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Recent American TV drama series are fantastic ! Discuss...

martin_909 Avatar
8y, 8m agoPosted 8 years, 8 months ago
Years ago, I was never a big fan of most US drama series, finding them either cheesey, OTT, or too "touchy feely" and sentimental.

Over the past 6 or 7 years though, the quality has got much better IMO.

First off, I got hooked on The Sopranos & Six Feet Under.
Both superb shows that I watched from start to finish.

Then came Deadwood (Ian McShane is superb in this).

More recently I've got into The Shield which is incredibly addictive.
Not all that realistic perhaps, but it's incredibly tense & exciting.
I've just finished Season 5 and am about to pick up Season 6 (that's just been released).

Best of all though, is THE WIRE.
In my opinion, this is possibly the best TV drama series ever made.
Gritty, intelligent and realistic, it's written and acted brilliantly.
I had to watch a few episodes of Season 1 before it exerted it's grip on me (it's slow and takes a while to really get into), but after that I was totally hooked.

Having watched the recently released dvd box-set of Season 4, I couldn't wait for the 5th (and final) season to get released over here so I naughtily downloaded the episodes, and it was fantastic.

Best show I've ever seen.

There are a lot of other shows that have come from the US recently that don't really appeal to me but have been critically acclaimed (Heroes etc.).

So basically, I think the best drama series are coming from the US right now (by a mile).

What do you think ?

Any fans of the shows I've mentioned ?

Any other good top quality US drama shows that you enjoy ?
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martin_909 Avatar
8y, 8m agoPosted 8 years, 8 months ago
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#1
law and order
#2
Have just finished watching S2 of Dexter, which has been fantastic, the ultimate Antihero, and have enjoyed a number of TV series from over the pond since getting hooked on Twin Peaks
Which makes me wonder, whats happened to British Tv series?, where the good UK based Tv series?
I havent seen a good brit series since The Lakes or This life
#3
"law and order"

Why do you like it ? What are it's qualities etc. ? (I've never seen it).

Kinda hoping this might turn into an intersting discussion thread rather than people simply stating a show they like and not saying why....
#4
"I havent seen a good brit series since The Lakes or This life"

Ditto, especially "The Lakes" which was probably the last British drama show that really gripped me.
#5
I totally agree with the OP, over the past several years, US TV has been far better than the UK, which 10+ years ago, I would never have dreamed of ever saying.
#6
i have dextar season 1 and 2 but not watched it yet.
#7
Quite agree about Dexter, absolutely brilliant! Simply because you can't ever imagine yourself liking an anti-hero such as he is...messes with your head, quite literally, and quite brilliant.

Although, have to say, I'll be interested to view series 2 to see where they go with it after the events of series 1!

Huff was quite entertaining too - talk about a messed up family - the yanks just do it with so much more style than us - forget Eastenders, this is depression, mayhem, one-night-stand-pregnancies with Mercedes' and six figure salaries - much more appealing than baldie brits who dribble when they speak!!!
#8
Lost, Supernatural, Prison Break and Heroes. All great!
banned#9
HU5TLER;1772682
i have dextar season 1 and 2 but not watched it yet.


I'll have to look out for that one!
#10
I can't say I've been particulaly impressed. The Sarah Conner Chronicals on Virgin 1 have been good (although I wish they'd chosen a better actor as John Conner) but I can't say I found Heroes, Reaper, Bionic Woman to be anything more than watchable, about on par with Doctor Who, Torchwood and Ashes to Ashes. Life on mars was great.

'Monster Moves' and "How do they do it?" have been very interesting documentaries, although the 'humour' on the latter lacks sometimes.
#11
EndlessWaves;1772928
I can't say I've been particulaly impressed. The Sarah Conner Chronicals on Virgin 1 have been good (although I wish they'd chosen a better actor as John Conner) but I can't say I found Heroes, Reaper, Bionic Woman to be anything more than watchable, about on par with Doctor Who, Torchwood and Ashes to Ashes. Life on mars was great.

'Monster Moves' and "How do they do it?" have been very interesting documentaries, although the 'humour' on the latter lacks sometimes.


Well, you're talking more about fantasy / sci-fi series (not really my cup of tea).

For me it's been more gritty and realistic shows (especially The Wire & The Shield) that have impressed me.

British TV shows have a long way to go before they can come close to matching these IMO.
banned#12
guv;1772922
I'll have to look out for that one!


That didnt take long! Season one got - season 2 on the way. It is just 12 shows per season for Dexter?
banned#13
The Border is a pretty decent new show (although Canadian rather than US) that hasn't been mentioned yet, a drama about the immigration and customs over there.
Loads of other stuff I watch and enjoy at the moment, but not really that fits into the 'gritty and realistic shows' bracket.

