Friday, January 6, 2012

Favorites of 2011 - T.V. Shows

I haven't had a lot of spare time the past four years of college, but I have definitely taken advantage of the awesomeness that is, DVR. This little cool setting has taken care of me even when I used to work 16+ hrs in one weekend. I'm thankful for being so busy because a busy mind doesn't have enough time for intelligence shattering reality shows like, Jersey Shore, any of the Desperate House Wives, Dancing with the Stars, or American Idol. With that said, this isn't one of those lists... this list consists of what I think of as "thoughtful" plots. Before, during, or after watching an episode you're not pondering petty drama, fights, or an annoying phrase like "Jersey Turnpiking" that will be stuck in your dilapidated head for days. I hope I haven't offended 50% of my readers and if I have, thanks for reading this far. The shows listed below are well-known and I believe many of you will agree that their 2011 seasons were addicting, mind blowing, and life just isn't as complete during their season hiatus.

My Favorite TV Shows of 2011
1. The Walking Dead (AMC)
When this show first aired in 2010 I was immediately hooked and couldn't wait until 10p each Sunday night. Originally starting as a comic and converted into a graphic novel created by Robert Kirkman, a KY native, it's  become a hot buy with high ratings, awesome artist work and a plot that is followed by the t.v. series writers. After reading through Danny's first book (I believe there's a total of 7), I cannot wait until I get my hands on the 2nd book. Although, I don't want to get too far ahead of the show because I love the intense anticipation I have each week after watching an hour long episode... the best hour of television... EVER. This show follows police officer, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), as he leads a group of survivors in a world overrun by zombies. I don't want to give too much away for readers who haven't followed TWD, but are now eagerly awaiting the mid-season return in February! Each episode is action-packed with intense plot development as the group continuously decides on their next best move that will preserve their numbers and overall safety. Zombies are rampant and the theatrical makeup is unbelievable; this is another reason why I love this show. It takes the form of a well directed movie - I give tons of props to the art directors and cinematographers! If you haven't watched this show, give it a try this February. I'm sure they will have a day long marathon leading up to the most current episode. Keep in mind, this is a horror, thriller, and drama inspired show, so yes, there will be some violent and gory scenes. If you don't like gore, you're a bore ;) 


The Walking Dead Season 1 Official Trailer
New Episodes (Season 3): Sunday February 12, 9/8c on AMC

2. Breaking Bad (AMC)
My brother re-introduced me to Breaking Bad a few months ago. We were talking about how it's highly rated and for some reason we haven't watched it, especially since it's on cable. I changed that all up last month when I discovered the first 3 seasons are on Netflix!! I'm 2 episodes from season 3's finale and I want to spread out the last two episodes because I don't know what I'll do without watching BB at the end of the night. It's become an awesome habit that I look forward to everyday. BB is about Walt White (Bryan Cranston) who has terminal cancer. He's an underachieving high school chemistry teacher that turns to using his expertise in chemistry to provide a legacy for his family... by producing the world's highest quality crystal meth. SHOCKING! I'm not a big fan of Weeds and I've heard that some people think of BB as the knockoff, but I completely disagree because BB is another kind of monster. It touches on a theme that a lot of us can relate to, "living realistically as middle class in the U.S." which often makes us resort to extremes to survive. He has a loving wife, a son with Cerebral Palsy and another on the way. He happens to be dying from an inoperable lung cancer, which happened although he "never smoked." The great chemist turns to his beloved science to solve his problems. He begins cooking meth with a "good for nothing" ex-student and his life beings spiraling into very crazy, interesting places... This is a great black comedy that I highly recommend. 
Breaking Bad Season 1 Promo
New Episodes: Season 5 coming in 2012

