Very Good Shows

Good Shows

Alright Shows

Seasons Watched: 1imdb
22.11.63 is a mini series based on a novel by Stephen King, where the title refers to the 22nd November 1963 - The date that John F. Kennedy was assassinated. It stars James Franco as Jake Epping, an English Teacher whom discovers a portal to travel back to 1960; using this portal he has the opportunity to travel back 3 years before the assassination to monitor Lee Harvey Oswald (Daniel Webber) in attempt to prevent the assassination from happening in the first place.

I read the book long before it was developed into a mini-series and from memory the plot stays relatively faithful to the novel. As it is based on a Stephen King story you can expect moments of horror, however it also contains a lot of softer moments, especially around Jakes relationship with Sadie Dunhill (Sarah Gadon), a girl he meets from that time period.

It is cast well and the scenes are well done, with an authentic 60's feel. I've seen a lot of shows/movies based on Stephen King's material, often ranging in quality from poor (Dreamcatchers, Thinner) to standout (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile). This is one of the better ones.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 9 + Redemption Filmimdb
This show is focuses on non stop suspense that gets a hold of you from the very first episode, and doesn't let go until the last. It is unrelenting, gripping and highly engaging, with a strong focus on twists and a revolving cast of characters. Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is highly professional in combat, extremely instinctive and is not afraid to cross any boundaries between him and his goal.

The show sets up for some truly spectacular moments, the highlight of those when Bauer becomes a one man weapon against an onslaught of foes; sometimes you get the impression that even when only armed with a sidearm he has the wits and skill to take on an entire army. The problem with the show is that having such high paced suspense comes at a cost to the story-line. The show takes itself very seriously, yet plot lines border on absurd, the time-lines don't hold up to even the slightest scrutiny and many characters feel like they've only been introduced to the show for the sake of some shocking death. And I also feel that the writers may have simply looked up IT jargon and buzz words on the Internet and thrown into the show since, as myself being in the IT industry, I know that what they say in most of the technology related scenes makes no sense it the context that they are used.

So, how much you will enjoy the show really comes down to your suspension of disbelief. If you can look past questionable plot lines and story devices, and simply watch the show for the roller coaster ride of thrills, then you'll probably have a great time.

Altered CarbonAlright
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Review Forthcoming

American VandalGood
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Review Forthcoming

A Series Of Unfortunate EventsGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
A Series of Unfortunate Events based of the well loved Lemony Snicket line of children’s novels, adapted by Netflix into a full series show. It's a wonderful portrayal of the original material, with extremely vivid colours, art direction and well-crafted set design that all culminates into a visually stunning show that does a great job of capturing the black comedy and drama of the source that it is based one.

Neil Patrick Harris is standout as the main antagonist Count Olaf, however the acting excels across the board. A special mention also should be given to Patrick Warburton as the onscreen narrator; his deadpan delivery of his lines, and the way that it is cleverly woven into the narrative is done very well. Another aspect of the show that is noteworthy is the opening; not only is it very catchy, but each is uniquely recorded in such a way that it gives a premises of the episode it precedes.

A couple of the episodes were slightly flat, which prevents this from becomes one of the greats, however overall it is an excellent show that I will most certainly continue to watch.

American Horror StoryAlright
Seasons Watched: 1 - 3imdb
American Horror Story is an anthology horror based series where each season focuses on a independent story and cast of characters. As you can imagine the stories themselves have very dark themes, for example the first season centres on a house with a history of gruesome murders while the second season focuses on a mental asylum for the criminally insane.

The stories themselves are somewhat incohesive, a little silly, even slightly campy, with plenty of plot-holes, however they remain entertaining throughout; I have never struggled to find the motivation to start another episode, and I have always become invested into the stories even if they become slightly ridiculous.

Whist there are a number of scares and unsettling horror moments, this show wasn't quite as scary as I was expecting and I never had trouble watching it despite being cagey about watching similar media in the past. Overall I enjoy its anthology format and found it to be a reasonably decent horror show.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 4imdb
Archer is a animated comedy that follows a group of individuals working for a secret intelligence service, with namesake Sterling Archer being the main protagonist of the show.

There is plenty of humour found throughout all of the episodes, a lot of which is highly adult themed. Much of the show centres on Archer's womanizing ways, his interactions with his ex-lover whom also happens to be a fellow spy, or his somewhat spoilt attitude towards his domineering mother whom also happens to be the boss for the agency he works at. Each episode usually follows some espionage mission that Archer is tasked upon, however these are all episodic and just used as backdrops to centre the humour around.

If you're looking for an easy to watch show where the humour is both frequent and mature then this is a great option.

Arrested DevelopmentVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 4imdb
Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together

The tagline of the show describes the premises well. Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) is thrown in as the head of the family business following the arrest of his father, and the show centers around his effort to keep the business afloat despite the ongoing attempts from his family to financially suck the company dry.

This show really sets itself apart by having well defined personalities across the entire cast, supplemented by very intelligent humor. The comedy often centers around social situations raised from the different agendas of the cast members, however it never quite crosses that boundary where it becomes so awkward that it becomes uncomfortable viewing.

This is probably the platform that pivoted both Jason Bateman and Michael Cera onto a career in film comedic roles, however the acting and humor is top notch across the board, with no character feeling out of place. Overall this is an excellent comedy series even despite suffering from a lackluster 4th season.

Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Arrow is a DC superhero show that follows Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), a billionaire who survives on an isolated island for five years before returning to his hometown of Starling City to masquerade as a hooded vigilante that targets high profile criminal identities. It is set in the same universe as both The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, for which is shares the occasional cross-over episode.

The show is mostly the villain of the week format, with an interconnected story of how Oliver survived on the island and developed his skills shown as flashbacks across the episodes. And whilst some of the episodes are entertaining, as a whole they all feel a bit too similar and lack any real identity. Each season contains 20+ episodes and when I compare it to other long episode count shows that I watch it they have shortcomings; for example it lacks chemistry when compared to the cast of Supernatural, and the lead character lacks the charm of Barry Allen in The Flash.

If each season had a shorter run then I may consider investing further time into it, however as it stands now there are other high episode count shows I would prefer to devote my time to.

Band Of BrothersGood
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Band of Brothers is HBO World War II miniseries that follows the History of U.S 'Easy Company' Parachute Infantry Regiment from their training in the U.S all the way through to the end of the war. It is a companion miniseries to The Pacific, another of HBO's World War II dramas, with this one focusing on the conflict within Europe instead of the Pacific War.

Like all HBO war miniseries it is based on historical characters and events, often with each episode preluded with first hand commentary from some of the fighters who survived the war. The episodes themselves are well constructed and overall it feels like a well put together series.

It shares the biggest problem that I had with 'The Pacific' though, which is that it doesn't retain enough focus on any of the characters long enough for you to really become invested into their fate. Richard Winters, played very well by Damian Lewis, is perhaps the most central character, however even he is pushed into the background for many of the middle episodes. The episodes are quite clever in that each usually has a stronger focus on one particular character or role, however those characters mostly fade out to being extras outside of their key episodes.

Given the series was released in 2001 one thing I did take a lot of entertainment is seeing is a constant flow of actors whom, back then as extras went on to have lead roles in more recent films, including people such as Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender & James McAvoy. They are but a few. Even Jimmy Fallon pulls up in a jeep for a 5 minute scene before driving off, never being seen again.

Overall I think this is a stronger series than 'The Pacific', but still very similar in most ways. Like 'The Pacific' some of the episodes felt flat, and at times I needed to motivate myself to watch them, yet some of the other episodes were memorable and easy to engage in. It's arguably the best War dramas I've seen, however it still fell well short of Generation Kill, which is still my favorite HBO miniseries to date.

Battlestar GalacticaAlright
Seasons Watched: 1 + Miniseriesimdb
Battlestar Galacitca is a science fiction series focusing on a surviving band of humans trying to avoid extinction after a war breaks out with a race of androids they previously had created.

Whist some of the dogfight sequences between the space crafts are done very well, overall this show felt a bit forced, with much of the show feeling more political than sci-fi. A lot of the show centres on the survivors squabbling over governmental positions when they should be more concerned on avoiding the end of humanity. I didn't really connect with any of the characters either, meaning pivotal moments when their fate was in the balance didn't emotionally engage me as much as it should have.

This show has come highly recommended to me by several of my colleagues however, so I will at the very least watch the second season.

Being Human (U.K Version)Alright
Seasons Watched: 1 - 5imdb
Being Human is a BBC Series that follows a Vampire, Werewolf and Ghost who live together and try to blend in with normal human society. It is slower paced than what you would expect from a supernatural drama, with the human elements more in focus than the supernatural elements. However in typical BBC fashion it does have a lot of lighthearted moments throughout the series.

The supernatural roles have been very clumsily defined; Vampires can walk around in full daylight, Werewolves are capable of wrecking an entire apartment but seem incapable of getting through a glass window between them and the rest of the world, while Ghosts have the ability to make tea, clean up the dishes and in general interact with animate objects just like any human can. Further more the writing is pretty sloppy as well, with most of the story lacking surprise and missing many opportunities.

In general the show feels fairly low budget, however no more so than the actual Werewolf; The costume design is so poor that I literally laughed out loud at just how absurd it looked when I first saw it. Despite that, the show has some redeeming features, and the cast may grow on you. It's entertaining enough just so long as you've got your expectations more towards a lower budget drama series.

Better Call SaulVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 3imdb
Better Call Saul is a spin-off prequel from Breaking Bad, focusing on the story-line of Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), one of the shows secondary characters.

Saul was very likable in Breaking Bad, and he has enough depth and character that he fits comfortably into the leading role of this show. The show itself is made by the same producer as its predecessor, which is apparent from the outset; it has the same settings and touches of class, and will immediately feel familiar to the fans of the Breaking Bad series . It also features a number of recognizable characters that were part of the Breaking Bad story-line.

It doesn't quite have the same edginess as Breaking Bad, but then again it doesn't need to. Saul is an interesting character, and the story-lines built around him are both entertaining and engaging. Overall this is a very good spin-off series.

Black MirrorGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 3imdb
Black Mirror is an anthology series of dark and occasionally twisted tales, much in the same vein as the older Twilight Zone series. Similar to the Twilight Zone each episode has a different cast, setting and story, often touching on the affects of new technology in modern society.

