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This Week: No New TV. What Old TV to Watch?

Mikey Heinrich: A couple of years ago, when COVID hit, I heard someone say, "After all this is over, if you haven't gotten around to watching it you never really were that interested in watching it."

And I thought to myself, "Self, you should make a list of things to watch during this brief pandemic lockdown which certainly won't last more than two or three weeks" because I knew there were a lot of shows that I'd always meant to getting around to but could never think of any of them when I sat down to watch something new.

I bring this up because we're nearing what traditionally would be the start of the network television season with no sign of the industry strikes being resolved. Which led me to wonder, does anybody have any viewing plans for shows they'd always meant to get around to to fill the void that's gradually increasing as networks burn off the last of the shows that they produced before the strike?

Or more simply: No new TV. What old TV to watch?

For me, top of my list is Stargirl. I watched the first episode once, loved it, and never got back to it. What's everybody else's plans?

Shari: My list is so long! At the top is probably The Expanse because I just started reading the books and now I'm insanely curious. But Stargirl makes the list as does Picard (please don't shoot me). There are plenty of others but, like you, I can't remember them now that I'm on the spot. So, I may add to it as things come to me. LOL

Mikey: Right?? Why is so hard to come up with a show when you have time to watch? I've really learned to love my "want to watch" list. I keep it on my phone and add to it when a new one occurs to me.

Mark Greig: I'm doing this, but for comics rather than TV shows. I'm slowly making my way through all the famous Wonder Woman runs and hope to get started on all the classic Fantastic Four and Spider-Man stories from the 60s. I've had the complete collections sitting on my shelf for ages and I'm determined to get at least one of them done this year. Also want to get back to my Sandman reread at some point.

Oh, and if anyone fancies a really good superhero show then I strongly recommend My Adventures with Superman. Best take on the character in decades.

Adam D. Jones: Once we're done meandering through the Arrowverse, I'm going to finally check out Smallville. I've never seen a single episode.

Speaking of Arrowverse. I'm VERY UPSET that Adrian Paul was only in a few episodes of Arrow. VERY. UPSET. What a waste.

In happier news, I'm glad I got to write the season five reviews of The Flash. It heavily features Caitlin and Frost, and they're the best part of the Arrowverse to me. And the Legends continue to be one of the most fun things to ever happen on TV. I say that every month so I guess I'm a broken record, but it's a testament to a uniquely good show.

I've been trying to get through the third season of Only Murders in the Building, and the only way I can do it is to lower my expectations. It's not a whodunnit. It's some foul-mouthed goofballs who bicker about problems they bring on themselves while standing adjacent to a murder they barely investigate. With that mindset, I can watch an episode a week.

Shari: You and me both, Adam! I was a huge Highlander fan and I was so excited that Adrian was coming on the show. It was such a disappointment!

Mikey: I've been really enjoying season three of Only Murders in the Building. Although your points are valid.

And I really, really miss getting to review Legends of Tomorrow.

Victoria Grossack: I just watched the documentary on Blue Zones, and reviewed it. I also recently watched Traitors, which is a fictional account regarding the start of the CIA in London right after World War II, and I am watching Bonn, about conditions in Germany in the 1950s: what to do with all the people with such terrible deeds in their past, and oh, by the way, the Soviet Union is threatening us. All on Netflix, although Bonn may not be available in English.

ChrisB: I only rent one streaming service at a time. Right now, it is Max so I am bouncing among shows I started ages ago but never finished.

Cold Case has encouraged me to start a playlist because the music is so exceptional. Rizzoli and Isles has rather boring cases, but the relationships among the characters hits home — sometimes too closely. I am going through The West Wing for the third time and The Big Bang Theory for the second. I also started Young Sheldon which has very pleasantly surprised me by how much I am loving it. The last thirty seconds of the final episode of season two made me ugly cry.

Mikey: Ooh, I know exactly the scene you're referring to. And me, too.

