When I used to be a public school teacher (another life– I will tell you about it some other time) I can remember talking with a fellow teacher who did not have a television. He was the kind of person who liked to brag about not having a TV, too– the kind that would tell you all about his weekend spent listening to classical music on a record player while drinking homemade kombucha and waxing his hipster mustache.
“I don’t have a TV,” he smugly told us within the first week.”I never got into watching it. Such a waste of time.” It was quiet for a minute, as we all paused to weigh whether it made sense to disagree with someone this early on in our teaching relationship. Then another teacher named Meg caught my eye from across the room. “I love TV!” she mouthed to me.
Meg and I are still great friends to this day.
Like Meg, I love TV. I think television, particularly television today, is one of the greatest art forms of our time. Seriously. I think we should all exercise, read, and perform community service– but the rest of our leisure time should be spent watching television (and reading this blog)!
If you have been too busy listening to your record player, brewing kombucha, or perhaps you’ve run out of great things to watch, I have compiled a list of what I believe to be the Top 10 best television shows of all time. Enjoy, and remember: watch television, stay pretty sane.
In no particular order:
10. Game of Thrones: One of the most epic stories ever told. Deceit, lies, love, courage, plot twists, and dragons– this show has it all. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t watch this show because you think it’s too Lord of the Rings, I’d encourage you to give it a shot. It’s way less sci-fi/fantasy than you might think.
9. The Sopranos: Tony Soprano is like every other middle-aged American male: he’s overweight, on Prozac, and also he is the Don of New Jersey. This show has so many layers of complexity. It deals with the Mafia, human relationships, psychology, and the subconscious. It can be shocking, heartbreaking, thought-provoking, and totally hilarious all in one episode. One of my all-time favorites.
8. Arrested Development: This show is literally the most genius thing I have ever seen. If you’ve watched it already, then you know the pure brilliance of all the jokes the writers weave in from start-to-finish. Two pieces of advice for this one: give it 3 episodes before you decide whether or not you like it, and skip the last season.
7. 30 Rock: God, is there anything better than Alec Baldwin? Yes: Tina Fey. This show is quirky, weird, and smart all at once. And we all have a little Liz Lemon in us just eating Cheesy Blasters and trying to have it all.
6. The Office: Nothing is more relatable than this documentary-style show that follows the crew working at Dunder Mifflin, a paper supply company in Scranton, PA. Steve Carrell is hilarious as Michael Scott, and the rest of the cast is so good you almost forget you’re watching actors and not real people.
5. Parks and Rec: It might be because I am from a small town in Indiana, but this show about the Parks and Rec department in Pawnee, IN totally stole my heart. There is nothing not to love about Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, and Ron Swanson is one of my all-time favorite television characters.
4. The Wire: This is probably the only show on this list that I think is great, but perhaps not as great as everyone told me it was before I watched it. Still, it’s a fascinating drama about different facets of Baltimore life, from reporters to cops to school teachers. I had a hard time sticking with it through Season 2’s docks focus, but it was well-worth the perseverance.
3. Breaking Bad: Walter White is a normal chemistry teacher and kind of dweeb– and then he gets diagnosed with cancer and becomes one of the most feared meth drug dealers in the country. This show has amazing character development and deftly weaves you through thrilling plot twists throughout the entire series. Also, Los Pollos Hermanos has been doing pop-up locations around the country if you want to make it a field trip.
2. Sex and the City: I mean, what kind of self-respecting Millennial woman doesn’t have this on her list?! Half of what I learned about being a girl I learned from Carrie Bradshaw, which is actually terrifying when I think about it. But at least she has great shoes.
1.Big Little Lies: Holy cow was this series amazing, and with only seven episodes there’s no excuse to miss it. Nicole Kidman gave the performance of her life, Reese Witherspoon is adorably irritating, and the music is so on-point. Also, looking at the swanky California real estate these women live in isn’t so bad, either.
This post would not be complete without an honorable mention to the Real Housewives series on Bravo TV: keeping it klassy and making us all feel better about our lives since its inception in Orange County.