3 SHOWS YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING. PART X

Whenever someone tells me there’s never anything good to watch on television, I wonder if they eat hot dogs every night for dinner.  Hot dogs. They’re great! I love hot dogs and yes I do know they’re probably made out of underarms and urinary tracts.  Don’t care. Love ’em.  But I don’t want to only eat hot dogs, I want to branch out and always try new and exciting things.  Things that are different flavours, from different countries or only available on Netflix.

Yet when people think of television a lot of people still only think of what they’re used to and what’s wildly popular.  They don’t go searching for anything new.  They trudge down the same aisle looking at the same things.

Occasionally network television has some good shows but rarely are they as good as anything  from specialty channels or newer non network producers like Amazon or Netflix.  One new network show is absolutely fantastic as a matter of fact and I’ll talk about that a little later on.

Before you go poo pooing the state of television and how there’s nothing to watch look a little further than your normal borders.  Television from England is some of the best television ever made.  Even though they’re both hugely popular and loved worldwide, England has a lot more to offer than fish and chips in terms of food and Downton Abbey in terms of television.    And Canadian television!  Well, it’s often the perfect cross between slick American TV and the more down to earth U.K. series; so if you’d like to watch something that stars really good looking people who maybe suffer from a crooked tooth or a few extra pounds which make them look almost human, then Canadian television was made for you.

If you missed the first 9 posts in this series you can see them and all the shows I recommend here.

Here are my 3 suggestions to get you out of your television rut.

 

SCHITT’S CREEK

First up, Canadian comedy Schitt’s Creek, starring Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Dan Levy and Annie Murphy as the socially displaced Rose family.

PEAKY BLINDERS

I’ve chosen Peaky Blinders as the U.K. content for this, the 10th edition of 3 Shows You Should be Watching.  I have to say it took me a few goes to get into this show for some reason, but once I did WOW.  The cinematography alone is reason to watch.  Then of course there’s the hot guy.

 

MOZART IN THE JUNGLE

Made by Amazon Originals, the same company that produces Transparent, is Mozart in the Jungle.  A little bit weird, a little bit funny, a little bit charming adds up to a whole lot of great television.  Anything that involves Jason Schwartzman (he’s a supporting actor and producer) is bound to be exactly that: weird, funny and charming.

I promised I’d also tell you about that GREAT network show that premiered recently.  This is Us is something I decided to watch on a whim mainly so I could complain about the state of Network television.  No complaints.  Its mind blowing first episode had me texting every person I know about how great it was and begging them to watch it.  YOU HAVE TO WATCH IT FROM THE FIRST EPISODE so if you come across it, don’t jump in halfway through the season or you’ll miss out on what is one of the best television pilots ever made.  Next to the first episode of Lost of course.  I mean come on.

Again, if you’re looking for television recommendations and you missed the first 9 posts in this series you can see them all here.

The next time you’re tempted to watch a hog dog, search out one of these lesser known items to satisfy your appetite.  I think you’ll find they’re a lot more filling with fewer empty calories.

71 Comments

  1. Linda says:

    I love Peaky Blinders! And I’m with you…TV from the UK and Canada is great! I have found so many shows that I have thoroughly enjoyed that no one else has ever heard of. Their loss!

  2. Wendy says:

    Speaking of Canadian TV, I just finished watching “PURE” on CBC and am in the middle of “Cardinal” on CTV. Watched the first episode of “Bellevue” on CBC last night. All great Canadian shows if you have the time.

  3. Robert says:

    Karen! Where’s the email telling me that this post was up?
    Anyway I’m here now, since Veep, OitNB, and Outlander are still on hiatus and Crazy ex-girlfriend just aired the season finale I think I might give a shot to your suggestions except This is Us whose pilot didn’t actually liked and I actually grew up watching telenovelas

    • Diane R. says:

      Yea, I didn’t get an email this morning either! Had to google TAODS!

      • Karen says:

        I’m switching over to a new server to help make my site faster for everyone. There have been a few glitches including no email notification. I’m working on getting it fixed as soon as possible. 🙂 ~ karen!

