has been over for 10 years. Grow up.)
There are countless other shows that I’ve watched or am currently up-to-date on waiting for more episodes. This does not include any series that I am partway through trying to catch up on.
So before people say, “WHAT! You haven’t seen The Sopranos!” Calm down. . . its a long ass series and I want to take my time.
The same can be said for shows like Shameless, Deadwood and a few others. So without any prompting, here is your complete guide to every series that I’ve seen from start to finish with a quick review.
Amy Schumer Show – On Comedy Central. First heard of Amy because of the radio show “Opie and Anthony” that she was on. Hilarious show, funny gal.
Arrested Development: Now on Netflix. Did not watch it when it first came on TV, my buddy Brad scolded me for not watching it. I did, I loved it.
Ballers: On HBO, an easy 25 minute watch with The Rock. It’s mostly exaggerate portrayals of the NFL and the people around it. But hey, it’s entertaining.
Beavis and Butthead: This is one from the childhood. I think I mostly kept watching this because my mom kept telling me how stupid it was. She was right but I was still entertained.
Better Call Saul: The prequel to Breaking Bad. It’s actually a pretty great show on its own.
Billions: I actually stumbled onto this because a comedian I like, Dan Soder, is on the show and talked about it on “Opie and Anthony.” Great show and highly recommend it.
Boardwalk Empire: The first season was great. Then it started to fizzle. By the end of the show I was more watching just to finish it than actually enjoy it.
Breaking Bad: I don’t need to say anything. You already have your opinion. I love this show.
Californication: While I write this review I’m drinking whiskey, wearing sunglasses and nursing a hangover while trying to figure out why I keep screwing up relationships. Of course I loved this show. I am Hank Moody.
Casual: Netflix series about a brother and sister going through their own relationship issues. Brother is part owner of a dating app. Lots of funny, awkward stuff in this one.
Dice: Fairly new show to Showtime. Dice is hilarious and its an easy watch.
Eastbound and Down: Kenny Powers. Duh.
F is for Family: Bill Burr’s animated show on Netflix. If there is one show on this list you have never heard of and should watch, it’s this show. It’s hilarious and Burr just got another season on Netflix.
Family Guy: Since the show started on Fox, was cancelled, and then brought back, I’ve watched this show. It’s not a show I seek out each week but I always catch up OnDemand.
Fargo: From the movie, through each season I’ve loved this show. I actually turned my dad onto it and we randomly make references to this show when talking on the phone since I’ve moved to Fargo. I once drove past Luverne, MN and snapped a picture of the sign to send to my dad. His response, “Watch out for the butcher and his crazy wife.”
Flaked: Newer series on Netflix. Will Arnett is the star of the show and it’s a decent show to binge some weekend when you aren’t wanting to think.
Friends: If you are my age and didn’t catch the entire series of Friends either live or in reruns then you probably grew up without a TV or possibly electricity. It’s unavoidable. My opinion, it was a TV show. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it.
Full House (Original): One of those nightly watches with the family. Stop with your “Fuller House” nonsense.
Gilligan’s Island: This show was playing on afternoon reruns growing up. Probably saw the entire series four times. Thanks TBS.
Girls Guide to Depravity: Ok, not proud to admit but yes I’ve seen all of this. It’s one of those late night Cinemax shows that got cancelled. It was pretty funny, the women were gorgeous and I was in a weird place then. Get over it.
Hanging with Mr. Cooper: The show jumped the shark when they had him play in an NBA exhibition game with the Warriors. Even my childhood mind thought, “Okay, this is pretty dumb.”
Home Improvement: (Grunt Sound) (Grunt Sound) (Grunt Sound)
Horace and Pete: This was an online only offering from Louie CK. The show only had a few scenes used for filming but was really well written.
House of Cards: Probably one of my most anticipated shows right now. I’ve immediately binged each season of this show in a weekend, then went back and watched them again. My country is led by Frank Underwood and you can’t tell me any different. Whenever this show premieres in 2017, don’t plan on seeing me that weekend.
Hung: Teacher doesn’t make enough money. Becomes male escort. This show was cancelled one season too soon.
Insomniac With Dave Attell: This show was popular during college. I remember thinking this had to be the greatest job in the world. Perform standup, then go explore the town you are in, make fun of it and drink. Attell was doing God’s work if you ask me.
Justified: Raylan Givens is only second to Vic Mackey on my list of favorite TV characters.
Last Chance U: Netflix documentary following a season of JuCo football in Mississippi. If you like football, it’s worth the watch.
Legit: Jim Jeffries is hilarious and FX made a huge mistake moving this show to FXX and then cancelling it.
Longmire: Walt Longmire, sheriff in Wyoming. Country justice in a new world of drugs, gambling and MURDER. The show is a little predictable but I like it.
Louie: Louie CK. The show is a dark comedy. If you think you are going to watch it and slap your knee at how funny it is, you are wrong. But you will watch this and laugh internally around your loved ones and smile at how accurate it is.
Love: Netflix series. Basically following two people as they meet and go through the stages of their relationship. Gillian Jacobs is pretty good in this show, definitely worth a watch if you can fit it into your already crowded cue.
Maron: IFC and Netflix have this show. Mark Maron is hilarious.
Making a Murderer: Free Brandon. Not so sure about the other guy. . .
Orange is the New Black: Great first season which has slowly trended downhill ever since. I watched the latest season and kept hoping it would turn around. But it fizzled.
