Dec 282015
 

The Golden-Age of television continues; ever since The Sopranos ushered in the age of fantastic, character driven, thought provoking, movie-rivalling, drama we’ve has shows such as The ShieldBreaking Bad, and The Newsroom all come and go, and yet there’s still a wealth of fantastic TV series’ left to choose from. So, with the year drawing to a close, Terry Lewis  and Matt Wheeldon decided to look back at the year, and run down their Top 10 TV picks of 2014.


Terry Lewis – @lewisonlife.

10. Hannibal (Season 3 – NBC)

A funny old final season for this updated take on the films and books based on cannibalistic-serial-killer-cum-psychologist Hannibal Lecter – if we’re basing it’s position on this list from the first half or so of Season 3, I wouldn’t even consider it. Whilst it may have been interesting on paper to have Dr. Lecter go on the run round Europe, the sheer amount of plot holes, continued teases and lacklustre departures from the source material ruined my love of a perfectly vivid horror experience. Throw in Hannibal the show’s usually alluring deliberately confusing framing, production values & camerawork and it made for an uninteresting  predictable mess, despite some exceptional character moments.

But for once a ‘X amount of time later’ jump worked. The show reverted back to a similar situation of the first two seasons, with Mads Mikkelsen’s terrific take on Hannibal working in the background whilst Hugh Dancy’s conflicted Will Graham was charged with finding a real psychopathic killer again in what should hopefully be an award-winning performance for Richard Armitage as The Tooth Fairy or Great Red Dragon. Utterly wonderful, character driven TV that was timed accordingly. Just right in every possible way with stellar performances and an absorbing plot. Whilst some are sad to see Hannibal cancelled from television screens, that final moment of brilliance between Lecter and Graham – two men who struggle to except their feelings for one another in a complex and mature relationship – was an exceptional pay-off that should not be weakened with a laboured reason for the show’s return. In the end, it’s always better to burn brightest in your final hour.

9. Better Call Saul (Season 1 – Netflix)

Debuting in the earlier months of the year, Vince Gilligan’s Better Call Saul seems to have slipped from memory for most people. Shame since the follow up to the unbelievable Breaking Bad proved itself to stand on it’s own two feet as one of the best spin-off shows in memory. Bob Odenkirk slipped back into his bent lawyer Saul Goodman guise but in his earlier days as a freshly passed the bar lawyer James McGill as he starts to become involved in the criminal world to make aheads in the law profession. A less corrupted McGill dealing with his eccentric sick brother along with promise to the audience of his descent into sleaze was as engrossing as it’s parent show with similar photography, visual style and choice of music but by the end the plot wasn’t as strong. I can name you a good 3 or 4 cool moments from Better Call Saul but I can’t for the life of me recall the end to Season 1. Jonathan Banks made a welcome return as elder hitman/clean up guy Mike also and he was unfairly snubbed after his Emmy-deserving performance in a Mike-centric episode from this series. Whilst Saul has not hit the highs of Breaking Bad yet, I have no doubt that Gilligan and Odenkirk will combine to bear fruit in a much anticipated second season.

8. Rick & Morty (Season 2 – Adult Swim)

With Adult Swim programming making a bigger breakthrough to UK TVs, the chance to catch all of this hot sci-fi cartoon was too much as I gorged away on both series of Rick & Morty in two days. Think the grandfather & grandson relationship from Back To The Future between Doc & Marty and inject it with negative traits like alcoholism, family abandonment & mental illness, whilst wrapping it in a science fiction exploration adventure style across the universe. Yeah, Rick & Morty is pretty unique as that grown up dark version of Doc Brown in Rick we’ve always wanted to see berating good-hearted but distressful Morty is a pretty unique sight. Whilst show creators Dan Harmon of Community fame & voiceover supremeo Justin Roiland claim there’s more of a fast and loose style to continuity, the fact that it becomes part of the bleak humour and past events are highlighted for rather emotive moments makes them more important than ever. Some of the individual episode plot you’ve seen before elsewhere but the show writers see sense to throw in a gimmick twist to keep it fresh although the black comedy tone is usually enough to cover up any familiarity. Think an adult and dark take on BTTF & The Simpsons with an eye on Doctor Who and you have Rick & Morty in a nutshell.

