The Never-Ending To-Watch List

Ever since I become really interested in TV and committed to watching more shows, I have had a watch list. It started small and pretty much consisted of just my DVD and Instant Queue on Netflix, back before they really committed themselves to having varied, quality shows on the site. Since that point, it’s turned into it’s own spreadsheet, complete with information on the numbers of episodes per show, average running length, genre, and links to a show’s Wikipedia page. The list is still growing and as long as good television continues to be made and online streaming makes catching up with these shows easier, I don’t expect that to change. 

I’m currently working through four shows on my watch list – Friends, The L Word, Lost, and The West Wing. It would probably be easier to finish shows if I didn’t watch quite so many at one time, but I like variety in my TV. 

There are also a handful of currently airing shows that I would like to start, including Homeland, The Americans, Orphan Black, Downton Abbey, Nashville, Scandal, and Bob’s Burgers. 

Then there are the shows mentioned in Alan Sepinwall’s The Revolution Was Televised that have significantly impacted the current landscape of TV. I haven’t seen The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Oz, The Shield, 24, or Mad Men, but I would like to see them all as soon as possible so I can finish reading the book. 

After those major categories, the list goes on and on. I know I’ll never finish, but I still like keeping the list so I can’t forget anything I potentially wanted to see. 

So what are you watching these days and what other shows are on your personal watch lists? What should I add to (or move up) my own watch list? 


7 thoughts on “The Never-Ending To-Watch List

  1. I love how much of our to-watch lists are the same!

    As of right now, my list includes:

    finally finishing Chuck (I have just the last season left to watch)
    Downton Abbey
    Veronica Mars
    The Wire
    Battlestar Galactica
    Mad Men

    I also have a lot of things I’d like to rewatch all the way through now that I’m older, including Alias, Lost, The West Wing, and Cheers. Hopefully with my sister wanting to start watching Lost and you watching it for the first time as well I’ll actually get to rewatch all of it without giving up like I do with most of my rewatch attempts with other shows!

  2. So many of those shows you listed are ones I want to watch too! There are always more good shows than hours in the day haha.

    My most immediate to-watch list right now includes:

    Parks and Rec
    The West Wing
    Downton Abbey
    Chicago Fire
    maybe Hannibal

    But of course at the moment I’m trying to only tackle a couple at a time, so I think I’m gonna try to do Elementary, Parks and Rec, and Firefly first and then go from there. Those are all also joined by shows I want to rewatch – Once Upon a Time, NCIS: LA (which I’m rewatching with my mom this summer), Bones (at least rewatch through S3 or 4, before I gave up on the show), and maybe a rewatch of Castle at some point. And I’m sure there’s one or two I’m forgetting here as well haha.

    1. I think you’ve picked some excellent choices for the ones you’re currently watching!

      I love that I’ve seen or want to see so much of your list so we can talk about them while you’re watching.

  3. So I’ve been enjoying your blog and have been reading some back posts and stumbled on this one which I love. Since getting my Roku I have what feels like a never ending list of shows I now have to add to my repertoire.

    From your list I think Homeland is one that doesn’t need to be a priority. I eagerly watched season 1. It unravels in season 2 and I opted out of season 3. I’ve watched the first half of The Americans (on a flight from London recently) and am eager to watch the back half. I love and adore Downton Abbey and was on the bandwagon before the hype because I loved Julian Fellowes film Godsford Park and believe Maggie Smith can do no wrong.

    As for Alan Sepinwall’s picks for impact on TV I have seen all but Deadwood and would watch them in the order they appeared on television because frankly when I think about it. Breaking Bad doesn’t happen without The Sopranos and The Sopranos doesn’t see the light of day without the success of Oz. That said here’s my order of priority I would suggest:
    The Wire, 24, The Sopranos, Oz, Mad Men, The Shield and Deadwood. My personal favorites are 24, The Wire and Oz.

    As for what you need to add.

    Broadchurch – period.
    Homicide: Life of the Street (before there was The Wire, this show paved the way).
    Hill Street Blues – All gritty cop shows from NYPD Blue to The Shield owe a nod to Hill Street Blues (only watch the first 5 seasons, it falls apart after that).
    Sports Night – The best Aaron Sorkin series in my opinion
    Quantum Leap – If you haven’t, you must.
    Drive – a too short lived Nathan Fillion series.

    On my personal list:
    Masters of Sex
    Dr, Who
    The 4400

    1. Thank you for the new recommendations! I’m always excited to get new shows to watch and I don’t think many of the ones you listed are on my huge master to-do list 😀

      I’m excited that Alias in on your list! Katie introduced me to it last year and I loved it.

      1. Alias has been on my list for a long time. It’s the show I never got to. And since I have about 15 years on you and Katie – much of my suggestions are because I watched them in real time. It was hard being a TV junkie in the 80s without VCR/DVRs. So much great TV to be had.

        I am really enjoying your blog and happy to have discovered it. I think I am going to have to go buy Masters of Sex because too many good things have been told about it that my mild curiousity has now hit peak.

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