3 TV Shows You Should be Watching

I love television.  I love it with all of my heart, and I’m not embarassed to say it.  It’s become quite a thing lately to not own a television.  To look at TV as some kind of obscene, pedestrian blob.

You know those people who say “Oh no, I’ve never seen that.  We don’t watch television“.  I hate those people.  Not because they don’t watch television but because they always say it in such a condescending, snotty way.  Like television is just one rung beneath scab picking as a form of entertainment.

Whenever people get all snooty on me because of television I think, Um.  It’s television.  It’s changed the world and the way we see it.  The moon landing, JFK being shot, even last year’s heartwarming rescue of the Chilean Coal miners.  All made possible by television.  And let’s not forget Jersey Shore.

The point is, I like television and the people who think it’s beneath them are pretentious assholes.   Oops.  I didn’t really mean to say that out loud, but it’s out there now so why bother deleting the sentence.

So if you are one of those people who think watching television is the equivalent of sticking a syringe into your brain and sucking out all the gray matter … stop reading now and join up again for Tuesday’s post.

Because today … I’m going to introduce you to 3 television shows that you may not be watching – but should.


 N u r s e   J a c k i e


Nurse Jackie revolves around the life of drug addict nurse Jackie Peyton played by who I consider to be the most unsung, yet best actress of our time … Edie Falco.

Edie Falco won the Emmy for Best Comedic Actress for her role as Nurse Jackie last year.

1/2 hour. (Showtime)

Season 3 just finished airing.

Click here to watch the trailer and get a taste of it.


B o a r d w a l k   E m p i r e


Martin Scorsese’s Boardwalk Empire revolves around the times of Prohibition in gangster run Atlantic City.  Fantastic cast led by Steve Buscemi.

Won  Emmy for Best Dramatic Series last year.

1 hour. (HBO)

Season 2 premieres September 25th.

Click here to have a look at whether Boardwalk Empire is to your liking.


 B r e a k i n g   B a d

Breaking Bad follows the life of Walter White, a chemistry teacher who starts making and selling crystal meth after being diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer.

Brian Cranston has won the Emmy for Best Lead Actor in a Drama for the past 3 years for his role on the show.

We named our Rooster, Tuco, after an unbelievably frightening character from Breaking Bad. You can see him at 0:50 in the trailer.

Season 4 currently airing on AMC.

1 hr.

Take a look here to see a promo for Breaking Bad.

There are scads of other shows I would recommend, Dexter comes to mind, but these are the 3 I think you might not be watching.  It seemed like a good time to tell you about them.   Fall is pretty much shuffling towards all of us in North America and with that season comes a whole lotta television watching.

If that doesn’t interest you, I can direct you towards the nearest scab.


  1. Linda says:

    I love love love TV. I don’t like anything violent or scary but not stupid either. Ok once in a while. My TV broke and my husband gave me his nice size flat screen so he could get an even larger one. Total waste of money but I am not going to complain, I have a big TV!! Not quite as many channels as you though so I probably miss some good stuff. I love The New Adventures of Old Christine. I have no idea why,I just do.

  2. Kate S. says:

    Hahaha, I totally don’t watch television. But I like to think I say so in an apologetic, rather than condescending tone. It’s interesting to see how people (you) feel on the other end, though. My conversations with acquaintances and strangers typically go like this:

    Stranger: Oh, it’s like on that show . . . you know the show. What channel is that it’s on, with all the reality shows?

    Me: Uh, I don’t really know.

    Stranger: Jersey Shore! That’s what it’s called. It’s like on Jersey Shore, when Snookie did such and such. You know?

    Me: Oh, uh, actually I’ve never seen Jersey Shore. I don’t watch television . . . err, sorry.

    Stranger: Oh. Well, you know what I mean.

    Me: (thinking) Actually I don’t. (awkward smile and nod)

    In my case, I end up feeling woefully inadequate for not having seen Snookie’s latest escapades (or her previous escapades). Often, I want to inappropriately shout, “I read books! LOTS of books! And blogs! And interesting articles! And magazines. Really! I’m very well-read!” Somehow, even shouting that in my head doesn’t make up for my lack of pop-culture knowledge. Throw me a pity party already: )

  3. Tanya W says:

    Everything in moderation…

    Breaking Bad is fab. I love how I haven’t lost interest 3 seasons in.

    I will have to try the other 2..

    Game of Thrones is pretty good, if you can muscle past the nerdyness.

