Each summer, I try to pick a new TV show or two to watch on DVD. This can be a series that’s already completed its run or a current series that I can catch up on and then watch new episodes in the fall.
With Lost officially over (and the Season 6 DVDs not due until later this year), I’m anxious to find something new to settle in with over the next few weeks (and, if good, perhaps over the next few seasons/years).
Last summer, I watched The Wire, HBO’s masterful crime/drug drama. The acting, writing, direction, musical choices and casting made this one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, so anything I pick this summer has to face a high bar.
Fortunately, I’m already watching something that fits the bill. Last night, I started on the first season of Fringe, which is somewhat of a cheat since I’ve already seen Season 2. When the show first aired in September 2008, the premise intrigued me, but two things caused me to sit it out: 1) I didn’t think the concept (an X-Files-like show about supernatural mysteries) would last beyond a handful of episodes; and 2) I completely forgot to set my DVR to record the debut.
By the time the second season rolled around, I’d heard enough about it to get fully on board to watch, and the show did a fantastic job catching viewers up on many of the high points of the first season. I becamed hooked almost immediately, and by the time the series ended, it worked its way into my top 5 current shows. (The other shows, if you care, are Lost, Modern Family, Parks and Recreation and a rotating list that includes Friday Night Lights and Men of a Certain Age).
I’m now asking you to do two things for me. First, I want you to try out some of my favorite shows to see what you think and maybe we’ll all be able to connect Lost-style (although it certainly won’t approach that level of fanaticism) and be able to discuss it. Here’s what I suggest you try out this summer: Fringe, Modern Family (funniest sitcom since Arrested Development), Parks and Recreation (quietly became NBC’s best comedy), Cougar Town (horrible pilot with a horrible name soon evolved into a sharp ensemble) and 30 for 30 (ESPN’s documentary series that could very well be some of the best television I’ve ever seen). Men of a Certain Age currently isn’t re-running on TNT, but if you can find episodes online, I strongly suggest you watch. It’s a great blend of humor and drama with some unexpectedly great acting.
My other request is for you to offer suggestions to me: what shows can I watch once I’m finished with the first season of Fringe? I’m considering watching Breaking Bad, and there’s also a possibility of rewatching all of The Sopranos.
Let me know what series you think I should add to my list and maybe include some spoiler-free reasons to watch. Without yoru help, I might be forced to watch something like Two and a Half Men.
Actually, that could never happen, but I hope you understand the threat. Thanks for your help, on this. Now, let’s get watching.