Whilst the episodes aren't necessarily scary, they can be borderline disturbing, especially in particular the first entry of the series. There are only a handful of episodes in total, and given the anthology nature of the show they can be watch completely independently and in any order. And whilst some of the episodes are forgettable, a number of them stick with you long after you've finished them. This is a good choice for anyone who prefers darker, standalone stories.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
Bloodline is family drama that centres on the Rayburns, a moderately wealthy family who rent out a hotel along the beachside within Florida. And whilst to the outsiders they may appear to have a successful and peaceful lifestyle, their inner relationships are conflicted due to past events that haunt the family.

The series is superbly cast with Kyle Chandler, Norbert Leo Butz & Linda Cardellini playing exceptionally convincing roles as family siblings. However the standout for me is Ben Mendelsohn playing Danny, the black sheep of the family and for whom is the epicentre of the drama. I've always thought of Ben Mendelsohn as an underrated Australian actor whom has a natural talent of playing uncomfortable characters with checkered pasts and he truly shines in this role.

The show also uses stunning location sets with high production values, and has a deep and calculated story, often with the narrative giving you glimpses or the past or foreshadowing of future events to keep you invested. Overall it makes for a high quality drama

Boardwalk EmpireGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 5imdb
Boardwalk Empire focuses on Atlantic City within the 1920's & 30's during the prohibition of alcohol. Steve Buscemi plays as Enoch Thompson, a character who is based on the historical figure of the same name and who has a heavy involvement with Politics and Mobs, in particular around the trade and distribution of bootlegged or illegally imported alcohol.

The show has an engaging cast, with Buscemi being a very well suited leading man. The story is interesting and is supported by an excellent set that really encapsulates what (I would imagine) life would have looked like in the late 20's. The show is solid and well told drama with some occasional very violent or strong scenes and very well thought out characters. It is entertaining viewing, and time just dissolves away while watching each episode.

Bojack HorsemanAlright
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
BoJack is an animated black comedy starring Will Arnett voicing the title character - An alcoholic talking horse who has turned bitter several decades after the peak of his acting career.

The show is very satirical, focusing heavily on BoJack's depression and his unorthodox friendship with his housemate Todd (voiced by Aaron Paul). It certainly isn't as entertaining for me as Archer, however unlike Rick and Morty I will probably continue to watch the show past the first season.

Breaking BadVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 5imdb
Breaking Bad is a very slick show. The premise is based around Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a Chemistry Teacher, who when diagnosed with Lung cancer enlists the help of Jessie Pinkman (Aaron Paul), one of his former students, to assist with the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine so that he can leave money to support his family if he dies. Despite the good intention, things quickly spiral out of control.

The story has been given a lot of thought and is well written, and plays out at a good pace. The episodes keep you guessing, and there are some highly suspenseful situations. There are some very strong scenes, and the episodes generally get darker and darker as the show progresses. It all makes for a highly entertaining show.

BroadchurchVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 3imdb
Broadchurch is a murder mystery set in a fictitious town in the south coast of the U.K that focuses the death of a young boy, the hunt for his murderer as well as the grief and media attention suffered by the small, close-knit community. To me it draws a lot of similarities to the murder mystery show The Killing. Like the Killing, it centers around child homicide that is being investigated by two detectives, and also like the the Killing it stars a very solid female lead (Olivia Colman) who is upstaged by her male counterpart (David Tennant). In this particular case Tennant plays the role of Alec Hardy, a weary, withdrawn Detective who is spectacular to watch.

And although I am a fan of The Killing, Broadchurch gives it quite the lesson on murder mystery narrative. In The Killing the drama often feels forced, with the detectives frantically chasing their own tails with the next false clue that falls in their lap. Broadchurch on the other hand is more controlled, more calculated, and better paced. The drama is more focused on the characters, and due to the strong cast, staggeringly beautiful cinematography, exceptional sound design and excellent writing the brilliance of the show shines brightly through without the need for overly manufactured plot lines.

I had high expectations for this show based on the reviews I had read, and fortunately I wasn't left disappointed. This is an excellent drama that stands tall amongst many of it's peers.

Brooklyn Nine-NineGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 4imdb
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is an comedy based on a group of detectives within a Brooklyn based Police Department. It stars a diverse and entertaining range of characters and the comedy largely plays around their unique personalities and the way that they interact with each other.

The show mostly centers around Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), a talented but childish detective whom often pranks and makes jokes at the expense of his colleges. His sense of humor is very charismatic though, and his boyish remarks and actions frequently result in a few laughs. The rest of the cast have been carefully created with characteristics that supplement his humor very well, and it culminates into an easy to watch and entertaining show with a number of laugh out loud moments each episode.

CouplingVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 4imdb
Coupling could be described as a British version of Friends, only with a lot more adult humor. It has many genuine laugh out loud moments, and the humor is, although often at times quite awkward, also very clever.

It's written by Steven Moffat, the same brains behind the BBC series Sherlock, and it shows with some of the episodes being very well written and complex for a comedy, often with diverging story-lines seen from multiple points of view.

The show had 3 excellent seasons, however one of the actor's (Richard Coyle) left the show for other endeavors following the conclusion of the third. Despite replacing him, he was just to cetral in the comedy for it to survive; without Jeffery the show lost its magic and only ran for one more shortened season.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
Damages is a legal drama that revolves around Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), a high profile, ruthless lawyer, as well as those whom work for her organistation, in particular law school graduate Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne).