7. Doctor Who (Series 9 – BBC)

Speaking of Who, it seems to bestow the ‘Most Improved’ special award is a tad condescending but the often maligned & criticised showrunner Steven Moffat managed to find his stroke in a noticeable upswing in quality writing. Part of the credit goes to the decision to include more digestible and expanded two-parter stories in the 13 episode series but the scaling back to exploring Peter Capaldi’s darker at first Twelfth Doctor in favour of telling better and fresher adventures is for the better. Capaldi still finds time to shine with the literally solo ‘Heaven Sent’ effort being his key achievement to date in his tenure. Whilst some Who-vians were understandably fed up with the on-off situation with companion Clara Osgood, the high points that Jenna Coleman hit in her performance in ‘Face The Raven’ were some of the serious highest. Whilst the conclusion to an otherwise stellar series was a bit muddled and lost in delivery, it is at least an improvement to some of the season finale trainwrecks we have had to sit through from the last couple years.

6. The Flash (Second half of Season 2 / First part of Season 1 – The CW)

Whilst it’s sister show Arrow struggled to recover from a dip in quality and spiritual relation Supergirl didn’t hit the ground running, the Warner Brothers TV version of the Scarlet Speedster was more than happy to pick up the baton for DC Comic’s small screen universe offerings. Not afraid to embrace the history and mythology surrounding one of the richest characters, the latest television adaptation of The Flash excelled in adding gravitas and weight to the usual soap drama seemingly stapled to comic book shows, by making it a personal exploration of a developing hero via his powers and modus operandi.

Grant Gustin has made the sympathetic normal life alter ego of The Flash, Barry Allen, his own as he effortlessly works his way through serious and lighter scenes without any struggles for a reasonably young actor, although the supporting cast does help being at a high quality to bounce moments off with Carlos Valdes as lovable tech guy Cisco and Tom Cavanagh as rival/teacher Dr. Harrison Wells being the hidden highlights of the entire show. With a cavalcade of name guest stars like Prison Break’s Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold and Mark Hamill returning to seemingly Joker-lite villain The Trickster, there is hardly any dead weight in the cast and everyone gets the roles they’re playing. A great sight to see everyone pulling in the same direction.

Part 2 of the second season looks to add to the mythos further with a seeming ‘can do’ attitude to bringing in more Flash family members and Rogues than ever before whilst diving deeper to the bigger concepts like the Speed Force. Whilst the opening to Season 2 mis-stepped once or twice (a broken back storyline over and done with in an episode? Come on writers, you’re way better than that!), it’s the only glaring fault in 2015 I can level at an otherwise joyful piece of TV superheroics to watch.

5. The Last Man On Earth (Season 1 / First half Season 2 – Fox)

A late season mini series replacement so good that a full second season was swift to be ordered, a high concept sitcom about a sole survivor in the post-apocalypse doesn’t sound the obvious choice, but Fox have backed the Will Forte created and starring comedy rather well. Cheerily ditching the ickier side of Armageddon to focus on what the last human gets up to when he’s left to his own devices, this vehicle for Forte is well driven and shows off his fantastic range as a comedy actor. He has such a reputation that notable comedy film directors Phil Lord & Christopher Miller took time out of their busy schedule to work on the pilot. The real joke in The Last Man On Earth is the escalation to our hero Phil Miller’s situation at the end of every episode and it’s one that has yet to go old. Personally, I’m ecstatic that hard working comedienne Kristen Schaal has found a mainstream gig and she is faultless in her role. Whilst it seems odd to talk about a show with a limited shelf like a post-apocalypse comedy going further, the human side that goes nicely with the legitimately funny laughs that The Last Man On Earth offers will hopefully mean it won’t be going away anytime soon.

4. Jessica Jones (Season 1 – Netflix)

If I was basing my no.1 choice on the basis of opening two-thirds of a season, Jessica Jones would walk this list. The Netflix and Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe partnership produced two stellar products for the streaming service this year and arguably the refreshingly adult character piece about a mentally afflicted and PTSD suffering private detective with powers dealing with how her abuser comes back into her life was the far more interesting.

Taking a step away from the Marvel character embracing elements of it’s parent comic ‘Alias’ to focus more on her incredibly complex relationship with Kilgrave, Jessica Jones – the show and character – pulled no punches when it came to tackling some grown up and mature content which has yet to be tackled by any mainstream or real comic book TV show. Despite Krysten Ritter’s great job at bringing a worn & burnt Jess to life and playing up to her ‘person who wants to do good but isn’t quite sure how to go about it anymore’ aspects, David Tennant threatens to steal the spotlight in a frankly peerless effort as mind controlling Kilgrave. The little idiosyncrasies he brings to a moral-less psychopath in a journey which sees him go from talked about in quiet boogeyman to larger than life complex villain expands on a fruitful role.

