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5 of my favorite TV shows & movies

Ramit Sethi

I don’t know about you guys, but when I get recommendations from people for TV shows to watch, I usually go “Yeah, yeah”…and then never do it. What!? I’m busy.

But after 5 or 10 people tell me to do it, I start to think that maybe I should actually watch them.

EVERY TIME I finally watch one of those recommendations, I realize my friends were right and I was just being dumb.

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Ramit’s Lesson #4592: When everyone says something, it’s usually true.

So in the spirit of sharing the best things I’ve watched recently, I thought I’d share some of my favorites.

1. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Like 15 people told me to watch it and I always yawned, thinking it was something I had to sit down and give 100% to. Then one day while I was brushing my teeth, I put it on and within 10 minutes, I was hooked.

This is the documentary of one of the world’s premier sushi chefs. It’s about his obsession with making sushi. For example, it takes years before you’re allowed to even make the rice. The obsession borders on the unhealthy, but sometimes, that’s what it takes to be the best in the world. I loved it.

Here’s a sample from the film:

2. The Profit

This CNBC show takes an experienced entrepreneur who walks into problem businesses — a seafood restaurant, a salon, a clothing business — and he tries to fix things for them. This is entertaining if you don’t run a business but also very enlightening if you run your own.

Notice:

  • The guy is a hard-charging business guy, but look at how likable he is. Specifically, watch how he introduces himself to people at the beginning of the episode. What do you notice?
  • Invariably, there’s some conflict in the middle of the episode. Does he equivocate? Does he offer 5 different options and deliberate over all of them? Hell no. He lays out his expectations clearly, following the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.
  • Most business conflict is not simply about numbers. It’s about personalities.

Here’s a look at the show:

3. The Tim Ferriss Experiment

Very cool show where my friend Tim tries to learn a new skill — like a language, a professional sport, or rock ‘n’ roll drumming — in less than a week. The best episode? The one about him doing online dating

Notice:

  • Most impressive part: Someone who’s already great at something putting themselves in the position of a new student. Incredibly terrifying. This is why a lot of adults don’t want to try something new — you feel stupid doing it! Do it anyway.
  • The backstory of how he acquired the rights to the show is great. Suffice it to say, most of my friends who have been on TV…hate TV. I’ll try to share that another time.

Here’s a sneak peak of all 13 episodes:

Btw, Tim interviewed me for his podcast a couple months ago — check it out here.

4. Millionaire Matchmaker

Besides being an amateur matchmaker myself (including hooking up IWT readers with each other…I love it), watching dates is one of the best ways to study human psychology. It is politically incorrect, fascinating, and brutally honest all at the same time.

Yeah, yeah, this show has gotten more fake, I know. But I still love it.

Notice:

  • My favorite episode: Watch Episode 12 with Sheree and spot all the problems
  • Also, note the difference between the men/women who get selected and the ones who don’t. If you’re a woman, put yourself in a guy’s shoes. (Why did he choose her?) If you’re a guy, do the same. This is really hard. One of the biggest insights of dating is how few people look at it from the other person’s perspective. More on this another time.

Here’s a tease:

5. Million Dollar Listing

This isn’t just another show about extravagant homes. Look beneath the surface and you’ll notice all sorts of fascinating insights:

  • Something is worth what someone will pay for it
  • People are highly irrational about their houses, thinking if they paid $500K for their renovations, they should at least get paid $500K. Wrong. Dead wrong. The market doesn’t care about your renovations. In fact, the market hates your taste. Prepare to lose money.
  • Real estate is math and comps, not your feelz. But it’s also a theatrical sales show like nothing else. Know the tricks before you walk in the arena.
  • One last thing: Watch Frederic in the last 2 episodes. He’s kooky but look at the amount of work he puts into selling. Take special note of how he can speak multiple languages (at least, to say “Buy this property!”) and what that suggests about his work ethic.

Meet the brokers on the show:

Let me know your favorite shows! Post them in the comments below so everyone else can see.

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51 Comments

 
  1. YOHAMI

    Amazing recommendations, thanks.

    When will you launch your own show?

  2. Paul

    That’s hilarious! The only shows I make time to watch (streaming… for free online) are Million Dollar Listing (LA is the better one, imo) and Millionaire Matchmaker (which HAS gone downhill, like you said).