        • Rosie Walsh says:

          Today’s post arrived at about 10:50 a.m. EST. Karen, I was worried about you this morning because your post is always the first of my day. Glad it’s just a server prob.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Robert! I’m switching over to a new server to help make my site faster for everyone. There have been a few glitches including no email notification. I’m working on getting it fixed as soon as possible. 🙂 ~ karen!

  4. Sue says:

    Tonight’s “This Is Us” was a real emotional roller coaster! Totally hooked on this show! I remember watching the first episode and was almost halfway through it before going, “Oh-h-h! I get it . . .”

  5. Emie says:

    I’d like to suggest Amazon’s shows… “Goliath” and “Sneaky Pete”. I binged watched them and liked them both. I’m going to give “Peaky Blinders” another shot since you mentioned it took you awhile to get into… I may not have given it a chance. Thanks!

  6. TucsonPatty says:

    I also missed a notification email, I believe and came looking…
    I also have had several folks recommend Peaky Blinders, and I had forgotten it.
    It was so far down my list it got lost. I need a new binge watching day…

    • Karen says:

      I’m switching over to a new server to help make my site faster for everyone. There have been a few glitches including no email notification. I’m working on getting it fixed as soon as possible. 🙂 ~ karen!

  7. Paula says:

    Well, I definitely must watch the pilot of This Is Us based on your raving review!

  8. TexasMom says:

    I, also seem to have been dropped off the email list! Gasp!
    Was it something I said???

    • Karen says:

      I’m switching over to a new server to help make my site faster for everyone. There have been a few glitches including no email notification. I’m working on getting it fixed as soon as possible. 🙂 ~ karen!

  9. Ann says:

    The Originals on Netflix is my current obsession. Yes, it is about vampires, werewolves and witches, but wow, they keep up the intrigue, the story line is so well thought out and yes, there is eye candy.

    As far as Canadians shows go, I loved The Republic Of Doyle.

  10. Jane S says:

    I really wanted to love Schitt’s Creek, I love Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy. I watched 2 episodes and hated it. I just finished binge watching Grace and Frankie, and am eagerly awaiting the next season.

    • Patsy says:

      I would highly recommend Grace and Frankie…hilarious.

    • Roseann says:

      I am also eagerly awaiting season 3 of Grace and Frankie (it will be out in May, right?) – and as evidence of how good it is… I visited my 82 year old mother a few months ago and brought my iPad which has the Netflix app.  She can’t get Netflix (something about the internet carrier) and had never seen the show and she binge-watched the first 2 seasons in 3 days.  She laughed a lot and kept looking up to tell me how much she loved it and how much she enjoyed seeing actors that she knew.  I highly recommend it!awaiting season 3 of Grace and Frankie – I read that it will be out in May?

    • deneen says:

      Jane S – I felt the same way about the first few episodes but I kept watching – and so glad I did. I had a number of genuine LOL moments! Give it another shot…

  11. Roxana says:

    Schitt’s Creek was absolutely hilarious!!! I binge watched both seasons in a couple of days.

    I’m watching now “Damages” with Glenn Close and I have the feeling that her character is way more cunning than Frank Underwood and Annalise Keating together!!!

  12. Lori says:

    This Is Us….I honestly think this is the best show I have ever seen. LOVE IT! Bawled like a baby last night….I love William!

  13. Jenny says:

    My husband and I are watching The Expanse (on SyFy, based on a great book series by James S. A. Corey) which I highly recommend! GREAT production values and a good blend of serious and clever sci-fi.
    We’re also watching Taboo on FX (with subtitles on bc Tom Hardy grunt/mumbles in an English accent) and Legion on FX.

    Also, my husband is into the new Riverdale show on the CW because apparently he has discovered (after one episode) that he has a secret weakness for trashy teen shows haha ^_^

  14. Laura Nazimiec says:

    Do you have any recommendations on hulu to watch?

