5 Shows I Should Have Watched By Now

5 Shows I Should Have Watched By Now

As a television fan, I pride myself on my taste in quality shows. I am that person who will give a derisive sniff at the mere mention of reality television and then launch into a thirty minute diatribe on the transcendent nature of Mad Men. Yes, it is as exhausting as it sounds, but I can’t help myself. I’m a voracious viewer of fiction and like all fans, I thrive on sharing the love. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a few dark secrets in my television fangirl closet though.

There are certain shows that are consistently recommended to me by people whose opinions I value, but that I just can’t seem to make myself watch. I’m not talking about throwaway shows like Chelsea Lately or whatever it is people are into these days, I’m talking about big, important pieces of the television canon. Granted, I’m only one person and one of the shows on this list originally aired when I was just starting kindergarten and the others arrived on the scene when I was in high school and college, two periods of time when I had to make my share of Sophie’s choice type decisions when it came to my personal show schedule, but really that’s a flimsy excuse for a diehard television fan.

I plan to rectify most of these missteps in the future, but in the meantime I’ve resigned myself to being that person who will avoid making eye contact with anyone who mentions The Wire.

1. Friday Night Lights
 

friday night lights

After the thirty-fifth person told me Friday Night Lights was the best show on television, I watched the pilot. It was brilliant, but for a person raised in an area of the south eerily reminiscent to Dillon, it was also discombobulating. I’m not accustomed to seeing authentic portrayals of small town life on my television screen, especially not small town southern life. Logically, it should have thrilled me, but it mostly just weirded me out. I am looking forward to returning to the series one day if only so I can fully appreciate the beloved marriage between the Coach and Tami, but I am going to have to get past my own bizarre hang up first.

2. The Wire
 

The Wire

The greatest show on television doesn’t exactly boast a stellar pilot. That’s the only excuse I have for not making it past episode one of a show that is indisputably groundbreaking. The Wire is billed as Slow TV, a genre that rewards viewers with ample quality for their time investment, but it requires a real commitment to push past the initial creeping start of a series to get to the good stuff. David Simon’s magnum opus is no doubt worthy of every ounce of praise it has received. I just happen to have a short attention span and an aversion to most things that can be described as “gritty.”

3. Breaking Bad
 

Breaking Bad

This is going to be the year I find out what is so fascinating about a teacher turned drug dealer. Once again, I’ve seen one episode, but unlike the first two shows on the list it immediately made me want to see more. The only problem was the intensity level. From the hour I saw, Breaking Bad appears to be the most stress-inducing show ever made (with the possible exception of the first season of Luther). I wanted to go back, but I also wasn’t sure I could deal with marathoning a show that left me literally gripping the arm of my chair. Still, the lure of Walter and Jesse’s misadventures is too much for me resist and it’s an AMC show. I always cave eventually.

4. Twin Peaks
 

Twin Peaks

Laura Palmer, wooden leg, red room– that is the extent of my Twin Peaks knowledge. Well, that and the show’s legacy made it possible for every heavily serialized or just plain weird show I have ever loved find a home on network television. Would Fox and ABC have taken a chance on The X-Files and Lost if Twin Peaks hadn’t proven there was a market for complicated plot-driven stories? Not to mention the influence the show had on genre television in general. Lynch may not be my favorite filmmaker, but his show is an important piece of television history that I know I need to experience. Also, I really want to be able to fully appreciate that homage episode Psych did last season.

5. The Office UK
 

The Office UK

I am more ashamed about this one than any other show on the list. It takes some arm-twisting to convince me to watch a straight-up drama series, but comedies are my forte, especially British comedies. I honestly don’t know why I haven’t found the time to watch the original version of The Office yet, but given my newly found undying devotion to Martin Freeman thanks to Sherlock, I’m more motivated than ever to fix this egregious mistake– no matter how squirm-inducing I find Ricky Gervais’s particular brand of humor.

 

Now that I’ve demolished what little television fangirl street cred I had, you can make me feel better by sharing which critically acclaimed/beloved shows you have avoided watching (or just missed out on). I want to hear all about it in the comments!

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