Probably my first TV post ever

John and I watch almost no TV.  We’re too cheap to pay for cable/satellite TV, and in most cases there isn’t anything on regular TV that interests us enough to warrant the time spent. The occasional show that is interesting seems always to be on too early in the evening, and either it or the commercials surrounding it aren’t appropriate for children.  For years the TV has been on for only an hour or two of PBS in the morning, and once or twice a week when we watch a movie.

However since Netflix has so dramatically expanded its instant-watch options, John and I have branched out a little.  After hearing endless people talk about ‘Lost’, we broke down and started watching it, an episode at a time late at night after the kids went to bed.  The story is NOT pure as driven snow, don’t get me wrong–there were times when we fast-forwarded or turned the computer screen away for a minute, even though only he and I were in the room.  But wow, the writers did a great job developing the various characters, and showing how they changed over time.   We thoroughly enjoyed the adventure, and were sad when the series ended.

By then we’d grown fond of streaming TV shows–43 minutes is a nice bit of unwind time at the end of the day at our own convenience, commercial-free, without being as much of a time-suck as watching a whole movie.  After ‘Lost’ we hunted around for another series.  We tried the detective shows ‘Castle’ and ‘Monk’ and didn’t love either one.  Too many bodies, some dead and some live but poorly clad. Yikes.  Our current choice is a detective show called ‘Psych’.  It is utterly corny at some moments.  But it has light-hearted, entertaining vibe, and in general the clothing choices are reasonable.

Speaking of choosing clothing, on evenings when everyone leaves me to my night-owl self, I have a different favorite:  ‘Say Yes to the Dress’.  It is completely frivolous, watching brides on the hunt for the dress that will make their lives (or at least their wedding day) complete.  But it is a fun little thing to keep me company at the side of my computer screen while I’m blogging late at night.

What about you?  Seen anything lately on Netflix that’s worth recommending?


  1. We bought “Lost” on dvd about 2 years ago. Our boys were 15 and 17 and we were very busy with our 2 younger adopted kids. The boys spent a lot of time in their rooms, you know what they are like at that age. We heart about “Lost” and decided that watching a TV series together would be just the right thing to get them out of their rooms. We had such a wonderful time together and I remember that we sometimes just couldn’t stop watching on Saturday evening.
    Have a nice day Mary!
    Natacha from Luxembourg

  2. I love love love say “yes to the dress” – my whole wedding costs less than one of those dresses but what fun to watch them and the divaness that goes on – PS – my husband hates it!

  3. We like to stream McCleouds (McCloud’s in English 🙂 Daughters. We are nearly finished with the whole series and there are a lot of shows. It is about women in Austrailia running a ranch and the neighbors and helping each other etc. Fun!

  4. I love our streaming Netflix! Our kids watch cartoons and movies and they have TONS of Veggie Tales so I don’t need to buy the DVDs. 🙂 I like mystery shows and have watched a lot of those series completely, I think the last one I watched all the way through was Bones. My husband and I like to watch comedies together. I think our biggest use for it has been watching documentaries. My 4 year old is even starting to like them and we watch documentaries about nature, dinosaurs, and other animals with him.

  5. Well, I’m a huge Castle fan so I’m no help to you there. That’s the only show I watch on TV. My Netflix faves are documentaries and most recently Third Rock From The Sun with John Lithgow (80s/90s sitcom). Totally frivolous. On the iPad, I have the PBS app which has lots of PBS full-length episodes.


    • Kaycee Fisher says:

      I agree, Castle is fantastic!

    • We enjoyed a lot of things about Castle– the father-daughter relationship is really fun, for one thing. But I really hated the way they start every episode with a dead body. Had a hard time getting past that…but maybe I’m just the sensitive sort…

  6. The British TV show Dr. Who. It is Si-fi and corny at times. Love the new updated series. I didn’t know the McCloud series was on there I’ll have to start that one also. I watch while in the sewing room. Net Flix is also a great way to watch cable shows that are worth watching, I like American Pickers and Pawn stars.

