As we are faced with a rather short list of travel destinations (ranging from the living room to the kitchen, and maybe a quick stopover to the pantry) deciding how to spend your relaxation time can be challenging. If you are like most of the country, finding a TV show that captures your imagination can be an important distraction. It can also be difficult to find anything worth watching.
To help combat your “paralysis of analysis” and as an extension of our Top Tech Recipes, we have assembled a list of shows that our team members are currently watching. (We also included the list of responses from our team members, which highlights that we are indeed nerdy goofballs to the core.)
Whether you enjoy science-fiction, comedy, gripping drama, reality TV, or compelling docuseries, there is something for everyone on the list.
Our top 6 TV shows
1. Tiger King
Total Votes: 5
Seasons: (1) | Dates: 2020-
Storyline (IMDb): Among the eccentrics and cult personalities in the stranger-than-fiction world of big cat owners, few stand out more than Joe Exotic, a mulleted, gun-toting polygamist and country-western singer who presides over an Oklahoma roadside zoo. Charismatic but misguided, Joe and an unbelievable cast of characters including drug kingpins, conmen and cult leaders all share a passion for big cats and the status and attention their dangerous menageries garner. But things take a dark turn when Carole Baskin, an animal activist and owner of a big cat sanctuary, threatens to put them out of business, stoking a rivalry that eventually leads to Joe's arrest for a murder-for-hire plot and reveals a twisted tale where the only thing more dangerous than a big cat is its owner.
AM Data’s Review: This docuseries can best be described as magical realism. If a bedazzled Ed Hardy T-shirt could have its own fever dream – "Tiger King" would be the result. At no point in this series can you successfully guess “what will happen next,” and you will spend the majority of your time watching with your mouth agape completely baffled by the characters you meet and outright rejecting the notion that this could possibly be a true story. The only thing you will learn from this show is that animals should be protected and that road-side zoos are awful things run by thoroughly bizarre and objectively-bad people.
Total Votes: 3
Seasons: (3) | Dates: 2017-
Storyline (IMDb): The Byrdes and their teenage kids, Charlotte and Jonah, are mostly an ordinary family with ordinary lives. Except for the job of Marty, a Chicago financial advisor who also serves as the top money launderer for the second-largest drug cartel in Mexico. When things go awry, Marty must uproot his family from the skyscrapers of Chicago and relocate to the lazy lake region of the Missouri Ozarks.
AM Data’s Review: If you enjoyed "Breaking Bad," this gritty drama has a lot of the same intensity and flair and also follows a flawed protagonist that you root for, even though he is doing a lot of bad things.
Total Votes: 3
Seasons: (7) | Dates: 2009-2020
Storyline (IMDb): Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat in an Indiana Parks and Recreation Department, hopes to beautify her town (and boost her own career) by helping local nurse Ann Perkins turn an abandoned construction site into a community park. However, what should be a fairly simple project is stymied at every turn by oafish bureaucrats, selfish neighbors, governmental red tape and a myriad of other challenges. Leslie's colleague Tom Haverford, who delights in exploiting his position for personal gain, is as likely to undermine her efforts as to help her, while her boss, Ron Swanson, is adamantly opposed to government in any form, even though he's a bureaucrat.
AM Data’s Review: Similar in tone to "The Office," this mockumentary-style show follows some of the most likable and well-crafted characters as they navigate the complexities and intricacies of local government. If you are looking for a show that can add some legitimate laughs to your evening, this one is a winner.
4. The Office
Total Votes: 3
Seasons: (9) | Dates: 2005-2013
Storyline (IMDb): A mediocre paper company in the hands of Scranton, PA branch manager Michael Scott. This mockumentary follows the everyday lives of the manager and the employees he "manages." The crew follows the employees around 24/7 and captures their quite humorous and bizarre encounters as they will do what it takes to keep the company thriving.
AM Data’s Review: "The Office" has been a source of deeply relatable workplace memes for nearly 15 years. Even though the show has been off the air for a long time, it still rings true and does a great job showcasing how art imitates life. If you haven’t watched it before, you should, and if you have seen it already – you should watch it again.
Total Votes: 2
Seasons: (11) | Dates: 2011-
Storyline (IMDb): Watch the Irish American family the Gallaghers dealing with their alcoholic father Frank. Fiona, the eldest daughter, takes the role of the parent to her five brothers and sisters. Lip, Ian, Debbie, Carl, and Liam deal with life on the South Side of Chicago. Fiona balances her sex life and raising her siblings. Every episode is another crazy situation that one or more of the Gallagher six get into. Watch them grow and learn how to make their way in life with what little they have.
AM Data’s Review: “Gritty” doesn’t quite go far enough in describing this series. "Shameless" is an aptly titled U.S. adaptation of a British TV show with the same name. It is a brutally gritty show that covers a lot of topics that even in concept can be a bit much for some. But… it is also quite hilarious. If you have a low setting on your internal “this is uncomfortable meter” – this isn’t a show for you.
Total Votes: 2
Seasons: (3) | Dates: 2019-
Storyline (IMDb): After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the "Star Wars" universe. "The Mandalorian" is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.
AM Data’s Review: Ever wonder what a Baby Yoda would look like? Want to expand your exposure to the Star Wars universe and explore some of the lesser-known species of the Mos Eisley Cantina? Maybe you are just interested in the lore of Intergalactic Bounty Hunters? If you have Disney+, you can enjoy "The Mandalorian." It explores some of these less known elements of the Star Wars universe.
If you only understood 10% of the Star Wars words in the previous sentences… you may have a little trouble getting into the show. But that’s ok, even if you didn’t grow up in a bacta tank, just check your midi-chlorian count, use the force and jump right in… ugh, we are dorks.
Below is the complete list of all participating employees and their top 5 shows:
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