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Suggested Things to Watch

Last modified: 4/5/2020 2:45pm

The Cary Library has a list of many things available free, see Community librarian Christine Muir is discussing this and other resources to the Lexington Computer and Technology Group (LCTG) on Wednesday April 8, 2020. Her presentation will be recorded and a link to it placed on the LCTG page shortly afterwards.

The following information has been collected from emails going on the list, these are movies, TV shows, series available on NetFlix, Amazon Prime Video, and elsewhere, either for free (after subscription) or at cost. See also Steve's TV channel alternatives page and the Cary Library page.

This started when someone asked for suggestions for “binge worth programs” with a preference for nonviolent. Crediting person suggesting ahead of each list; including suggester's comments in ( ); including my comments in [ ] )

[Sharon Fray-Witzer]

  • Dr. Who
  • Sherlock
  • Downton Abbey
  • House
  • Stranger Things
  • The Bletchley Circle
  • The Office
  • The Tudors
  • The West Wing
  • Orange is the New Black
  • The Good Place
  • Mozart in the Jungle
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Mazel [I second this–very funny]

[Olga Guttag]

  • The Crown
  • Designated Survivor
  • Money Heist
  • Knives Out (movie) [I second this; akin to “Dial M For Murder” recently on TCM]

[John Rudy]

  • Dr Whom (he am person who arrives to be fixin' yer grammer) [edits by steve, an attempt to add to humor]
  • Metropolitan Opera (free performances being posted nightly)
  • (European set of opera releases, similar to Met, with the details on their site.)

[David Kluchman]

note some of these contain violence, David has indicated this in his notes

  • Ozark (Netflix. Season 3 released 3/27/20. Jason Bateman, minor violence, but threat of it is at heart)
  • Sex Education (British, in Netflix, sweet, funny, not violent). 14+
  • Better Call Saul (threatening, but not a ton of actual violence especially compared to Breaking Bad, currently finishing last season on AMC, older episodes in Netflix,)
  • Happy Valley (BBC on Amazon now, great female creators, lead actor, some violence for sure and suspense)
  • Fleabag (not violent but mature themes. I wouldn't want to watch fleabag with teenagers in the same room because embarrassing).
  • Barry (HBO, Bill Hader, mostly dark comedy, some violence)
  • Veep! (HBO original, s1+2 now free on Anazon very funny, not violent)
  • Game of Thrones (if you can handle the very first episode you can take just about everything that follows, but def not for the squeemish)
  • Breaking Bad (definitely has violence)
  • The Fall (BBC on Amazon Prime with Gillian Anderson, serial killer, maybe my favorite police procedural ever)
  • Luther (PBS/BBC, Idris Elba, ok this might be favorite police procedural)
  • Prime Suspect (BBC/PBS, Helen Miren, uh…maybe this is…see above)
  • Rome (HBO original, ancient period drama, some violence in keeping with period)
  • Spranos (lots violent obv)
  • Weeds (Showtime original, now on Netflix)
  • The Wire (definitely has violence, but might be best written show ever)
  • Mr Robot (one of my favorites)
  • Russian Doll (one of my favorites)
  • West World (HBO; Qualified endorsement. Much violence but also an interesting meditation on AI, consciousness, and being human.)
  • The OA (Netflix, drama, sorta scifi)
  • Transparent (Amazon, drama/comedy)
  • Black Mirror (sort of a 21st century Twilight Zone, darkish)
  • Legion (It is the most surreal thing I have ever seen in main stream tv. Very interesting though imho1).)
    [Paul Smith] adds: Legion was great! Aubrey Plaza is always worth watching and she definitely didn't disappoint here. Jean Smart too! For sure it is not for everyone. Creepy, confusing, but a fun trip (in all senses of the word).