  4. Gina says:

    I admit to allowing Jon Hamm into my dreams, I love Mad Men, and am missing it so much! The other show I really enjoyed was Human Target,(with Mark Valley ummm!) which was cancelled. These guys distract me from the Food Network, which is good when you are a 50+ year old menopausal slow metabolism kinda gal.

  5. Del says:

    Well, it seems like Australia isn’t the only place that suffers from crap TV. There are some good shows and then there are…..? But, in defence of TV I would not have the massive storage of useless and useful facts if it were not for TV. The talking box arrived in Australia when I was about 5 (yes, I am that old)and I was hooked. To say I was a reclusive child is putting it one way. My best friend was the TV set with all the stuff it could tell me about America and England, not to mention animals and science projects. I just wish it would go back the way it use to be – terrific shows, no reality shows and inventive and funny commercials. I know, I know, I’m a sad, mad old lady – it’s been said before. Today TV has become my second best friend, replaced by Google. I guess I’m shallow too.

  6. Amanda says:

    Karen, I LOVE Boardwalk Empire…will have to check out your other recommendations soon! Have you seen Shameless? it’s amazing!

  7. Amy says:

    How funny! I wrote a blog post that was almost the same, except I had three different shows: http://dimestorediamondsjewelry.blogspot.com/2011/09/i-have-confession.html

  8. Steph says:

    You and I are twins from different mothers. I.swear.to.God!! I love your blog and I love all of those shows, I cannot wait for Dexter to start back up. I did love Weeds, but man that show jumped the shark.

  9. kelliblue says:

    Ok. Ok. *I* don’t watch TV. *haughty sniff*

    Not because I’m a pretentious snob, but because I can’t afford it! Basic cable here in $75/month, something I can’t see myself paying any time soon. Maybe when my new car is paid off. In like, 5 years.

    I agree about Breaking Bad – omg i watched the first 2-3 episodes (before I moved and had no cable) and was mesmerized! Most of my TV is now found on Hulu or other TV websites. Another one is The Walking Dead. Crreeeepppyyy.

    There IS good television out there (a lot of it’s on BBCA) it’s just that you have to wade thru so much CRAP to find it! (or pay for it)

    • Karen says:

      Kelliblue – I’m starting to worry everyone thinks I only watch good television. I also *love* bad television. Jersey Shore, The Little Couple, Toddlers and Tiaras if I’m feeling like screaming at the television … Yup. I’m a television whore at times. ~ karen

      • Karen says:

        So glad to hear this about the Little Couple and Toddlers and Tiaras… How about Hoarders? That show makes me feel better about my own clutter!

  10. Kasia says:

    I’m addicted to True Blood, don’t think any commenters mentioned that one. It’s totally cheesy and outrageous, but that’s what I like about it! It’s HBO, but I rent the DVDs.

    I’m one of those people that tell others I don’t watch TV, which is technically true, I don’t watch regular TV, only because I never know what is on, and when, and what season it is, and it’s just too too hard to keep up with it. But I love NatGeo and the History Channel. Yes, I know, I pay for cable…. but that’s worth it for those channels for me!

    Frankly, I’m always sort of embarrassed that I haven’t heard of the TV shows others mention. So I’m definitely not condescending when I say it :)

  11. I love tv *and* don’t own a set … mostly because I’m cheap and don’t feel like paying for cable or sitting thru commercials – my show watching is by streaming.

    weeds, breaking bad, dr who, shaun the sheep

    the anti-tv crowd is simply not capable of picking a good show.

  12. magali says:

    that is always what I hated about those people too, how they say it in such a condescending way. Believe it or not, when I was a toddler my parents didn’t have a TV and people use to actually tell them that I would grow up to be stupid because of it. Eventually my mom got sick of hearing that so she bought one with a black and white image just to shut people up! She now has a normal flat screen TV and I, thankfully, didn’t grow up to be dumb despite my lack of TV watching as a young kid.

    as someone else mentioned above, I am also on the Weeds bandwagon.

    and one last thing, one of my favourite things about returning from vacation is catching up on your posts!

  13. Jess says:

    Well at least you watch good T.V., which is nothing to be ashamed of :). Breaking Bad is an AMAZING show. LOVE that your rooster was named after Tuco. Boardwalk Empire and Nurse Jackie will be added to the ever growing list of shows we need to check out. Hopefully Netflix streaming will pick them up, since we are too cheap to have cable and don’t plan on using Quickster. Also a favorite of ours is Dr. Who. Never saw the original, but have been following the 2005 relaunch of the show. Love the Dr.