It is dramatic, with a number of plot twists and moments that keep you in suspense. The show often gives you short, incomplete preminitions of future events which often leave you wanting to keep watching just to uncover the entire story.

This is more of a filler show for me, however it is still good enough that I will likely finish all five seasons.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
Daredevil is a Netflix series based on the Marvel Comic Character of the same name. The central character is played by Charlie Cox, someone whom I enjoyed watching in the Boardwalk Empire show, and he does an outstanding job as the main protagonist.

This show sets itself apart from other super-hero shows in that it follows a serialized format and therefore avoids the 'villain of the week' episodic releases. The whole series is instead set around Matt Murdock's transition into the role of Daredevil. Because of this reason there is far more depth in the character development, especially that of the antagonist Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) as he gradually becomes the main villain 'Kingpin'. The overall story is somewhat basic however and doesn't go much deeper that an entire season of Daredevil trying to bring down Fisk.

The episodes are dark and gritty and at time violent, and contains some excellently choreographed fight scenes, including an incredible and complex long take at the end of the second episode that will go down for me as one of the best fight scenes ever performed in a TV show. The episodes also manage to retain just on the right side of being plausible as well, with Matt Murdoc's powers never so far fetched that you find yourself questioning the absurdity of the show (for the most of the time anyway).

If you're looking for a slower, more character driven super-hero show then you can't go wrong with this one.

Dead SetGood
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Dead Set is a BBC miniseries with a very interesting premise. It focuses on a group of Big Brother housemates who while in the isolation of the Big Brother House are completely unaware than a zombie outbreak has ripped through Britain.

The show only consists of 5 episodes that total just over 2 hours, so it is almost more appropriate to describe this as a movie rather than a TV series. The characters aren't overly memorable (aside from perhaps Davina McCall playing herself as the Big Brother presenter) however despite that it still is gory, suspenseful and entertaining and ultimately it's a show that you can't really go wrong with if you're a fan of the zombie genre.

DeadwoodVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 3imdb
Deadwood focuses on the South Dakotan City of the same name during the 1870's. It is a spectacular show, filled with genuinely memorable characters and supported by highly engaging story-line and a well crafted set.

Some of the cast really shine, including Timothy Olyphant as the local Sheriff and Robin Weigert as the local drunkard Calamity Jane. However none more so than Ian McShane who portrays Al Swearengen, the owner of the local saloon. Ian's performance in this show is truly a stand-out, and rates among one of the strongest characters I've seen from any TV Series.

Deadwood received wide critical acclaim during its 3 seasons, however unfortunately was cancelled before its time. The shows is delivered in colloquial dialogue, which takes some adjusting to understand, and therefore just wasn't mainstream enough to succeed. The fans who watched the show absolutely loved it (and I would put myself in that bucket), however it just didn't appeal to a large enough audience to sustain a show with this kind of budget. Furthermore the show was cancelled between seasons, meaning the story wasn't given time to be completed.

Despite that it still has my strong recommendation, and if I could choose any one show to be picked up by a network again, this would be my choice.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 8imdb
Meet Dexter. He works as a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department. Oh, and he's also a serial killer. But he only kills bad people.

It is a really interesting premises which has Dexter (Michael C Hall) using his occupation in the police department to not only find himself suitable candidates for his kills, but also to cover his tracks. Michael C Hall does a good job of playing the main role, where he is usually calm and controlled, but occasionally we get a glimpse at the uncontrolled psychopath behind the charade.

The shows are thrilling and tense, where Dexter is often put into situations where he is at personal risk or he is desperately trying to avoid his alter personality being discovered. However like many good shows before it, the series starts stumbling at around season 5. The later seasons aren't bad by any standards, it's more that they've lost some of the magic that made the show quite special, with the general consensus that the last season is the weakest. I would voice my opinion to that as well by saving that the finale is disappointing when you consider how stellar some of the earlier episodes are.

However there's another reason why Dexter will always be a special show for me, which is that it's the series that made watching TV shows become one of my hobbies. I never really watched a lot of TV shows, with most of my focus being on movies. However I was lent Dexter Season 1 from a friend, and ended up burning through all 12 episodes in a week. It opened up a whole new world of entertainment for me, which lead to all the TV shows you now see in this list.

Designated SurvivorAlright
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Review Forthcoming

Doctor WhoAlright
Seasons Watched: 1 - 7imdb
Dr Who is a well known and popular sci-fi series that follows a Timelord; an extraterrestrial humanoid whom has the ability to travel through space and time, as well as the ability to regenerate as another personality should they die.

The original series of Dr Who ran until the late 80's, for which I have vivid memories of watching during my childhood. In 2005 the series received a reboot, however despite my childhood enthusiasm, only now eight seasons in, have I gotten around to watching the reboot.

The show is exactly as I was expecting; it's a bit silly, goofy and campy, full of ridiculous stories. Some of the episodes are very good and I do like the fact that you never know when or where each episode will be set, however with many of the other episodes I struggle to look past the absurdity of it all. In a way it reminds me of what it's like watching Supernatural; some of the episodes are genuinely clever and captivating, yet for an equal number of the episodes I feel like it was completely forgettable.

