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Author Topic: Best television Series you're not watching(or should be)  (Read 268 times)

Offline Shogunn2517

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Best television Series you're not watching(or should be)
« on: July 21, 2017, 03:41:36 AM »
In the spirit of threads on "Favorite Movie" and "Favorite Series", I kinda wanted to start a thread and throw around some ideas of television shows(current or ended) that don't typically receive a lot of popular buzz, but rather receive critical acclaim or just a good watch.  Whether they're genre shows or outside of it, if anyone's looking for a good binge(assuming you find them).  A few at the top of my mind:

Strike Back Was produced by Cinemax and Sky1.  Of course with it being Cinemax there was a guarantee of sexual content in pretty much every episode.  But overall, for those not familiar, the show follows a British intelligence agency and their chase of terrorist or international criminals.  Pretty much one per season and each season(10 episodes) seems like 5 full movies how the storylines break down.  But the show is fast pace, exciting and probably more action I've seen in any contemporary serialized production.  Almost feels like if Call of Duty made a television series this would be it.  The two stars of the show Phillip Winchester and Sullivan Staples have done enough to market themselves for American network stardom(Chicago Law, The Player, Blindspot) so if you haven't seen it, it's really worth the watch.

Dream On  I'm not sure if I was high on this show because I was a teenager with an HBO subscription when it was on, but I recently binged it and while it's slightly dated, but it was created by the same person who created Friends and while I'm not saying it's that, it had a pretty unique premise.  A book editor and recent divorcee is living the single life with his everyday thoughts dictated by the black and white television shows and movies he'd watch growing up.  Wendy Malick, Dorien Wilson and Michael McKean might be a few of the more recongizable names from the show.  The humor was good and the timing was impecable.  It worked.  More than just a show that featured a lot of sexual content.  It wasn't overly excessive.  Lot of it was situational to the point I think they actually were able to syndicated it.

DWP*  FYI, just off the bat, the show is really, really, really not what you think it is.  What it really is a good narrative of life on a college campus and probably one of the best views "on the other side of the fence" that is out there.  Also based on a film, it's one of those few shows that in my opinion completely out-shines the movie it's based on.  It gives you more time to go through the characters and the storylines than just the hour and a half of a movie.  Logan Browning is absolutely adorable.  Her "conundrum" is more authentic than many realize.  It's hilarious, it's touching.  You feel and connect with the characters who are purposely imperfect.  And the show, again it just works as a glimpse at a lifestyle or culture many aren't too familiar with in the vein of an "The L Word" or "Sex And the City" or to a lesser extent "The Sopranos".  May not be for everyone, but you don't get a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes for no reason.

Mister Sterling Came out in the early 2000s and it follows pretty much a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington sorta feel.  It's about the son of a political stalwart who is thrusted into the United States Senate.  Josh Brolin plays the title character.  Audra McDonald and James Whitmore are a few other names on the show.  It was created by MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell(somewhere between his hosting gig and Senate staffing career).  Although O'Donnell himself and the characters have specific political leanings(or not really), the show is very similar in tone to the West Wing, which O'Donnell was also involved in and kinda made politics light and somewhat virtuous.  Mister Sterling was only one season and a short one so if you find it and don't mind the tone, it's worth a watch. 

Highlander: The Series  I know this show was somewhat popular, but I listed up here because when you think of list of "Best Shows of All Time" you won't find it.  Fair or not, it's one of those series based off a film franchise that completely blows the films out of the water, almost on every level.  Adrian Paul was awesome.  The show's villains were absolutely re-memorable.  Of course the Queen theme song should go down as one of the better theme songs for movie/show of all time if the show isn't.  But probably the greatest thing about the show was the action.  If you're not familiar with the premise of Highlander, it's about these immortals who sword fight each other and have been doing it since the dawn of man and the only way to kill an immortal is to cut off their head.  And of course, "there can be only one."  The sword fighting in the series is some of the best I've ever seen, big or small screen.  Given the constraints of small screen budget, almost all of the actors came off and really proficient with various swords and styles.  It's one of my favorite series of all time, tbh.  If you haven't seen it, it's a perfect way to get introduced to the series before it's rebooted.

Anyone have any other suggestions?

* - Not the actual title of the show, but if I wrote it out, you'd focus on the title and not the show.  Google it if you're that curious.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2017, 04:06:04 AM by Shogunn2517 »

Offline detourne_me

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Re: Best television Series you're not watching(or should be)
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2017, 02:36:00 PM »
I loved Dream On!

