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Old 02-28-2016, 04:12 AM   #1
Carruthers
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US Telly: What do you recommend?

Over on the British Telly thread, I mentioned that I'd never seen Hugh Laurie in anything other than comedy roles and DanaC said how good he was in 'House'.

I managed to track down an (almost) reasonably priced box set and took the plunge. It should be here on Monday.

It caused me to think about all the US series of which I'd heard, but never watched, and came up with the following:

The West Wing

24

Homeland

Seinfeld

Cheers

Frasier

Scrubs

I have an Amazon DVD wish list on which the above now appear, but it's a long term project, not least because of the costs involved but comments would be welcome on my choices.

Recommendations for other series would also be gratefully received.

Thanks.

PS I already have the box set of MASH.
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:48 AM   #2
xoxoxoBruce
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I find it odd to buy the show without seeing a couple first... at least one to get some idea. Don't you have some way to rent or stream these, or does that get into the not-in-your-country thing?
I suppose you can see samples on youtube, but "best of" or highlights can be misleading.

I loved Cheers, but with a large cast it can be uneven sometimes.
I thought Seinfeld worked because once you are familiar with the characters, it was a combination of the expected and unexpected. After seeing all the shows a few times it loses the unexpected.
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Old 02-28-2016, 05:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
..... Don't you have some way to rent or stream these, or does that get into the not-in-your-country thing? ....
Yes, there are various streaming services available but I don't subscribe to any because of the costs involved and the limited use I would make of them.
I've had a taste of one or two on YouTube, but it might be an idea to go for a cheap second hand single series DVD first before committing myself to the full works.
As mentioned, it's a long term project due to current circumstances, so I'm not going to be shelling out huge sums of money.
Occasionally, there are bargains to be had, so it's a question of keeping an eye on Amazon, Ebay, etc.
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Old 02-28-2016, 05:25 AM   #4
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I bought the whole of series one of The Walking Dead sight unseen because it was recommended on here. Second hand, and a good few seasons behind.

Of the above I would think you would get the most out of the West Wing.
Frasier is very verbal, so it can be listened to almost like a radio series (he also works in a radio statio, which is fun). That's my favourite comedy from the list, also hopefully old enough now to be cheaper. I didn't like Seinfeld at all, and yet many of my comedy heroes venerate it. I must have missed something good about it.

Is this about what you feel you've missed out on culturally, or just series you've seen/ heard referred to most often?
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Old 02-28-2016, 05:37 AM   #5
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There a regular reruns of Frasier on tv during day -in the morning I think. Mum's been rewatching them that way. In fact she's totally addicted to Frasier at the moment lol.

There's the Wire - though I have only seen the first two seasons. The two seasons I watched were incredible, but I never went back after that. Each season shifts perspective to look at a different aspect of Baltimore law, order, justice, and politics. The acting is stellar, the writing brilliant.
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Old 02-28-2016, 05:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundae View Post
.... Is this about what you feel you've missed out on culturally, or just series you've seen/ heard referred to most often?
It's probably series that I have seen or heard referred to most often, and with the greatest approval.

Thanks for the recommendation of the West Wing.

All those on my wish list will be grabbed when the opportunity presents itself, ie when they're cheap, but coincidentally The West Wing is at the top of the list.


ETA Thanks for your recommendation re The Wire, Dani. I'll add that to the list.
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Old 02-28-2016, 05:46 AM   #7
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ebay is quite a good source for these. Also, if you have a decent local library a lot of these should be available to rent/
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Old 02-28-2016, 06:09 AM   #8
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Also, though it will be a while before it is available cheaply on dvd, Mr Robot is stunning. One of the best tv shows I have seen in a very long time.
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Old 02-28-2016, 08:21 AM   #9
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I'm watching Sons of Anarchy now. Have you seen that? It's pretty bad ass
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:02 AM   #10
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Of the lot, I myself would pick Frasier every time. The cast is all exceptional. David Hyde Pierce.

And even though it was the smartest situation comedy the US networks ever produced (if you don't include The Simpsons seasons 2-7 as a sitcom), it still had fun with itself and just worked for everybody.

Seinfeld was so good that it broke the sitcom. For a while after it, everything else seemed trivial or something. Being about "nothing" made it seem like forced comic situations were too forced, or something. But I'm not sure it plays as well outside of its moment in time.
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:05 AM   #11
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Frasier stands up today much better than Cheers does. Though Cheers was great and I do love occasionally rewatching - it is very dated compared to Frasier. Frasier stands upmuch better than Friends too, imo. Than a lot of sitcoms of its time.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:49 AM   #12
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I'm assuming you're mostly looking for shows which are complete, so you can get the whole box set at once? I'd strongly recommend:

How I Met Your Mother
Breaking Bad
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:50 AM   #13
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@ lumberjim, Clodfobble, DanaC and Undertoad

Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions. More food for thought there.

Yes, I'll go for the complete box set if I can. There are economies of scale in both new and second hand versions.
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Old 02-28-2016, 05:48 PM   #14
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I second Frasier and Breaking bad. I didn't make it all the way through breaking bad, but it was definitely very good to start. They just tried to flog a dead horse later on imo
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:50 PM   #15
Pamela
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Battlestar Galactica, the new miniseries, not the one from 1978-1980 It has three entities, BSG, Blood and Chrome and Caprica. All are the same story told from different viewpoints. Highly recommended.

Also Firefly if you can find it.
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