Ya Human? Watch these 15 Shows

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If you haven’t watched these tv shows yet, I’m wondering if you even care about life.

These TV shows are wicked important

Listen. I know we’re all busy. But there are things in life we must grasp in order to be part of the global conversation. To be considered HUMAN. You want to be considered human, don’t you? Then you better get a Netflix account. Or an HBO NOW account. Or a Hulu account… I guess? Whatever it takes – your humanity is on the line, remember?

It comes down to this: do you want your water cooler conversations to scintillate or fizzle? My wife has apparently chosen the later. You see, she’s not yet human. A human would allocate time to ingesting the most popular tv shows. A human would do this because of an innate desire to be included.

No doubt my wife is warm to the touch, but I am beginning to have my suspicions. So unless I’m into being married to the Tin-Man, it’s my job to intervene and render her human. Haven’t seen these shows yet either? Saddle up, R2D2 – I’ll fix you too.

15 TV shows you must watch to be human

1. Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad - Cool TV Show

Network: AMC (January 20, 2008 – September 29, 2013)
Crime drama, Thriller, Neo-western, Black comedy

Hey – if you haven’t seen Breaking Bad yet, seriously, how’s your home life going? Think I’m being a little rough? Watch this show and you’ll learn a life-lesson on what rough really is. Oh, let me guess, you watched the first season and thought it was a little too slow. Give me a break. You can’t win the most awesome chess game with a handful of moves. The game becomes more awesome as more variables come into play – it can’t just be checkmate off the jump. The fact that I can come up with this brill chess analogy off the top of my head is thanks mostly to having watched the entire series of Breaking Bad 3 times over. Yes – watching this show can make you better at creating super-cute analogies in real-time. Worth a watch then I’d say.

Show Synopsis – Just a Little Taste

This show is about a cancer patient who begins selling crystal meth to bank cash for his family. It’s not a romantic comedy. The show starts out playfully and transforms into something a teeny-tiny-bit darker. Probably don’t watch this with your 8-year-old daughter. Watching this show will give you a neat look at how wrong things can go if you turn to a life of crime. The characters are raw. It’s easily one of the best shows ever made. If I told you more, I’d ruin it.

If you haven’t seen Breaking Bad…

4.5/5 Skeptical Hippos: Because I guess the content is a tiny bit graphic and not for everybody.

4.5 skeptical hippos

2. Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones - Nice TV Show

Network: HBO (April 17, 2011 – present; as of mid-2018)
Genre: Fantasy, Serial drama

Wow, um – hey. Are you Human? You haven’t seen Game of Thrones… How could you go through life and all of the many interactions with family members, co-workers, randoms at the bus stop… and not be privy to all the GoT references? Hey, are you one of those twerps who fakes a laugh when somebody makes a super fun “Hodor” joke? Do you think the “Red Wedding” is just a hint that Chinese-style ceremonies are in fashion lately? I’m currently forcing my lady to watch Game of Thrones right now, and she had the AUDACITY to refer to Daenerys as “The Dragon Trainer” instead of her true title “Mother of Dragons”. If you had seen the show, you’d know just how far out of bounds she was. I almost broke it off.

Show Synopsis – More Than A Game

I’ll be the first to admit that the backdrop for the show is just the same old plain fantasy: dragons, wraiths, giants – nothing unique at all. Even the plot is familiar. The show unfolds exactly how the title suggests, several powers competing for control in a “Game of the Thrones”. The characters are what do it here. I’m not a huge fantasy fan and I still go in hard for this one because of the outstanding cast. Watch it with your girlfriend and she’ll tell you about which male protagonists she’s falling in love with. #feelsbad

If you haven’t seen Game of Thrones…

5/5 Skeptical Hippos: Because I don’t understand how you could miss this one given all the pop culture references out there.