Despite that I do find myself enjoying it, especially during the David Tennant and Matt Smith era. I enjoy learning the personalities of each new doctor, as well as their companions that they pick up along the way. Overall this is the kind of show I tend to watch on my phone during my train ride to/from work; it's entertaining enough to pass the time, but there are other, more serious shows I would prefer to watch on my home theatre system.

Downton AbbeyGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 6 + 5 end of season specialsimdb
Downton Abbey is a British period drama set in a country estate spanning across the 1910's & 1920. It focuses on the Crawley family and their servants, and often how their lives are not only affected by the standard events you'd expect in a drama, but also however they were affected by real historical events of that era.

It is very well cast with all characters brimming with personality and at times has spectacular scenery and sets. The series overall has meet a lot of critical acclaim and is one of my wife's favorite shows, even despite a few too many 'now kiss me' corny lines or melodramatic moments. How much you enjoy the show really comes down to how much you enjoy period dramas. Perhaps an appropriate way of describing this is that it's Tony Abbot's favorite show, who is currently (at the time of writing this) the Prime Minister of Australia. Take that as you will.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 8 + Feature Filmimdb
Entourage centers around the lives of actor Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his entourage of childhood friends, and it focuses on their endeavors, relationships and in particular follows Vincent's career though both the good times and the bad.

The cast are engaging enough, however none more so than Vincent's Agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), who at times steals the show. And being a show based on someone in the stardom spotlight within Hollywood, you can expect a near endless cast of cameos playing themselves.

The show could be described as a comedy drama, however it's a bit light in both areas - It essentially comes down to being a show about boys just being boys. It's certainly entertaining viewing, but definitely not 'must see'.

Falling SkiesGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 5imdb
Falling Skies is a post apocalyptic TV show that follows a group of humans as they struggle to survive six months after an alien invasion. Noah Wyle stars as Tom Mason, the central protagonist who was a former history professor but becomes one of the leaders for a band of humans in Boston.

In truth I wasn't expecting a lot going into this show; I picked it up cheaply and expected it to be a silly drama that would struggle to hold my attention. Fortunately I was proven wrong with my expectations, where by I found myself quite attached to the show. There's enough emotional touches for you care for the fate of the characters and there is enough mystery surrounding the invasion that makes you want to keep watching.

The show does have some of the standard inconsistencies you need to look past. For example how the most advanced mechanical units that the world has ever seen are incapable of detecting humans hiding behind obstacles only meters away, or how the aliens seem unable to detect a group of hundreds of survivors travelling along the streets in broad daylight despite their ships frequently flying over the city. Also I feel that Tom Mason's youngest son is used as a prop a bit too much; he doesn't seem to be there to serve any purpose other than looking innocent and throwing around an occasional comment aimed at pulling the audiences heartstrings.

Despite that though it's a decent show. When you think of post apocalyptic shows most people will think of The Walking Dead. In comparison this certainly has less violence and fewer main character deaths, and whilst I an quite a fan of The Walking Dead, I have to say that at the moment I enjoy this show almost as much.

FargoVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 3imdb
Note: Since this is an anthology based show this review is based on the first season only. However are the follow-up seasons also good? You betcha they are

Fargo is a black crime drama set in Minnesota that was inspired by the 1996 film of the same name. It is well produced with high production values, and features a terrific ensemble cast of actors including Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks and Bob Odenkirk.

The story mostly revolves around the character of Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) and the large cast of characters that become involved from his actions. Billy Bob Thornton is truly standout in this role, playing an extremely convincing hit-man whom leaves a trail of bodies and deception in his wake for every community he travels through. He is the very embodiment of a wolf in sheep's clothing; he can appear charismatic and charming, but underneath he is malicious, calculating and extremely dangerous, and he frequently sets himself out on a path of destruction for no other purpose than self satisfaction. The rest of the cast shine as well, and when paired with the brilliant writing and fantastic set design it makes for a stand-out show that leaves a lasting impression.

On a side note, at the start of each episode it clearly states that the story is true, and the events have been told exactly as it occurred. A few episodes in I was starting to have some series doubts about this claim, and a quick search alleviated my doubts by confirming the story to be completely fictional. The executive producer included this a homage to the original film which also made the same statement, yet was also completely fictional.

Fear The Walking DeadAlright
Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
Review Forthcoming

Seasons Watched: 1 + Serenity Filmimdb
Firefly is a science fiction show that follows the adventures of a renegade smuggling crew lead by Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion). I myself have never been a big fan of Sci-Fi however this is one of those shows that I heard as been something special enough times to finally convince me try it out for myself.

The cast of the show are probably what stand out the most. I had never really seen much of Nathan Fillion before this, however his sharp sense of humor and wit elevates him into someone you want to see more and more of on screen. It's not only him though, all 9 of the central characters are well personalized, and found myself growing towards even those that I wasn't initially a fan of.

The show failed to pick up a strong audience, and I once read that due to the uncertainty of the future of the show the cast were acting like each episode was their last. And I felt like I could sense that as well, which the cast continually giving a great performance and the episodes themselves being varied and unique, often with a Western feel to them

The show was unfortunately cancelled however after one season, although it sounds like the FOX Network, whom ran the show, did their best to sabotage rating by playing the episodes out of order and without a consistent timeslot. (On that note, if you do happen to watch the show, ensure you watch it in it's original intended viewing order. You know you will be right if the first episode is 90 minutes). Despite that it gained a loyal fanbase, and is often cited as a show that ended before its time. And although it wasn't enough to make me a fan of Sci-Fi in general, it was still a great show that I enjoyed none the less.

