I’ve covered books, music, and films before – now I guess it’s on to my next form of entertainment; television (naturally, there are a few letters missing, as always). I definitely watch more TV than I probably should, and too much of it is American TV at that. However, I love stories in all their forms, and I like watching how they play out over the longer format of series. There are shows I’ve binge watched, like Netflix releases or shows I only got into after they’d finished airing, and there are other shows I continue to watch once a week when they air. Some of this list is shows that are still being aired, while others wrapped years ago, but they’re all shows I’ve enjoyed for one reason or another.
A – American Gods
I read the book last year, as I’d been meaning to for ages, but the impending TV adaptation hurried me along. I loved the book, so had high hopes for the series, and it didn’t disappoint! I thoroughly approve of the casting, especially Ian McShane as Mr Wednesday, and I’m obsessed with the dark, intense, gory, and yet hauntingly beautiful visuals of the show.
B – Brooklyn Nine Nine
I always have a few good comedy shows that I keep up with, to put a smile on my face, and Brooklyn Nine Nine is one of my current favourites. The whole cast are hilarious, but I also like when we get moments of sincerity, depth, and growth, to avoid things getting stale. The humour is on point for me, and I can’t help but ship Jake and Amy to death!
C – Chuck
Oh, I miss Chuck! I watched this after it had finished airing, only discovering it a couple of years later, but I instantly loved it. I like a good underdog story, and what could make for a better one than a computer nerd thrown into the world of spies? It’s a great mix of funny and dramatic, and Zachary Levi portrayed the lead character of Chuck so brilliantly and adorably, that of course we were all rooting for him to save the day!
D – Doctor Who
I need some British TV on this list, and what show is more iconic than Doctor Who? I like that you don’t necessarily have to have watched the original series to enjoy the reboot, and it appeals to all sorts of people. It’s silly and quirky, but also has some big moral issues explored too. The only problem is I get sad when the Doctor regenerates and companions leave – the 11th Doctor, the Ponds, and Clara are still my favourites!
E – ER
This is a slightly unusual choice, but I needed something for E! I actually started watching this show when I was about 10 or 11, because my mum watched it, and I was allowed to stay up later then. I’ve never watched the early season, as I think it was already up to about series 10 when I tuned in. I managed to pick up what was going on though, and quickly began to eagerly follow the character’s lives. I’ve never really watched medical shows since then, but it was certainly the starting point of me watching more ‘grown up’ drama shows.
F – The Flash
I’m not counting ‘the’ ok? This is probably my favourite of the DC Universe shows, all of which I keep up with. None are perfect, but The Flash is my favourite for its mix of drama and humour, and the highly likeable and entertaining cast. I like that it doesn’t always take itself too seriously, or get as dark as some of the other shows – which other could have pulled off a musical episode? – and still can keep me surprised!
G – Game of Thrones
Would I have picked anything else for this? I am obsessed with this show, and will always watch it immediately to avoid spoilers. I’m still reading the books, though I’ve long since reached the point where the show diverged from them. I know I shouldn’t get attached to characters, but I still do, and still spend every episode on the edge of my seat! I can’t wait to see how it will all be concluded (why is 2019 so far away??), but I’m also dreading it being over.
H – Hart of Dixie
So, perhaps not as critically acclaimed as some of my other choices, but I really enjoyed this show. I loved the small town community it portrayed, and the heart and kinship in every episode. The characters were realistic, as I loved them but still recognised all their flaws, and I enjoyed all the wacky events that would happen in each episode. I was glad it got to wrap up its ending too, rather than be cut short with a cancellation.
I – iZombie
The premise of this show sounds so bizarre – a girl is turned into a zombie and takes on the personality and memories of the brains she eats, so she uses those to solve murders – but somehow it works! I was too intrigued to pass this up, plus it was made by the creator of Veronica Mars, and I’ve been hooked from the start. I especially love seeing what new personality Liv takes on each episode, and Rose McIver is brilliant at acting all these changes!
J – Jessica Jones
Of all the Defenders series on Netflix, I think people largely agree that Jessica Jones was the best of them (though I still enjoyed them all for various reasons). I thought it was so refreshing to see a superhero who doesn’t go the traditional hero route of suiting up and choosing a nickname. Jessica is troubled, and hurting, and all the more realistic and relatable for it, rather than a super positive, super moral hero all the time. Plus, I love any female-led superhero story!
K – Kim Possible
I couldn’t think of anything else for ‘K’, so we’re rewinding it all the way back to one my favourite childhood shows. Who else loved Kim Possible? Even now, I think it was a great show, especially for kids, as it shows a strong, female lead who saves the world and kicks arse along the way, proving that girls can do anything they want, as well as debunking the dumb cheerleader stereotype that existed.
L – Lovesick
Or ‘Scrotal Recall’ was its original title in season 1, but it’s been Lovesick ever since. This was a recent discovery for me, a funny, British made show about relationships and friendships. The premise – a man having to tell his previous partners that he has chlamydia – sets it up to be highly amusing, but there’s also a lot of heart in the series, and it’s more about the friendship between the three leads, and their journey of growing up, than anything else. I really love watching their development and growth over the series, as there’s a lot of depth in this half hour comedy.
