I was never one to watch a lot of TV. Even as a kid, I didn’t watch a lot of cartoons or other shows that most people of my generation remember fondly (it probably didn’t help that my family didn’t have cable television). The same held true for me as I got older, but in high school, I realized that TV shows weren’t just random cartoons and evening sitcoms. They could be just as interesting as the books I loved, just in a different way. Pretty soon, I found myself with a Netflix account, checking out a whole new world of storytelling.
This week, I want to share some of my favorite TV shows. There are many that I love, but these five are the ones that I find myself re-watching time and time again, and they’ve never stopped being interesting to me.
What happens when a spy gets fired? They’re not just given a pink slip and told to go on their way, they’re “burned” – in other words, they’re blacklisted, dropped off with no resources and nowhere to go. Michael Westen is one of these burned spies, stuck in Miami, Florida with nowhere to go, no jobs available, and only a few people to help him out. He picks up a few jobs here and there to help people out, all while trying to figure out who burned him and why.
Burn Notice is a unique take on traditional spy shows, and it’s told in a unique way with the use of voiceover to explain spy techniques. Plus, the characters are interesting and dynamic (how often is the spy’s mother a main character?). Overall, I highly recommend this – it’s one of the few shows I’ve seen that stays strong through the end.
Con man Neal Caffrey strikes a deal with FBI agent Peter Burke to serve out the rest of his prison sentence as an FBI informant. Using his experience in the world of white-collar crime, Neal helps the FBI catch forgers, identity thieves, and embezzlers. Meanwhile, Neal is also trying to find his missing girlfriend and escape the FBI’s watch once and for all. It’s a different kind of show with high-class criminals, well-timed humor, and endearing characters. And, like Burn Notice, it’s a show that stays strong through the very end.
Psych holds the honor of being the only “true” comedy on my list, and believe me, it’s well-deserved. Shawn Spencer has a talent for being observant, which he uses to call in tips for the local police station. However, when Shawn becomes a suspect due to his seemingly miraculous knowledge of a crime, he claims to be a psychic, and it’s all downhill from there. Shawn and his childhood best friend Gus open a “psychic detective agency,” solving strange crimes from the normal to the supernatural. No matter what it is though, it’s always a wild ride.Although Psych is an incredible show on its own, its humor is where it really shines. The characters play off of each other wonderfully, the jokes have perfect timing, and the dialogue is very well-written. Even in its more serious moments, the show is still goofy enough to keep you laughing. Trust me, you’ll be entertained all the way through its eight seasons.
Person of Interest
In a world plagued by terrorism, the United States government develops a system that find these perpetrators and put a stop to them before they can put their plans in motion. Doesn’t sound too far-fetched, does it? That’s the idea behind Person of Interest, an artificial intelligence that can “see” crimes before they take place using data from phone calls, security cameras, even emails. This system sees all crimes, big and small, but the government is only concerned with stopping the big ones. To put a stop to the everyday thefts, murders, and other crimes, reclusive billionaire Harold Finch recruits John Reese, a former solider.
What I find most interesting about this show is that it is eerily true to life. As I said before, the idea that the government might be listening to and watching us doesn’t sound that strange. The show asks questions about the limits of security, the use of technology, and the value of life. Although the characters are sometimes a little flat and the show falls short in its last two seasons, it’s still an excellent and enjoyable show.
Partly science fiction and partly thriller, Stranger Things is hard to put in a box. The show takes place in 1980s small town America, and surrounds the disappearance of a young boy named Will Byers. From there, it follows three separate plotlines, but all of them stemming from the same thread. Without giving too much away, here’s what you can expect: strange kids with psychokinetic abilities, romantic subplots that don’t feel forced, government conspiracies, crazy monsters, and parallel universes.
Even if you didn’t grow up in the 80s, Stranger Things definitely has a nostalgic feeling to it. But beyond that, it’s also a very unique and well-paced show, which is not something that can be said for everything on TV. Not to sound cliche, but it’ll make you laugh, cry, and leave you sitting on the edge of your seat. Overall, it’s an incredible show, and I would not be surprised if it became considered a classic. Plus, the soundtrack is phenomenal.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender
- Sherlock (BBC)