    Actually, I lied. If you are a 90s teen like me you should check out Fresh Off The Boat. It’s pretty good! Cypress Hill sings the show’s opening tune and it’s hilarious every time. Go watch some episodes. Do it. Do it.

  3. Thomas

    “Beyond The Tank” on ABC is another great show. Its a spin off from Shark Tank and follows what happens after a deal is made. The show just started. Great list Ramit, I have never seen #4 or #5 but I’ll try to check them out.

  4. Adam

    Currently digging:

    Suits
    House of Cards
    Game of Thrones
    House of Lies
    Shark Tank

    …all are masteries of negotiation, psychology, playing the game, and the lures and tragedies of power

    • George G.

      I DEFINITELY second “Game of Thrones.” It’s bar none the single best TV show I’ve ever watched. Ever.

      I love every element of it, from its politics to its fantastical elements to the fact that my favorite casting choice (Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister) isn’t the same as my favorite character (Danaerys Targaryen, played by Emelia Clarke).

  5. Darren Scott Monroe

    1, I LOVE the Profit

    2. Ram I am amazed you didnt mention “Selling NY” trendy selling of high end condos in NY and REAL because they are not adding fake drama or instant home selling shows. They show you the ogood bad and the ugly http://www.hgtv.com/shows/selling-new-york

    3. You should do a netflix list as well (to think about it I think I will also)

  6. Guillermo

    What? No Bar Rescue?

    The show (at least the early seasons) talks about money, business and how an owner will use any excuse to shift the blame from him if the business is failing. The most interesting part of the show for me is when they do research and crunch numbers, not the drama of the host of the show screaming at stupid owners (although I also enjoy that part).

    It would be awesome to see Ramit teaming up with Jon Taffer to teach entrepreneurs how to stop blabbering excuses and embrace solutions.

    • Elizabeth

      Excellent suggestion! Ramit and Jon – what a team they would make!

  7. Amy Scott

    “Married at first sight” is a fascinating show on psychology. Experts paired three couples and they got married without meeting. The show follows them for six weeks.

    Takeaways:

    1. They paired a guy who has no business being married to anyone. It is not about finding your perfect match. Some people won’t match with anyone because they suck. He’s going to walk away from the show thinking he just needs to find someone better instead of being better himself.

    2. The couple that will actually last– The lady was not attracted to the man at first. But she was open to the experiment and they found love. Sometimes having a good life is about being open. It’s a good thing she did not go with her gut reaction.

    3. Expert suck. Three out of the six people had no business being married to anyone let alone each other. Marriage requires maturity and self-awareness. I don’t have a PhD in psychology but I know that two people with a very traumatic childhood have no business being married to each other. That’s two drowning people pushing the other ones head underwater as they both gasp for air.

    • Annie

      ‘Married At First Sight’ is an AMAZING show! So enlightening yet entertaining.

  8. Arieka

    My favorite five shows: White Color, Lie To Me, House of Cards,Peaky Blinders and Diner’s, Drive-ins &Dives

  9. Jessi

    Shark Tank! Love that show!

    I recently watched Jiro dreams of sushi and was amazed at the attention to detail. The drive to be the best! Very inspiring!

  10. Chad

    Flashpoint

  11. Beth

    Tabitha Takes Over is similar to The Profit, but focused on salons. It’s crazy to hear people talk about why they own or are still in business and how often it has nothing to do with “because I want to be”. Very interesting psychological study.

  12. Andrew Williams

    I can’t speak for the American version, but I’ve always found the British “Apprentice” (chaired by Lord Sugar) compelling viewing. Sure, it’s edited to the point that “reality” is a suspect term, but:
    1. It’s hilarious. The disasters, the in-fighting, the crazy challenges… I take great pleasure in knowing I’m not on the show.
    2. It’s a top notch guide on how NOT to run a business. And yet…
    3. It’s inspirational. All you need to do to start a business is pick a market and a product and get out there (okay, there’s a little more to it than that, but it laughs in the face of you “not being a business person” or “not having an accountancy degree” or any of a hundred excuses).

    Looking forward to the next series immensely!

  13. Casey

    It ended in 2013, but I LOVED “What Not to Wear”. The hosts used humorous tough love not online your Surrogate Asian Father shtick, and some of the makeovers were truly amazing.

