• NOW LIVE! -- The Awfully Cheerful Engine on Kickstarter! An action comedy RPG inspired by cheerful tabletop games of the 80s! With a foreword by Sandy 'Ghostbusters' Petersen, and VTT support!
log in or register to remove this ad

 

Rando Recommendations: What Pop Culture Thing Do You Recommend (Not Geek Media)

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
There are always a number of great conversations about geek culture and/or media on enworld, included but not limited to some of the following:

1. The latest MCU TV show on Disney+.
2. Snyderverse ... let's argue.
3. The latest MCU movie on Disney+.
4. Star Wars movies ... let's argue.
5. The latest Star Wars show on Disney+.
6. Books ... does anyone read anymore?
7. The latest 15 Star Trek shows on CBS All... um, Paramount+.
8. The Expanse. Am I still allowed to enjoy it?
9. There's yet another show on Netflix you haven't heard of. It has fantasy/sci fi stuff. Watch it before the next one comes out in 4 hours.
...and so on.

But one thing I was hoping to see is a thread where people on this board go off the beaten path a little, and make a recommendation that isn't your typical "geek media" recommendation. Or, for that matter, isn't your typical "prestige TV" recommendation. Because we're all somewhat up-to-date on the geek media and prestige TV that's out there- or could be.

Instead, I'd like to hear some recommendations for gems that are off the beaten path. Things we wouldn't normally discuss, or that you wouldn't normally watch, but you nevertheless found enthralling. Because I'm all about rules, here's a few to help guide. Feel free to ignore them if you must!

1. NO GEEK MEDIA RECOMMENDATIONS. View this as you wish, but that means (for example) no superheroes, no Star Wars or Star Trek, no science fiction or fantasy, no anime. We already have enough of that ....
giphy.gif


2. Suggest TV shows or movies, please. First, no one reads anymore. And by "no one," I mean me. Illiteracy- it's what's for breakfast. Second, I don't want everyone to recommend Dua Lipa. We get it. Future Nostalgia is just straight bangers. But we need something fresh.

3. No "prestige TV." Again, we all know Billions and Succession are "good." We are aware the Alias Grace was tragically unappreciated. But muted color and snappy dialogue isn't everything in life (or so someone needs to tell Snyder and Whedon).

4. It has to be something you have watched. Preferably, something that surprised you with how good it is.


Good?

Okay, so I will start this off with my entry and recommendation:

Formula 1: Drive to Survive. Look, I like cars. But I've never been a fan of car racing- NASCAR just seems like a bunch of guys turning left over and over again, and F1 just seems like a bunch of European poseurs driving way too fast.

And you know what? F1 IS a bunch of Euro poseurs (okay, there's an Australian in there too) driving way too fast. But this series (three seasons so far) has made me incredibly interested in a sport that I thought was stupid. Okay, that's not completely fair. I STILL think it's stupid- but it is so GLORIOUS in its stupidity, and pettiness, and politics, and personalities, that I love it.

Somehow, every person I have told about this has also became insanely interested in this; which is to say ... hear me now and believe me later, but this is like some kind of viral drug to get you into the sport. Who knew?

So that's mine. Follow my recommendation at your own risk, lest you start thinking, "Hey, maybe rockin' some cool Ferrari gear wouldn't be so bad?" (Protip: it would be that bad).

What about you? What do you recommend that we don't normally discuss here?


