奋斗 fèn dòu
I'm really enjoying the 奋斗 series, which I found on a forum thread here listing various tv programs with descriptions and levels. This is my first time following a Chinese drama. While it is definitely above my level, it's still comprehensible. The way I've been attacking it is to first watch each scene without stopping and get what I get. I then go back and pause each sentence and read the 汉字. I look up a minimal amount of words. The ones that seem very useful / hsk 4-ish level / easy to remember / or keep coming up - I add to my srs. Next, I re-watch the whole scene again without pausing. Finally, I watch the whole episode(45 mins). I'm on episode 5 of 32 so far.
For me 奋斗 almost perfect: Tons of Northern accented Mandarin, all kinds of everyday situations(restaurants, arguments, home, work, bowling and barbecuing,...) engaging story, cool characters, scenery of Beijing 15 years ago. The one con is that they sometimes speak very, very quickly, but I expect that can only help my listening skills.