Comedys - Big Bang Theory, Alien in America, Unhitched and Miss Guided are ok, along with The Riches and Greek (both in 2nd seasons)

Some others I watch that are currently airing - Breaking Bad, Jericho, October Road, Canterbury's Law, New Amsterdam, Eli Stone

Heres a decent link with what tv shows are airing on what days

http://www.pogdesign.co.uk/cat/
#14
The Shield has been great, but there have been really stupid plot holes when characters just disappear to avoid the writers having to resolve problems in the series. It's just about Vic Mackey being a hard as nails mother****ing ******* of a cop though, so the odd bit of forgetfulness makes little difference really.
24 was brilliant to begin with, but has been a bit slow and pointless for the last few years- it's retreading the same old territory and you know a series is getting bad when you're sat watching it and think 'I wish the annoying daughter character would come back into it' as I did at halfway through the last series!
Day Break was another one I really enjoyed, the cop is stuck in a 'Groundhog Day' reliving the same day thing, and it had some amazing twists that made it really unique- the ending wasn't a disappointment at all, much to my suprise.

My absolute favourite, a bit of a rarity this one, is 'The Lyon's Den' with Rob Lowe. They got the word that it was being cancelled a few episodes into filming, but were contracted to finish the series. Cue a massive rewrite, making it absolutely ludicrous and very, very funny- real riffing on stupid 80s soaps. It got so funny and mocking that they never bothered to show the last six episodes in the USA, but we got them all here. Arrested Development did a similar thing, check S2 for all the 'we're going to get cancelled' in jokes.
banned#15
billyX
Day Break was another one I really enjoyed, the cop is stuck in a 'Groundhog Day' reliving the same day thing, and it had some amazing twists that made it really unique- the ending wasn't a disappointment at all, much to my suprise.


I enjoyed day break too, along with runaway and vanished (shame that ending was the wosrt ever!)

Damages is one I forgot to mention too
#16
I'm surprised to see that no one has mentioned "The West Wing". "ER" was also brilliant for the first several seasons, as was "NYPD Blue".

Whilst not everyone's cup of tea, there have also been several great series aimed at teenagers/family audiences such as "Buffy", "Angel", (also have to throw in "Firefly" although not strictly in this category), "Dawson's Creek", "Veronica Mars", etc.)
#17
Arrested Development is class.
#18
Jericho and Invasion were excellent Sci-Fi series' which got canned too quickly (although Jericho has been bought back, yay!). (and we can't forget Battlestar Gallactica which is on its way back for the final season)
Arrested Development was hilarious and had a good run.
Entourage is a must see just for Johnny Drama bro lol.
Psych is a little kooky but good, a bit like a funny CSI.
Dexter is great, and I love the way it gets to those hand wringing "critics" who don't like the "excessive" violence.
#19
MoneySavingG
Jericho and Invasion were excellent Sci-Fi series' which got canned too quickly (although Jericho has been bought back, yay!). (and we can't forget Battlestar Gallactica which is on its way back for the final season)
Arrested Development was hilarious and had a good run.
Entourage is a must see just for Johnny Drama bro lol.
Psych is a little kooky but good, a bit like a funny CSI.
Dexter is great, and I love the way it gets to those hand wringing "critics" who don't like the "excessive" violence.


Bad news G it has been cancelled once again! :x:x:x the finale airs tomorrow in the US, im seriously pi$$ed of its got cancelled as its my favourite show!
#20
odriscoll;1773645
Bad news G it has been cancelled once again! :x:x:x the finale airs tomorrow in the US, im seriously pi$$ed of its got cancelled as its my favourite show!


Damn you CBS!!
#21
Never mind all these Drama shows...

South Park has started up again for Season 12 :w00t: :w00t:
#22
martin_909
Well, you're talking more about fantasy / sci-fi series (not really my cup of tea).


Kind of, the sci-fi/fantasy elements in those series are really just flavouring and something to help the plot along. They're drama series at heart rather than proper sci-fi or fantasy.

There aren't really many sci-fi or fantasy series on at the moment, there's BSG which I haven't seen and there was the excellent 'Being Human' one-off on BBC 3. (I hope it's made into a series) but apart from the inevitable star trek reruns there's very little else.

I didn't see Jericho or Invasion, what channel were they on?

p.s. I actually found firefly dissappointing, they could have done so much more with it.
#23
Not a Stargate fan then, Atlantis just finished Season 4 i think.

Just a problem finding 17Gb to download the thing lol
#24
Dexter, The sheild, Sopranos & Entourage are all brilliant
My wife loves Greys Anatomy and Private Practice and we both like Medium.:thumbsup:
#25
I usually hate the US drama / comedy / hospital/ thing. I have been getting into House though over the last few months. Hugh Laurie is great and I love his abrupt manner. I think he has done superb in the switch to the US show - especially when you think back to him in Blackadder.