Penn and Teller’s Bullshit: This is where I get most of my random facts that I spout off. Vaccinate your kids, you idiots.
Rectify: Wanna get severely depressed and question why life is worth living after every episode of constantly seeing a guy kicked in the teeth? Boy do I have a show for you!
Rescue Me: I love Denis Leary in this show. Each season was a little up and down but in the end I think they wrapped it up nice.
Roadies: New show on Showtime. It’s about a road crew for a band and everything that happens while they do their jobs. Great show and an amazing soundtrack.
Robot Chicken: Shut up. Just shut up, okay? Yeah, I know. But I love this show.
Roseanne: Childhood watch. The last season was pretty terrible as they were trying to figure out how to wrap the whole thing up.
Seinfeld: Again, my age. . .you’ve seen this by default. I still reference this show though.
South Park: See previous entry for Robot Chicken. This show is on the cutting edge and craps on everything. I love it.
Sports Night: Only two seasons and gone too soon. I think people didn’t understand the comedy behind this show since it was on network TV without a laugh track. The show was probably ahead of the curve and if it came on TV today on AMC or Netflix it’d have 10 seasons.
Stranger Things: To be honest I got to the end of this show and thought, “What the hell did I just watch?” It’s decent. Everyone talks about it but who do you know that walked away saying “Oh my God, I want another season of that!” Not me. . .definitely not me.
The Brady Bunch: Childhood watch. Same as Gilligan’s Island. We need more Johnny Bravo’s in this world.
The Brink: HBO show, cancelled after one season. I was actually pretty surprised they didn’t bring it back. I thought it was pretty funny and an easy show to watch. But that’s probably why I blog and sell equipment to farmers now and they produce TV shows for HBO.
The Chappelle Show: Game. . .Blouses.
The Flintstones: Childhood watch. I mean. . .I have nothing to say.
The Jinx: Robert Durst is a creepy dude and California is a big state. Those are things I learned from this show.
The League: I could probably watch a spinoff series that just follows the adventures of Taco and Raffi. Funny show, easy to watch. Someday I’ll own an EBDBBNB.
The Leftovers: Gonna be honest. This is a weird show. I nearly tapped out but then in one episode they played “The Promise” by Sturgil Simpson and hooked me back in. Hey, I never said I wasn’t a simple man. This show is kind of in the same vein as Rectify. Don’t try to be happy and watch this show.
The Newsroom: Will McAvoy should be America’s newsman. Great character. First season was pretty solid and then trailed off like me trying to explain string theory. Lot’s of confidence at first. . .then it all falls apart.
The Night of: I still don’t understand why John Turturro’s feet had to have such a story line. There is nothing about that portion of the show that was needed or helped bring the story along.
The Office: Start to finish. Saw them all. Picked up some casual references I can throw out at boring parties. Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica.
The Path: Aaron Paul’s follow up series to Breaking Bad stardom is actually pretty solid. Good story, good character development. Worth the watch if you have Hulu.
The People vs. OJ Simpson: The Juice is. . .distracted by John Travolta’s portrayal of Robert Shapiro. Meh, you know how it ends.
The Ranch: Average comedy series on Netflix. A little campy and hokey. What I like to call a time killer between good shows. Ashton Kutcher and the other guy that he’s always with are in this show.
The Shield: Vic Mackey is my homeboy. Yeah, he was wrong to kill that cop in the first episode but if he didn’t we wouldn’t have had six years of greatness. Also, Mackey gives hope of every out of shape guy that he can look in shape on TV.
The Wire: Save your pretentious jokes about how much people like The Wire and that they are just saying it because a bunch of people said the show was good. The show is excellent and the only reason you are talking down to it is because you haven’t seen it and you hate good things. Like a guy that bitches about ice cream being too cold. We get it bro, you hate things that are good. Enjoy your life without ice cream.
The Wonder Years: WHHHHHATTTT WOULD YOU DO IF I SANG OUT OF. . .Winnie Cooper. Need I say more? If you grew up watching this show and didn’t love Winnie Cooper then you are the before mentioned “Ice Cream Hater.” Gotta admit, shed a tear when I found out Kevin didn’t end up with Winnie. Oh and in case you forgot, Daniel Stern was the guy doing the voice over. Home Alone Bad Guy? Crazy Pitching Coach in Rookie of the Year? Yeah. . .that guy. Let that simmer for a bit.
Transformers: Cartoon from back in the day. Was on from 3:30 to 4:00. This was the half hour we got from the time we got out of school at Bunker Hill Country School until we had to go help milk cows.
True Blood: My attitude started at “This is awesome” and quickly fell to “Is this thing over yet?” I don’t think you can count the number of times this show jumped the shark. But hey. . . vampires, boobs and blood. Formula to success I guess?
True Detective: Season One – OMG THAT’S AWESOME. Season Two – “Okay. . . the next episode will be better. . .okay the next one. . .maybe the next one. . .wait its over? That was dumb.”
Vinyl: Cancelled after one season? Are you serious? This was a good show. Worthy of at least one more year.
Weeds: Oh Nancy Botwin. . .Definitely peaks and valleys with this show. At some point all of us are Uncle Andy.
Westworld: Have you not watch this yet on HBO? Okay. . .go do it. The first season will blow your mind about three different times. For the record, I guessed right away who the man in the black hat was and why he was in the story.
Yellowstone – Battle for Life: Great documentary on Yellowstone National Park and the animals in the park. Definitely a reason for HD TV when it came out.
That’s it for now. I’ll edit this list as I add new series and complete old ones.