I’ve recently noticed that most of the serial TV we watch in my household is some combination of zombies, werewolves, vampires, serial killers & crime and TEOTWAWKI drama. All of which is fine, but we’ve both been getting more conscious and conscientious about the effect of environmental things on our mental world and all this stuff stimulates certain mood states and thought patterns – even if you don’t dislike them, a monocultural mental diet can’t be great in the long-term.
So, as I have taken to doing recently, I asked my wise and knowledgeable Facebook friends to recommend good serial TV which isn’t any of the above. Here is what they said:
First… some less mainstream choices I’ve not seen (and some I’d never heard of):
- Once Upon A Time
- A Place To Call Home
- Call the Midwife
- Luther (crime, but I’m letting it through because Ben says it’s “mind-bending and wonderful”)
- The Americans
- Friday Night Lights
- Newsroom (some weird, dynamic page that takes ages to load)
- Finding Bigfoot (“reality”, not fiction)
- Real Humans
- House of Cards
- The Returned
Second, some shows I already watch which I’d also recommend:
- Utopia – creepy, unsettling British sci-fi based around a mysterious comic book.
- Da Vinci’s Demons – the mad genius of Leonardo set in the politically complex times of Medici Florence. Caution: may contain traces of Mithraism.
- Vikings – like “Sons of Anarchy” on boats. Not just hot, beardy dudes and muscular shield maidens, also a fair portrayal of life in the northlands (it’s from the History channel after all)
- In Treatment – a fictional portrayal of a therapist – four episodes have a different client each episode, fifth has the therapist visiting his therapist, then the cycle repeat. Originally screened five nights a week, which would have been intense.
- Dollhouse – Joss Whedon (nuff said?). Young, attractive people sign over a year or two of their lives for large sums of money, get their memories wiped and replaced with entirely new personalities to act as high-paid escorts. Hilarity ensues.
- Better Off Ted – Extremely oddball comedy about a corporate R&D lab run by a charming psychopath (Portia de Rossi).
- Embarrassing Bodies – Not a fiction, but I love this show for making very troubling, very personal illnesses seem normal – hopefully encouraging more people to go see the doctor when things don’t seem right.
Documentaries in a category of their own (these are on ABC iView right now, Australians, so hop to it):
- A History of Celtic Britain
- Wonder of Life
- Origins of Us
Finally shows that get recommended a lot, but maybe this will push me over the edge to check them out:
- Nurse Jackie
- Downton Abbey
- Burn Notice
- Mighty Boosh
- Mad Men
Thanks to my marvellous friends. There’s a rich seam of