I know that billions of parents were (and are) able to live without DVR’s and Netflix…but I’m just glad I’m not one of them. Just like anyone else, I need a break from reality for a few minutes every day. Rather than rely on psychotropic hallucinogens or a few glasses of wine, I’d rather just escape through the TV or a good book. I hate to say it, but TV usually wins. Hey, to give me some credit, I’m in the middle of a 750 page book on Lincoln. Wouldn’t you rather watch Rock of Love, too? Er, actually…me neither.
I hate scheduling my life around TV programs and I always hated that growing up. If you missed Saturday morning cartoons or an episode of The Wonder Years or Full House, you were screwed until the following week. Missed that one episode of Friends or Melrose Place? Bummer. You would find out what Ross and Rachel were up to from your real friends. I remember actually taping shows off the VCR, which never seemed to work well for me. I would usually either record way too early or stop taping way too soon. I don’t even know how many times I would attempt to record off an already full tape. It all seems so ancient in these TIVO’d times. We had it so rough, didn’t we?
One of my favorite things to do after putting the Monkey to bed is get an hour or so every night to unwind with the Dude and watch a great show together. Rather than wait for a new episode of some show every week, we rely on Netflix to enjoy entire seasons at a time. We tend to like shows that incite a discussion or even a debate. In other words, shows that tend to be on HBO or Showtime. Wondering what shows couples can enjoy watching together? Here’s our list of must-watch TV:
- Mad Men – this show is perfection. The acting, the writing, and the overall 60′s aesthetic. The cast actually can act as well as they look. And that’s saying a lot. Hellooooo, Mr. Draper.
- The Wire – BEST.SHOW.EVER. I have yet to see another show this brilliant. It’s so realistic it’s scary.
- Dexter – gory? Somewhat. But Dexter is simply the most lovable murderer ever. Just look away when you hear the chainsaw.
- West Wing – one of the best network shows of all time. One thing to note is that if you compare last year’s Presidential election and the last season of West Wing, you will quickly realize that creator Aaron Sorkin is a psychic.
- Six Feet Under – the drama and the writing are impeccable, as is the cast. The series finale is not only the best series finale of all time but some of the best TV ever, period.
- The Sopranos – let’s not talk about the series finale (yes, I’m still bitter). Everything about the rest of the show is fantastic.
Not necessarily must-watch, but very enjoyable:
- Entourage – it’s the male version of Sex and the City, just with less fashion sense.
- Curb Your Enthusiasm – the shtick can get redundant but if you’re a fan of Seinfeld like me, you’ll enjoy this more edgy version of a show about nothing.
- 24 – action packed entertainment starring Keifer Sutherland? Can’t go wrong there.
- Heroes - Very unique concept, a great cast, and cool special effects. Love it.
- Lost – I have to be honest, I’ve only seen the first season. But I thought it was a great show and I plan on watching the entire series soon.
- The Office - love the dialogue and humor. I have yet to meet someone that doesn’t think this show is funny.
The Dude refuses to watch reality shows, with good reason. I admit I sneak in an episode of Real Housewives every week now and then, but there are a few reality shows that we can enjoy together:
- Iron Chef – if you and your partner are foodies or foodies-in-training, Iron Chef is must-watch TV. Love the kitchen-action, the different cooking styles, and the judging. I actually prefer the original Iron Chef from Japan, but Alton Brown makes this show worth watching.
- Top Chef – again, another great show for food-lovers.
- Project Runway – I know what you’re thinking, but this show can be just as entertaining for straight men as it is for anyone else. It’s much more about the fashion and the drama between the designers – it’s about the process of creating something out of nothing. Anyone can appreciate that!
What shows, if any, do you and your significant other enjoy watching together?