  7. There are some great documentaries from Netflix. Between the Folds, Pressure Cooker and Babies are recent favorites.

  8. I enjoyed Monk, but I like the crime/mystery genre (criminology major here) so there are several in that theme that I like to watch on occasion. I’ve found that since my DVR broke, I watch a whole lot less because I just never get around to looking them up online and I’m almost never watching things when they air. 🙂 I watched the first couple seasons of Psych, but not the latest one. White Collar is another fun one, though, which is also a USA production like Psych. So was Monk, come to think of it.

    Our current favorites – besides the science things like How It’s Made and those of that ilk – are BBC shows. We aren’t as fond of the current Doctor Who actor as we were the last two incarnations, but we like that. As mechanical as your hubs is, he might find Top Gear entertaining. For a show about guys and cars, it is surprisingly fun to watch even for me. I have no idea if Netflix streams those as I don’t have that service.

    Oh! If you like the campy Psych, see if they have Pushing Daisies. It only ran a couple of seasons – it was sabotaged during the writer’s strike and never recovered – but it was definitely something different. it was a few years ago, but I don’t remember any modesty issues.

    • Karen L says:

      I loved, loved Pushing Daisies! I haven’t known anyone that has even heard about it. Absolutely wonderful–kinda like a fairy tale. Visually beautiful.

    • I completely agree, try Pushing Daisies, its cancellation was a great American tragedy. Psych is one of my very favorites, as well. Mary, you might like Eureka, it is sci-fi techie and pretty good. As I read further it looks like someone else recommended it, as well, so I suppose this comment may be rather redundant.

  9. Katy-Anne says:

    Well, I’m not a LOST fan or a Psych fan. I prefer stuff a little more serious, so not sure if my recommendations will help. I watch TV even less than you do and we don’t have cable, and can’t afford Netflix right now. We activate and de-activate Netflix depending on finances.

    However, my favorite that I’ve seen on Netflix is “Lie to Me”. I like “7th Heaven” also, about the lives of a Christian family with lots of kids.

  10. I’m in the middle of Psych as well. Very corny but fun. You also might enjoy Doc Martin, a pbs show about a small town GP. Give it a few episodes though, most people I know took to it slowly and then got hooked. As a geek, I loved Eureka, a scifi channel show about a town of geniuses and their sheriff. The first few seasons of 7th Heaven were fun and then it deteriorated into a teen drama.

    • I’ve seen a couple episodes of Doc Martin on PBS and thought they were interesting but I needed to go back to the beginning to get the back stories to better understand… and then never did. Brit shows tend to build slower. As Time Goes By worked like that, too. Loved that show, full of dry humor, and finally bought it. Judi Dench is awesome. 🙂 It was one of those “cute idea but that would never happen”, and then I read a real-life story long after the show ended that was pretty similar in theme!

  11. Elizabeth says:

    Shows on “instant” Netflix my husband and I both like…
    -The Dick VanDyke Show
    -The Andy Griffith Show
    -Table for 12
    -The Office
    -Parks and Recreation
    Netflix is our only source of “TV,” and it’s nice to have that little chunk of time with him at the end of a busy day to just relax and laugh and little. I agree, TV episode lengths are perfect–movies are rare since they require lots more time to enjoy.

  12. Katherine says:

    I am a huge Psych fan here, I think it is a witty entertaining show! I do like Monk also. I enjoy the show Table for 12, I dislike most reality shows but this family is just precious and the relationships are beautiful and of course the kiddos are so hilarious. It is on netflix now and there is no drama just nice family fun. I also like Burn Notice for an action type show although I have not watched in quite a while. Pawn Stars is interesting, I love seeing what treasures people will bring in and I always hope they are worth alot!

  13. We love Psych! It makes me laugh more than any show on tv. Other classics we go back to are 24 and Alias. I’m not sure if they are on Netflix. We bought all the seasons of those. Your library might have some.

