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Canvassing opinions on TV series

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djross
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Canvassing opinions on TV series

Postby djross » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:48 am

Good television series do exist. For me, the pinnacle is represented by Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage (score: 100) and Fanny and Alexander (94), and Syberberg's Hitler – ein Film aus Deutschland (98), probably followed by von Trier's The Kingdom and perhaps Lynch's Twin Peaks. In any case, I am interested in the question of whether there are more recent TV series that are worthy of consideration. The following are a list of American series that seem to be spoken of highly in some quarters, and I am interested in opinions about which are the best, and what may be the virtues or otherwise of each one:
    Battlestar Galactica
    Boardwalk Empire
    Breaking Bad
    Deadwood
    Mad Men
    The Sopranos
    The Wire
I have in fact watched two of these series (Battlestar Galactica; The Sopranos), enjoying both, and include them here for the purposes of triangulation. Of course, if there is a glaring omission from the above list, feel free to offer further suggestions.

movieboy
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Re: Canvassing opinions on TV series

Postby movieboy » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:37 am


JooJoo
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Re: Canvassing opinions on TV series

Postby JooJoo » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:54 pm

I'll leave out comedies as that tends to be more subjective than others.

Deadwood & Carnivale are absolutely fantastic and essential; as long as you can endure the pain of series that got cancelled without a proper ending. You will not find a TV series that excels so in writing as with Deadwood.

The Wire is very good. I loved how each season went in a different direction (sometimes drastically) and kept it new and interesting.

Mad Men starts out very strong, but each season had a diminishing effect. A real soap opera element entered the series and I don't believe I finished season 4.

don't know about the rest, but will definitely be checking out Boardwalk Empire soon.

Six Feet Under deserves a consideration (I'm sure I'll get flack for this one after I denigrated Mad Men so) - fantastic actors, probably the best ending of any TV series (this or Newhart), and direction way above par even for HBO.

JooJoo
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Re: Canvassing opinions on TV series

Postby JooJoo » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:59 pm

and on the topic of TV, why isn't Paranoia Agent on criticker yet? It seems to fall under the same guidelines of other miniseries that criticker included.

JacoIII
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Re: Canvassing opinions on TV series

Postby JacoIII » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:57 pm

I found Breaking Bad got a little tiresome in the 3rd season (which is why I've stopped watching, for now) but I do believe it's worth watching. If nothing else, Cranston is an excellent actor.

The Wire is one of the best things ever, in my opinion. I can't say enough good things about the show: incredible ensemble acting, magnificent writing etc. Word of warning, the first season takes a few episodes to get into but I think I was totally hooked after the 4th episode.

Deadwood is similarly fantastic although I haven't found time to finish watching the third season (midterms/finals got in the way). I breezed through the first two during the summer and was totally blown away by the writing and Ian McShane.

I'd also recommend Justified (also starring Timothy Olyphant). It's not a perfect show but the first few seasons have been hugely entertaining.

TheDenizen
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Re: Canvassing opinions on TV series

Postby TheDenizen » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:26 pm

The Wire, Breaking Bad, Deadwood and Battlestar Galactica are all fantastic and can be considered essential viewing. Also check out Spartacus and Rome if you like gore and tits.

Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men I have not watched, but I thought The Sopranos was pretty overrated. First two seasons were great, but once Tony stops going to therapy it gets significantly less interesting.

adouble
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Re: Canvassing opinions on TV series

Postby adouble » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:56 pm

JacoIII wrote:I'd also recommend Justified (also starring Timothy Olyphant). It's not a perfect show but the first few seasons have been hugely entertaining.


I'd like to second this. Justified is my favorite show on TV right now.

Deadwood is without a doubt the best TV show I've ever seen. It's got one of the best TV casts I've ever seen(you really can't go wrong with Tim Olyphant, Ian McShane, Brad Dourif, Powers Boothe, and Garrett Dillahunt, just to name a few), and the writing is incredible, especially given the really cool and unique dialogue style that gets employed throughout the series.

I haven't finshed The Wire yet (about 3 episodes into Season 4), but what I've seen is very impressive. Omar is the best character in TV history, and the way the show constantly builds on itself makes it really satisfying to watch. Season 1 definetely takes awhile to get going, and Season 2, while not bad, is not up to the standard of the rest of the series, but it's worth it regardless.

Most people love Breaking Bad, but I struggled to get into it. While Cranston and Aaron Paul are undoubtedly excellent, I found everyone else uninteresting and the show never really engaged me. I'll probably try it again at some point in the future.

I don't know if you have an interest in TV comedies, but if so I would highly recommend checking out Parks and Recreation(Season 2 onward) and Arrested Development.
Last edited by adouble on Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CMonster
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Re: Canvassing opinions on TV series

Postby CMonster » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:11 pm

The Wire was my favorite thing I ever watched (movie or tv) till I saw Breaking Bad which I would say is even with it in how much I like it. The one negative thing I could say about The Wire is that it does take a few episodes to get into. I think its because it just kinda throws you into everything and doesn't hold your hand and nicely introduce it's plethora of characters. So it even took me a couple episodes to learn everybody's names. Taking a while to get into it seems to be a pretty common complaint though, so I'd give it at least 4 or 5 episodes to decide if you want to watch more. Also, as previous people said, all the seasons are very different to keep things fresh and exciting and Omar is the greatest tv character ever.

Breaking Bad's first 2 seasons would probably be put above The Wire in how awesome they are. The are some really astounding moments that combine writing/directing/acting that take you from something hilarious to something deeply emotional in a matter of seconds. The third season is still better than most everything I've seen on tv, but is not as good as the first 2. And season 4 is marginally better than the third.

I've not seen the other shows you've mentioned although Mad Men, Deadwood, and Boardwalk Empire are probably on the top of my list of things I'm planning on watching.

paulofilmo
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Re: Canvassing opinions on TV series

Postby paulofilmo » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:02 pm

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ShogunRua
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Re: Canvassing opinions on TV series

Postby ShogunRua » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:17 am

Short summaries-

Sopranos- Overrated, self-important fucking garbage.

Boardwalk Empire- Good, not great. Has a lot of good elements, but also plenty of flaws. I liked the first season far more than the second one.

Mad Men- An incredible masterpiece. Easily the best US dramatic series I have seen. (For the record, I have not seen "The Wire", "Deadwood", "Breaking Bad", or some of the other shows mentioned here)

In terms of miniseries from any country, I doubt anything will top I, Claudius for me.


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