Have you, like I, been at a bind over what to watch? Sometimes you scan the channels of your TV. Rapidly scanning images, titles and the like to find, well nothing. Other times you flip and scroll through Netflix, the thousand strong database with so much on it, you go blind in a haze of genres and ‘like this’. Then after a time, when you feel spent, you scan your bookshelves filled with DVDs and Blu Rays. All to find nothing. All to find more questions than answers. Akin to crying out for a deity to answer those every broad and vast existential questions.  Well the good people at Dorling Kindersley (among millions of websites, newspapers, your neighbours and even your nearest and dearest) have released a book to help. Its title is WHAT TO WATCH NEXT? and I will be ploughing through to see how it helps.

The jacket, hardbound and solid. The image split into blue for titles and Yellow green for the images. The former is imposing and will display well on the shelf, the latter is a mix of famous title images from BREAKING BAD, STRANGER THINGS, DOCTOR WHO and more. It draws you in, it did me. To the book itself. Broken down into ‘mood’ watching, having What to watch… then something like, for excitement (it is phrased ‘to get your heart racing’) each selected by a different author with an over arching tone and narration structure. 10 different moods to choose from and 1000 odd shows to find, some new and fresh, some classic and on many a viewers list of watched. The first one, the afore mentioned ‘to get your heart racing’, has some excellent choices. GAME OF THRONES is obvious and you have all seen that (I preferred the book…) but its some of the unexpected gems like BATTLESTAR GALATICA, EDGE OF DARKNESS and TINKER, TAILOR, SOLIDER SPY. All quality choices (there are more) and very much the gateway to many hours of quality bliss. Each of these entries have age ratings, number of seasons, stars, length of episodes and a very concise synopsis of the series that often misses some of the richer details for broader strokes. However, they should be forgiven as the aim here is entry not encyclopaedic!

I read on and enjoyed the ‘You just want to switch off’ section (along with the ‘You want to learn something’ section its the best piece of written content in the book. The main page has DOWNTON ABBEY and a very clever love lines diagram (there is also a more detailed synopsis and graphic on all main page shows) but its the use of great shows to build an idea of, well unwinding after a tough day. THE EXPANSE into THE 100 into PLANET OF THE APES into AGENTS OF SHIELD. There is all good copy on each and it relates to an experience of televisual bliss. I liked this a lot. A lot lot. If you, like me, have a wealth of books with these broad expanse of content, then you will know that A Dorling Kindersley pump out a lot and B the content can be varied. So it is a delight to come across a books so well structured and succinct, praise be indeed.

So in summary, well if you love TV and want to find shows you dont know, alongside ones you have heard of but never seen, this is a great guide which actually delivers. It might be phrased awkwardly and some will moan about say, Nature docs being missed, but this is a very good release from a label who are no stranger to them. I will now open my copy and find something else to watch!


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