Monday, March 4, 2013

The Best Shows You Aren't Watching

There are some really, REALLY, incredible shows on TV right now.  Some seem to be everywhere, and constantly talked about, but we've lost some amazing, ground-breaking, hilarious shows already this season (ahem, Don't Trust the B_ in Apartment 23) so i'm going to provide you with a list of some awesome shows that you probably aren't watching - but should be.

Have I ever steered you wrong?


Originally billed as a Friends for the second decade of the 21st century, this show has evolved into a sharp, quick and surprisingly heart-warming ensemble comedy.  Ostensibly based in Chicago (ignore the Hollywood hills outside of Brad & Jane's apartment) the show really does capture the inter-connectedness (read: codependence) of many a group of late twenty-somethings roaming the streets of Chicago.

The first season was palatable (it appeared as a mid-season replacement)  but in the second season the show hit it's stride.  I often have to pause and/or rewind the show because I was laughing so loud I missed the two or three jokes that followed.

I heartily suggest you start at the beginning, to fall in love with the characters, but catch up as soon as possible.  Much like 30 Rock and Community, the show's ratings do not reflect it's high quality.


This FX series premiered a short while ago and I am already hooked.

Centering on an imbedded KGB couple who are posing as a typical American couple - owners of a local travel agency in the 1980s and living in the suburbs.  The couple - played with an impressive mix of affection and antagonism - by the likable Matthew Rhys and the delicious Keri Russell are raising two children (who are completely oblivious to their parents actual careers) while carrying out kidnappings, poisonings and various other espionage.

The writing is quick and the show manages to be highly suspenseful, without being overwhelming.  Russell (who can hold a close up better than any actress on TV) is the true believer, while Rhys doesn't mind life in America and even advocates flipping to the American's cause.  The fact that an FBI Officer, Stan Beeman (played by the always impressive Noah Emmerich) and his family just moved in across the street ratchets up the potential for drama.

The show balances the political atmosphere of the Cold War perfectly with the everyday issues that families face (kids growing up too fast, etc) and the examination of a marriage that is not what it seems in every way imaginable.

If this show doesn't get renewed for a second season I am holding you personally responsible.


I resisted the Mindy Project when it first premiered.  I have always found Mindy Khaling, Creator and Star, a little much.  In all honesty, the first couple of episodes proved that my initial instincts were correct.  Then something magical happened.  The show found it's pace, Khaling calmed down, and the show blossomed into an infinitely watchable and altogether charming examination of a driven overachiever who finds herself a partner in an obstetrics practice in Manhattan but without a meaningful romantic partnership.

The show also showcases the blurred lines between professional and personal relationships in the modern workforce.  Her professional partners Danny (the charming Chris Messina) and Jeremy (the pedestrian but very cute Ed Weeks) reflect two unique, and very different, states of male single life.

The supporting cast is outstanding, I have to give Khaling credit for choosing wisely and never being afraid to let others shine.  This show is my favorite new comedy of the year.  Hands down.


While not an "actual" TVshow (The Outs is a web-based mini-series) this engaging, moving and impressive show is the much, much better than anything I've seen on TV in a long time.

I have heard it described as a gay version of HBO's Girls and a Brooklyn based Will & Grace - both of which miss the mark by a long shot.  The show is an examination of modern friendships and romantic relationships that is impeccably  almost painfully, honest.  It doesn't pull any punches, and is funnier and much more engaging as a result.

The show was actually funded via a kickstarted campaign, so the lack of censorship and network oversight has resulted in a show that is frank, fresh and absolutely genius.  The best part is that you can watch all the episodes right here and now!  Enjoy!

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