Worthwhile TV programming?

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Barefootgirl
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Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by Barefootgirl » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:16 pm

I realize this topic is subjective, but maybe I can get some ideas here.

I am not a station TV watcher, beyond news programs. I mostly telework, so I appreciate having something on in the background for noise (I am nearing retirement and could do this job in my sleep)... and to keep me thinking - so mostly Bloomberg, CSPAN, etc.

I picked up Netflix but my god, it's full of crap once a viewer has finished every episode of Mad Men, Breaking Bad and the like .

Are there any channels (assume they are pay channels) that offer worthwhile programming that is at least minimally cerebral? FWIW, I have a Roku TV.
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Toons
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by Toons » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:22 pm

Try watching documentaries on Netflix,,,or
Search Youtube for something to watch.. :happy
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delamer
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by delamer » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:26 pm

PBS has very good documentaries, and some excellent historical and regular fiction.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:35 pm

If you are interested in learning a bit about cooking you might try the Food Network. Or try HGTV is you are interested in remodeling a house or just staring at The Property Brothers.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/

http://www.hgtv.com/
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Edie
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by Edie » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:38 pm

I like historical fiction. These are the three I've watched in the past year and enjoyed.
Mercy Street - PBS
Call the Midwife - BBC (Netflix)
The Crown - Netflix

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Utetooth
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by Utetooth » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:46 pm

HBO and Showtime are the best $15 I spend every month.

HBO must watch shows:
The Wire
The Sopranos
Game of Thrones
Band of Brothers
The Pacific
The Jinx
The Newsroom
True Detective (Season 1)

Showtime must watch shows:
Homeland
Billions
The Tudors
The Affair
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jmw
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by jmw » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:04 pm

I think the definition of "worthwhile TV programming" is different from person to person based on their interests. For example, I think all of the news programming nowadays (CNN, Bloomberg, Fox, MSNBC, BBC, NPR, etc.) is terrible so I'm real hesitant to suggest my specific list of TV shows.

But as general advice, I think the best TV come from the streaming providers along with HBO and Showtime. In general, I would steer clear of the traditional four TV networks along with PBS as much as possible. I'm not saying Fox,NBC,ABC,CBS, and PBS are terrible, but there is so much stuff out there that is 10 times better than traditional and we all have limited hours to watch TV. So stick with the good stuff on streaming/HBO/Showtime and dump the traditional five.

rob65
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by rob65 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:29 pm

For "background noise", I second the HGTV idea. I enjoy several of their shows, but they don't require constant attention if you're working at the same time. I would think the same would be true with Food Network.

I think PBS has some good shows. They have a good roku app. I think they also have an agreement with amazon to stream their older shows with amazon prime video.

I agree with the HBO recommendation with one caveat. If something is rated TV-MA, they mean it, so just be aware if that will bother you. HBO Now is $15 per month and will work on your roku without cable. It offers a one month free trial. If you get HBO from your cable company, you should be able to use the HBO GO app on your roku. HBO NOW and HBO GO offer the same content but NOW is billed through HBO directly and GO works through a cable subscription.

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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by jebmke » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:37 pm

Baseball
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blueblock
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by blueblock » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:42 pm

The most worthwhile things we've watched on Netflix recently:

Five Came Back

Turn: Washington's Spies (3 seasons streaming).

Edited to add: "most riveting," The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu.

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KSOC
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by KSOC » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:13 pm

Narcos, Bosch, The Crown, Home Fires, Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge, Fortitude, Mozart in the Jungle, Orphan Black, Black Mirror, Blue Bloods, Homeland, The Affair, Ray Donovan, Fargo 1,2 & 3, Better Call Saul, The Profit, Halt & Catch Fire, The Blacklist, just to get started.
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gkaplan
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by gkaplan » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:44 pm

Homeland

The Americans

Bosch

Jane the Virgin

Shetland
Gordon

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House Blend
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by House Blend » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:14 pm

For background noise, why does it have to be TV?

