LIFESTYLE

10 TV Shows You Need To Watch This Spring

Chris Klemens

Spring is here, and so are a lot of rainy days to stay home and veg out on the couch.

A question I get asked quite often is what TV shows am I watching. I went through a big period of time where I didn't really watch TV but instead, watched Netflix. Now that I have cable and more streaming platforms, I thought this would be the perfect post for my website.

I am very much the kind of person who enjoys comedies, reality TV, and docu-series. I do enjoy a drama here and there but it really comes down to the subject matter.

If you have any show recommendations, tweet them to me!


1. Hate Thy Neighbor

Plot: British comedian Jamali Maddix travels around the world in an attempt to make sense of the resurgence in "alt-right" beliefs among social groups. His travels take him to places like Sweden, where he meets an Aryan youth group; his British homeland in the immediate aftermath of the controversial Brexit vote; and the United States during the heated 2016 presidential election cycle, where he comes face to face with Pennsylvania Nazis and black supremacists in New York. The hourlong episodes are framed with Maddix in a small London club using his comedy to reflect on his experiences.

This Viceland series is my ideal type of docu-series, where it covers relevant topics in an informational, yet humorous way (very similar to Cheslea Does on Netflix - another great docu-series). Maddix goes to people who's point of views may be totally opposite to yours and asks them questions genuinely out of curiosity. While it's mildly terrifying some of these people exist, I think it is important to see and hear about how people see the world, no matter how right or wrong it may be.

2. Parks and Recreation

Plot: Leslie Knope, a midlevel 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, but 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 himself.

Parks and Recreation may be one of my favorite television series to have ever existed. The cast is diverse, but each character is as funny as the next, and the show, itself, is smart, hilarious, human, and truly captivating. This is embarrassing to admit, but I have watched the entire series from start to finish 9 times, and I still laugh out loud. While the show ended in 2015, it is available on Netflix and Hulu, as well as other platforms.

3. Chelsea

Plot: With years of experience as the host of a traditional talk show, comic Chelsea Handler is trying something new for her Netflix-original venture. After exploring the world -- Russia, Japan, various stops in the United States, and more -- Chelsea returns to Sony Pictures Studios to tape her show in front of a studio audience. She chats with dignitaries, celebrities, and surprise guests about education, health, sports, parenting, politics, international cultures, alternative lifestyles -- any topic that is of importance to guests and viewers at home.

Similar to Hate Thy Neighbor, I love watching Chelsea, which is exclusively on Netflix, because it tackles very relevant current events in a serious but also comical way, making a lot of the information digestible. Chelsea, herself, is quick-witted and without a fuck to give, providing for a hilarious, modern day talk show.

4. Naked and Afraid

Plot: Discovery Channel takes the ubiquitous survival show theme to the next level by stripping it to its bare essentials. In "Naked and Afraid," complete strangers -- usually a man and a woman -- meet in a very unique way: they're stranded in a dangerous, desolate location for 21 days, without food or water, and they're completely naked. Each episode follows the adventurers as they attempt to survive on their own with nothing but a personal item and the knowledge that the only prize is their pride and sense of accomplishment. Because there is no other choice, competitors quickly get to know one another -- and their surroundings -- and hope that their instincts, survival skills and intestinal fortitude serve them well.

This is quite possibly the most random show for me to watch, but I cannot stop watching it. There is something about it that is so bad but so good. I love watching Planet Earth (another show you should watch), and this show is a nice hybrid of stupidity, beautiful nature, and reality TV with mental breakdowns and lashing out. What a wonderful combination if you ask me.

5. Abstract: The Art of Design

Plot: A look beyond blueprints and computers into the art and science of design, showcasing great designers from every discipline whose work shapes our world. Step inside the minds of the most innovative designers in a variety of disciplines and learn how design impacts every aspect of life.

This docu-series, exclusive to Netflix, is the Planet Earth of art and design. Everything is beautifully shot and explained, and as someone interested in both art and design, it is very interesting to hear from the best of the best like Tinker Hatfield (head designer of Nike) and Ilse Crawford regarding these subject matters. 

6. Transparent

Plot: Mort has a secret that he really wants to tell his three adult children, who are so self-absorbed they don't see that something has changed for divorced, girlfriend-less dad. Even when he invites them to dinner en masse to share his news, somehow, the conversation becomes about them. The secret unfolds, though, when he comes home and sees his married daughter getting intimate with her ex. Now, he knows her secret; she learns his; and the dysfunctional family finds one secret after another being exposed.