The problem is, at points you feel you want to spend more time with the bad guy than the actual heroine in the show because he is so damn watchable and charismatic, which we really shouldn’t be begging Marvel/Netflix to see more of a villain with so many underplayed but brutal sins. Jessica Jones as a show also loses points by reaching an emotional climax around about the 9th and 10th episode but continued to flatly keep going for another three to a frankly disappointing conclusion. Still on their own, the journey I went on in those opening 10 ep with Jess were so vivid and deep that I will cherish the memories.

3. The Walking Dead (First half Season 6 – AMC) 

In a rare case of giving an audience what they want to see and a show’s creators pulling it off, the opening half of Season Six of AMC’s post-zombie apocalypse horror drama The Walking Dead finally squeezed the trigger on adapting ‘The Herd’ storyline from it’s mother comic book with much abomb. With an eye to the scope and production values matching a rabid fanbase’s expectations, warring character ideologies added far more and clever complex plot framing gave a new spin to a simple ‘The zombies get in’ storyline as Andrew Lincoln’s Officer Rick Grimes tries in vain to protect the sealed off haven of Alexandria from the undead hordes.

Whilst some shows have diluted into becoming routine watches this past calendar year (I’m looking at you Game Of Thrones), this autumn/winter 8 episode mini season is the real quality shot in the arm to back up those insane viewing figures. There are the usual nitpicks such as how most of the cast members are still around despite their characters’ usefulness being depleted, but The Walking Dead became must see TV again after a year or two of not living up to it’s story potential and false starts.

2. Narcos (Season 1 – Netflix)

A pretty hard decision to pick between my top two to be honest as they are both exceptional shows. In the end, it came down to seeing a favourite character from another medium adapted to another exceptionally well. That’s not to say I don’t have time for one of my top drug kingpins… Awkward.

It would be easy to label Narcos Colombian Sopranos but this Netflix original bio-series excels in places to HBO’s masterpiece. With a higher proportion of scenes in Spanish to give a real air of authenticity, we follow an American DEA agent’s attempts to bring down & kill perhaps the most notorious druglord in Central American history, Pablo Escobar. Wagner Moura is a magnificent actor to bring Pablo to life on the small screen with a smouldering yet deadly presence. In one scene, he welcomes two henchmen for breakfast and has a calm time with them. The next he gives the order for another couple to bump them off horrifically in the middle of a basketball court, as he walks off. Moura slips effortlessly between the different times of the Columbian drug kingpin and his public & private lives with a level of humanity you don’t normally associate with a man with ties to so much murder, bombings and greed. With larger than life and unbelievable but true events in Escobar’s life being hypnotising as you expect, there’s barely a negative to throw at this incomparable piece of crime television.

Otherwise, if none of that grabs you, Luis Guzman fires a rocket launcher. There. Sold.

1. Daredevil (Season 1 – Netflix)

The much anticipated jewel in the crown of Marvel’s TV offerings had to wait to the near-limitless editorial approach for one of it’s properties to reach it’s potential. Adapting the Man Without Fear again to screen after a Ben Affleck misfire may have retain some reservations, but this Netflix adaptation about Daredevil where we barely see him in his costume led the way with a grittier procedural take on blind lawyer Matt Murdock’s alter ego.

With an unprecedented eye with high production values, the no-nonsense dramatic flair view to a true & honourable version of the early days of Matt’s swashbuckling adventures make for a peerless viewing experience. The slow burn of developing Matt’s alternative identity as he adds to aspects, like getting a private nurse to patch him up after he takes a kicking (which refreshingly happens quite often), lets the audience buy into his mission to clean up the crappiest corner of New York City in Hell’s Kitchen from the drugs and criminal lowlifes. The numerous combat scenes are a breath of fresh air with the second episode’s corridor fight being a TV highlight of 2015 in general.

