Based on my list on Trakt, which I apparently can’t add any explanations to so, doing it here.
Blood Ties (2007)
This Canadian show sounds cheesy, but I genuinely love it so much, it was very unfairly cancelled and you should check it out. It has a listing on Prime Video but I’m not gonna find sources for everything on this list because that was exhausting for my Movies list.
The X-Files (1993)
Fox Mulder is an FBI agent obsessed with cases that he believes involve aliens or the paranormal. Sceptic Dana Scully is assigned to him to debunk his work, but ends up a reluctant believer. Honestly, everything about this is iconic. I can only vouch for seasons 1 – 9; we did start watching the modern seasons but weren’t that drawn-in by them.
An iconic 90s show. There are just too many important cultural references within. My favourite episode is probably season 7, episode 10 because the opening really kills me.
Arrested Development (2003)
The story of a wealthy family that lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together. Seasons 1 and 2, I could watch on a loop indefinitely and still laugh my ass off. Season 3 is where it starts getting a bit weird. Seasons 4 and 5, which were made years later, are kind of hot garbage in my opinion, although there are still some things from them that I reference.
This show is the source of the famous “crying in the shower” gif and numerous other things!
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002)
Featuring the characters from, but existing in a different universe to, the Ghost in the Shell (1995) film, Section 9 fight cyberterrorism largely without oversight. I have a great love for the Tachikoma, which are spider-like walkers, and their post-credits sequences, Tachikomatic Days.
Friday Night Dinner (2011)
Two sons return to their family home every Friday night to have dinner with their parents. Something painfully funny and ridiculous ends up happening every time, either due to their bumbling father or their incredibly strange neighbour, Jim, expertly portrayed by Mark Heap. Due to Paul Ritter’s death from a brain tumour in 2021, the series will not be continued as planned.
I’ve actually only seen season 1 at the time of writing, because it’s very intense and close-to-home for me. Of course the events of the show are fictional, but it can still be a rough watch because people really have no idea, and even if you’re like me and you actually do have some idea, it can still be very, Jesus Christ, you know. But I think everyone should see it.
Daria & Jane 5eva.
The Simpsons (1989)
The early seasons are a bit rough around the edges, but please push through because this show is essential for life. I haven’t seen beyond season 20 at the time of writing. Essential episodes in my opinion are: 4×12 Marge vs. The Monorail 6×09 Homer Badman 6×12 Homer the Great 6×14 Bart’s Comet 6×15 Homie the Clown 6×16 Bart vs Australia 7×02 Radioactive Man 7×11 Marge Be Not Proud 7×19 A Fish Called Selma 8×01 Treehouse of Horror VII 8×02 You Only Move Twice 8×03 The Homer They Fall 8×08 Hurricane Neddy 8×10 The Springfield Files 8×18 Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment 9×01 The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson 10×16 D’oh-in’ in the Wind 11×10 Little Big Mom
I call my pyjamas Jim-Jam Bonks or just “bonks” because of this show, also. Check out Dankmus for some surprisingly addictive music with Simpsons audio. The show is ambiguous about where the town of Springfield actually is, but the most logical answer is apparently Kentucky, due to Tennessee being referred to as the neighbours to the south. This doesn’t make sense geographically with Springfield having a coastline, but it’s a cartoon. It also seems to me that each episode takes place in a different universe, due to characters not aging and technology changing around them, and the constant rearranging of the town, such as Homer’s workplace being directly behind their house one episode, and not the next.
Ju-On: Origins (2020)
Whether or not you made it through the Ju-On films on my Movies list will affect how you feel about the prospect of this show. I can’t deny, it’s really strange. But at the same time, it’s got some very spooky moments.
From the creator of The Simpsons, this show sees a man accidentally send himself to 31st century New York City by falling into a cryogenic freezer. I can only vouch for the original run of seasons 1 – 7, although the show may restart soon (at time of writing, 2023).
South Park (1997)
I’ll start by saying that South Park will not be for everyone. It’s a show that tries very hard to offend you, and is perhaps deliberately ignorant of some matters. And as with many shows, the early seasons are rough around the edges. But frankly, it’s fucking funny, and the Goth kids are absolutely iconic. I’ve only seen up to season 23 at this time.
