13 great TV shows worth re-watching, this time in a binge

In the rush to watch new and original shows from streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, there are just as many old TV shows that get passed over.

We can rectify that. Here are some shows that were in serious rotation once upon a time and are now streaming at your convenience.

'Parks and Recreation'

Amy Poehler stars in Parks & Recreation.

If you watched NBC show Parks and Recreation already, do yourself a favor and go in for a do-over. It's even funnier the second time around when you watch Leslie Knope (Golden Globe-nominated Amy Poehler) navigate a life of politics in her small town. The supporting cast is just as stellar, including Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Chris Pratt, Nick Offerman, Retta, Rob Lowe and Adam Scott. Hulu

'Gossip Girl'

Leighton Meester, a native of Fort Worth, stars as Blair on Gossip Girl; Ed Westwick is Chuck. The show aired on The CW.

As much a fashion show as an over-the-top nighttime soap, Gossip Girl brought all of the inner workings of high-snobriety from Cecily von Ziegesar's Young Adult book series to The CW for six seasons. They were teens but had enough steaminess to rival any adult soap. Stream episodes on CW Seed and Hulu.

'Arrested Development'

Jason Bateman and Jessica Walter star in Arrested Development on Netflix.

Jessica Walter is a treasure. She is one of the stars in this laugh-out-loud show that deserves some credit with the reboot boom. And by star, we mean steals scenes from its intended
star Justin Bateman, who is no slouch either. Narrated by Ron Howard, Arrested Development is a documentary-style look at the used-to-be-rich-and-still-trying-to-be-rich Bluth family: its criminal patriarch and kooky denizens, with Bateman seemingly the only straight arrow in the bunch. Netflix

'Freaks and Geeks'

James Franco (from left to right) stars as Daniel, Jason Segel as Nick Baron, Linda Cardellini as Lindsay Weir, Seth Rogen as Ken Miller, John Daley as Sam Weir, Martin Starr as Bill Havenchuck and Samm Levine as Neal Schweiber in Freaks and Geeks.

This show is one of the most famous one-and-done series to ever grace TV screens. The beyond capable cast -- including James Franco, Jason Segel, Linda Cardellini and Seth Rogen -- did not want for roles very long, though. All of them went on to successful careers from this show about high schoolers just trying to be themselves, garnering a devoted following that continues to spread the gospel. Netflix

'The L Word'

DLeisha Hailey stars as Alice and Rose Rollins as Tasha Williams in The L Word.

It isn't enough that Jennifer Beals and (Queen) Pam Grier play sisters on this groundbreaking Showtime drama? Do I have to add that Ossie Davis plays the father? Set in Los Angeles, this series follows the lives and loves and conflicts and resolutions of a group of lesbians, along with their friends and family. Find it on Hulu.


Dollhouse comes from the mind of Joss Whedon and stars several of his regular players, including SMU alum Amy Acker (The Gifted). Eliza Dushku essentially plays a doll who works at a place that, for a price, can provide a person to suit whatever need arises. She's not sure who she is, but she wants to find out in this series that's a mix of action, adventure, drama and comedy -- as most of Whedon's work is. Find it on Amazon Video.


Timothy Hutton, second from right, stars in TNT's Leverage about a group of con men setting the record straight. Also pictured from left: Beth Riesgraf, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane and Aldis Hodge.

What happens when the bad guys start helping out the good ones? That's a question Leverage answers in every single episode of the TNT series. Dallas native Christian Kane (Angel) stars as the fighter in the group of grifters, scammers, hackers and thieves that are now helping right wrongs against people who have nowhere else to turn. By turns funny and touching and even a little bit thrilling, these heists are ones you can get behind. Find it on Hulu and Amazon.


That theme song -- I own the sheet music -- produced what has become shorthand for good bars everywhere, "where everybody knows your name." Ted Danson (The Good Place) plays former pro baseball player Sam Malone. Now, he runs a bar with irascible waitress Carla (Rhea Perlman) and some weird, old regulars. And then his world is forever changed when he gains a whip-smart waitress by the name of Diane Chambers (Shelley Long), who has never -- and she means never -- met a man like Sam. You know what ensues. Long won an Emmy and two Golden Globes for the role, which she famously left midway through the show's 11-season run. Oh, and the show also was where Frasier was born; Kelsey Grammer played the character for a record-tying 20 years. Find Cheers on Hulu.

'The Wire'

Dominic West, left, and Wendell Pierce star in HBO's The Wire.

The cast might just be enough to get you started. Look at what they're doing: Idris Elba (all everything; Thor: Ragnarok); Dominic West (The Affair); Wendell Pierce (Chicago P.D.); Michael K. Williams (Hap and Leonard); Sonja Sohn (The Originals); Seth Gilliam (The Walking Dead); Andre Royo (Empire); Lance Reddick (Bosch; John Wick: Chapter 2); Clarke Peters (Chance; Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Mo.); John Doman (Gotham); Jamie Hector (The Strain); Snoop (Love and Hip-Hop: Miami); Wood Harris (Blade Runner 2049); Frankie Faison (Luke Cage); Tristan Wilds (now recording star Mack Wilds, was 90210); Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Survivor's Remorse); Michael B. Jordan (Creed); Reg E. Cathey (Outcast); and many more. And it's from writer David Simon. It's no wonder that it's on many critics' and viewers' best-of lists. As in best of all time. Find it on HBO via Hulu or the network's streaming app.

'Living Single'

Sheer excitement greeted the announcement that the first season of the comedy Living Single would be out this month on Hulu. Queen Latifah plays a magazine editor who has some quirky friends and roommates who might as well all share her place. Sound familiar? It should. Word is the show inspired another long-running comedy on NBC called Friends. Queen Latifah has said in interviews that she is working on a reboot. Find it on Hulu.


Matthew Fox, left, Jorge Garcia and Evangeline Lilly are shown in a scene from the finale of Lost.

This time, you'll know to look for clues. Follow the serpentine plots of this ABC drama, which gave television creators license to string people along, er, take viewers on a journey. A plane crashes on a mysterious island and a group of survivors, well, survive. I think that's all I'm allowed to say. Find it on Hulu.

'The Sopranos'

Some members of the cast of The Sopranos, in a calm before a storm, from left to right: Tony Sirico, Steven Van Zandt, James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli and Vicint Pastore

James Gandolfini was remarkable in the role of Tony Soprano, a mob boss under the care of a psychiatrist. But the show was so much more than that. At its core, it was about family: the one you are born into and the one you made. Edie Falco was remarkable, too, as Tony Soprano's wife. HBO began its dominance of awards shows here. Just press play already. Find it on HBO via Hulu or the cable network's app.


In this Oct. 20, 1998 file photo, cast members, front row from left, Laura Innes, Anthony Edwards, Julianna Margulies, George Clooney, Noah Wyle, Kellie Martin, and Gloria Reuben, cut a cake celebrating the 100th episode of the NBC series, ER, as NBC President Warren Littlefield, second row left, and series creator John Wells, look on.

I know, I know: A 15-season commitment is a lot to ask in the binge-watching culture. But the first episode of this hospital drama grabs you by they nose and doesn't let go. It's filled with actors you know and can depend on, and they brought it week after week during more than one venerable Thursday-night block on NBC. Picture this: Friends, Will & Grace; Just Shoot Me; and then ER tugging at your heartstrings, making you laugh and teaching you hospital terms -- "I need a CBC, stat!" -- all over the place. You can re-create this lineup if you want, now that ER is on Hulu. Just saying.

For more TV news, views and reviews, follow @DawnBurkes on Twitter.

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