And what a lowlife he has to go up against! Whilst there’s plenty of contenders for gold on my list this year, it’s Vincent D’Onofrio as the Kingpin of crime Wilson Fisk that must be a gimme. His look is menacing enough but his growling tone makes him a real force of nature. For once we’re treated to seeing the private life of a villain. We see Fisk go out and try to engage with a normal love life – not just a floozy, an honest to god, attempt to woo a lady. He struggles to ditch the crime business at times and his serious edge with so many killer lines and moments such as “A woman that can be bought isn’t worth having.” In balance, his human moments clashes with his crime face as Fisk believes at first he can keep the two apart before succumbing to a ruthless side. Exceptional. Spellbinding. Magnificent. I can’t praise D’Onofrio’s performance enough as the real MVP in Daredevil.

With a rather basic take on DD from this first season, it seems jarring to think we’re going from a man who barely runs about in costume to someone who will go up against the ludicrous criminal murdering vigilante The Punisher and Greek assassin Elektra in full costume for Season 2. But you know what? I’ve got faith. After how well the crew behind Daredevil have treated the complex journey of Matt Murdock so far and his war against Fisk and crime in Hell’s Kitchen in this exceptional first season, the follow up second can’t be far behind with the same production values and willingness to delve further into the Marvel back catalogue of notable characters.


Matt Wheeldon – @TheMattWheeldon.

10. Peep Show (Series 9 – Channel 4)

Three whole years since series eight was on the gogglebox (and proved to be a somewhat deflated event after a two year wait from series seven), Peep Show returned with a belter of a six episode ninth series; a ninth and final series (as we were made well aware of prior to airing).

Some people felt the ending was a bit of a let down, and while it may have left a touch of a “was that it” feeling at the back of the throat initially, the show was actually given a perfectly fitting finale; easily hitting every downbeat, darkly humours, notion the show has crafted over its 12 year TV run. not only that, but we had reappearances from many of Mark’s ex-partners (which actually felt organic, and not forcibly shoehorned in, for the most part), dozens of fantastic new one-liners to add to your Jez quote-book, and stand-alone episodes which proved to be hilariously funny.

True it didn’t feel like the end, but that was half the point, and as a stand alone series Peep Show series 9 was definitely worth tuning in for.

9. Hannibal (Season 3 – NBC)

Considering how inventive season one was, and how engrossing season two became, the first half of Hannibal Season three was a huge let down; putting the show’s spin on the Hannibal movie, it took our titular hero/villain to Italy and became too kitsch, predictable, and even dull for its own good.

So, why is it being included on a top-ten list which omits shows like Vikings (S3 wasn’t as good as S2), Justified (a hard decision as it did end brilliantly), and Game of Thrones (despite it still being must-watch TV, the dip in quality from S4-5 has seen it lose the top-spot)? Because the second half of season three not only improved upon the first, but became some of the most shocking and gripping TV you could watch this year.

Mads Mikkelsen (the only actor to prove someone other than Anthony Hopkins can play Hannibal) remains on top form as the psychotic people-eater, in an arc which covers the Red Dragon tale and not only features more fantastic work by Hugh Darcy (playing FBI agent Will Graham), but an astonishing performance from Richard Armitage (The Hobbit actor who turns up to play an amazingly creepy serial killer), and closes with an exceptional payoff to the Lecter/Graham relationship that is nothing short of fantastic, a brilliant end to a wonderful series, and guaranteed to satisfy fans of any medium.

8. The Muppets (Season 1 – ABC)

A strange one, a probably not a show you’ll see included on many best-of 2015 lists, The Muppets made a TV comeback in September with a show that’s very, very, different to their 1976 original (this is not The Muppet Show). Despite the controversy (calls from parents and Christian groups to ban the show due to various ‘adult themes’), and the confusion (suffering from marketing misfires, a Muppets show aimed at adults was always going to be a hard sell – people automatically look for a kids/family show when they see these felt-lined phenomenons involved), it’s actually a brilliant show.

With different celebrity guests appearing every week (from Dave Grohl to Jason Bateman, Elizabeth Banks, and more) The Muppets centres around a late night talk show (hosted, obviously, by Miss Piggy), but is delivered via a mockumentary style outlay (including character interviews) following the lives of everyone backstage; we see the ins-and-outs of Kermit and Piggy’s relationship (strained, since they work together but broke up before the show started), the band (Animal & co.) discussing drugs, everyone drinking after the talk show ends and solving various sit-com related problems (Secret Santas, someone’s gone missing, relationship woes, etc. etc.), and the fact it’s The Muppets, basically starring in their own, adult-themed, 30 Rock, just makes it even funnier.

