Image Credits: The Nice Advice.
I’m an avid tv show watcher. I love them.
Albeit, not all of them, indistinctly. Only smart, well acted, beautifully written and, possibly, perfectly directed shows can fuel my interest. However, it’s quite hard to meet all these conditions.
Granted, the overall quality increased tremendously in the last 15 years, as well as the number of productions. Still, five-star tv series are not that common.
In addition, shows able to keep their quality intact until the end are even more infrequent. I lost the count of all the series I gave up on because they suddenly became too boring to keep watching.
Or, as the jargon has it, since they “jumped the shark”.
Nevertheless, beautiful tv series do exist.
There are at least six shows that I did watch from the beginning to the end. And that I could watch over and over. Shows that meet all the above-mentioned requirements.
Hence, if you never ran into any of them or, even if you did, you’re sceptical because you feel they may not be your cup of tea, please check below list. Try to give these shows a chance. They changed my life and I’m sure they can change yours, too.
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Short synopsis: The Oceanic flight 815 crashes on a mysterious island. Only 47 people survive.
My opinion: I chose to begin with LOST because is the show that raised the stake and paved the way for those that followed.
Filmed in the stunning Oahu island, Hawaii, LOST writers reinvented the notion of the flashbacks –and not only them- as a narrative device, while exploring deeply the psychology of the characters and their development. Yes, because at its core LOST is a character-driven show first.
If you never watched it before, you probably heard everything and its opposite. But let me tell you, you’re very lucky.
I am actually jealous of anyone approaching this tv series for the first time. Because you’re about to start an extraordinary journey along with the survivors of the Oceanic Flight 815. And nothing will ever be the same again.
After all, according to critics, there is a before and after LOST. And I wholeheartedly agree.
GAME OF THRONES
Genre: Drama, Fantasy
Short synopsis: The noble households of the Seven Kingdoms fight for the Iron Throne, while a common threat is hanging over them.
My opinion: GAME OF THRONES is based on the series of fantasy novels A Song Of Ice And Fire by George R.R. Martin, who was loosely inspired by the War Of The Roses. It’s set in the imaginary continent of Westeros, where the Seven Kingdoms strongly remind Late Medieval Europe, and particularly England.
The setting is one of the main reasons why I find this series so engaging. It is indeed a fantasy, yet the fantastic elements are quite subtle at the beginning, making it much more appealing for those who normally hate this genre.
Any further detail I am afraid would spoil a brilliant plot that causes real addiction. If you don’t believe me, just Google GAME OF THRONES. You will soon find out that is currently the most popular tv show in the world. It’s also the most award-winning series in tv history. I think it speaks volumes about its value.
Regardless, people who never even heard about it still exist.
When they asked me: “But what is all about?”, since the answer would obviously be too long and complicated, I reply: “There is nothing as beautiful on tv, at the moment.” Because that’s simply the truth.
Please, give it a try even if you usually despise fantasy. You won’t regret it.
Note: this is also one of the two shows in this list which are still on air. HBO will release Season 8, which will be the final season, between 2018/2019.
Short synopsis: In New York City, we follow the professional and personal lives of six friends, who are always ready to help each other.
My opinion: Aww, FRIENDS! Could I be any more in love with a show (note: read with Chandler’s voice)?
FRIENDS is the essence of the sit-com. An exceptional one. Many others tried to replicate its success and formula –a very simple one, notwithstanding- yet failed. It was a series able to preserve its quality, good acting and wittiness for over 10 years. Which is quite an achievement, considering its genre.
Even though I know most of the episodes by heart, FRIENDS can still make me laugh like no other series. And it will always have a special place in my heart because, like I’ll Be There For You theme song mentions, it’s been there for me. It helped me overcome very tough moments of my life, making me smile when I thought it was impossible.
That’s how great this show is.
Genre: Crime drama, procedural drama
Short synopsis: Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson solve cases in 21st Century London.
My opinion: I am one of those people who loathe procedural dramas. I find them repetitive and, because of their “case of the week” structure, they often lack continuity, which is an essential prerequisite for me.
But this is not the classical procedural drama. Continuity is not a problem, here.
And Sherlock Holmes doesn’t really need an introduction. We all know that we should thank Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for him.
You probably already watched many movies, short-films and tv series about him or inspired by such a unique character. After all, even House MD was admittedly based on Mr Holmes.
But what makes this a one-of-a-kind show is the fact that Sherlock and Watson live and work in modern-day London.
Nevertheless, SHERLOCK overall manages to stay quite faithful to its original material. It’s incredibly funny, very well written and exceptionally acted by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, who play Holmes and Watson, respectively. And very often it shows flashes of pure genius.
Note: Season 4 was supposed to be the last one, yet a Season 5 has been recently confirmed. However, there is no release date yet.
SEX AND THE CITY
Short synopsis: In New York City, we follow the sexual lives of 4 best friends, but also their professional struggles and their search for love.
My opinion: Based on the books of Candace Bushnell and, most of all, her New York Observer’s column, this show cleared the path for all the racy ones that followed.
I can’t really remember tv series where women could talk so frankly about sex and other taboos, prior to SEX AND THE CITY.
It also highly contributed letting the world know that “it’s not TV, it’s HBO”.
If you only watched the 2 subsequent movies, you may probably think the worst of this series. I know I’m not in love with them either, especially movie #2.
You may believe that, aside from the glamorous fashion and a couple of gags, there is not much more. However, I’d suggest you stay away from the movies, at least until you watched the whole show first.
You will find yourself genuinely surprised that this series was the source material for the movies, considering how brilliant, smart and funny it is. And perhaps it will shock you finding out that, at its core, it is principally about several kinds of love: for friends, for a significant other and for the wonderful New York City, arguably the 5th main character of the series.
Genre: Crime drama
Short synopsis: After a terminal cancer diagnosis, an honest chemistry teacher decides to raise some money for his family by cooking methamphetamines.
My opinion: BREAKING BAD is one of those extremely smart tv shows that will make you wonder why you didn’t watch it earlier.
If you were sceptical because you assumed it was too sad –after all, a 50-year-old man diagnosed with terminal cancer who worries about his family is not exactly comedy material- please think again.
The cancer is not the main tragedy of the plot, it’s just what sets in motion the whole chain of events.
The real tragedy is Walter White himself –a magnificent Bryan Cranston- and his descent towards a life very, very different from the one he’s used to. A life he may even begin to like, as the title suggests.
What are your favourite tv shows? Did you watch any of them? Did you love them, too?