Your Top 10 Dramatic Series

-

Bliss

Mizzou Ballyhoo
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Messages
583
Likes
528

Road & Vette crazy then - still am except for the Vette. Had a POS.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
6,262
Likes
7,272
My barometer for a dramatic series is whether I would re-watch it:

1) The Wire - must have watched it 4-5 times all the way through
2) The West Wing - have been through it all 3 times
3) Boss - with Kelsey Grammar - sadly only 2 seasons
4) Banshee - Cinemax - going through it now for the 3rd time
5) Strike Back - Cinemax - have watched it twice
6) Person of Interest - twice
7) Prison Break - the first iteration - twice
8) Murder One - the first season - have watched multiple times - one of the best seasons of TV ever IMHO
9) Fringe - huge fan - haven't watched again but on my list to start over from the beginning
10) Homeland - especially the early seasons

Lots of other great stuff in progress:

1) Better Call Saul
2) GoT
3) Ray Donovan
4) Billions

and more...

But as much as I enjoy Walking Dead, and feel invested enough that I'll watch every episode for as long as it runs, I don't find it a top show, because a lot of it would be unwatchable a 2nd time.
 

nelsonmuntz

Point Center
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
35,587
Likes
30,129
My barometer for a dramatic series is whether I would re-watch it:

1) The Wire - must have watched it 4-5 times all the way through
2) The West Wing - have been through it all 3 times
3) Boss - with Kelsey Grammar - sadly only 2 seasons
4) Banshee - Cinemax - going through it now for the 3rd time
5) Strike Back - Cinemax - have watched it twice
6) Person of Interest - twice
7) Prison Break - the first iteration - twice
8) Murder One - the first season - have watched multiple times - one of the best seasons of TV ever IMHO
9) Fringe - huge fan - haven't watched again but on my list to start over from the beginning
10) Homeland - especially the early seasons

Lots of other great stuff in progress:

1) Better Call Saul
2) GoT
3) Ray Donovan
4) Billions

and more...

But as much as I enjoy Walking Dead, and feel invested enough that I'll watch every episode for as long as it runs, I don't find it a top show, because a lot of it would be unwatchable a 2nd time.
Good standard. I re-watch the Sopranos quite a bit. Same with the first episode of Boss.

I do not do that with Boardwalk Empire that much. I have two issues with BE: 1) Steve Buscemi is a perfectly serviceable actor, but wasn't exactly the right actor for that part. 2) Related to #1, the show killed off Jimmy Darmody too quickly. Buscemi was not strong enough to carry the show by himself, and without William Pitt as a c0-lead, something was missing. I liked some of the later seasons, but that was the difference between good and great.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
6,262
Likes
7,272
Good standard. I re-watch the Sopranos quite a bit. Same with the first episode of Boss.

I do not do that with Boardwalk Empire that much. I have two issues with BE: 1) Steve Buscemi is a perfectly serviceable actor, but wasn't exactly the right actor for that part. 2) Related to #1, the show killed off Jimmy Darmody too quickly. Buscemi was not strong enough to carry the show by himself, and without William Pitt as a c0-lead, something was missing. I liked some of the later seasons, but that was the difference between good and great.
I haven't been able to get through the first season of BE. I've tried several times - perhaps have to give it another run.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Messages
3,268
Likes
2,220
My barometer for a dramatic series is whether I would re-watch it:

1) The Wire - must have watched it 4-5 times all the way through
2) The West Wing - have been through it all 3 times
3) Boss - with Kelsey Grammar - sadly only 2 seasons
4) Banshee - Cinemax - going through it now for the 3rd time
5) Strike Back - Cinemax - have watched it twice
6) Person of Interest - twice
7) Prison Break - the first iteration - twice
8) Murder One - the first season - have watched multiple times - one of the best seasons of TV ever IMHO
9) Fringe - huge fan - haven't watched again but on my list to start over from the beginning
10) Homeland - especially the early seasons

Lots of other great stuff in progress:

1) Better Call Saul
2) GoT
3) Ray Donovan
4) Billions

and more...

But as much as I enjoy Walking Dead, and feel invested enough that I'll watch every episode for as long as it runs, I don't find it a top show, because a lot of it would be unwatchable a 2nd time.
I watch too much TV, but that is too much TV watching! ;)
If re-watch-ability is #1 criteria my favorite show is probably* M*A*S*H or Star Trek as I've seen those episodes at least 3-4 times each.

*Brady Bunch might be up there too, can I get a waiver for pre-12yrs old views?
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
6,262
Likes
7,272
I watch too much TV, but that is too much TV watching! ;)
If re-watch-ability is #1 criteria my favorite show is probably* M*A*S*H or Star Trek as I've seen those episodes at least 3-4 times each.

