The best TV shows you aren’t watching, but should

No CBSI have very interesting viewing habits when it comes to television shows. For the life of me I cannot understand why shows like The Bachelor or How I Met Your Mother are so popular. Don’t get me wrong, I love reality TV – but The Bachelor? And pretty much anything on CBS is horrible. From the various flavors of CSI/NCIS to Two and a Half Men. I have such a distaste for CBS that I cannot even watch football games that are broadcast on their network. I had to make an exception for this year’s Big Game.

I hardly watch anything on broadcast TV. If I do, it’s likely an NBC comedy (think NBC Thursdays). ABC doesn’t get much love either. I think I have discovered that I don’t care for sitcoms with laugh tracks (or filmed in front of a live studio audience). The exception here is Seinfeld. Yes, I know it ended 15 years ago, but when it pops up in syndication I’ll invest 25 minutes in it.

So, what do I watch? Check it out…

Boardwalk Empire
Airing on HBO, Empire is a period drama focusing on Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, a political figure who rose to prominence and controlled Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the Prohibition period of the 1920s and 1930s. This show is full of suspense, and as you would guess, lots of violence. Steve Buscemi, who plays Nucky, is excellent. He is surrounded by an excellent cast, all of which provide outstanding performances which drive the drama.

Breaking Bad
It’s likely that you are watching this. This is another one of those AMC gems. I started watching this back when AMC was heavily promoting it with a “Making of Breaking Bad” special. I thought, how could the dad from Malcolm in the Middle portraying a cancer-ridden school teacher-turned-meth cook be bad? If you like suspense, this show is for you.

Game of Thrones
At first, I was not sure if I would care for this. A fantasy television series? Not really my cup of tea – but then again, I don’t drink tea. I must say, however, that if another character references the looming winter (after a decade-long summer), I just might drop this from my schedule.

A fictional representation of comedian Louie C.K.’s life, this is a great show to keep on hand when you have that real-life comedy itch. I understand that C.K. is likely a very wealthy celebrity, but this show really makes him relatable. He struggles to manage his career as a single father, caring for his two girls. This show presents real world situations and finds the humor in them. While this would likely be classified as a comedy, there are portions, or entire episodes, that are very dramatic.

Mad Men
Yes, you’ve heard of this – how could you not with all of it’s award nominations and eventual wins. I won’t go into a huge explanation – only to say that you should give season 1, episode 1 a chance, and then try to not watch the entire first season.

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee
The only show on my list that is a web-only series. Produced by, and starring Jerry Seinfeld, it features the popular comedian picking up his celebrity friends in extremely rare cars and heading out for coffee and/or a meal. The episodes are short, but the guests are icons in the comedy industry. I really want to believe that this is a typical activity for Seinfeld – cruising around Los Angeles or New York and lounging at hole-in-the-wall eateries. Give the Brian Regan episode a chance, then waste a few hours watching all the others.

You might think you have no time to add any of these fine productions to your already swapped viewing schedule. Might I suggest dropping the hours you invest in American Idol or The Bachelor worthy of something substantially more fulfilling.

This has been today’s Clarified Butter.