I Came Late To….

Last night was Doc Martin night (the British show, not the shoes), which got me thinking about all those TV series I’ve picked up nine-tenths of the way through.

I tend to forget about that strange rectangular box in my living room for large chunks of time, which means that I’m constantly years behind the television curve. I started Gilmore Girls somewhere around the middle of the fourth season and didn’t find Big Bang Theory until after Leonard and Penny were already– okay, never mind, spoilers. I can, however, now sing the Big Bang Theory theme song word for word. Does that count?

Recently, I’ve been introduced to a whole bunch of shows everyone else has been watching for ages. My latest belated television discoveries are:

Castle. I know, I know, everyone’s been talking about this for ages. There are even actual for sale in the bookstore books that have been “written” by the fictional protagonist. (The protagonist is a mystery novelist who assists the NYPD.) Think Murder She Wrote but grittier. And with the guy from Firefly in it. And speaking of Firefly….

Firefly. How did I not know this show existed? It’s a little Star Wars, a little Western, a little Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood without the tights. I’ve been eking my way through, an episode only so often, to make it last.

Sanctuary. If you’d told me I’d be watching a paranormal SyFy (also, what was wrong with SciFi?) channel show about endangered paranormal species, I would have said you were nuts. But someone– who is probably not reading this post– happened to have it TiVo-ed and someone else (me) happened to be procrastinating and the lead character happened to have a British accent, and there you go. It’s very Doctor Who, in that there’s some sort of mystery or crisis to be solved in each episode, but in this instance, the all-knowing Doctor is a woman. I rather like that.

How I Met Your Mother. How much do I love this show? I’m still not really caught up, since I’ve been watching it in a checkerboard pattern of whatever happens to be on whenever. Three words: Neil Patrick Harris. Okay, four words if you count “legendary!” (Even though the last episode made me cry. If you watch it, you know what I’m talking about.)

Boardwalk Empire. It’s like the down and dirty Downton Abbey, a period drama focusing on the rogues and scoundrels of the Atlantic City underbelly. It’s beautifully well done, in that, even though the main character is an unabashed crook, you find yourself heartily rooting for him anyway. (Rather like one of my all time favorite mini-series, House of Cards. Oh, Francis Urquhart. “You might very well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment.”)

Which tv shows have you come late to?


  1. Tracie on December 8, 2011 at 9:38 am

    A lot of my current fave shows are ones I started in on late: The Big Bang Theory (I can also sing the entire theme song; it’s catchy!), Warehouse 13 (I think you’d really like this show, Lauren, since it’s about a male/female duo who collect artifacts that have supernatural powers and a lot of times they tie into literary figures – Edgar Allan Poe’s inkwell, Lewis Carroll’s looking glass, Shakespeare’s folio), True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, Community, and Parks and Recreation. I, also, didn’t check out Firefly or Sanctuary until they were DVD.

  2. Allison (Allure of Books) on December 8, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I just started watching Castle too – finals are coming up and I’m an expert procrastinator so I’ve been marathoning it from the beginning. love it!

    Same with The Closer, another really good show.

  3. Jessica S. on December 8, 2011 at 10:58 am

    I come late to just about every good show. Grey’s Anatomy, Gilmore girls, The Office (US), Mad Men…

    I got introduced to Sanctuary through my husband, the Syfy aficionado. He also introduced me to Warehouse 13, which, yes, you will LOVE.

    I’ve been told I should watch Psych, and I have not gotten into a lot of the shows you mention — I try to limit my TV watching. (FAIL because I have Warehouse 13 on Netflix!)

  4. Brittany K. on December 8, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    My college roomates and I got a late start on watching Gilmore Girls and Grey’s Anatomy and we now reminisce on our late night marathons we would have of those shows to catch up.

    The recent show that I came in late on is The Closer and I’m so sad its the final season and I missed over half of it.

    Love Castle! I’ve watched it since day one.

  5. Ashley on December 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Big Bang Theory! I have been steadily making my way through the reruns on TBS. I don’t know how I missed out on this one.

    I also was late to How I Met Your Mother but have sufficiently caught up now.

  6. Virginia on December 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I came to a lot of my favorite shows late (if not after they have finished).

    Veronica Mars I discovered a year after it ended. Each episode has it’s own little mystery with an huge mystery that takes place over each season. Think Nancy Drew with snark. It’s amazing.

    The other show I came to super late was Charmed. I started watching that during it’s 8th and final season. The good news was my sister started watching it right around the same time so we had 8 seasons worth to watch together. There is very little as much fun as watching a show about sisters with your sister.

    How I Met Your Mother is definitely Legendary. I came to it late as well, but I haven’t missed an episode since I caught up. And I also cried during the latest episode.

    The other two main shows that I truly love that I came to late were Bones and NCIS. Both are solve the murder shows, but each is unique in it’s own way.