*Brady Bunch might be up there too, can I get a waiver for pre-12yrs old views?
I travel a ton for work, and I commute to the city every day. Most of the above I've purchased via iTunes so watched without streaming. No way I could ever watch that much TV sitting in front of a TV.
 

nelsonmuntz

Point Center
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
35,587
Likes
30,129
Bumping this thread. Game of Thrones stumbled across the finish line, Westworld's season 2 felt like a calculus exam. Has anyone changed their opinion?
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Messages
10,461
Likes
6,519
I can't keep up. . .

The Sopranos - watched it after the fact and loved it. Drama and comedy. Tried watching Westworld and gave up in season 2. I like Billions and I am into season two of GOT. I am admittedly missing out on a lot of good TV mostly because we don't pay for the extras. Got suckered into This Is Us but the stories are repetitive and I'm finding the kids to be whiners.
er, West Wing, Columbo, Hawaii Five-0, Ellery Queen, Mannix, Hart to Hart, Quincy, Mission Impossible
I don't see 24 on here, thank God. I watched 1 season and regretted it.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Messages
10,461
Likes
6,519
No order and just off the top of my head...

Fargo
Better Call Saul
Peaky Blinders
Bates Motel
The Walking Dead
Dexter


ER
Law and Order


Hill Street Blues
Quantum Leap
Cagney and Lacey


Going waaaaay back when I was a kid:

How The West Was Won
Emergency
The Rookies
Adam 12
Land of the Giants
KMG365

Charlie's Angels
Fantasy Island
The Love Boat
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Messages
3,268
Likes
2,220
Bumping this thread. Game of Thrones stumbled across the finish line, Westworld's season 2 felt like a calculus exam. Has anyone changed their opinion?
I'm finally watching The Wire - I'm on season 4. I really enjoy it, it is really good for unflinching realism, but not finding it epic. I suspect that is my own fault for waiting too long to watch it - it suffers a little bit dated nowadays both in terms of style and technology maneuvers by police & gangs that was once cutting edge is now ho-hum.

Mostly though it is really hard for anything to live up to 15yrs of hype. One of the reason's Mad Men is my favorite is I was literally flicking around channels, saw Peggy sitting at her desk and was sucked in to the premier episode. Within a month I was hooked, ultimately it became event viewing in my house. Impossible to recreate that type of experience re-watching a show, cultural timeliness and reactions are lost and the 'desire' for the next one is overwhelmed by the burden of great expectations. You could write a novel about those negative effects.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2011
Messages
1,946
Likes
1,130
I don't see 24 on here, thank God. I watched 1 season and regretted it.
Funny. Definitely doesn't belong on this list, but was a fun show. First season was possibly the weakest overall, though I'm not sure we ever finished 7 or 8. Even the reboot season was better than the first.
 

storrsroars

Exiled in Pittsburgh
Joined
Mar 23, 2012
Messages
12,252
Likes
15,346
I loved 24. Would I call it "best" anything? Probably not. But it was appointment TV for me at the time. I remember being hugely concerned that I would miss 5 episodes while doing work in Bulgaria (I could not convince the US Embassy to hook me up with Fox).

I'm pretty sure I answered something the last time this thread was done, but my criteria is pretty much "stuff needs to be plausible". So no dragons providing a deus ex machina.

Solid all the way through: Sopranos, Breaking Bad, The Wire (although Jimmy got comically bad), Hill St. Blues, Deadwood, Orange Is the New Black
Still going strong: Peaky Blinders, Black Mirror
Brain Candy: 24, any GoT episode with no dragons and lots of Peter Dinklage.
 

nelsonmuntz

Point Center
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
35,587
Likes
30,129
My barometer for a dramatic series is whether I would re-watch it:

1) The Wire - must have watched it 4-5 times all the way through
2) The West Wing - have been through it all 3 times
3) Boss - with Kelsey Grammar - sadly only 2 seasons
4) Banshee - Cinemax - going through it now for the 3rd time
5) Strike Back - Cinemax - have watched it twice
6) Person of Interest - twice
7) Prison Break - the first iteration - twice
8) Murder One - the first season - have watched multiple times - one of the best seasons of TV ever IMHO
9) Fringe - huge fan - haven't watched again but on my list to start over from the beginning
10) Homeland - especially the early seasons

Lots of other great stuff in progress:

1) Better Call Saul
2) GoT
3) Ray Donovan
4) Billions

and more...

