There's no feeling quite like immersing yourself in a new television series and escaping the woes of everyday life into those of fictional characters. I love becoming so hooked on a show, you can't help but marathon episode after episode, and now that the colder weather is upon us, I'm looking forward to cosy nights in with candles lit and getting stuck into some good quality TV. Since the start of the year, there have been some really good series I've been watching and although I usually talk about the TV shows I watch in my Life Lately posts, I wanted to do a separate one this time around so I could spend a little more time talking about them. Yes, believe it or not, there are TV shows apart from Friends that I enjoy... I mean, not as much (okay, no where near as much), but here are six other shows I deem binge-worthy and that I recommend watching.
Arrested Development is a show that was recommended to me by sister a couple of years ago and then when I moved to Melbourne, my housemate also kept telling me to watch it. At the end of last year, I finally began the series and it was one of those, 'Where has this TV show been my whole life?!' moments because it felt like it had been a long, long time since I discovered such an incredible comedy, and it definitely helped fill the void in my heart that Parks and Recreation left when it ended last year. The show centres around Michael Bluth and his dysfunctional family as he takes over the family company after his dad, George Bluth Sr., is committed to prison. It's smart, witty and often downright ridiculous; Tobias being the most ridiculous and absurd character, and therefore my favourite. Seasons 1 and 2 are definitely the best and although I didn't take to 3 and Netflix's season 4 as much, my sister says they're funnier the second time round. I'm not sure what's going on with season 5 or the Arrested Development movie - I'd much rather the show be left alone now - but whatever happens next for the Bluth family, I'll definitely be tuning in.
It only made sense that when Lisa Kudrow returned to television, I'd watch her in her new show. The Comeback is about former sitcom star, Valerie Cherish, who as the name of the show suggests, tries to make a comeback to TV. The show was unfortunately and unfairly cancelled after just one season in 2005, but nine years later, The Comeback made a comeback itself with HBO bringing the cult classic back for an eight-part second season in November of 2014, which I finally got around to watching in January. With its deadpan, awkward humour, I can understand how The Comeback wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea and I feel like it was under-appreciated the same way Arrested Development was during its time in the early 2000s. Produced and created by Lisa Kudrow herself, The Comeback is a far cry from Friends and her role as Phoebe Buffay, which may sound like a bad thing, except that it totally isn't. It really shows her comedic range as an actress and season 2 was just a delight; laugh out loud funny with a lot of heart - my favourite kind of comedy.
After I finished watching Arrested Development, I had planned on The Office being the next comedy I finally get into, but then I saw the Must See TV: An All-Star Tribute to James Burrows last month and I've been stuck in the '90s ever since. My parents were a fan of Frasier while it was on air back in the '90s, but during that time, I was still a bit too young to understand it and didn't find it funny until the later seasons of the early 2000s. It's a show I'd been thinking about getting properly into for such a long time, but being 11 seasons with 24 episodes each, the thought overwhelmed me! The James Burrows tribute definitely changed that for me though. A spinoff of the popular '80s sitcom, Cheers, Dr. Frasier Crane leaves Boston and heads back to his hometown of Seattle to become a radio psychiatrist and take care of his father, Martin. Along for the ride is also his younger brother, Niles, his father's British carer, Daphne, his radio producer, Roz, and last, but certainly not least, his father's dog named Eddie. I fell for the will-they-or-won't-they relationship of Niles and Daphne when Frasier was still on TV (the same way I fell in love with Ross and Rachel) and although they don't get together until much later in the series, those little moments and interactions between the two are giving me life right now.
I used to watch Full House sporadically on TV when I was a kid, but it wasn't until 2014 that I watched the entire series. Last year, when the reunion show, Fuller House, was announced, I couldn't wait to see what the Tanner and Katsopolis families had been up to, and just last month, it made its debut. In this Netflix original series, we see D.J.'s life imitate her dad's. After becoming a widow with three young boys, she moves back into the family home along with her younger sister, Stephanie, and childhood best friend, Kimmy, who are there to help raise her sons. Like the original series, Fuller House is super cheesy and even pretty cringeworthy at times, but it was a nice trip down memory lane and you know me, I love a little '90s nostalgia. Minus the Olsen twins, the entire original cast makes an appearance and there's even rumours of it coming back for a second season. I really hope D.J. ends up with Steve!
Girls is the kind of TV show you either love or hate. I've heard such varied opinions on the show and for me, I've been in both camps. I was absolutely hooked on seasons 1 and 2, but by season 3, I found the characters so dislikable. Yes, just like in real life, characters on television shouldn't be without flaws, but often at times, I feel like these characters on Girls don't even have any redeeming qualities. I didn't watch the show at all last year, but I got around to watching season 4 in January, in time for season 5, and I have to say, it got so good again. I rediscovered the likability within the characters (well, most of them) and although I still kind of can't stand Marnie, Hannah, Soshanna, Adam and Ray are all pretty great. Being a twenty-something also attempting to navigate this whole life thing, there are struggles the characters go through that are relatable and in a way, is kind of what makes Girls quite comforting. I haven't started watching season 5 just yet as I prefer to wait for the whole season to air, so I can then later binge-watch it, but considering how much I enjoyed the previous season, I definitely have high hopes.
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
Set in the summer of 1981, Wet Hot American Summer is the 2001 film about a group of camp counsellors on their last day at Camp Firewood. Fourteen years later, Netflix (they sure love cashing in on everyone's nostalgia, don't they?) brought back this same group of counsellors last year for the prequel; an eight-part TV miniseries called Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. Yes, it does sound absurd to create a prequel to a movie fourteen years later, but if you've seen Wet Hot American Summer, it kind of makes sense and is actually quite fitting with the film's ridiculous humour. Watching this just last month, you don't believe for one second that the actors are portraying sixteen-year-olds (except for maybe Paul Rudd who is an actual angel and doesn't age), but it doesn't take away from the series at all. With an all-star cast including Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Molly Shannon and appearances from Jon Hamm, John Slattery (yay, Mad Men!), Jason Schwartzman, Michael Cera and Kristen Wiig, both the movie and miniseries are downright hilarious and are highly recommended watching.
I'm planning on starting Orange is the New Black soon and maybe The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt depending on how much time I have between 10 seasons of Frasier left and the Harry Potter books. Life is just a never-ending list of TV shows and movies to watch, and books to read, isn't it?!
What TV shows have you been watching lately?