Forget Family… Watch TV! – Shows to Catch Up on over the Break…

The holiday season is upon us friends. Gathering around a table full of food, sitting on couches listening to your father and brother scream at the refs in a football game because obviously that is going to help, watching your niece and nephew eat their weight in Christmas cookies, and spending that quality time with your grandmother as she tells you to never have children because they are such a bad idea.


Screw that, TV  is all the family you need.

Last week my beloved John Barrowman appeared on the G4’s Attack of the Show. Because I have Directv I was unable to watch this but thanks to the wonder of the internet, I still got my Barrowman fix. This segment was quite insightful and featured a friend of the site, Geek Magazine’s Nikki Griffin.


They mentioned some great shows! Arrested Development, Buffy, Misfits, Torchwood, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Luther, Damages, Breaking Bad, The Wire, and Brian‘s favorite show Terriers. You can find most of those on Netflix but The Wire is on HBO Go, which if you are an HBO customer and haven’t taken advantage of HBO Go, you are missing out.

What if you’ve seen all those though? Do you have no other choice but to sit next to Uncle Sal and listen to him tell the same stories you’ve heard him tell repeatedly for the last 30 years? Of course not! Like the holidays are for spending time with loved ones, please.

Amanda to the rescue!

Let’s start off with what is probably their most glaring omission- Sherlock. Even though the filming of season 3 has been delayed, there are still two seasons to catch up on over on Netflix. Granted there are only six episodes, but they are six unbelievable episodes. It’s not really a show you can watch in the background, I mean you could but you’d miss a lot of the more nuanced parts, so perhaps hole up in the basement for this one.

If you like British shows, but have seen Sherlock already, can I suggest a lesser known and not a murder mystery type of show? It is none other than Robin Hood. Three seasons at 13 episodes each so longer, but most definitely not as heady as Sherlock. I like it as a filler kind of show- raining outside, not much to do, no new books to read… watch an episode of Robin Hood. Good entertainment. There’s no telling how many times I’ve actually watched this show in its entirety. I particularly enjoy Keith Allen as Sheriff of Nottingham- he’s just so deliciously mean. Incidentally, I did not realize until I was reading his IMdB page, he is actually Lily Allen’s (the singer) father. Learn something new every day. Do not rely solely on my opinion, but I think this is one you could even watch if there were little people about.

Neither deducing detectives nor altruistic archers your thing? Well what about magic and nobility? If so, then thank you BBC again for they have exactly what the doctor ordered- Merlin. This fantastic show is about, obviously, the magician Merlin in his younger years and focuses mainly on his relationship with Prince Arthur. I love this show so much that I even venture into the Merlin tag on tumblr just to see what the fangirls are up to. If you are familiar with fangirls and tumblr, you know how frightening an adventure this can be. But this is a great show; four seasons up on Netflix with 52 episodes total. You could completely avoid Aunt Ruth forcing her fruitcake upon you at that rate. Even if you know nothing of Merlin and Arthur and Camelot, you could still enjoy this show. Obviously knowing a little background helps when it comes to the motives of various other characters such as Morgana, but Merlin stands well enough on its own, so no worries if you haven’t brushed up on your English mythology recently. What if you aren’t a fan of British television? I don’t know many people who aren’t, but I’m going to assume they exist and I’d hate to leave someone at the mercy of small talk with third cousins so…

CW’s Supernatural is not a show that is ever going to win any awards besides maybe a Teen Choice Award, but that is no reason to completely discount this series. I’ve pointed out numerous times that I’m a sucker for sibling relationships and Supernatural is no different. Two brothers, Dean and Sam Winchester, are “hunters” and they travel across the country looking for monsters and demons to kill. It’s not the type of show I’d typically start watching so I’ll be honest that the only reason I did is while flipping through Netflix I saw the kid from Gilmore Girls. There’s been a lot of things I’ve watched thanks to a connection to Gilmore Girls and most of the time they’ve been good. Supernatural is no different. Netflix currently has all seven previous seasons up for streaming.

Things that go bump in the night not really your style? Well what about things that go bump in history? That doesn’t make much sense, but it’s sort of the premise behind Warehouse 13. On this Syfy show, federal agents hunt down “artifacts” that wreak havoc on the world, and often its unsuspecting inhabitants, unless stored in a special warehouse. Of course being in the warehouse doesn’t always means the artifacts are innocuous which leads to some fun episodes. Like Supernatural, Warehouse 13 has plenty of humor and is just a fun show to watch. If you needed extra convincing, it stars Saul Rubinek who is just awesome. This would be a great show to watch while eating pie, Pete Lattimore would approve.

Okay, if monsters and artifacts don’t blow your skirt up, then how about good ol’ fashioned space based sci-fi. Perhaps one of the best shows in, well forever, is available to stream in its entirety on Netflix. I’m talking about none other than the incredible Battlestar Galactica. If you have not seen this show, then I think you should make it a priority to remedy that wrong, as soon as humanly possible. Be warned, although this Portlandia sketch might be a bit of an exaggeration, it’s not that far off the mark. I’ve given you fair warning so don’t come back yelling at me if you find your self jobless with leg cramps. Actually, you can come yell at me as I’ll be sitting here with leg cramps of my own after watching BG for the tenth time. It is that good.

So that should do you for at least the first week of hiatus. You can choose to fill the second week with ABC Family and Hallmark “made for TV” holiday movies or if you so desire, you can go spend time with your mom or something.

The decision is yours. Happy Holiday viewing everyone!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.