Your Top 10 Dramatic Series



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Watched my first episode of Mad Men on Monday, already on episode 7. Very happy to have 7 seasons to binge.
 

intlzncster

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1. Mad Men
2. Breaking Bad
HUGE GAP before anything else
Never understood why BB was ranked so high in general. I mean, it's a good show for sure, but it struggled plot-wise for a bit, fell into the annoying trope of twists-for-twists sake*, and had too many annoying characters (Hi Skylar).

*on the one hand, I hate when writers/producers do this, on the other, it was an interesting metaphor for the show, given that this writing style is like a drug, rather than a deeper richer story-line.

All that said, I did enjoy the show. Just probably not Top 5 for me.
 
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Never understood why BB was ranked so high in general. I mean, it's a good show for sure, but it struggled plot-wise for a bit, fell into the annoying trope of twists-for-twists sake*, and had too many annoying characters (Hi Skylar).

*on the one hand, I hate when writers/producers do this, on the other, it was an interesting metaphor for the show, given that this writing style is like a drug, rather than a deeper richer story-line.

All that said, I did enjoy the show. Just probably not Top 5 for me.
I really got into the whole color symbolism of BB. Not sure why that struck a chord, but I think it made me enjoy it more, personally speaking.
 

Rocktheworld

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Never understood why BB was ranked so high in general. I mean, it's a good show for sure, but it struggled plot-wise for a bit, fell into the annoying trope of twists-for-twists sake*, and had too many annoying characters (Hi Skylar).

*on the one hand, I hate when writers/producers do this, on the other, it was an interesting metaphor for the show, given that this writing style is like a drug, rather than a deeper richer story-line.

All that said, I did enjoy the show. Just probably not Top 5 for me.
If the twists and drama were supposed to be mataphoic for the cheapening of a high and the lengths to which addicts will go to achieve any kind of high, then yeah, I'll put it equal to The Wire. Perhaps Jesse's relationship to WW in the fight-"breakup"-realign cycle they go through multiple times is metaphoric for that as well.

Because that's my one massive issue with the show besides being bored by S3 knowing that whatever "ohhh SH----------T what's gonna happen?!" situation the writers would leave you in, you knew WW had some brilliant out. Got kinda boring. The plot was grossly unchanged throughout the series, just with ramping up of the diabolical-ness of each new villain until the last villain left was WW himself.
 

intlzncster

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If the twists and drama were supposed to be mataphoic for the cheapening of a high and the lengths to which addicts will go to achieve any kind of high, then yeah, I'll put it equal to The Wire. Perhaps Jesse's relationship to WW in the fight-"breakup"-realign cycle they go through multiple times is metaphoric for that as well.

Because that's my one massive issue with the show besides being bored by S3 knowing that whatever "ohhh SH----------T what's gonna happen?!" situation the writers would leave you in, you knew WW had some brilliant out. Got kinda boring. The plot was grossly unchanged throughout the series, just with ramping up of the diabolical-ness of each new villain until the last villain left was WW himself.
I'm not saying that was the case, just that it wouldn't totally surprise me, as Vince Gilligan was pretty thorough.

But more than likely, it was a function of needing/wanting to extend the show. BB was a 3 season show that was pushed to 5 due to popularity/profitability. The 'Lost' model.
 

Rocktheworld

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I'm not saying that was the case, just that it wouldn't totally surprise me, as Vince Gilligan was pretty thorough.
Absolutely

But more than likely, it was a function of needing/wanting to extend the show. BB was a 3 season show that was pushed to 5 due to popularity/profitability. The 'Lost' model.
Oh really? I thought all 5 seasons were written ahead of time. So was more plot just tacked on to the 3, or was the 3 seasons of content pulled out to 5? I have a hard time believing that the series was supposed to end with Jesse killing Gale. Though I could see that being a different "end" that had to be worked in when the show was extended, and perhaps the series was supposed to end with WW in Gale's place; IIRC writers have said they initially had Jesse killing WW
 
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intlzncster

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Absolutely


Oh really? I thought all 5 seasons were written ahead of time. So was more plot just tacked on to the 3, or was the 3 seasons of content pulled out to 5? I have a hard time believing that the series was supposed to end with Jesse killing Gale. Though I could see that being a different "end" that had to be worked in when the show was extended, and perhaps the series was supposed to end with WW in Gale's place; IIRC writers have said they initially had Jesse killing WW
Misunderstanding. I wasn't at all clear there. I was saying that the content and feel of the show would have been best suited to 3 seasons. At it's heart BB was a 3 season show. So they could have written it to be a far tighter show had they compressed the 5 seasons into 3. The Lost metaphor doesn't quite work in that sense.

Had no idea when/how it was written.
 
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There was a thread about this a year ago, but I am game.

