By Will Griggs
Everyone is always looking for something great to watch (that’s why Netflix is booming). So, here are my recommendations for ten shows that you should be watching right now.
Archer (FXX)—Currently airing Season 6
Archer is coming off of its Emmy-nominated fifth season and brings some favorite characters from the past back to the forefront (Conway and Slater). But it is the new Archer/Lana love child that brings a new sentiment to the show. I still don’t know why this is an under-appreciated program as it has some of the smartest writing on television (hello?!? Melville references?). Take it from me that this will become appointment viewing, but be sure to catch up on the first four seasons on Netflix before you dive into the current episodes or some long-running gags will not make any sense.
Reasons to watch: Smart, funny, best voice talent on TV
Reasons to consider: Foul language, blue humor, drug use, sexual situations
Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)—Returns for Season 3 in April
Amy Schumer has paid her dues, but went main-stream when she did well on Last Comic Standing and made biting appearances on numerous Comedy Central Roasts. Inside Amy Schumer is a nice mix of standup material and sketch comedy. While most material is told from a female point of view, every bit of it is relatable. The format is nothing new, but the personality is—funnier and more current than Chelsea Handler; not as mean as Joan Rivers… think Sarah Silverman with less of a filter.
Reasons to watch: Female comic who doesn’t shy away from dick & fart jokes
Reasons to consider: Very blue humor, not traditional sitcom
Last Week Tonight (HBO)—Returns for Season 2 in February
John Oliver definitely made his mark as a fill in for Jon Stewart while Stewart was away filming Rosewater, but he never seemed comfortable in the format. HBO lets him spread his wings and do what he does best—act like the goofy Brit who can’t fathom the stupidity of America. Oliver does the same mix of reporting, pre-recorded bits, and silly characters that Stewart and Colbert perfected, but it seems to be through a BBC lens. I tend to find the most unbiased news about America comes from the BBC; now the most biting satire of the American media structure comes from John Oliver.
Reasons to watch: Laughs at own humor/stupidity, varied viewpoints are always valuable
Reasons to consider: Late night “comic-news” is slowly becoming a crowded field
Sirens (USA)—Currently airing Season 2
Sometimes you just want to laugh. That is what this show does; it makes us laugh while dealing with the crazy things that EMTs can encounter. From a senior citizen couple setting off a Life Alert during sex (doggystyle y’all) to a phallic bee sting that leads to “SuperDick.” Horse porn and Coke bottle ass plugs. This is not your grandmother’s medical show.
Reasons to watch: Literally laugh-out-loud story premises
Reasons to consider: See above (Horse porn and Coke bottle ass plugs)
You’re the Worst (FX)—Returns for Season 2 TBA
You know that ex that was so bad for you? You know, the one that was so toxic it ruined every part of your life? Now there are two of them. This couple has found love in the most unlikely of situations… at a wedding. Now watch as they navigate the first months of a relationship when they both admit they are the worst.
Reasons to watch: Most honest comedy on TV, supporting cast is brilliant
Reasons to consider: Who really wants to see what their toxic ex is up to?
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)—Currently airing Season 2
Sure it has already won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy and Best Actor in a Comedy, but it has gotten very little respect. The police station locale is very familiar, which allows us to focus on the comedy. Andy Samberg shines as the entire supporting cast becomes the spotlight, but it is Andre Braugher as the gay precinct captain (ironically as the straight man) that gives this show it’s duality.
Reasons to watch: Samberg/Braugher, Halloween episodes
Reasons to consider: Nothing new, but feels like an old comfy jacket
The League (FXX)—Returns for Season 7 in September
Yes, it is about fantasy football. Yes, there is only one real female main character. And again yes, it is about fantasy football. But none of that matters. The League is finishing its run after the upcoming seventh season, but that gives us one more shot at the Shiva. This partially improved premise follows a group of friends that compete in a rather sad fantasy football league, but the show features some of the biggest names in the NFL (JJ Watt and Jay Cutler have recurring appearances). This show is brilliant because of the off the cuff feel and true comedic troupe tension between the performers. Don’t miss this game before it’s over.
Reasons to watch: Taco, Jenny, Seth Rogen
Reasons to consider: Fantasy football
State of Affairs (NBC)—Currently airing Season 1
I will grant you that your grandparents probably watch this show, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t relatable to a younger audience. This freshman drama features a young cast and a female, black President (and treats it like it is commonplace, which is even better). Spy games and terror cells; backroom politicking and special ops. This show keeps me on the edge of my seat every week and is the only new show that I eagerly await until it is on again.
Reasons to watch: Tagging and hash-tagging of National Monuments
Reasons to consider: Katherine Heigl
The Librarians (TNT)—Returns for Season 2 TBA
This may be the most ignored cinematic universe active right now. This concept has spawned three made-for-TV movies and now a very good first season of a spin-off. The Librarians has a great mix of history, mystery, intrigue, and fantasy. But, most importantly it is fun for all ages. If you have teens, tweens, ankle biters this rollicking ride brings you dragons and science fairs, witches and art museums. Just sit back, enjoy, and try not to overthink. This is the perfect show to watch together.
Reasons to watch: Nothing objectionable, fun
Reasons to consider: Some scary parts for the very young, very campy
Orphan Black (BBCAmerica)—Returns for Season 3 in April
Orphan Black is the complete opposite of The Librarians; don’t try watching this until the little ones have gone to bed. The show pushes the envelope and then tears it up and Tatiana Maslany is a revelation as she creates multiple characters, yet gives each their own style, accent, personality, and body language. The great storyline and non-stop guessing keeps me coming back for more.
Reasons to watch: Tatiana Maslany’s acting chops, Tatiana Maslany
Reasons to consider: Very violent and combative