Family Guy (1999)
Another show that is politically-incorrect and tries fairly hard to offend, although not quite to the scale that South Park does. It’s hilarious when I’m in the right mood for it. Like with everything, I’m a few seasons behind. I guess try and get through season 10 and see if it grows on you. Also Jennifer Tilly is Bonnie.
American Dad! (2005)
From the creator of Family Guy, this show follows a haphazard CIA agent who lives with an alien. My favourite episodes are 2×18 The Magnificent Steven and 2×19 Joint Custody. I also appreciate the addition of Rogu in 13×13 Persona Assistant.
An ungraceful princess is friends with an elf and a demon in the city of Dreamland. Oona is my favourite character.
The Mighty Boosh (2004)
A completely bizarre show making a literal song and dance out of the lives of Vince Noir and Howard Moon, two friends who at first work at a zoo and later end up running a shop.
The Mandalorian (2019)
Yes, it’s the Baby Yoda show, a.k.a Grogu, or Babby Yod if you prefer. I haven’t seen beyond season 2 because I cried so hard at the ending and I just cannot emotionally deal with this show. I love him too much. The rest of the show can be pretty interesting but really, my priority is Grogu.
Law & Order (1990)
Once again I have only seen the original run of seasons 1 – 20, and the show has recently been brought back for two more seasons so far. The title card of this show makes a very famous sound. While the content of the series is officially fictional, there are some episodes that are obviously based on real-life incidents. Sometimes the show is fascinating, sometimes frustrating. Sometimes justice is not done. But I can certainly binge this for days at a time.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999)
An offshoot of Law & Order focusing on sex crimes, this one can be a rough watch. But it also seems to be the most popular Law & Order variation; the original run is still going, though I’m of course about 6 seasons behind.
Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)
I didn’t care much for the original Star Trek series but I definitely loved this one. Patrick Stewart is the iconic Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the 24th century.
Bob’s Burgers (2011)
Bob lives above a burger restaurant he runs, often struggling to make ends meet and wrangle his family.
Adventure Time (2010)
This is a strange one, things seem to happen for no rhyme or reason, but eventually you stop questioning. The Earl of Lemongrab is mandatory viewing.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005)
One of those shows where every character is extremely unlikable, ignorant, and frankly, moronic. But it’s been on the air a long time because it’s funny as hell. A group of friends run a pub and get into increasingly ridiculous situations and yet, somehow avoid prison. My favourite episode is 7×09, The Gang Gets Trapped.
Mythic Quest (2020)
The trials and tribulations of a game studio running an MMO. You may relate to this to varying degrees depending on your own experience in game development.
The Killing (2011)
Based on Danish show Forbrydelsen, Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman star as homicide detectives initially investigating the murder of a teen girl found shut in the trunk of a submerged car. I was just absolutely glued to this and watched it all over a couple of days on Netflix.
Harper’s Island (2009)
This one-off series is a hidden gem and it genuinely disappoints me that more people don’t know of it. After a spate of murders on the eponymous island (actually filmed on Bowen Island, Vancouver), the Sheriff’s daughter is sent to live off-island. After 7 years, she returns for a wedding, and the killings start again. With our girl Gina Holden from Blood Ties.
Judge Judy (1996)
It’s probably not possible to actually watch all of Judge Judy, there are just so many episodes. I go through phases of wanting to have it on the telly in the background while I’m typing or tidying or whatever. I just genuinely enjoy her propensity for verbally eviscerating complete morons. Only Judy can judge me.
Better Call Saul (2015)
Guess what, I’m extremely behind with this show. A simultaneous prequel and sequel to Breaking Bad, which I didn’t like as much as I like this. Jimmy McGill is a conman struggling to become a lawyer, and he takes on the name Saul Goodman.
8 Simple Rules (2002)
I have a great nostalgia for the first season of this one. Typical family sitcom hijinks, until John Ritter’s untimely death from an aortic dissection, after which the show then brought in. . . wait for it . . . David Spade. I don’t enjoy season 2 and 3 as much as season 1 but it’s certainly still watchable.
Six Feet Under (2001)
A black comedy wherein the patriarch of a family of funeral directors dies suddenly. Apparently widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time!
Los Espookys (2019)
In a fictional Latin American country, a man rallies his friends to provide a service creating fake exorcisms, hauntings, and monsters.