We've had a few threads recently criticising the direction of various shows cough Game of Thrones cough and @Amarok suggested a thread celebrating the good stuff on TV instead. Personally,...
We've had a few threads recently criticising the direction of various shows cough Game of Thrones cough and @Amarok suggested a thread celebrating the good stuff on TV instead. Personally, television is by far my favourite means of visual storytelling, a good TV show can go into the kind of depth and complexity that the more time-limited format of movies just can't touch.
A few of my favourite shows then, in no particular order:
House MD - recently rewatched this and it definitely stands the test of time. Sure, there are a few weak episodes here and there but on balance it's solid. Hugh Laurie absolutely nails the role of
Sherlock Holmes Greg House and the supporting cast are excellent too. It has one of my all-time favourite endings of all television shows, even knowing what was coming I still ended up a little moist of eye by the end. Also they grade the colour with increasing desaturation throughout season 8, almost to the point of it being monochrome - until the final scene is in glorious, bright colour and I love little touches like that. TV shouldn't just be actors reading lines, there is a whole medium to tell stories with (Game of Thrones also did this kind of thing well).
Detectorists - BBC show about two metal detectorists. Gloriously paced, slow and gentle but insistent in telling it's tale, with really strong characters. Finishes beautifully, at just the right time. A gem of a show, it's very well written and nearly flawless throughout. Mackenzie Crook (writer, director) was offered more seasons but he declined because the show was finished and that takes guts to do but I love that he did. Also features Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell) who is never not brilliant.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer - I mean what can you even say about Buffy. Might have been the last show where my friends would meet up for a watch party every week, hanging out for hours discussing it and enjoying herbal cigarettes for the evening. Streaming is great and so convenient but in some ways I do miss TV being an event. There was someone very special about getting everyone together once a week to share in that world, and especially with Buffy because the characters were so close in age to me (I'm slightly younger than Alyson Hannigan and I had such a crush on Willow). Sure, it had it's wobbles (the entire Adam story arc, for example) but also some of the best TV moments of the 90s/early 2000s. Once More With Feeling and Hush are fan favourites for a reason.
Hannibal - Produced by Bryan Fuller, who is always good, but absolutely outdoes himself here, and Mads Mikkelson is terrifying in the titular role. Visually it's stunning, the plot is engaging and deeply disturbing, the characters well drawn and believable (Hannibal particularly so, which is all the more horrifying) and the sound design is absolutely astonishing. I bought a whole new sound system literally just for this show and it was totally worth it. Sound design is one of those things which you only notice when it's particularly bad or particularly good and Hannibal is definitely the latter. It's such a well-rounded piece of television, it uses colour and light and sound and all the tools in the TV maker's box. the ending is a little on the weak side but they got axed early - Bryan Fuller had five seasons planned but they only got three.
I could go on, but I won't because I'll go on for ages! Please add a couple of your favourite shows and maybe we can all find a few new things to watch.