3 TV Shows You Should Be Watching. Part XII.

Night is coming sooner, days are getting shorter.  We’re coming into tv watching season.  Here are 3 great television shows you should be watching, but might not be.

Ben Kaplan's Viewer Direction Advised documentary

I’ve kept this quiet, but a year or so ago, I invested heavily in a documentary film. Because I’m a high roller. The movie was completed recently and I think it’s fair to say it couldn’t have been done without me and my significant initial capital investment. I’m very proud of that.

I like to do what I can in terms of being a patron of the arts because the arts are consistently underfunded and yet have an immeasurable positive impact on our lives.  Plus my blog has the word “art” in it. Sooooo.

When my friend was making this film (yes it was made by a friend) he put the call out for investors about midway through the production.  After some serious back and forth, an agreement to credit me as a producer, 14 phone calls, a 92 page contract, points on the back end, costume approval and a discussion about the validity of Bitcoin I gave him $100.  Minus Paypal fees.

Marshall Kaplan, is a television producer I worked with for many seasons. His son Ben made this film and Marshall tagged along for the ride.  A ride which took them straight to Los Angeles where they delved into the subject matter behind the documentary – television.  Which was the real reason behind my interest in the film.  I. Love. Television.

“Viewer Direction Advised” follows Ben and Marshall as they travel to L.A. to explore how television consumption has changed for their two generations. For my friend Marshall, growing up, there was appointment television. For his son Ben, television could be watched whenever, wherever for hours on end.  Television used to bring a family together even if it was in front of a square box for one hour, to watch a a 3′ tall man welcome a plane to a mysterious tropical island.  The next day the show would be the topic of conversation at most offices and schools. Everyone was watching it at the same time.  That doesn’t exist anymore. Not to the same extent anyway.  Their film looks at whether the loss of this appointment television (We were on a BREAK! No soup for YOU! ) has fractured us as a culture.

There are those that still feel the need to scoff at television. That it’s for the unintelligent or a waste of time but I argue that anything that entertains you has value.  I do stuff non stop. All day long. I do and I do and I do.  So that one hour  that I can sit down on the couch around 10 o’clock most nights and watch something on television is necessary. For my muscles, for my mind, for my sanity.

Also potato chips taste most delicious when eaten watching television. Kind of a scientific fact.

I’ll admit that I like really, really GOOD television.  But don’t get all impressed with me just yet. I also like absolute crap television.  Think Hallmark made for tv movies where all the men wear cowboy hats and all the women are successful bakers/writers or antique store owners who successfully solve murders on the side.

In a week or so one of the best new dramas on television is returning and I’m counting down the days. It’s the first in my list of 3 shows you SHOULD be watching but might not be.

3 Shows You Should be Watching

OZARK – Netflix

Drama. Organized Crime.


If you haven’t watched Ozark, get caught up on Season 1 before Season 2 starts in a couple of weeks.


Dramedy. Organized Crime

Season 2 just released!

Get Shorty is based on and an extension of Elmore Leonard’s novel and film.  Ray Romano of Everybody Loves Raymond stars along with – Chris O’Dowd who can do no wrong ever.  Chris O’Dowd is also the star of another one of my favourite shows, Moone Boy, which you can see in Part 6 of my TV Shows you should be watching.

THE KNICK – Cinemax

Period Drama. Medical.

This is a short one if you don’t want too much of a commitment.  2 seasons, each only 10 episodes.

The Knick was directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Clive Owen.  it is not for the squeamish.  It IS for anyone looking for riveting television.


And I couldn’t leave you without giving you a look at what I think we can agree is *my* new movie, which basically never would have been made if it weren’t for me. I think we can all see that.

Please enjoy the trailer for …



Viewer Direction Advised – Documentary Sizzle from B Kaplan on Vimeo.

Watch for me on the red carpet at a film festival near you.

Have a good weekend!


