Tom’s Top Ten…TV Series

Tom (me) loves Television series’. But which Television series claims his top spot in this list of Tom’s Top Ten TV Series?

Kicking off a new ‘thing’ on this blog – lists. Of things. Ten things to be precise.

Tom’s Top Ten (Things). Yeah, I love alliteration. If I have a Top Ten Stylistic Literary Devices, that’s number 1. Yes, I Googled ‘what is alliteration’ to find that fancy explanation of what it is.

But enough of that, you’re here for TV series and which ones I think are the best. All time and current. All are covered. Some will miss out because either a) I forget or b) there are at least ten other series’ better than it.

SHOWS THAT JUST MISSED OUT;

Nashville (don’t hate, it’s awesome. The music is decent as well).
Peep Show (Another class British comedy, wish I could have squeezed it in somewhere.
The IT Crowd (again, British comedy. Hilarious and geeky. Not like The Big Bang Theory though…because that’s geeky, but not hilarious.)
24: Live Another Day (can I choose this over the original 24 series? I did. Maybe just for Yvonne Strahovski. But it was a brilliant kind-of-spin-off.)

So, the actual list.

Reverse order. Because that forces you to; a) read all the article or b) skip right to the bottom and find out what is #1.

10 – Gotham

Kicking off this list, I have the FOX series ‘Gotham’ – as someone with a passing interest in Batman and the related comics/video games/films, watching this prequel series of how Bruce Wayne became Batman (eventually, he’s still a kid in this) sounded very appealing.

It acts as an introduction to a lot of the villains in the Batman Universe as well – The Riddler, Penguin, Two Face, Catwoman, Poison Ivy to name but a few have all made their appearances in the series so far.

The stories are easy to follow and the characters are, for the most part, very well acted – the guys who play James Gordon, Oswald Cobblepot and Edward Nygma deserve extra kudos for their performances. Ben McKenzie coming a long way from his years in ‘The OC’. Which I never watched. But it had an awesome theme song.

It’s not a perfect series; for each amazing character (Edward Nygma, Penguin are particular highlights so far), there’s an awful one (Barbara Kean). But it has so far had very few boring episodes, there’s always something happening and I look forward to each and every episode. It’s also back next week. Brilliant.

9 – The Inbetweeners

This is the only non-American show which makes The List, so it must be good. And it is. As far as comedy shows go, this is by far my most favourite and one of few shows I could watch a hundred times and still find funny – there’s another, that’s later on in this list.

The Americans tried making their own version of this show and it was bloody awful. If I could forget I ever watched it, I definitely would. What were they thinking? Besides “oh we might make money from this, do it.” Fail.

So, what is The Inbetweeners. Basically four guys who go to High School and get into all kinds of incidents – throwing frisbees at a disabled woman in a wheelchair, running over squirrels, punching fish to death, shitting yourself in an exam, cock wigs…all daily occurrences to each and every young person in the UK. Right?

The movies aren’t too bad but it’s a shame there’s never going to be any more of the TV series. Boo-urns.

8 – iZombie

The first of 2 Zombie shows on this list. This one is a lot more funny and less murdery than the other though.

I hadn’t watched iZombie before but then I ended up watching the entire 2 series in a massive binge-watching session on Netflix and absolutely loved it. The presence of Rose McIver as lead character Liv Moore certainly helped (joking. But she is bae.) but by no means is that the only reason this makes my Top 10. Serious. Lee.

Basic (non-spoilery) premise of iZombie is that Liv becomes a zombie in the pilot episode and, of course, has to eat brains to survive. Cliché. Only she works at the Medical Examiners Office and has a regular supply of brains. Simple. Sounds boring, right? But here’s the good bit – with each brain she eats, she takes on the personality of the person who died and helps to solve murders through visions and stuff. Very clever.