    And it looks like I’m going to have to check out Warehouse 13 now.

  7. Kristen A. on December 8, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I came to The Big Bang Theory late, but I realized just before season three started that I was going to want to start watching it and raced through as much of what I’d missed as possible on DVD from the library first. So I more or less saw it in chronological order.

  8. Nancy on December 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    check out Eureka i loved that one and I found West Wing late into the thrid season. But all I can say is Nexflicks my husband and I can go through entire season in a few weeks. Love it.

  9. Christine on December 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I came late to “American Dreams” and really regret it. I remember seeing a few episodes here and there when it was on, but I didn’t see the complete first season until it was out on DVD and the others haven’t been released yet, and perhaps never will.

    I also never saw a single episode of Felicity until a few years after the DVDs came out.

    I owe the gods of On Demand a big one for Mad Men. I didn’t start watching until the 3rd or 4th season but, fortunately, they re-air all the old ones on demand before the new season starts.

    Not a tv show, but I didn’t see Band of Brothers until 10 years after the original airing, right before HBO aired The Pacific. My only reaction was “how have I never seen this before?”

    A note about How I Met Your Mother: I started watching in the first season and I love the show (even though the last few years haven’t been as great as the early seasons) but I’m still really really mad that I accidentally read a spoiler about the Slapbet episode before it aired so I knew what Robin’s secret was.

  10. Jessica Mac on December 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Started watching Mad Men earlier this year and am now hooked!
    My husband and I both got into Breaking Bad last year. Very intense and we love it!
    We started watching NCIS years ago after it had been a while but have managed to catch up over time. Love those USA marathons!

  11. Ammy Belle on December 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    No worries! I do the same thing! I only picked up Doc Martin last year, and then I haven’t started Downtown Abbey, and am WAY behind on Breaking Bad, Hung, and Mad Men. Sigh … there is not enough time in the day …

  12. Katie on December 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    What channel does Boardwalk empire play on? That sounds good! I just started watching Against the Wall on lifetime. Its about a female cop who becomes a detective in Internal Affairs, against the wishes of her three cop brothers and her cop father. She hooks up with the partner of one of her brothers and he gets extremely upset. It is very good! Teranova also started this season and it is pretty addictive. Think Avatar meets Jurassic Park! Very well filmed!

  13. Gina on December 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Every show I watch (or have watched) I’ve come to late, usually through a friend whose family buys the box sets of almost everything.

    That got me into Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed, and those were my life for a little while. I adore Charmed, as soap-ish as it is, and the writing for Buffy made me laugh (though I’ve still never watched the last season).

    Most recently, it’s been Doctor Who and I was so glad to get back to school in August to have people to talk about it with. I started watching over the summer and I had no one. It was rough.

  14. Di on December 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I came late to MI5 or Spooks as it was also called. I came to it when sick and starting going through all the BBC shows on Netflix. I first watched “North & South” and went Richard Armitage crazy…

  15. Céline on December 8, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I came relatively late to Doctor Who (the new series), David Tenant was already into his third year… but I fell in love with the series and haven’t missed one episode since, even though I wait for the DVDs to come out each and every year!

  16. Tracie on December 8, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I love that so many of us historical romance-loving ladies are also into Doctor Who! I think I came in on the show when David Tennant was halfway through his tenure. Got caught up on DVD and started watching Matt Smith (I find him strangely sexy in the role) in real time. Can’t wait for Christmas Who!

  17. Katherine on December 8, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    I kind of skimmed the other comments and didn’t see it, but I didn’t start watching my absolute favorite show until it had already been canceled: Pushing Daisies. It’s pretty much the best show ever. (Except maybe Psych? Jessica S., you should definitely watch it!) But anyway, Pushing Daisies is part quirky crime-solving show, part whimsical fantasy, part romance, and the relationship between the two main characters is the most adorable thing in the world. It used to be on Netflix instant play, but now you have to get it on dvd – but I believe you can watch it online on the WB website too! Love. 🙂

  18. AngelB on December 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Well I rarely get the remote in my house. So, it’s kinda hard to respond since the males in my house watch the same thing all the time. Recent reruns from my tube box in my bedroom, when it decides to work are Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother.

    But the biggest show I got hooked on years after it started was Law & Order. It was already Benjamin Bratt & Jerry Orbach before I started watching. I was addicted for years after and could almost swear I’ve seen every episode up until Jerry Orbach’s departure. He made that show.

  19. Jessica C on December 8, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I also came late to Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother. Now I am totally hooked – living in Australia means I either a) have to wait a few weeks for up-to-date episodes or b) find other *cough*internet*cough* ways to watch them. The last episode of HIMYM made me cry, too.

    Love love LOVE Firefly and Castle. And Nathan Fillion. Especially as Captain Tightpants. And Captain Hammer. If you haven’t seen Dr Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog, do yourself a favour and WATCH IT NOW. Trust me on this.