  14. Fran Pelzman Liscio

    American Crime is riveting. Each character has a powerful and disturbing backstory. They all collide in a crime which impacts each of them. Some of the best writing, directing and acting I’ve ever seen on network, or any, TV. Also in love with Mad Men. I was amused to find that it has the wealthiest viewership of any show. And finally–the PBS series Wolf Hall, based on Hiilary Mantel’s novel. That said, I find Millionaire Matchmaker irresistible. As for The Profit, I love that show. Marcos Limonis is so much better than most of the business people he tries to turn around. If they’d just listen to him…..but noooooooooo. They argue with him, give him

  15. Chris Reed

    Jiro is an excellent film, but as someone who directs scripted films and ads for a living I just can’t get behind any of the reality TV stuff. I get why people like it, but its just not my thing. And I’ve worked enough behind the scenes on RTV to be happy to stick to my union scripted production life.

    My favorite films:

    The Big Lebowski:
    I love dark comedies and I love The Cohen Bros. This films group of thoroughly interesting characters all trying to get over on each other while having no idea what they are doing allows them to be hapless enough that you love them, but ruthless enough that they could win. Besides its hilarious and I’m getting a tattoo of the marmot with ‘Where is the money’.

    Requiem for a Dream:
    This is just a great story, and I love the world Aronofsky built, but nothing beats his pacing for this film. And his introduction of Hip-Hop cutting and great use of the Snori Cam have influenced films of all level.

    Star Wars:
    Luca’s immersive world is everything Scifi should be. My firs film was a stop action Lego remake of The Battle of Hoth, it went straight to VHS. I was 6.

    Peaky Blinders:
    I love this take on the period piece I’m all about really beautiful people in amazing clothes in a dark and gritty world. The Art Direction (All the furniture, clothes, walls, and sets for you people who don’t work in film) is spot on; accurate enough but very relevant to the modern viewer. Also is there anything better then a gritty English working class gang?

    Snatch:
    See above about English gangsters and dark and gritty world. Also the way this film is so aware of its action-crime genre and laughs at its own tropes is so well done. Tarantino nails this in Django as well.

    Turing Game:
    This film was the last time I cried. It is so incredibly well acted and directed.

    Glengarry Glen Ross:
    Ramit, I know you are with me on this; Baldwin’s speech is one of the greatest moments in film. I love the message, and the delivery. I literally watch it every week to get my life on track. And I keep a textedit open that says ‘You know what it takes to make movies; it takes brass balls’.

    I could do this all day, but I’m going to stop for now.

  16. Robin Henderson

    Jiro is an instant classic. If you are a music fan, especially of Motown and rock legends, “20 Feet From Stardom” is another great documentary. This documentary is an interesting perspective of what separates “stars” from the very talented people who often go unnoticed and help make legendary careers possible. Season 1 of HBO’s “True Detective” successfully breathed new life into the typical procedural drama. The show managed to break all the rules while turning the genre completely on its head. Season 2 premieres at the end of June. Finally, “Searching for Sugarman”. This oscar winning documentary shows how an artist can be a forgotten talent in one country and an inspiration for an uprising in another.

  17. Greg

    I’m surprised no one here has mentioned The Mentalist. What a great show following a master of persuasion and psychology! So what if he’s fictional? Ok, so I like:
    The Mentalist
    Better Call Saul
    The Big Bang Theory
    Falling Skies

    That’s actually it. I sometimes feel guilty when I watch too much TV. I also like Community though.

  18. Ananta

    Here are my top five favorite shows in alphabetical order:

    Breaking Bad: Who hasn’t heard of it? A show about a defeated, downtrodden genius working as a schoolteacher. His lung cancer diagnosis gives him the impetus to take his life, and the lives of those around him, in reckless pursuit of the fame/infamy that he felt he always deserved and never received.

    Fringe: A sci-fi show featuring multiple universes and alternate timelines, made by the creator of LOST. An FBI division is set up to investigate incidents and disturbances caused by ‘fringe science’. The first season and a half is depicted as a supernatural-case-of-the-week while setting up the overarching theme of the series: How far a father would go to save his son. While less popular it did everything LOST couldn’t, which was to present a cohesive story that tied up pretty much all of its loose ends by the time the show ended.

