3 TV SHOWS YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING PART XI

This post is for the television watchers among you.  The loud and proud potatoes who can sink into a couch for hours on end with no more than wine and potato chips you find in your cat’s fur to sustain you through an entire 4 seasons of something GREAT.

The rest of you?  Feel free to enjoy my most recent “5 Books I’ve Read” post.  The rest of us will catch you on the flipside.

You might remember in 2016 I went the entire month of August without watching any television at all.   I’m not sure why I did this but I have a feeling I was tricked into it.  Since that little break from TV, I watch about 1/10th of the television I used to.  Unless you count CNN which I don’t.  Because it isn’t really a television show based on the fact that we’ve never seen any of its character’s living rooms.

I used to be that girl who could sit on the couch and watch an entire season of a television show.  I’d feel gross by the end of the marathon, my hair all squinched up at the back where it rubbed on the couch, pains in my stomach from too much coffee or too many potato chips or too much laughing at VEEP.  Now I watch 1 episode a night.  If it’s a half hour show, I might get in two of them with a break for going for a run in between.  HAHAHAHAH.  Just kidding.  I break for building things or eating things.

It’s been a year and a half since I did one of these 3 TV Shows You Should Be Watching posts so I had a really hard time narrowing it down to 3.  So I didn’t.  I narrowed it down to 5.  And then I realized I really like to stick with tradition and narrowed it back down to 3.

Just in time for your fall hibernation and because fall feels a bit creepy to me 2 of the 3 shows are very definitely creep.

3 TV Shows You Should Be Watching

(You know, unless you don’t watch television because you’re a superior type being who has nothing to say around the water cooler on Monday mornings.)

THE HANDMAID’S TALE
 

I don’t even really want to describe The Handmaid’s Tale to you because the synopsis might turn you off. It all sounds very far fetched and futuristic but basically it’s about a Dystopia. Which is the opposite of a Utopia.  A land (that was formerly The United States) that is a bleak totalitarian nation without constitution.  See? It sounds super-dull.  It is not.  The Handmaid’s Tale is the best new show I’ve seen in years. And it is completely and utterly addictive.  The series is based on the novel of the same name from Canadian author, Margaret Atwood.   Just watch.

 

 

Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful is THE perfect series for you to watch leading up to Halloween. It is full of creep and crawl.  The series interweaves fictional characters like Count Dracula, Victor Frankenstein and Dorian Grey with new fictional characters Vanessa Ives (the female lead) and Ethan Chandler (the male lead).  The 3 season series is set in Victoria era London and is not for the faint of heart.

 

 

LIFE IN PIECES

Now that you’re suffering from extreme anxiety, let’s jump into Life In Pieces, a half hour scripted comedy that is incredibly unique from all other scripted comedies.  It’s actually funny.  Life in Pieces fills its half hour not with one storyline, but with 3 short stories, each revolving around various members of the family.   It. Is. Great.  It stars Colin Hanks (son of Tom) whom I love. I interviewed him once and he was a peach.

 

 

Stranger Things, This is Us, The Crown – all astonishingly great shows. I know you’re wondering why I didn’t mention them.  It’s because I try to come up with shows you maybe aren’t already watching or hearing about. Although everyone in Canada is obsessed with The Handmaid’s Tale, I’m not sure about its popularity in the U.S.  Are you watching it or hearing about it?

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to Google for a picture of Anderson Cooper’s living room.

Have a good weekend and get watching.

 

 

 

 

p.s.!  Click here if you want to see alllllll of the tv shows I’ve recommended over the years.

82 Comments

  1. Paula says:

    I love the Handmaid’s Tale, it is so good and almost creepily (a real word?) possible. I read the book in school years ago, and I watched the movie; the tv show is not a disappointment at all. I haven’t watched the others, but I will now. Thanks for the tips.

  2. Bob Larson says:

    for news try FOX
    do you like pizza?
    i have a real quick and easy to make them

  3. Tina says:

    Yeah, no. I won’t watch the first two. I read the Handmaid’s Tale and hated it. Just too possible.

    But I love Life In Pieces!