Game Of ThronesVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 7imdb
Game of Thrones is very well made epic fantasy drama. It is an adaption of the novel series 'A Song of Ice and Fire' written by George R. R. Martin, and like many shows based on books it is well thought out and scripted.

Despite the fantasy setting, the show is highly political. It would be more appropriate to describe the show as focusing on a group if antagonists rather than around a main protagonist; there really isn't a lead character as such, but rather the show focuses on a number of different factions and their struggles against each other. Often the lines between good and evil are blurred; it's more like different shades of grey, with each of the factions having their own agenda. It is a complex story, with hundreds of characters, however due to the great writing it never becomes convoluted.

The show is excellently cast and acted, and you will come to love some of the roles and despise others. It is also at times very bold, and certainly isn't afraid of killing off central characters. Overall it is an excellent show that you still may enjoy even if you're not a fan of fantasy series.

Generation KillVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Generation Kill is a seven part mini-series that follows a group of Marines during the US invasion of Iraq that is so well cast and told that it will probably be enjoyable even if you're not a fan of the military genre.

The cast is so well defined that you develop a real connection with them, for me perhaps more than any other show I've watched. Each character is brimming with personality, however for me none stood out more than Brad "Iceman" Colbert (Alexander Skarsgård), the Bravo 1 Squad leader, and Ray Person (James Ransone), the Bravo 1 Driver. These characters, among a long list of others, are superbly defined and are instantly engaging. This show is non fiction, based on first hand accounts from a Rolling Stones reporter who traveled with the Bravo 1 team, and the story is accurate that that one of the characters (Rudy Reyes) is portrayed by himself.

The fact that this show is an accurate depiction is at time bewildering due to the number to times the marines were put into compromising situations due to either pride or incompetence from their commanding officers. Despite this the Marines would follow their orders even when having a better understanding of the situation and knowing that they would have the odds stacked against them, and there are a number of times when it was only shear luck that made the difference.

I wouldn't class myself as a huge fan of the military genre, yet this show still sticks out as one of my favorites due to the superb casting, so much so that I would have a genuine sense of excitement before putting on each episode. It's not very often I enjoy a series as much as I did this one.

Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Gotham is a DC Themed show based in the Batman Universe, set in the time period before Bruce Wayne develops into his super hero identity. It opens with the infamous shotting of Thomas and Martha Wayne and continues on a linear timescale from that point in time.

It is primarily focused around the DC canon character James Gordon (Ben McKenzie), fresh faced to the Gotham City Police Department prior to becoming the Commissioner. Ben McKenzie is cast really well in this role, and in that respect the casting is very strong; all of the young versions of the Gotham characters are cast excellently, including Camren Bicondova as Catwoman and Cory Michael Smith as the Edward Nygma. However none more so than Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot - His portrayal at the Penguin is possibly the main reason to watch the show.

The setting is highly stylish with a bleak tone, however the episodes themselves are bland and mostly forgettable, and lack any real punch. And in that respect in this current generation where we have so many superhero themed show to pick from I believe that there are better alternatives; one season of Gotham was enough for me.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 3imdb
Hannibal is a psychological thriller based on Hannibal Lecter, a character initially introduced within a series of novels and later made a household name after the well known novel movie adaption of The Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal is both a serial killer and a cannibal, and is a master of the art of both deception and psychological manipulation.

This show is based before the events of Silence of the Lambs. It follows Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), a highly talented criminal profiler whom has a unique ability to deconstruct a crime scene within in his mind; this is introduced very cleverly into the show, and watching scenes where Will pieces together the events of a crime is always a highlight. He is soon introduced to Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) as his psychiatrist, and it is not long before he is pulled into his web of deciept, with Hannibal becoming involved and actively manipulating Will's criminal investigations.

As you can imagine, a show based on a canabalistic serial killer is very dark, with strong adult themes. It is also something of a slow burner, often with dialog heavy episodic storylines based on self contained serial killings. But despie that I've always enjoyed a good psychological thriller, especially ones that offers a depressing story with no happy ending in sight. This show offers that in spades.

Hell On WheelsVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 5imdb
Hell On Wheels is a western themed show centred around the construction of the first railroad across the United States, set shortly after American Civil War. It has an outstanding cast of characters, most notably its lead Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount); I often think a show is only as strong as its lead character and Cullen excels at this role. He is calm, somewhat dismissive and speaks only when necessary, however is also surprisingly charismatic despite his rugged nature.

The story is engaging, with plenty of residual conflict between the North and South following the Civil War, as well as the Native American Indians for whom occupy the land that the rail is being built upon. The show has fantastic cinematography and sound design, and when taken into consideration with the strong cast then everything about this show makes for great viewing.

This finally feels like the great western themed replacement for Justified that I have been looking for, despite a dip in quality after the first few seasons.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 4imdb
Heroes follows a group of individuals whom mysteriously develop a range of unique powers - for example one person may gain the power to fly, while another may gain the ability to regenerate from any injury. There is no main protaganost, but rather an overall and shared focus on each character as they come to terms with their ability and how it affects the world around them.

