You’ve Got the Time, We’ve Got the List

The Cone of Silence

Our list of movies¹ wasn’t enough to keep you sufficiently diverted? Need something to binge while you’re ‘working’ from home? We get it. For that reason, we offer our definitive list of brilliant television programs. Unlike the movies we suggested last week, those below are filled with mayhem, manipulation, backstabbing, criminal behavior, dysfunction, and destruction. You, know, like what goes on daily in our nation’s capital. But, sorry, no studio game shows or soaps. You’re on your own there.

Speaking of television, the president has said repeatedly during the daily briefings that he won’t wear a mask. What’s not being said is that everyone who is to come in contact with him is tested for the virus before they meet. So while he tells the country he won’t cover his nose or mouth — like we’re all being directed to do — he’s being sheltered, rendering a mask unnecessary. This is appropriate, but why not tell us? Without full disclosure, it looks for all the world that the president is unwilling to comply with the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations, and that those recommendations are optional, which is what some no doubt believe. This is yet another point of confusion, among many, that is fueling the nation’s inability to embrace a unified approach to temper the spread of this incredibly infectious and deadly virus. At this rate, with thanks to the Federal government, we will have plenty of time to watch every movie we offered last week and the television programs listed below. Maybe twice.

All the more reason to hope you find these programs entertaining, engrossing and, of course, enriching. May they give you peace and strength.

Laugh Hard

30 Rock

All in the Family

Arrested Development

Beavis and Butt-Head

Broad City

Chappelle’s Show

Cheers

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Dead to Me

Derry Girls

Documentary Now (Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Helen Mirren)

Everybody Loves Raymond

Extras (The episodes with Sirs Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are not to be missed.)

Family Guy

Fawlty Towers

Frasier

Friends

Happy Days

In Living Color

Get Smart (A Mel Brooks/Buck Henry creation; the infamous Cone of Silence is shown above.)

Gilmore Girls

Mad About You

M*A*S*H

Modern Family

Monty Python’s Flying Circus

On My Block

Parks and Recreation

Portlandia

Saturday Night Live

Scrubs

Seinfeld

Soap

South Park

Spin City

Taxi

The Big Bang Theory

The Bob Newhart Show

The Carol Burnett Show

The Dick Van Dyke Show

The Golden Girls

The Inbetweeners

The IT Crowd

The Kominsky Method

The Larry Sanders Show

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

The Odd Couple

The Office (British and U.S. versions)

The Simpsons

Veep

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Your Show of Shows

Fall in Love with Great Characters

A French Village

AJ and the Queen (With the incomparable RuPaul.)

Ally McBeal

Catastrophe

Call the Midwife

Dallas (As close to a daytime soap as we’ll get.)

Desperate Housewives

Downton Abbey

Entourage

ER

Fleabag

Friday Night Lights

Girls

Grey’s Anatomy

Hill Street Blues

LA Law

Mad Men

Madame Secretary

Miami Vice

My Brilliant Friend

Orange Is the New Black

NYPD Blue

Parenthood

Rectify

Sex and the City

Shtisel

Six Feet Under

Sports Night (created by Aaron Sorkin)

St. Elsewhere

The Avengers (original series)

The Crown

The Durrells in Corfu (an extraordinary real-life family)

The Good Fight

The Good Wife

The Knick (Steven Soderbergh directs)

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

The West Wing

Thirtysomething

This Is Us

Transparent

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unorthodox

When Only the Truth Will Do

30 for 30

60 Minutes

Dirty Jobs

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Bernie Sanders and Larry David are related!)

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Lost Girls

MythBusters

Nova

Planet Earth 1 and 2 (British version)

Real Time with Bill Maher

The Daily Show with John Stewart or Trevor Noah

Unabomber — In His Own Words

Let Your Imagination Roam

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Creature Features

Doctor Who

Game of Thrones (A candidate for our All Time Top 5.)

Lost (What does happen at the end?)

Mystery Science Theater 3000

Russian Doll

The Leftovers

The Twilight Zone (original series)

The X-Files

Cook/Eat Like You Really Mean It

A Chef’s Life

Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

Emeril Live!

