Ten of the best television shows that you should catching up on
You will finally be able to use the phrases “Greenzo” and “Hill-People Milk” and appreciate the significance of “Sandwich Day”, “MILF Island” and “Leap Day Williams” when you start to watch 30 Rock. The show was ranked by Newsweek as “The Best Comedy on TV in the Past Decade” in 2009 for a good reason, as it is filled with smart and creatively written humor. There are also a slew of celebrity guests who pop up onto the show, like Jerry Seinfeld, John McEnroe and Matt Damon, as well as two actors who star in shows that are featured on this very list.
(2006-2013) TV series – NBC (Available to stream on Netflix)
Emmy’s: Sixteen wins, 103 Nominations
Behind the Candelabra
Behind the Candelabra was aired on HBO in May, and is about the last ten years of Liberace’s (Michael Douglas) life. The film highlights the secret affair that Liberace had with Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) and won several Primetime Emmy Awards including ‘Outstanding Miniseries or Movie’ and ‘Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie’.
(2013) TV movie – HBO
Emmy’s: Eleven wins, fifteen nominations
The Bible, a show that shows the unified connection between the Old Testament and New Testament, premiered in March 2013 on the History Channel. The series is a ten-hour docudrama, which highlights many of the events in the Bible, and was so popular that the first episode garnered a not too shabby 13 million viewers.
(2013) Miniseries – History Channel
Emmy’s: Three nominations
What do you do when you are suddenly diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and immanent bills that will affect your family for years to come? Why, you set up a meth lab and call yourself Heisenberg, of course. This is the main premise of Breaking Bad, which was called “The Highest-Rated TV Show of All Time” by Guinness World Records. When people tell you that the show is good, they aren’t making it up, it’s good. Think of it this way: in the parking garage of television most good shows would be a BMW or an Audi or a Mercedes, but Breaking Bad is a Ferrari.
(2008-2013) TV series – AMC (Available to stream on Netflix)
Emmy’s: Ten wins, forty-two nominations
Boardwalk Empire, a drama that takes place during the Prohibition Era, focuses primarily on gagster/political figure, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi). The pilot episode is one of the most talked about, as it was directed by Martin Scorsese for a cool $18 million. And don’t forget about the bevy of historical characters who will pop up during the show, one of which is your friend and mine, Mr. Al Capone (Stephen Graham).
(2010- ) Season 4 finale November, season 5 confirmed. HBO (Available to stream on HBO GO if you have an account, or Netflix via DVD)
Emmy’s: Seventeen wins, forty nominations
Homeland is a psychological thriller that follows Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) who is a CIA agent with bipolar disorder. Mathison believes that a US Marine Corps Scout Sniper and recently released al-Qaeda prisoner of war, Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), was “turned” while he was held captive and is now a threat to US national security.
(2011- ) Season finale December 2013. Showtime (Available to stream on Showtime Anytime if you have an account, or Netflix via DVD)
Emmy’s: Eight wins, twenty nominations
House of Cards
House of Cards is a show that takes you inside of all of the fun delinquency, lies and general trickery of Capitol Hill. It is about Majority Whip Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) who, angry about the fact that he was passed over for the Secretary of State position, is exacting revenge on everybody in his path. With, I might add, a lovely amount of Southern witticisms and a frequent use of breaking the fourth wall.
(2013- ) Netflix Web Exclusive
Emmy’s: Three wins, nine nominations
Mix yourself up a nice Old Fashioned to settle in for a Mad Men Marathon. This show stars Jon Hamm as Don Draper, an advertising executive in 1960’s New York, and focuses on the personal lives of the other characters as well as the social customs of the 60’s. Mad Men is stocked full cultural themes of the time; I mean, how can you go wrong with commonplace office drunkenness, incalculable plumes of heavy cigarette smoke and even some workplace trysts? All of that and the show was ranked seventh in a list of the 101 best written shows by the Writer’s Guild of America? All you need now is a bowl of popcorn to accompany that stiff Old Fashioned.
(2007- ) Two part seventh season airing in early 2014 and 2015 – AMC (Available to stream on Netflix)
Emmy’s: Fifteen wins, ninety-seven nominations
The Walking Dead
Think of The Walking Dead as your worst nightmare. In some sort of bizarre series of events, zombies have taken over and you are one of the only survivors of their apocalyptic outbreak. What’s worse is that the zombies are attracted to sound, so good luck trying to effectively rid of them without getting bitten or eaten in the process. And on top of all of that you get the distinct pleasure of interacting with a few other survivors along the ways, some of who are slightly unpredictable. One of the great things about The Walking Dead is the attention that is taking to the realistic appearance of the zombies. It is so good, in fact, that the show has won the Emmy for “Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or Special” twice.
(2010 - ) TV Series – AMC (Available to stream on Netflix)
Emmy’s: Two wins, seven nominations
Flashback time: In 1941 Citizen Kane, which is very widely regarded to be one the greatest (if not the greatest) films ever made, lost the award for Best Picture to How Green Was My Valley. Why is this important? Because it shows that people are clearly capable of making mistakes. This is where The Wire comes into play. While not a movie, it was only ever nominated for two Emmy Awards despite being described as one of the best TV dramas of all time. The show looks into several facets of life in Baltimore including, the illegal drug trade, politics, the media and others. The Wire has also been praised about how realistically it is able to portray urban life. Some people say that the reason it did not win enough awards was because the plot lines were too “multilayered”, I just like call those people the Emmy voters.
(2002-2008) TV Series – HBO (available to stream on HBO GO if you have an account)
Emmy’s: Two Nominations