1) Mad Men - if you don't have it at in your top 5, I recommend you watch it.
Have to agree. This was on our watchlist for a long time and I pushed it off for a couple years, anyhow. Was concerned with how much dry drama the show would have, but boy was I wrong. Really great stuff. We're halfway through season 4 or 5 and it really is awesome.
 
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I don't think Quantum Leap or Cagney and Lacey have aged well.
Same with Wiseguy. I loved the 1st season of that show. I tried to watch it recently and couldn't get through it. I used to love St. Elsewhere, I wonder how that one holds up?
 
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I'm not gonna do best ever, because that's always changing.
Ain't that the truth. Right now I have to say that my three favorite shows are Justified, Foyle's War and Veronica Mars.
 

nwhoopfan

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Glad to see Justified getting some love. I always thought that show deserved a lot more attention than it got. Also cool to see Orphan Black and Veronica Mars mentioned (although VM went way downhill by season 3). A show I haven't seen mentioned, it was a one off, I think it got cancelled before the season was over but you can watch the full season on DVD--Day Break. Kind of a Groundhog Day setup, where everything keeps repeating, except it's a drama about a detective.
 

nelsonmuntz

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Have to agree. This was on our watchlist for a long time and I pushed it off for a couple years, anyhow. Was concerned with how much dry drama the show would have, but boy was I wrong. Really great stuff. We're halfway through season 4 or 5 and it really is awesome.
Almost a perfect show that wasn't dry at all. One of the things that separated it from other dramas is that it could be very funny at times. Roger has some great lines, like the time when the secretary ran over the guy's foot with a tractor at an office party, and Roger said "believe me, somewhere in this business, this has happened before."
 
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I'm not saying that was the case, just that it wouldn't totally surprise me, as Vince Gilligan was pretty thorough.

But more than likely, it was a function of needing/wanting to extend the show. BB was a 3 season show that was pushed to 5 due to popularity/profitability. The 'Lost' model.
I can see some of the big picture criticism of BB, but comparing it to Lost is not apt. Lost had lots of mystery dead ends and survived on myth and speculation versus actual plot developments. I thought the BB arc was very supportable and only its the final season did they lengthen the series a bit (once Jessie & Walt split), I simply enjoyed the story telling style and art of it, great flourishes combined with action & twists.
 

SubbaBub

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The Wire
The Wire
The Wire
The Wire
The Sopranos
Breaking Bad
Lost
Game of Thrones
Mad Men

Actually...

Sopranos
The Wire
The Wire
The Wire
GOT
Breaking Bad
The West Wing
Banshee - more popcorn TV than drama but it was darn entertaining

I watched the first season of Mad Men, didn't care enough about the characters.

The reason for Sopranos over the Wire is because the Sopranos came first making the Wire a derivative and the Sopranos went deeper that the main storyline than the Wire did. There was also a lot more varied plot lines. Top to bottom the Wire had a better cast but Gandolfini was the best performance. Breaking Bad decided to turn the Sopranos Janice character into an entire family of annoying sots, otherwise it would be higher.
 

nelsonmuntz

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Actually...

Sopranos
The Wire
The Wire
The Wire
GOT
Breaking Bad
The West Wing
Banshee - more popcorn TV than drama but it was darn entertaining

I watched the first season of Mad Men, didn't care enough about the characters.

The reason for Sopranos over the Wire is because the Sopranos came first making the Wire a derivative and the Sopranos went deeper that the main storyline than the Wire did. There was also a lot more varied plot lines. Top to bottom the Wire had a better cast but Gandolfini was the best performance. Breaking Bad decided to turn the Sopranos Janice character into an entire family of annoying sots, otherwise it would be higher.
I didn't love the waterfront or newspaper seasons of the Wire. They weren't bad, but the competition is pretty strong at the top and the wire doesn't make my Top 5 because of those two seasons.

I could be talked into putting the West Wing above Narcos. I am expecting big things out of Narcos season 3 though.

Westworld has True Detective and Bloodline potential to completely face plant in season 2.
 
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Actually...

Sopranos
The Wire
The Wire
The Wire
GOT
Breaking Bad
The West Wing
Banshee - more popcorn TV than drama but it was darn entertaining

I watched the first season of Mad Men, didn't care enough about the characters.

The reason for Sopranos over the Wire is because the Sopranos came first making the Wire a derivative and the Sopranos went deeper that the main storyline than the Wire did. There was also a lot more varied plot lines. Top to bottom the Wire had a better cast but Gandolfini was the best performance. Breaking Bad decided to turn the Sopranos Janice character into an entire family of annoying sots, otherwise it would be higher.
West Wing definitely belongs.

Wire better than Sopranos but its a razor thin margin. I dont get mad at people for liking sopranos more, as long as they recognize that the wire is right there. At that point its personal preference. Sopranos IS that good. so is the Wire.

Where I get the Lolz is people who rank breaking bad up with those two. Breaking Bad is Awesome and the 3rd best show in TV history. It is not anywhere near the Wire or Sopranos. The absolute brilliance of Cranston nonwithstanding.