3. True Blood (HBO)
I can remember way back in 2008 when many people were Facebooking about True Blood. At that time I only knew that it was just another vampire show. I blew it off for a very long time because I assumed that it was another "Twilight" inspired vampire series (I can't believe Twilight has been around since 2008). My friend Megan was especially in love with this show and after talking to her about the TB hype, I gave in and watched an episode, which turned into a True Blood marathon. I watched the entire first season in two days and I haven't looked back since. I've become a complete fanatic, well maybe not completely but I did dress up as Jessica when her character wore the Little Red Riding Hood costume. It turns out that the Little Red Riding Hood costume was very popular last Halloween, but I was the only one with a vampire twist to it at the annual Beaux Arts Fall at Busters last Halloween. Anyway, the show is now in it's 5th season and 2011's 4th season did not disappoint. The show is based on, but doesn't completely follow the plot, of the books written by Charlotte Harris. I've read up through the 5th book (there's a total of 9 or 10) and the plot is a little more in-depth in the book, but that isn't a slight to the show in the least. The series follows Sookie Stackhouse (Ana Pacquin), a barmaid living in Louisiana who can read minds and who's life completely 360ed when Vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) walked into her place of employment (Merlotte's) two years after vampires 'came out of the coffin' on national television. Like I said, this show cannot be compared to Twilight or Vampire Diaries or even the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles (especially the Queen of the Damned movie). It's edgier and has a richer plot that touches on classical vampire style. It's a great show with engrossing characters and a story line that twists with expert craftsmanship. The vampires aren't "Disneyed-up", they are unique and come with their own distinct immortal baggage. They are portrayed as dark creatures that are tortured beings and this is why this shown has pulled me in so insanely. I highly recommend it if you like fantasy dramas with a lot of mystery and vampire romance. 
Please watch this trailer of season 1 to get an awesome sense of how the show truly is: 
True Blood Season 1 Official Trailer
New Episodes (Season 5): Summer 2012

4. Homeland (Showtime)
I was very surprised by this show. I watch many shows on Showtime and when I saw an ad  for the Homeland series premiere I wasn't immediately interested because I didn't know how good a show about "turned" POWs could possibly be. I was suddenly shocked when I watched the first episode and I continued watching it every Sunday at 10p (after The Walking Dead) until the season finale. I usually do not like to watch anything about war or politics, but this show has turned out to have wonderful actors and a great plot to back them up. The show focuses on Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damien Lewis), who returns home 8yrs after going missing in Iraq, and Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a driven (and almost unstable) CIA officer who suspects he might be plotting an attack on America. This is a great drama/mystery/thriller that has many twists and turns.
Homeland Season 1 Trailer
New Episodes: Season 2 will begin production in 2012

5. Dexter (Showtime)
Dexter (Michael C. Hall) has been a favorite of mine for many years and it's now in its seventh season that will air sometime in 2012. Dexter is a likable Miami police forensics expert (blood analyst) who moonlights as a serial killer of criminals who he believes has escaped justice. His character only stakes out people who fit a very strict "moral code", taught to him by his late father, Harry (James Ramar). Each season usually follows a set theme and last year's season, for the first time, followed a religious theme. It was very different from the previous seasons, but it was awesome to watch as Dexter was faced with what religion means to him and how it interferes with his killings. This obviously isn't a show for everyone. It's worth giving a try because it's not your typical serial killer movie/show because this series doesn't shove the whole "well this serial killer had a bad childhood" premise on you. It doesn't need to be shoved in your face for you to love Dexter. You just do. The show is great because it's a true mystery that's very hard to solve. It keeps you guessing and very interested.
Dexter  Season 1 Trailer
New Episodes: Season 7 coming in 2012

Leave some comments and tell me what you think of my favorite shows of 2011 and which shows you think should have made the list! Thanks for reading ;D

4 comments:

  1. Unfortunately I kinda like reality TV shows; they're mindless & make me feel better about my life for the most part! But don't worry, you didn't offend me :) I've heard a lot of great things about Dexter & I think I might have to check it out on DVD.

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  2. No worries, there! Honestly, Jersey Shore, Call of The Wild Man, Moonshiners, and some others that I don't want to name are my guilty pleasures ;) Have you watched or heard about Call of The Wild Man? He's known as 'Turtle Man' and lives outside of Lex. His show follows him as he goes into some backwoods residences, shacks, abandoned houses/cars, etc. and removes wild creatures. It's hilarious to listen to him and his cronies talk... very hillbilly! Dexter is a great show - if you stream Netlix, you can watch the first few seasons.

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  3. Dexter has always been one of those pleasures that I wait years on at a time, then binge for a week, where I do nothing but catch up. I regret that I haven't seen the last three seasons, though.

    I haven't ever asked, but you may enjoy Firefly, if the concept of a Space Western could possibly excite you. I have yet to find someone who just didn't like it at all. Not to mention, you can Netflix it.

    You may have convinced me to try out Breaking Bad though.

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  4. Gruber?! The school and work life makes it pretty impossible to stay on track with normal life things, but I love binge marathons and I'm probably going to marathon watch True Blood this weekend before I head out into the internship world next week!

    Thanks for the suggestion. I'm open to all genres and I've never watched a Space Western. I really like both types of film, so I'll have to try it out ;)

    Breaking Bad will easily become an addiction. It has really intense, awkward scenes that just keep you on your toes. I think you'll really appreciate the amazing writers and cinematography. Let me know how you you like!

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