EDITED TO ADD SUGGESTIONS:
1. Formula 1: Drive to Survive (Netflix) (suggested by me)
2. Biography: "Macho Man" Randy Savage (A&E) (payn)
3. All Creatures Great and Small (Reboot) (PBS, Amazon Prime, PBS Passport) (Umbran)
4. Call of the Midwife (Netflix) (Sacrosanct)
5. Doc Martin (Pluto/Hulu?) (Alzrius)
6. Aerial America (Smithsonian Channel) (Wolfram Stout)
7. Birds, real birds (Your own backyard) (Sabathius42)
8. Line of Duty (Hulu) (Morrus)
9. Brooklyn 99 (Hulu/Peacock) (Desert Gled)
10. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Netflix) (TwoSix)
11. Queen Sono (Netflix), Kings of Jo’burg (Netflix) An African City (Youtube), Jinn (Netflix) (Tonguez)
12. Naked and Afraid (Hulu) (Reynard)
13. Knives Out (Prime) (billd91)
14. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Prime), Iron (fantasy network) (Ryujin)
15. The Farewell (Prime), Poirot (Britbox) (Mallus)
16. Good Eats, Homicide Hunter, Midsommer Murders, Rumble, Later...with Jools Holland, And God Spoke, Spinal Tap, Incident at Loch Ness, Line of Duty, Unforgotten (Dannyalcatraz)
17. Best in Show, A Mighty Wind (Umbran)
18. Waiting for Guffman, For Your Consideration (billd91)
19. Attacking the Darkness (Ryujin)
20. Youtube channels- Tasting history with Max Miller, The Charismatic Voice (Ulfgeir)
21. Endeavour (Amazon Prime), Detectorists (AcornTV) (LoganRan)
22. Underground, Sharpe's Rifles, Strike Back, Copper (Mad_Jack)
23. The Devil All the Time (Netflix) (Shroompunk Warlord)
24. The League of Gentlemen (Dailymotion) (MattW)
25. National Geographic shows (Disney+), Chef Ramsay (HawaiiSteveO)
26. Murdoch Mysteries, Duchess of Duke St, Ever After (Lanefan)
27. Samurai Gourmet (Netflix?), Slings and Arrows (Youtube/Amazon), Brother Cadfael (Acorn) (Jaegermonstrous)
28. Todd & The Book of Pure Evil (Dannyalcatraz)
29. The Half of It (Netflix), Fisherman's Friends (Netflix), Unicorn Store (Netflix), Chef (Netflix), Tallulah (Netflix), Dave Made A Maze (Amazon) (Jaegermonstrous)
30. The Toys That Made Us (Imaculata)
31. Top Gear, Hanna (Amazon) (Graybeard)
32. Derry Girls (Netflix), The Detectorists (Netflix), Booksmart (Netflix) (DrunkonDuty)
33. Biography on Wrestler Booker T (A&E) (payn)
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

payn

Hero
I actually got hooked into the Macho Man Randy Savage biopic on A&E last Sunday. Was interesting to get a mix of pro-wrestling history and learn some about the Macho Man himself. Also, his wife Miss Elizabeth and women's roles in pro wrestling. I'm not a wrestling fan either so was surprised I kept watching.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I was pleasantly entertained by the new All Creatures Great and Small, which aired on PBS as part of their Masterpiece series.

It's just a period piece. Not a deep drama, or uproarious comedy, though it has a bit of both. It fits nicely in the "soothing British TV" category, without being about baking.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I was pleasantly entertained by the new All Creatures Great and Small, which aired on PBS as part of their Masterpiece series.

It's just a period piece. Not a deep drama, or uproarious comedy, though it has a bit of both. It fits nicely in the "soothing British TV" category, without being about baking.
My partner and I watched that series. It was pretty good, even if she kept saying "that wasn't in the books like that at all" lol. It's also based on a true story, if embellished a bit, and I always enjoy things based on a true story. Call of the Midwife (on Netflix) is very much in the same vein as this show, and is also pretty decent.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I'm a huge fan of the British comedy series Doc Martin, which I discovered quite by accident (literally, I was passing through the room while someone else was watching it, and found myself unable to look away). Describing it as "an irascible but brilliant doctor trying to deal with quirky patients" makes everyone think it sounds like House, but the general tenor strikes me as being very different, as Doc Martin is more of a comedy than a drama.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I was pleasantly entertained by the new All Creatures Great and Small, which aired on PBS as part of their Masterpiece series.

It's just a period piece. Not a deep drama, or uproarious comedy, though it has a bit of both. It fits nicely in the "soothing British TV" category, without being about baking.

I didn't know that there was a new one!