5 skeptical hippos

3. Eastbound and Down

Eastbound and Down - Fresh TV Show

Network: HBO (February 15, 2009 – November 17, 2013)
Comedy, Sports

Every once in a while, there comes along a show that nails a character so hard that you wonder how you didn’t conceive of it yourself. Eastbound and Down is that show, and Kenny Powers is that character – played brilliantly by one Danny McBride. Together, they take white trash to a place you’d never want to go in real life. It’s the car crash that you can’t peel your eyes away from happening again and again, every episode. Despite the horror these dirt people deal in, it’s amazing how much you end up caring about them. For a little taste of Kenny’s awesome ways, check out this classy list of quotes from the series, featuring beauties like this when he was asked for his take on triathlons, “I play real sports. Not trying to be the best at exercising. Fuck this guy.”

Show Synopsis – Getting a Buzz On

The show is about Kenny Powers, a down-and-out professional baseball pitcher. When his career begins falling apart, he suffers a self-destruction followed by a nuclear meltdown. The rest of the show is about how he deals with it.

If you haven’t seen Eastbound and Down…

2/5 Skeptical Hippos: Despite how awesome this show is, I’m not sure how mainstream it was – so my hippo can only be so skeptical.

2 skeptical hippos

4. Kroll Show

Kroll Show - Nice Watch TV show

Network: Comedy Central (January 16, 2013 – March 24, 2015)
Sketch Comedy

Listen, I like all of these shows on this list, of course. But I’m not a fan of any of them. That is to say, I’m not a fan of any of them except for this one – Nick Kroll and his Kroll Show. You probably have at least one friend who cracks you up with everything they say. When I was a kid, it was this guy named Rob Pierce. Hey, Rob: you’re on blast for making me giggle like a school girl on acid. Every time this kid opened his mouth, it was 2 tabs of blotter straight to the dome. Nick Kroll is that friend TO EVERYBODY HE MEETS. His powers are immense.

Show Synopsis – Let There Be Cake

It’s a sketch comedy show. None of the sketches are recycled. None of the ideas are pinched. And unlike some sketch shows that just take pot-shots at pop culture to squeeze out easy laughs, Kroll develops distinct characters that are so in-depth and on-point that you wonder which ones didn’t make the cut. He ended the show after 3 seasons for 2 reasons: 1. he was finished and 2. to personally spite me.

If you haven’t seen Kroll Show…

3/5 Skeptical Hippos: Because you might not get it. That’s not your fault, you’re just a bit basic. Reflect.

3 skeptical hippos

5. Jeopardy!

Jeopardy - Smart TV Show

Network: NBC (March 30, 1964 – present; as of mid-2018)
Game Show

I’ll take “Wicked TV Shows” for 1000 Alex. The clue: “This TV show is an awesome TV show that will give you the chance to feel smarter than your entire family.” What is Jeopardy? I thank you. Hey, game shows are dogshit. Except for this one – because you learn in a book when you watch it. Also, you get a chance to validate all the useless facts you know. Also, you get to prove your sister is an idiot for sure. Then you’ll feel like a real man – all from watching this show. What a treat.

Show Synopsis – This. Is! Jeopardy!

It’s a TV quiz show hosted by the fabulously arrogant Alex Trebec. If contestants get an easy question wrong, he scolds them with his piercing gaze and sometimes snide comments. The show is worth it for those moments alone. Over the years, they’ve had some wild contestants like this one super nerd and my hero, Ken Jennings, who won the show 74 times in a row and earned over 2 million bucks – no slouch I reckon. Also, how about the IBM supercomputer named WATSON who trounced the aforementioned Jennings and some other puny human for a prize of $1 million? You won’t see that on Wheel of Fortune.

If you haven’t seen Jeopardy!…

1/5 Skeptical Hippos: Because I guess cable is for the olds, mostly. Still, find a way to watch this to finally become smrtr.

1 skeptical hippo

6. The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead - Neat TV Show

Network: AMC (October 31, 2010 – present; as of mid-2018)
Genre: Horror, Serial drama, Zombie apocalypse

I’m sick of zombie shows – including this one. I dipped out after season 7. But you know what, like a crack addict who needs a sweet taste, I can’t stop thinking about The Walking Dead. This one may have long periods where it seems like nothing is doing, but when something does do, it does so with authority. This show has prompted me to jump out of my chair, hide my eyes, and feel wetness come from my eyeballs – not sure what that means, maybe I should see a doctor. Oh wait, I can’t go to the doctor on account of I’m a MAN.