    Of last years shows, I loved Bull. And the one with Lily Tomlinson and Jane Fonda.

  4. Glenn says:

    Great post. Sadly, I am not a Hulu subscriber, but for at least this one American, Atwood’s novel was incredibly disturbing. Maybe bc I read it during our surreal political circus this past year while watching “Man in the High Castle”. I seriously had to visit my psychiatrist when I was trying to stop obsessing about it!

    Atwood’s book, according to her, included only events which had actually already happened sometime and somewhere. And not in a parallel universe either!

    I think I’ll go back to the familiar, comfortable paranoia of Phillip K. Dick

  5. At last, someone else I know has watched has watched ‘Life in Pieces’!! My daughter and I love it and constantly check to see if another series has been shot – favourite character is Jen, played by Zoe Lister-Jones (for the sarcasm!).

  6. Lois Baron says:

    I was traumatized early on by Dark Shadows and can’t bear creepy shows. But when (if) I remember, I’ll try Life in Pieces. I’d get a lot more crafting done if I watched more TV.

  7. Hi!

    Thank you for the TV recommendations! The first two would give me nightmares, but hey, different strokes…. Will definitely be watching the third one. Didn’t know Tom had a son who was in the business.

    Just a note…a while back your site would “reboot” and knock us out. You fixed it and it was been terrific for months and months and months, however it has begun to do the reboot thing again – once yesterday and again today. It also is slow to show letters when entering text. Thought you should know.

    And before it reboots again, what can I put directly on/in the soil. I have the Vegtrug. My grandmother used to put egg shells and used coffee grounds. Can I do that and can I put in my dead tomato plants? I am virginal at gardening. Veggies didn’t turn out so well, but herbs were great!

    Thanks,
    Susan.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan. Try clearing your cache first of all. My server had huge issues 2 days ago. I *believe* it’s fixed now. You can put whatever you want in your Vegtrug, 😉 but really the best thing is compost. Just adding compost. And just to check, you want to put in your dead tomato plants right now? ~ karen!

  8. Fonda says:

    No sit-coms for us, and nothing on cable (we refuse to pay for it). We’ll watch what we can from ABC, NBC and CBS (and a little PBS and Escape thrown in).

    Our three picks for those of us with only enough cable to give us the basics:
    This is Us. Criminal Minds. How to Get Away With Murder.

    We didn’t watch much TV this summer. There was nothing on, except we did watch some news. We had to keep up with the crap that is our government, and Jeopardy, but we eventually stopped watching that.

    With this line-up, we still have plenty of time to read.

    • Jeopardy is my favorite show. I’m 33 years old. I obviously was born in the wrong decade.

      We only have netflix, so sadly I can’t catch it, but I love to watch it when I’m visiting my parents.

      • Fonda says:

        We’re watching Jeopardy again, because the new season has started. For some reason, I don’t like to watch it when they have a special theme going on, like teens, college, teachers, etc.. But, I can’t wait to see the “old timers”, like Ken Jennings, Arthur Cho (sp?) and more; however, there’s that one guy that I just don’t like (the one that seems like he doesn’t have any social skills — the weird one).

        I’m 61 now, and I have been watching it for many years, but probably not in my 30s,

  9. Ev Wilcox says:

    Already paying for Netflix and stupid cable. Can’t pay for Hulu, Showtime, HBO too, but oh how I wish I could get Starz! Jamie, oh Jamie…Sigh. Would not waste my time and/or $ on Penny Dreadful. Wish I could get The Handmaiden’s Tale though. Will read the book soon!

  10. Carrie says:

    Thanks for the line up! Fall is definitely a time to curl up on the couch. Of course fall is creepy,its because everything is dying around us! LOL (but not LOL)
    Come back summer pretty please!!
    Anyway, it took me a few pages to get into The Handmaidens Tale but then I was hooked. As another reader put it “creepily possible”.
    Quite scary if if you think about it but I couldn’t put it down!
    I didn’t realize there was a series,so thanks again.

