Top Ten TV Series that will make me choose TV over Books

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is a celebration of the return of fall television:  “In honor of Fall TV, do a TV-themed topic! Top ten favorite TV shows of all time, ten new shows coming out this Fall that are on my radar, TV shows I wish never got cancelled, TV shows I would recommend to book characters, books I wish would be TV shows, ten favorite shows from the late 90’s or early 2000’s, ten TV shows for every fantasy lover, etc.”

I actually don’t watch TV nearly as much as I used to. I think I’ve gotten burned out on all of the spinoffs, reboots, etc. that seem to flood the networks these days.  There are, however, several TV series that I do adore, so much so that even if I’m in the middle of reading a great book, if I happen to see that any of these shows are on TV (and OMG, especially if there’s a marathon!), I’ll drop the book I’m reading like a hot potato and will sit and binge watch for hours.

So, without further ado, I bring you…

Top Ten TV Series that will make me choose TV over Books 


1. CSI:  Crime Scene Investigation


I’m a forensics junkie and also a huge fan of Marg Helgenberger, so this series (well, the first 12 seasons anyway) has always been TV gold for me.  I can follow the evidence and binge watch this series for hours on end. And to be clear, I’m talking about the original CSI here, not the spinoffs.  I had little to no interest in those.

IMDB Synopsis: An elite team of police forensic evidence investigation experts work their cases in Las Vegas.  (Read more…)

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2. China Beach


I honestly think this series about the Vietnam War is one of the best written TV series of all time. Plus it’s filled with strong female characters, led by the stellar Dana Delany and Marg Helgenbeger.

IMDB Synopsis:  A drama series set at an American base during the Vietnam War. Rather than focusing on the battle scenes that made up most other portrayals of the war, this show looked at the everyday lives of the people sent to serve their country. The doctors, nurses, soldiers and even USO entertainers stationed at the base must try to come to terms with the horrors and stresses of the war around them. Not all of them succeed..  (Read more…)

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3. Parenthood


Such a wonderful and relatable show about family. It tugged at my heartstrings every week and usually left me in tears because the episodes were so powerful.  I was heartbroken when the series ended.

IMDB Synopsis: A family tree with Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) and Camille Braverman (Bonnie Bedelia) serving as the patriarch and matriarch. After forty-six years of marriage, they’ve managed to keep their foundation intact by burying their problems underneath the surface for the sake of their now-adult children. Adam (Peter Krause) is the first-born and the ripest apple the tree has to offer. He runs a shoe company, has a supportive wife, two children (boy and girl) and a beautiful home to share with them. He’s a dog short of “The American Dream”. Sarah (Lauren Graham), is the unstable daughter returning home at thirty-eight years of age with her rebellious daughter and sensitive son to live with Zeek and Camille. Crosby (Dax Shepard), is a happy-go-lucky bachelor living in the now, on a docked boat. He has no idea that his frivolous life is about to change tremendously. Then there is Julia (Erika Christensen). She is the bread-winning shot-calling lawyer, whose husband mans the stay-at-home-dad duties….  (Read more…)

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4. Gilmore Girls


OMG, I can’t even express how much I love this show.  As can be seen by my choice of Parenthood above, I’m obviously a big Lauren Graham fan, but it’s Rory who steals my heart in this series.  Rory, the uber bookworm, is probably the TV character that I best relate to out of all of the shows I’ve ever watched. I love all of the secondary characters like Luke, Sookie, Jackson, and Lane.  And Stars Hollow is just the cutest little town ever.  Just thinking about this show make me smile.

IMDB Synopsis:  A drama centering around the relationship between a thirtysomething single mother and her teen daughter living in Stars Hollow, Connecticut.   (Read more…)

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5. Lost


I was so completely obsessed with this show when it was on the air. Every episode was just such a mind blowing experience and I loved sitting there like “OMG, WTF just happened?!”  Plus, I am a huge Josh Holloway fan so the fact that his character was a roguish bookworm definitely helped feed my addiction.

IMDB Synopsis: Life is laid bare as a group of plane crash survivors find themselves stranded on a remote Pacific island. The trauma of the crash soon becomes overshadowed by the island itself, where unseen creatures stalk the jungle, paranormal happenings abound and astonishing coincidences reveal themselves. In this unique environment emotions swell as the survivors battle their inner and outer demons, and strive to live together – so that they won’t die alone.  (Read more…)

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6. Friends


Do I even need to say anything here?  Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love this show?  Just as I am a sucker for a great book about friendships, I am equally a sucker for a great TV show about friendships.