M – Misfits
Ok, I’m talking the first three seasons here, I stopped watching after all the original cast left! I loved this show though, loved how it was both hilarious and dramatic, with some absurd plot lines and super powers, a bunch of very unlikely heroes, and a lot of people dying, yet it worked so well. From Nathan’s ridiculous one liners, to the most beautiful love story ever, I thoroughly enjoyed this show, and wish we could have held on to the originals for longer!
N – New Girl
Ah, Jess. I think we all have a bit of loveable, quirky weirdo in us all, and have all found ourselves in some of the awkward mishaps she does. I love the whole cast though, not only Jess, and each one is hilariously over the top in some aspects, but still relatable in some way as well. It’s nice to see them develop over the years, but it still remains an easy, funny show to watch, when I don’t want anything too long or drama-filled.
O – Orphan Black
I will never get over how good Tatiana Maslany’s acting is in this series; I would completely forget that it was the same actress playing so many characters, as each one is so distinct and unique, and they all interact with each other so convincingly that you forget each had to be filmed separately. Especially when she plays one clone pretending to be another! The series is full of mystery and intrigue as well, as we slowly unravel how the clones came to be – fascinating!
P – Parks & Recreation
Another funny, light hearted comedy series, which I do quite miss these days. Leslie may be bossy and annoying at times, but she has a heart of gold so you can’t help but love her in the end. I love the rest of the cast too, who all bring different styles of comedy to the table – Ron’s seriousness and April’s deadpan style are some of my favourites, and I adore watching April and Andy’s relationship together, which seems like it shouldn’t work at first but does.
Q – Nope, I’ve got nothing here.
R – Reign
As a Scot, seeing our history brought to life with the story of Mary Queen of Scots definitely piqued my interest from the start, as her life was so dramatic. The show may not be entirely historically accurate, but it is entertaining and enjoyable nonetheless. Watching Mary grow into being a queen is an amazing journey, as this young woman has so much to overcome, especially in that time period when women had to fight for their power. I got very attached to some characters too, so even though I knew some events were coming, because of history, it still ripped my heart out when they happened!
S – Skins
Find me a British person my age who didn’t watch Skins when they were a teenager! There’s a lot of debate about the different generations (with the cast totally changing every two series), and most people will agree that the first generation was the best. I would agree, but there were still at least some characters from the second and third generations that I liked as well. It was a hard hitting show, showing a very hedonistic side to adolescent life, filled with sex, drugs, and alcohol – perhaps not entirely realistic at times, but still relatable, moving, and entertaining.
T – Teen Wolf
I was obsessed with Teen Wolf when I first came across it; I’ve always enjoyed supernatural and fantasy works of fiction, but I think I like dhow this one managed to feel grounded and authentic, while still very much leaning into the mythology. It’s not a teen-angst-romance supernatural show (though there are elements of that present), but rather it is gory and gruesome and verging on a horror show at times, as it explores many dark, scary, mythological monsters. I did have my favourite couples I was rooting for though (Stydia!), as I still like the teen drama, and it could also be side-splittingly funny at times too.
U – I can’t think of anything for ‘U’ either!
V – Veronica Mars
The queen of snark, Veronica Mars, who would take no nonsense from anyone. I loved her sarcastic sense of humour, and her witty one-liners, as well as her overall attitude towards the society she lives in, where class differences are very clear. She knows what’s important, and doesn’t care what others think, which are traits of hers that I think set a great example for others. The show is also full of mystery and drama, through her investigations into local crime, and there’s plenty of drama in her personal life too!
W – Westworld
I started watching this on the flight back from Asia last year and quickly binge watched the rest of it. The Western setting, I was a bit sceptical about at first, but ended up really enjoying it, as it made it unique to many other shows. But of course, it was the A.I. element that I really loved, and which makes the show so fascinating. It kept me on the edge of my seat for a long time too, as I could never quite predict what was going to happen next – I cannot wait for the next series!
X – Nothing for ‘X’ either!
Y – Younger
I was a bit unsure about the premise of this show at first – a woman lying about her age in order to land a job (and a guy) – but it actually works well to highlight the struggle of reentering the work force later in life, after having children. There are obvious moral issues about her lies that are tackled along the way, as well as the many dramatic complications it causes in both her personal and professional life – which do overlap considerably! It’s funny, sexy, dramatic, and entertaining!
Z – Zoey 101
Yes, one more childhood show to finish with, since it’s all I could come up with for ‘Z’. I think I must have been around 11 or 12 when this started airing, so I was definitely within the target audience. I can’t remember much about it specifically, but I remember it to be funny and entertaining – words I seem to have used a lot in this list! – and I’m pretty sure I watched it all the way until the series ended.
What are some of your favourite shows? What would you change on my list, or recommend me to watch next?