David has an extended list, you may access it at

[Diane Davidson]

  • Fleabag
  • Sex Education
  • Corner Gas (on Amazon Prime - old show, flat voiced sarcasm, sweet, family show)
  • Big Bang Theory
  • Jane the Virgin (I liked for about 2 seasons, then it got too “soap opera” like for me)
  • Grace and Frankie
  • Derry Girls (teens in the Troubles - and it's about the teen experience, not so much the Troubles)
  • Vicar of Dibley [Be sure to watch the very end where the vicar tells a joke to Alice who has trouble understanding it]
  • Coupling (only the British version. The American version is not funny)
  • Kominsky Method
  • Hitch (not a series, a fun rom com [romantic commedy?] movie)
  • The IT Crowd (sitcom in the basement of an IT office, old show)
  • Kim's Convenience (sitcom in a Korean corner store in Canada)
  • New Girl
  • Atypical (wonderful show about the family which includes a young man with Aspergers - he is growing up and his family needs to cope)
  • AJ and the Queen (a drag queen friends a troubled tweener by chance and adventures - personally, I like this, but I can see how there are problems with the concept)
  • Madam Walker

[Gauri Rahul Nair]

who says: Britbox and PBS Passport are great

  • Broadchurch
  • Hinterland
  • The Stranger
  • Hinterland
  • Unbelievable
  • A Very English Scandal
  • Dr Foster
  • Endeavor
  • Durrells in Corfu
  • Victoria
  • Unforgotten
  • The Indian Doctor
  • Grantchester
  • Last Tango in Halifax
  • Working Moms
  • The Let Down
  • Sisters
  • Offspring
  • The Good place
  • West Wing
  • Cheers
  • Pressed
  • The Good Wife
  • Sanditon
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Anne with an E
  • Sherlock
  • Jack Ryan
  • Catastrophe
  • Big Little Lies
  • Succession
  • Watchmen
  • Indian Summers
  • HappyValley
  • Last Tango in Halifax
  • Collateral
  • Wire (one of my favorite shows ever)

[Donnah Nickerson-Reti]

Has anyone noticed a theme of violence and power struggle running through the recommended TV watchings? Where are the comedies and fun films/shows? Here are some good suggestions,

  • Donnah
  • Babe
  • Balto
  • How to Steal A Million
  • Meet Me in St. Louis
  • Lilies of the Field
  • Space Cowboys
  • City Slickers
  • To Catch a Thief
  • Field of Dreams
  • League of their Own
  • Mary Poppins
  • Cool Runnings
  • Guys and Dolls
  • Ghost and Mrs. Muir
  • Pleasantville
  • The Cowboys (John Wayne)
  • Captains Courageous
  • Hachi
  • Move Over Darling (James Garner, Doris Day) or My Favorite Wife (same plot except starring Cary Grant , Irene Dunn)
  • American in Paris
  • Daddy Longlegs

[George Gamota]

  • Star Trek (the whole series is on CBS Access including the latest Picard)

[Florence DelSanto]

  • Call My Agent“ (a French comedy about a talent agency in Paris. All the characters are lovable (well, at least likable) it's a fun and funny show. There are three seasons on Netflix. I'm waiting for the fourth . You'll have to read subtitles so you can't fall asleep.)

[Elaine Doran]

  • The English Game (on Netflix)

[Cheryl Meadow]

  • Good Omens
  • Call the Midwife
  • Sherlock
  • Mr. Robot (darker and more violent than I normally like, but really compelling and beautifully acted, filmed, and directed)
  • The Great British Bakeoff
  • Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (Jerry Seinfeld)
  • Catastophe
  • Imposters (you need to suspend disbelief)
  • Mad Men
  • Russian Doll

[Marianne Farkas]

  • Downton Abby
  • Miss Fisher (Murder mystery—on Amazon Prime and Netflix variously)
  • Father Brown (Murder mystery—on Amazon Prime and Netflix variously)
  • A series on the life on Madame CJ Walker (the first African American self made millionaire, early 1900’s) -with Octavia Spencer as Madame Walker.
  • The English Game

[Irene Dondley]

  • The Americans (Definitely violent. For anyone who liked Breaking Bad, you should also like this.)
  • Six Feet Under (A great series and has one of the best final episodes ever. Not violent.)

