TV shows worth watching

If you are enjoying The Crown…

Into every life, a little ‘downtime’ may fall. Between successive snowstorms in the Northeast and flu elsewhere – friends report binge watching some TV shows you should know about. I like to find an absorbing 45-minute show to distract me while exercising.

Perspective is everything. I tend to like mysteries, comedies and dramas with great dialog and a minimum of gratuitous violence. I like to experience history, science or another culture. I love grand cinematography. I like people to rise above challenges. These are the recommendations I have collected.

The new classics:

The Crown about Queen Elizabeth


Foyle’s War – Detective Constable Foyle is sidelined solving crimes in rural England while WWII overwhelms the world. The series ran from 2002 to 2015.

Downton Abbey  – The historical series covers 1912 to 1926 on a Yorkshire country estate chronicling the lives of the fictional Crawley family and everyone in their orbit.

TV series:

The Time In Between – This Spanish period drama tells the story of a young seamstress in Madrid living with her single mother in 1934. Her life is a whirlwind of intrigue and espionage and WWII rages.

The Last Post – British drama set in Aden in 1965. In this outpost, the British army is fighting the Yemeni insurgents and going home to their families at night.

The Night Of – 2016 eight-part TV series, crime drama mini series about a naïve Pakistani-American college student who is accused of murder in NYC.

Off Spring – Australian comedy-drama about an obstetrician and her family and friends.

Rake – Australian- Rake Cleaver is a brilliant, self destructive barrister usually defending a guilty client.

Doctor Foster – BBC- female doctor, based on Medea myth.

Last Tango in Halifax – BBC -comedy-drama about a dysfunctional family. Well done and delightful.

Designated Survivor – American political drama with Kiefer Southerland on ABC.

White Collar – USA network – Straight-laced FBI agent partners with an appealing semi-reformed con artist to solve NYC crimes. Delightful!

Grace & Frankie – Netflix – Jane Fonda and Lili Tomlin are lovable, funny, unlikely friends and roommates – who find themselves together after their longtime husbands fall in love and marry each other.

The Heart Guy – Australian – A gifted, handsome, charming heart surgeon in Sydney has a fall from grace and tries to fit his practice into his rural Australia home town. Comedy/Drama

Brokenwood Mysteries – New Zealand – A team of detective, sergeant, Maori neighbor and extended family populate this light, detective show set in a small New Zealand town.

Madame Secretary – This CBS White House drama stars a female Secretary of State (Tea Leoni) with an appealing team, family and life – but lots of challenges.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Set in NYC in 1958, this is a comedy-drama about a housewife who becomes a stand-up comedian. Not what anyone, especially her parents, expected. Well written, it has won a lot of awards.

Bosch – Based on Harry Bosch, Michael Connelly’s L.A. detective.

The Good Fight – If you liked The Good Wife, CBS just launched the 2nd season of The Good Fight with many of the same characters. It available by streaming from CBS and maybe other sources.

Berlin Babylon (subtitles) is a German period drama set in 1929, the Weimer Republic.

A Place To Call Home – Australian TV, premiered in 2013 and is in its 5th season. A woman returns to Australia after WWII and twenty years away. Absorbing family drama.

Four of a kind – Reality series about a set of quadruplets on Lifetime.

Classic British Mystery Series:

Midsomer Murders, since 1997, Chief Inspector Barnaby, English village crime

Whitechapel, Modern crimes based on Jack the Ripper

The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, based on the Elizabeth George series

Inspector Morse, detective mysteries based on books by Colin Dexter, 1987 – 2000

Inspector Lewis, successor to Inspector Morse, thru 2017

Endeavor, prequel, young Inspector Morse, 2018-2018

The Brief, 2004 British Crime Drama

Striking Out, Female Dublin Lawyer

Here’s an easy to print pdf of  TV Shows Worth Watching for your use.

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