I'm on Season 3, Episode 7 of "Archer." This (FX) show is essentially what 14-year-old me would've wanted. With lines like "Hello airplanes? It's blimps, you win." and H. Jon Benjamin (Bob from "Bob's Burgers"), "Archer" is ridiculously funny. "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."
"Black Mirror" is one of those shows everyone talks about, but because I'm always late to the TV game I'm just starting now. Each episode (of the Netflix show) is like a minimovie, and because they're quite draining, it's kind of hard to watch more than one or two at a time! But I love geeking out at how they render user interfaces on fake (but recognizable) tech, and the cinematography is just stunning, especially the color palette and design in the "Nosedive" episode (pictured here).
I found myself holding my breath throughout much of my two-night binge of "Sneaky Pete." The Amazon original -- co-created by Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad"-- finds a way to make you root for the worst kind of person, a con man screwing over an already-distressed family. The best part? Watching Cranston play a gangster.
Finally made my way to the fifth episode of Season 3 of (ABC's) "How to Get Away With Murder"after starting the series during Christmas. Viola Davis is such pure perfection in her leading role as Annalise Keating, a powerhouse of a lawyer, you kinda want to be her. The writers do a great job of using flashes in time, which you would think would get superannoying and confusing after a while. But they're served so perfectly, you just can't stop watching this murder-full masterpiece.
I'm midway through Season 3 of "The West Wing," for the second time. I love that smart people are the heroes. The (NBC) show is an interesting time capsule for the turn of the century: In an early episode, there's a reference to how the digital age will change privacy law. On the flip side, it turns out we're still arguing about a lot of the same issues almost two decades later.
I'm binge-watching (USA Network's) "Psych" right now (for the third time). I just started the sixth season, and I'm watching it again because I just bought the series box set a few weeks ago.
I think I just have a soft spot in my heart for a pop-culture-obsessed man-child with a photographic memory who constantly rattles off references to old TV shows, movies and music from the '80s in the course of solving crime with his more level-headed best friend.
I'm currently watching Season 4 of "The Americans" (on FX). The parade of '80s disguises is great, but more importantly, I love its nuanced acting, its edgy exploration of morality and its solid emotional core. Just when the pacing seems slow, it's punctuated by a violent action that's never anything short of essential.
I'm watching mostly because I wanted to watch "Star Wars Rebels" but also wanted to feel the full impact of any story threads from "Clone Wars" that popped up in "Rebels." And I heard it was good.
Overall, that's true. The first couple of seasons were mostly throwaway with a couple good eps peppered in. The writing at the end of Season 3 gets really good though and has continued to get better. I love experiencing a show getting better as I watch it. Like I'm witnessing the creators learn from their mistakes and make smart, impactful changes. I used to hate the character Ahsoka, for example, and now she's probably my favorite.
Published:Caption:Jason ParkerPhoto:Netflix, Cartoon Network, Disney XD
I'm watching "The Magicians," Season 1, on Netflix. It's a millennial take on classic magic-meets-the-real-world fantasy, about a bunch of attractive, dangerously self-centered people whose relationships I've reluctantly developed opinions on. It's a school story but not just an attempt to cash in on "Harry Potter meets the CW" with more sex, horror, therapy and Narnia references -- you can tell someone making this loves books and magic. (I've heard the book series it's based on is good too.) Watched all the episodes in one night except the finale.
I'm halfway through (the BBC's) "The Great British Bake Off," which currently has three seasons up on Netflix. Unlike cutthroat "move to LA for 3 months" American reality competitions, this show mitigates expectations and focuses on the baking. The amateur bakers compete on the weekends and are only vying for a trophy. It's delightful.
I just finished rewatching the US version of "Wilfred" (from FX). It's about a clinically depressed man named Ryan and the shenanigans he gets pulled into by his neighbor's dog Wilfred, who Ryan sees as an Australian man in a dog suit. The absurd premise got me intrigued, but I stayed for the dark humor and the ambiguity of not knowing what's real and what isn't. Wilfred is a roller-coaster ride, serving up a flurry of vulgar jokes and then hitting you hard with serious topics like mental illness and finding happiness. I can't think of another show that both screwed with my mind and made me laugh so much.
The first episode of "Cooked" (on Netflix) is a bit weak, but the rest delve deep into the processes and science behind food and culinary history without falling into the trap of being overly sanctimonious. It'll make you hungry in a more substantial way than a standard cooking competition show, and it takes the experience outside of fine and fancy kitchens and puts it into refreshing real-world settings.
I'm watching "iZombie," and nearing the end of Season 2 on Netflix. It's the perfect guilty pleasure for a former "Castle" and "Veronica Mars" addict: a murder mystery police procedural (starring zombies!) that doesn't take itself too seriously. Every episode is sprinkled with clever banter between the cast members, and they grow to feel like a family. Even the bad guys have loads of personality.