[George Cross]

[Paul Smith]

  • The Expanse (Amazon Prime)
    • even if you're not much of a scifi person you'll probably like this near-future series: no transporters, phasers, starships: set within our solar system with humans and realistic physics (no “artificial gravity”). A lot of politics, mystery, etc. Medium violence but not too gory. Shohreh Aghdashloo who is great as always, and gets to swear like a sailor which is its own kind of joy :). If you like shows with lots of fully-realized characters and complicated, intertwined plots, this is for you.
  • Dispatches from Elsewhere (AMC)
    • unfortunately the first 4 episodes have already aired and this is NOT a show you can easily jump into. If you have a cable subscription you can probably catch up on the AMC app or something. This is not violent at all and is a super-enjoyable, feel-good show (IMO). Even my college-age son likes it and he's very particular. Created by Jason Segal and co-starring Sally Field and Eve Lindley. Based on a real thing that really happened which makes it even more cool!
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (BBC, now on Hulu or Amazon (not free))
    • Based on the novels by Douglas Adams; if you like Dr. Who, obviously Hitchhiker's Guide, or just bizarre funny shows, you'll probably like this. Co-starring Elijah Wood (Frodo!) Some violence, a lot of quirkiness.
  • I Am Not Okay With This (Netflix)
    • I Just finished S1 of this: teen who gets powers… but not a superhero show. Coming of age but with a bit more than your normal issues. If you liked Sex Education and Fleabag you'll probably like this.
  • The Kominsky Method (HBO)
    • Michael Douglass and Alan Arkin: comedy (mostly) about men getting older, plus L.A. culture.
  • Better Things (FX / Hulu):
    • Pamela Adlon, co-created by Louis C.K. before he had his troubles. I can't agree with her parenting style, but well-done.
  • Derry Girls (Netflix)
    • Friends at an Irish school in the 1990's during the troubles: very funny. Some raunchy language. Subtitles recommended :)
  • Bosch (Amazon Prime)
    • based on the book series by Michael Connelly, starring Titus Welliver. L.A. cop show, very gritty. Each season does basically one of the novels. If you like The Wire or Homicide you'll like this probably.
  • Hunters (Amazon Prime)
    • This I'm not sure about; we're watching it now. It's pretty violent and has a lot of Nazis in it so… but it also has great actors: Al Pacino, Carol Kane, Saul Rubinek. And it's set in the 1970's and they do a good job with the period / sets etc.
  • Legions (see note above under David Kluchman)
  • Flight of the Conchords (HBO, also on Amazon Prime)
    • It's some years old but if you haven't seen it yet and you're looking for funny, sweet shows it's hard to do better than this. Jemaine Clement (also in Legion) and Bret McKenzie are fantastic, as is of course Rhys Darby and Kristen Schaal.
  • What We Do in the Shadows (both the movie and the TV series)
    • very funny, campy vampire stuff… kind of like The Office but with vampires. Hard to describe. The movie has Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (recently from JoJo Rabbit). It's a bit darker than the TV show IIRC. The TV series (FX, Hulu) has different actors but is just as good: Jemaine and Taika are writing and they have some fantastic guest stars–Tilda Swinton! Season 2 starts April 15. Bat!

[Meg Muckenhoupt]

  • Undone (on Amazon prime) Rotoscope animation of young woman who may be time-traveling – or mentally ill – in San Antonio. Passes the Bechdel test with flying colors. And Bob Odenkirk (Saul from Breaking Bad) is in it.

[Steve Isenberg]

my list, a work in progress

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In My Humble Opinion
suggested_watchings.txt · Last modified: 2021.12.22 13:51 by