    Game of Thrones: The American answer to “Lord of the Rings.” Set in a similar medieval environment, it deals with realistic storylines as opposed to the “good vs evil” presentation of Tolkien. The main two storylines deal with the political fallout and in-fighting of a continent-wide civil war, and the journey of the exiled daughter of the deposed royal family to regain her family’s throne.

    QI: A British comedy trivia show that asks obscure questions, for which the correct answer is unlikely to be given. Points are awarded for correct answers or answers that are “quite interesting.”

    The Wire: Arguably the best drama series ever. It analyzes Baltimore as a proxy for “The American City,” and covers the rampant institutional failures plaguing America today. Behind the main plot of police fighting a drug ring, each season descends into a different societal failure, from street crime to the docks to police to politics to newspapers. David Simon and Ed Burns brought multiple decades worth of experience to the show as a Baltimore reporter and policeman-turned-teacher, respectively. Most of the characters, the incidents, and even the lingo that is used by cops and crooks alike is heavily influenced by reality.

  19. Josh

    “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”: episode after episode of clinical psychological insight, stories of amazing hustle and life lessons & strategies. All coming from people who have made it in a field which is about as much of an acid test as I can think of.

    “Survivor”: I love watching people’s invisible scripts and behavioural conditioning come to the fore. While I’m aware they’re packing a week into every 40 minutes, the stuff you’ll learn while watching people put in a pressure cooker as they try to overcome their own selves is just amazing. Some of the cognitive dissonance that goes on is simply stunning in it’s scope.

  20. Scott

    I’ve always enjoyed “Restaurant Impossible” on Food Network, It always amazes me how poorly some of the restaurant owners run their business.

  21. Chris Horner

    I love powerful characters and studying what gives them their ‘presence’. In no particular order:

    Breaking Bad for reasons already mentioned

    Alec Baldwin’s speech in Glengarry Glenn Ross – good to see I’m not the only one who uses it to get inspired. In an odd sort of way it works.

    The Blacklist – mostly to watch James Spader’s character

    Gotham – Jada Pinkett Smith’s character is amazing

    Shark Tank – goes without saying

    Kitchen Nightmares – how some of these people survived as long as they did mystifies me. A good reminder though not to be blinded by your own beliefs when data and the market clearly state you are wrong. (Question assumptions – I’ve heard that somewhere)

    Will check out The Profit after reading the other responses here.

  22. Sam

    Hunter x Hunter. The main character, Gon, seems naïve at first, but he shows some great willpower and mindset as he continues on. It’s an unwavering mindset that you see and you love him for, then you hate yourself for not being like that at all. I’m addicted.

    Property Brothers- I love HGTV in general (when did it become a thing to hate on HGTV?). It’s one of many reasons why I went into construction, and what they do with houses (even though they routinely go over-budget, like most things in construction) is lovely. Both Drew and Jonathan are very personable too.

    The Prestige- in general, movies that make me think are my favorite. Funny enough, watching this a second time reminded me to put a more healthy view on competition because this really isn’t. Overall, the magic performances they have are really cool too.

    The Room- As the director Tommy Wiseau said, you have to watch this twice. It’s crazy how much the cult following is behind this, and everything about this movie is so bad it makes you wonder if he intended to make it this bad or not. He also had a MUCH bigger budget for the movie than you would think. Need proof that you don’t have to be the best to be known? This is it.

  23. Kevin

    The Profit is AMAZING. Love that show!

  24. Jenny

    I don’t watch regular network TV (I’m a cord-cutter and I can’t get broadcast TV in my area without also subscribing to cable), but I do watch TV series when they go to DVD/Netflix (and I watch my parents’ TV with them when I visit for Xmas :-))

    Some of my current favorite shows:

    Person of Interest: Come for the plot, stay for the bespoke menswear. Mr Finch’s wardrobe is the envy of my inner cross-dresser. And I absolutely love the hard-line approach to justice over the life of the series because I often envision myself doing similar things if I was a deranged billionaire living behind the grid.

    The Almighty Johnsons: This is my guilty pleasure. It’s an older show out of New Zealand about a family of sorts that are all earthbound incarnations of Norse gods. Almost every episode, folks are either drinking or having sex (usually to excess) or trying to kill each other, with often highly amusing results. Extra bonus points if you can detect what separates a New Zealand accent from an Australian one.