But as much as I enjoy Walking Dead, and feel invested enough that I'll watch every episode for as long as it runs, I don't find it a top show, because a lot of it would be unwatchable a 2nd time.
I don't know about this standard as I think about it some more. Turn and Halt and Catch Fire were both great shows, but they are cerebral and the plot twists are really important, so they are not that rewatchable. Marco Polo was just an above average show, but it has great scenes and some big battles to make it entertaining, and it is simple enough that I don't have to think too much about it. I often have it on in the background while I am doing something else.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
748
Likes
421
In no particular order ...
The Sopranos
The Wire
Breaking Bad
Homeland – early seasons
Game of Thrones
Homicide – Life on the Street
Happy Valley
West Wing
Twilight Zone
Band of Brothers
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2011
Messages
21,018
Likes
18,184
- Star Trek - most imaginative and intelligent sci-fi ever on the small screen
- Deadwood - half Shakespeare, half Marx Brothers, the writing was brilliant
- The X-Files - Mulder's insatiable curiosity was a thing of beauty
- Dexter - wicked black comedy about a serial killer, so insane it made sense
- The Sopranos - best gangster series ever, the gabigool did it
- The Shield - completely morally ambigious, no other cop show like it
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2011
Messages
21,018
Likes
18,184
I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like a show about a dirty cop anymore now than then.
The point of it was they didn't think of themselves as dirty even though they were filthy. Vince saw himself as a good family man who loved his kids and was trying to save his marriage while cheating all the time. A big part of the show was the rationalizations of the dirty cops. And even the mostly good ones had plenty of flaws. The show would suck you into rooting for Vince. I found it fascinating.
 

8893

Curiouser
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
21,710
Likes
47,792
I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like a show about a dirty cop anymore now than then.
The point of it was they didn't think of themselves as dirty even though they were filthy. Vince saw himself as a good family man who loved his kids and was trying to save his marriage while cheating all the time. A big part of the show was the rationalizations of the dirty cops. And even the mostly good ones had plenty of flaws. The show would suck you into rooting for Vince. I found it fascinating.
I haven't seen The Shield, but we just finished The Wire for the first time and thought it was still incredibly relevant and insightful with respect to cops, almost all of whom were dirty in one respect or another, despite the fact that most of them thought they were doing the right thing most of the time.
 

nelsonmuntz

Point Center
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
35,587
Likes
30,129
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.
2) Sopranos - inconsistent, but it's best was better than any other show's best.
3) Hill Street Blues - gets extra credit because of how crappy TV dramas were when HSB went on the air.
4) Better Call Saul
5) Game of Thrones
6) The Wire
7) Breaking Bad
8) Homeland - needs to wrap it up soon or it will drop off the list. Running out of plots.
9) Westworld - huge potential
10) Narcos

Not making the list:

Doesn't qualify:
Band of Brothers - Awesome, but not a dramatic series. It is a miniseries

One hit wonders:

True Detective
Bloodline

Both crushed it in season one, and face-planted in season two.

Don't qualify (haven't seen them):

The Americans
Sherlock
The post above was from April 2017. My re-ranking:

1) Mad Men - if you don't have it at in your top 5, I recommend you watch it.
2) Sopranos - inconsistent, but it's best was better than any other show's best.
3) Hill Street Blues - gets extra credit because of how crappy TV dramas were when HSB went on the air.
4) Better Call Saul
5) Narcos - It is amazing that a true story is presented in such a great dramatic fashion. The writing is so strong that they can swap out key characters, move locations, and the story is still compelling, even in subtitles.
6) The Wire - great show, a little preachy and inconsistent.
7) Homeland - Knew when to wrap it up, and ended really strong.
8) Game of Thrones - I re-watched start to finish, probably for the last time. The peak of the show was the beginning of Episode 10 of Season 6, and then the show goes on a gradual decline. I really noticed it when I watched all the episodes back to back. Season 7 and especially Season 8 have great moments, but the story seems thin and incomplete. Those should have both been 10 episode seasons.
9) Breaking Bad
10) Fargo - This show doesn't try to be the greatest show in the history of television, but it is just really well written and Season 2 was particularly good.


off the list:

Westworld - just too complicated and weird.

Just misses:

West Wing - Sorkin literally changed how TV was written because of this show. Great characters, great stories, great ending. Some Sorkin issues like sexist portrayals of female characters keep it out of the top 10.

Big Love - With Harry Dean Stanton it was one of the Top 10 shows of all time. Big drop when he left.

Boardwalk Empire - same here with William Pitt. Drop off wasn't as dramatic, but it definitely missed something without him.

ER - very good show, well written, but it has a lot of issues that network shows have such as the characters look kind of crazy if you watch reruns of the show a lot for a few weeks. Every single doctor should have been fired multiple times.

Peaky Blinders - Really, really good. Just misses Top 10

Halt and Catch Fire - small show that was excellent, entertaining and thoughtful

Turn - one of best period pieces I have ever seen. Small budget can be distracting at times.


What happened?

True Detective and Bloodline - great first season, then face plant.

Boss - incredible first season, solid second season, then random cancellation.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
3,587
Likes
4,617
I really loved OZ, literally anything that could possibly happen in a prison system does. Just love the characters and the interactions with each other. Brutal show. Homeland I fell off toward the final seasons, Walking Dead i've stopped watching as well. American Horror Story's first 2 seasons were amazing and then it's consistently put out mediocre season after season after.
 

Top