  15. Susan says:

    I just finished binge watching Schitt’s Creek and I loved it! Not too sweet and not too biting. Catherine O’Hara’s amazing as always, but I particularly love the son. I was considering re-watching Lost, my all time favorite TV drama, but I’ll give Peaky Blinders a try. I watched all 8 or 9 seasons of Forensic Files on Netflix and I will never date, marry, open the door, or trust anyone ever again.

  16. Donna says:

    I must be so special. I got an email. Yay!
    I will look up schists creek and this is us tonight. My husband travels and loves tv so when he’s gone I watch nothing but when he comes home we binge watch Netflix and Amazon. We’re between shows. We’ve done Death in Paradise twice and LOVED it, Doc Martin twice. If my dad had been a doctor he could have been DocMaritn. Longmire three times, midsummer murders twice, Foyles war, our absolute favorite, twice. Luther is our most recent one. We’ve only done Luther once. Broadchurch is great but have tissues for it. Mu sister recommended an Australian show, the Code. First season is on Netflix. Well have to head over to Acorn TV, $5.00 a month, for season two. If you remember Xenia, warrior princess, she plays an Australian woman living out in the middle of nowhere. Mind you, it was my four year old daughter who watched Xenia and Shera and my daughter wore a plastic sword inside the back of her shirt for two years. So, I’m in the market for a new show tonite as he leaves again tomorrow and I can turn the tv off for a few days and garden, sew, and snuggle with my arthritic princess pug

  17. Carolyn says:

    Will have to try these out! Am currently watching Riverdale with my husband (yes, we also share the same secret weakness as Jenny’s husband!) each Friday night.
    Over December insanity and Christmas, I binge-watched Australia’s Offspring series when I could. Laughed and cried more with that show than any other before. Am still thinking about the characters and wishing they had kept the series going…
    Shetland based on the mystery books of Ann Cleeves is also excellent. Amazing cinematography – I could watch it for that alone. And their accents! Swoon-worthy.

  18. Mindy says:

    We just recently got caught up on all the episodes of This Is Us, based on two people screaming at us to do just that. I really, really like it.
    We don’t have Amazon Prime, but the other two shows sound good. Will check them out.

  19. Laurie says:

    Karen, have you watched an Australian show called Offspring? Lead character is kinda weird and quirky, but capable. She reminds me “slightly” of you!

  20. Tisha says:

    I’d like to recommend Black Mirror. Ho. Lee. Crap. It will really scare you and make you think.

  21. ronda says:

    I’m happy to know a technical glitch was the reason for no early morning email from taods! I was a wee bit concerned something drastic had happened.

  22. Trish says:

    Karen, run and watch Taboo. I’m also digging Fortitude, Mary Kills People and The Good Life.
    Thanks for the recommendations. T

  23. Susan says:

    Love Schitts Creek but I’m going to have to watch it on reruns because for the first time in 12 years, I’ve got live TV and got addicted to The Big Bang Theory, reruns of which are on at the same time. The live tv isn’t going to last long because most of the shows are crap and it’s annoying that I can’t pause them (or don’t know how!) when the little old dog says he has to go out. One show I binge watched on Netflix after I exhausted all the other English shows was The Misfits. Didn’t think I’d like it at first and then couldn’t stop watching it. You think it’s taking itself far too seriously and then they slide a moment of wonderful British humour in fast and sideways.

  24. SusanR says:

    I DID receive an email notification. We have Peaky Blinders on our watchlist, but haven’t gotten around to it, yet. Have enjoyed the episodes of Schitt’s Creek we’ve watched. We’re currently laughing over The Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix. Very campy. Haven’t yet tried This is Us, but will give it a go. We’ve got Hulu, Amazon AND Netflix, and amongst them, have always found something interesting and entertaining.

    In the 1980s there was a writer’s strike in the US. I was in Hawaii at the time, and we got Canadian shows for quite awhile. I only recall one, which was a comedy about a fellow who wanted to be a spy, but he worked in the basement of a government office, I think. He had an injured hand, as the character, and wore a black leather glove on it. He was always getting into trouble and solving things in the midst of the trouble he got into. I can’t remember the name of the actor who starred in the series, but he was cute, and I loved that show, at the time. I was very sad when we lost all of the Canadian shows, when the writer’s strike ended months later!