    Sherlock (BBC): Benedict Cumberbatch. Martin Freeman. That should be enough right there, but if you need more reasons: Freaking awesome writing & production. Every season is only 3 episodes long, but each episode is a full length movie in its own right.

  25. Raji Rykert

    I highly recommend Married At First Sight. It’s riveting and fascinating, based on the premise that arranged marriages outlast traditional marriages by nearly 2 to 1.

    A psychologist, sociologist, sexologist and spiritual advisor vet through thousands of applicants and narrow it down to 3 couples who are a “perfect match”.

    The couples meet for the first time on their wedding day, at the alter. They are required to stay married for 6 weeks and during that time they go on their honeymoon, move in together, etc. At the end of the 6 weeks, they have to decide if they will stay married or get a divorce.

    Currently, the show is in its second season and I eagerly anticipate what will happen next. It’s a great case study for the dynamics of human interaction, unconditional love and diplomatic negotiations where everyone achieves a level of satisfaction.

  26. Ted

    I live in the UK, me and my wife watched all Million Dollar Listing over a couple of weeks. We love seeing New York and just amazed at how “the other half live”! As a born skinflint, it is a fascinating watch to see how the world works in the greatest city in the world.

    Louis is also great on the show, a man who trys things, is prepared to have a mentor and is pleasant to all he meets.

  27. Ted

    As for recommendations. If you are fascinated with dating, watch the first two. I love:

    1) Hello Ladies
    2) GIRLS
    3) Silicon Valley
    4) Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul
    5) The Office USA/UK

  28. Sonia

    Favourite shows:
    Dead Like Me – In addition to being hysterically funny, there are lots of life lessons, and lots about human (or undead) behavior, and about living on the sidelines. In IWT terms, it’s about how someone who was a major underperformer (fuck up) when she was alive slowly became a top performer (despite herself) as an undead.

    Life to Me – Human behaviour at its best. It’s based on science. I actually have a bunch of Dr. Eckman’s book (the scientist Cal Lightman is based on). I’m actually fascinated with body language, facial expressions and deception, as an empath, I’m good at it. Still, I love to learn about the science.

  29. Laura

    I have often thought of you when I watch Millionaire Matchmaker. You and Patti both offer tough love based on psychology – which a lot of people don’t want to hear but… *ta da!* it ends up working for them when they take the advice.

  30. Cam

    Here are my favs:

    1.The UK Apprentice- It seems a lot more staged than the earlier episodes, but it’s highly entertaining. I watch it just to hear Lord Alan Sugars feedback in the board room.

    2. Dragons den. It’s similar to Shark Tank, and it’s good to watch just to hear the advice the dragons give to every person who pitched to them. Lots of rubbish inventions and a few gems.

    3. The hotel inspector (another UK show), basically an experienced hotelier goes to failing hotels around the UK and tries to help them improve their business. Most of the owners are stubborn and stuck in their ways, but she usually gets through to them in the end. I remember one episode where the owner wasn’t making a profit and refused to make any changes. He wanted things to stay the same even though it wasn’t working.

    4. Ramseys kitchen nightmares- Chef Gordan Ramsey travels to failing restaurants and tries to help them. Similar concept to the hotel inspector, but more entertaining.

    5. Three in a bed- a UK show about three guesthouse owners who compete with each other to find out who has the best guesthouse. The owners stay with each other and then leave feedback. They criticise each other for the smallest thing,like dust on top of the door- who even looks up there anyway?

    6. Four rooms- People sell their rare collectable items to art dealers. Each dealer has their own room. The seller chooses a room and negotiates with the dealer. If they refuse the dealers offer then they can go to another room. If they accept then all the dealers come out and the seller reveals who it was sold to. Whenever the dealer works out that they were the last room to be visited then they know they have the upper hand and the negotiations get a bit ridiculous. There’s a lot of psychological trickery, and it’s worth watching.

