10 Really Great TV Shows…
Here are 10 TV shows that I feel are worth everyones time and effort, there are obviously many more great shows, but these are 10 that do it for me. Read on to find out more…
Rome was quite simply magnificent. HBO and BBC co-produced this excellent show, on the biggest TV set in the world, just outside of Rome itself. The show is epic, telling the fascinating tale of the end of the Roman Republic, at the hands of Julius Caesar, Marc Anthony and Octavian. The show is about these great figures we know from history, but they aren’t the main characters. Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus, are our protagonists, two Roman Legionaries on the march through the great events of their time.
The show has heaps of sex and violence, always a good thing in my book, political intrigue, war and entertainment. It was cancelled during it’s second season, due to budget constraints, meaning that the second and third season were melded together, in order to have a more complete story. Constant rumours of a movie sequel absolutely need to come true. This is my favourite show of all time, I am biased as I did a degree in Ancient History, but whatever. You need to check this show out. It has many brilliant and respected actors, and is the reason that we have shows like The Tudors, The Borgias and Game of Thrones. It also once and for all confirms that HBO is the king of TV.
Yeah I know, everyone bangs on about The Wire, but that’s only because it IS that good. In the short space I have here, I can’t possibly tell you about the intricacies, but I will try my best. Basically a look at the drug trade and the police department of Baltimore, the show encompasses all aspects of life in the troubled city, from dope slinger to Mayors, and every level in between. Each season, there are five, focuses on a different part of Baltimore, but continues with the same characters, and adds new ones.
I didn’t like this show at first. It took me 5 episodes to get involved, but when I was, I couldn’t get enough. The show is violent, but not often, it earns its violence and sex by integrating them into a story that is unparalleled in TV or movies. Its the kind of show you will promise yourself you will watch one episode, and 7 hours later you are still watching. This show entertains, informs and makes the viewer think, life isn’t all black and white, but shades of grey, this show has to be seen, get the box set, it what cold February nights were made for. Omar alone is worth the price.
As good as The Wire, and sometimes far better, The Shield did have the constraint of being a network show, so its depictions of violence/adult subject matter, were not as graphic as a show on HBO, but that is not to say the show was not adept at showing the darker side of humanity. The show is set in L.A. And centres around a VERY corrupt police detective Vic Mackey, Played by the brilliant Michael Chiklis. Vic is in charge of a special unit, The Strike Team, used by the police to bust up gangs and drug dealers. The problem is, Vic is into as much shady business as the perps he busts. Seven seasons of this perfect show, tense, exciting, with Vic juggling a million plot points as he tries to stay away from internal affairs and various criminal gangs. The Shield is not easy viewing, but it is rewarding. I don’t know if this show is better than The Wire, why not just watch both?
If you don’t like Seinfeld, you don’t deserve to watch anything on TV ever again, period. Seinfeld is the show that all other sitcoms should aspire to, it is quite simply the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be (thank you Brett ‘The Hitman’ Heart). Largely ignored in this country, for some unknown reason, Seinfeld has some of the greatest characters ever written, in George Costanza and Kramer. Created by Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, Seinfeld follows the lives of four friends, Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine, in New York. What sets this show apart however, is the writing, smarter, funnier and just plain better than anything before or since. Just check out episodes like The Marine Biologist, The Soup Nazi, The Bubble Boy or The Contest, you will see the genius. However, if you truly want to remain master of your domain, get the whole nine seasons, you will not regret it, it’s real, and it’s fabulous.
GARTH MERENGHIS DARK PLACE
Yeah I know, not many British shows so far, well here is the only British show on the list, and what a show it is. This show is about a writer, Garth Merenghis, looking back at a TV show that he made for Channel 4 in the 80’s. The show has interviews with the surviving cast members, and also shows the show as it was shown in the fake 1980’s. The sets are awful, the acting woeful, and the stories, including one where a woman turns into broccoli, are ridiculous, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Like a rip of of bad TV Sci-Fi (sorry Dr. Who) Dark Place is set in a hospital, the titular Dark Place, which is a portal to hell. Doctors. Daglass, and Sanchez, kung fu kick, and shoot guns at all kinds of evilness and insanity, and it’s all absolutely brilliant. Once again, this show was way under appreciated, put on Channel 4 at some God-forsaken hour, but the DVD is fantastic. It both rips the piss out of, and is a loving homage to crappy TV shows, describing it really doesn’t do it justice, you need to watch it, all, and then re-watch it, and then re-watch it again, as it is just one of the greatest things ever.
