Lately – the last year – I’ve been watching a lot of TV-series. This is my top 15 of TV-series selected from the IMDB top 100. This gives an overrepresentation of UK and USA produced TV-series produced after 2000. In three categories:
A. Agressive and flawed heroes from the USA you should dislike from 1 to 7
The Sopranos is amazing in depicting so many characters and mixing violence and soap. The Wire is the most realistically paced series, building up slowly, and then paying out for the patience by giving this overview of crime and politics in Baltimore. Breaking Bad has the best opening. It puts you right in the middle of the story, it is exhilirating and makes you wonder: how the hell did that guy get in the desert in his underpants? And what’s next? Dexter kills bad people and you keep wondering why you like him. Or is that the reason I like him? Game of Thrones is candy for the eyes, fairytales you sort of remember from your childhood how they should be, with kings and monsters and women. Like the Sopranos Battlestar Galactica is amazing in depicting so many characters and mixing scifi with philosophic questions about human identity, leadership, democracy, religion, determinism, free will and good and bad. Deadwood also has no clear lines between good and evil with a lot of agression. Is that the natural way for a civilization to develop? Is natural good?
B. UK comedy from 8 to 11
Thinking of Fawlty Towers I always see Basil/John Cleese on the landing of the first floor, all folded up and chastizing himself for the embaressment he put himself through, again. A definite must see. Monty Python’s Flying Curcus is best at changing your perception. After I’ve seen the show the otherwise normal world looks absurd. Black Books is for depressed people who want to be able to identify with a negative hero and laugh about it. My favourite episode is when they write the childrens book. Coupling is funny in dealing with relations in a recognizable way.
C. Comedy and drama from the USA at 12 through to 15
Seinfeld’s episodes about waiting for a table in a Chinese restaurant and finding their parked car in the parking garage are classics. Friends is funny and endearing. Firefly is a western in the sky, with beautiful production and people, and with this hero, the lone cowboy, who is not righteous but does the right thing. Mad Men paints very vivid how a 60’s housewife can get depressed, because of the way society works at the time you’re living your life, and how that all changed.