I prefer streaming (commercial free) classical music for that purpose.
NPR or podcasts, if what I'm doing really requires minimal attention.

garnertr
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by garnertr » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:35 pm

I watch

SciFi
Cooking Shows - US/Canada
Anime
Cartoons
Mysteries
Children programming
YouTube

-

My girlfriend is Canadian and I must admit that I enjoy all of the Canadian Television that I've stumbled across

We find many things on Hulu - Which doesn't carry full seasons, but enough to get our whistle wet and then for me to find it via "alternate" methods.

Netflix - great for STUPID MOVIES - and I'm a fan of Horror/Sci-fi and Netflix delivers on B and C level movies

I have a LONG list of shows, but figured a generic listing would be better! :) LOL

I am a fan of many BBC shows (Cop shows, SCIFI, etc) and Canadian TV.

One thing to note, IF I was to list my shows that we watch you would think I spend hours upon hours of watching TV, but realistically with Streaming and "alternate" methods, I Queue up my shows, let the software do it's magic and we watch when we what, WHAT we want to watch.

I had the day off and today we watching MasterChef US - Season premier and 1st episode and MasterChef Canada last 2 episode and season finale in one sitting.

So I don't generally watch "MUCH" but when I do it's in one sitting and then we just spread out what we feel the need to watch.

I also found YouTube SciFi Short films (runs about 3 - 20 minutes per "movie") and I have to admit, I was very surprised by the short story, special effects and plots. Some are goofy, some are obvious College Thesis projects, but you know, for me SCI/FI is scifi!

So try the YouTube, Hulu and "alternate" methods and enjoy and just remember YOU get to watch what YOU want WHEN you want and your time management is SO MUCH BETTER! then waiting for a show to watch when it airs or paying the fees for a DVR and storing the shows and spinning through commercials. :)

Enjoy.

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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by MoonOrb » Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:48 am

Amazon Prime has a lot of the HBO TV show catalog:

The Wire, Deadwood, The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Rome, Treme

Other good stuff on Amazon Prime: Justified, The Americans, Mr. Robot, Downton Abbey, a number of Ken Burns documentaries, Orphan Black, The Expanse, The Night Manager

On Netflix: Foyle's War, Person of Interest, The People v OJ Simpson, Making of a Murderer, Luther, Twin Peaks, some Ken Burns documentaries, Sherlock, Turn, The Crown, The Twilight Zone

FedGuy
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by FedGuy » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:39 am

You might also want to look at this thread, which is still updated fairly frequently:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=97969

wilked
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by wilked » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:43 am

Worthwhile?

PBS Frontline best example of worthwhile TV programming I can think of l. Gold standard

FRANK2009
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by FRANK2009 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:42 am

I just watched both seasons of "Billions". Really good! The main character even mentions Vanguard, but not in a good way. He is a hedge fund manager though.

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Tycoon
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by Tycoon » Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:47 am

My personal opinion is there is very little worthwhile value in watching TV. I wish I could get back all time I wasted watching.
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sunny_socal
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by sunny_socal » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:00 am

Tycoon wrote:My personal opinion is there is very little worthwhile value in watching TV. I wish I could get back all time I wasted watching.
Agree

But I do watch some of the following on Netflix with my wife when all our chores are done: Narcos, The Crown, House of Cards, Stranger Things, The Last Kingdom

Nova1967
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by Nova1967 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:02 am

Not sure what you like to watch but recording shows will save a lot of time, if you have several hundred channels to choose from you can always find something that relates to your interests but if it's not recorded 45 minutes of commercials on a 2 hour movie or documentary can be very time consuming

JoeJohnson
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by JoeJohnson » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:03 am

delamer wrote:PBS has very good documentaries, and some excellent historical and regular fiction.
Agree. Bonus for the OP, they have a Roku app to stream many of said shows.