Dexter is like Batman, except, he is just as psychotic as the people he hunts. You see Dexter, is a serial killer, who only kills other killers. A neat concept, oh, and did I mention Dexter is a blood spatter expert working with Miami Metro Murder Squad? Dexter is a great show, there have been few shows to have gripped me as much as Dexter, and each season seems to be building on the tension of the last. I won’t spoil anything here, as it would be a crime to do so, this show needs to be watched. I love the character work on display here, Dexter, as a psychopath, is an interesting protagonist. His adopted Father, a police man, saw the darkness inside his son at an early age, and rather than trying to stamp it out, he instead sort to channel Dexter’s instincts into something a little more positive, preying on the wicked. Dexter is an odd show at times, being set in Miami, it has a cheerfulness that is at odds with the dark subject matter, but this all adds to the uniqueness of the show. Gritty, sexy, bloody, violent, cheerful and funny, Dexter has a bit of something to suit every taste, and wow, what a way to end the latest season, roll on later this year!!!
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
The perfect show to watch now that Seinfeld has retired. Curb is based on the life of Seinfeld creator Larry David, a man with more than a few quirks to his personality. Larry is the man many of us wish we could be, he stands up for himself, even if every week it gets him into even more trouble. Larry is pedantic and self absorbed, but moral, and he gets in some titanic scrapes. Curb is the kind of show I didn’t like instantly. I knew there was something about it, but it wasn’t quite Seinfeld, and I had to adjust my expectations. This show isn’t a sequel to Seinfeld, but it does share some sensibilities. I think it took me 3 episodes to fall in love with Larry’s world. As a take on reality, Larry plays himself, and many celebrities pop up to play versions of themselves, including Rosie O’Donnell, Michael J. Fox and the cast of Seinfeld. My favourite comedy currently on TV, please let there be another season.
The show when I was in school. I loved, and still love, The X-Files. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are FBI Special Agents in charge of the FBI’s X-File department. An X-File is a case that has not been solved, usually due to anomalous circumstances. Mulder is a believer in all aspects of the Supernatural, his sister having been abducted when he was young, perhaps by aliens. Scully, the beautiful Gillian Anderson, is the sceptic, brought on board by the government to monitor Mulder’s (David Duchovny), loose cannon ways. The show is fantastic, and was a massive phenomenon. I was always a fan of the monster of the week episodes, rather than the alien conspiracy that shrouded the nine seasons in mystery, but there were not many bad episodes. The writing was inspired, the odd funny episode, usually being the highlight of the TV schedule that year. Scary, funny, serious, exciting, this show had everything. Many have tried to repeat this formula, none have succeeded as The X-Files did, best show of the 90’s. Oh, did I mention Scully was a total fox?
Left field choice I know. The only reality show on this list, and I know this won’t be for everyone, but right now, I love this show. Following four members of the BFRO (Bigfoot Field Research Organisation), as they try and track down the elusive beasts and prove that they exist. Now, you may think they do exist, you may think they don’t, I happen to think it might just be possible, and who can resist the search for an unknown monster?
The show does fall victim to the American documentary style that permeates all American reality shows, IE the constant repetition of information etc. and constant breaks, but something about these Squattchers, makes me want to keep watching. The personalities on the show are great, from Bobo, a great bear of a man, part surfer dude, part man-child, to Renae, who doesn’t believe in anything, at all. The show is formulaic, but it’s also comforting and interesting. I’m sure these guys make far too much noise to entice any Bigfoot into an encounter, but as with most things, the journey is more exciting than the end game.
American TV has given us the best sitcoms ever made, and most of them went unappreciated, and got cancelled way too early. Arrested Development is perhaps the best example of this. A show about a dis-functional family who own a property development company, there is far too little space here to outline the plots on the show. This show was so good, but it took patience, it took respect, it didn’t treat its audience like idiots and a joke could be set up in one season and punch lined in another. A.D was, and is amazing, and I recommend booking a weekend off, and watching the box-sets, you will not regret it. It angers me that absolute shit like The Big Bang Theory, a show that insults humanity, is the most popular show on American TV, when A.D, Community and Parks and Recreation face being cancelled every season due to poor viewing figures. I guess it shows how mindless most people are. Of course A.D found its place on DVD, and now a new season and perhaps a movie are being talked about. I for one can’t wait to find out about the further adventures of the Bluths.