Show Synopsis – Keep Walking

The show, based on the crazy-popular comic of the same name, follows main dude Rick Grimes and his rag-tag bunch of survivors through a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic world. Pretty soon, they learn how to deal with zombies and the real enemy is revealed: other humans. That’s where the fun of this show comes out. Turns out humanity is a real bitch.

If you haven’t seen The Walking Dead…

5/5 Skeptical Hippos: If you’ve ever been on social media and still you missed this, me and my skeptical hippo eyes are looking at you like “hey, we a bit skeptical”. Figure it out (your life).

5 skeptical hippos

7. American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson

The People vs. OJ Simpson - Great TV Show

Network: FX (February 2 – April 5, 2016)
Genre: True Crime, Anthology, Drama

I remember watching OJ Simpson when I was a kid in this movie called “Naked Gun”. He looked wicked happy to be there. I knew he was a football player of some description, but I never imagined he’d become the most famous non-murderer we’d ever know. Imagine being such a famous football player that you became bigger than the game itself. And then at the crest of your wave of fame, you decided to kill your wife and her friend. Oh, I’m sorry – ‘allegedly’ kill your wife and his friend. That’s the story of OJ Simpson. It’s a story that’s been covered to death in many forms, but somehow, this FX series nailed it with precision; and they did so with some fresh-as-tits performances from freaking Ross Geller and that guy from Grease. How are you missing this?

Show Synopsis – We, The People

It’s about the OJ Simpson trial. A media circus that we still haven’t gotten over. And hey, this guy still walks the Earth today. What I wouldn’t give to catch a glimpse of OJ in public. Holy crap that’d be a trip.

If you haven’t seen The People vs. O.J. Simpson…

3/5 Skeptical Hippos: While you must know about the OJ debacle, the show’s popularity came and went pretty fast. But it did come hard and fast when it came, so my hippo is still skeptical.

3 skeptical hippos

8. Chappelle’s Show

Chappelle's Show - Thank you very great TV show

Network: Comedy Central (January 22, 2003 – July 23, 2006)
Genre: Sketch Comedy

Let’s try something: “I’M RICK JAMES BITCH!”… No idea? You better get your life and watch this show fore I slap you on the face.

Show Synopsis – Negrodamus

The genius sketches of Dave Chappelle, a standup comedian who made it, washed his hands of it, dipped out, and has now dipped back in with a huge vengeance. In 2017, he ended up shooting 4 1-hour specials in like 2 weeks or something. Crazy. Pretty good.

If you haven’t seen Chappelle’s Show…

4.5/5 Skeptical Hippos: I’ll allow you some skeptical wiggle room on this one because you might be young, but when this show came out, it was before social media and it was still the talk of the town.

4.5 skeptical hippos

9. Fargo

Fargo - Super TV Show

Network: FX (April 15, 2014 – present; as of mid-2018)
Genre: Anthology, Crime drama, Black comedy

You know what, whenever they take a movie that was baller-dollar and try to make a tv series out of it, it usually turns out like real-bad, man. Fargo is a TV series that takes that conventional wisdom, devours it whole and shits out a pristine diamond. You don’t even need to wipe the poop off – it comes out clean. The actors are top notch. The story is top notch. The cinematography is top-notch. How did you miss it? Hey – great show – must watch – so simple.

Show Synopsis – Oh Geez

The show takes place in an unassuming setting – the cold as hell midwest, where the people are frank, polite and distant. As a result, emotions get bottled up. But sometimes the bottle cracks and bad things happen. The world of Fargo explores a what goes on when good people turn bad. It’s delightful in the worst possible way.

If you haven’t seen Fargo…

2/5 Skeptical Hippos: The nature of the show is pretty subtle, so if you’re not in the target audience it might have been easy to miss this one. Don’t worry bud, not everybody is part of the smart crowd.