    Don’t know about the others but I’ll give them a try while waiting out the winter like a grumpy bear hibernating in his cave. With salt and vinegar chips of course………..👍👍

  11. Nancy Sanderson says:

    Have you seen Taboo from BBC yet? I just watched the first season and was blown away. Very dark portrayal of 19th century London. So good.

  12. Carswell says:

    I have Netflix and Amazon Prime so I am not going to sign up for Hulu – but I am going to pay for and download The Handmaid’s Tale from iTunes.

    Another Atwood piece is coming to Netflix next month I think. Alias Grace – and it looks to be as well crafted as by all accounts is the Handmaid’s Tale.

  13. ronda says:

    The Handmaid’s Tale … nervously awaiting season 2. If it’s anything like season 1 … SO INTENSE!

  14. Allison says:

    I can’t speak for his main home, but Andersen Cooper’s living room in Brazil is AH-MAY-ZING.

    https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/anderson-cooper-trancoso-brazil-vacation-home

  15. Kristen says:

    One word. Outlander. Season three just started and it did not disappoint. Loved the books, love the show. I have the Handmaid’s Tale on reserve at the library (I always read the books first), Penny Dreadful would leave me afraid of my own shadow, and looking forward to checking out Life in Pieces. Thanks for recommendations!

  16. Leisa says:

    I love Life in Pieces, soooo funny!!!

  17. Ann says:

    Handmaid’s Tale was a big thing in the US a few months ago. But I think everybody watched it then and moved on. But we are all waiting for season 2.

    I agree that Handmaid’s Tale is one of the best shows ever to be put on network TV. Especially the way the world is behaving right now. I am so glad it has been nominated for so many awards and I hope it wins for every one of them.

    Next up: Alias Grace. Another Margaret Atwood tale to be airing on Netflix.

  18. Ann says:

    did the ability to comment to individual comments disappear? Or perhaps, not enough coffee for me this morning?

    • Karen says:

      Oops! I got rid of the “nesting” portion of the comment section since it was showing up as weird on tablets and iPhones. I didn’t realize it completely took away the ability to reply! I’ll change it back. ~ karen!

      • Cathleen says:

        So I am not the only one that saw that. Thought my mind was going.
        I don’t get your emails anymore either? If I am not currently subscribed let me know I will redo.

        • Karen says:

          Hi Cathleen. I’ve changed the comment section back to where you can do “nested” comments. It should be fine now. 🙂 I”ll check to see if you’re subscribed. ~ karen!

        • Karen says:

          Hi! Apparently you unsubscribed on September 8th. Obviously by accident. 🙂 I’ve resent you a confirmation email, so just click on that when it comes in to be readded to the list. ~ karen!

  19. Megan M says:

    This American is most definitely watching The Handmaids Tale! Actually, it the only thing I have watched in months. No never mind, I did watch The Crown (and loved it!). Ok, I’ve watched two shows in the past 3 months. Loved them both. I’ll add the other two for the next 3 months.

  20. Laura Nazimiec says:

    We watch Handmaiden’s Tale. Weird but a show you cannot help to watch. My husband loves Penny Dreadful

  21. Karin in NC says:

    Great! I will start A Handmaid’s Tale tomorrow night!

    Also. I am totally sure that Anderson’s living room is to die for. Have you seen his suits?! The man definitely has serious style.

  22. Melissa says:

    Started to watch Outlander, you will not be disappointed! Costume design, history, amazing scenery, love….. and Scottish hunk of burning love : D

    Melissa
    @pierrethebichonpoo

  23. Marjorie Kramer says:

    I recently watched Downward Dog and loved it. Then chicken $#/+ ABC cancelled it. I love that show and hope a braver network picks it up, advertises the heck out of it and gives it a chance for the audience to find it. Probably not gonna happen. You get a show where the main character is a smart, sassy, successful single woman who doesn’t look like a super model and, naturally, it must be killed. Bitter! Sad! And the dog, oh my goodness, I’m gonna miss him, too.

    • Mia says:

      I loved, loved that show, especially the dog. His voice and expressions were so endearing. I knew non-dog-people who really liked it too. It has to come back!

      • Stephbo says:

        I was so sad it was cancelled! I thought it was wonderfully charming, and the dog always had me laughing with his mixed up version of events.

