SPECIAL: TV Recommendations from the Birthday Girl – 12 Shows to Watch!

It’s my birthday, so I can do whatever I want!

Today I want to tell you to about all these great TV shows that you may not be watching (or maybe you are, I don’t know your life). They’re listed below in no particular order.

Doctor Who (BBC America) – How are you not watching this show? It’s been in existence since 1963. I always recommend people start with the reboot, 2005 – Season 1 Episode 1 “Rose” – but if you’re not willing to go back a few…er… 10 seasons, then I guess you can wait until the new season returns because we’ve got a new Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and a new showrunner (ciao Moffat *middle finger emoji*).

Basically all you need to know: It’s about a time traveling alien, called The Doctor, who “regenerates” into a different (human-like) body instead of dying. He flies around in a police box (not a phone booth) that travels in space and time. Enjoy.

The Librarians (Netflix) – Although recently (like last night) cancelled by TNT, showrunner Dean Devlin still has hope that he’ll find our Librarians a new home. So now’s a good time to binge and catch up before we relocate. If you’re going to jump in, I suggest watching the 3 original TV movies first (you don’t have to, but I recommend it) and then settle in for four short seasons. It’s Indiana Jones mixed with Warehouse 13, but written by nerds – so it’s full of great geek references.

Basically all you need to know: The Library houses magical artifacts, therefore the team of Librarians collect and keep them safe.

Dark Matter (Netflix) – Also a recent cancellation (why have the TV gods forsaken me?), it’s a brilliantly created ensemble space epic. Sadly, DM only had 3 season, but the characters are so compelling and the world is so fascinating that it really deserves a watch.

Basically all you need to know: A bunch of people wake up on a spaceship with no memories. (Also you need to know it’s a 2-part premiere).

Killjoys (SYFY) – This one has been renewed for TWO more seasons! So while they’re currently in production, it seems like a good time to catch up. The great looking cast, and hilarious writing, make it a really fun and exciting watch. A show that sounded simple got really complicated, but it’s worth it, especially for all the sass and snark. Also, get ready for a whole new vocabulary because it’s the future and other planets. What’s it about? Bounty Hunters in Space. What more do you want?

Basically all you need to know: Bounty Hunters in Space. I already said that.

Wynonna Earp (SYFY) – Okay, so it’s a little like a female Supernatural, but also clever writing, vagina jokes, and lesbians. You’re welcome.

Basically all you need to know: Wyatt Earp’s (hot) offspring fights demons with her (hot) sister and a few other cooky (hot) characters. Did I mention the vagina jokes? And lesbians?

The Magicians (SYFY) – if you’re not watching this, you’re crazy. Based on a book series, about a guy obsessed with a book series…. like imagine if someone read Harry Potter and then discovered that Hogwarts was real – it’s about him and his friends. But it’s also adult. So there’s a lot of drug use and orgies.

Basically all you need to know: Magic is real, so is Narnia… er… Fillary.

UnREAL (Lifetime) – Surprisingly not a genre show, this drama is about the behind-the-scenes of a fake “bachelor” type show. I’ve never watched the real “Bachelor”, but I’m completely hooked on a show about the kickass producers who create the “reality”.

Basically all you need to know: Reality TV is fake! But the crazy women who produce it are real-ly awesome.

One Day at A Time (Netflix) – Alright, so this might be outa left field, but I don’t care. It’s on Netflix, 2 seasons, and it’s great. You’ll be laughing and crying and fall in love with the family within 2 episodes. But really, you gotta get past the first episode. That one is rough. Rarely do I get into sitcoms, but ODAT has got me obsessed!

Basically all you need to know: It’s a remake of the 70s sitcom, but the family is Cuban and each episode deals with a different issue in a hilarious and touching way.

Happy! (SYFY) – Okay, back to sci-fi. This one is a bit messed up, so if you don’t like a lot of blood and weird sh*t, then skip it. But, know that you’re missing out on great weird sh*t.

Basically all you need to know: Um… a former cop starts to see a little girl’s imaginary friend after she’s kidnapped and sends it to get help? Yup. That’s all you need to know.

Legion (FX) – If you like shows that are incredibly confusing, and for most of it, you’re not sure what is going on or what is real or even what year it is, then this is the show for you. It’s beautifully made – like every episode in season one was done so differently and cinematically – plus you’ve only got like 8 episodes to catch up on!

Basically all you need to know: It’s in the X-men universe. It’s really beautiful to watch. Season 2 is coming out soon.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBC America) – Back on the cancellation train, this one was run by an (alleged) sexual assaulter, but that shouldn’t detract from the work of all the other talented people involved. The cast is incredible, and the writers ability to craft such a complex story should be appreciated. Also, it only got two season, so it’d be easy to catch up on.

Basically all you need to know: Another show where nothing makes sense most of the time, but eventually it all ties together. Oh, also, “Everything’s Connected”

And finally, the greatest TV show of all time:

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC) – yes, you have 19 seasons to catch up on, but on the bright-side, for season 1 – 12, you can pretty much pick and chose episodes, you’re not really going to have to watch them in order. There are a few, very far and in between, that relate to each other, but generally the first 12 seasons are stand alone procedural brilliance. After season 12 things get a bit more cohesive – and I do mean a bit. Then after season 14, they really started tying episodes together. Whatever, doesn’t matter. SVU is a procedural at it’s core and the greatest show of all time. Just watch it! Perfect show to watch when you’re happy, sad, lonely, tired, hungry, angry, asleep, drunk – anytime other than when you’re on a date….

Basically all you need to know: In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories.

There are so many more shows I’d wanna recommend – like Schitt’s Creek, and Travelers, and BoJack, and Grace & Frankie – but I guess this is a start. By next birthday, I expect you to have caught up. Boom! My birthday. My shows.

— Yael Tygiel