→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←




To see allllll the shows I’ve recommended in my 3 Shows You Should be Watching Series, click here.

3 TV Shows You Should Be Watching. Part XII.


  1. NinaMargo says:

    Karen, can’t wait to see your movie! Looks fabulous, especially since I once proudly wore a “kill your TV” button on my lumberjack shirt while living (mostly) off grid in the Montana boonies for 10 years.

  2. Cussot says:

    Well, I’ll be slack-jawed and drooling on my shirt over Buffy the Vampire Slayer this weekend. I’m trying to get to the seasons where the show supposedly gets profound and I’m not there yet.

    Loved ‘your’ movie trailer – is the doc going on the festival circuit or will we get to see it on TV?

    • Shelagh says:

      Oh dear… who mislead you… Buffy does NOT get profound ever… but Josh Whedon does do fun stuff… the episode where they do nothing but sing is terrific!

      • cussot says:

        That should be fun! And don’t get me wrong – I’m enjoying the hell out of Buffy.

        • Shelagh says:

          Are you watching it for the first time? Oh wow! Well, I won’t spoil it for you but there was a point where the rest of the characters become infinitely more interesting than Buffy….she whines too much

          Willow was always my favourite!

  3. Melissa says:

    I’m looking forward to The Fix, I’ve heard great things.

  4. Totally loved OZARK and cannot wait for Season 2. Love Jason Bateman.
    I’ve just started watching One Mississippi with Tig Nataro on Amazon Prime. So far, I’m really enjoying it.

  5. Carey says:

    Huge congrats on the documentary. The trailer is great.

  6. attygreen13 says:

    Get Shorty is fricking awesome. Chris Dowd may be my Idris of the moment … swoon.

  7. Karen says:

    OUTLANDER! Season 4 starts Nov 4.
    In the meantime I’ve been reading and rereading the 8 books.

  8. Karin in NC says:

    Ozark – LOVE
    Goliath – LOVE
    and just finished four seasons of Bosch and – LOVE

    I’m squeamish so not gonna watch The Knick, but will look into Get Shorty once we finish The Fabulous Mrs. Maisel which we just started.

  9. Jen says:

    I loooove me some Jason Bateman but couldn’t get into Ozarks because he seemed like such a despicable character and apparently I only like him when he snarkily self-deprecating. My husband LOVED it though so on your recommendation (not his!), I will try it again.

    I’m always on a crime drama/police procedural kick but have lately been loving Orphan Black. The lead is amazing—she plays many characters but all have their own personalities/quirks/physical mannerisms so you forget that they’re all HER.

  10. Melissa says:

    TV is so much better than it used to be… I appreciate this post and its comments for new ideas on what to watch.

    If you haven’t already (and were once an X-Files fan) you might really enjoy the shows:
    – The Man in the High Castle
    – Fortitude

    Both are on Prime. We didn’t just watch these shows— we discussed and deconstructed and marveled at their plot turns.

    And we recommended them over and over to people we know. And now to you, too!

  11. Susan says:

    Wow. . That certainly makes a statement about society.

  12. Mary W says:

    I can not watch the first 3 – just can’t force myself to be enjoying/relaxing while all that is going on – it is numbing. BUT, your investment show – now that is going to be fun. I enjoyed the trailer, enjoy your blog, so I’m sure I will enjoy it. It will play well with all the old timers watching if only to bring back good memories. Good memories are just memories (good and bad) that magically are remembered as mostly good since bad memories have a short shelf life unless they were horrific. Time is a strange thing just like our brain. If the way we used to watch connected us with others, why are we so divided now? Why didn’t we grow into a gentler and more tolerant world? Maybe lots of us did, but what has happened – will your show answer it? or at least attempt to? I can’t wait to see it. Your friend is the father? or is someone playing him? He is great and the son appears perfect for this part, too. You can tell he cares for his father when he finally does it “with a French accent”. Really can’t wait!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mary! Well, it’s a documentary so no one plays anyone. It’s all real life. :) So there’s no script or sets. It’s just my friend and his son travelling to L.A. and the people they interview about television. ~ karen!

