No Need to Channel Surf: Four Shows To Watch Beginning to End

Heather Spellacy embraces her beloved DVR, without which she would miss out on some of the best shows on TV.  Photo by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn
Heather Spellacy embraces her beloved DVR, without which she would miss out on some of the best shows on TV. Photo by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn

With seemingly unlimited cable channels and programming online, it can be challenging finding television shows deserving of your time. These are some shows that are wothy of Tivo-ing (or Hulu-ing).

Modern Family

I didn’t start watching Modern Family until very recently. Frankly, I didn’t even know the show existed. Though, after endless friends told me I needed to watch, I caved and added the show to my list. So, in those glorious days before the start of the semester (you know, when your day consisted of only sleeping, eating, television and facebook) I watched the pilot episode Tivo had so graciously recorded for me.

Verdict: amazing. The show follows three different families. One consists of a mother, father and three kids; one is a gay couple with a newly adopted Vietnamese baby; and the last is a retired man, his new Latin wife and her kid. You later find out that they are all related, thus allowing for many inter-family conflicts. Every character has a drastically different personality and quirk, but each one is equally as funny. It’s rare that a show can actually make me laugh out loud, but this one definitely does the trick.

For fans of: The Office, Arrested Development

Channel: ABC, Wednesdays @ 9/8c


Upon my return home for the holidays my mother repeatedly hounded me to set up the Tivo to record “The Devil Wears Prada.” Apparently the learning curve for DVDs far surpasses that of Tivo… who knew? Though, I suppose I should be thanking my mom’s and her antics for introducing me to the wonders of FX. So many amazing shows come from this one little channel, including my newest addition, Archer. After seeing a few short promos I immediately set my own Tivo in anticipation for the show’s first season.

First off, I should mention that the show is a cartoon, but is definitely meant for an adult audience. The show follows Archer, a secret agent, who works for his mother at an intelligence agency. He’s your classic ladies man, well-dressed and hunky, and he keeps a gun in his underwear… just in case. He’s both childish and selfish, but for some reason, it’s nearly impossible to dislike him. The rest of the cast includes his pill-popping mother, his ex-girlfriend/fellow spy, and his loyal servant, Woodhouse. The show is crude, sexist, and completely unnecessary, but undeniably smart and witty.

For fans of: Metalocalypse, Sealab 2021, Frisky Dingo

Channel: FX, Wednesdays @ 10/9c

Project Runway

Ok. If you don’t know about this show’s premise then you are either living under a rock or are a guy (and I even know some guys who like this show). I’ve been watching the show since its inception in 2004. Six seasons later, and with season seven beginning just a few weeks ago, I am still on the Project Runway bandwagon.

The show serves as a competition to find the next big fashion designer. Heidi Klum, one of Victoria Secrets most popular models, hosts the show along with judges Michael Kors and Ninna Garcia. Of course there is the ever-loveable Tim Gunn, who serves as a mentor to the show’s designers.  The contestants have a day or two to design and create an outfit based on the week’s specific challenge. While it may sound like your run of the mill reality show, the talent continuously blows me away. Though, it is not only the talent and fashion that keep me watching; the different personalities make for a number of entertaining quarrels. It’s like Jersey Shore, but with better clothes.

For fans of: Fashion related reality TV

Channel: Lifetime, Thursday @ 10/9c

Mad Men

I don’t care who you are (okay, maybe I do… just a little) you must watch this show. Nine Emmys and five Golden Globes don’t lie… this series is amazing. First let’s chat about the wardrobe. Maybe I’m biased because I love styles from the 50s and 60s, but it’s hard to deny the amazing fashions seen on the show. The men look scrumptious with their gray suits and slicked back hair, and the women look absolutely stunning.

The show takes place in the early 60s and follows a group of Manhattan-based advertising executives and their families. While the exteriors of each character lead many to believe their lives are near perfection, it is soon realized that none are free from some serious flaws. From secret pasts, to questions of sexuality, the show’s multiple storylines are able to keep my interest without leaving me confused.

For fans of: any HBO drama, Jon Hamm in a suit

Channel: AMC, Season 4 should start sometime near the end of July


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