  25. Ev Wilcox says:

    I’ve been watching an Australian show “A Place To Call Home”. The last episode I could find was on was last week-guess it may have been a season ender, but there was no notification. I gravitate toward British entertainment, both comedy and drama. Much is on PBS. Waiting for “Call The Midwife” with bated breath! Tried “Peaky Blinders-couldn’t get into it. Will try again. WAITING for “House of Cards” on Netflix too. The British version was even more brutal, which is where our version came from. Wonder if they will stick to original ending…won’t describe it!
    BTW-how does one get Canadian TV in Ohio? would like to try that.

  26. Tina says:

    As far as network tv, I love the show BULL.

  27. Mondo says:

    This Is Us is my favorite show, right now. In fact I’m watching it while writing this comment. It’s such a fresh concept and the writing is fantastic. Dan Fogleman, the creator, also made Galavant a medieval musical which is so much fun I can’t even write. Not to mention the lead character played by Joshua Sasse, who is very easy on the eyes. If you like musical comedies. I encourage you to give it a look.

  28. Oh, AND ‘Life in Pieces’ – makes me laaaarf…

  29. Chris says:

    Love Schitt’s Creek, and This Is Us, and need to watch Peaky Blinders. Since you like those, you may just love Workin’ Moms, and the Durrells. Mary Kills People and the Imposters, also very great combinations of interesting and funny (real life kind of funny) and fast paced. Thank goodness for the talented writers out there who bring these to t.v.

  30. Flash says:

    Good comedy recommendations please. Along the lines of the Vicar of Dibly

  31. Deenie says:

    I still haven’t forgiven you for sending me down the Oak Island rabbit hole…

    You’ve convinced me to give Peaky Blinders another go, though. And Schitts Creek is some of the funniest TV I’ve watched in ages. Dan Levy is even funnier than his father, which I didn’t think was possible.

  32. Rhonda says:

    Karen,
    As a fellow canadian gal I recommend Being Erica …. I binge watched the shit outta that show !
    Cheers
    Rhonda 😙

  33. Dawn says:

    Schitt’s Creek is great! Love Daniel Levy’s character. I hope they continue to make more episodes.
    I have been pleasantly surprised by This Is Us. I’m more into shows like Supernatural, The Killing, The Fall and shows like that, but so many people were praising TIU that I had to give it a shot and I’m so glad I did.

  34. Karin in NC says:

    So with you on This IS Us!! SO, SO, SO GOOD. Did you weep at the end of last night’s episode? Or is it not on Tuesday nights there? Or – are you like me and you weep at the end of every show? I am not a crier. Really, I’m not. But hot-damn that show (like Parenthood before it) does it for me every time.

    Also thumbs up on Mozart in the Jungle – can’t wait for next season.

    And Goliath, too. I will give Peaky Blinders another go on your recommendation. Watched 3 episodes and the fella said “no more”. I couldn’t argue as it didn’t catch my attention either.

  35. Michelle says:

    Tried to look back to see if you mentioned Shameless. I am ashamed to say we binge watched every weekend until we finished all 6 seasons on Netflix. Felt like I needed a shower and a visit to AA. William H Macy is amazing. And Character Jimmy-Steve was so easy on the eyes. Makes you feel better about your own life! Will try to find the UK version this was based on because some say it is better. Lock up you liqueur, cigs and grab a luffa…

  36. Heather Sykora says:

    Thanks for the show ideas!! I never get around to looking for good shows, so this is helpful!! We have watched Peaky Blinders and really got into it, but I have not heard of the other two shows yet! Thanks

  37. Jennie Lee says:

    I haven’t had cable in at least 15 years- I’ve lost count, really. I buy things on discs and watch at will. So, some of these are old- but if you missed them, they’re on disc. Recent favorites: Penny Dreadful, Ripper Street, Fringe (no spoilers, please! I’m on the final season!), Black Sails, Orphan Black (just ordered final season!), Game of Thrones, The Musketeers, Vikings, Outlander, and I have the first 2 seasons of Peaky Blinders, but haven’t watched them yet. I’ll have to look up Black Mirror. Thanks for encouraging us to share, Karen!