The Ascension was a really great show that only lasted one season. A really interesting take on the sci-fi genre. What if there was a sort of ark leaving earth in the early sixties, it would preserve 60s culture. Now 50 years later, how would the culture be on that same spaceship?

... I'm having a hard time to think of other hidden gems right now... maybe Bloodline on Netflix. A family crime drama with an excellent cast. Or Grace and Frankie on Netflix, a hilarious sitcom about two women in their 70s who become close friends (lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda) after their husbands of 40 years reveal that they are gay together (Martin sheen and Sam Waterston). But maybe those shows are pretty big stateside

Offline HarryTrotter

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Re: Best television Series you're not watching(or should be)
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2017, 04:22:05 PM »
Department of Work and Pension?Sounds like a wondreful political drama.
I concede that Ascendcion had some good ideas,but it somehow managed to fumble everything by the end of first episode.
As mentioned before;Justified.Great neo-western.Great characters.Great performances.
Space: above and beyond.Now mostly forgoten military SF series that only lasted one season.Imagine a BSG done right,for a lack of better comparison.
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Offline Shogunn2517

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Re: Best television Series you're not watching(or should be)
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2017, 05:20:43 PM »
I remember that show!  Was a pretty faithful viewer.

Online kkhohoho

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Re: Best television Series you're not watching(or should be)
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2017, 03:38:42 PM »
Well, I can' really think of any little known TV shows I've seen that I'd really recommend honestly. At least not in America. So let's go over to the other side of the Pacific, shall we? ;)

Over in China, (and don't worry, this show's got subtitles, though you'll have to watch fansubs to actually get good ones,) you've got Three Kingdoms. This sucker's based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms, one of the first novels ever made and still one of the best. The story itself is loosely based on the Warring Kingdoms period during the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, as well as the events that led up that period, and if you love war chronicles, this is the mother of war chronicles. The action is intense and the characters are layered and memorable, but the real star here is the focus on military strategy and ancient Chinese politics, and it's got a lot of things to say that still apply today in a number of ways, even as other parts of it don't. (This is ancient China after all.) The best part though is that it doesn't really try to tell you which of the three sides you're supposed to favor or just what is and isn't right. It lays it all out for you and then lets you decide, even as some of the characters make their own sometimes biased judgments. And it does all of that while being as awesome and kickass as possible. It's an awesome show and an awesome book, and both are worth checking out.

Meanwhile, in Japan, we've got a show that's much in the same vein, only this time it's in THE FUTURE! (And, well, animated. Just a FYI.) This puppy's Legend of Galactic Heroes, and it takes the same general approach as Three Kingdoms in that it covers a long lengthy conflict and focuses on military strategy and politics, though LoGH is a bit more specific than Three Kingdoms. At its' heart, LoGH is about two things, the first of which being democracy versus monarchies. Basically, a democracy can become woefully corrupt and inept, (gee, I wonder if that relates in any way to what's happening nowadays...) but it still allows the freedom to choose, and so can usually never sink to the same depths as a monarchy. Meanwhile, a monarchy with a just ruler can be far more effective and beneficial than the best of democracies, but at the same time, without the freedom to choose, there's no telling who's going to be next in line for the throne, and depending on whether or not he's a vicious tyrant, the country could easily sink to far greater lows than the worst of democracies. Like TK, the shows lays all of this out without making any real judgement calls, and lets the viewer decide which is preferable. At the same time, the show's also about the passage and flow of history; of how the same sorts of things and events continue to occur again and again, and that much of history is decided by Great Men with exceptional capabilities and drive that propel history foward in ways seldom seen. (And it also basically predicted 2017 America, which for a Japanese anime from the 80's was a heck of a feat. ;)) It's a great show, and if you can find the right fansubs, (one's sh*t and the others's not, so choose accordingly,) it's quite possibly one of the greatest shows you'll ever see, anime or no anime. Just a FYI though; for an anime that's not based off of a manga, it's long, so keep that in mind in case you're afraid of making any major time commitments.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 03:01:00 AM by kkhohoho »
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Offline Silver Shocker

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Re: Best television Series you're not watching(or should be)
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2017, 02:11:54 AM »
^ I watched the opening title sequences for Legend of Galactic Heroes a few years ago, and it looked very appealing. It did in fact look like a grand epic space opera. I've always wanted to watch it, I may have to one day.
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Offline HarryTrotter

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Re: Best television Series you're not watching(or should be)
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2017, 04:42:36 AM »
For those scared of commiting to 110+52 episodes(I dont blame you),I suggest checking out the first movie "My conquest is the sea of stars".
Final battle of the movie takes place in an atmosphere of a gas giant to the tune of Bolero.All of it. :-)
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 11:40:44 AM by Spade »
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Offline Silver Shocker