2 skeptical hippos

10. True Detective

True Detective - Truly Cool TV Show

Network: HBO (January 12, 2014 – present; as of mid-2018)
Genre: Anthology, Crime drama, Detective, Mystery, Neo-noir, Southern Gothic

I think there was a lot of hype around True Detective when it came out in 2014. The first season was pure gold – Woody and Mathew straight killing the game. That’s 2 full-on movie stars taking names in a television series. HBO has been getting serious for a while, but this really takes the cake. These 2 weren’t bored, they just decided it was time to slam dunk on some TV fools. So now we come to you: the twerp reading this. Not you, you’re the dude who saw this show. I’m talking to you: the person who thought they didn’t need to bother watching this one. How’s your day going? You’re real lucky. I’m going to pass on slapping you upside the head like I should and give the gift of this perfect show. Enjoy it.

Show Synopsis – I Know Who I Am

The show follows detectives as they wrestle with the shit they uncover on the way to solving a case. Turns out police-work can get inside your head a bit. Season 1 was a perfect gem. Season 2, set in a different place with different characters, was not as polished. Although I liked it, the haters did not. Still worth a watch, and as of mid-2018 when I wrote this, they had begun filming season 3. I believe I will partake – thank you very kindly.

If you haven’t seen True Detective…

3/5 Skeptical Hippos: Since the 1st season was huge and the 2nd season was just alright, my hippo is only 3 times a skeptical boy.

3 skeptical hippos

11. The Wire

The Wire - Perfect TV Show

Network: HBO (June 2, 2002 – March 9, 2008)
Genre: Crime drama, Serial drama

If you grew up in America, which I didn’t because I’m Canadian, I’m pretty sure you were forced to read Moby Dick at some point – which might be why you hated it. But if you hated it, you’d be wrong – it’s easily one of the best books ever written – and that’s saying a lot because it was written in the 1850’s or something. The thing that makes Moby Dick so good is that it’s not a straight story – it’s part retrospective, part memoir, and part history lesson. Whether intentional or not, The Wire has succeeded in executing a similarly brilliant narrative flow. It teaches you things. It tugs on your strings. The happiness it brings and the songs it sings – oh and the bling. Watch this.

Show Synopsis – Just a Little Taste

It’s a crime drama, kind of procedural except it’s not as flat-out predictable as CSI or Criminal Minds some bullshit show like that. It also has a story and nuanced characters. It takes a deep-dive into the Baltimore crime scene, grit and all. This show will take you places (around Baltimore, mostly).

If you haven’t seen The Wire…

2/5 Skeptical Hippos: This one is a bit more of a slow-burn, so you might have dipped out early. I’m still a bit skeptical, and my hippo is also wary.

2 skeptical hippos

12. South Park

South Park - Such a Nice TV Show

Network: Comedy Central (August 13, 1997 – present; as of mid-2018)
Genre: Animated Sitcom

Oh gosh golly South Park what a pleasure what a pleasure. You know, when I was a kid this show came out, and I thought it was all fart jokes so I stopped watching. I refer to the years of my life where I stopped watching South Park as “The Dead Period” where my brain was dominated by idiotic thoughts of not watching every last episode of this awesomely hilarious show. Some people say it’s racist. Some people say it slanders religion. Some people say it’s grotesque – but I promise, it’s almost never all those things in a single episode. But when it is, wowee, what a treat.

Show Synopsis – They Killed Kenny

It’s a show that satires just about everything you could imagine. Pop culture, politics, technology, memes, celebrities – everything is fair game in South Park. That’s how they keep things balanced really. You could never say that South Park singles anybody out. It’s honorable in that way. I love this show and you should too.

If you haven’t seen South Park…

5/5 Skeptical Hippos: You haven’t seen every episode of this = you are no friend of my hippo.

5 skeptical hippos

13. Arrested Development

Arrested Development - Grand TV Show

Network: Fox, Netflix (May 26, 2013 – present; as of mid-2018)
Genre: Sitcom

Most of the shows on this list require a bit of nuance to fully digest. Not this one. Arrested Development is pure silliness from start to finish. Although I’m sure there are subreddits that try to dissect some form of symbolism hidden throughout its several seasons, what you’ll mostly find is a cast of wildly hilarious characters all doing their best to one-up each other. And they do – consistently.

