Many say we're living through a golden age of television. Between the original series being produced by Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and now Facebook, there's a whole host of creative, innovative, edgy, and compelling content out there now.
Of course you can rot your brain with TV--but you can also expand it. Here are seven shows every entrepreneur should watch:
1. The Flash
Airs on: The CW
Part of Flash's appeal is that he's imperfect (it's also where a lot of the show's comedy comes from). He has to constantly innovate and improve, because a lot of the time his skills just aren't "there yet." But it means he doesn't give up. He's scrappy and determined, which is good inspiration for you when you need to be the same. (This is also a good show to watch when you're exhausted at the end of a long day and don't want to have to think too hard.)
2. Sex Education
Airs on: Netflix
If you haven't yet gotten into this brilliant and hilarious teen drama, do so. Immediately. Besides being a righteous commentary on modern sexual culture, it's got an entrepreneurial edge you'll both love and respect.
The two main characters team up to run a "sex clinic," giving sex advice out to the various teenagers at the school. It doesn't work at first, because no one's biting--but once they give out a "sample" at a house party, things pick up. The best message of all? Your product isn't about you.
It's about the people you serve.
3. The Great British Baking Show
Airs on: Netflix (and Channel 4 in Britain)
Besides being a calming influence (how much bad can happen when you're talking about buttercream in a British accent?), it's also soothing to witness other creators in their journey towards recognition.
The Great British Baking Show includes several specific challenges each week that participants must face. One is a technical challenge (custard, for example, which is difficult to get right); another is a more creative challenge. The amateur bakers are judged, therefore, on both technical execution as well as creative expression. It's a good reminder that not everyone is good at everything. We all have our unique strengths and weaknesses.
Bonus: this one is family-friendly. Warning: it will make you hungry.
4. Walking Dead
Airs on: AMC and Netflix
Pretty much the opposite of a baking show.
Two things here: first, no matter how badly you're suffering in entrepreneur-land, watching this show is a good reminder that things could be worse.
Second: this show is the ultimate demonstration that necessity is the mother of invention. It's also a pretty in-your-face portrayal of how team dynamics can lead to closeness ... or catastrophe.
If you want to an up-close-and-personal look at the ugly, gritty underbelly of business--and what people are capable of doing to "succeed", then Billions is your show. It's also an outstanding lesson in how to stay in integrity ... just do the opposite of what these characters do.
6. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Mrs. Maisel is a sassy, soulful character that will work her way into your heart and also make you laugh harder than you have in a long time. You'll likely see yourself in her struggle to establish her independence from an overbearing family, as well as her attempts to establish herself in the male-dominated industry of stand-up comedy.
If you're a woman entrepreneur in particular, you'll be riveted. And in the (also male-dominated) entertainment industry, it's refreshing to have a woman protagonist as well as a woman showrunner. Amy Sherman-Palladino co-directs this series with Daniel Palladino.
7. House of Lies
If you or your friends has ever been in management consulting, you'll love this one. It's based off the book House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time, which was authored by by Martin Kihn, a former associate at Booz Allen Hamilton. Sleek, funny, and cool, it's another one with plenty of cautionary tales (hilarity ensues).