AH! Because all these Top Ten lists have been such a hit, I’m doing another one. LOL. Fine, because it so fun and because I STILL haven’t ranked the best series. So here we go. FINALLY. My top ten. I think. Dammit. This list was so hard to create. Also, SPOILERS. Because I’m fairly certain I can’t review a series without some spoilers. But I swear not to review any of the HUGE CRAZY TWISTS. You’re welcome.
Honorable Mention: Breaking Bad – The only reason I didn’t put this on the actual list is that I haven’t finished it yet. I’m in Season 2 and I’m really hooked. It has 5 seasons though, so I have to finish it before I can solidly put it on my list. (If I had to guess, it’s going to move to the #3 spot when it’s all said and done (knocking my #10 back to Honorable Mention. As long as the last season doesn’t pull a Dexter on me.)
10. Mad Men – A period drama set in the 60s, this AMC show made advertising sexy. There was obviously drama, sex, scandal, and intrigue combined with some of my favorite fashion (I see you Joan!). What’s not to love about following the exploits of Don Draper as a “mad man” in the 60s? Answer: Nothing. This show gave us all sorts of complex characters, great acting, and a story different from anything else out there.
9. The Blacklist – James Spader is EVERYTHING that makes this show worth watching. The FBI’s Most Wanted Raymond Reddington (turned criminal informant) is a complex man who is nearly always 3 moves ahead of the FBI. So far, it’s still proving to be a very entertaining show (that just got it’s own spinoff). And we still have more episodes to catch the criminals of the world (or for Red to use them to benefit his criminal empire).
8. The 100 – The internet and Tumblr describe it as Battlestar Galactica meets Lost meets The CW. And I agree. The CW is known for their attractive younger casts and drama. But The 100 is so much better than anyone gives it credit for. It’s a sleeper agent on the network. It starts in post-apocalyptic space and then goes to the ground. Just seeing the Earth 97 years post nuclear war was enough to get me interested. But the characters are well developed and the plot line seems to move in a direction that generally makes sense. The first couple episodes were more “teen drama”, but the show really latched onto “the survival of the human race” and The 100 is so much better because of it.
7. Friends – This is a big deal for me. Because I’m not a huge fan of sitcoms. In fact, I generally hate them. But I happen to really enjoy this one. Which, it IS the classic right? The model that every other sitcom wants to follow? And there’s a reason for that. It’s funny and touching. And everything that I want to believe that New York can be.
6. Grey’s Anatomy – When you go 13 seasons strong, you know you’ve hit gold. It’s basically owned and defined the medical drama genre for a decade. Premiering at the tail end of ER (the original owner of the medical drama genre), Grey’s was new and fresh about the latest group of surgical interns at Seattle Grace Hospital. And since then, we’ve been following the cases, life, tragedies, and triumphs of the surgeons of (the renamed) Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. In the past couple years, a few new shows have come out to attempt to take the place of Grey’s Anatomy in this genre. And they have failed (although NBC’s Chicago Med is clearly popular, as it’s a part of the network’s “One Chicago” universe). Still, nothing so far has managed to capture the magic of Shonda’s original hit drama.
5. Stranger Things* – I couldn’t bring myself to rate this any higher than 5 simply because it only has one season. It’s new – unproven. BUT the trailer for Season 2 looks really good. I’m excited. This was the exact thing you want from Netflix. Compelling story, great characters, and ALL the 80s TV nostalgia. Reminiscent of ET, The Goonies, and Twin Peaks, this show took those themes and expanded them with great acting and writing. The only downside? THERE ARE ONLY EIGHT EPISODES. I need more ASAP Netflix!
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Was there ever anything more girl power than Buffy? With a re-watch it’s easy to see that the graphics aren’t great. This show would kill with a High Definition makeover. But the story lines are still amazing. And this show gave, what I consider, the best musical episode of all time. It created a cult following. And honestly, it’s the best portrayal of vampires out there. They don’t sparkle. They aren’t the good guys (even if one or two sometimes do good things). And, to me, it was the original “love triangle”. Angel-Buffy-Spike. Joss Whendon really nailed the supernatural with this show. #SpuffyForever
3. Sex and the City – This is 90s in its best form. Carrie Bradshaw imparted a lot of of wisdom about men, friends, and life. It was smart, sassy, and sweet in different shades during it’s 6 season run. And while some things are certainly outdated (smoking in public, for example) the show still has it. A re-watch makes you want to move to New York and live in Carrie’s fabulous world. Those four ladies (Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda) worked, dated, loved, and lived their way through New York. And sometimes they were your inspirations, your aspirations, or “Avoid at All Costs” embodiment. But they certainly evoked feeling. “Maybe the best any of us can do is not to quit, play the hand we’ve been given, and accessorize the outfit we’ve got.”
2. Friday Night Lights – Clear eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose. Unlike most shows on my list, with big twists and turns and DRAMA, Friday Night Lights was about a football town in rural Texas. The lives for Coach Eric Taylor and his wife (Counselor and then Principal) Tami Taylor. It was quaint. It dealt with everyday life and the lives of the football players. Season 2 did go a little off the rails (and lose 8 episodes due to the Writer’s Strike). But it came back stronger than ever and made 3 more GREAT seasons. Friday Night Lights wasn’t just entertaining. It was inspiring. (And the football was fun to watch too!) Just hearing that theme song brings a smile to my face. NEVER SKIP THE INTRO GUYS.
1. Game of Thrones – Was there ever any doubt? This adaptation from the George R. R. Martin books is HBO’s best creation. Award winning, top notch acting, and a plot with twist and turns worthy of TV. We’re just 13 episodes (so they say) away from finding out the ending that book readers have waited 25 YEARS for. (No seriously, the first book was published in 1991 and Martin STILL hasn’t finished the series!) The epic fantasy world looks GREAT on TV. Plus with more dragons, magic, and battles, the end is going to be a wild ride. WINTER IS FINALLY HERE.