        • Mia says:

          Wasn’t that a riot near the end, how he thought that if he just took care of that cat, then all would be OK? I’ve seen nothing about it being picked up by another station, but I haven’t looked in months. I would love to have the show recorded and just watch from time to time.

          • stephbo says:

            I laughed so hard, I cried at that episode. I sure do miss that show. It would be great if some other network picked it up.

  24. Brenda says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Life in Pieces. That and Schitt’s Creek are our two favorite comedies!! Can’t wait for both of them to start up again.

  25. Tracy Martinez says:

    Penny Dreadfull is really good. Some of the time lines don’t match up I think, but if you can overlook that it is an awesome show. I love the way they bring do many mythical horror characters together. I watched it on Netflix.

  26. NinaMargo says:

    Any day now… Longmire, Longmire, Longmire……

    with Shrimp Chips and a Prosecco Cooler.

  27. cat says:

    I tried so hard to like Penny Dreadful, but I just found it… dreadful. Did love Handmaid’s Tale, though.

  28. Linn says:

    Oh, Karen, if you like creepy (loved, loved, loved Penny Dreadful),
    give Hemlock Grove, True Blood, The living and the Dead, Westworld, Gotham and Bates Motel a try. F.U.N. fun! These are shows that you shouldn’t take too seriously, but really, really appreciate for the writing and cinematography! We have Netflix, Amazone Prime, HBO, Starz, and Showtime. Obviously we love our series, it’s whats for dinner! Yikes, should I be embarassed about what our evenings consist of………I think not…….tv viewing is at a new level!

  29. Ellen says:

    Love Life in Pieces. Several summers ago Zoe Lister Jones and her real life husband spent 5 days filming scenes for a movie that they wrote. Fun experience for me. One evening her husband sat down at my piano and the crew gathered around and we sang Adele songs. I introduced my chicken, Sourdough to Taylor Kinney, Lady Gaga’s boyfriend at the time. Beth Grant was here for 4 days and we spent lots of time chatting….we were the older folks. All nice people and I’m so glad I let them use my home.

  30. Jody says:

    I love the photo for Penny Dreadful. It looks like a skull. Very artsy.
    My son just got me started on Stranger Things. And yes, strange. I love all the phones and how the phones couldn’t be part of a story line set in current day.

  31. Sheryl Powell says:

    Favorite brand new show you should be watching? Disjointed on Netflix starring Kathy Bates. Even my husband who hates sitcoms laughed and laughed at the stoners.

  32. Elsa says:

    Love The Handmaids Tale, a good portion was shot right around Hamilton and Cambridge, can’t wait to watch Penny Dreadfyuyl

  33. Lobo says:

    The Handmaid’s Tale is unwatchable garbage. It’s truly terrible. I tried to give it a shot after all the hype but it’s just awful.

    • Karen says:

      I think you forgot to add in “I think … ” prior to saying it’s truly terrible. Ha! Because I watched it without any hype at all (just having seen 1 commercial for it) and I loved it. For instance “I think Game of Thrones is unwatchable garbage”. ~ karen!

      • Lobo says:

        *shock* Game of Thrones (GoT) is the greatest piece of media ever created!

        GoT has the 3rd most Emmy wins (35) as of 2016. Only Frasier (37) and SNL (44) have more. Frasier will be beat out this season and SNL took 41 years to collect 44 awards. GoT had only 60 episodes to win 35 awards.

        I love good TV and ‘Maids Tale is appalling. “This Is Us” is infinitely better than Handmaids Tale. BUT! Have anything else to recommend? I’m always looking for something new. Is there a genre you prefer?

        • Cussot says:

          I’d be curious to know if you have read the source material for both series and what you thought of the books, Lobo.

          I guess if Emmys are any indication of anything, Handmaid’s Tale is off to a good start.