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F150HD
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by F150HD » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:19 am

Barefootgirl wrote:I picked up Netflix but my god, it's full of crap once a viewer has finished every episode of Mad Men, Breaking Bad and the like
wish I didn't agree but I do. I've subscribed to it more then once for a month at a time but found myself scrolling through 100s of things that were less then appealing so have always canceled.

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MichaelRpdx
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by MichaelRpdx » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:31 am

From your description you seems to be listening, not watching. If that's the case consider podcasts.
TED
Freakenomics
The Moth Story Hour
This American Life
On the Media
RadioLab
American Routes
<fill in the ones that address your special interests>

I also enjoy listening to foreign language radio via the web. A stream of Spanish or Danish is kinda like listening to music.
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Barefootgirl
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by Barefootgirl » Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:55 pm

yes, listening with one eye cocked and ready in case I hear something riveting :)
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The Wizard
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by The Wizard » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:00 pm

Days of Our Lives is available for the last two weeks+ on the he NBC app using Chromecast.
Hard to get much better than that...
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rgs92
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by rgs92 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:05 pm

I think you get more wisdom from the Simpsons than anything. Nothing else is must-see.
Ha-ha, nothing like the really old days [Hullabaloo, Shindig(first year), the Prisoner, Gary Shandling's Show, Larry Sanders].
Honorable mention for Tracey Ullman.
Get a DVD player (or Hulu/Netflix) and watch these (at least that's what I'd watch).
Last edited by rgs92 on Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

squirm
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by squirm » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:08 pm

I would have thought you would have been familiar with the documentaries' on PBS.

The Profit is good, along with a couple other programs on cnbc. We have very little time in our day there's little TV watching. I've never seen Breaking whatever, dancing with stars, etc. Rarely watch movies. But try The Profit, it's been a favorite of mine.

Only other time I get is to watch some wood working stuff on YouTube.

The Wizard
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by The Wizard » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:11 pm

F150HD wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote:I picked up Netflix but my god, it's full of crap once a viewer has finished every episode of Mad Men, Breaking Bad and the like
wish I didn't agree but I do. I've subscribed to it more then once for a month at a time but found myself scrolling through 100s of things that were less then appealing so have always canceled.
Netflix has everything. Academy award winners, the Sopranos series from HBO, the Homeland series from Showtime, the Upstairs Downstairs series from PBS.
Helps to have some idea rather than scrolling randomly...
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jharkin
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by jharkin » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:32 pm

JoeJohnson wrote:
delamer wrote:PBS has very good documentaries, and some excellent historical and regular fiction.
Agree. Bonus for the OP, they have a Roku app to stream many of said shows.

+1000 PBS is about the only option left for USA produced documentaries that are actually ... you know...factual. Well maybe that and Smithsonain channel. Discovery, History and even A&E have devolved to national enquirer trash pretending to be documentary. :oops:

Pretty much anything Nova, the Cosmos remake, How we got to now, the latest Ken Burns work - all excellent.


The rest is subjective but I also liked one of the ones mentioned above GoT, The Crown, Stranger Things, etc. Homeland was good but I feel it's jumped the shark. I could never get into things like Breaking Bad and all those Zombie shows...
Last edited by jharkin on Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Barefootgirl
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by Barefootgirl » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:34 pm

Some of the ones you mention I believe require an additional add on subscription.

In that case, I might better subscribe directly through Roku?
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Barefootgirl
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by Barefootgirl » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:35 pm

I find tons of documentaries on Netflix and Amazon that are obvious propaganda....and not just for one side. All sides seem to get a chance to push their various agendas.

I did enjoy the Tom Petty, Eagles and Keith Richards documentaries, however.

What has happened to programming?
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F150HD
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by F150HD » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:49 pm

The Wizard wrote: Netflix has everything. Academy award winners, the Sopranos series from HBO, the Homeland series from Showtime, the Upstairs Downstairs series from PBS.
Helps to have some idea rather than scrolling randomly...
I "tried" many series people talk about - Sopranos, others, found many very boring so I didn't just always 'randomly' troll for things to watch. Dunno.