    Lauren – once you’ve finished Firefly, watch the movie Serenity. Have tissues handy.

  20. Jessica C on December 8, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Just remembered two other shows I came late to – Better Off Ted and The Guild (though not sure if The Guild counts, since it is a web show). Both are seriously off-beat, seriously hilarious shows. I only found out about BOT once it had been cancelled (sad face). The Guild is easy to find – just go to their website (www.watchtheguild.com). Felicia Day is all kinds of awesome.

  21. Carolyn on December 9, 2011 at 12:29 am

    I second Jessica C’s recommendation for Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog. You can’t go wrong with Nathan Fillion and Neil Patrick Harris in a musical!

  22. Gina on December 9, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Oh, Katherine, how could I forget Pushing Daisies? I marathoned that over the summer, it’s so adorable.
    And I started watching Doctor Who when season 6 was taking a break. I caught up on netflix and then when I got back, a bunch of us watched the new ones together every week.

  23. Farin on December 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    @Katie: Boardwalk Empire is on HBO.

    I, too, got hooked on NCIS from a USA marathon a couple of years ago, and I’ve been watching religiously ever since. The season finale cliffhangers get me every time—I’m always worried something bad is going to happen to someone on the team.

  24. Hannah on December 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I’ve watched several series on Netflix since we got the instant streaming series at home about a year ago–Heroes, MI5, and the Legend of the Seeker (which I’m still watching, and about 1/2 done with season 2). I also started True Blood which I got from the public library. And I started Upstairs, Downstairs a couple of weeks ago. It’s not as lavishly produced as Downton Abbey but the story is very good.

  25. aniko on December 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    So many! Most, perhaps. Going as far back as when I was a kid and Golden Girls was on. Then, much later, Gilmore Girls, too.
    Designing Women was another and is still a favorite. Star Trek (the second one) was another.

  26. Debra Callaway on December 9, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Definitely Warehouse 13 is one I got into after it started, it is so much fun even though I didn’t get to see some of the earlier episodes.

  27. Michela on December 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Covert Affairs on the USA Network is a fun show if you like the spy game. CIA agent Annie Walker is not quite as good as the Pink Carnation, but she does a pretty good job of it. I believe the second season finale just aired on December 7.

  28. Amy N. on December 9, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I really enjoyed Law & Order:UK when it was in re-runs. Way back when reality TV was just branching out there was the “Jane Austen”-type era series about ladies and gentlemen in a Manor House. Anyone remember that? Not sure if it was on PBS or History Channel. NCIS, Ghost Hunters and anything Star Trek is what I’ll watch. Oh! and the Mentalist~

  29. Amy N. on December 9, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    ADDENDUM: I can’t believe I forgot THE CLOSER!

  30. Mary M on December 10, 2011 at 3:24 am

    I would like to second Veronica Mars. I found it only 2 years ago and gorged myself on the 3 seasons within about 2 months. I’ve probably rewatched twice since. Am also a new Firefly convert and am also slowly treating myself – just seen ep 4. And, Gilmore Girls – I can’t believe I never watched it when it was airing.
    Castle is my must-see of the week.
    The other series I came late to was ER. Only started watching it properly in season 10 so made sure I went out and bought the George Clooney years…

  31. rednikki on December 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I always knew that fans of your books must be a smart bunch with great taste, but now I’m looking at these comments and seeing all kinds of loved-and-lost shows of mine. Better Off Ted! Legend of the Seeker, a show that packs a whole season of plot in each episode! Firefly!

    I’m going to nth Psych. Tons of pop culture references, characters that are smart and goofy and occasionally obtuse, and mysteries that you can’t solve in the first 15 minutes. Last season was a little wobbly but this season is the best ever.

    Also nthing Warehouse 13; if you like Sanctuary you’ll love W13. If you like Sanctuary and Doctor Who, might I recommend Stargate SG-1, in which Sanctuary’s female lead and MacGyver and their teammates run around saving the universe? It ran for 10 seasons so there is TONS of procrastination material there – and if you add in the sequel series, it’s more like 17 seasons.

  32. Lauren on December 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Debra and Nikki, I also love Warehouse 13! My little sister clued me into that one a couple of years ago, so I’m not quite so behind on it. I love the historical in-jokes– like Charles II’s croquet ball!

  33. Michelle Springer on December 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I need to catch up on everything that I used to watch, but don’t anymore.. being a stage manager with no cable or DVR really cramps your tv watching. Right now, however, I’m watching season 1 of Luther, so that I can watch season 2 when the library gets it.

  34. Shannon Schwerin on December 16, 2011 at 2:35 am

    i’d rather watch him sit silent with closed eyes for as long as he chose than sit and listen to some so-called A lister whine on about nothing. Mr Belafonte has earned his right to rest if he wants “when he wants.”Tera Gold

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