For a guy who works in television, I watch surprisingly little television. Well, relatively speaking. In comparison to most, I watch what I consider a somewhat below average amount. In comparison to my friends like Martin Gero and Mark Savela, I hardly watch any at all. Not counting a few guilty “non-scripted” shows like Top Chef and the like, my t.v.-watching consists of: Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead. I’m catching up on Louie, South Park and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on DVD and will download the second season of American Horror Story if/when it becomes available online. Oh, and I have been watching Modern Family, but that’s more Akemi’s show than one of mine.
All that said, I’d like to find a brilliant new series to watch. Something along the lines of past favorites like The Sopranos, The Shield, Arrested Development, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and Rome. The type of series that’s so good, so well-written, so well-directed, and so well-acted that you simply cannot wait to watch the next episode. I checked out other strongly reviewed shows, and came away decidedly underwhelmed. Some I found too slow-moving. Others I found offensively contrived. Still others were simply not my cup of tea. So I’m going to try my luck again with a new round.
I’ve heard great thing about each of the following. Which one should I start with?
As a big fan of The Sopranos, I had my eye on this organized crime period drama when it premiered back in 2010, but my initial enthusiasm was somewhat dampened by critiques from trusted sources. The consensus opinion of the early episodes: good, but slow. Slow? Life’s too short – and watching shows that make it feel longer aint the way to go. So I took a pass on this one. But since then, I keep hearing very good things. Apparently, once you get past the set-up, it’s riveting viewing.
I avoided this show because I’m not the biggest fan of Timothy Olyphant. He’s a fine actor, but I fear my intense dislike for the character he played in Deadwood could taint my enjoyment of this show. But my friend and former fellow Exec. Producer (on a show I honestly can’t remember working on), Alexander Ruemelin, swears by its brilliance. And, as wacky as that lovable German is, I do value his opinion…
Unlike some of the other shows on this list, no one I know has ever watched Archer. All the positive reviews I’ve read have come from online sources that call this animated series clever, controversial and, above all, hilarious.
This one has a lot of fans but the premise seems, quite frankly, a little dry. Still, Robert Cooper, another fellow whose opinion I trust, says it’s a damn fine show – although he warns it IS a soap opera. But that’s fine. In many ways so was The Sopranos.
Hmmm. At first blush, not my cup of tea, but this one comes highly recommended by my uber-caustic buddy Tara in Toronto. I can fault her taste in many things (hats for instance), but her sense of humor is dead-on…and, not so coincidentally, very similar to mine. So if Tara says Girls is worth watching, maybe Girls IS worth watching.
Another Alexander Ruemelin pick. And those who like it, REALLY like it – among them, my buddy Nige in Montreal. Then again, Nige also liked both Transformers movies so I’m not so sure…
Idris Elba is terrific and I’ve heard great things about this show, but I’ve yet to get around to watching it. Why? In the words of Scooby Doo: “I run row.”
Another Brit entry and another series no one I know watches, but everyone online seems to love. I’m sure more than a few of you have already checked it out. Thoughts?