Thursday, August 9, 2012

TV Preview 2012/2013 – 25 Must-See Series, Part 2: 20-16

Rank: 20
Genre: Period Drama
Creator(s): Julian Fellowes
Current Season: Third
Channel: Masterpiece Theatre on PBS
Return Date: September 2012
Plot Summary: In the years leading up to WWI, the series centers on the Crawley family and their servants, and the day-to-day workings of their lives.
Why It Made the List: Downton Abbey has sort of taken America by storm, becoming one of the must-see programs of the last year. Writer Julian Fellowes is the perfect person to be leading the series with the fantastic period pieces he has done – things like Gosford Park and The Young Victoria. For fans of period dramas, this is the must-see series on television right now. It has a terrific cast playing a wonderful set of characters.

Rank: 19
Genre: Comedy
Current Season: Fourth
Channel: FX
Return Date: October 2012
Plot Summary: Six friends play fantasy football.
Why It Made the List: The League takes full advantage of its writers (Jeff Schaffer wrote on Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld) and cast (made up of mostly stand-up comedians). The show is hilarious, as most of the dialog is improvised with only the scenarios scripted. Even if you are not a sports fan and do not play fantasy football (though, admittedly the show is almost entirely centered on fantasy football), the characters and funny situations are enough to make this a great comedy and well worth checking out. That said, being a sports fan and playing fantasy football does add to the overall enjoyment.

Rank: 18
Genre: Horror/Drama
Creator(s): Alan Ball
Current Season: Fifth
Channel: HBO
Return Date: June 10, 2012
Plot Summary: Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress, falls in love with a vampire Bill Compton, and her whole world is thrust into a constant struggle between all manners of monsters.
Why It Made the List: True Blood is an up-and-down show, as some storylines work much better than others. But, it is always highly entertaining and engrossing, with excellently drawn characters. Going forward however, the series faces a big challenge losing its creator Alan Ball as the series showrunner (after season five is complete). Vampires have oversaturated the TV and film market since the show premiered in 2008, but True Blood (along with The Vampire Diaries) remains one of the best vamp incarnations still.

Rank: 17
Genre: Comedy
Creator(s): Greg Daniels and Michael Schur
Current Season: Fourth
Channel: NBC
Return Date: September 22, 2012
Plot Summary: A mockumentary-style series looks at the public officials in the parks department of a small town in Indiana, centering on their day-to-day lives and capturing their antics.
Why It Made the List: Essentially, Parks and Recreation is exactly the same show as The Office, at least on the outside. However, once you dive in and get to know the characters, the two shows start to separate and the characters are different. After a very mediocre first season, the show has really found its way and is now among the elite comedies on TV. This is mostly due to it having possibly the best comedic cast (though, I would probably argue for Community having a better one) right now. Poehler, Ansari, Offerman, Plaza, and Pratt are brilliantly funny. If you like The Office, you will like this show (though I would say that the character relationships are not quite as good as The Office’s during its prime).

Rank: 16
Genre: Horror/Drama
Creator(s): Frank Darabont
Current Season: Third
Channel: AMC
Return Date: October 14, 2012
Plot Summary: People in and around Atlanta, GA, try to survive the zombie apocalypse.
Why It Made the List: Season one of The Walking Dead was not very good. Yes, it had some great moments (the pilot was fairly strong), but overall it was disappointing (to say the least). Then, AMC fired the creator and showrunner Frank Darabont, replacing him with Glen Mazzara. Without Darabont, many fans worried the show would be worse off. But, season two was fantastic and a lot better overall than the first. Finally, the series is living up to the extremely high expectations and hype. Horror fans will probably not do any better than this show on TV right now.

No comments:

Post a Comment