  13. Cindy says:

    Love that trailer Karen! I can see how your significant input shaped the entire documentary. :)
    Your friend is a hoot!

  14. Sabina says:

    PS – Can’t wait to see your movie too!

  15. Sabin says:

    I am dying to sink my teeth into The Knick but don’t have Cinemax and can’t grab it on any of my smart tv apps yet, boohoo. But if you wan’t a good read along that line “City of Dreams: A Novel of Early Manhattan” by Beverly Swerling. A fabulous read and also not for the squeemish. An Amazon Prime serious I stumbled on was The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – a must see as well! Season 1 is available for binge watching and anticipating season 2 on the edge of my seat, around October/November.

  16. Heather says:

    Your friend’s impersonation of Tattoo and his son’s reaction was funny. As I watched the trailer, I kept thinking of all the older folks back in the 70’s who lamented that we were losing the family connection, because we didn’t talk as families anymore or play games together. We just sat around staring at a box, they said. My memory is of having some great times with my family in front of the TV, especially watching Fantasy Island, Love Boat, All in the Family, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart and Carol Burnett. There were lots of other great times with friends watching after-school reruns, I was especially keen on Gilligan’s Island and Bonanza. That said, my family now has great times gathering around funny YouTube videos, and we share a lot of great Netflix memories with friends. How many of us would want to return to having to look-up the TV guide and arrange our schedules to accomodate shows? Most of what was on TV in the 70’s was crap. And think of all those commercials, and the way they end-loaded them. The last half 20 minutes of every movie was interupted every couple of minutes with hair dye and ketchup ads we’d seen a million times. AArghhhh! It’s better now.

  17. Jenny W says:

    Ozark, can not wait for season 2 :)
    I could watch Jason Bateman eat soup with a fork, and find him entertaining!

  18. Lynda says:

    Just finished 3 seasons of Better Call Saul on Netflix – really good acting and different storyline. And I loved Longmire.

  19. Claire says:

    I’m waiting on the next season of ‘The Good Place’ and the next season of a british crime comedy ‘Death in Paradise’…

  20. Mondo Fowler says:

    I will watch anything with Chris O’ Dowd in it. I’m not so secretly in love with him.

  21. I cant wait for Outlander come back on November 4th, I think. I’m soo addicted to that show! I mean.. Jamie Fraser is sooo hot! Even in a kilt! Lol

  22. Oh my.. I cant wait for Outlander come back on November 4th, I think. I’m soo addicted to that show! I mean.. Jamie Fraser is sooo hot! Even in a kilt! Lol

  23. Stephanie says:

    800 Words on Acorn

  24. Sue says:

    “Sinners”on Netflix.

  25. Jess says:

    Fleabag-only 1 season and on Amazon I think.
    Goliath-2 seasons…Amazon
    End of the F**king World-1 season on Netflix
    All excellent!!!!

    • Robert says:

      I LOVED Fleabag! And also Chewing Gum, And Crazy ex-girlfriend, that sadly is ending after this season 😭.
      And Outlander! Karen, you have to watch outlander! Enough of us here in the comments like it for you to not watch it.
      And also the Marvelous Mrs Maisel

  26. Mark says:

    Ozark is really good. Haven’t seen the other too. (If you get a chance to see Unforgotton or Hidden – both Brit shows – don’t miss them!)

    It appears that another season of Luther is going to be made, and CBC will be streaming it on cbc.ca in September! Plus rumours seem to be increasing that our man Idris Elba will be the next James Bond, despite him being “too street”… :)

  27. Carolyn Schneider says:

    Goliath on Amazon prime.

  28. Heather B says:

    For TV Shows You Should Be Watching Xlll check out Fauda on Netflix.

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