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What Is The IPR Staff Watching? Television And Streaming

Summer T.V. recommendations from the IPR staff.

No one can listen to the radio all the time, not even the people who make it (though we can listen to it a lot of the time). On the heels of the recently announced Emmy nominations, we thought it was a good idea to share what the Iowa Public Radio team has been watching lately.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Ellie Alberhasky | Major Gifts Officer
"We love the 80s-tech/modern aesthetic of the show, the complexity of the characters, time looping and the way various perspectives in the show are presented to be 'for the good,' but that it’s, of course, never that simple. We also love that it’s reminding the parent generation and teaching the kid generation in our family what it’s like to wait a week for the next episode!"

Uncharted with Gordon Ramsay
"In every episode you get introduced to cuisine from a different location in the world — flavors, ingredients, methods for obtaining and preparing food — and the people who have perfected it in their culture. It’s beautiful, enticing and entertaining because Gordon is appropriately self-deprecating to balance his enormous ego."

Matthew Alvarez | Talk Show Producer
King of The Hill
"Yes, it’s an old cartoon. I currently watch it as I patiently wait for a new season of HBO’s 'Succession' and 'The Many Saints of Newark' (a prequel to the hit show 'The Sopranos'). 'King of The Hill' has tapped my nostalgia for my home state of Texas. As a child, many of the jokes went over my head. Now, as an adult who loves deadpan humor and having traveled across the Lone Star State, I get it."

Nicole Baxter |Sales Assistant
Scenes from a Marriage
"Written and directed by the one and only Ingmar Bergman, this 1973 miniseries set the stage for marital dramas centered on the complexities of modern love, monogamy and divorce. It originally aired in Sweden as a six-part television series, but a theatrical cut was released by Bergman a year later. I’m giving this tender, yet tense, show a re-watch before the American version of the same name comes out this September on HBO Max. Bergman’s theatrical version is available on HBO Max and the Criterion Channel."

Nathan Grambau | Radio Broadcast Engineer
"Great redemption arc and a surprisingly cautionary tale about the consequences of our actions being bigger than just ourselves."

Andrea Hansen | Development Director
"My husband and I had been feeling starved for good comedies until we watched 'Hacks,' starring Jean Smart, on HBO. Smart plays a Las Vegas stand-up comedian struggling to keep her comedic edge. Against her will she is assigned a young TV writer ostracized by Hollywood and desperate for a job. They form an awkward working relationship and are surrounded by a strong cast of characters to create a great show. This is funny, insightful, and at times, touching."

Gretchen Kasperbauer | Marketing Manager
Downton Abbey
"I know I’m about a decade behind here, but I’ve spent the last few weeks of summer fully committed to watching the 'Downton Abbey' series. If you’re looking for a drama-filled show with characters that will surely stick with you, this is the show for you! (Side note: I’m generally not a HUGE fan of period pieces, but this one delivers)."

Ben Kieffer | Host: River to River
"My wife and I have loved watching the Amazon Prime series 'Bosch.' We’re just finishing the seventh and final season. L.A.P.D. homicide detective Hieronymus 'Harry' Bosch is flawed like all great fictional detectives, but he has a heart of gold and a passion for justice. You get to watch his daughter Maddie grow up into a mature young woman alongside her dad. The writing and character development of the entire cast is phenomenal. I envy those of you who have yet to watch it. 'Bosch' I will miss you!"

Michael Leland| News Director
"I don’t watch a lot of TV (I think us public radio types are required to say that), but I am slowly making my way through the Canadian sitcom 'Kim’s Convenience.' It’s a show about a Korean family that runs a convenience store in Toronto. It’s funny, has great dialogue, and addresses issues involving immigrants in a serious but also lighthearted way. It’s on Netflix and I recommend it!"

Lindsey Moon | Senior Digital Producer
Mr. Robot"
"Elliot, a brilliant but highly unstable young cyber-security engineer and vigilante hacker, becomes a key figure in a complex game of global dominance when he and his shadowy allies try to take down the corrupt corporation he works for. If you like character driven shows with lots of surprise twists and tech, this show is for you."

Charity Nebbe| Host: Talk of Iowa
News Radio
"For years I’ve been telling my kids how funny 'News Radio' is. I finally got tired of waiting for it to show up on a streaming service and bought the DVDs. It’s just as funny as I remember and the kids (13 and 15) love it as much as my husband and I do, even if a lot of the 90s cultural references go over their heads. The series ran from 1995 to 1999, it takes place in a fictional Manhattan news radio station and features an incredible ensemble cast featuring the late, great Phil Hartman as an ego-maniacal on air host and Dave Foley as the long suffering news director. It’s making my family very happy right now and filling a void as we wait impatiently for season 2 of 'Ted Lasso.'"

Katie Peikes| Reporter
Modern Family
"It’s a mockumentary comedy about three related but different types of families. The show has so much heart, wit and likeable characters — especially father and realtor Phil Dunphy (played by Ty Burrell), who may be one of my favorite sitcom dads."

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
"It’s a show about time traveling superheroes who try to correct anomalies throughout history. The show is a blast and the writers don’t take themselves too seriously."

John Pemble
Star Wars: The Bad Batch
"What could be considered the eighth season of 'Clone Wars,' this animated series continues to tell stories from the prequel trilogy era that are fascinating. Anxiously awaiting new 'Star Wars' live-action series 'Book of Boba Fett,' coming later this year."

Katherine Perkins | Executive Producer
"Ted Lasso"
"I just re-watched 'Ted Lasso' in preparation for season two dropping later this month. God, I love that show. So, funny and so good-hearted. It was just what I needed during pandemic and now I love all the characters and their relationships so much I just have to keep watching!

Jon Petersen | Account Executive
Somebody Feed Phil
"'Somebody Feed Phil' on Netflix. Phil Rosenthal is the co-creator of 'Everybody Loves Raymond' and is one of the most joyful human beings on the planet. Phil loves food and people, and he travels the world trying new food and meeting new people. Vietnam to San Francisco to Thailand to Ireland. Street vendors to BBQ joints to open produce markets to five-star restaurants. Phil’s enthusiasm, warmth and love of life is contagious, and you finish each episode feeling better than you did when you started it.

Al Shares | Music Program Director
"Binged 'Line of Duty' and 'Ted Lasso,' also 'Smith and Bailey.' Hoping to make time to watch 'Summer of Soul' and an Aretha Franklin doc that I can’t remember the title of...also a French espionage series called 'The Bureau.'”

Matt Sieren | Digital/IT Manager
“The Goes Wrong Show
"For fans of live theater and comedy, 'The Goes Wrong Show' is a must see. The show features an amateur drama ensemble performing a series of half-hour plays that all go terribly wrong. Featuring characters playing characters, set hijinks and technical staff gaffs, the series brings to life performers' worst nightmares of what could go wrong when the curtain goes up and the cameras turn on."

Zachary Oren Smith | Talk Show Producer
"Master of None"
"I had trouble returning to Aziz Ansari’s 'Master of None.' But when a friend said season three focused — not on Aziz Ansari’s self-starred, focal character Dev — but on Lena Waithe’s Densie and her wife Alicia (Naomi Ackie), I decided to give it a chance. The couple’s treatment feels really intimate, earnest. If you’re curious, it’s worth a return."

Monica Starr | Talk of Iowa Book Club Producer
"It isn’t really a tv show or movie, but it is something I like to watch — this is the sea jelly cam! I could watch these jellies for hours.

Caitlin Troutman | Digital News Producer
Please Like Me
"Josh Thomas is very good at his job."