  31. Valeska

    Guess I’ll be the only one here who won’t mention shows where you can pay attention to “improve your business” or anything like that. Pure entertainment, as I like to have my moments of not stress and not over thinking about career and relayed stuff. Being a lawyer, though, I like law-themed series, once can’t escape totally! He he… I’ll go with:
    1. Criminal Minds – love to see the psychology behind the crimes committed and how the agents get to the culprit;
    2. Suits – needless to say… Daily struggles and routines of a legal job;
    3. Dare Devil – as I love Marvel films and heroes, I decided to give a try in this Netflix series and I recommend;
    4. Lie to Me – not currently being aired anymore but one of y every favourites;
    5. Downton Abbey – England. Accent. Lovely.

  32. John Corcoran

    If you liked Jiro (which I loved as well), then check out Searching for Sugar Man, which won the Academy Award for best documentary in 2012. Awesome flick.

    I don’t want to give away too much if you haven’t seen it, but what I will say is it shows that sometimes there may be fine line between success and failure, based on what audience you are trying to reach or appeal to. So I think there’s a whole interesting psychological aspect to the flick which would be useful in your message with IWT. Check it out – you’ll enjoy it.

    • Jacqueline du Plessis

      Searching for Sugarman was amazing. A friend wrote to me and told me about it — I watched it and was amazing. Being South African, I was super interested in the story and Rodriquez and as I was doing research I found our he would be coming to South Africa for a final show and it was all SOLD OUT. I was so bummed, but I decided to write the ticket selling company and follow them on social media. And what do you know, a couple weeks before they opened some “nose bleed” seats. I tried to by a couple for myself and my family, but it wouldn’t let me as it said there weren’t enough seats left. I kep trying, dropping the # of tickets I was trying to purchase until I got down to ONE. I pushed “purchase” and it went through!!! So I bought the LAST remaining seat of a the LAST show that Rodriques did in South Africa. It was so awesome to be there and heard him sing and speak. Such a humble guy.
      *The show happened soon after the movie won best Documentary at the Oscars.
      PS: John, did you read about the making of the movie? How it was a passion project of the film maker for like 12 years or something crazy.

  33. mark

    I love The Profit! 😀 (y)

  34. Sylvia

    Thank you for all your suggestions Ramit. Looove all those shows (except for still have some mixed feelings about Tim Ferriss due to some questionable ethics in some cases IMO, but I digress…..)

    I’m writing to see if you’ve seen “The big Kahuna” with Kevin Spacey. It’s an old movie I think you’d really enjoy. I hope you check it out.
    Thanks for all you do.
    Sylvia

  35. Robin

    GAME OF THRONES

  36. Tara

    Interesting list. I’ve never heard of 1 & 2 prior to your list but will definitely check them out.

    Millionaire Matchmaker is my guilty pleasure. It’s like that thing that’s so bad yet you can’t turn away.

    I’m a syfy junky. If it’s based in space, involves time travel or got aliens, I’m probably watching it. I also prefer British drama/suspense ( I think the Brits are much better at story telling eg Luther).

    Best show ever : The Walking Dead

    I am addicted to Bad Sex on Logo (only had 2 seasons that I watch repeatedly). Talk about psychology! Human behavior at its most primal. Chris Donohue the sex therapist, takes on a group of 10 individuals with varying sexual issues, from a fear of intimacy to sexual addiction. You get to be in on group therapy, individual therapy and smudges of their lives.
    Biggest lesson learned: few sexual problems have anything to do with sex.

    (BTW, thank you for reminding me that I watch too much tv)

  37. Andre

    Hi Ramit

    I find it is not the number of people that recommend shows to me.
    It is *who* recommends shows. Friends, some colleagues etc.

    Basically, if a friend or acquintance recommends a show to me, I’d watch it if a) they have never recommended something to me or b) their previous recommendations were good. Even if they only recommended one show before, if it was good to me, there is a good chance we might have similar tastes (despite the bad stats behind using one sample).

    The more times person X makes good recommendations, the more likely I am to follow their suggestions. Even if my immediate reaction is “I would never like this”. Like The BigBang Theory…. I resisted at first because I denied my own nerd-dom 😉

    I don’t like watching reality shows, just because they don’t really reflect reality and probably involve a lot of staged scenarios 😀
    I’d rather watch something totally unrealistic instead.