7. Outlander (Season 1 – Starz)

A show which divided opinion, and did suffer from some strange tonal imbalances, Outlander was not only an extremely faithful adaptation of the books upon which it is based (so reader’s  inform us) but proved to be a very different premise and setting for a new TV show (World War 2 nurse gets sent back in time to the 1740s and finds herself – an English woman – living in the Scottish highlands just prior to the Jacobite rebellion).

The acting was generally top-notch, production values were excellent, and while many of the characters were somewhat cliched there were some truly fantastic character moments scattered throughout its 16-episode debut season. It also helps bring interest to a fascinating culture and period in history which remains largely forgotten today, and with a soundtrack from Bear McCreary (who also scores The Walking Dead), some surprisingly shocking and gripping moments/episodes, as well as a touch of humour and a great deal of spirit, the good far outweighs the bad here; and anyone who’s a fan of a decent historical drama should definitely watch Outlander.

6. Bosch  (Season 1 – Amazon Prime)

Despite having a year-long wait between the pilot and full season airing, the Amazon original show Bosch proved it was well worth waiting for. Based on three Michael Connelly novels – City of Bones, Echo Park, and The Concrete Blonde – and starring Titus Welliver (Argo, The Town, Deadwood) as titular detective Harry Bosch, Bosch is a police procedural drama with a little bit of a difference.

One of the best things about Bosch is the fact he doesn’t have a gimmick – too many cops on TV are either dirty (corrupt, not necessarily slovenly), or they’re cocky mentalists, violent, drunks, or people with hidden pasts – but Bosch plays it straight; he’s a quintessential good guy, constantly trying to do right (even if that does occasionally mean bending the rules), and is wonderfully suited to the modern noir take on Los Angeles which spawns an interesting and fresh take on L.A. It also has a great style, and it’s great to see a police drama where the case is king, and not rushed into 45 minute chunks – Bosch is investigating the same case (or technically handful of connected cases) over the entire season, and the slow pace is not only more realistic, but makes it more engaging, and provides a much bigger payoff.

5. Show Me A Hero (Mini-Series – HBO)

Set between 1987 and 1994 this true story of a New York Mayor (Yonkers, not NYC) caught up in one of the biggest housing debates in US history – where a court order for public housing to be built in largely white neighbourhoods not only sparked controversy, but protests, fines, political upheaval and national debate – was created by David Simon (the man behind The Wire), featured a fantastic cast (Oscar Isaac, Alfred Molina, Winona Ryder, Jon Bernthal, James Belushi, and Catherine Keener all starred), a great soundtrack (as well as splashes of Springsteen there was plenty of period hip-hop), and a brilliant story which made it fantastically engaging. It’s a true shame this little-seen gem of a show didn’t receive the recognition or viewership it deserved, though thankfully it has been nominated for a number of upcoming awards (including Golden Globes, Writers Guild of America Awards, and Critics’ Choice Television Awards).

4. The Walking Dead (First half Season 6 – AMC)

Technically 2015 saw the latter half of Season 5, and the first half of Season 6, but it’s Season 6 which has propelled The Walking Dead back to  being one of the best shows on TV; as after  Season 5’s slowing of pace and dip in action left many fans wanting, Season 6 came back with a fast-paced bang as relentless as any zombie horde.

Is he/isn’t he alive debate aside (not only was the outcome predictable, the tease was unnecessary), Season 6 gave fans everything they could want and then some; zombie herds (the likes of which we haven’t seen until now), attacks from warring survivors, clashing character ideologies (to kill or not to kill, that is the question), and Morgan joining the group (finally).

3. Daredevil (Season 1 – Netflix)

 

A toss up between this and sister show Jessica Jones (which proved to be a fantastic watch in its own right, even if it was three episodes too long), Daredevil clinches the notable mention for a number of reasons; one of which is simply being the first TV show to show us how amazing a dark, non-gimmicky, comic-book TV show really can be. This isn’t The Flash, this isn’t Arrow, and it damn sure isn’t Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (even though it takes place within the Marvel cinematic universe, like Agents); it’s a stand-alone property (until the eventual Defenders crossover series) which takes a full season to tell the origin story of its hero – blind lawyer Matt Murdock by day and crime-fighting (still blind) vigilante Daredevil by night. Matt is just setting up his law firm and making his first forays into fighting crime (often getting fairly battered and bruised in the process), and doesn’t even wear his signature costume.

