I recently had a friend post on FB the following status, “HELP! I’m in a tv show rut. What’s your must not miss show right now?” Have no fear, Beth, I’m hear to be your 30-something TV Guide.
As a busy adult, (i.e. wife, mom, FT job, PT professor, blogger…) I don’t have much time to watch TV. So I rely heavily on my DVR to record shows I might be interested in watching at a later date. Now, my husband and I have an agreement (which im pretty sure were in my wedding vows) that I can DVR anything I want, as long as I don’t fill the memory with reality TV or shows from Bravo – seems fair.
Each fall I go online to read new show reviews to see what might be of interest to me. Then I start setting the DVR for series recordings without reruns. Now, being totally realistic, I don’t get to all the shows I set to record due to lack of time in the week as I tend to watch my DVR’d shows during my son’s nap time on the weekends. Some shows that were recorded but I didn’t have time to watch were Quantico and Heroes Reborn.
I do, however, have a few selections which I never miss so, to help my friend out with her TV blues, my absolute must-see shows are listed below. I’d also like to point out that these are mostly shows on basic or extended cable packages. Even with 200+ channels, I like sticking to my basics.
American Crime Wednesday 9:00PM CT – ABC
I intended to watch this show last year because I’m a huge fan of anything Regina King is signed on for, but I never got around to it in its first season. This time I really made a point to watch this show, especially because of this season’s storyline (which pushes the boundaries of our socio-economic comfort-zones). If you’re not familiar with the show, each season the show takes on a new challenge facing America, the returning actors play completely different characters, and the setting and storyline changes from year to year. Here is brief overview of this year’s storyline from the ABC website:
The second season of American Crime is set in the U.S. Midwest, representative of the canvas that is America, at two high schools, one public and one private.
Issues of sexual orientation and socioeconomic disparity come to a boil when lurid photos of a high school boy, Taylor Blaine, are posted on social media following a school party. Circumstances become more complicated when Taylor accuses two players on an elite private high school’s championship basketball team, Kevin LaCroix and Eric Tanner, of drugging, assaulting and then posting the pictures of him online. The team’s head coach, Dan Sullivan, tries to unite the players, while overlooking the dysfunction of his own family. Headmistress Leslie Graham struggles to maintain the school’s reputation in the face of accusations of privilege and cover up.
Taylor’s mother, Anne, remains a steadfast supporter of her son, despite being publicly assailed by the school’s wealthy families, principle among them the LaCroixs. Taylor’s girlfriend, Evy, deals with racial tension at her own school, led by Principal Chris Dixon. While the two schools at the center of the story are worlds apart in status, the lives of the students and teachers at both become inextricably linked.
Ultimately, support for Taylor comes from an unlikely place – a person who Taylor and his mother have never previously met, and who inhabits the fringes of the online community.
“American Crime” stars Felicity Huffman as Leslie Graham, Timothy Hutton as Dan Sullivan, Lili Taylor as Anne Blaine, Elvis Nolasco as Chris Dixon, Trevor Jackson as Kevin LaCroix, Connor Jessup as Taylor Blaine, Joey Pollari as Eric Tanner, Angelique Rivera as Evy Dominguez and Regina King as Terri LaCroix.
Recurring guest stars this season include Andre Benjamin as Michael LaCroix, Hope Davis as Steph Sullivan and Richard Cabral as Sebastian De La Torre.
“American Crime” is created and executive-produced by Oscar®-winner John Ridley (“12 Years a Slave”). Michael J. McDonald also serves as executive producer. “American Crime” is produced by ABC Studios.
Jane the Virgin Mondays 8:00PM CT – CW (Local Chicago WGN channel 9)
This is one of my favorite shows from the fall of 2014 and is still going strong. Long, LONG story short Jane is a virgin who went in to the OB/GYN for her annual pap and was accidentally artificially inseminated…with a millionaire’s baby. That plot line alone piqued my interest! If you’re new to the series, the show always gives the audience a little recap in the beginning to catch you up on anything you missed a-la telenovela style. Will this show still be around next year? I think so and it helps that Chicago native Gina Rodriguez, who plays the lead character Jane, has won a few awards, including a Golden Globe, which I hope helps keep the show on the air for a while.
Life in Pieces Thursdays 7:30PM CT – CBS
The storytelling on this show is great. It’s about a larger extended family with each episode having four different story lines, all going on at the same time, broken into quartiles over the 30-minute episode (as opposed to the typical structure of alternating between the main story and the sub-plot). My husband and I are guaranteed to have more than a couple laugh-out-loud moments as we watch this underrated-but-stacked cast, which includes James Brolin, Dianne Wiest, Colin Hanks and Thomas Sadoski from The Newsroom. Here is a brief overview, according to the CBS website:
LIFE IN PIECES is a single-camera comedy about one big happy family and their sometimes awkward, often hilarious and ultimately beautiful milestone moments as told by its various members. Of the three siblings, middle child Matt may have just found his true love, his co-worker, Colleen; his coddled youngest brother, Greg, and his wife, Jen, are overwhelmed by the birth of their first child; and the eldest, Heather, and her husband, Tim, are dreading their impending empty nest so much, they’re considering having another baby. Their parents are Joan, the family’s adoring matriarch who would do anything for her kids – as long as she agrees with it – and John, the gregarious patriarch who’s searching for ways to soften the blow of turning 70. As the family’s lives unfold in four short stories each week, they try to savor these little pieces of time that flash by but stay with you forever, because these moments add up to what life’s all about.
Younger Wednesdays 9:00PM CT – TV Land
I. LOVE. THIS. SHOW. I truly believe this show is what has been missing since Friends, 90210 and Sex in the City all went off the air. The Executive Producer is Darren Star so you know this show is going to be extremely entertaining. The best way I can explain this show is that it’s about 40 year old housewife who finds herself recently divorced and needing to reenter the workforce. Relying on her past skills in the publishing world, she decides to lie about her age and say she’s in her 20’s and pray that no one suspects she not a millennial…that is until is all starts to unravel at the end of season one. Season two just started this month and it’s amazing!
Sadly, I think I could’ve added a review for the ample amount of “Super Why!” episodes that are clogging the current DVR memory, but I’ll save my kid show reviews for another day.
So what show are you watching this season? Feel free to add in any additional show that you think others should be watching too!