Dana Wessel

Sure Could Go For Some Wings…

Now more than ever we are all looking for a recommendation to watch on TV. A few factors play into this. First, we have never had more things to watch thanks to 189 different streaming services. Secondly, we are all stuck at home with not much to do. Lastly, we all are looking for an escape from the political horror story that plays out each night on the news and social media. 

So I figured I – a man with IMPECCABLE TV taste – would start recommending things I have enjoyed recently. Will be a combo of new stuff and other things I have finally got around to watching or rewatching. 

Community – All six seasons streaming on Netflix – This is one of those shows that I stubbornly didn’t watch simply because I was annoyed with how many people telling me “DANA YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS SHOW! THIS HUMOR IS RIGHT UP YOUR ALLEY!!!!” I know, I know. I am an idiot and that logic is asinine. 

Well, fine people of the internet, now I must admit those people telling me to watch it were right. The show is as good as everyone said it was. So now let me be that annoying person that says YOU HAVE TO WATCH COMMUNITY! It instantly became one of my favorite comedies. I am even the proud owner of a ‘Troy and Abed in the Morning’ coffee mug. 

The first three seasons are as fresh, funny, and inventive as a comedy show gets. Sure, the wheels fall off a bit late, but Community running at even like 60 or 70% is better than most shows. 

American Murder: The Family Next Door – Documentary streaming on Netflix – Let me preface this by saying that I am not a big fan of the true crime phenomenon. Besides the obvious that these documentaries are always pretty grim – very rarely do they have happy endings! – I find the presentation of them to be lame. The overly-ominous narrators make me roll my eyes, same with the lame talking head interviews. “Whoa! Nextdoor neighbor Chandler Poopants never in a million years would have thought his neighbor had 15 bodies in freezers in his basement?! So compelling! Tell me more!”

However, American Murder takes a much more captivating approach that never would have been possible in the past. It is told completely through firsthand footage. Police body cams, news footage, old Facebook videos, interrogation room cameras, etc. No narrator, no Chandler Poopants talking heads. It is absolutely enthralling, especially if, like me, you didn’t know the outcome of this story. 

As you can imagine with a documentary called American Murder, it is a very heavy story. But if the true crime is your thing, the format this one follows makes it a must-watch. 

Ted Lasso – All of season one streaming on AppleTV+ – I wrote about this more extensively last week, but now that season one has ended in delightful fashion I want to push it down everyone’s throat again. This show is so heartwarming and lovely. The exact thing we all need right now. You don’t have to know even the first thing about soccer (or in this world, football) to enjoy the show. You can get a free seven day trial and easily pump through all of season one. 

Supermarket Sweep – A buttload of episodes available on Netflix – The super cheesy, super 90s supermarket game show is available on Netflix and it is that special type of glorious dumb fun that I love. It is best watched with someone else so you can riff on the fashion styles of the time and critique the contestants for messing up The Big Sweep. This show is getting rebooted this month with Leslie Jones from SNL as the host but I say stick with the original. 

Two and a Half Men – All 12 seasons on Peacock – Just kidding. But I did have to google Two and a Half Men for this mediocre joke so now I bet I start getting targeted ads for it. Wonderful. 

Cobra Kai – Both seasons available on Netflix – I binged both seasons of this in practically one sitting back when it was on YouTube TV. Yes, you read that right. YouTube had (has?) a streaming service that never took off. I am such a mark for Karate Kid that I couldn’t resist signing up for a free trial (and then obviously forgetting to cancel) to watch.

It recently moved to Netflix and thankfully is finding a much bigger audience. The show is better than it has any right to be. “The two dudes from the original Karate Kid are still rivals as adults” sounds so dopey on paper but it works so well. A perfect mix of great storytelling while still having a self-knowing sense of humor. Season three was just announced for a January release date so get caught up. COBRA KAI NEVER DIES!

Lastly, before we wrap it up, a couple quick-hitters of classics you might not have realized were available for streaming. 

Step by Step – All seven seasons on Hulu – Always great to check in with the Lambert family, especially the Code man!!!

Grounded for Life – All five seasons on Amazon Prime Video Such an underappreciated gem of a show. One of those shows where if you know, you know. I logged a lot of hours back in the day watching reruns on ABC Family. 

Saved by the Bell: The College Years – All 19 episodes available on Hulu – I was curious if it was as gloriously bad as it was in the 1990s and it did not disappoint. 

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