  14. Shauna says:

    Oh, I so need to get back to breaking bad. I don’t even know what season we ended on. We were all caught up, but now I think we might be a season behind – must research this and check netflix. I watched Nurse Jackie once and really liked it, so stopped watching it because I wanted to go back to the beginning and watch – still on the list. Never heard of the last one, but will take your word and find it. Dexter – still behind on that. Behind in Tudors and a host of others too.

    Sheesh, so much good t.v., so little time;)

  15. I just get my son to download whatever we want to watch and hook up to our now useless TV without digital capabilities – it’s not really a condescending thing, it’s a cheap thing :)

  16. Nancy says:

    I pick my scabs while I am watching TV so I guess doing OK. there is a lot of crap in TV land..but the good stuff makes up for it…

  17. Lauren says:

    I also love TV, and I agree that admitting that in some circles that is akin to saying I love slaughtering baby seals. I will admit that there is a ton of crap airing right now, but there is also a ton of great TV. Nurse Jackie is my absolute favorite show. So is Mad Men although the delay has me very annoyed. Toni Collette was amazing in United States of Tara. I also watch alot of British series. I also read alot, so take that you pretentious twits.

    You should try Curb again. It takes quite a few episodes to get into it. We are diehard Seinfeld fans who couldn’t get into Curb until recently. It really is worth watching, but I admit it can be very strange.

  18. Jenny says:

    I miss TV. We gave up cable because it got too expensive. We do alot of Hulu now. And we can still get PBS for the little one. But I miss my random shows.

  19. Sara says:

    We don’t pay for cable/satellite either. However, like others, our TV is internet savvy so we do stream a few of our favorite shows. We watch hours of Mighty Machines a week (yes, we have a 4 yo boy and thank you Canada for entertaining and educating him with this fantastic kids show)and Community! Hello! You forgot Community! Funniest show ever!

  20. Rose campion says:

    I used to be one of those people. The ones who snottily announce that we don’t watch that, we don’t have a TV. I went about ten years without a television, more or less.

    But then television crept back into my life. It started with the realization that I could watch DVDs on the CD-rom on my computer. Then YouTube and Hulu came along. Oh, and I would spend way too many of my hours while on vacation, watching TV in my hotel room. I slowly came to the realization that I _was_ watching TV, just in inconvenient ways, on really terrible small screens. So I saved my pennies and one day announced to my reluctant husband, ‘I am going out to buy a television, do you want to come with me?”

    I went out and bought a 42 inch plasma flat screen. I made my husband pay for cable (though I still can’t get him to spring for HD or extras like HBO). It has been wonderful. I love my television. I do a lot of knitting and crochet, and I like to watch while doing it. Its wonderful to scream with laughter at the guys from BBCs Top Gear or the hijinks in Eureka. Or to be on the edge of my seat with the new Doctor Who.

    Even my husband, the original force behind our ‘we don’t have a TV’ days has had to admit that “TV doesn’t suck anymore’. As for me, I love my TV.

  21. Meg says:

    I KNEW I loved you for a reason! I’m obsessed with television, for entertainment and from a writing/analysis standpoint as well! Boardwalk is. the. shit. Dexter, too, and Breaking Bad is on my Netflix instant queue to start watching soon. MAN I love TV!

  22. Paulina J! says:

    I’m on the cheap bandwagon and don’t have cable. However, I love me some TV. I would recommend you add Castle to your list. It’s free and has Canadian Nathan Fillion in it. It’s wonderful!! You have to definitely go back to season 1 to understand the progression.

  23. Linda says:

    Breaking bad is awesome and totally agree with the Curb your enthusiasm reply too Karen, just can’t get into it. Larry drives me nuts.

    Community as someone mentioned above is fun to watch and I like that it’s still a ‘secret’.

    Game of Thrones. Love.

    Misfits. A British series. Hilarious and crazy.

    And I am into Spartacus. Try it. The drama is unbelievable. If you think its a male audience driven show, its not. Also a bonus that everyone is super sexy, I have a feeling you would think so too.

  24. Jennifer says:

    Amen….great post, comments even better. The best invention thus far the DVR!!!!!! Can you say 6 hours of tv done in 2.5 – ah thank you!!!!

  25. Soooo, I am in LOVE with Breaking Bad! I had a feeling you watched it when I saw that your rooster was named Tuco! About 3 of my friends and i debrief on Mondays about the previous nights episode. I think it is one the best written shows on TV. To cleanse the palette, I then watch an episode of the show Toddlers and Tiaras and thank Jesus for giving me boys. It also makes me feel better about being a parent and a human being.