  34. Jennie Lee says:

    Thanks, Karen, for helping me plug Penny Dreadful. I was running out of people to tell about it. By the way, for those like me without Hulu, or cable, or whatever: all 3 seasons of Penny Dreadful are available in one set at a reasonable price. For a different kind of creepy, I like Vikings, too. And I’m very glad folks are so liberal in Canada, but I think you’re underestimating my friends and me, in Progressive Democrats of Wood County, Wood County Indivisible, and Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action. Yes, there actually is brain activity in West Virginia. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jennie Lee! I’m not meaning to underestimate the democratiness of various Americans. I was referring to individuals, yes, but more to politicians. Here our politicians are not referred to as Democrats and Republicans, they’re literally referred to as Conservatives and Liberals. Our most conservative politician would still be considered liberal by American standards and our Liberals would be considered Libertarian. 🙂 ~ karen!

  35. Eddie Cummings says:

    LOVED Penny Dreadful, I just wish it was going to continue, three seasons was not enough. LOVED Handmaids tale, cant wait to see more, Ill keep an eye out for your third suggestion, right after I ‘m done with Ozark, you should check that one out, Thanks!!!!

  36. Melanie says:

    The Handmaid’s Tale comes a riveting close second to Taboo with Tom Hardy- reason enough to watch it! Check it out if you haven’t already- hanging out for season 2!!!

  37. Alena says:

    Love in Pieces sounds like fun.
    I am not watching The Handmaid’s Tale – I see the original movie with Aidan Quinn and Elizabeth McGovern (I never cared for Natasha Richardson) and it was a good movie (although disturbing) and I don’t understand the need for all these remakes because they are generally crap. (Just like The Scent of A Woman with Al Pacino – an absolute waste of time. The original Italian movie [although old – from 1974] is superior on every level).
    So no, I don’t plan on watching THT.

  38. Mary W says:

    Really interesting until they wheeled him to the Jiffy Lube next door – I laughed out loud and woke my daughter. That is funny for real – reminds me of the movie – can’t remember the name but will ask my daughter when she is speaking to me again. She just told me – Little Miss Sunshine. Unexpected funniness. Love it. Must see this one. I can’t do creepy but comedy, especially like this one seems, is right up my alley! The Hand Maids Tale is just too close to reality here in America.

  39. Fonda says:

    I’d like to add that The Handmaid’s Tale was made into a movie way back when. Today, the effects will probably be better, and the mini series might play more into today’s problems, like women and bodily autonomy. I think I need to read the book, because I don’t remember reading it.

  40. SusanR says:

    I agree about The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s as stunning visually as its story line. The visuals of it are equally as important as the acting. And it’s addicting. Can’t wait for the new season. My husband and I also loved Ozark. Excellent show, in our view. I have to pass on the scary shows. I have too vivid an imagination to watch those kinds of shows. After watching one, every sound in the night portends things other than the house cooling off. I’m already paranoid enough, I don’t need additional input. LOL My husband already knows to immediately identify whatever sound happens in the night, before I freak out!

    It’s a pretty amazing time for television shows. We downsized our cable subscription to be able to subscribe to Amazon, Hulu and Netflix, but we’re retired and are unashamedly avid TV watchers. Hasn’t cooked our brains, yet.

  41. Janelle says:

    I just this morning finished watching The Handmaid’s Tale. This is sad for a 43 year-old Canadian, but after “Alias Grace” I decided I’d have to ration Atwood novels if I wanted them to last my whole life. The math gets complicated when you don’t know the rate at which she pumps out new novels and have no idea how long you’ll live. Alas, the t.v. show started and I knew I couldn’t watch it without reading the book, first. The book is genius…I hope as many people read it (if they haven’t already) as are watching the show – which I think is a lot because it won an Emmy tonight. Thanks for the other recommendations. There’re so many great shows on right now. Ozark is quite good.

  42. Susan says:

    Read Handmaid’s Tale years and years ago and still recall the discomfort it caused me. Now it seems much more likely to happen so it’s even more disturbing. Lack of Hulu has kept me from watching. But talk about visually stunning—the winner has to be “The Young Pope”. Every shot is painting-worthy. Black/white/red color schemes and classical compositions. It’s almost too much for the eyes to take in. The story line makes more sense if you watch all of the episodes—some of the weirdness starts to seem normal.

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