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blueblock
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by blueblock » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:58 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:I find tons of documentaries on Netflix and Amazon that are obvious propaganda....and not just for one side. All sides seem to get a chance to push their various agendas.
"Tons" of documentaries you dislike, but you can't name a single one? Are you actually serious about getting viewing recommendations or is this just a "get off my lawn, everything is bad" post?

dbr
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by dbr » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:13 pm

For background "noise" I might second NPR. After that how about a music station or running through a 50 gigabyte playlist on your computer/iPAD.

Dave55
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by Dave55 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:19 pm

I second "Bosch" and "Foyles War".

Dave

dbr
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by dbr » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:26 pm

Dave55 wrote:I second "Bosch" and "Foyles War".

Dave
I'm confused. The OP wants background noise. How are you going to watch Foyle's War and not actually pay attention to what is going on? Now maybe Law and Order would work for background. I think "You have the right . . ." hits at 29 minutes and would be like a minute minder for staying on schedule for some task.

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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by Dave55 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:28 pm

dbr wrote:
Dave55 wrote:I second "Bosch" and "Foyles War".

Dave
I'm confused. The OP wants background noise. How are you going to watch Foyle's War and not actually pay attention to what is going on? Now maybe Law and Order would work for background. I think "You have the right . . ." hits at 29 minutes and would be like a minute minder for staying on schedule for some task.
Best background noise would Art Pepper or Miles Davis....

Dave

hoops777
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by hoops777 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:58 pm

I love it when people who do not watch tv dismiss it all as garbage.How do they know if they do not watch?
There are a lot of excellent shows and of course a lot of garbage as well.
What is worthwhile to one person is absolute #%^*%%# to another.Some people consider it a badge of honor that they do not watch any tv beyond an occasional historical documentary.Sometimes maybe we take ourselves a bit too seriously.I love it when some astute intellectual gives it up that they watch something like Scandal or some super hero show.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

The Wizard
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by The Wizard » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:14 pm

hoops777 wrote:I love it when people who do not watch tv dismiss it all as garbage.How do they know if they do not watch?
There are a lot of excellent shows and of course a lot of garbage as well.
What is worthwhile to one person is absolute #%^*%%# to another.Some people consider it a badge of honor that they do not watch any tv beyond an occasional historical documentary.Sometimes maybe we take ourselves a bit too seriously.I love it when some astute intellectual gives it up that they watch something like Scandal or some super hero show.
But, but...what about soap operas???
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staythecourse
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by staythecourse » Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:24 am

hoops777 wrote:I love it when people who do not watch tv dismiss it all as garbage.How do they know if they do not watch?
There are a lot of excellent shows and of course a lot of garbage as well.
What is worthwhile to one person is absolute #%^*%%# to another.Some people consider it a badge of honor that they do not watch any tv beyond an occasional historical documentary.Sometimes maybe we take ourselves a bit too seriously.I love it when some astute intellectual gives it up that they watch something like Scandal or some super hero show.
Agreed. I saw the list the OP listed as great television and hated every one of them. IF one did not like tv I am not sure how they would have liked ANY of those shows. I was expecting a list of esoteric documentaries not well known shows seen by the masses.

For the OP, take a look at the huge thread on tv shows for ideas of...well... tv shows. :D

Good luck.
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mmcmonster
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by mmcmonster » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:27 am

Wow.

We're in the golden age of TV. There's a lot of great stuff out there. In fact, way too much excellent stuff to watch.

The nice thing about Netflix is that you get to choose what you want and when you want it. They also make quite good recomendations based on what you've liked.

Binge watching is a great thing. My wife and I watch 1-2 new episodes of a show a night for the last few years.

