Before Netflix and all those other streaming video options, I was obsessed with TV shows on DVD. As soon as I’d hear that my favorite show had added another season to DVD, off I’d search, ready to plunk down any amount of money for a chance to spend another few hours engrossed in my favorite worlds. From M*A*S*H to West Wing to Psych, I owned them all.
More and more beloved TV shows like Veronica Mars,Gilmore Girls, and now Friends (the latter debuts in January) have made the jump to Netflix, but there are still so many greats – both famous and obscure – that deserve a second chance to be watched and loved. Here are 10 suggestions:
Sure, the premise is a bit weird (a New York lawyer Ed Stevens --played by Tom Cavanaugh -- buys a bowling alley in his hometown of Stuckeyville, Ohio and tries to woo the woman of his high school dreams), but the show embraced its quirkiness, quickly amassing a legion of fans obsessed with the weekly $10 bets and random “Godfrey” characters. While the show featured such talent as Michael Ian Black, Julie Bowen, and Justin Long (and was co-produced by David Letterman), NBC pulled the plug in 2004 after just four seasons. Problems with music rights have delayed DVD production, so most fans (including myself) have had to watch their fuzzy VCR copies until they tore in the machine.
Almost immediately after the show’s debut in 1977, Three’s Company proved to be wildly popular. Starring John Ritter, Joyce De Witt, and Suzanne Summers as the original three platonic roommates involved in crazy hijinks centered around a Santa Monica apartment, these eight seasons have only continued to find fans through reruns, inspiring hope that Netflix will “come and knock” on their door.
If you were a girl in the 1990s, it was assumed you were in love with J.T.T. (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), who played the middle son on the show Home Improvement. But J.T.T couldn’t have been the only appeal of the show; it was one of the highest ranked sitcoms for all eight seasons. Loosely based on Tim Allen’s stand-up routine, the story of a local tool-show host and his family and friends (including the partially-hidden neighbor Wilson) is arguably still one of the funniest shows on TV.
There was so much to love in this show: Uncle Jesse’s good looks, Uncle Joey’s funny voices, little Michelle's adorable catchphrases, Stephanie's killer dance moves, everything Kimmy Gibbler said or did, and on and on. With the often hinted news that there’s a potential reboot in the works, it doesn’t hurt to start watching the show all over again!
From 1990 to 1995, the story of Joel Fleishman (played by Rob Morrow), a Jewish New York City physician sent to the eccentric small town of Cicely, Alaska as remuneration for his student loans was nominated for more 57 awards and won 27 of them. But it’s not the awards that matter to fans – it’s the monologues of ex-con-turned-radio-deejay Chris Stevens (John Corbett), the grand schemes from former astronaut Maurice Minnifield (Barry Corbin), the off-hand comments from local wannabe film director Ed Chigliak (Darren E. Burrows) and the stories at the local bar, the Brick, that keep people watching their DVDs and traveling to show reunions.
“Six seasons and a movie” has been the slogan of fans devoted to the friendships between Greendale Community College students. While the show has endured multiple casting / production changes, cancellation, and a recent move to Yahoo Screen for the sixth season, fans still haven’t given up on this ensemble comedy. Rewatching it all over again on Netflix would remind us why.
Will & Grace
With Friends being added to Netflix, it seems like a no-brainer to add some of the other insanely popular shows from the “Must-See TV” NBC lineup. Will & Grace’s eight seasons starring Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, and Sean Hayes were more than just great TV though; even Vice President Joe Biden has acknowledged that the show helped improve the American public opinion of the LGBT community.
It’s a simple question: Why shouldn’t America’s longest-running sitcom, longest-running animated program, and longest-running scripted primetime television show be on Netflix? For a show that has inspired countless others and even warranted entries in the Oxford English Dictionary, there’s just never enough Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie to go around. While FXX recently aired a 12 day marathon of all 552 previously broadcast episodes (and film) in chronological order, many fans argue there’s still a need to re-watch the antics of the town of Springfield on one's own timetable.
The Golden Girls
In 1985, The Golden Girls debuted and, by the end of the show’s run in 1992, the show was truly “golden” having earned 11 Emmy awards (including one for each cast member) and the love of millions of fans worldwide. 30 years later, viewers still can’t get enough of the warm friendship of these four unusual roommates – Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia. Borrowing a favorite phrase from Sophia, “Picture This: Netflix, 2015” has a particularly good ring to it.
All I really need to say is this: everyone loves this show. The rest, as George’s girlfriend Marcy would say, is just “yada-yada.”
Which shows do you wish you could watch on Netflix?