World Television Day: Staff TV Recs

In honor of the UN’s World Television Day, we’ve put together a collection of some of our favorite TV series, both past and present. Our curated list includes shows that scare us silly, move us to tears, make us laugh, remind us of our childhoods, and occasionally even manage to instill a little bit of hope in our daily lives.

Batman: The Animated Series

“This is a verion of Batman that is entertaining and appropriate for both adults and children alike. This show gave us Kevin
Conroy as the long standing voice of Bruce Wayne/Batman and Mark Hamill’s amazing take on the Joker.”

– Barbara, Tech Services Librarian

Experience the thrills of vigilante justice as millionnaire playboy Bruce Wayne and alter-ego Batman protect the streets of Gotham City from a host of villains including archnemesis The Joker, deadly beautiful Poison Ivy and primitive Killer Croc on a fresh take of superhero storytelling. Intelligent, dramatic stories, unique characters and sharp dialog shaped this edgy TV series into an Emmy winny powerhouse that brought the Caped Crusader out of the dark alleys of TV history and into the present for fans of all ages.

Bob’s Burgers

“The burger puns alone should be enough for anyone: Peas and Thank You Burger, Curd-fect Strangers Burger (comes with cheese curds), Eggers Can’t Be Cheesers (with fried egg & cheese), Gourdon-Hamsey Burger (comes with squash & ham). The way the whole family is written – especially the kids, Louise, Gene, and Tina – is fantastic and true.”

– Barbara, Tech Services Librarian

Bob’s Burgers is the hilarious animated comedy about a man, his family, and their burger joint. The series follows a third-generation restauranteur as he runs Bob’s Burgers witht he help of his wife and their three kids. Bob and his quirky family have big ideas about burgers, but fall short on service and sophistication. Despite the greasy counters, lousy location and dearth of customers, Bob and his family are determined to make Bob’s “grand re-re-re-opening ” a success.


“Castle is a detective show with lots of humor, mystery, and some romance. It is the only show that I have been able to stick with and want to keep watching.”

– Shelby, Library Clerk

When viewers first met Richard Castle, a famous mystery novelist, he was creatively blocked. But when the NYPD questioned him in connection with a series of murders staged to imitate crime scenes from his books, Castle found inspiration in NYPD Detective Kate Beckett. Once that initial case was solved, Castle and Beckett continued to investigate strange homicides in New York, combining Castle’s writer intuition and Beckett’s creative detective work.


“Recommended for wuxia fans who love strong female leads and epically complicated romantic relationships involving themes of class, loyalty, duty and vengeance; must also be OK with tragedy.”

– Christy, Marketing/Technology Librarian

Damo is a powerful and moving drama about one woman’s quest to attain both honor and love. After her noble family is overthrown and separated, Chae Ok becomes a servant in another noble household. There, she is trained to serve the young master Hwangbo Yoon. When Yoon becomes a commander in the police force, Chae Ok becomes a damo, or policewoman, under him. The two quickly develop a complex relationship, but are held back by social ties. When Chae Ok is assigned to infiltrate a counterfeit ring as an undercover detective, she finds herself drawn to Jang Sung Baek. She learns the mysterious, charismatic Jang Sung Baek is not the leader of a counterfeit ring but a guerilla army to overthrow the Emperor. Now, Chae Ok is torn between her duty to the law and her attraction to a rebel leader, and the love of two very different men…

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“This is an imaginative yet down to earth take on future Commissioner Jim Gordon, it gives insight into the beginnings of Bruce Wayne’s transformation into the World’s Greatest Detective, the cast is absolutely fantastic, what more could you want in a tv show?”

– Barbara, Tech Services Librarian

In crime ridden Gotham City, Thomas and Martha Wayne are murdered before young Bruce Wayne’s eyes. Although the idealistic Gotham City Police Dept. detective James Gordon, and his cynical partner, Harvey Bullock, seem to solve the case quickly, things are not so simple. Inspired by Bruce’s traumatized desire for justice, Gordon vows to find it amid Gotham’s corruption. Thus begins Gordon’s lonely quest that would set him against his own comrades and the underworld with their own deadly rivalries and mysteries. In the coming wars, innocence will be lost and compromises will be made as some criminals will fall as casualties, while others will rise as supervillains. All the while, young Bruce observes this war with a growing obsession that would one day drive him to seek his own revence as The Batman.

Hey, Arnold!

“This was my favorite show growing up! It has a special way of making city life feel magical while having an eclectic group of characters to pull it all together.”

– Abby, Children’s Services Librarian

The everyday life of Arnold, a 4th-grader in a nameless city that resembles Brooklyn, New York, who lives in a multi-racial boarding house with his grandparents and a motley assortment of neighbors and friends.

John Adams

“I really cannot say enough about this miniseries. It’s a televised historical biography of John Adam’s adult life. If you haven’t seen it, please give it a try.”

– Abby, Children’s Services Librarian

John Adams chronicles the life of this remarkable historical figure, a man whose fiercely independent spirit, reverence for the rule of law and commitment to personal liberty profoundly influenced the values on which our country was founded. The miniseries also explores the extraordinary relationship between Adams and Abigail, his wife of 54 years, a partnership regarded as one of the most moving love stories in American history.


“It is a very mysterious show and can make you want to restart the series as soon as it ends. It’s an easy watch but will also make you really think about the episodes.”