The writing of the show is very clever, frequently pulling the unrelated individuals together by common events, and it also deals with complexities such as time travelling paradoxes without becoming too convoluted or too absurd. The show also has a high turnover of characters, and as each is introduced you are never quite sure how long they will last.

The story involves lot of mystery, writen around a prophesied event and the heroes working towards altering the course of history to try and prevent it. It all culminates in a show that remains interesting and one that I can comfortably binge watch.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 5imdb
Homeland follows CIA Officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) as she tries to unravel a web of mystery surrounding the unexpected and sudden discovery within Iraq of the prisoner of war Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), someone whom went missing in action 8 years earlier and had been presumed dead. Carrie had been given prior information from an asset that an American prisoner of war had been turned by Al-Qaeda and she therefore focuses on Brody as a prime suspect for someone working against the American Government.

The show does a decent job of keeping you guessing by proving incomplete portrayals of some of the central characters, and it takes a number of episodes before you can really start piecing the puzzle together and working out where each characters motives lie. Claire Danes does a great job of portraying the unstable main protagonist, where her expressions are so intense that you can clearly read her emotions even without the need for dialogue. All of the supporting cast are also excellently acted, including Brody, as well as CIA Veteran Officer Saul Berenson.

The show much more of a drama than a thriller with many of the episodes just ticking over with little tension. There are some suspenseful moments, especially towards the end of each season, however for the most part the show is slower than I would have expected of something of this nature. Season 2 does pick up the pace up compared to Season 1 though. Overall it is a decent show.

House Of Cards (U.S Version)Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 5imdb
House of Cards is an American Political Drama that focuses on Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his rise through the U.S Political System. Kevin Spacey is as solid as you would expect from an actor of this caliber and his character is perhaps the most calculating, manipulative, ambitious and determined character I've seen in a show. He's completely focused and has no bounds for using anyone or preventing anything from getting between him and his goals. Robin Wright stars as Claire, his equally ambitious wife, although it would be more appropriate to describe their marriage as a formal partnership; they have a deep understanding and trust in each other, but both seem to understand that their relationship is a platform for their mutual gain.

As you would expect, the show is highly political - so much so that after the first few episodes I was concerned that it was going to be too politically driven for me to really enjoy. Fortunately my concerns ended up being unfounded as there is plenty of drama that even the a non politically minded person like myself can absorb.

One thing that sets this show apart from others is that Frank Underwood frequently breaks the fourth wall, speaking directly to the audience. It is initially a jarring experience however it ends up being a very clever mechanic that allows us as audience members to understand his thoughts or give additional narrative on what outcomes he's expecting within specific scenarios.

All in all this a decent and drama filled show that I am enjoying a little more than I expected to.

House M.DAlright
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
House is a medical drama show that follows Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) and his specialized team of Doctors as they go about solving the medical mysteries that afflict each patient on a episode by episode basis.

House himself is a miserable, pain-killer addicted doctor who has little empathy for his patients, and has no interest in his work unless it's a case that intrigues him by falling outside the norm. He's self obsessed, self absorbed and often seems to take pleasure in manipulating others through their weaknesses. However he's also quite spectacular to watch, and easily the highlight of the show.

My biggest issue with the series is that it is extremely repetitive in nature. Each episode follows a tight formula: someone becoming stricken by some mystery illness before the opening credits. House takes a shine to the case since his only interest is solving medical mysteries. He and his team misdiagnose the illness a handful of times, each time usually coming close to killing the patient. House will then deduce what the actual illness is, usually triggered by a conversation or a throwback to a minor plot device. Queue to final shot of patient leaving the hospital healthy and happy (most of the time), never to be seen or commented on again.

The episodes are always over-dramatic as well. A lady comes in with a rash on her hand and two minutes later she's having a seizure in the clinic. A boy comes to the hospital with pneumonia, and by the end he's got anthrax and leprosy. The excitement goes stale when you know that with every episode it's only a matter of time before the patient of the week is fighting for their life against the mystery illness of the week, with the doctors scrambling to find the solution. But since the patients are used as nothing more than props, and the illnesses themselves are at times so absurd, it's hard to really care about their fate.

I guess it makes for a good weekly episodic show, however I prefer my shows to be more serialized. I'm only one season in, however given the high number of episodes in each season, along with the fact that I have so many other shows in my backlog , it's hard to know when, or even if at all I will get around to watching season 2.

In The FleshAlright
Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
In the Flesh is a BBC series that has a rather unique setting in that it's a zombie show that isn't really about zombies. It centers on a UK society recovering from a nation wide zombie outbreak, where the zombies have been contained, and furthermore through daily medication are able to be rehabilitated to their pre-zombie state. These rehabilitated zombies are known as PDS sufferers (Partially Deceased Syndrome), and the show picks up at the time when these PDS patients are being reintroduced into the communities from where they originally came from.

As you would expect there is considerable division in these communities from those whom support the reintroduction of the PDS sufferers and those whom do not, with many of those whom do not forming their own vigilante groups and enforcing their own form of anarchy. There are occasional and fleeting moments of zombie related gore, however at the heart of it it isn't about zombies at all; this about discrimination and prejudice.

The BBC has a good track record of creating shows and films that center around prejudice and this is no different. The series it full of drama that keeps you emotionally involved, however it also never really hits the high points to be considered must see.

