• Don't be a stranger! Register today for a 100% ad-free experience

Other TV shows Worth Checking Out - Classic

OneMoreChapter

Special Agent
OG DUGPA MOD
Apr 12, 2022
145
151
Until we get individual threads going to recommend TV shows and books and movies and other non-Lynch/non-TP media, I thought I'd create this thread where people can recommend and discuss TV shows they'd recommend. I set one up for more modern shows and this one is for more classic ones. I guess modern is recent or within the last 5, 10, 15 years (however far back you think). And Classic is probably pre-2000 (though maybe mid 2000s shows would fit here too - I don't know). I'm thinking 90's, 80's TV shows and before are probably worth discussing here.

Anyone who has seen any of my threads in Hap's Diner on Dugpa know some of mine, but here they are again - ones I recommend and have recently been or still am rewatching:

"Northern Exposure" (the closes spiritual successor to "Twin Peaks" I can think of even though the overall vibe is very different), not streaming due to music rights but is on DVD (plus Blu-Ray in UK/Europe)

"Carnivale" (the next closest successor to TP for me and this is a 2000's show so making an exception by mentioning it here - but given it was cancelled like TP after only 2 seasons it kind of straddles the mold between Classic and Modern for me) (HBO)

"Due South" (mostly procedural but has moments of magical realism - and Benton is very like original season Cooper!) (not streaming unless you're in Canada but easy enough to find, plus on DVD)

"China Beach" (our Resident TP Scholar @brad wrote a book about this as well as "Twin Peaks" - I'm up to Season 3 but taking a break, found it very heavy going though I love it) (not streaming, on DVD)

Worth mentioning but not necessarily recommending as haven't rewatched enough:

"Midnight Caller" - saw it as a kid, only rewatched one episode since, they're on Youtube, no official DVD or streaming

"Father Dowling Mysteries" - saw it as kid, only rewatched one episode since but got the DVD


- Many of these are in danger of being forgotten as most are not streaming alas.
 

OneMoreChapter

Special Agent
OG DUGPA MOD
Apr 12, 2022
145
151
If I'm not mistaken, Jonah, Frasier is getting a revival? I know you're into that series.
Yes, I've heard it is - but there hasn't been much news about it lately. I love Frasier. Along with Wings and Cheers, they all form the perfect trifecta of classic 80's/90's sitcoms imo. (Of the three, Frasier is definitely the best and the smartest but they've all got their merits.) Been rewatching Cheers lately. I'm not a fan of modern sitcoms - and I know they're often thrashed or looked down upon in general - but I really like to watch some classic ones, especially when I'm writing (and, when done right and written well, they're reminiscent of live stage plays). They're like comfort food too, nice to unwind with and - best of all - easy enough to follow without needing to focus on more complicated narratives, which is something I don't want to be distracted by when I'm focusing on writing my own complex narratives! Which is why I'd find it difficult to follow an hour-long prestige drama series when deep in the process of writing a novel; it would just tempt me away from it and I'd end up watching too much of it and getting lost in another story other than my own. It's just easier to throw on a sitcom and forget about it when you go back to your manuscript.
 

saturn's child

RR Diner
Apr 17, 2022
34
51
Carnivale was great, reminds me it's been a long while since I've re-watched.
Recently I've revisited a couple of old shows that I still enjoy:
  • Serial Experiments: Lain -- An anime from '98, one I still find outstanding. Quite surreal, experimental, some found it confusing, great sound/score, a real sense of mystery, repeated shots of power lines & ominous hums... in short, pretty Lynch adjacent now that I think about it. Deals with questions of identity & self, & also budding internet culture in a way that doesn't feel very dated to me. Most of it's free on youtube or there's a VHS copy on archive.org, it's only 13 episodes.
  • American Gothic -- Mid-90s TV horror, executive produced by Sam Raimi & Rob Tapert, score by Joseph LoDuca (all involved with Evil Dead, Xena, etc). A little cheesy I guess but I still love it, I remember watching it on TV as a young teen. Southern gothic kinda vibe, good cast with that classic '90s TV feel.
  • Happy Days -- I'm sure y'all know this one, another one I grew up on. The first two seasons are before they started doing it in front of a live studio audience (ruined the mood for me), again free on archive.org. Good for that late '50s vibe/aesthetic.
 

AXX°N N.

RR Diner
Apr 14, 2022
33
77
I've known about Julia Child and her significance forever, and am an avid home cook, but only just started doing a deep dive. The French Chef is extremely entertaining in a way that transcends the fact of it being a cooking program. Although I think I like Julia & Jacques even more, due to the chemistry with her and Jacques Pepin, who are both clearly dominating figures in their field and have no patience or pretense to back down from strong opinions, even when they clash with each other. Child is extremely frail here and has seemingly aged out of filtering herself for the camera, so at many points the two spar and bicker at each other in a wonderful way. It's very human fare, and I'd recommend it even for non-cooks. And I know not everything in this thread needs to be tied into TP, but I do want to take note just because, that the same thing has struck me with Child as with Lynch's work--a contagious and obvious deep love for the work.

