What are the best shows on TV today?

Now that Lost, 24, and Scrubs are done (all three went on longer than they should), I’m in the market for some new TV shows to follow. Currently, I just have two fairly escapist shows that I follow with some regularity (Chuck and NCIS). I’m also working through Battlestar Gallactica (fabulous show). I’m looking for another show or two of substance to add to my list. So, I’m wondering what you think are the best recent TV shows?

Brian LePort recently helped out by commenting on “Five TV Shows I Enjoy.” (He went with House, Ugly Betty, Mad Men, The Wire, and Rome.)  And, Mark Stevens followed up with his own list (West Wing, Glee, Scrubs, NCIS, and Bones). Based on these suggestions and some others that I’ve gotten from people, here are the shows that I’m considering.

  • Glee. I’ve seen a couple of episodes, but I’ve heard enough good things about it that I think I’ll get the first season from Netflix and start from the beginning.
  • The Wire. This one has been on my list of shows to watch for quite a while, but I never feel like I have the time or emotional energy to invest in it properly.
  • Mad Men. I’ve actually seen most of the first season, but I was never able to get into this one. I think I had too much going on at the time and couldn’t just sit and watch it.
  • Friday Night Lights. I really liked this one when it first came out, but I gave up on it in the second season. I’ve heard that it’s gotten a lot better since then and might be worth following again.
  • Dexter. I’d have to catch up on this one through Netflix, which is fine, and I’ve heard good things about it if you like your shows on the dark side (I do).
  • Modern Family. I don’t know if this meets the “substance” requirement, but several people I know well recommend this one highly.

So, what do you think? Do you watch (or have you watched) any of these shows and can offer some advice? If you had to pick one from this list, which one would you go with? Are there any others that you would recommend?

About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on June 27, 2010, in Misc and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Starting Glee half way through the season has cost me points…my wife says every Thursday night “I Told you it was good!” 😉

  2. I’d give Glee a shot. Since my wife began watching it I am warming to it as well. The Wire is awesome but it is very intense. Mad Men started slow for me but I just finished season three and I say if you stick with it the character development and the way the show ties into events of that era is really captivating.

  3. “Damages” is excellent and worth watching. “Dexter” too, especially the first season and the most recent season with John Lithgow. I’ve only watched season 1 of The Wire (it was perfect, why ruin it?:-) But liked it much.

    Of the list you mention, I would put “Damages” on it and I would watch the first seasons of each in this order, and then reassess:
    1) The Wire
    2) Dexter
    3) Damages

    But first, you need to finish “BSG” before you commit to anything else. It should scratch your itch for thoughtful t.v. about theological anthropology.


  4. Many good suggestions (though I am cable deprived so have to take what I read about those shows as true). I would add, though, for a bit of summer guilty pleasure laughing at others misfortunes – ABC’s Wipeout. Though it’s got hokey announcers you can never get enough of people being utterly humiliated as they have their bodies used as punching bags by the obstacle course. Take a break from thinking deep thoughts in other shows. I assume this year will be as fun, but alas I am cutting down on TV and Lost was my last regular show (though my wife still watches her one show the bachlor/ette which is quite comical in its own unique way).

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