Worth the Watch: A semester in review

From 'Narcos' to 'Nathan For You,' there was a lot worth watching this fall.

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Time flies, especially when Netflix is on. 

There will never be enough time to watch everything on TV, especially in 2015, which is why I’m here to fill you in on what exactly you missed for fall TV. 

Here are the takeaways from this stretch of television, along with some bonus homework for winter break.

This fall network premiere lineup was WEAK

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Network executives cry as the shift to streaming continues to gain momentum. 

One surefire way to speed up the process? Have network TV put out a pathetic fall lineup. The major networks failed to produce a show that anyone would call a hit. 

Even the biggest hit from last year, Fox’s “Empire,” has fizzled out. The future of network shows looks dark. Speaking of which …

The trend of dark dramas has begun to crack

Recent years have shown that dark dramas have become synonymous with quality (see: “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men” and “The Americans”). 

The market correction for this trend is beginning to take shape in the form of an injection of levity. Look no further than “Fargo,” whose excellent second season proves that a certain degree of levity is needed to act as a foil to dark themes.

Bad people are all the rage

The best sitcoms on television are now populated with the worst people. FXX’s “You’re the Worst” chronicles a group of absolutely awful Los Angelenos. 

This has been done before with shows like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” but “You’re the Worst” combines truly messed up people with the levity of comedy. “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” also throws its hat in the ring for quality television centering on broken people.

You can’t watch it all

Even with a weak fall TV lineup, the market for quality television runs at a larger surplus than ever. You simply can’t watch everything good in 2015.

Between Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Go and the rest, the quantity of television you want to watch will always exceed the time required to watch it.

Lucky for you, winter break will provide ample time to catch up on all the shows on the “to watch” list.

Here are my picks for those vacation days spent on the couch:

“Narcos”

The Netflix series covers the rise, and possibly soon the fall, of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Cinematic production, a thrilling narrative and an entrancing performance by Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar create a show that will have you staying up until 3 a.m. muttering, “just one more.”

“You’re the Worst”

This aforementioned show is breaking new ground with its shift from laugh-out-loud comedy to compelling dramedy in its second season. This show is not for the faint of heart, as its raunchiness aims to exceed any precedent set by other shows. In the end, the laughter and tears prove this show is worth the watch.

“Fargo”

Another show from FX, Fargo, in its second season, pivots into a self-contained story by traveling back in time to cover the Sioux Falls Massacre. The first season isn’t required to understand this season, but trust me, you won’t regret watching both seasons. If you are still searching for a successor show to “Breaking Bad,” look no further than “Fargo.”

“Nathan For You”

The funniest show I have ever seen. Hyperbole? Possibly, but that’s what “Nathan For You” is all about: finding the limits of reality and discovering just how far people are willing to take things. It’s more awkward and hilarious than you previously thought possible.

“Master of None”

Aziz Ansari’s Netflix series is his take on modern life, and the 2015 version of “Seinfeld.” The show tackles life issues that all millenials face and does so with an empathetic touch. Ansari’s show proves to be a fun, enjoyable watch from beginning to end.


Follow Alex Furrier on Twitter.



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Updated December 8, 2021