    Shows currently watching:
    – Daily Show… because it is the best ‘news’ show out there (that’s a joke, Fox News..).
    – Last Week Tonight. Love this show’s mix of hard-hitting commentary and over the top jokes.
    – The Big Bang Theory. Nerds like me.
    – The Blacklist. James Spader is made for this role me thinks.
    – Vikings. Because. Vikings.
    – Game of Thrones. Fantasy. Not always pretty, but often is 😉
    – Person of Interest. Despite the programmer in me cringing at some of the effortless programming feats conducted in mere seconds, I like the characters in this story as well as the illustration of the good and bad potential of very powerful AI(s).
    – Scrubs whenever I run out of series to watch. Dr Cox… ’nuff said.
    – Various anime. Rurouni Kenshin has to be my favourite. The story is dark and beautiful .

  38. Victoria

    I know it’s old, but one of my favourite shows was The Dog Whisperer (Caesar 911). It was fascinating that the subject was dog training but it was really about psychology. It showed and proved what the basic tenets of a good leader is and why no dog (and as an extension, people) will trust and listen to you otherwise. It also showed how a lot of people are completely blind to their own faults and shortcomings and blame everything on the dog or their spouse, even when they are already using these principles in other parts of their lives.

  39. Santanu

    I am big fan of CNBC, but of course Indian shows. I really like the shows related to money management, entrepreneurship and brand related shows.

  40. Allen

    Thanks for the list, Ramit. I have enjoyed Alaskan Bush People. Pretty fascinating to watch people committed to living like the pioneers. Many people might consider then lazy not conforming to society, I think lazy is going out to the supermarket to buy your meat and not having to kill, skin and process your meat with a 1000lb grizzly nearby…
    I also have been watching Gold Rush for several years – this show launched post financial crisis when many people were dealing with the effects of the recession. It was refreshing to watch 5 out of work guys pack it up and move to Alaska to go gold mining (with no mining experience, except for the old dude who was a failed miner back in the 70’s). We all have invisible scripts that hold us back – sometimes you need to tell yourself to shut up and just do it!

  41. ingmar

    As a Zenbudist and fish eater the sushi show is right away putting me in a flow. i just ordered a sushi making set. Seems so relaxed to do the stuf that they are doing. Although i would do more also with vegan stuf and meat sushi.

    And nr 3 i will watch right away. I live in the phillipines and the fact that tim ferris learns a language within 5 days is amazing

  42. April

    I have to mention a show I was recently turned onto called Orphan Black. Season 3 just came out on BBC America but the first two seasons are on Amazon Prime. It took me awhile before I finally sat down and watched it but was hooked right away. I thought it would be dumb because it starts with this group of women who learn that they are all clones of each other. It seems ridiculous, but it’s not as unrealistic as some might think. The actress who plays all these very different women is amazing. My husband resisted watching it but became a binge watcher immediately. It can be pretty intense at times though. Love it!

  43. Tim

    I find American Pickers a great show that showcases a couple of guys creating relationships quickly and valuing what they are “picking.” They really seem to have a heart and a passion for sharing American history with their sellers and customers.

  44. Anca

    Of course you’d like “Jiro”! I’ve seen it at least 3x. I like adding quotes from it to IMDb.

    Three very watchable movies:
    The Vicious Kind – Adam Scott plays an asshole who develops a love/hate thing for his little brother’s girlfriend.
    The One I Love – Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass try to save their marriage on a weekend getaway but end up in the Twilight Zone.
    The Names of Love – A French opposites-attract story woven with concepts of family secrets, the meaning of love, and national identity. The main character accidentally rides the subway naked.

    TV: Space Brothers (anime), BoJack Horseman, The IT Crowd, Orphan Black.

  45. Yash Chheda

    Thank you for your recommendations Ramit. I got turned onto Shark Tank after you mentioned it. Insanely addictive and informative.

    My recommendation isnt a proper show, but I believe you’ll love the Norwegian TV documentary series I just came across called ‘Brainwash’. It shows the psychology of researchers grappling with their ideologies vs opposing scientific evidence. The first episode is a must see for everyone.

  46. Karema

    I love Ophrah’s Masterclass love the stories and its presented very well. I love watching things like Wife Swap I just get a kick out of seeing people in opposite living situations. And I have found watching Girl Code or My Crazy Love to be hilarious.

  47. Matt Kohn

    Real men watch The Millionaire Matchmaker.

    Plain and simple.