Luther: Oh Idris Elba, I first fell for you in a big way when you were that nasty but so very attractive drug-dealing bastard Stringer Bell on The Wire. Then you played a kinda shady world weary detective named John Luther with your REAL British accent and I was like putty in your hands. This show could have been awful and I would not have cared but it’s actually really good and Idris is really pretty. I don’t care for the actress who plays his wife, she was not nice on Torchwood and no one messes with Captain Jack Harness and gets away with it in my book. Series one focuses on Alice Morgan, who not only killed her parents but the family dog as well. (really, Alice, really?) She later develops a massive crush on John Luther which plays out into series three. Alice kind of makes the Glenn Close character in Fatal Attraction seem meek and unassuming. I love her.
Doctor Who/New Who: There is an old adage that says you never forget your first doctor, but the rebooted Doctor Who series made me do just that ( XO, I still adore you Peter Davison, just in a different way). Where to start with the new Who? Well, Christopher Eccleston only lasted one season as the new Doctor. FYI: not the first series he has done that too, I think he is a bit of a quitter. So, unless you’re a total freak who HAS to see every episode in order to feel complete and right with the world, I would start with the David Tennant years (DTen to those of us in the know). it’s super annoying that many of his companions fall for him (I am talking to you Rose Tyler and Martha Jones) so it’s a major relief when Catherine Tate shows up as Donna Noble. They have some awesome adventures without any romantic nonsense. I was late to the reboot so I actually started with the Matt Smith years and he along with Karen Gillan as Amy Pond became my all time faves. Let’s just say when those two said their goodbyes I was a weepy pile of tears and tissues and I was not even a little bit embarrassed. My dog does not judge me.
Torchwood: Doctor Who for grown ups. Actually there is some cross over, Captain Jack initially shows up in the first season of the new Who and then crops up periodically after that. Someone at the BBC must have decided they wanted to sex it up a bit so they gave Captain Jack his own show with much more adult themes than the more child-friendly Who. The creepiest series of Torchwood is the third series, Children of Earth and years later it still creeps me out. Peter Capaldi (the NEW Doctor Who) plays a pivotal role in this seriously disturbing tale that I still recommend to everyone.
Prime Suspect: I know one of the US networks tried to do a version of this a year or two back, but really, what were they thinking? That someone could fill Helen Mirren’s shoes? She was the Queen for God’s sake! I saw all of these episodes when they originally aired on PBS and went back and watched some of them all over again and they still stand up. I don’t really think you need to see these from start to finish, so my favorite episodes are series 2, a creepy body buried in a backyard story line, and series 3, with Peter Capaldi, as a transsexual involved in a child murder mystery. I honestly did not intend this to be Peter Capaldi day but he is pretty awesome and just seems to show up in a lot of good shows.
McLeod’s Daughters: Half-sisters are definitely doing it for themselves after they are reunited upon the sudden death of their father in this Australian series. City girl Tess just wants her half of the money so she can go back to the big city and run a cafe with her chic friends, while country girl Claire just wants her gone so she can run the family ranch her way. Throw in a couple of cute brothers on the neighboring property and some loyal female ranch hands and you have a fun, easy time waster. I actually learned a bit about ranching (still don’t eat meat though) and the first three to four seasons I highly recommend. Australian television seasons are a lot more like American television seasons meaning they last FOREVER and I stuck through till the bitter end but the last couple of series I was kinda hate watching just to finish since I am not a quitter (see: Christopher Eccleston above) but sometimes you really should be.
* I am still totally annoyed with Netflix for nixing Outrageous Fortune, along with a whole slew of other shows/movies that were going to be on this list. A show by the way that I was 4.5 seasons into. That is a helluva a commitment to now not know how it all ends. Will Pascalle and her self-help videos of beautiful thinking ever get the audience they so richly deserve? Will Loretta ever notice she has a baby named Jane? Does Cheryl end up with ex-cop Judd? Talk about leaving someone hanging. I know all about their licensing agreements and all but like they could not have let me and a whole bunch of others know? Isn’t Netflix full of computer geeks tracking our every movie/television selection? I know the day my debit card expired they contacted me at like 6 am to let me know in their words “Houston, we have a problem”. Well yes Houston we do. I can’t find that show ANYWHERE.