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100 Currently Airing TV Shows Better than "Perfect Couples"

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | February 28, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | February 28, 2011 |

On Friday mornings, I compile a list of what I think are the ten (or so) best one-liners from the NBC Thursday night comedies, along with frivolous grades for each show. I do this mostly to provide a space for folks to talk about the Thursday night shows, to mull over the best quotes, and maybe offer up their own favorite one-liners.

However, recently, I stopped including both “Outsourced” and “Perfect Couples” for one very simple reason: They are terrible fucking shows. “Outsourced” could occasionally be tolerable, but now that it’s last on the Thursday night schedule, I feel no remorse in turning off the television at 10:30 and finding something more productive to do with my time, like play in traffic. Nevertheless, each week since I began excluding “Perfect Couples,” there have been comments asking why, suggesting that’s it’s not that bad, and a recent comment that stated, “At least it’s better than 90 percent of the crap on TV right now.”

No, it’s not.

That comment got under my skin; it got under my skin because 1) I don’t think that’s true; and 2) even if it were true, there are enough quality shows within that 10 percent to keep you entertained for more hours in a day than anyone should be watching television. “Perfect Couples” is heinous. It’s bland, forgettable, rife with lame gendered humor; replete with cliches, and chock full of the same sitcom tropes that have dominated network television for decades. It also stars Olivia Munn. That’s to its discredit.

It is a worthless television viewing experience. Indeed, saying “it’s not that bad” is like saying, “It’s shit, but at least it’s not watery shit.” And the more I thought about that “it’s better than 90 percent of the crap on TV right now” comment, the more I questioned whether it could even be true. I don’t know how many shows currently air on television, but I started compiling a list of the shows I’d watch before I’d watch another episode of “Perfect Couples.” Many of the shows on this list are bad, but none of the 100 below are worse than “Perfect Couples,” which means — by my calculation — that there has to be 1000 shows currently airing on television for “Perfect Couples” to hit the 10 percent cut-off, even assuming that it would be 101st on the list below.

We bitch and complain about our lack of television viewing options, but if you look closer, there’s plenty to watch out there, and probably 20 really solid hours of television entertainment each week, which is more than enough for most people to avoid “Perfect Couples.”

Below are 100 shows currently airing that I’d watch before “Perfect Couples.” Some of them aren’t currently on the weekly schedule, but they are ongoing, which means you could spend the time during “Perfect Couples” catching up on them on DVD, Netflix, Hulu, or the network websites. Or you could pick at your belly button lint. Either way, if you’re not watching “Perfect Couples,” you come out ahead.

I’ve also ranked the shows within each category roughly by priority.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few, but every omission only illustrates my point more.


1. “Community”
2. “30 Rock”
3. “Parks and Recreation”
4. “Modern Family”
5. “Parenthood”
6. “The Good Wife”
7. “Chicago Code”
8. “Raising Hope”
9. “Archer”
10. “How I Met Your Mother”
11. “Portlandia”
12. “Top Chef”
13. “The Office”
14. “Survivor”
15. “Castle”
16. “House”
17. “The Amazing Race”
18. “Fringe”
19. “Lights Out”
20. “Chuck”
21. “Supernatural”
22. “Bones”
23. “Mr. Sunshine”
24. “The Middle”
25. “Mad Love”
26. “Big Bang Theory”
27. “Traffic Light”
28. “The Simpsons”
29. “Harry’s Law”
30. “Nikita”“
31. “Glee”
32. “Life Expected”
33. “Vampire Diaries”
34. “Detroit 187”
35. “Law and Order: SVU”
36. “NCIS”
37. “Brothers and Sisters”
38. “CSI”
39. “Law & Order: Los Angeles”
40. “NCIS: Los Angeles”
41. “Lie to Me”
42. “Smallville”
43. “Hawaii Five-O”
44. “America’s Top Model”
45. “The Mentalist”
46. “Rules of Engagement”
47. “Grey’s Anatomy”
48. “Desperate Housewives”


49. “Doctor Who”
50. “Justified”
51. “In Betweeners”
52. “Sons of Anarchy”
53. “Southland”
54. “Men of a Certain Age”
55. “Tosh.0”
56. “MI:5”
57. “Skins” (British Version)
58. “Primeval”
59. “Fairly Legal”
60. “Being Human”
61. “Spartacus”
62. “White Collar”
63. “MTV True Life”
64. “Pawn Stars”
65. “Hot in Cleveland”
66. “RuPaul’s Drag Life”
66. “Iron Chef in America”
67. “Cupcake Wars”

Premium Cable

68. “Shameless”
69. “Californiacation”
70. “Big Love”
71. “Episodes”
72. “Funny or Die Presents”
73. “Real Time with Bill Maher”

Still Airing, But Currently On Hiatus (Meaning It’s a Good Time to Start One of the Shows Below or Catch Up During the Hiatus

74. “Friday Night Lights” (on NBC)
75. “Breaking Bad”
76. “Walking Dead”
77. “Mad Men”
78. “Dexter”
79. “Boardwalk Empire”
80. “Louie”
81. “Treme”
82. “In Treatment”
83. “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”
84. “The League”
85. “Bored to Death”
86. “Cougar Town”
87. “Peep Show”
88. “The Big C”
89. “Nurse Jackie”
90. “Damages”
91. “True Blood”
92. “Psych”
93. “Burn Notice”
94. “Rescue Me”
95. “Royal Pains”
96. “Covert Affairs”
97. “In Plain Sight”
98. “HawthoRNe”
99. “Leverage”
100. “Memphis Beat”

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.