Favorite TV Shows, With Book Recommendations

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is “other types of stories” or, specifically, favorite movies or TV shows. I’m putting a bookish twist on it by recommending titles for fellow fans of some of my favorite shows (past and present, in no particular order).

1. I’m a huge Doctor Who fan (David Tennant, drooooool). My spouse and I tried to watch the classic episodes in order, starting with William Hartnell, but didn’t get very far. So I found Adventures with the Wife in SpaceNeil Perryman’s chronicle of doing the same with his wife, who was not a fan of the show to begin with, pretty entertaining!

2. Something I appreciate about watching Orange is the New Black is connecting with each character through her background story. Wally Lamb (yes, the Wally Lamb) is the editor of Couldn’t Keep It to Myself, a collection of personal stories written by inmates at York Correctional Institution in Connecticut, where Lamb has facilitated a writing program for the past fifteen years.

3. Oh, Red Dwarf. No matter how silly and campy, I adored this sci-fi series, and was sad when I finished watching it. I couldn’t help but be reminded of this show when I read Starship Grifters by Robert Kroese, a wild adventure with humorous references to sci-fi pop culture.

4. I grew up with Star Trek: The Next Generation. I mean, it ended the same year I graduated high school. I never understood why people hated Wesley Crusher so much, because I loved seeing someone not much older than I was (and maybe just as dorky) on the show. Wil Wheaton’s memoir Just a Geek: Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise is a fantastic read for fans of the show (but not you Wesley Crusher haters!  No recommendation for you!).

5. I’m not sure why I’m so compelled to devour (hehe) every episode of The Walking Dead as it is released, but, I do. It’s definitely a favorite, but wow, it gets intenseThe Art of Zombie Warfare: How to Kick Ass Like the Walking Dead by Scott Kenemore offers some decompression through comic relief.

6. Dr. Gregory House, sarcastic, funny, complicated, talented… he plays the piano. Incredibly well. And you know, Hugh Laurie is actually playing the piano when House plays on the show. Laurie’s talents reach from acting to music to books. His novel The Gun Seller is a comic thriller reminiscent of his days on Jeeves & Wooster. One Amazon reviewer says about The Gun Seller: “think Wodehouse writing James Bond.”

7. I am woefully behind in watching Downton Abbey, so I have some binge-watching in my future. Even though I’m not normally into period dramas, this one fascinates me. If you want to know what life was really like for the help, check out Margaret Powell’s memoir Below Stairs, which was one of the inspirations for Downton Abbey.

8. I didn’t jump on the Desperate Housewives train until later in its run. At the time, I was married without children, and certainly wouldn’t have labeled myself a “housewife.” When I finally started watching the show, I was hooked in the same way as when I read Julia Fierro’s Cutting Teeth. Both show how diverse families can be, and there is plenty of soap opera-worthy drama!

9. When Stargate came to mind as I was thinking about my favorite TV shows, I immediately thought of Mary Doria Russell’s novel The Sparrow. Both address issues of first contact, society, and faith… and both without a “Prime Directive” as a guiding principle, as there was in Star Trek.

10. I love all the characters on How I Met Your Mother, but Barney Stinson is by far my favorite. He’s exuberant, quick on the draw, and he demands attention. Although it isn’t due out until October, I think Barney would be proud of the “choose your own adventure” format of his actor’s upcoming memoir, Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography. Such a unique approach, and it already has people talking! (read an excerpt)

Are you a fellow fan of any of these TV shows? Do you have a book recommendation that relates to your favorite show?