This Amazon show is not only hilarious and witty, but it is the occasional drama I was discussing that I can't help but love. One of the show's strongest aspects is the writing and acting, both of which are so natural and feel authentic and not over the top. I also love how topically relevant and important the show is. They touch on things like growing old, LGBTQ+ issues, and family. Along with the impeccable cinematography and music, this show is definitely one to watch.

7. Broad City

Plot: The critically acclaimed Web series "Broad City" moves to Comedy Central as a half-hour scripted series. It's created by and stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer as 20-something best friends who are trying to navigate life in New York, despite that their adventures always seem to lead down unexpected and bizarre paths. They have very little money, but they are survivors who aren't afraid to throw themselves into sticky situations, no matter how messy the end results may be. UCB co-founder Amy Poehler is an executive producer on the series and joins Fred Armisen, Rachel Dratch, Janeane Garofalo, Michelle Hurst, Jason Mantzoukas and Amy Sedaris, among others, as guest stars.

This show is also one of my all time favorite shows. You know when you are with your friends, and you get into ridiculous shit? That is this show. As someone who lives in NYC, too, this show nails it every time. The characters are magnetic and the humor is impeccable. Like Parks and Recreation, I have seen this series multiple times through and still laugh. Is that weird that I do that? Maybe but this show is funny as fuck.

8. Bob's Burgers 

Plot: Bob Belcher is a third-generation restaurateur who runs Bob's Burgers with his loving wife and their three children. Bob believes his burgers speak for themselves and isn't afraid to offer a variety of off-beat creations. Bob's wife, Linda, supports his dream but is becoming sick of the slow times, as the restaurant is constantly in danger of going out of business. Despite the challenges, which includes consistent harassment from Linda's ex -- a health inspector -- Bob tries to keep the grill sizzling.

I grew up loving to watching cartoons, and then when I got older, obviously I wasn't watching Rocket Power or CatDog anymore (although I wish I was, honestly). Not really being too into cartoons now, this show is absolutely hilarious. The characters are so bizarre, yet relatable, and the writing for the show is very well done. If you're unsure about this show, I've shown Bob's Burgers to friends who don't like cartoons, and they love it.

9. Jamie Private School Girl

Plot: "Ja'mie: Private School Girl" continues the adventures of Ja'mie King, a character first introduced to HBO viewers in the acclaimed 2008 series "Summer Heights High." She was a self-absorbed exchange student at a public school then; now Ja'mie is making the most of her final three months of high school at Hillford Girls Grammar, where the resident "queen bee" is the best-known and most-feared girl on campus. Among other plans, Ja'mie sets her sights on winning the prestigious Hillford Medal for "Best Girl in Year 12," and wooing the hot new guy at nearby Kelton Boys Grammar. The six-episode series stars Australian comic and writer Chris Lilley in the title role. Lilley also created, wrote and starred in "Summer Heights High".

This HBO show is simply outrageous and ridiculous in the best way. Watching this show is like falling down a blackhole on YouTube at 3 AM and having no idea how you got there. I have audibly laughed out loud at this show. It may seem weird at first, but I'm telling you it is absolutely hilarious.

10. Big Little Lies

Plot: Based on the same-titled best-seller by Liane Moriarty, "Big Little Lies" weaves a darkly comedic tale of murder and mischief in the tranquil beachfront town of Monterey, Calif. Amidst doting moms, successful husbands, beautiful children, and stunning homes exists a community fueled by rumors and divided into haves and have-nots, exposing fractured relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and friends and neighbors. Told through the eyes of three mothers -- Madeline, Celeste and Jane -- the series' narrative explores society's myths regarding perfection and its romanticization of marriage, sex, parenting and friendship. Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley star as the three prominent "mothers of Monterey."

As I've said before, I am not huge on dramas, but I started this HBO miniseries and cannot stop watching. It is so beautifully done, and like Transparent, the music is flawless (here is a playlist of every song they use). The show will have you asking so many questions and often frustrated that you don't have all the answers, but hold on because you will get them. The star-studded cast and their amazing performances across the board make this show a must watch that will have you on the edge of your seat. The finale was predictable if you payed close enough attention to things but was still incredibly satisfying and well done.