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What’s on my DVR January 4, 2013

Posted by federalist in Uncategorized.

Series I’ve set to record.  Remember I can’t stand shows with laugh tracks, so none of those get on my list. Many of these are better than most movies, and almost all are worth re-running if you haven’t seen them:


  • Burn Notice – Fun action dramedy about former spooks.  Realistic detail in action and tactics, though quality has declined in recent seasons.
  • Person of Interest – Darker drama about a former special operators, also with fun and above-average action and tactics. [Feb Update: This season it’s my favorite action series.]
  • The Unit – Exceptionally realistic show about an active spec-ops unit, but only ran for three seasons; perhaps because it was plagued by irritating dramatic detours involving the operators’ wives?
  • Revolution – Contrived plots are redeemed by its blatant pro-gun message and survivalist intrigue.
  • Chuck – Entertaining action farce.

Police/Crime/Law Drama

  • Suits – Brilliant and witty characters make this legal dramedy stand out.
  • The Chicago Code – Excellent fast-moving police drama with an enticing subplot about battling machine politics. Cancelled because it cut too close to reality?
  • Southland – Darker action-packed police drama. [Feb Update: This season is too disturbing for my taste.]
  • Elementary – Interesting adaptation of Sherlock Holmes; very good so far.


  • 30 Rock – Worth watching for the characters of Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey alone.
  • Better Off Ted – Why, oh why, do they so often cancel shows I so love?
  • Community – Usually great, occasionally brilliant, ensemble comedy.
  • Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 – Krysten Ritter anchors this with comedic energy.
  • The Mindy Project – Comedy centered on the plight of a single, overachieving woman.
  • Modern Family – Excellent structure and cast make this a consistent winner.
  • The Office – Took some time to get used to the awkwardness of the characters that drive this comedy, but well worth it.
  • Outsourced – As good as anything else in this list; not sure why it was cancelled.
  • Parks and Recreation – Another consistent performer.
  • Scrubs – A great series that lived a full life worth revisiting.
  • Suburgatory – Not top shelf, but mixes in some fun satire.

Factory Shows
Ever since Mister Rogers gave us glimpses of factory production lines I’ve wanted more extended views:

  • How It’s Made – Manufacturing processes shown in detail.
  • How Do They Do It? – Almost as good, but diverges into operations and events instead of sticking to factories.

Colbert Report – Hilariously witty political satire … if you can get past the fact that Stephen Colbert is pandering to a live New York audience (which is predictably and irritatingly Liberal).

Cartoon Comedies

  • Archer – This no-limits comedy “for mature audiences” absolutely nails my sense of humor. I wish there were more like this.
  • The Simpsons – This wide-ranging satire has had varying quality over the years, but the total weight of comedic gold makes it worth mining its 500+ episodes.
  • Futurama – for when you’ve run out of episodes of The Simpsons.
  • South Park – typically each episode is built around a single joke, and frequently littered with unnecessary scatological humor. But the show hits it out of the park often enough to keep it in the queue.
  • Robot Chicken – Stop-action satiric comedy for generation X that sets new lows in obscenity.


1. Pam - January 7, 2013

Very helpful — you’re the one who introduced me to Suits, my favorite show of all time, so this list is a big help. I don’t watch Burn Notice anymore. As so often happens, the plot went downhill over time but, in this case, so did the acting!

2. What’s on my DVR Update | Federalist - November 7, 2013

[…] Update to What’s on my DVR: […]

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