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TV Confessions: Tom Ashbrook

NPR’s Tom Ashbrook of Newton.
NPR’s Tom Ashbrook of Newton.Handout

Favorite show of all time, and why?

No way there’s just one. “Twin Peaks” took me over, back in the day. That super-atmospheric controlled eeriness really got to me. We reenacted scenes at home for fun. Weird, wonderful fun. To watch with the kids: “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” It was half their moral education. Made the universe look full of adventure and open to reason. Captain Picard is a god in our house. For me alone, any nature show. David Attenborough was best at it back in the day, but anything hypnotic and beautiful with a stalking lynx or birds in flight, I’m in.


Favorite show right now, and why?

“Parks and Recreation.”
“Parks and Recreation.”Colleen Hayes/NBC/NBC

“Parks and Recreation.” Because, Amy Poehler (pictured, with Nick Offerman). And “Arrested Development.” My daughter never goes near an actual television, but when I catch this show over her shoulder on her laptop we just fall over laughing. OK, I’m not a sophisticate! Sue me! I’ve got so much prep to do every night for my own show that I don’t get to watch a lot. I grab what I can for a laugh.

Favorite bad TV?

Oh, good. My turf. “Californication.” “House of Lies.” “Veep.” I like it outrageous. David Duchovny (pictured) was born for that role. The crazier the better. Don Cheadle’s eyes see everything in the human condition — and then love to mess with it. Julia Louis-Dreyfus got those laughs right at the jugular of our whacked-out political world. Wait, maybe these are good TV.

What’s at the top of your Have-To-Watch list?

I’m hearing good buzz on “The Americans,” “Fargo,” “The Honorable Woman.” Need to watch “Marco Polo” on Netflix. Asia’s a second home. And maybe “You’re the Worst”?

Which show’s world would you want to live inside?

Any of Anthony Bourdain’s on-the-road shows. That’s the world I like. The cool, funky, savory corners of the real world.



Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.