So it’s week five! Don’t act like that means you have no time for TV — we know it means you have specially designated time to procrastinate by throwing yourselves on the shores of a new show, preferably cult, hopefully online and definitely worthy of hours of your attention. The cultural significance and political gravity of “The Wire” is no trivial pursuit! And it might even be research if you’re in Ebo — we mean African American Vernacular English. For those late-night paper jams and early morning flash-card reviews, we present to you the top five TV shows worthy of their cult followings.
Following a study group of odd but endearing characters at a ridiculous community college, “Community” is one of the tube’s best travelers. It’s weird, yes, and its penchant for the self-referential means those who have watched every episode upwards of five times probably get the most enjoyment.
It’s on Netflix, and I know you have access to your friend’s mom’s account, so you should watch “The League” immediately. The show revolves around six mid-30-somethings, some married with kids, in a fantasy football league and the shenanigans they get themselves into to win the Shiva, their self-constructed trophy. Also, the episodes and seasons are short and sweet, so it’s a good short-term obsession. Or a justifiable full-day marathon.
Also on Netflix. No excuses people — this one you’ve known about for a while and keep meaning to watch but don’t. Now’s the time, because new episodes are finally coming out, and you’re going to feel left out when everyone is “cu-ca-cu-ca-cu”ing around you and talking about Gob’s illusions (rather than the bar Illusions). Watch it now or you will have made a huge mistake. And everyone will laugh about the references. And you won’t know why. There’s always money in the banana stand!
People look back and wonder why Howard Hawks wasn’t more famous in his time. The same will be thought of “Party Down.” But not you — you will be saying, “I told you so, you mangy kids!” “Party Down” stars Intermission favorites like Adam Scott from “Parks and Rec,” Lizy Caplan aka Janice Ian from “Mean Girls,” the beard guy from “Knocked Up” and Jane Lynch. They play aspiring actors who work as caterers for odd events usually involving celebrities like Steve Guttenberg or George Takei, and they are glorious.
The others are comedies; this is for real. “The Wire” is five seasons of genius social commentary. If not for your own personal edification and delight, watch this so you’ll have something to talk to the J. Crew salesman about. Yeah, J. Crew salesmen are up on “The Wire” — that’s how far-reaching its grasp on white America is. “The Wire” follows the effects of Baltimore’s drug trade on different realms such as schools, neighborhoods and local government, and it will change your life.