Survivor - Can’t beat a classic. There’s a reason it’s still going strong.
Face Off - A great competition show that features make-up and effects artists trying to break into film and television in their craft. I like watching the process, and I like that the contestants are supportive and help each other rather than getting into fights for no reason other than producers want them to happen.
Shark Tank - When I first saw this show, I immediately thought of my guys Grey and John from Grey’s Awakening and The Sweetest Tattoo respectively, who are both venture capitalists in the books. Seeing real life counterparts is fun.
RuPaul’s Drag Race - Love me some drag race. Some seasons are better than others, and it seems Ru’s decisions to eliminate queens is very subjective, but I still enjoy the small glimpse behind the scene of this world.
The Voice - Probably the only music competition I still watch. Even if you don’t have a favorite contestant to root for, the coaches are interesting and fun. Particularly in the beginning stages of the seasons.
King of the Nerds - Another show that celebrates nerds. It’s pretty low budget, but I still love Curtis and Robert as the hosts, and there’s usually always at least one person to root for, an underdog, who isn’t always the same person at the beginning of the season as at the end, so that’s fun too.
The Big Bang Theory - Yep, all these seasons in, I still love Big Bang. There’s still something wonderful and heartwarming about celebrating nerds. I am one, so it’s nice to see a version of them on TV.
@midnight - I don’t know how to write comedy, but I love to laugh, and I do like the format Chris Hardwick has created with this show. The humor is often off color and tasteless, but sometimes that’s okay, and this is a case where it is. At least for me.
Last Week Tonight w/ John Oliver - Boy, John Oliver took what he learned at The Daily Show and created a show of perfection that has its own slants and angles on the news. If you can sit through one of John’s rants about FIFA in particular without cheering and dying of laughter, then I don’t know how to help you. If you don’t get HBO, check some clips out on YouTube. You won’t be sorry.
The Middle - This is the only standard type sitcom format I know from my youth that I watch. I love the disorganized Heck family, and how they show their warts to the world, but always come together to back each other up, yet never in a sappy way.
Silicon Valley - Another celebration of nerds. Do you sense a theme here? LOL. This one with lots of blue language and an adult slant, but still surprisingly full of heart in its own cynical way.
Maron - For many years I’ve loved Marc Maron’s comedy and rants. He’s incredibly intelligent and yet his simultaneous insecurity, which is a real thing and not show created, is a fascinating thing. I was so happy when he got his own show, and even happier when it was really good.
Black-ish - I think my main love of this show is the mom, played by Tracee Ellis Ross, who is a truly underrated comedic actress. She has great chemistry with all her costars. And then to see a different side of Laurence Fishburne, when he pops in for his little one liners and ‘back in my day’ rants, is gold.
Game of Thrones - Come on. Do I even have to say anything? Brilliant. Can’t pick a favorite characters or storyline; I love them all so much. And goodness, such a visual feast for the eyes while all that drama is happening. Wonderful.
Orphan Black - A must watch just for the stunning multi-characters performance by Tatiana Maslany. Holy mama, she’s so amazing. One actress creating on the regular 4-5 clone characters, sometimes adding one offs that give additional work to Tatiana, each with their own distinct personalities and quirks and ticks, is something incredible to see. You have to stop every once in a while and remind yourself that this isn’t multiple actresses in these roles. It’s one person.
Hannibal - Ahh, Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelson. Each so handsome with insane depth in their own way. There is a lot of blood and gore; you have to be okay with that aspect of the storytelling, but if you can, it’s another beautifully shot show.
Bates Motel - A must watch for the off the charts chemistry between Vera Farmiga and Nestor Carbonell. My goodness. I love the slow burn between Norma and the sheriff, and I want it to drag out even longer before they succumb, but when it does it will be crazy good. Plus there’s the really interesting, twisted relationship between Norman and Norma that gives the back story of how Norman Bates became who he did in the movies. And you can’t overlook Max Thieriot and his expressive, beautiful eyes. Wow.
Broadchurch - A procedural mystery on BBC America. Of course I love David Tennant. He’s amazing as a detective on the hunt for a killer while being tormented by the killer who got away. But the revelation for me is the absolutely brave performance of Olivia Colman as his partner, who doesn’t know her life is about to explode. She’s not afraid to have a chip on her shoulder with David’s character or to not always look pretty, but instead sometimes very pulled down by life and it shows on her face. That fearlessness makes her portrayal all the more believable. If you like a show that takes a season to unravel a mystery and is sometimes slow moving in its exploration of characters and a small town, then this show is worth a watch.
Sleepy Hollow - I loved this show for most of the first season, almost gave up on it in the second, but it turned itself around, got a new showrunner, and now I’m super excited for S3. Love Abby and Crane together, and if John Cho can make another guest appearance, I’ll be one happy girl. Lots of supernatural baddies and having to save the world, some fun recreations of historical figures, and you have a good time for an hour a week.
The Walking Dead - Rick, Daryl, Carol, Michonne and co on the run from zombies and even worse groups of humans left living after the apocalypse. There are highs and lows with this show; sometimes I want to shake the TV when I’m watching, but that’s okay, because that means I care. No matter what, I’m along for the ride with this group, and I’m rooting for them to stay alive and find some kind of happy ending, even an unconventional one.
Once Upon a Time - Heroes and villains and saviors and fairy tale authors, oh my! Sometimes you want a show that has simple concepts of good and evil and is fun and has some couples to root for to get together, and Once Upon a Time is that show for me. Plus, I could listen and watch Hook for a whole episode all by himself, so I’m happy he has become such an integral part of the show.
12 Monkeys - Time travel and trying to save the world from a virus that is going to wipe out most of the world, and secret sinister organizations, and never being entirely sure what’s going on…that’s 12 Monkeys, and I love it.
Gotham - I have to admit I’m not a huge superhero person, so I didn’t know how I would feel about Gotham when I first heard it was going to be on the air, but I like a lot of the actors connected to the show so I decided to give it a shot. And I really like it so much. So much gleeful over the top scenery and storylines and even acting sometimes, and it’s all wonderful.
Penny Dreadful - Oh Penny Dreadful. Penny Dreadful, how I love thee. This is possibly my favorite show on TV right now. Such gorgeous lush scenery and costumes, and shot so beautifully, it’s like an amazing fifty-five minute postcard of history and the supernatural and classic literary characters brought to life. Yes. Give me more please.