Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Let's Talk Television! The 10 Shows I Could Not Live Without

Although I focus the majority of my writing energy on movies, I would like to take a moment to discuss the boob tube. Over the years, the quality of television has taken a serious nosedive. We're left with superficial reality shows that send horrible messages ("16 and Pregant"/"Toddlers and Tiaras"); game shows that require little to no intelligence ("Deal Or No Deal"/"Let's Make A Deal"); high school dramas that are geared towards the superficial tween ("Gossip Girls"/"Pretty Little Liars"); and low-rent sitcoms with washed up actors ("Mr. Sunshine"/"Two and a Half Men").

Despite the overwhelming amount of crap and filth on cable television, I've found comfort in a number of series and shows. I'm really excited to create this list, as I hope that it will bring us together in the fight against shitty television. Without further ado, here are the 10 shows I could not live without - enjoy!

"The IT Crowd"
Created by: Graham Linehan
Starring Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson
My favorite comedy series of all time. Every episode makes me laugh my ass off. It's wacky and absurd - God, I love the Brits.

"True Blood"
Created by: Alan Ball
Starring Anna Paquin, Steve Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard
No show has ever grabbed my attention like this one. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, providing a great escape from reality.

"The Wire"
Created by: David Simon
Starring Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Idris Elba
There's a reason why many claim it's the best TV series of all time: Incredible actors, an amazing script, and huge balls.

"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Created by: Larry David
Starring Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines
Deep down, you know you're him. Who's "him?" The hilariously cynical Larry David, of course. He teaches us that everything is pointless and stupid - preach on, L.D.!

"Spartacus: Blood and Sand"
Created by: Steven S. DeKnight
Starring Andy Whitfield, John Hannah, Lucy Lawless
Imagine a series that's a perfect combination of "Gladiator" and "300." Yeah. Add a dash of sex and scandal, and you've got the most exciting series ever created. Get well, Andy!

"Breaking Bad"
Created by: Vince Gilligan
Starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn
Who knew that the dad from "Malcom in the Middle" would turn out to be the best actor on television? Thanks to his role as Walter White, Cranston has proved himself a true star. This is an incredible series.

"Band of Brothers"
Created by: Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks
Starring Ron Livingston, Damien Lewis, Donnie Whalberg
This show is not for the faint of heart. War is never easy and never pretty, but this series really touched me. The story of the 101st Airborne is truly inspiring.

Created by: James Manos
Starring Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, James Remar
I friggin' love this show. It's smart, funny, and dark - all at the same time. Dexter Morgan is everyone's favorite serial killer, and Michael C. Hall plays the role to perfection.

"Bored To Death"
Created by: Jonathan Ames
Starring Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson, Zach Galifianakis
I'm a writer, so naturally, I would enjoy a show about someone like me. A writer who smokes pot, has adventures, and smokes more pot. This is one of the most underrated shows on TV.

"Eastbound and Down"
Created by: Ben Best, Jody Hill
Starring Danny McBride, Steve Little, Katy Mixon
Kenny Powers is the shit. Well, scratch that, Danny McBride is the shit. It's entirely offensive and crude, but this show is totally hysterical.

Well, there you have it! These are my TV must-haves. I know I've left out a few titles that you will probably yell at me for (such as "Battlestar Galactica" and "Lost") but as it stands, these are my favorite shows. **What about you?**


  1. I've always meant to see Dexter and Spartacus and never got around to it. One of these days...I swear! But I do love Bored To Death. I agree--definitely underrated, but oh so lovely. One of the best three-men bromances ever.

  2. I've heard great things about most of these shows...but I've only actually seen a few episodes from Band of Brothers, Curb and True Blood. I kind of gave up television last year and rarely even watched it before that so it's no wonder I'm out of the loop. I'll have to netflix some of these in the future.

  3. I pretty much live completely without television, but Curb Your Enthusiasm and Eastbound and Down are both good.

  4. Great selections. The IT CROWD is hilarious, and THE WIRE, BREAKING BAD and BAND OF BROTHERS constitutes some of the best TV drama ever. TRUE BLOOD is pretty trashy, but I'm right there with you as a big fan as well. My favourite shows on the air right now are COMMUNITY and IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILIDELPHIA. I've also heard great things about GAME OF THRONES and SONS OF ANARCHY, which I'm planning on checking out soon

  5. Great choices! Do you watch Castle? That show is a blast.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. True Blood Sunday night :) It's been a long wait. I'd also suggest Game of Thrones. It's absolutely fantastic and it's on HBO on demand.

  8. Mine are: The Wire, The Killing, True Blood, Community, The Simpsons, Arrested Development, Battlestar Galactica, X- Files, Dexter, The Venture Brothers

  9. True fact: not enough people watch Bored to Death. Damn, that show makes me giddy like every time. It strikes a perfect balance somewhere between noir and twee...

  10. In complete agreement on Breaking Bad and Bored to Death. The summer would be so lifeless without those shows.

  11. Man, I've been wanting to watch Dexter for ages, but I just don't have the time to do so ):

    It definitely looks like a show I would love!

    I really need to catch up True Blood, too. I was a devotee to to the show from Day 1 all the way through to half-way into Season 3, but for some reason, I stopped watching. I still love Season 1 and 2 to death, though.

    The Wire is also something I am ashamed to have not seen before. I have caught an episode here and there, but never watched it through and through.

    My TV picks would be: Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I could live without Riley's arrival in Season 4, but there are some really good episodes in that season), Paranoia Agent, Everybody hates Chris, The Simpsons (Seasons 1 - 10), Futurama (Seasons 1 - 4), Freaks and Geeks and Boardwalk Empire.

    I really do need to watch more TV shows, as I know there are some good ones out there.

    Great list!

  12. "Breaking Bad" has reintroduced me to television.

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  14. Hey!

    Nick from here. Doing some scout work for the LAMB. We're wanting to make an email newsletter for community features as well as a list we're making similar to Sight & Sound's best movies of all time list. Just need an email! Email me at npowe131 at

    P.S I miss Bored to Death :(

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