  38. Jennie Lee says:

    For those interested in Black Mirror, on disc, I can only find season 1 available for the US and Canada. And it’s $33. Later seasons not available for US/Canada. It does sound good, though. 🙁

  39. Beth Garrett says:

    “Taboo” – very dark but amazing – currently on FX.

  40. Chris White says:

    Ok, this is an odd one but I have been watching a documentary series called States of Undress. The journalist/ model Hailey Gates goes to Fashion Week in some of the most unusual places like Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela and looks at local social conditions through the lens of fashion. Her reporting is incredible and the stories of these places are incredibly eye opening. Well worth watching.

  41. Karin says:

    Taboo for sure, great great show. Peaky Blinders, amazing.
    Billions is great.
    Ballers is too.
    Sense 8 is very good. It’s a different kind of show, hard to explain, worth your while.
    Homeland, goes without saying, the latest season is the b- uhm, it’s great.

    Karin

  42. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    They all look good and anyone from Second City Toronto is welcome on my TV screen…but..I can’t afford the price of TV service anymore…

  43. jainegayer says:

    I watch Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Taboo but will definitely check out your suggestions.

  44. Bobbie` says:

    OK, Karen, I’ll give “Peaky Blinders” another go round. BUT, you have to watch “The Shield” and “Hell on Wheels”. “Ripper St.” is another great one! All addictive. TOTALLY agree on “This is Us”! I cut the cable cord, and bought a Roku Player, and never looked back. Best thing I ever did! I subscribe to Netflix and Hulu, which allows me to watch current shows the day after they air. Since I shop on Amazon, it made sense for me to get their Prime, which costs $90.00 a year, and gives me free shipping. Netflix and Hulu cost around $9.00 a month, so you can see, I save a lot of money, and have more TV than I could possibly watch!

  45. Sarah says:

    Tom Hardy can do no wrong after watching his Appalachian-ically Correct portrayal of Forrest Bondurant in Lawless. And, as any actual hillbilly can attest, that is neither normal nor easy. So, Peaky Blinders and abnormal Tom Hardy for me! Hmmmm, a preference for abnormal men explains a lot about my life.
    Crossbones with John Malkovich was awesome. It’s short run made me so irritable that I have been on a TV boycott.

  46. Kelli says:

    Hog dogs??? OK armpits, urinary tracts, AND hogs. Fact.

    I’m still waiting for the second season of Mr. Robot on Netflix, but I will definitely add those shows to my continually growing “must see TV” list.

    As a YUGE fan of anything SCTV related after first seeing it on US TV waaay back in the early 80s, I will most assuredly be watching Schitt’s Creek! I was one of those who used to think “Ha ha you losers, I’m cooler than you are – I watch PBS-AND-SCTV!”

    So obviously you are cooler than all of us!

  47. Ellen in Illinois says:

    Hot dog update. Remember I make vegan hot dogs??? Now I make them using carrots…yes, carrots and they are delicious!!

  48. Jennifer Marr says:

    We got hooked on Kim’s Convenience this season. It’s Canadian and in its first season. Kids through grandparents love this one!

  49. Sharon says:

    Absolutely love Schitt’s Creek! I often dream of living there as it would be my kind of a community!! My small claim to fame is that Annie Murphy’s cousin is my coworker! I work with Shannon and I see the similar gestures in her actions & expressions as Alexis’s character! It’s an absolute pleasure working with Shannon as she is an incredible nurse!!

  50. Anne says:

    I loved A Place to Call Home and also can’t miss This Is Us. I wasn’t sure during the first episode but have become a fan. I was pleased to see that someone mentioned Murder in Paradise as I’m enjoying it a lot. I will keep all these on the off chance that our excellent video store will have some of them.

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