  14. We don’t have cable either, but we do have netflix, and we love it! I do love Psych and Monk (I think they are quite similar), and I we have watched and been through so many different series on there it’s hard to keep track! Here are a few for you to try:

    The Andy Griffith Show
    The Cosby Show
    Army Wives
    Veggie Tales (for the kids!)
    Robin Hood (the BBC version from 2006, so good!)
    Lie to Me

  15. We love Psych, too. Be sure to spot the pineapple in every episode! We’re also fans of Lie to Me and Numb3rs.

  16. I don’t watch that much TV either (though I used to watch a lot more). But I do like watching episodes of 19 Kids and Counting. Also, recently I found an entire season of America’s Test Kitchen on DVD at a thrift store! So I’ve been watching those episodes here and there. I also like watching various episodes of The Waltons and The Cosby Show. My family sometimes borrows those DVDs from our local library.

  17. loved reading everyones list. Weve talked about getting netflix and havent. Maybe we should.

  18. We loved watching the 1960-70s British series “All Creatures Great and Small” on Netflix streaming.

  19. Well, I’m a huge fan of Psych. (WHAT!?) But I also loved LOST, 24, Alias, Bones, and now I’ve been sucked into Body of Proof with Dana Delaney (love her). I’m detecting (get it?) a theme! We stream Netflix, but we also have a subscription to HuluPlus (to get the entire seasons of shows like Bones). Regular Hulu only gives you the latest episodes of current shows, you can get older shows also. Even paying a total of $17 a month is still way cheaper than cable. The Hulu Plus is a recent indulgence and won’t last forever. There aren’t too many shows (other than the above) that could hold my interest more than a few episodes. And I hate (and won’t be) planning my life around what’s on the network TV schedule!

  20. Numb3rs! Also a detective/FBI/crime show, but pretty interesting how math is used to solve crimes. There is the occasional gratuitous bikini scene, but generally people are well-clothed.

  21. Bethany says:

    My husband and I don’t own a TV, but lately we’ve enjoyed watching a few things on Netflix, too! We are enjoying watching all of the old episodes of Columbo!

  22. Whitney says:

    Try White Collar on Netflix. It’s about the only show my husband and I watch. It’s and FBI agent working with a former (?) scan artist to solve high profile white collar crimes. The one-liners are great!

    • christy says:

      My parents love White Collar. Usually they recommend our tv shows. they also like some doctor one where is doc to the rich.

      We love Monk and my parents and kids like Psych. We started watching Chuck when my husband was still working at Best Buy because the parallels. It was super good for the first 3 seasons and not quite as good now.

      19 and counting and all the old ones like Magnum PI and Knight Rider.

  23. I love White Collar, too. It is a smart cat/mouse themed show. And just as I started recommending it to friends, in the second season there were a couple raunchy episodes. But I am still looking forward to Season 3 starting in June.

  24. Kim Kauffman says:

    We loved Lost as well. Another favorite of ours is Bones. Oh and I love Say Yes to the Dress also. My husband can’t stand it (or anything on TLC or HGTV for that matter)! 🙂

  25. Hey, I voted for you… will u vote for me?


  26. Emily C says:

    West Wing has been our favorite lately.

    Can’t say I enjoyed Lost at all. Seeing a few episodes, it was too far-fetched and bizarre for my tastes.

    • MamaFly says:

      I second West Wing – took my husband and I several months to watch all seven seasons but really enjoyed it. High quality programming.

  27. I got addicted to Psych via Netflix too. Also love White Collar, In Plain Sight and Drop Dead Diva.

  28. Too-cheap-for-TV-but-love-Netflix-streaming here as well. Other than Psych we really enjoy Leverage as well. I’m now curious about Pushing Up Daisies from all the comments and will have to look into it.