Each episode brings different brains and different cases. Plus humour. There’s lots of humour in the show and some brilliant characters – Ravi, in particular, is awesome. Major as well – portrayed by One Tree Hill-alumni Robert Buckley – may have a stupid name but he is a great character.

If you’ve got a Netflix subscription and have yet to experience iZombie, I recommend it. Hella awesome.

7 – Better Call Saul

Everyone seems to love Breaking Bad – including me, it features in this list, somewhere – and Saul Goodman was one of those characters who seemed to be a fan-favourite so, when it came to an end and the idea of ‘spin-offs’ was mooted, Saul Goodman was a popular choice. As was Jesse Pinkman. But that never happened. So then we have Better Call Saul.

Two seasons down and I have it in my Top 7, that’s how good it is. The idea it is set before he actually becomes “Saul Goodman” is a great choice, allows the writers to explore his life prior to all the Walter White/laundering things he gets up to in Breaking Bad. Eventually they will get to that part. I assume. I don’t know, because I’m not Vince Gilligan.

Mike Ehrmantraut, of Breaking Bad fame, plays a big part in the series and is sometimes a bigger feature in episodes than Jimmy/Saul. Showing a different side to his character in the process. An enjoyable inclusion into the series.

The cameos of other characters in the BB universe make for great viewing and, with Gus Fring being hinted at in the upcoming Season 3, business is going to pick up. It might actually be impossible, but Better Call Saul might actually get even better…and Bryan Cranston/Aaron Paul have yet to show up. Oh boy.

6. The Walking Dead

Told you there was another Zombie show that made the list and congratulations if you figured out it was this one – like there are any others? But The Walking Dead makes it in at Number 6. For reasons. That I now will talk about.

I’ve always wondered how I would survive a Zombie apocalypse. Probably wouldn’t but, thanks to shows like this and films like Shaun of the Dead, I know that hitting zombies/walkers in the head results in them dying. If I could do that, I might stand a chance…but I doubt it.

Anyhow, TWD follows Rick Grimes and co. across post-apocalyptic America as they try to survive walker attacks and grisly and gruesome deaths at the hands of villains like The Governor or Negan (hella cool). Who can forget Coral as well. What a guy.

There are times when The Walking Dead is pretty dead and boring to watch but they are outweighed by the sheer number of excellent, action-packed episodes where everyone shoots walkers and there are explosions and stuff. Who doesn’t like stuff? And things.

5. The Simpsons

THE SIMPSOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS….do doo doo, do doo doo doo. And so on. Who doesn’t love The Simpsons? (Or, being a TV hipster, the earlier series’ of The Simpsons)

Claim to fame. I was born the exact same day (17th December 1989) as The Simpsons first aired on American TV. Fortunately I have out-lived the series as well…hahaha, a ‘Simpsons is dead’ joke.

It’s true though. Old Simpsons had many, many memorable episodes (in fact I might eventually do a Top 10 Simpsons Episodes list) and endless quotable lines that live on to this day (DENTAL PLAN! LISA NEEDS BRACES!). Plus the brilliant Phil Hartman-voiced characters of Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure. RIP.

These days, it’s nowhere near as funny. Sometimes it gets a chuckle from time-to-time but man…on the plus side, the numerous strong early seasons (up to at least 10?) is plenty of awesomeness to make it into my Top 5.

4. Breaking Bad

As with everything (well, most things) I was late to the Breaking Bad party – but, after weeks of binge-watching the show, I eventually caught up and was able to watch the final season with all of the fanboys and fangirls.

Many say there hasn’t been a better series than Breaking Bad ever made – I sort of agree. But not that much as there are 3 shows which are higher up on my countdown. Still, it’s a really good series and one which needs to be experienced.

I always remembered Bryan Cranston from his time as bumbling idiot Hal on the excellent Malcolm in the Middle so to see him as cancer-suffering Science teacher turned druglord kingpin of New Mexico was different. The gradual turn through the series is one aspect that makes it such a brilliant show.