My list (based on things I've watched or rewatched over the past decade):

24 (Seasons 1-3)
American Crime Story (Season 1)
American Horror Story (Seasons 1 & 2)
The Americans
Battlestar Galactica (the remake)
Better Call Saul
Better Off Ted
Breaking Bad
Broadchurch
Code Of A Killer
Cosmos (the remake)
Dexter (Seasons 1 & 2)
The Escape Artist
Fargo
Firefly
Game of Thrones
Halt and Catch Fire
Homeland
House of Cards
Jekyll
Legion
Life on Mars
Marvel's Daredevil
The Shield
Sherlock
Silicon Valley
Star Trek Deep Space Nine (Seasons 4-7)
Stranger Things
The Wire
Veronica Mars (Season 1)
West World

Barefootgirl
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by Barefootgirl » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:17 am

For me, it's probably a combination of having narrow interests and being easily distracted when a show doesn't draw me in.

I've been looking around - it appears I might have better luck dropping subscription services and just buying programming on demand when I find something I think i might like. A couple friends have also given me some channel suggestions - like Sundance, to look into.

I've watched every episode of Mad Men, Sopranos and Breaking Bad, at least 4 times....time for me to move on lol.

Thank you for the suggestions.
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cutterinnj
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by cutterinnj » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:32 pm

Funny raunchy adult comedies (not for everyone... but absolutely hilarious)

Archer- Hulu and Netflix
It's always sunny in Philadelphia- Hulu and Netflix
Schmitt's Creek - Netflix
South Park - hulu

cutterinnj
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by cutterinnj » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:47 pm

F150HD wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote:I picked up Netflix but my god, it's full of crap once a viewer has finished every episode of Mad Men, Breaking Bad and the like
wish I didn't agree but I do. I've subscribed to it more then once for a month at a time but found myself scrolling through 100s of things that were less then appealing so have always canceled.

I have to completely disagree.

I can browse for hours, marking multiple things I will want to watch before actually watching- if I were retired, I think it's all I would do.

They have plenty of gems (some you may never have heard of) in just about every genre

hoops777
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by hoops777 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:02 pm

With the unbelievable amount if content you have today,to say there is nothing worth watching is like saying there is nothing worth reading in the library :D
Game of Thrones is almost here.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:13 pm

cutterinnj wrote:
F150HD wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote:I picked up Netflix but my god, it's full of crap once a viewer has finished every episode of Mad Men, Breaking Bad and the like
wish I didn't agree but I do. I've subscribed to it more then once for a month at a time but found myself scrolling through 100s of things that were less then appealing so have always canceled.

I have to completely disagree.

I can browse for hours, marking multiple things I will want to watch before actually watching- if I were retired, I think it's all I would do.

They have plenty of gems (some you may never have heard of) in just about every genre
The question is how do you find the gems?

hoops777
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by hoops777 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:30 pm

Look up the reviews of shows from critics and regular viewers.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

rob65
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by rob65 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:02 pm

hoops777 wrote:With the unbelievable amount if content you have today,to say there is nothing worth watching is like saying there is nothing worth reading in the library :D
Game of Thrones is almost here.
Winter is here. :)

furwut
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Re: Worthwhile TV programming?

Post by furwut » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:56 pm

I agree that shows that are compelling and aren't just going through the motions are few and far between. I've started keeping a list on a website called justwatch.com. Whenever I read or hear about a "good" show I'll add it to my list.

JustWatch catalogs all the available options to stream a given show. I'm not married to any particular streaming service. I'll enroll in Netflix, say, and use JustWatch to filter out just those shows on my list that are available on Netflix. Then I'll go further filter the list to shows that have reached some minimum audience review rating. I use 8.0 or higher on the IMDB score.

Once I've exhausted my options at one service I cancel and sign up with the next. Rinse and repeat.

P.S.
Deutschland 83 was a surprise find. German show about an East German who infiltrates the West.
Also try The Vikings.

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