10 Shows I Wish I Could Watch Again for the First Time

GeekMom TV and Movies
Omar Little, arguably one of the best TV characters of all time. Unless I find a time machine, I'll never be surprised by him again. Image: Guardian.co.uk

Wire Inspire, a funny Tumblr of inspiration posters about The Wire, has been making the rounds. Some of the entries are very funny (see: “Next time you finish off the box, you need to holler on it, yo.”) but it leaves me feeling wistful. You see, I recently finished watching the series on DVD. I missed it when it first aired, but then I read this quote from Henry Jenkins: “The Wire may be the best television show inside the box,while Lost may be the best show outside the box.” Being a huge fan of Lost, that put me over the tipping point to make it through the brutal early episodes to really understand the gritty appeal of the show.

I’d say that my husband and I whipped through all five seasons of The Wire on DVD, but we had to take a break between seasons to emotionally recover, so real are the characters. I needed an extra long break after season 4, which continues to haunt me even now. After we watched the final episode, I found myself wishing I could watch the whole series again. For the first time. I want to watch it again not knowing what will come next.

Then I started thinking about all of the other shows I’d love to watch again for the first time.

  • Lost. This one goes without saying, doesn’t it? We need our collective memories wiped of the final season to be able to go back and watch the earlier episodes.
  • Battlestar Galactica. Like Lost, what came later in the series clouds the rewatching of earlier episodes. You don’t want to know who’s a Cylon!
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I remember seeing the musical episode at a friend’s house before I’d ever seen another episode. To see that episode not knowing what’s coming would be worth building a time machine for.
  • Alias. Well, the first couple seasons anyway, before the show went off the Rambaldi rails and before Sydney’s friends found out she was a spy.
  • Heroes. Boy, talk about going off the rails. Wouldn’t you love to see season 1 with fresh eyes again, though?
  • Mad Men. Don Draper seems letchier when you watch the shows more than once, knowing the breadth of his affairs. The silver lining is that we’ll have new episodes of this one (eventually).
  • Strangers With Candy. Sure the bizarro Amy Sedaris comedy holds up to repeated viewings, but some of the gags are funniest when you don’t know they’re coming.
  • Six Feet Under. The Fishers are one of my favorite TV families of all time, but I haven’t brought myself to rewatch the series. I think it will be too emotionally draining to watch their drama unfold a second time.
  • Twin Peaks. Duh. We know who killed Laura Palmer.

I’m about to start watching Breaking Bad, which, if it’s as good as people say, will likely find a spot on this list.

What’s on your list? What shows would you like to have erased from your memory to see them for the first time?

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8 thoughts on “10 Shows I Wish I Could Watch Again for the First Time

  1. Firefly is top on my list. I cherish my first watching of that series and cannot even allow myself to think about the fact that there is only one season. *SOB*

    Then second would be Twin Peaks. Watching that show was just such an avante garde revelation at the time it aired. Admittedly, it now seems hokey and tired, but at the time it was brilliance in my mind.

    1. I have to agree with Firefly – but in a farther-reaching way… If I had a time machine, I’d go back and get everyone to watch the pilot first, and the rest of the episodes in the right order. Then I’d come back to this time, buy the 7-season box set, and watch it all.

      Come on, you know it’d happen.

  2. Six Feet Under and Strangers with Candy are towards the top of my list. Big Love and Archer are also on my own list.

    I’m also about to start Breaking Bad, I’m VERY interested in that show…don’t know when we’re going to fit it in once Big Bang Theory and Amazing Race 19 starts….

  3. Carnivale was a beautiful amazing show, but now that I have seen it to the end, I think some of the magic will be gone. That show is so amazing.

  4. Oh, the Wire, Lost, Battlestar, Buffy, Alias are some of my favorites!

    Really loved Deadwood and still love Sons of Anarchy–one of my favorite parts is that, like in The Wire, you can’t help but like even the bad guys.

    Big Love & Dexter are great, too.

  5. Life on Mars, the amazing original British series, not the dreadful American remake is one of the best TV series I’ve ever seen. John Simm and Philip Glennister were both stunning and the Brits know how to STOP when they are ahead. I’m still working my way through Ashes to Ashes, but it looks to be on the list when I’m done as well.

    Firefly definitely would be added to my list. Deadwood was memorable for the ever changing alliances and, obvious cursing aside, the beautiful language of the show.

    Breaking Bad shocks, surprises and rattles. You can’t watch many of those in a row or your head will explode. I’ve no doubt you’ll be adding BB to your list when you’ve experienced it.

  6. Of all those you mention, the only one I ever got to the end of was Buffy, and that was more recently. I got bored half-way through first time round.

    My shows would be Star Gate, Babylon 5 and possibly Doctor Who, although to be honest middle-age manages to remove most of the plot from your memory anyway 😉

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