Whats really special about Daredevil though, as well as the fact its a superhero show where the hero takes a full season to go after one bad guy (and not like in The Flash or Supergirl where there’s a villain-of-the-week filling time until the ‘big bad’ rears his head, here he’s always present but just out of reach), is the fact we see so much from the bad guy’s perspective; Vincent D’Onofrio stars as Kingpin/Wilson Fisk, and delivers a brilliant, nuanced, performance which is both intimidating, impactful, and often vulnerable as well, and the choice to include a romantic interest for Kingpin was bold, brave, and thoroughly successful in humanising an often laughable character.

So with film-like production values, fantastic performances from D’Onofrio and Charlie Cox, as well as notable roles filled by Rosario Dawson, Ayelet Zurer, Scott Glenn, and Deborah Ann Woll, Daredevil has shown us comic-book TV shows don’t have to be light, they don’t have to be pre-watershed, and they don’t need a throwaway episodic nature to work; in fact Daredevil has shown us a dark, gritty, long-form take on the hero mythos can be far far better than the family-friendly fare we’re used to.

2. The Flash (Second half of Season 1 / First part of Season 2 – The CW)

Still, what would comic-book TV be without some light-hearted fun? The Flash rests firmly at the opposite end of the light/dark spectrum to Daredevil, but rates just as highly in terms of quality and manages to clinch the number two spot thanks to one thing; consistency.

Sure, it may be a touch generic (every throwaway episode follows the exact same plot), but not only does the charisma of main star Grant Gustin make Barry Allen/The Flash a wholly endearing character, but that of every other major character (from Cisco to Joe, Dr. Wells to Caitlin, and more) and their chemistry as a group make the show what a comic book show should be – fun.

Yet that’s not to say The Flash can’t get serious, as we’ve had some hugely emotional episodes (the closing few episodes of Season One were especially good), and arcs that’ve paid off brilliantly. We also get cool villains (Captain Cold, Gorilla Grodd, and Mark Hamill’s Trickster – basically TV’s Joker – to name a few), plenty of surprises, and a cast so likeable you just have to keep on watching.

1. Narcos (Season 1 – Netflix)

The big prize this year doesn’t go to a comic book show, or a fantasy show, or a procedural drama, or even a traditional TV show, it belongs to Narcos; a Netflix Original series dealing with the true tale of one of the most fascinating men to have walked the planet in modern times; the story of Pablo Escobar.

Most people could tell you Pablo was a Colombian druglord, but know little else of the man who grew so rich he literally started handing stacks of money to the poor. Narcos will change that, and by both following events from Pablo’s inner circle (beginning when he was nothing more than a small time smuggler, and continuing to when he became one of the most feared men in the world), and the DEA agents tasked with bringing him to justice, we get both sides of a story so fascinating, so astonishing, and so shocking, that if it wasn’t true, you’d never believe it.

Told mostly in Spanish (heightening the authenticity), with a cast of relative unknowns (aside from possibly Game Of Thrones’ Prince Oberyn and Luis Guzman), and maintaining such a breathtaking breakneck pace you’ll instantly be hooked (rising nothing to multi-millionaire in one episode, an entire Presidential campaign – yes, a known drug dealer decided to become a politician – covered in one episode), the entire show is completely engrossing, utterly fascinating, and the very definition of a must-watch. It’s the best thing on TV.

Amazing production values (this isn’t Vinnie Chase’s Medellín), a fantastic story, unusual setting and an incomparable pace, combine with a fantastic cast – Wagner Moura’s take on Pablo is astonishingly good, and despite speaking in Spanish (not the native language for most of our readers) he not only brings a surprising amount of humanity to a drug-dealing murderer, but stands with a ferocious intensity and real screen presence which make him the best on-screen Pablo I’ve ever seen.

Narcos has it all – drugs, bombs, politics, murder, military involvement, complex relationships, and the thing which really sells it (aside from the fact you’re almost watching a documentary), is the fact it’s all true – a fantastically engaging, entertaining, and thoroughly enthralling piece of TV which simply demands to be watched.


Agree with our lists? Think we both made a glaring omission or included something which has no place being on any ‘Best Of’ list? Or simply want to talk about the shows we have mentioned? You can get involved and let us know in the comments section below.