Alright, I’ve watched the finale twice. Just my personal opinion (like everybody else), but here’s my list for the best TV dramas in this ‘Golden Age.’
1. The Wire
I’m not Whitlock, but I do agree this one still stands alone. I know even among Wire nerds I liked season 2 (the working class) more than most people. And season 5 stumbled into the finish line as it was tying up the different character arcs. BUT THE MAIN CHARACTER OF THE STORY WAS THE CITY OF BALTIMORE!!! By pure coincidence I happen to be reading ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ right now, but I mean, come on!!! That’s an impossible pitch, “I’m going to tell the story of the modern American city and why it’s set up to fail,’ and almost seamlessly pull it off.
2. Breaking Bad
Yeah, I’ll put it here. This show’s ambition, to tell the story of a beaten down man and how a little success swiftly opened the doors for him to pay back all the ‘wrongs’ that life put upon him. And in that sentence, I just explained to those of you who haven’t watched the show why it became popular on such a massive level. But don’t get me wrong; it’s number 2 (ahead of these others) because from pilot to finale, it’s extremely entertaining (not to mention perfecting the art of suspenseful endings that number 3 invented for the modern age…)
3. The Sopranos
‘The pioneer’. 4 out of 5 shows on this list are pretty directly related to this one. It’s in my queue, but I haven’t rewatched this series since Gandolfini passed. To borrow from another iconic gangster piece, ‘You know why I have The Sopranos at number 3? It was out of respect.’
4. Mad Men
It’s in a cooling period at the moment, but I have a deep affection for this one. A handsome young man from the Heartland with severe mother issues and a well known weakness for brunettes reinvents himself with a new name in the Big City as a smooth talking, stylish man about town, but beneath the surface he’s still trying to figure out what really makes him happy.
(Very awkward silence…)
You know what, let’s just move on…
5. Friday Night Lights
I’m giving this last slot to a broadcast show. More restrictions on what they can and can not get away with; but consistently one of the better stories told in recent years. Centered around still (I think) the best fictionalized marriage in recent television memory.
So that’s my list. Let’s enjoy this television run for as long as it lasts.