I particularly like Cameron though. ;)
#26
the US series really have gone better in the past years..
I love LOST, Heroes, Prison Break, Grey's anatomy... I really enjoy them...
#27
I liked "John Doe" but they stopped it ... :(
#28
I absolutely agree with the OP, myself and the other half are absolutely addicted to the wire. It is our favourite series, I was absoluetly gutted when I found out the fifth series was to be the last. My favourite characters are Omar and Bubbles. Check out Oz - also a great series, very graphic though, a couple of actors from the wire are in it.
We also love The Shield, Dexter, The Unit, Sleeper Cell, House and Heroes all of them are fantastic.
#29
I love FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS--season 1 has shown on ITV2 here but season 2 has just finished in USA (if anyone can point me where i can see it online they will be scoring high brownie points) and it was a superb series.
Based in Texas and set around high school football the drama deals with various themes and relationships but in a way that you get totally wrapped up in it. The football is quite insignificant and weeks can go by without any match taking place. It is exactly the sort of series that the UK just does not (can not?) produce.
#30
kie9ward
I love FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS--season 1 has shown on ITV2 here but season 2 has just finished in USA (if anyone can point me where i can see it online they will be scoring high brownie points) and it was a superb series.
Based in Texas and set around high school football the drama deals with various themes and relationships but in a way that you get totally wrapped up in it. The football is quite insignificant and weeks can go by without any match taking place. It is exactly the sort of series that the UK just does not (can not?) produce.


I watched every ep of season 1 when they were aired in America and its a great show, just cant get in to the second season
#31
guv;1773171
That didnt take long! Season one got - season 2 on the way. It is just 12 shows per season for Dexter?


Yes unfortunately,:-( why they didn't make at least the second season a full 23 episodes I don't know:x
The good news is that the third season airs in the US from the 30th of September

I with the crowd here, The Wire, The Shield, Dexter, The Sopranos and others are brilliant.

The one thing that really annoys me though, is the tendency of American networks to cancel very good or even excellent shows after just one season, Firefly is just one example or even cancel it in the middle of the run, the excellent Smith was pulled after just 7 episodes.:x
#32
Havent seen The Wire, but i cant see it being better than Six Feet or The Shield. My favourite show is probably "The Shield" the plot is amazing and its believable, but i'd have to say "Six Feet Under" is the best drama ever made the writting is incredible and the characters. "Deadwood" is also amazing (on par with Six Feet) with Ian McShane stealing the show, he was born to play Al Swearengen. "Dexter" is probably to coolest show tho, seen the first 2 seasons, but its a bit too predictable. "Dirt" with Courtney Cox is quite good, Rescue Me with Dennis Leary is also quality. Ive just started watching "The Riches" starring Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver looks good so far. Watched the first season of Big Love, its weird but still good Bill Paxton is brilliant. Heroes is pretty good too. Oh yeah and Sopranos, brilliant but a weird way to finish the show. The first 3 seasons of Alias were brilliant, the 4th was ridiculous finished well in the 5th. Oz and Lost also cool. The Black Donnellys also very, very good. God i watch too much tele. I am tele addict tho. Can anybody suggest any other shows worth checking out?
#33
odriscoll
just cant get in to the second season


Hve you tried looking on torrentspy or mininova? You might find it there
#34
I mean i cant get in to it like i dont find it as enjoyable as first season.
#35
Trogglescow
Quite agree about Dexter, absolutely brilliant! Simply because you can't ever imagine yourself liking an anti-hero such as he is...messes with your head, quite literally, and quite brilliant


Dexter is not an anti-hero, he is more like a janitor taking out the garbage. Sylar from Heroes is an anti-hero
#36
odriscoll
I mean i cant get in to it like i dont find it as enjoyable as first season.


Soz i didnt read it properly
#37
FX is just about my favourite channel. The Wire, Brotherhood, Dexter, re-runs of 24
#38
"Havent seen The Wire, but i cant see it being better than Six Feet or The Shield"

I loved Six-Feet Under and adore The Shield.

I think The Wire is better though (as I said in my original post, I think it's probably the best darma series ever made).

The problem with The Wire is that it's very slow and doesn't have a cliff-hanger or resolution at the end of each episode.
It's not a "story-of-the-week" show. Each season is basically like a novel that starts out slowly but gradually ramps up and gets you more & more invested in it with each episode.

For this reason I can totally understand why it's not as well known or popular as it deserves to be.

I remember watching the first episode and thinking "Hmm, that was a bit dull, nothing much happened there...."

I gave it a chance though and by about episode 4 or 5, I was addicted, hook, line & sinker.
#39
Recently enjoyed dexter series 1 and 2, the 4400, lost and just getting hold of flight of the conchords
#40
martin_909
I remember watching the first episode and thinking "Hmm, that was a bit dull, nothing much happened there...."


This is why you should the entire first Seaon before writting off a Programme.

I will be sure to check out The Wire if you say its that good.

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