IMDB Synopsis: Rachel Green, Ross Geller, Monica Geller, Joey Tribbiani, Chandler Bing and Phoebe Buffay are all friends, living off of one another in the heart of New York City. Over the course of ten years, this average group of buddies goes through massive mayhem, family trouble, past and future romances, fights, laughs, tears and surprises as they learn what it really means to be a friend.  (Read more…)

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7. Golden Girls


Truly one of the best comedy shows ever written.  I’d liken it to Sex and the City but with senior citizens.  Just one of those shows that will make you laugh until you have tears rolling down your face.

IMDB Synopsis:  The Golden Girls is based on the lives and interactions of four older women whom have all been divorced/widowed, and are now roommates. Dorothy’s main goal during the series is to find a companion she can relate to while her mother Sophia adds her comical outlook and frequents “Picture This” stories. Rose’s St. Olaf-ness makes her a little corny but lovable. One thing that changes nearly every episode is whom Blanche is courting.  (Read more…)

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8. Once Upon a Time


My love for this one has waned a bit in recent season as some of my favorite characters have either taken a backseat to an endless progression of guest stars or else have been abruptly killed off, but the early season of Once Upon a Time are still definitely some of my favorite TV moments to watch.

IMDB Synopsis:  For Emma Swan, life has been anything but a happy ending. But when she’s reunited with Henry – the son she gave up for adoption ten years ago – on the night of her 28th birthday, everything changes. The now 10-year-old Henry is in desperate need of Emma’s help because he believes from reading a book of fairytales that she’s the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming – who sent her away from the Enchanted Forest to be protected from a curse that was enacted by the Evil Queen. Emma initially refuses to believe a word of Henry’s story but soon finds that his hometown of Storybrooke, Maine is more than it seems. Because it’s in Storybrooke that all of the classic characters we know are frozen in time with no memories of their former selves – except for the Evil Queen, who is Storybrooke’s mayor and Henry’s adoptive mother Regina Mills. Now, as the epic “Final Battle” for the future of both worlds approaches, Emma will have to accept her destiny and uncover the mystery behind a place … (Read more…)

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9. Game of Thrones


Seriously one of the most epic shows ever to have been put on TV and deserving of all of the numerous awards it has won over the years.  I’m always half afraid to like any of the characters since they get whacked so often, but I still do have some favorites since the show is full of kick ass women like Aria and Sansa Stark, Cersei Lannister, and Brienne of Tarth.

IMDB Synopsis: In the mythical continent of Westeros, several powerful families fight for control of the Seven Kingdoms. As conflict erupts in the kingdoms of men, an ancient enemy rises once again to threaten them all. Meanwhile, the last heirs of a recently usurped dynasty plot to take back their homeland from across the Narrow Sea. (Read more…)

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10. Orange is the New Black


God bless Netflix and this show!  OITNB offers a raw and often hilarious, although sometimes heart-breakingly serious, look at life in a women’s prison. I truly can’t get enough of the show and am currently on pins and needles waiting for the new season after the huge cliffhanger we were left with at the end of the last season.  Write fast, film fast, Netflix!

IMDB Synopsis:  The story of Piper Chapman, a woman in her thirties who is sentenced to fifteen months in prison after being convicted of a decade-old crime of transporting money to her drug-dealing girlfriend.  (Read more…)

I’m throwing in 2 extra shows because these are two shows I’ve just started watching but instantly became infatuated with.  Consider them honorable mentions on my top 10 list 🙂

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11. Pretty Little Liars


This show is such a guilty pleasure of mine. I spend half the time I’m watching it complaining about how lame and over the top it is, and yet I faithfully tune in for every episode and was so sad to hear that Season 7 will be its last.  Go figure, haha.

IMDB Synopsis:  Set in the fictional town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania, the series follows the lives of four girls, Aria Montgomery, Hanna Marin, Emily Fields, and Spencer Hastings, whose clique falls apart after the disappearance of their leader, Alison DiLaurentis. One year later, the estranged friends are reunited as they begin receiving messages from a mysterious figure named “A”, who threatens to expose their deepest secrets, including ones they thought only Alison knew. At first, they think it’s Alison herself, but after her body is found, the girls realize that someone else is planning on ruining their perfect lives.  (Read more…)

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12. The 100


This show is a fairly new obsession of mine. I’ve never read the books but have heard that this is one of those rare cases where the TV show might actually be better than the books. I’ll read them some day and make my own determination on that, but I do love this show. Another one filled with kickass female characters.

