Thursday, May 30, 2013

TV Preview 2013/2014 – 25 Must-Watch Series, Part 2: 20-16

Rank: 20
Genre: Horror/Fantasy Drama
Creator(s): Alan Ball
Channel: HBO
Current Season: Sixth
Season Premiere Date: June 16, 2013
Plot Summary: Sookie Sackhouse, a telepathic waitress in a small backwater Louisiana town, finds her life in constant peril when she starts a relationship with a vampire Bill Compton.
Why It’s Worth Watching: True Blood is a highly entertaining series to watch (with its often insane storylines). Creator Alan Ball’s writing is very interesting as he makes comparisons to the issues of our times using vampires, werewolves, witches, and all other manner of supernatural creature. However, season six will be the first without Ball in charge, as he has left to run his new series Banshee. Brian Buckner has taken over as the series showrunner. He has been a writer on the series since season one (working before on Friends and Spin City). Can the show continue to be as crazy, fun, and engaging without Ball?

Rank: 19
Genre: Action Comedy
Creator(s): Adam Reed
Channel: FX
Current Season: Fifth
Season Premiere Date: January 2014
Plot Summary: Archer is an international spy working for ISIS who often gets himself into trouble thanks to his extreme ego and pettiness.
Why It’s Worth Watching: Archer is hilariously genius. The cast of crazy characters all trying to undermine each other, bickering like spoiled siblings, is wonderfully brought to life by phenomenally funny voice-actors (especially H. Jon Benjamin as Archer). The shenanigans and inside jokes that build with each season are what make this comedy such a pleasure. While often over-the-top and ridiculous in its comedic endeavors, its characters are still rich enough for the series to also engage from a narrative standpoint. There is no finer animated series on television right now.

Rank: 18
Genre: Comedy
Creator(s): Greg Daniels and Michael Schur
Channel: NBC
Current Season: Sixth
Season Premiere Date: Fall 2013
Plot Summary: Leslie Knope is an ambitious public official in Pawnee, a small Indiana town. This is a documentary-style show about her life and political career.
Why It’s Worth Watching: Parks and Recreation, like Community, has again overcome low ratings (despite critical acclaim and adoring fans) to again be renewed. It is one of the funniest sitcoms on TV, with a fantastic comedic cast. The characters are also well developed – the viewers care just as much about the characters as the jokes (probably more). With The Office coming to an end (and really not being nearly as good since Michael Scott left), Parks and Recreation has taken over as NBC’s best comedy (that is not as weird as Community), and is a must-see for fans of The Office that have not yet discovered it.

Rank: 17
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Creator(s): Louis C.K.
Cast: Louis C.K.
Channel: FX
Current Season: Fourth
Season Premiere Date: Summer 2014
Plot Summary: The everyday life of Louis C.K. – a standup comedian living in New York City.
Why It’s Worth Watching: Louie has been off the air since 2012, and Louis C.K. took a hiatus to pursue other creative projects. However, it is finally set to return in 2014 (I assume in June). While Louie is very funny (especially his standup routines) with wonderful awkward humor and situations, it works wonderfully as a character drama as well. Louis C.K. struggles with relationships and taking care of his two young daughters, presenting his daily grind in a very relatable way. It is one of the best-written shows on television.

Rank: 16
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Creator(s): Lena Dunham
Channel: HBO
Current Season: Third
Season Premiere Date: January 2014
Plot Summary: Hannah, Marnie, Jessa, and Shoshanna are four girls in their early twenties who live in New York City – Sex and the City, but set in Brooklyn and for a different generation.
Why It’s Worth Watching: Lena Dunham has such a fresh and unique voice. She is fearless in her writing. All of which seems to make Girls a very polarizing series. Some hate it, while other (myself included) think it is brilliant. The show also has a fantastic rawness to it – a vitality that makes it so compelling. For some it may just be a guilty pleasure, but for me it is a wonderfully written look into the pains of growing up and finding your place in the world.

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