Jordan and I love TV.
Well...I love TV. Jordan loves me. SO, by the laws of logic, Jordan loves TV.
...is that not how that works? Maybe that's why I'm not an attorney.
Anyway, there's a LOT of TV out there, people. It's crazy, actually, how much there is to consume. And in this age of "on-demand" everything, it's so easy to waste hours and hours of our lives on bad TV. And I don't mean bad TV is bad and makes fun of itself, like The Bachelor -- I'm talking about TV that thinks it's good, but is really terrible.
So, if you trust my taste, let me take a little of the workload off your shoulders:
Here's a "stream-skip-stream" - what you should watch, and what you should pass on.
American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson.
I'll admit, I was pretty skeptical about this show. Ryan Murphy tends to start off a series with this incredible momentum, and then it kind of devolves into ridiculousness (see: Nip/Tuck, Glee, and American Horror Story seasons 1 through 1,000,000).
But THIS. This is good.
If you're around my age, then you probably don't remember the OJ Simpson trial in enormous detail, even if you do remember it. Watching this show is such an interesting take on something that happened in our lifetimes, and that involves people who are still alive today. Murphy has done an incredible job with the casting; while lots of the actors physically differ from the characters they play (Rob Kardashian, a shorter guy, is played by David Schwimmer who's very tall, while OJ, a giant, is played by the teeny Cuba Gooding, Jr.), the performances they give far outshine the obvious physical differences between them and their characters.
It examines issues like racism and sexism in a fresh way, honoring those subjects without beating you over the head with preachy monologues. Apart from all that, though, it's just plain entertaining. All the major moments in the case - the Bronco chase, the gloves being tried on, Marcia Clark's massive makeover - all this is covered on the show.
You can stream this show from FX's website with a cable login.
This season of House of Cards.
Ugh. I give up.
I'll be the first to tell you that Season 1 of House of Cards is one of the greatest recent seasons of any show I've seen. It's so thrilling and intelligent, well-written, well-acted, and if that's not enough, Robin Wright's constant shoe porn is enough of a reason to watch.
But, like many shows, this one couldn't hold onto its integrity for very long.
Seasons 1 and 2 of House of Cards were gripping and realistic, but Season 3 definitely jumped the shark for me.
I think my ultimate gripe about House of Cards is that it started as a quality show with a standard for itself, then turned into a soap opera while we weren't looking. Nothing against soap operas, but you can't claim to be one thing and then turn into something else while we aren't paying attention. And Season 5 is really too damn much.
Without spoiling anything, I can tell you this: while this is the best performance Robin Wright has given in a few seasons, and the best storyline for, the plot line for Frank is so unbelievably absurd that the show, for me, became unwatchable.
If you do choose to go for Season 5, go in with your expectations low. You'll be handed shocking scene after plot twist after OMG moment, but in the end, it doesn't really amount to much.
No, not the movie. Although you should watch that, too.
This show is an adaptation of the original 90's Fargo, and that takes place in the same universe.
You guys, this show is REALLY GOOD. My dad and brother have been nagging Jordan and me about watching it for months, and we're really late to the party, since Season 2 has already come and gone.
We just finished Season 1 and are truly hooked. Season 1 follows Lester Nygaard, played by Martin Freeman, and Lorne Malvo, played by the freaking bone-chilling Billy Bob Thornton, through their clandestine meeting and subsequent criminal entanglement. If you thought you were freaked out by Angelina showing up with Billy Bob's blood around her neck, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
Subtly funny, sharp as a tack, and not for the faint of heart (there's definitely some intense violence), you will never be sorry that you sat down to watch this show. It the fine, quality TV that proves we're living in the Golden Age of Television.
Hopefully, this will save you time, and turn you on to a couple of great shows if you haven't seen them already. Really wild about both the ones I recommended, and House of Cards? Well, we all gotta go sometime.