  29. I watched a lot of say yes to the dress in the hospital. :). My two fave series are 24 and alias. So good!

    • Yes, 24 fan here. Sooo sad when it ended. But it was one of those that we had to watch at least 3 episodes at a time!

  30. Beth in the City says:

    I love Selling New York – I watched it on my laptop via the HGTV website. I don’t think NetFlix has it. I’m so glad you wrote about this – now I have a whole list of things to check out! I’m not much of a prime time TV watcher so having something to watch on my laptop is great!

  31. I love Say Yes to the Dress! What Not to Wear is good all-female viewing too. Another vote for 19 Kids and Counting for sure. If you are still working on clearing out household excess just one or two episodes of Hoarding Buried Alive is highly motivational!

  32. Psych is awesome!!! We love that and White Collar and Leverage. All of them are really, really good. 🙂

  33. Don’t know what Netflix is, we don’t have that in the Netherlands. But I do love McLeod’s daughters, Say Yes to the Dress, 19 Kids and Counting, Grey’s Anatomy. And I don’t know if you have it too, but we have this reality tv show called My Restaurant Rules.
    Do you like costume dramas? Are you familiar with the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice?

  34. we’re netflix watchers too. I personally like all the Masterpiece classic episodes. I also watch Say Yes to the Dress and Cake Boss. I know there’s lots on there I haven’t “found” yet, so some of the above suggestions are helpful!

  35. Latest movie pick would be ‘Smile’, seen several years ago and started us volunteering with local organization to help doctors and volunteers go into third world countries to repair facial abnormalities.
    We love to watch Castle and Psych for entirely different reasons. Also fun to watch Dukes of Hazzard, Bewitched, and Golden Girls.

  36. Johanna VL says:

    The new incarnation (2005 and later) of Doctor Who is my favorite. The show is designed to be entertaining for the whole family, so complex ideas are explored in a way that’s appropriate for children as well (I’d say ages 6 and up, just because the music can get a little creepy sometimes). The clothing choices are appropriate, and there’s very little violence (no blood or anything of that nature) and absolutely no sex (Aside from the occasional extremely vague innuendo, but that’s pretty easy to skip).
    I LOVE Pushing Daisies too, but sometimes those lovely billowy dresses worn by the female characters seem a bit lacking in the modesty department(short skirts, low necklines. I don’t think they’re trying to insinuate anything though, it’s just the costume designer’s attempt to “modernize” things for TV).
    I also love the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice mini series, and the Hugh Grant Sense and Sensibility.

  37. My kids and I have been spending our lunch hour watching an episode of Andy Griffith on Netflix. Mostly good morals and black and white. Netflix has been a big hit for all here. They also stream all of the Liberty Kids series and helps the kids remember some of the American History. Love the no commercials part.

  38. We have not had any tv service in over 2 years. LOVE it! The kids and we like watching Little House and The Waltons. I know they may seem corny, but it’s just refreshing to see family morals and a bit of history. The Waltons reminds me of my grandparents and how they went through the Great Depression. Some good things in there about being frugal and pulling together, all the kids chipping in, respecting the elderly. A new show we now watch online is Blue Bloods with Tom Selleck. It’s a drama with several generations of NY police detectives. So far it has not been ruined with annoying and offensive sexual scenes that made me give up shows like Grey’s years ago. The fam even prays at the dinner table, etc. Has some values.

  39. We don’t have TV either, but we are LOVING streaming netflix! I don’t expect to ever get through my queue. We’ll watch movies over 2 nights sometimes. We just finished “Hideous Kinky” which is a meandering movie about a mom seeking spiritual enlightenment who drags her 2 young daughters to Morocco. It’s not a great movie but we did like seeing Morocco again. We are also catching up on classics we’ve never seen before…including lots of “film noir” and mysteries from the 40s, 50s and 60s. (Dial M for Murder was good. Also Diabolique, a french film from the 60s.) So that’s what I’ve been watching!

