10 Netflix Classics for the TV Summer Slump

Summer is a cruel mistress. Sure, you get warmer weather, more time off, and pools open up again, but to do so, you must sacrifice television. I suppose I'll never understand why all the new shows go away as soon as I have the time to watch them... such is life, I suppose. Thank god for the modern invention of Netflix. If you have a subscription (or just use your parents'/roommate's/ex-boyfriend's), you will never be starved for television again. So take this quiet time in television to catch up on some favorites, or watch classic TV you've been meaning to watch for years. Read on for 10 series you will love that are now available on Netflix.

Netflix the Pain Away

Summer is a cruel mistress. Sure, you get warmer weather, more time off, and pools open up again, but to do so, you must sacrifice television. I suppose I'll never understand why all the new shows go away as soon as I have the time to watch them... such is life, I suppose. Thank god for the modern invention of Netflix. If you have a subscription (or just use your parents'/roommate's/ex-boyfriend's), you will never be starved for television again. So take this quiet time in television to catch up on some favorites, or watch classic TV you've been meaning to watch for years. Read on for 10 series you will love that are now available on Netflix.

'Arrested Development'

This one is purely because any Netflix list feels incomplete without it. But seriously, if haven't already watched the Bluth family's saga, have you been living under a rock? Who are you? Just watch it already! Anyways... Here's the story of an uber-rich family after the patriarch is arrested and the family money starts to run out. It focuses on the long-suffering, seemingly "normal" son. Everyone is terrible, and there are tons of long-running, complex jokes. It suffered from early cancellation, but recently got a new season courtesy of Netflix. Sort of like: In another universe, this would be an unintentionally funny documentary about a family that's the product of the Bush administration. [Image: Netflix]

'Freaks and Geeks'

A heartwarmingly funny coming-of-age story about a girl and her friends in high school in the 1980s. Although the series is seen through the eyes of Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini), the show doesn't patronize her experience, but instead realistically depicts the high school problems that most people went through: first loves, getting in with the "wrong crowd," fighting with your parents because you see things differently than they do, trying (and failing) to fit in and get everyone to like you. No wonder it was created by 'Bridesmaids' mastermind Paul Feig. Sort of like: Everything 'That '70s Show' wished it could be. [Image: NBC]

'Doctor Who'

As far as 'Doctor Who' is concerned, there are only two types of people: hopelessly devoted Whovians, and people who still haven't seen 'Doctor Who'. This long-running British TV staple follows an alien who can travel through all of time and space, dragging curious humans along with him to help him (usually) save the universe. The beauty of 'Doctor Who' is that you can come for the rebooted, post-2005 version and then go back and watch the rest of the series. The number of episodes are nearly as endless as time and space! Sort of like: The world of 'Star Trek' meets the 'Buffy's irreverent, quick-witted attitude towards the supernatural. [Image: BBC]

'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'

If you've never been introduced to the world of Joss Whedon, this is the best place to start. It's also a good place to get your sexy vampire action without being bored out of your mind by the characters. 'Buffy' takes its name from the tiny, blonde, ass-kicking Valley Girl vampire slayer who just happens to go to highschool on the mouth of hell. Sort of like: 'Twilight,' minus everything you hate about 'Twilight,' plus an awesome superheroine. [Image: WB]

'The West Wing'

If you ever want to feel better about the state of government in America, watch 'The West Wing.' The show gave real heart, wit, and purpose to American politics. Even if many of its politicians seemed smarter and more empathetic than the ones that exist in the real world, the show did a great job of portraying the difficult decisions politicians have to make, which sometimes only exist between a rock and a hard place. Bartlett for president! Sort of like: CSPAN with people that are actually likable. [Image: NBC]

'Scrubs'

The series may have ran out its welcome in the end, but it never lost its goofy, lovable sensibility. Unlike the wildly popular hospital dramas at the time, 'Scrubs' took an honest, humorous look at medicine, relationships, and what it really meant to be a doctor. Uplifting, but pragmatic, even the resurrected "zombie 'Scrubs'" season still had some of the goofball comedy magic that made the original so great. Sort of like: 'ER' with a hilarious manchild main character. [Image: NBC]

'Portlandia'

Unless you have a really fancy cable package, you probably haven't had a chance to see the phenomenon that is 'Portlandia.' It's one that many have tried to imitate, but never with success, and for one reason: Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein love and are a part of the culture that they poke fun at. 'Portlandia' is sketch show that lampoons every possible subculture and trend in Portland, Ore., with outrageous, highly specific jokes. Rather than approach subjects with snark and scorn, Armisen and Brownstein simply try to top the ridiculousness of subculture minutia, and they do so with skill because they've lived it. Sort of like: Making a 'New York Times' micro-trend piece into an irreverent comedy sketch. [Image: IFC]

'Futurama'

A cartoon from the mind of 'Simpsons' creator Matt Groening, 'Futurama' takes a slacker pizza delivery boy and puts him 1,000 years into the future. Although protagonist Fry lives in the 31st century, the problems he faces echo the ones in the 21st. It's a wry show with concepts both smart and silly, but its best feature is the show's big heart (if you ever watch "Jurassic Bark," make sure you bring tissues for the last five minutes). Sort of like: Bart Simpson grew up and traveled to the future. [Image: Cartoon Network]

'Chowder'

People laud 'Adventure Time' as an inventive kids show now, but Cartoon Network has had smart, funny kids animation shows up its sleeve for a long time. 'Chowder' enters the world of food with its title character, a cat/bear/rabbit creature who's a chef-in-training with a big appetite. Like most Cartoon Network animations shows, episodes are only 15 minutes long, but the show manages to be creepy, colorful, and funny in a short amount of time — and it's got a big soft spot for puns. Sort of like: 'Adventure Time' with less butt-kicking and more food. [Image: Cartoon Network]

'Pushing Daisies'

This one’s no longer on instant watch (damn you, fickle Netflix!), but it more than deserves a mention. ‘Pushing Daisies’ was a modern-day fairy tale about piemaker Ned (Lee Pace) who can bring the dead to life with one touch, and make them dead again forever with a second touch. So naturally, he solves murders and has an undead girlfriend who he can never touch again. The show’s lush colors, sets, and costumes are what first catch your eye, but the sweet storylines and chemistry between the actors will make you want to keep watching. Sort of like: Disney sensibility gets a more realistic, modern-day spin. [Image: ABC]