Chopped

Iron Chef

Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain

Salt Fat Acid Heat

The French Chef (Thank you for everything, Julia Child.)

The Great British Baking Show

The Mind of a Chef

Top Chef

Talk, Talk, Talk

Conan

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Late Late Show with James Corden

Live with Andy Cohen

The Best of the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

The Late Show with David Letterman

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

The Oprah Winfrey Show

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

The View

Who Dunnit?

Broadchurch

Columbo

Fargo (all seasons)

House M.D. (Medicine’s Sherlock Holmes, literally.)

Law and Order

Monk

Perry Mason

Sherlock

Spiral

The Killing

The Sinner

The Tunnel

True Detective (seasons 1 and 3)

Unbelievable

On the (Very) Serious Side

Barry

Better Call Saul (A terrific prequel to Breaking Bad.)

Big Love

Bloodline

Breaking Bad (In our All Time Top 5.)

Deadwood

Dexter

House of Cards

Justified (Elmore Leonard done well.)

Oz

Ozark (A very dark Justified. Caution advised.)

Succession

The Handmaid’s Tale

The Shield

The Sopranos (In our All Time Top 5.)

The Wire (Also in our All Time Top 5. Don’t be intimidated; it’s brilliant.)

Twin Peaks

Weeds (especially seasons 1–4)

Westworld

For the Kid in You

Mork & Mindy (We miss you very much, Robin.)

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

Sesame Street

The Muppet Show

The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show

The Wonder Years

Learn How

American Chopper

How It’s Made

The Joy of Painting (With the incomparable Bob Ross.)

The New Yankee Workshop

No, I Just Work in Outer Space

Battlestar Galactica

Star Trek (the original series)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Star Trek: Discovery (on CBS All Access)

Star Trek: Enterprise

Star Trek: Picard

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: Voyager

Wild Rides

24 (the first season)

Fauda (A brilliant Israeli series.)

Homeland

Hostages (An Israeli series; basis for Homeland.)

Luther

The Americans

The Fugitive (original series)

When Heroes Fly

Truly Special

The Tony Awards, any opening number (yes, YouTube)

The Kennedy Center Honors (any year)

The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (any year)

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (any year; skip the speeches)

Reality, If You Must

Project Runway

Queer Eye For The Straight Guy

Say Yes to the Dress

Survivor (or so they say)

What Not to Wear

Short and (Not So) Sweet

11.12.63

Band of Brothers

Chernobyl

El Camino (Only after watching Breaking Bad.)

Lonesome Dove (Larry McMurtry’s terrific book done well.)

McMillions

Roots

The Blue Planet (awe-inspiring beauty)

The Plot Against America

The Thorn Birds

When They See Us

A Category All Its Own

Shark Week (Discovery Channel; 2019 season on Amazon Prime)

Sharknado (Never seen one? You’re missing one of the truly great concepts of all time.)

Enjoy! And, of course, continue to wash your hands, cover your mouth and nose, and stay far from everyone. If you live in a shelter-in-place or a stay-at-home state, please respect the virus by staying home as much as possible. If you choose to go out, whether it be to walk, bike or go to the store, maintain physical distance. Fresh air will break up the day, elevate your mood, and refresh your soul.

If you live in one of the nine states² that, incomprehensibly, has not yet directed you to shelter in place (as of April 6), you need new leadership. At your very first opportunity. Your governor is endangering you, your loved ones, and, potentially, everyone. She or he is also delaying the nation’s return to health. Be smart and responsible, unlike your foolhardy, science-denying governor, by doing everything possible to help us get through this and return us to a life outside the home. Hopefully before we run out of movies and TV programs to watch.

* * * * * *

¹ https://medium.com/@alanschnur/our-definitive-list-of-uplifting-movies-3838dc851ade

² States with no stay-at-home directive: Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota. States with partial stay-at-home directives: Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Wyoming. All have Republican governors. All claim to be taking their cue from the White House.

Alan is a consulting psychologist with a long and storied history of helping organizations of all sizes become more enriching, empowering places to work.

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