  40. I also cast a vote for Eureka. Excellent entertainment with solid moral values are two shows I found on PBS and BYU: Wind At My Back about a family in Canada during the Great Depression, and Larkford to Candlerise which is set about 100 years earlier. I look forward to them both! I believe they are only available on DVDs from Netflix currently, but I keep checking because I’ve noticed that their instant selection vs DVD flips sometimes.

  41. My hubby and I are currently watching Medium on Netflix, a sort of fantasy/detective show about a woman who uses her psychic powers to help solve crimes. We particularly love her relationship with her husband (and kids). 🙂

  42. I love Psych:-)

    I have enjoyed the BBS Series “All Creatures Great and Small” based off the famous books. The series stays true to MANY of Herriott’s stories. The seasons 1-4 are best.

    Also, some great documentaries! Check out Ken Burn’s documentary on Mark Twain!

  43. The Mentalist
    Big Bang Theory (comedy)

  44. My hubby and I are enjoying Lie to Me (actually watching an episode right now!) on Netflix. We also like Psych and Monk.

  45. Wow, you are one of the very few people who do not like Monk, seriously. I’m not into detective shows at all but Monk is an exception, it’s unbelievably entertaining. Other than that, Golden Girls are pretty funny too, it is quite an old show but still good.

  46. I am going to have to check out Netflix. We are too cheap to pay for cable too, but mostly we just don’t watch a lot so why pay for channels you will never see. When they go to a “cafeteria style” of ordering channels, then we might consider it.

    I don’t know if they will have this on Netflix but probably will, A&E had a British comedy series called “Jeeves and Wooster” that is absolutely hilarious. It stars Hugh Laurie of House fame but in this series he’s just so stinkin’ funny. Paul and I got the DVDs from the library a few years ago. If I can get them on Netflix, I would watch them again.

    The only other show I watch with any regularity is The Biggest Loser and I usually watch it on the computer a couple of days after it airs.

  47. Another family here that loves Psych!! We’re big fans! Another one we like a lot is “Eureka” on the SciFi channel. When I first heard of it I thought it was kind of a supernatural sorta show, but it’s really not. It’s a super-science geek kind of show that’s very entertaining (would have to be for me to like it!) But I think you both would enjoy it. I’m also a big fan of the show “Merlin”. It’s from the BBC and Netflix has the first season. It’s a fmaily show over in England, so aside from the magic aspect of it if that’s something that bothers you, there’s nothing immodest or unseemly on that show. My husband doesn’t like it b/c he thinks they’ve taken too many liberties with the orignal legend. But I think the characters are compelling and the stories are entertaining. The series (seasons) in England are musch shorter – I think there are only 13 episodes a year, so you could get thru that one much quicker. Have fun!

  48. You must check out Larkrise to Candleford. Unfortunately, it is not available on streaming but we LOVE that show. We haven’t seen all of the seasons, but so far are thrilled that we have found something the whole family can watch. You will love the characters!
    The other show that we love (that is on netflix streaming) is called Downton Abbey. This one is not for the kids, but really good!

  49. Heather says:

    We love streaming Netflix, too. We have been without a tv by choice for all 16 years of marriage. We got sucked into Lost last year and were a bit let down when it was over. I found a one-season wonder that reminded me of Lost (even shares a couple of actors with Lost) on Netflix streaming that I really liked: Flash Forward.

  50. Haha. This happened to us too! We cancelled cable in November, and use an Apple TV (one time price of $99) to stream YouTube and Netflix instant. We totally got addicted to Lost, and even though I got annoyed by the last season I felt like I had to watch it to the end.

    I LOVED the Food Network, and really, I do miss it from time to time (I catch some Alton Brown Good Eats on Hulu on occassion). I’ve found shows on Netflix like “Take Home Chef” and “Oliver’s Twist” to help fill that gap.

    Now we’re loving watching NOVA series. “What’s the Next Big Thing” was interesting as is the “Making Stuff” series. I think they’d be good educational material too for kids.