Greatly Under-appreciated Television Shows!

So, if you’re a regular “Learning to Breathe” reader you may remember I did a blog post on Greatly Underapprecaited Films … and now I need to share with you all the best of the best TV shows that are extreeeeeemely underestimated!

Now, maybe unlike most television viewers I often watch tv like I read a classic novel. I’m looking for greatness! Great plot, character development, moral underlays, overall message, life lessons, something I can gain perspective from… are all important to me when watching a show. Maybe it’s because of the increasingly small amont of time I have to dedicate to watching a TV show; I want to make the most of my life and not waste it on some crummy tv show. Most of my TV watching is done on Netflix, Hulu, and Comcast OnDemand every once in a while (or at least until my husband cancels my cable to save money!). I think Netflix streaming is well worth the $8 a month Clark and I pay! So… here they are…

1. Parenthood (NBC). What. a. freaking. great. show. This is probably going to be the only show on my list that is still airing on tv now! Parenthood represents everything I’m looking for in a TV show… it’s gripping! It’s about family… the real and vulnerable ones. Each character goes through something where you see them stretch and grow and most of the time learn something with them. I find myself feeling incredibly connected to this family because my family resembles the “Braverman family” so often. In an interview Sam Jaeger (who plays probably my favorite character – Joel) said that they are quietly making their best season yet; and I couldn’t agree more about season four. Especially now that I’m experiencing family in our “grown up” stages (everyone in my immediate family are adults and married or engaged) it’s sometimes difficult learning what it means to be family in this next chapter of life. The Braverman’s help me. Of course the title of the show seems to imply that only parents could appreciate or relate… 100% false. I am neither a parent or soon-to-be parent and this show encompasses so many faucets of a real life family – their problems and all – that I cannot resist staying up all night to watch what will happen next to the Braverman’s and learning what they learn. I love shows that show families and people that come full circle (Monica in Friends, Sayid in Lost, Nathan and Brooke in One Tree Hill) so this family faces so many challenges and rises to each of them TOGETHER. This show surpassed my expectations. Netflix has every previous season (seasons 1 through 3) on streaming, and you can catch up on this season’s episodes on Hulu (or elsewhere on the internet… wink wink). I will warn you that season one began a little show.

2. One Tree Hill (the WB now CW). I know… you’ve already passed judgement and have a negative soap operatic pre-conceived notion about this show! Well, it’s your absolute loss because this is the most poetic, morally challenging, and intensely gripping show I’ve ever watched. The creator and executive producer (and sometimes director) Mark Schwan is a literary genius. I’m telling you… if One Tree Hill was a novel it’s be an instant classic and NY Times best seller. I also appreciate how this show stuck it the man!!! When the show starts our characters are in their junior year of high school… and it’s clear that the program shows a little skin and does the whole “I’m a teenage drama CW tv show” bit. However, by the third episode it’s clear that there’s more to the show. By the end of our time at Tree Hill you see our characters grow up, start families, learn important life lessons, appreciate each other and love so fiercely… I only dream of having such friends in my own life! It’s hard for me to believe that Haley, Brooke, and some of the other characters don’t love Jesus… haha! Watching this show is like going to therapy. I’ve probably saved a lot of money watching this show rather than talking to a shrink. I’ve also been incredibly inspired by One Tree Hill. I’m not even sure anything has ever inspired me as much… work hard to follow your dreams, make the right choices, love your family and friends, grow healthy relationships, have fun in life! Lucas said “Life is short, Peyton” and Peyton replied “too short to live it as a bad person”. This show also makes me feel incredibly normal as I transition from teenage Kim to adult Kim to starting a family Kim. The narrations in OTH presents to me a very relatable story that becomes a theology on life. Now… don’t get me wrong… it’s very dramatic… and crazy!! Nannie Carrie!!! You can find the entire series on Netflix streaming.

3. Freaks and Geeks (NBC). Who ever is responsible for canceling this show after the first season has a special place in hades. The tagline for the show was something like “everything you remember in high school… that you chose to forget” and how true that rang! Even though this show aired in 1999 and was set in 1980 this show is extremely relevant to modern public high school experience. Freaks and Geeks exposes a lot things that people probably didn’t want exposed in 1980, 1999, or even now… the truth behind the high school growing up experience. It exposes a lot of hypocrisy in the education system and how that generation of adults parented their children. I would highly recommend this show to anyone especially wanting an insight into the teenage mind. The creators of the show talk about how part of the reason why they were cancelled is because they would not be persuaded creatively to change anything about their show. Annnnnd I haven’t even mentioned the stellar [now] all-star cast of freaking James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jason Segal, Busy Phillips, Linda Cardellini (ER), and John Francis Daley (Bones). Plus there are special guest appearance by the likes of Ben Stiller, Shia LaBeouf, Rashida Jones, Jason Schwartzman, and Leslie Mann. Like….. jiga-whhhhhaattttttt??? Why canceled??? IDIOTS!!! The entire series can be found on Netflix streaming.

Those are my top 3 right now! I’m sure there will be a part 2 to this blog…

ps- my signature “now, thats a spicy meatball” is Mouth’s catch phrase from One Tree Hill. It’s meaningful… you’ll see!

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