By the way. Lost is a new addition to my list.
I watched it live week to week throughout the series and was kinda put off by the ending. I loved it and hated it.

I never did a a rewatch ....................... until recently. Wife and I just finished the 6 season rewatch just a few days ago. It was WAY better 2nd time through.

I have a theory on that. First time through (especially if you watched it week to week in real time) it seemed to be a plot driven show. A bunch of questions. What is the hatch? What are the numbers? What is the black smoke? The polar bear? etc...etc..... those kept you coming back for answers.

All that is wiped away on rewatch. On rewatch you realize that Lost is actually intended to be character driven. And really well done. it was like watching a different show the 2nd time through. I really, really enjoyed it.
 
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West Wing definitely belongs.

Wire better than Sopranos but its a razor thin margin. I dont get mad at people for liking sopranos more, as long as they recognize that the wire is right there. At that point its personal preference. Sopranos IS that good. so is the Wire.

Where I get the Lolz is people who rank breaking bad up with those two. Breaking Bad is Awesome and the 3rd best show in TV history. It is not anywhere near the Wire or Sopranos. The absolute brilliance of Cranston nonwithstanding.

By the way. Lost is a new addition to my list.
I watched it live week to week throughout the series and was kinda put off by the ending. I loved it and hated it.

I never did a a rewatch ........ until recently. Wife and I just finished the 6 season rewatch just a few days ago. It was WAY better 2nd time through.

I have a theory on that. First time through (especially if you watched it week to week in real time) it seemed to be a plot driven show. A bunch of questions. What is the hatch? What are the numbers? What is the black smoke? The polar bear? etc...etc..... those kept you coming back for answers.

All that is wiped away on rewatch. On rewatch you realize that Lost is actually intended to be character driven. And really well done. it was like watching a different show the 2nd time through. I really, really enjoyed it.
I did a rewatch of The Wire earlier this year and just finished a rewatch of The Sopranos the other night. I used to have them neck and neck but The Wire is a better show.
 
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Almost a perfect show that wasn't dry at all. One of the things that separated it from other dramas is that it could be very funny at times. Roger has some great lines, like the time when the secretary ran over the guy's foot with a tractor at an office party, and Roger said "believe me, somewhere in this business, this has happened before."
Just saw this episode last night. The timing and delivery were impeccable.
 

SubbaBub

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West Wing definitely belongs.

Wire better than Sopranos but its a razor thin margin. I dont get mad at people for liking sopranos more, as long as they recognize that the wire is right there. At that point its personal preference. Sopranos IS that good. so is the Wire.

Where I get the Lolz is people who rank breaking bad up with those two. Breaking Bad is Awesome and the 3rd best show in TV history. It is not anywhere near the Wire or Sopranos. The absolute brilliance of Cranston nonwithstanding.

By the way. Lost is a new addition to my list.
I watched it live week to week throughout the series and was kinda put off by the ending. I loved it and hated it.

I never did a a rewatch ........ until recently. Wife and I just finished the 6 season rewatch just a few days ago. It was WAY better 2nd time through.

I have a theory on that. First time through (especially if you watched it week to week in real time) it seemed to be a plot driven show. A bunch of questions. What is the hatch? What are the numbers? What is the black smoke? The polar bear? etc...etc..... those kept you coming back for answers.

All that is wiped away on rewatch. On rewatch you realize that Lost is actually intended to be character driven. And really well done. it was like watching a different show the 2nd time through. I really, really enjoyed it.

Mike Ehrmantraut and Gus Fring are two of the best characters in TV history. Saul is pretty good. Walter was really good and Jessie came on later, but the family...ugh. I literally started fast forwarding anytime the wife, her sister, or his son was on screen without Walt. While necessary to the plot Hank was the dumbest FBI agent of all time.

I thought Lost was fascinating at the time, but doubt I'd have the energy to do a full rewatch. The ending didn't bother me. Once the man in black showed up it was pretty clear that they were all dead (if it wasn't already) and the ending was going to be some afterlife scene.
 
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Once the man in black showed up it was pretty clear that they were all dead (if it wasn't already) and the ending was going to be some afterlife scene.
Ah but they weren't all dead! Everything that happened on the island including the man in black and jack and then Hurley becoming guardians of the island at the very end happened. The " flash sideways" in LA the last season, they were "dead" but the island was alive. All other flashes in all other seasons happened as well. Including the oceanic 6 getting off the island at the end of season 4 and back on at end of season 5 .

Worth a rewatch
 
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1. Sons of Anarchy
2. Game of Thrones
3. Breaking Bad
4. Better Call Saul
5. The Americans
6. The Sopranos
7. Entourage
8. Dexter
9. Homeland
10. The Walking Dead
10A. Stranger Things

Need to see: Mad Men, House of Cards, Vikings, Fargo, The Wire
 
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