Josie Kafka: Not a TV show, but I'm currently dragging my heels about watching the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie. I just started my Disney+ subscription again, and I know I should watch it, but I also know what it's about, and it all sounds so sad.

Shari: Same here for the same reason!

Panda: I’m nearing the end of my millionth Buffy/Angel re-watch, but my first since... everything came out about you-know-who. It was odd at first, but I’m enjoying it now. Also, I always think I’ve peaked with my Xander hate each time I watch, but it just gets worse, gah! Thankfully my adoration for Anya only grows.

Adam: Lots of good in GotG3. Some sad, but lots of good. Thankfully, it's not the sort of movie that wallows around in sadness the whole time just to be edgy. The sad stuff is a vehicle for the bigger story, so there are plenty of other feelings to be had. But bring a tissue. I've avoided a lot of things for the reason, though, so I get it.

I liked Cordelia in Buffy, but everyone else could fall into a Hellmouth. Especially the writer. #teamcharisma

(Awhile later) Oh dear. You can hear a pin drop in this email chain. I've... I've said something wrong, haven't I?

Shari: Nope, I think the holiday just took everyone's attention away from their inbox. I want to watch it. I just have to screw my courage to the sticking place, as they say. That, and lay in a supply of tissues.

Adam: I completely understand. I've bypassed a lot of probably good movies because they look too serious. I mostly watch movies to get away from the seriousness of life. This has surely caused me to miss out on some movies I would have enjoyed, but it's hard for me to get into anything that might be rough.

Shari: Same here. I wonder if that is a function of getting older or how crazy the world is at the moment.

Mikey: Both, I think. (I just got back from the long weekend myself.) Guardians 3 is sometimes a tough watch, but ultimately joyful and empowering. And it has Nathan Fillion at his Nathan Fillianest.

Shari: Oh, well, that's a bonus!

Mikey: I also want to say, I just finished season two of The Afterparty on Apple+ and while it wasn't quite as good as the first season, it's still well worth watching.


  1. I've learned to force the habit of getting comfortable with stalling a re-watch season partway to get on some new shows that I know I'll never get into if their freshness wears off. A good recent example is Justified: City Primeval. I loved the original series ending and I know if I wait too long on it I'll convince myself there's no show worth watching in that universe outside of the Kentucky setting. After that, still on the 'sequel' kick there's TWD: Dead City. I stopped watching the original series somewhere in s8 I think, mainly because even when I'm enjoying something, 6 seasons is about all the time I care to spend in that universe. But the idea of Maggie and Negan having to buddy up seems intriguing enough for me to revisit especially if it's only going to be tight 6-ep seasons.
    After that it's original series again, actually Reservation Dogs and Somebody Somewhere are both shows I KNOW I'll get around to left to my own devices but I want to be into it while they're still airing (Reservation Dogs is already in its final season). They're both really, really, good.
    Only then may I return to The Comeback (Lisa Kudrow)

    1. Thanks for the reminder of Reservation Dogs. Been wanting to watch it! Just got done binging Cobra Kai at the recommendation of my son. It was ok, interesting and funny when it wasn’t eyerolling and repetitive.

  2. > Oh dear. You can hear a pin drop in this email chain. I've... I've said something wrong, haven't I?

    That cracked me up. I'm considering a Buffy rewatch, but not sure yet. It's 144 episodes after all, and I do kind of relive the show through some reactions on Youtube that I watch.

    I'm watching Shadowhunters, currently on its third and final season. I recommend it. Season 1 is mostly awful, but the final couple of episodes give a taste of how much the series improves. Season 2 drove me nuts for a while, but most of it is good and the final stretch of episodes is terrific. I was impressed and very entertained. Season 3 has been good and consistent so far. I just reached the point in which a couple I like a lot has broken up to make room for a couple from the books (never read those, but am spoiled), which would annoy me, but it was all very well done and my liking of both characters separately only grew. That's good writing. I have a thing for shows that improve, it's almost like you are rewarded with good TV after putting up with a lesser story. If you are into that kind of viewing experience too, try Shadowhunters.

