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COLUMN: Five TV shows worth catching up on
Did you miss out on all those water cooler chats when “Lost” was popular? Do “Seinfeld” references go right over your head?
Chances are you have a pop culture deficiency. So how do you keep up on what’s hot?
If you’re a little out of the pop culture loop, it’s not too late to jump into some top notch TV shows that are currently on hiatus but are soon to return. If you don’t know Walter White from Buster Bluth don’t worry. You can get caught up on some great programs and have plenty to talk about at Super Bowl or cocktail parties.
Here are the shows you should be catching up on via Hulu, Netflix, iTunes, your local cable provider’s on-demand offering or even on a network website. Please notice that reality shows, which have the shelf life of a gallon of milk, didn’t make the cut.
• “The Walking Dead” (AMC, returns Feb. 10) – Chances are you were a big fan of this zombie series during its first season but dropped it like a hot gun barrel during a slow, plodding second season. (Catch up on Season One and read a synopsis of Season Two. You’ll thank me later.). Even I almost quit watching “The Walking Dead” and I’m a zombie nut. Thankfully I stuck it out and Season Three has reinvigorated the series with more drama, new characters and constant action. This show, with its brisk six episode first season, is the best way to get your zombie fix.
• “Mad Men” (AMC, returns April 7) – If you wax nostalgic for a time when drinking on the job was the norm and few women could rise in the ranks above secretary, this show is for you. Set in 1960s New York, “Mad Men” tackles the best and worst parts of the decade whether it’s racism, sexism, the civil rights movement or the struggle for gender equity.
• “Arrested Development” (Netflix, returns May 2013) – This comedy, which centers around the misadventures of the dysfunctional Bluth family, originally aired on Fox and was cancelled in 2006, despite being a critical darling. Its fast pace and absurd characters led to the show’s large cult following and after years of haggling, the show will return to Netflix this year with 14 episodes released all on the same day. In the meantime, you can catch up on Seasons One through Three on Netflix right now.
• “Breaking Bad” (AMC, returns summer 2013) – The subject matter of this series (a high school chemistry teacher who makes meth) sounds unpleasant but “Breaking Bad” is a show with intelligence and dark humor. Lead actor Bryan Cranston’s Walter White, a man trying to provide for his family before he dies of a terminal disease, adds humanity to a touchy topic. You’ll breeze through the seven episode first season in no time and after that you’ll be hooked.
• “Sherlock” (PBS, returns Fall 2013) – This modern day reimaging of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved detective stars Benedict Cumberbatch (the villain in the next “Star Trek” film) and Martin Freeman (Bilbo in “The Hobbit”) and is as engaging as it is clever. Full of quick wit and top-notch acting, you don’t need to be a “Sherlock” fanatic to be engaged. Its first two seasons were each only three episodes long.
Other shows that have already returned this year but are certainly worth checkingout: “Elementary (CBS), “Arrow (CW)” “Downton Abbey” (PBS) and “Archer” (FX)