– Shelby, Library Clerk

After Oceanic Air Flight 815 tears apart in mid-air and crashes on a Pacific island on September 22nd 2004, its survivors are forced to find inner strength they never knew they had in order to survive. But they discover that the island holds many secrets, including a mysterious smoke monster, polar bears, housing with electricity and hot & cold running water, a group of island residents known as “The Others,” and a mysterious man named Jacob. The survivors also find signs of those who came to the island before them, including a 19th century sailing ship called The Black Rock and the ruins of an ancient statue, as well as bunkers belonging to the DHARMA Initiative — a group of scientific researchers who inhabited the island in the recent past.

Lie to Me

“If you like crime shows, Lie to Me is a great one. It was only on for 3 seasons but it’s also one that is pretty interesting because it usually has a twist at the end of every episode.”

– Mackenzie, Teen Services Librarian

Dr. Cal Lightman is the world’s leading deception expert who studies facial expressions and involuntary body language to expose the truth behind the lies.


“Sunday was family time, and after church we would eat and then all sit and watch TV shows together.”

– Jo Anne, Library Operations Manager

The staff of an army hospital in the Korean war find that laughter is the best way to deal with their situation.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus

“Monty Python’s Flying Circus is an absurd sketch comedy show that showcases the dry British humor that we all know and love. I remember watching the spam sketch when I was little and laughing so hard my stomach hurt. 

– Abby, Children’s Services Librarian

Talk about the full monty! Monty Python’s Flying Circus contains all the cerebral wit, slapstick, silly walks, and naughty bits that make this series a comic classic.

The Newsroom

“I would highly recommend The Newsroom. It is such a smart show that deals with real issues. It shows the media in a way that makes you want to know how they are gonna handle the news.”

– Jennifer, Library Clerk

From the mind of Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing and screenwriter of The Social Network and Moneyball, comes The Newsroom, a behind-the-scenes look at the people who make a nightly cable-news program, focusing on a network anchor, his new executive producer, the newsroom staff, and their boss. The series track their quixotic mission to do the news well in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles – not to mention their own personal entanglements.

The Office (US)

“I love this kind of humor. I can watch any episode over and over and it’s still funny every time!”

– Mackenzie, Teen Services Librarian

“The Office” presents a hilarious documentary-style look at the humorous, and sometimes poignant, foolishness that plagues the 9-to-5 world. Based on the award-winning BBC hit, The Office is a fly-on-the-wall “docu-reality” parody of modern American office life that delves into the lives of the workers at Dunder Mifflin, a paper supply company in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

In the series, Andy Bernard, the preppy salesman and die-hard Cornell alumni whose endless and unique musical talents keep the office entertained, is the new Dunder Mifflin Scranton manager.

Reporting to Andy are the loyal, and often times unmotivated, staff including sales rep Jim Halpert who shares his working space with Dwight Schrute, the arrogant assistant to the regional manager whose responsibilities have expanded as he became the new owner of the office building. Pam Beesly Halpert is the office receptionist-turned-office administrator whose office romance with Jim led to marriage and the birth of their daughter Cece and son Phillip. A surprising bromance has also formed between Andy and the ambitious distribution coordinator, Darryl Philbin, who moved his office from the warehouse to the main building.

Revolutionary Girl Utena

“This anime was first broadcast in 1997. I was in high school at the time and the themes of finding yourself resonated with me then and it still does today. The artwork was gorgeous and is even better on the remastered version released in 2013.”

– Barbara, Tech Services Librarian

When Utena was just a child and in the depths of sorrow, she found salvation in those words. They were the words of a prince, who wrapped her in his rose-scented embrace and bestowed upon her both a ring and the promise that it would lead her to him again. She never forgot the encounter. In fact, she was so impressed that she aspired to be like the prince and also help those in need.

Now a spirited teenager, Utena attends the prestigious Ohtori Academy. However, her strong sense of chivalry soon places her at odds with the school’s student council and thrusts her into a series of mysterious and dangerous duels against its members.

True Detective

“Each time I watch it, I find something new, and it has probably the most
impressive tracking shot I’ve ever seen in a TV show. ”

– James, Director

New Orleans native and novelist Nic Pizzolatto wrote and created this crime drama that focuses on a pair of homicide detectives in Louisiana and a trail of murder, mayhem and mystery that spans 17 years. Featuring the music of T Bone Burnett and directed by Cary Fukunaga, the series opens in 1995 as good ol’ boy Martin Hart and his brooding, Texas-born partner, Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey), are called to the scene of a gruesome, ritualistic killing of a young woman, who was posed by a tree, adorned with deer antlers on her head and accompanied by strange symbols. Fast-forward to 2012, Hart and Cohle are grilled by another pair of detectives who are investigating a case that bears striking similarities to the one before. In between is a glimpse of 2002, when Hart and Cohle struggled to deal with their inner demons in separate but equally destructive ways.

Star Trek

“I would recommend ALL of Star Trek. It’s a positive vision of the future that shows enormous effort must be taken but for even larger rewards. (Plus, transporters and replicators!)”

– Barbara, Tech Services Librarian

The original Star Trek series focuses on the 23rd century adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and the U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701), a powerful interstellar spacecraft dispatched by Earth-based Starfleet Command to explore the galaxy. Kirk commands a crew of 430 men and women aboard his starship, which can travel at speeds surpassing the speed of light. Kirk’s five-year mission—and his mandate from Starfleet—is to seek out new life and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no man has gone before.

The Walking Dead

“It’s so much more than just a zombie show. It has action, drama, a little romance and the villains are some you just love to hate.”

– Mackenzie, Teen Services Librarian

Waking up in an empty hospital after weeks in a coma, County Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Grimes finds himself utterly alone. The world as he knows it is gone, ravaged by an epidemic. In the weeks and months that follow the apocalypse, Grimes will lead a group of survivors in a world overrun with zombies.

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