    Another one I'm watching is The Legend of Korra, also on its third season. I liked but didn't care much for season 1, I enjoyed season 2 a lot, only to find out it's the least liked by the fandom. While it has its flaws, I think the overall story was MUCH more engaging than that of season 1. Season 3 is on another level, though. It's so tight! Impressive storytelling, I'm completely onboard and I have no idea where it is headed. Bolin could vanish from existence, and I wouldn't care, though. Everything else is a win.

  3. I’m curious if any of the contributors here have watched the Netflix series Dark? I just started it this week and I’m obsessed. Like ‘LOST’ obsessed. That is the highest praise I can give a science fiction show.

    Shari - enjoy The Expanse! It’s one of my favorites for the sci-fi, political intrigue, and wonderfully strange female characters.

    1. I loved loved loved Dark! It's amazing. And the best part is that they totally stick the landing with the finale!

    2. Oh dear!! I meant to say wonderfully STRONG female characters in The Expanse!

    3. My original comment should have said wonderfully STRONG female characters on The Expanse. That’s what I get for posting using my phone! 🥴

  4. My kiddo's friend is experiencing the new Dr. Who for the first time, and just finished the first episode of season 4 (when Donna comes back) - I just watched The Runaway Bride and am so tempted to rewatch season 4, it's one of my favorites, but we don't have Max. Most of my time right now is playing Baldur's Gate 3 w the hubby and watching reaction videos of 80s and 90s movies LOL.

  5. I'm actually constantly rewatching old shows or movies mixed in with new shows, so for me, I'm basically always thinking "what old show should I rewatch next"? Which is partially why I'm never up to date on newer shows. I did watch the first season of the Live-Action version of famous manga/anime "One Piece" as soon as it came out on Netflix, since I'm a mega fan of the original. It's about pirates with superpowers going on an epic adventure. Very fun, wacky stuff and the show was surprisingly well-done for an anime-adaptation and close to the original show.

    Funnily enough, I'm also rewatching Buffy right now, currently on S2, while simultaneously watching Youtube reaction videos to the episodes. I'm enjoying it a lot, to be honest. Really looking forward to S3, which is the best season of the show, in my opinion. I'm also surprised how much I love and enjoy Buffy's character. I started watching the show during its later seasons, where Buffy is kind off harsh and closed-off, and I didn't really like her because of that. But she is a ton of fun (and so snarky!) in those early seasons, I love it.

    Also currently rewatching a German show called "Stromberg", which is the German version of The Office. It's fascinating to me how the different approaches to the same basic concept reflect the culture and sense of humour of its country, like the US version actually being kind of wholesome, with an awkward, but sort of lovable boss in Michael Scott. The German boss (whose name is Stromberg, therefore the name) is absolutely deplorable...racist, sexist, self-obsessed etc...and it's almost painful to watch at times. No, strike "almost", it's absolutely painful. Also depressing at times, because the work place is just so real in it's boring bleakness.

    On a more uplifting note, GotG Vol. 3 is a great movie and I absolutely recommend watching it. I can understand the hesitation, especially if you have trouble seeing animals get hurt, but it's sad, funny and beautiful at the same, and wonderfully emotionally cathartic.

  6. Finally finished The West Wing over the weekend. All in all I really enjoyed it but I see what people were talking about in the drop in quality after Sorkin left

    1. Mikey, I finished Dark last night, and just like you - I absolutely loved it. It might be the best pure sci-fi show I’ve watched.

      I think they needed a couple more episodes in season 3 as it felt a bit rushed to conclusion but the finale was so, so good. A couple episodes throughout are now part of my all time favorite tv episode list (season 2 An Endless Cycle is practically perfect).

    2. Want the finale amazing?? Im so glad you liked it

  7. Always when I think of old shows to re-watch I always think - I, Claudius - as it blew me away when I saw it in the mid 90s. But this is an old 70s show. Will it hold up?


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