/ 05 May 2016 / Leave a comment
9 GREAT TV SHOWS
I like movies as much as the next girl, but what really gets my heart beating is TV. Good TV, that is. (Okay okay you got me, I do have some guilty pleasures...that I shan't feature here .) To me, the basis of good TV is great camera and editing, good direction and acting and very importantly, great script. This together makes for high production value and sets the show up for success straight off the bat. Us viewers, we'll believe anything, as long as it's well executed.
I don't discriminate any genres so you'll find a mix of things on this list, but I believe all of them make for great TV, each for their specific reason. Here goes!
THE KILLINGI watched the US version before I learned it was adapted from a Danish TV show, but unlike some adaptation attempts, this one is good. I might go as far as to say that I prefer it. (And I'm not the only one.)
This is a crime show, with dark and twisted undertones. It's set in Seattle and couldn't be further from your usual CSI stuff. I love it for the same reason we all loved Serial: the whole season investigates just one crime. The pace is good and so is the plot. The show centres around a female-male cop duo, Linden and Holder, whose personalities are seemingly incompatible, but actually work. Linden has some serious noir charisma. It may sound like a cliché but it's not, it's very well made and very high on my list of great TV.
Watch if: you like clever and well made who done it stories. If you loved Serial. If Seattle's atmosphere appeals to you. If you're in the mood for something a little dark.
Best season: 1, without a doubt. But all 4 are worth watching, you can find them on Netflix.
Closely based on a same name book by Diana Gabaldon, I'd resisted this show for a while. The premise: a woman travels in time 2 centuries back did not sound appealing. I don't care much for time travel stuff, but Outlander is way more than that. Plus, the costumes are amazing.
After World War II, Clare and her estranged husband Frank travel to Scotland for their second honeymoon. Frank is interested in genealogy and studies his family tree. Clare accidentally travels through time to 18th century Scotland. Are you bored yet? If so, stay with me anyway. Apart from the great costumes, you'll learn about life in the Highlands and about the clans culture that died out after the battle of Culloden. You'll learn about Jacobites, all in a very gripping period drama way. You can count on beautiful settings and good acting, especially from Sam Heughan who plays Jamie, the handsome man in the photo.
Watch if: you like period pieces, Scotland, Sam Heughan, history and even time travel. If you want to know what life may have looked like almost 300 years ago.
Best season: with only 1 full season out, it's too soon to tell. New episodes every Saturday. There are about 10 books in the series though, so hopefully we have at least 5 more seasons to look forward to.
P.S. I downloaded the audiobook after finishing the first season. I'm now finishing the 2nd audiobook in the series (they are 45 hours each after all) and the reader Davina Porter is nothing short of brilliant. I highly recommend that too!
MAD MENMy list wouldn't be complete without the (in my opinion) best TV show of all time (though there are close seconds), Mad Men. I'm assuming you've all heard about it, so I'll keep it brief. If you've not watched this, don't hesitate (and also I'm jealous because watching a great TV show for the first time is a wonderful experience). It covers everything from politics, advertising, the American dream, sexism at the workplace, sexism in general, feminisim, fashion...I could go on. Watch it, fall in love with Don, you won't regret it. I think.
Watch if: you want to be my friend. And if you're feeling like taking a peek into life in the 60s in the US. Also if you love advertising.
Best season: too hard to pick. There's 7 of them and every season has unique value. The show doesn't slack. (I still haven't watched the final few episodes, I'm savouring them - I don't want this to be over! So no spoliers, I beg you!)
FLESH AND BONEEverybody loves ballet. This is the dark side of it. And the show's all better for it. This title is little known and there is only one season with 8 episodes, I don't think starz plans on making more (this is my official appeal to Netflix to pick it up). Claire comes to NYC to audition for a ballet company. She has a secret and she's doing her best to keep it together. A lot of beautiful ballet inbetween. (And the lead actress is stunning and perfect in the role.)
Watch if: you like White Swan to Black Swan pieces. If you love ballet and aren't too squeamish.
Best season: n/a. But, Netflix, you got this.
RITALet's lighten it up a bit. I present you Rita, a niche TV show. Why niche? Well, because it's Danish, which means subtitles. Yup, I know I've already put some of you off, but it's worth the read! Rita is unlike any other show I know, precisely because of its country of origin. The episodes are shorter and Rita is a true character. But I'm jumping ahead.
Rita is a rebellious school teacher and a single mom of 3 almost grown up kids. We get to see both of these worlds. She's unconventional, but has integrity. She quickly grows on you as you follow her through her ups and downs. This wouldn't normally be up my street but something about the show keeps me watching. It isn't a big production, but it works.
Watch if: you're looking for good international TV. If you like Denmark and/or Danish. If you want to understand teachers better or if you're just looking for a new TV experience. It isn't revolutionary, but it is refreshing.
Best season: 1 or 2. All 4 seasons available on Netflix.
YOUNGERI've never heard of TV Land before but this show's put it on the map. The premise rings true: a 40 year old woman wants to get back to work after being a house wife and raising her kid for the past 18 years. Naturally, nobody wants to hire her. That's when she decides to fake it and be 26 again. And oh boy can she (pretty much) pass for it! This obviously comes with its own set of problems. Pretending to be in her twenties is fun but also pretty exhausting for Liza. To shorten it up: there's a very handsome boy and Hilary Duff acts as Liza's colleague/friend. If you like Hilary, great! If not, don't let that put you off.
And, I can't not say this, the wardrobe here is ah-mazing. The stylist is Patricia Field. Rings a bell? You probably know her from Sex and the City (!!)
Watch if: you're in the mood for comedy. Lord knows I've not included much of that on this list. Also watch for tips on how to look 14 years younger, as the actress playing Liza actually is 40. You'd never have guessed.
Best season: Only 2 seasons out right now. They're both pretty great.
3 MORE SUGGESTIONSThe Fall: Another dark and twisty crime show focusing on just one perp. British. Jamie Dornan.
The Walking Dead: Yes of course. If you sum up this show in one sentence, it does not to it justice. I don't like zombie stuff. I love this show. But like I said, I'll eat up whatever you serve me, as long as it tastes good. (A bit inappropriate to mix food and zombies but after 6 seasons I'm immune.)
First Dates: The only reality TV I'll watch. The format is so popular it got picked up in Australia as well as in the US (by Ellen DeGeneres!). It's blind dates on TV. Two people meet for the first time in the First Dates Restaurant. It's in London, it's a stone's throw away from Saint Paul's and it's full of awkward, glad-this-is-not-me moments. Also fun and aw moments. Each episode shows you 5 or so couples. So, so interesting to see how people act and behave in this real situation.
*By now you can probably tell I love TV. So do leave me your own recommendations, I'm in a desperate need for something new!
Let me know if you try any of these 9 shows or what you thought about them if you've already seen them.
P.S. If you're wondering why GoT isn't on the list, it's because I'm not a fan. Sorry! I gave it a go, I don't hate it but that's about it.
P.P.S. I still have a few recs up my sleeve but this is already a monster of a post, so let me know if you'd be interested in another! I can't wait to read your recommendations.