He’s not the only brilliant character though – Jesse Pinkman, a former pupil of Mr White (YEAH, SCIENCE!), is superb throughout the series. Plenty of ups, plenty of downs. I would love to see him showing up on Better Call Saul in the future for sure. As long as it serves a purpose more than fan service.

Breaking Bad is hella good though. But I’m sure you already know that…unless you’ve lived under a rock and never seen the series.

3. Friday Night Lights

From the pilot episode, you can tell that Friday Night Lights is going to be a good series – a description I read of ‘Dawson’s Creek with American Football’ is probably correct, but I never watched Dawson’s Creek and I imagine FNL is a million times better.

FNL is awesome though. So many good characters. Such a good storyline throughout all five seasons – not being an American high school American Footballer, I have to imagine they are similar experiences to what they go through as they try to make it into college and maybe even the NFL.

Kyle Chandler’s portrayal of Coach Eric Taylor is a highlight of the whole series, as is Connie Britton’s coaches wife Tammy Taylor. Again, I’m not a coaches wife but I would imagine they often play second fiddle to football and stuff.

There are football bits. There are drama bits. There are romantic bits. There are funny bits. Friday Night Lights has it all and it’s seriously a good watch. I’d imagine so even if you’re not a fan of football. Plenty of non-football in it.

2. Game of Thrones

What? Yeah, it wouldn’t be a list of the greatest TV series of all time if it didn’t have Game of Thrones in it, would it? In 2nd place though. Obviously something has to have impressed me more than Game of Thrones to take the top spot…or maybe I am just wanting to be different by not having GOT at 1. Who knows?

I’ve tried reading the Game of Thrones books but I just can’t get into them as easily as I did the TV series. Yeah, I can read, don’t worry about that. Otherwise how would I have written these 1876 words you’ve read up to this point? Dumbass.

The series is incredible though. If I had to sum it up in words…Action. Naked women. Blood. Naked women. Great characters. Naked women. Brilliant stories. Naked women. Daenerys Targaryen. Naked women. Dragons. Naked women. Big ships. Naked men…eww…

As I’m not a reader of the books, I don’t have to worry about thinking “hey, that didn’t happen in the book?” or “hey, so-and-so is dead in the book, why are they here?”. I guess that makes it more enjoyable as I’m just focussed on what is happening on the screen.

It’s a crying shame that there are only 2 more series to go before it’s all over. It’s like Dexter all over again…just hope Jon Snow doesn’t turn into a lumberjack…

1- Dexter

2000-ish words later and we’re here, my #1 TV Series. Maybe of now. Maybe of all-time. We shall see what the future years bring in the way of exceptional television shows. But Dexter is #1 in my eyes and my heart. My everything, really.

Yeah, like many, I was kind of left disappointed with how it all ended up but it was a tremendous series and (Season 3 aside) an enjoyable watch as we saw Michael C. Hall’s Dexter Morgan take out Miami’s felons who escaped justice for one reason or another. Among other things in each series – John Lithgow’s portrayal as “The Trinity Killer” in Season 4 was immense…as was the conclusion of that series. Right in the feels, that one.

Some series’ were better than others – hard to be consistently great, unless your name is Game of Thrones, I guess – but I stuck with Dexter through its entirety after one night watching a random episode on ITV and thinking this looks good…I guess I’d better watch the other ones and see what’s what.

Had I not stumbled across it that one night, I may have never got as hooked as I did on the series. Or I would have done…likely through recommendations on what I should check out next. Instead I am now the one recommending Dexter to everyone else. Probably annoying them in the process. Oops.

Seriously though, Dexter. Hella good. Check it out if you haven’t done so…and let me know what you think. Or don’t. Whatevs.

Look out for more Top 10 lists like this one in the future. Maybe future ones won’t be as wordy as this one…I do seem to have driveled on for a lot longer than I thought I might.

Oops.

T.

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