IMDB Synopsis:  The series is set 97 years after a devastating nuclear war wiped out almost all life on Earth. The only known survivors are the residents of twelve space stations in Earth’s orbit prior to the war. The space stations banded together to form a single massive station named “The Ark”, where about 2,400 people live. Resources are scarce and all crimes no matter their nature or severity are punishable by death (“floating”) unless the perpetrator is under 18 years of age. After the Ark’s life support systems are found to be critically failing, one hundred juvenile prisoners are declared “expendable” and sent to the surface in a last ditch attempt to determine if Earth is habitable again. The teens arrive on a beautiful planet they’ve only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. However they discover that not all humanity was wiped out. There are people on Earth who survived the war, called “grounders” by the 100.  (Read more…)

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Question:  Are any of these shows favorites of yours?  What shows will actually make you put your books down and binge watch TV?  What was your TTT topic this week?  I’d love to hear from you 🙂

34 replies
  1. Cait @ Paper Fury
    Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    I’ve read the 100 book and OMG IT WAS REALLY BAD. 😂 Which made me not want to try the show, but I’ve been assured it’s absolutely amazing….so onto the to-watch list it goes!! Hehhe. And I’d love to try Friends someday because everyone talks about it and I have never seen it. #shame 🙈🙊

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      100, the show version, is insanely addictive. I binge watched the first 2 seasons in a weekend and have been hooked ever since. Oh wow, you should definitely watch Friends. It’s one of those shows that always makes me smile when I watch it or even think about it.

  2. Ellis
    Ellis says:

    Great choices on this list! I especially liked The Golden Girls and Orange is the New Black. And I don’t think there’s anyone who didn’t love The Gilmore Girls.

    The 100 is on my list of shows to watch eventually, I’ve seen a lot of really good reviews of it.

    Here’s my TTT this week.

  3. Greg
    Greg says:

    The 100 is awesome, love that show (although season 3 was a little less special for me than season 2), but yes the characters are so good. And Game of thrones I’ve come to enjoy although I didn’t love the first few seasons (as a book reader I’ve been skeptical of some of their story choices), but by and large it is an amazing show.

    I’ve watched a little of Pretty Little Liars and the first few episodes of Orange is the New Black but that’s about it.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Yeah, I definitely preferred seasons 1 and 2 of The 100 but am hoping for good things with the upcoming season. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. Christy @ TheReaderBee
    Christy @ TheReaderBee says:

    The Golden Girls!! This is seriously my most favorite show ever. My grandmother got me watching it when I was younger, and I’ve been watching every since. I love that it’s still on the air! 🙂 Great list!

  5. Angela
    Angela says:

    Oh, CSI is one of my favorites of all time! Even when it started to go downhill in the later seasons, I still had to watch every week. I did watch some of the spin-offs – New York was great, but Miami and Cyber were just too ridiculous and I eventually had to stop watching them!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      The original CSI was amazing. I did like CSI:NY mainly once Sela Ward joined the cast because I always liked her. Never watched Cyber and I think I gave up on Miami a couple of episodes into Season 2.

  6. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    Hate Friends with a passion! And yes The 100 tv series is much better than the books. Love Gilmore Girls – someone needs to write their lives so I can forever read it.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Wow, I think you’re the only person I’ve ever come across that hates Friends, lol. Gilmore Girls is awesome though. Can’t wait for the Netflix revival 🙂

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      The 100 is so epic! When I first discovered it, I binge-watched the first 2 seasons in about a day and a half! And wow, yes we do have tons in common TV-wise 🙂

  7. Tina
    Tina says:

    I absolutely love Friends and Golden Girls. I’m one of the few people on the planet that hasn’t seen Gilmore Girls. I plan on watching The 100, Once Upon A Time, and Orange is the New Black soon because I’ve heard really good things about them.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Oh yes, those are all great shows that will hook you immediately. I binge-watched multiple seasons of each when I first decided to give them a try.

  8. Tracy @ Cornerfolds
    Tracy @ Cornerfolds says:

    YES for The Golden Girls!! I have seen every episode of that show multiple times! 😛 I almost added Orange is the New Black to my list but I went based on whether I’d rewatch and I don’t think I will with that one. Great list!

    Here are my Top Ten

  9. Jane @ Raincity Librarian
    Jane @ Raincity Librarian says:

    Oh, I’d forgotten how much I used the love Golden Girls, what a fun show that was, and how awesome it was for a show to star older women in a world that’s so obsessed with youth and beauty. Older ladies still got it! 🙂

  10. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books says:

    Parenthood!! I love that show but UGHHHH it hurts my heart. I can’t binge watch it because I can’t take the pain 🙂 Also, LOVE Golden Girls!! I’m totally a Blanche. And Friends, Gilmore Girls, and OITNB are all faves too!!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I’m a little behind on Game of Thrones right now, mainly because I haven’t finished reading the series yet and hate to get too far ahead of the books. Gilmore Girls is wonderful, especially since Rory Gilmore is such a bookworm 🙂

  11. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    Ah, Friends <3 <3 forever and always my numero uno. Yours is one of many lists I have seen Pretty Little Liars on and it has been in my Netflix queue forever. I binged on the whole book series a couple months ago when I was behind on my GR challenge to help me catch up and it just dragged on forever. It was obvious at several times in the series it was supposed to end. I am curious to see how different the show is from the books!

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