  • Serial Experiments: Lain -- An anime from '98, one I still find outstanding. Quite surreal, experimental, some found it confusing, great sound/score, a real sense of mystery, repeated shots of power lines & ominous hums... in short, pretty Lynch adjacent now that I think about it. Deals with questions of identity & self, & also budding internet culture in a way that doesn't feel very dated to me. Most of it's free on youtube or there's a VHS copy on archive.org, it's only 13 episodes.
If you liked Lain, I highly recommend Texhnolyze if you haven't seen it. It's the same writer but is more actiony and maybe you could say typically anime-y than Lain. At the same time, it's even more slow-paced and one of the least anime-y things I've seen. Hard to explain. Konaka (the writer of both) has made some of the only anime I've seen that go out of their way to luxuriate in mood and ambiguity (others being Oshii, Anno pre-2001, and Ikuhara), and Texhnolyze is one of the only narratives (out of any in any medium) to truly, deeply and memorably unsettle me. It was aggressively slow-paced and experimental at first even for me (much the way The Return was for some) but I'm glad I stuck with it.

Speaking of Ikuhara, Revolutionary Girl Utena is extremely Lynch-adjacent--in fact, Ikuhara has named Lynch as an influence and wishes he could collaborate with him on something. The only negative to Utena is its repetition, although it's intentional and is linked to the fact that it's an avant-garde take on the genre of magical girls and its trappings, Ikuhara having worked on the best stretch of Sailor Moon. That might not be the best sales pitch for some, but it's absolutely great on its own without knowledge of said genre--similar to how TP is something special while also being a riff on and embrace of several genres.
 
Last edited:

saturn's child

RR Diner
Apr 17, 2022
34
51
If you liked Lain, I highly recommend Texhnolyze if you haven't seen it. It's the same writer but is more actiony and maybe you could say typically anime-y than Lain. At the same time, it's even more slow-paced and one of the least anime-y things I've seen. Hard to explain. Konaka (the writer of both) has made some of the only anime I've seen that go out of their way to luxuriate in mood and ambiguity (others being Oshii, Anno pre-2001, and Ikuhara), and Texhnolyze is one of the only narratives (out of any in any medium) to truly, deeply and memorably unsettle me. It was aggressively slow-paced and experimental at first even for me (much the way The Return was for some) but I'm glad I stuck with it.

Speaking of Ikuhara, Revolutionary Girl Utena is extremely Lynch-adjacent--in fact, Ikuhara has named Lynch as an influence and wishes he could collaborate with him on something. The only negative to Utena is its repetition, although it's intentional and is linked to the fact that it's an avant-garde take on the genre of magical girls and its trappings, Ikuhara having worked on the best stretch of Sailor Moon. That might not be the best sales pitch for some, but it's absolutely great on its own without knowledge of said genre--similar to how TP is something special while also being a riff on and embrace of several genres.
Very much appreciate the recommendations, many thanks! The Texhnolyze youtube playlist is now in my bookmarks. :giggle:
I had written down to check out Ghost Hound when I looked through Konaka's credits but missed Texhnolyze, it sounds very much up my alley though. I'll check back into this thread once I've watched through & leave my thoughts.

RE: Ikuhara, I did watch a bunch of Sailor Moon with my ex & enjoyed it, so your Utena pitch has sold me. I've always loved the Lynch appreciation that comes out of Japan, I know game developers Hideo Kojima & also Team Silent (behind the early/great Silent Hill games) are big fans, & there's definitely shades of Lynch in other anime like Perfect Blue (I don't know, but I'd guess Satoshi Kon is a fan).
 

saturn's child

RR Diner
Apr 17, 2022
34
51
Millennium (1996-1999), second only to Twin Peaks for me.
One of my all-time favourites! My only tattoo is an ouroborus, which owes in part to Millennium (I got to meet Lance briefly & he liked the tatt, haha).
I know the second Morgan & Wong season can be a bit divisive, but it's probably my fave. It's been a good four or five years since I've rewatched... :unsure:
 

saturn's child

RR Diner
Apr 17, 2022
34
51
Texhnolyze
I just watched the first six episodes back to back; I love it (added the opening & closing themes to my citywalk playlist). I'm torn between watching another one or two before bed vs trying to savour the episodes a little more... 😓
Thank you again for the recommendation!!
 

PeteMartell

Sparkwood & 21
Apr 16, 2022
5
12
Lodge 49 was brilliant and definitely appealing to TP fans. Alchemical mysteries, Masonic secrets, reminded me of thomas pynchon’s work a bit (I guess the crying of lot 49 is there in the title). Loved it, Sadly was cancelled after two seasons.
 

Rigpa

Sparkwood & 21
Apr 13, 2022
10
8
Lodge 49 was brilliant and definitely appealing to TP fans. Alchemical mysteries, Masonic secrets, reminded me of thomas pynchon’s work a bit (I guess the crying of lot 49 is there in the title). Loved it, Sadly was cancelled after two seasons.
I thought I was the only one in the world who saw Lodge 49! I also loved it , and was so disappointed it was cancelled. And Kenneth Welsh was in 8 episodes!
 

Jordan Cole

Sparkwood & 21
Sep 22, 2022
13
13
I know the second Morgan & Wong season can be a bit divisive, but it's probably my fave.

That season is incredible and it shocked me. It had been sitting in my Millennium DVD set for years, unwatched, and I had no idea what I was missing. It's genuinely baffling, weird, scary, funny, subversive and ambitious.

Unfortunately, the DVD extra features betray that season. It's full of Chris Carter slamming season 2, saying his goal for season 3 was to fix what Morgan and Wong did. In my view, season 3 is a huge failure because Carter took back the show (and I have nothing against Carter, X-Files is my life) and approached it from that negative point of view.

I'd highly recommend Millennium season 2 (and I guess 1, as context) for any Twin Peaks fan!

As for favorite classic shows, me and my fiance are currently watching The Prisoner for the first time and it's fantastic. We're only 4 episodes in but it's both like nothing I've ever seen but also clearly highly influential to all of my favorite things (LOST, Twin Peaks, X-Files, etc.)
 
Top