1. The Dark Matter of Love - a poignant and psychologically informative doc about the difficult process of integrating children from a Russian orphanage into an America family. The adopting family is over-the-top upbeat (they have Disney nicknames for one another) but even they feel the strain of these managing these underloved children.
2. Divorce Corp - A must-see sobering documentary about the vast money-making machine that is today's divorce court. (Seriously, everyone should watch this one. You'll either never get married or never divorced.)
3. Happy Valley - Powerful doc about Penn State's Sandusky scandal and football as a religion. You definitely don't have to be a football fan because this is about so much more.
4. Casting By. "The surprising, never-before-told tale of the indispensable yet unsung role of casting Director."
5. Locked Up Abroad: from Hollywood to Hell - Locked Up Abroad always makes me feel grateful that I'm currently not locked up abroad because it seems like it sucks in a major way. This episode in particular is pretty amazing.
"On a trip to Pakistan, LA actor Erik Aude’s life completely changes after authorities find opium hidden in the lining of his suitcase." (The hulky actor ends up being quite a real-life badass.)
6. Parenthood. Most have probably seen this popular and highly relatable family series but if you haven't, it's smart, sweet, super watchable and the all of the leads are pretty amazing.
7. The Politician's Husband. Sort of a Star is Born for British politics where the wife is on the professional rise while the husband spirals downward. It's only a decent miniseries but David Tennant is so captivating, it's worth looking past the flaws. Man, he's good.
8. Being Human (UK). "Deciding to turn over a new leaf, a group of friends who also happen to be vampires and werewolves move into a house together, only to find that it is haunted by ghosts of people who have been killed under mysterious circumstances."
This series just keeps growing on me. Even though it's a little overacted and kinda just plain silly at times, Being Human is also inventive, human and fun to watch, with just the right amount of darkness. Kinda the antithesis of Twilight.
GUILTY PLEASURES...WATCH AT OWN RISK!
Army Wives. A Lifetime (usually yech) series explores "the impact of military life on family life by focusing on the spouses of soldiers stationed at a South Carolina Army base." (It's not as soap-opery as it seems.)
Witches of East End. "Set in a seaside town of East End, free-spirited artist Joanna Beauchamp is the mother of wild-child bartender Freya and shy librarian Ingrid, who are both gifted -- and cursed -- with a magic birthright."
Sure, Charmed-like corny but a lot of serious magic going on, spells in Latin and all.