Everybody has a TV show or another that they could ( and they do) watch over and over again. I mean, not the most awarded ones, or the most talked about online, but the ones that you are most invested emotionally in. They can be series no one heard of, one that is despised by many or on the contrary loved by everybody. Whose characters spoke to you in a particular way, whose storyline entrapped you without any wish or desire to escape.
I thought over the past week while I was working for a work-related project which series I would put on my list as absolute favorite and why. So, without much further ado, here are MY favorite DRAMA series (and not mini-series, not dramedies, for these will be an different post). They are in no particular order.
Branded as a show for the guys (as are most of the series that you are about to read on my list), Spartacus has won me over because of the love stories. Who can honestly resist that? The series was in pretty good shape -speaking from a writer’s point of view and the cast was superb. And ….yes, in this series, the men undressed as much as women. there’s a lot of full frontals, which is a nice…(can I use the word?) change for once. BUT…the one thing that I liked above all things is that the material written by Steven S. Knight and the writers of the show is more romantic than the material I’ve seen in countless soap-operas. And trust me, it’s not that easy to write “BIG WORDS” of love without sounding cheesy and corny. This series totally nailed and I enjoyed every minute of it.
2. Beauty and The Beast (1987).
One of the first TV series I’ve seen from beginning to end. Written by G.R.R Martin, Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon ( no idea who they were at that time nor had any interest in remembering their name). Big Mistake. I cried buckets of tears when Catherine died (never though it possible). For a while I expected a crazy stupid plot line to reveal that she had survived, but it didn’t happen. I loved the underworld the writers had created and even now when I’m traveling by tube, I sometimes thing there could be such a world. Good things about this series: the music, the poetry, Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. The series is available on Netflix if you wish to re-watch it.
3. American Horror Story Season 2 Asylum
I’m not particularly fond of what’s happening this season on AHS (it’s bordering hot mess), but the second season was exquisite. It’s the season that made me discover just what a great actress Sarah Paulson is. I love, love, love discovering new actors. I loved the visual concept of that season, the storylines, “Lana Banana”. I think, and I don’t believe I’m mistaken, when I say that Asylum is the best season of the AHS anthology. Plus there was Joseph Fiennes in it…and that’s reason enough to love it.
4. Friday Night Lights ( All the seasons)
The sport/ family drama came to my life at a later time. Only a few months ago I discovered it on Netflix. I binge-watched it, of course wishing that they had never cancelled it. I cried so many times over the storylines ( even of happiness) , that you could easily fill up a small lake with my tears. That doesn’t sound too good, does it? Well, trust me, it will happen to you too. It’s the good cry. If you want to watch it, I must tell you that I had some difficulty finishing the first episode ( I found it confusing, to say the truth). But I’m glad I stuck to it, ’cause it proved a magnificent series. Peter Berg’s directorial manner shaped this series into awesomeness. And Taylor Kitsch…let’s say….Amazing!
5. Homeland ( Season 1)
Homeland is one of those series that start exceptionally and end up…hot mess. But not the first season. I prefer to think of Homeland as a limited series. Carrie, from now, is completely out of track with who she was as a character at the beginning. Although not the first series to tackle such an serious subject, Homeland made a distinction in terms of storytelling and characters that made everything real and possible..and because of that possible and frightening. Damien Lewis was unbelievable good as the tormented Brody, and Claire Danes…well, she’s Claire Danes.
6. Miami Vice
This cop drama rocked my world. It was the first TV show that used pop music to set up a fictional world of glamour and luxury. The characters were like nothing I’d seen before, the coolness of Sonny Crockett, the cases. To my recollection, it was the first series that I saw that had an AIDS related storyline. Or Latin Characters, people who were rich. There is one episode in which Sonny loses his memory and shoots Rico Tubbs believing he’s working for the Mafia. And I remember that episode the song was “Don’t Give Up” by Peter Gabriel. How can you beat that?
7. Game of Thrones
For a long time I didn’t want to have anything with Game of Thrones. I heard so many people saying: “Oh, it’s so great, you have to watch it”. And the more they said it to me, the less I wanted to see it. I even tried at one point to watch the first episode. I convinced myself that I didn’t like it. Then one day, I just re-watched the pilot, and I don’t know how but this time was different. I was instantly hooked. And I devoured the first four seasons in just a couple of weeks. It’s the script, it’s the actors, it’s the whole package.
Yet another series which is male-oriented. It has fights, it has drama and sex ( every episode, to be precise), but also romance. Exceptionally well written. And the second season sees Alan Ball’s hand in all of it. Oh boy! I love, love, love, love it! And Antony Starr is freaking hot!
9. Ripper Street
Watched it only because Matthew Macfadyen was in it. Stayed for the whole two season because the writing is top quality, the storyline daring and bold, the acting superb. Set in the late Victorian time, 6 months after Jack the Ripper ceased his crimes, Ripper Street is everything you wish in a Drama Series. It has also a tiny romance storyline which fits perfectly into the series. I can’t wait to watch the third season. If only it came sooner.
10. The Shield
Kurt Sutter’s master series. Violent and magnetic at the same time. One of the first with a good guy gone dirty. Definitely this series put Michael Chiklis on the list of my favorite actors as he was so spot on with his emotions. He was the good father, the lousy husband, the generous lover, the dirty cop. I knew him from The Commish, but nothing compared to The Shield. Excellent writing.
Which are your favorite series?