  26. Korrine says:

    LOVE Nurse Jackie and Empire Boardwalk and I just finished episode 3 of Breaking Bad. I didn’t have a television for years because I was never home but now you will have to pry my DVR from my dead cold fingers.

  27. Oh Karen you’d fit right in here. Hubby can teach you (not me) how to love Curb Your Enthusiasm. I tend to watch the fluff stuff usually on TVO. Midsommer Murders, Masterpiece Theater, Cracker, Dalziel and Pasco, Doc Martin (love checking out Google Earth and tooling around the real town). Old Brit comedies like Waiting for God, As Time Goes By. Actually I watch so much Brit re-runs I can almost tell where accents come from and can usually figure out even some of the thickest stuff.

    I do have time to watch good North American stuff too. Added to ALL the stuff you mentioned, there is also, HBO’s Game of Thrones – Love the little girl! Mad Men, Damages, Wallander and Deadwood.
    Btw, in case anyone doesn’t know, Prime Suspect and Silent Witness were Brit shows first.

    Actually having a husband who is a TV critic makes TV watching a real pleasure cause he weeds out the stuff he knows I’ll hate when he programs my PVR every week so we don’t miss the last sceens on those channels that “stagger” their start/end times. As they say on South Park – Sweet.

  28. Erika says:

    I don’t have tv (as a service)just because I’m not willing to pay the outrageous prices for cable. I do own a tv, though, and watch A LOT of dvds, including tv series. My favs are shows like Bones, and Life, and the ones that are really good but always seem to get cancelled after one or two seasons. And Doctor Who. And Ninja Warrior is a definate guilty pleasure. :) My parents have satellite, so I can sometimes pick it up when I’m over there.

  29. Antonia says:

    I LOVE this post. You’re hilarious…and I am definitely going to check out all those shows. Yeah for TV!

  30. traci says:

    I just heard an interview with the cast and creator of Breaking Bad on NPR yesterday and was thinking that I needed to track it down to watch. It is on Netflix instant watch so I will be checking it out soon!

    We gave up cable because it is so overpriced and all of the channels I want are all at the top of the tier (Like BBC America). We get the basic channels in HD thanks to an antenna and then get shows via Netflix and Hulu.

    If you haven’t seen Community you need to get the DVDs pronto! It is absolutely hilarious! And I always have a vote for Doctor Who!

  31. jen says:

    We have a big television but we don’t “watch tv” because we refuse to pay for cable. However, our TV is internet capable meaning we can watch stuff on hulu+ or netflix streaming. I absolutely adore all Nurse Jackie & Breaking Bad – we just watch them a bit later than most people. Haven’t checked out Boardwalk Empire but it’s in our queue!

  32. Staci says:

    We don’t have cable either, but we have Netflix, which is soon to be Qwikster or something like that, but Netflix will be exclusively streaming, and I always watch stuff a season late usually, but that’s OK. I’m putting all three of these in my queue and feel free to serve up some more.

  33. ModFruGal says:

    I watch TV and I pick scabs. Nice choices..I’m always late though..I’m still catching up on the Tudors, how many years after it aired?

  34. Langela says:

    What’s a television? What’s that? Oooohhh, the pretty picture box. I love the pretty picture box! I’ve never heard of your shows, but my favorite is Andy Griffith. That Barney is so funny! I’m not sure if it’s in its first or second season, but you should watch it. I think it should win awards. The only thing that could make it better is if they could come up with a way to colorize it. It’s probably impossible, but that would be really cool.

  35. Maggie says:

    AHHAAAAA!!! Love this post! Now I need to go check these out….more tv to add to my life :)

  36. michelle says:

    have a good weekend???

    i wish!

    i would love to watch more tv…if i could get my kids off the wii i might be able to. been meaning to check out nurse jackie and will do so now.

    have a good weekend karen!

    oh, hey, ps…your chicken stories have convinced us to get some of our own. coop building starts after work today! we’ll build the coop before we get the chickens (thanks for that lesson!) ~m

  37. Brigid says:

    ‘Kill your Television’ is a very popular bumper sticker around these here parts. They make me angry. I, too, LOVE my tv. It has brought me sooo much knowledge about the world and all the wonderful/terrible things out there! I only have basic cable, but thanks to the internet, I can stream just about anything. The shows you mentioned are awesome!
    To the tv haters, I say, get a life and get out from under your pretentious rock; you know you secretly long to be Snooki’s BFF.

