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TV gems on Netflix you must watch this winter

The winter season is upon us. Sure, you can go out, build a snowman or ride a snowmobile … but it’s cold and icky out there! You really should watch some Netflix instead.

We know you’ve already seen every episode of Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards, so before you go and re-binge them, check out some of the less popular but certifiably awesome TV gems Netflix has to offer.


Once upon a time, Freaks and Geeks was a highy underrated show by a lesser-known director, Judd Apatow. Fast-forward to a few years ago, when the show had garnered such a cultlike following that even my sociology teacher showed episodes in class. But Apatow created another sadly short-lived, underappreciated show that has fallen under the radar: Undeclared. This series about college freshmen is utterly hilarious while remaining shockingly real and relevant, just as you would expect from Apatow. Plus, as funny as the show is, there’s also a lot of heart in the episodes.

Sadly, the show only lasted one season, but there are 17 episodes for your streaming pleasure on Netflix.

Bonus reason to watch: Baby- faced Jason Segel plays the overly obsessed boyfriend. Yup, it’s just as funny as it sounds.


Marc Maron’s WTF podcast is revolutionary. I mean, c’mon, have you heard his interview with Jack White? Or the one with Bo Burnham? Should I keep name-dropping all my favorites? Ben Stiller, Artie Lange, Anna Kendrick, John Mulaney … okay, I’ll stop. But the point is, this guy has done some tremendous interviews—mostly from the comfort of his garage. I think the podcast resonates so much because he seems like one of us. Marc is a funny, neurotic and relatively normal guy who just happens to be a comedian and talks to celebrities on his podcast.

His TV show is no different. It shows how despite being a comedian and successful podcaster with tons of celebrity and comedian friends, he’s just a guy in a suburban neighborhood dealing with everyday issues like dating and divorce—while, of course, enjoying the company of his beloved cats.

Need more convincing? Maron is an IFC original you really should check out, along with Comedy Bang! Bang! and Portlandia. No, you won’t turn into a hipster. These are legitimately smart, funny shows.


The Office (U.K.)

I love, love, love the American version of The Office, even the final seasons without Michael Scott. Admit it: You did, too! But we’ve seen each of those episodes many times. So what’s the next logical thing to do? Watch the British original of course!

This is Ricky Gervais’ baby. Watch the pilot and you’ll notice something very curious: It’s essentially the same thing as the American version. But after a few more episodes, you’ll see just how differently these shows morphed. Many people even like the British version more, despite the absence of Rainn Wilson, my personal show favorite. It is another clever show that will make you laugh like a lunatic—or is that just me?

Best line of the first episode: “He’s put my stapler inside the jelly again!” Enough said.

Beyond Scared Straight


If Orange Is the New Black isn’t enough for you, check out this real-life glimpse at life behind bars. This show attempts to steer troubled adolescents toward the right path by having jail life scare the bejesus out of them. And it’s surprisingly effective. The end of the episodes catch up with the kids after their experience, and a surprising number of them were actually rehabilitated.

Guilty pleasure? Perhaps. But watch it in the same vein as Intervention or Hoarders and you’ll get over that pretty quickly.

For bonus fun, watch this show with a sensitive family member or friend. I love to watch with my mom, simply to hear her say “Oh my God” every time she sees something alarming happen in the jail, which is pretty much every two minutes on the show. Imagine her reaction to seeing the Litchfield inmates …

That’s all for now—but stay tuned in the coming weeks for more Netflix gems to watch this winter. Happy Netflixing, and keep warm!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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