Thanks to the magic of my own clumsiness I have found myself resting a broken ankle. On the medical recommendation of my doctor I have engaged in what feels like a decade of watching television. Having caught on most of the shows that I missed thanks to my beloved children I have found myself searching a never ending plethora of streaming services and their content to watch. In no particular order, here is what I think you should watch, when you’ve watched “what feels like” everything:
Ken Burns Documentaries – Available on the Sundance Now App
The documentaries created by Ken Burns continue to be, in my mind, some of the greatest gifts given to the American people. As a whole they speak to what is great and what is tragic in the American spirit. His best known works: Baseball, The Civil War, Jackie Robinson, and the most recent Vietnam War; can eclipse many of his other great works. Currently, on the Sundance Now App, several of Ken Burns other documentaries are available and shouldn’t be missed. From Unforgivable Blackness, the story of the recently pardoned Jack Johnson, to Thomas Jefferson, to the Central Park Five, there is something worthwhile in watching them all.
The Sundace Now app is available here: SundanceNow App
Fastest Car – Available on Netflix
It’s a known fact in my house that I hate reality television, with a passion. I truly believe it’s responsible for the decline of western civilization. However, Fastest Car is reality television that even I love. The premise of the show is simple: each episode four new racers drag race and the winner moves on to the season grand finale. It’s easy to believe that the hook of the show is watching three “sleepers”, cars that have been heavily modified, versus one supercar (ex. Ferrari, Lamborghini), but what makes Fastest Car compelling are the lives of the racers themselves. From the Ford Thunderbird built and raced to honor a friend killed in a race, to the Ford Pinto driven by a father of five forced to raise his kids on his own, this is a unexpectedly uplifting and fascinating show.
You can watch a trailer for Fastest Car here: Fastest Car Trailer
The Toys That Made Us – Available on Netflix
Buy now I’m sure you can tell that I’m a documentary fan, the Toys That Made Us is the documentary series I needed and didn’t even know it. Eight episodes, each about an hour, cover some of the most significant toys ever, and their surprising histories. Covering G.I. Joe, Barbie, He-Man and Transformers, among many others, the series really shows the amazing level of technical skill, ingenuity, and pure love and imagination that when into each toy
The trailer for The Toys That Made Us is available here: Toys That Made Us Trailer
The Know – Available on You Tube
YouTube has so much content that it’s hard to figure out what exactly to watch. One of my favorite channels is the Know, a great source of gaming and pop culture news. Now, I would strongly recommend spending the majority of your time on Pop Culture Uncovered, or listening to our podcasts, but in the highly unlikely event you need a something different for a moment, it’s a great channel to watch.
Batman and Superman Animated Adventures – Available on Amazon Prime
At some point soon we’re all going to see if the DC Comics App, and all its proposed content, is worth the interest that’s being generated. Until then might I suggest revisiting the amazing Batman and Superman animated series that are currently available on Amazon Prime? While DC Comics might struggle, DC’s animated division has always been stellar. There has never been, and truthfully there is never going to be, a series better than Batman the Animated Series. With stellar voice acting from Kevin Conroy, who might be the definitive Batman, and the legendary Mark Hamill as the Joker among others, Batman is a series that’s worth revisiting.
Batman the Animated Series is available here: Batman on Amazon
I missed Superman the Animated Series during its original run but while the animation appears dated the show truly understands the spirit of the Man of Steel. Again the casting is near perfect with Tim Daley bringing has talents to Superman and Dana Delany and Clancy Brown giving life to Lois Lane and Lex Luthor. Both series are ultimately the pillars upon which the DC animated universe are built upon, and whatever you think of the cinematic universe, almost all of the animated universe is worth watching.
Superman the Animated Series is available here: Superman on Amazon
Star Trek (Original Series) – Available on Hulu, Prime Video, Netflix, CBS App
I know that there are a ton of new science fiction series that deserve your time. From Westworld, to Black Mirror and Lost in Space, this really is one of the best times to be a science fiction fan. So, why go back to watch the original Star Trek series? Because Star Trek has something that many of its current contemporaries is missing: it’s hopeful.
At the danger of sounding juvenile the vast majority of current science fiction shows are not particularly optimistic about the future of humanity. Don’t get me wrong there are thousands of reasons to believe that humanity’s current run at existence is about to go south. Yet, Gene Roddenberry’s creation didn’t originate during a peaceful time period as the 1960’s are hauntingly similar to our own divisive times. Star Trek’s willingness to explore societal issues in intelligent and compelling ways, while still showing what might be possible for humanity is what makes the original – and the whole franchise – meaningful. I recently re-watched the legendary Mirror, Mirror episode and spent the rest of the day pondering its meaning. Lastly the show looks amazing thanks to the remastering so the show is as visually appealing as its story lines are compelling.
The adventures of the crew of the Enterprise have inspired scientists and science fiction fans since its creation. I can’t think of a classic show of more importance or relevance in these times.