  38. Jules says:

    awesome suggestions..I LOVE Dexter- just recently started watching 24 again on netflix- will defintiely checking these out! I always thought you sorta looked like Edie Falco- but prettier :)

  39. LaineyDid says:

    Weeds, The Big C and True Blood are all amazing and worth watching too (from their respective first seasons)
    Great choices Karen!!!

  40. gf says:

    I love Breaking Bad, you really need to start with season 1 to emotionally bond with Walt.

    Both the writing and acting are superb, but it is not for the faint of heart or a show you can sit down with your 9 year old and watch.

    I only watch 3 shows. Dr Who, Breaking Bad and Torchwood; otherwise the TV is pretty much off.

  41. pve says:

    love boardwalk empire….and you might want to add “curb your enthusiasm” and “up all night” to your tv addicton.

    • Karen says:

      pve – You know what? I’ve tried Curb Your Enthusiasm a few times and just don’t like it. The fella and I are perplexed as to why we don’t like it, but we don’t. We shall give it one more try! ~ karen

      • Jen says:

        I have a tip about Curb. You really have to watch it from season one, episode one, to “get it”. If you enjoyed Seinfeld, this is Seinfeld taken up about 20 notches to sheer craziness. I love Larry David, and love Curb, but a few years back the hubby and I caught a random episode one night, and didn’t get it. Rant over.

  42. Karen,

    1) I don’t watch a lot of TV because most of it is crap

    2) However, Nurse Jackie is amazing, and I would never miss an episode, so I certainly do love TV. Just only good TV, not sitting mindlessly in front of it watching everything that’s on.

    3) Erm, scab picking is one rung up the ladder as an entertainment form. It is, in fact, the top rung on said ladder.

    Glad we’ve got that all a straight. Carry on.

  43. Rhonda N. says:

    Well, even though I don’t watch TV, I *do* watch Breaking Bad and Dexter. :)

  44. Hayley says:

    Ok, so I have no cable and no qualms about picking scabs. Maybe because I have no cable…? Really, I gave it up 2 years ago because I couldn’t justify $57 for BASIC cable. That’s doesn’t include cool channels like HBO. And then there’s the whole switch to digital cable thing that comes with the world’s most complicated to operate remote.
    So, I just wait for my dad to burn me a copy of his Sons Of Anarchy DVD and watch an entire season in one sitting. Cheesy show if it’s taken seriously, but entertaining. Except for the fact Adriana is on it. I thought Tony Soprano had her whacked…

    • Nicole says:

      Yes, I know what you mean about condescending people! I have a sister-in-law like that! She thinks she’s intellectually superior to us because she doesn’t watch TV. (She probably doesn’t pick her scabs either, but in fact, she’s one giant scab I’d like to pick once and for all. But that’s a long story for another day.) She came to our house and sneered when my husband showed everyone his new big screen TV. Personally, I ignore her when she talks like that. In fact, I generally just ignore her, because I love me my TV! I agree with other poster though, It’s crap how we have to pay a fortune just to get the really good channels. Thank you for letting me vent and for validating the fact that watching TV is not entirely bad.

  45. Aimee says:

    I love television too. :)

  46. Rebecca says:

    And also, what’s wrong with scab picking as a hobby? You gotta fill the time somehow!

  47. Rebecca says:

    Whenever I tell people that I don’t watch TV, I make sure to tell them it’s not because I’m a pretentious asshole, but just because I sew a lot and waste tons of time online. About two years ago we got a new TV and it’s just too goddamn complicated. I quit cold turkey out of frustration as soon as we got the nice flat screen. I could just watch everything my guy watches, but I think that would lead me to carve my eyeballs out eventually. I will however watch hour upon hour of Dexter each August when the DVDs are released.
    I might just pick up DVDs of your recommended shows, since now I never see ads for shows, so I don’t even know what’s on (except Jersey Shore – you’d have to live in a cave to not have heard about that abomination)

  48. Lesley says:

    TV is like most things – harmless in reasonable doses. There are intelligent thought-provoking programs (like the ones you mention) and there’s a terrifying amount of utter crap that makes me despair for the human race (most “reality” shows; anything on Slice and Cosmo).

    Here’s the most annoying thing: to get the channels that tend to have the good stuff (Showtime, HBO) I have to pay for a whole bunch of channels of CRAP.

  49. Marti says:

    Aw, look at you! Speaking of unsung heroes, right? RIGHT??? Way to go!

    And what do you have against picking scabs? I had hours of entertainment when mom sent me to my room as a child because of scabs. Don’t diss the scab picking!

    Not really. But still…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Seed Starting Calculator

  • About Karen