Whenever I’m swamped with work, I find it’s absolutely crucial to my sanity that I have numerous television shows waiting in my Netflix and Amazon queues to help me unwind at night. In case you’re experiencing a lull in your TV lineup this summer, I figured I’d share my recent viewing obsessions…
- “Sherlock” (2010-present) – This BBC show is a modern take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous mysteries about Sherlock Holmes. Because the episodes are about an hour and a half long (there are only three per season), each viewing feels more like a buddy-cop movie than a detective show. As with any good buddy flick, the key to this show is the chemistry and witty banter between its two main characters, so I highly recommend dusting off your British accent and getting ready to quote these fellas in your next playful argument.
- “Luther” (2010-2011) – Keeping with the British theme, I cannot tell you how floored I was when I first saw this short-lived police show a few months back. Idris Elba (known best from “The Wire”) and Ruth Wilson star as a cop and a psychopathic killer who develop a twisted relationship that is nothing short of poetry on the small screen. The only drawback of getting hooked on this show is that there are a mere 10 episodes, and you’re bound to be left wanting a whole lot more (especially of Elba and Wilson going tit for tat with each other).
- “Desperate Housewives” (2004-2012) – I started watching this prime-time soap opera in the fall and somehow caught up with all eight seasons in time to view the series finale ‘live’ a few weeks ago. Centering on the scandalous lives of four suburban women, this series is full of soapy scheming, backstabbing, adultery, and ludicrous murder mysteries. Although it loses it’s bearings and becomes too episodic for my taste in the middle of the series, the first 1.5 seasons are classic television and I actually think the show’s entire eighth season was one of the best things on TV this year.
- “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003) – It’s a cult classic, but I’d only ever seen a couple episodes here and there until recently (gasp, I know this is sacrilege for a TV writer to admit). For some reason, I find that this demon-zombie-and-vampire-killing Valley girl is the perfect companion while eating dinner or spending the night at home alone while my husband’s on business trips. I’m not done with the series yet, but I feel like season three is when it really comes into its own and gets viewers irreversibly attached to the characters. I heartily recommend that any other latecomers join in on the pun-and-wooden-stake-laden fun with me.
- “Castle” (2009-present) – A mystery author and a cop team up to solve crimes and send sparks flying in this alarmingly entertaining one-hour show. It reminds me a lot of “Bones” in tone, and bears further similarity to the FOX mainstay because – even though it’s a police show with a case of the week – it is the relationship between the two main characters that keeps me tuning in. Personally, I became hooked on this ‘soft procedural’ the moment Rick Castle strapped on a customized Kevlar vest with “WRITER” printed on the back in place of “NYPD.”
- And Now For The Funnies… There are three current sitcoms that reliably get me laughing, so I find myself saving up their episodes for times of dire need. These faves are: “Happy Endings,” “Modern Family,” and “2 Broke Girls.” The first ones are easier to get into because they don’t have laugh tracks, but once I got past this annoying production choice “2 Broke Girls” became my favorite new show of the year. Give it a chance, and I promise you’ll laugh out loud in spite of your better judgement.
Psst: You may be wondering how in the world I watch this much TV and still get work done, but the sad answer is my TV addictions tend to chip away at my sleep as opposed to my work. There you have it – the secret to making time for gratuitous TV viewings is never sleeping. Be careful, kids, just say no to the “automatically play next episode” option. Leave a comment.
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