Um, I'm wondering how many people out there know that there was an old one ....
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
My partner and I watched that series. It was pretty good, even if she kept saying "that wasn't in the books like that at all" lol.

My wife is a veterinarian, and read the books when she was little, so much the same here.

Happy to report the period veterinary medicine was fairly accurate.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I'm a huge fan of the British comedy series Doc Martin, which I discovered quite by accident (literally, I was passing through the room while someone else was watching it, and found myself unable to look away). Describing it as "an irascible but brilliant doctor trying to deal with quirky patients" makes everyone think it sounds like House, but the general tenor strikes me as being very different, as Doc Martin is more of a comedy than a drama.

So, in Doc Martin, it IS Lupus?
 


Aerial America, on the Smithsonian Channel. There is also one for Britain but I have not watched it. The show is basically aerial shots from a plane flying over a specific state while a narrator tells about the history and geography. It is incredibly relaxing and informative. I will watch an episode or two on Saturday mornings while gearing up for the day.

And the best part is, you can turn it over during any part of the show and just start watching.
 



Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
I'll take this really far off-road....

10+ years ago my wife signed up to volunteer at the local park system. Her project was maintaining and monitoring bluebird boxes set up in the park.

She still does it to this day, and during all this time accompanying her I have learned a TON about our local bird population. I can identify most every species found in the park and my backyard including the birds that just pass through when migrating.

I learned how to identify a bird species based on what their nest looks like. I learned to identify many species based on their calls.

It wasn't something I ever thought would be interesting , but having absorbed all I have over time I have become a source of BirdID to friends and family whenever they are curious.

Taking the conversation back to DnD....there is always something from any hobby you can use in your adventures.

One notable idea for mining is the cowbird. It can be found in any large group of blackbirds (starlings and grackles the other two members) and identified by its brown head and black body. The cowbirds through history developed a lifestyle of following herds of buffalo (or other large hoofed mammals) and living in their wake. When it comes to egg laying time, the nomadic cowbirds dont have the time to stop, make a nest, lay eggs, and see the young to fledging because they will have been left far behind by the herd they are attached to.

So as a solution the cowbird became a nest parasite. It just pops in and lays it's eggs in some other birds nest and let's those other birds raise it's young. There is even a cowbird mafia enforcement sometimes punishing birds that recognize their eggs as foreign and pushing them out of the nest.

Now that cowbirds are mostly just living in our backyards and have no herds to follow they do t NEED to be nest parasites but the instinct still works that way.

This crazy nature factoid is easily the basis for an entire DnD adventure....fey being the most obvious human nest parasite....but there are all kinds of ways you could spin your story.

TLDNR: Backyard birding is more interesting than you might initially think.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Line of Duty just finished its 6th season. British show about a police anti-corruption unit. It’s become real water-cooler TV.
 


Doctor Who was on before David Tennant?
You're not a true nerd if you forgot about Christopher Eccleston. :)

On topic for the thread: I highly recommend Brooklyn 99. Interestingly enough, I only enjoyed The Office a little bit (say, 1.5 seasons worth) and couldn't stand Parks and Recreation. Despite being basically the same formula of a show (I believe a few of the creators overlap), I absolutely loved this variation on the theme. I think the background of a procedural cop show game the format some much needed structure. Also, I like a lot of the actors more.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
My favorite non-geek show of the past decade has been Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (all 4 seasons on Netflix). Very dark musical comedy which doesn't seem like it will be about mental illness until it is. Which doesn't sound that fun, but the songs are absolutely hilarious, and the show in general has whip-smart comedic dialogue.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
So FYI, I have edited the OP to include a running list of suggestions that I will periodically update, with the name of the show, the place you might be able to watch (NO GUARANTEES!), and the person who suggested it.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So FYI, I have edited the OP to include a running list of suggestions that I will periodically update, with the name of the show, the place you might be able to watch (NO GUARANTEES!), and the person who suggested it.

Excellent idea. All Creatures Great and Small ran on PBS (and presumably will again at some point). Currently in the US, it is available for Streaming on Amazon Prime and PBS Passport.
 

Awfully Cheerful Engine!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top