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Re: Best television Series you're not watching(or should be)
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2017, 07:42:30 PM »
That does sound awesome. I've seen similar things done in Evangelion, One Piece and, of course, X-Men 2. And they were awesome then too.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2017, 12:48:11 AM by Silver Shocker »
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that they cannot imagine that TRUE strength of SPIRIT--can even exist."
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Offline HarryTrotter

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Re: Best television Series you're not watching(or should be)
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 11:43:42 AM »
Forgot to mention Battle Creek.A buddy-cop(of sort) series by Vince Gilligan of Breaking Bad fan.Unfortunately canceled after only one season(a lot of that going around),but well worth checking out.
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Offline stumpy

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Re: Best television Series you're not watching(or should be)
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2017, 12:02:55 AM »
I am going to mention three shows that I have enjoyed on Netflix and all three are fairly different shows from one another. BTW, there are lots of good shows on Netflix, some originals like the Marvel shows, Longmire, Stranger Things, and some old stand-bys like 30 Rock, Futurama, or even Justice League/JLU. But, I think either most people have seen those shows or Netflix is already promoting the heck out of them. The three below are a little less known, I would guess.

First, many people have probably heard about this show, but Foyle's War is worthy of the accolades heaped upon it. Broadly, it's a historical crime drama, centered on a police chief detective in Britain during WW2. There are a fair number of shows with a similar profile, but Foyle is very high quality in terms of details, consistent characters, well developed mysteries, snappy writing, and even occasionally addressing some serious issues (without excessive preaching and virtue signaling). If you are a fan of Poirot, Inspector Lewis/Endeavor, etc., I would really recommend Foyle.

Next up: Rake, (the Australian version) a comedy about an Aussie barrister. This is a bit of a flyer, since the show is clever and funny, but it's also a "train wreck" show. The main character is smart and competent at his job, but has a "can't keep his razor wit to himself" personality and indulges his vices in ways that constantly bite him in the butt. I laugh at this show because the dialogue is so funny and the main character's personality make the crazy situations he finds himself in almost believable. And, I cringe because of how often I am left thinking "OMG! Just STFU and be happy for once!"

Luther is a contemporary cop show, featuring Idris Elba in the title role. It's largely because of this show that, when Elba was cast as Heimdall, I never had a second's hesitation that I would like him in the role. In Luther he plays an intense detective solving various crimes that weave together so that he has an overall nemesis. Of course, there are the usual dramatic aspects to a police procedural and they are fine, and I know this sounds like a very generic description of such a show. But, those things are not what really draw me to a show. In the end, it's that the show is overall well written and well acted. I think Luther is.
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Offline GhostMachine

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Re: Best television Series you're not watching(or should be)
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2017, 03:34:45 AM »
I wanted to see Strike Back, but I didn't have a subscription to Skinemax, and wasn't going to get one just to watch it.

Highlander: The Series was my absolute favorite show when it was on. I have a silver Watchers logo pendant and a metal Highlander logo keychain, and owned a Highlander logo baseball cap that had the katana embroidered underneath the logo. However, I still to this day haven't watched and refuse to watch Highlander: The Source. It was an utter piece of garbage that Adrian Paul didn't want to do but had to because he was contractually obligated, the villain looks like a $2.00 budget version of Apokalypse, and the ending totally undermines the franchise, as they changed what `The Prize' was!

Dream On was great, but I believe there are a few episodes that couldn't be syndicated due to major plot points of the episodes.

Recent shows that ended that shouldn't have:

Chicago Justice. A victim of Dick Wolf doing too many Chicago shows (Fire, PD and Med are more than enough, and I only watch Med during crossover events). For those who didn't watch it, Chicago Justice was really Law & Order: Chicago, just missing the opening and window dressing. It followed the same format, and the lead character was the son of Ben Stone, the original main character from Law and Order. They moved a character from PD over, and he's going back to PD now that Justice has been cancelled. Chicago Justice was a really good show, though, unlike Law & Order Los Angeles, which was crap from day one.

Rosewood. Only lasted two seasons, sadly. Morris Chestnut was great as the lead character, but it didn't garner enough of an audience to keep going. What really stunk is that the final season ended on a cliffhanger that will never get resolved, unless the creator conveniently decides to do so on another show they make. (I honestly believe the choice to keep the title character and the female detective he worked with from becoming a couple after the first season was a major error, and that's what the cliffhanger was leading up to.) THE show I'm absolutely mad was cancelled.