Show Synopsis – Never Nude

The show follows the Bluth’s as their once rich family tries to keep it together after their business goes belly up. Sounds ordinary as heck, but it takes funny to new heights. And it’s accessible for the whole family… I think.

If you haven’t seen Arrested Development…

5/5 Skeptical Hippos: My basic-as-hell little sister loves this show. What’s your excuse?

5 skeptical hippos

14. Curb Your Enthusiasm

Curb Your Enthusiasm - Fun TV Show

Network: HBO (October 15, 2000 – present; as of mid-2018)
Genre: Sitcom, Cringe comedy, Improvisational comedy, Dark comedy

I’m pretty sure I’m a younger, way less funny version of Larry David, creator, and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm. This man complains about everything and is bothered by injustice of any sort. I want to know him. He’s an inspiration. Call em out Larry. They live in their own world where nothing else matters except for them. They need guidance and also, hey, it’s affecting you. And Yeah, the world does need policing – who else is doing it? I say you’re going easy on them. If I were you Larry (and I am), I’d give it to them ten times stronger. My girlfriend hates this about me. But you know what? I’m right. It’s just going to take her a little while to catch on to that.

Show Synopsis – A Lie is a Gesture

The show follows Larry in his life as a semi-retired television writer and producer in Los Angeles and later New York City. He digs into the minutia. I love saying that word… “minutia”… but in it’s written form it looks far less impressive, doesn’t it?

If you haven’t seen Curb Your Enthusiasm…

1/5 Skeptical Hippos: People who love this show, love it real good. But if you missed it, my hippo can’t blame you too much. Now that you know about it, you’ve got some catching up to do.

1 skeptical hippo

15. Seinfeld

Seinfeld - Super TV Show

Network: NBC (July 5, 1989 – May 14, 1998)
Genre: Sitcom

Seinfeld: great show. Here’s something sad though: my sweet lady and co-author of this blog, follows Jerry Seinfeld’s wife on Instagram, yet she hasn’t even heard of this show. So we can guess she doesn’t know who Jerry is. And no disrespect to Mrs. Seinfeld, but I’m pretty sure she’s riding the tidal wave of success generated by her super-famous husband. She’s young, but not so young that she’s excusable in this blunder. Hey, if you’re Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, your Instagram bio should read, “I owe my limited success to Jerry Seinfeld”. I’m not even the biggest Seinfeld fan, but you can’t deny the impact of this show. I get it, she’s “her own person”; but really, she’s not. Have a little respect, Jess. Hey, also, by the way, don’t marry somebody whose name is so close to yours. “Hi I’m Jerry, and this is Jessie. We’re married.” Uh but it sounds like you are brother and sister – too cool. Anyway, great show.

Show Synopsis – No Soup For You

The show about nothing, as they say. It’s Jerry and his bachelor life as a standup comedian in New York City. He’s got some funny friends and they do some funny things together. Mostly talk about nonsense in a coffee shop. It’s like Friends, except not complete bullshit.

If you haven’t seen Seinfeld…

4.5/5 Skeptical Hippos: My sweet lady hasn’t seen this show, so 1 hippo can turn a single blind eye for her sake alone.

4.5 skeptical hippos

So there you go, you want to be a human, I want you to be a human – perfect, we are in agreement. In case you want to review the list one more time, here it is in full:

  1. Breaking Bad – AMC
  2. Game of Thrones – HBO
  3. Eastbound and Down – HBO
  4. Kroll Show – Comedy Central
  5. Jeopardy! – NBC
  6. The Walking Dead – AMC
  7. The People vs. O.J. Simpson – FX
  8. Chappelle’s Show – Comedy Central
  9. Fargo – FX
  10. True Detective – HBO
  11. The Wire – HBO
  12. South Park – Comedy Central
  13. Arrested Development – Netflix
  14. Curb Your Enthusiasm – HBO
  15. Seinfeld – NBC

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