Iron FistAlright
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Iron Fist is a Netflix Marvel show that follows Danny Rand (Finn Jones), a Kung-Fu expert who has the ability to focus his chi energy into his hand therefore granting him the ability to do highly destructive damage with his fist. This is the introduction of the final central character of the Defenders, following along from Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.

When this show was first released it had high expectations yet was savaged by the critics. And after watching the show I can understand some of the criticisms; some of the dialog is terrible, it occasionally treats the audience as idiots, many of the fight scenes are dull and Jones doesn't seem like a natural fit for the lead. However I do think some of the reviews were a little extreme, and I found myself enjoying it more than what I was expecting based on the reviews I had read. To put things into perspective I enjoyed this show more than I did Luke Cage.

Irrespective of the quality of this show compared to the other Netfix Marvel titles it is still essential viewing if you intend to watch the Defenders since Danny is a canon character of the team.

Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Jekyll acts as a modern retelling of the legend of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I initially become aware of this series due to it being written by Steven Moffat, someone whom has provided me with a great deal of entertainment from some of his other shows, and after viewing the trailer I become quite excited about the prospect of viewing this 6 part BBC series.

It certainly does a good job of portraying Jekyll and Hide, with both characters played by James Nesbitt. As Jekyll he's a drab and uninteresting individual who lacks any real personality, yet as Hide he becomes a eccentric, quick thinking and extremely resourceful character who is prone to outbursts of violence. The show is at times genuinely interesting, especially when Hide is present. Neither Jekyll or Hide can communicate directly, nor do they have any recollection of their actions while the other personality is dominant. Their communication is therefore via a shared voice recorder where they record messages for each other, and Jekyll spends a lot of effort trying to conceal his family and normal life from the knowledge of Hide.

The show certainly has touches of Steven Moffat's writing, with his distinct humor and clever narrative scattered throughout the series, however the story itself becomes convoluted. The show only ran for one season, and concluded with more more questions than answers.

Jessica JonesGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
Jessica Jones is the second of the Netflix produced Marvel series, following on from the release of Daredevil released earlier in the year. It stars Krysten Ritter as the show's namesake, a struggling, heavy drinking private detective whom has superhuman strength.

Like Daredevil, this is not your typical superhero show. It has very methodical pacing, focusing on a single narrative rather than having a monster of the week format. In this particular case it is Jessica Jones facing off against her rival Kilgrave (better known as the purple man in the Marvel Comics), brilliantly played by David Tennant. I am quite the fan of David Tennant and he makes for a very intense villain; Kilgrave has the power to force anyone to obey his commands, irrespective of the consequences to the individuals or those around them, and it makes for some extremely powerful viewing with a strong, impactful storyline.

Overall if you were a fan of Daredevil then it's likely you'll be a fan of this as well. I also think it's likely there will be a great deal of cross-over between the two shows in future seasons.

JustifiedVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 6imdb
Justified is a drama series that focuses on Raylan Givens, a U.S Deputy Marshall who enforces the law in the Lexington area of Kentucky. It has a terrific cast, most notably that of Timothy Olyphant as the main role, however it also benefits from a wide range range of genuinely interesting and unique antagonists.

The thing that strikes me the most about this show is with how much swagger Raylan Givens has; He is tall and lanky, and walks around in a way like he truly belongs in the spotlight. He is quick thinking and fast tongued, and some of his lines can be incredibly witty, and it all results in a highly engaging central character than you want to see more and more off. The shows starts of a quite episodic, however they move towards a more season-wide plot driven format in the later seasons.

The show has been with received widespread critical acclaim, and at the time of writing this is still one of my favorites. It was a consistently entertaining show, and season 6 concluded with a satisfying ending.

Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Legion is a Marvel show based in the X-Men Universe staring Dan Stevens as David Haller, one of the more powerful mutants in the X-Men catalogue. However you shouldn't expect a typical superhero action drama; this show is wield. Like really, really weird.

David Haller has a mental illness which plays heavily into the show, resulting in a frequent number of episodes that leave you extremely confused about what you are watching. Stick with it though, since it is all for a purpose that eventually makes sense, which was around the 6th episode for me. The show also is very vivid, using strong colours and sounds that complement the unusual nature of the show. Dan Stevens does great job in the leading role however he is also supported by a great cast, especially Aubrey Plaza as Lenny Busker, whom is a patient at the same Psychiatric Hospital.

It's a rewarding show as long as you stick with it long enough to understand what is going on.

Life On MarsAlright
Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident, and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever's happened, it's like I've landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home.

The introductory credit to the show sums up the premises nicely. Sam Tyler (John Simm) is involved in a car accident and wakes up 33 years earlier, working as a Detective Inspector in Manchester under the command of Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister). Throughout the entire series Sam is searching for a way home and the show touches on common time travelling themes, such as meeting younger versions of family relatives. However for the most part the time travelling element remains a sub-plot, with most episodes having a stronger focus on a crimes in and around the Manchester area.

While the time travelling element keeps you guessing, it remains ambiguous all the way until the final and even then comes down to personal interpretation. The show has a lot of throwback humor to what life would have been like in the UK in the 70's, however probably the main reason you will end up sticking with the show is instead the relationship between Sam and Gene; Sam is a straight laced by the book detective, while Gene is a no nonsense, say it like it is kind of guy. Their constant bickering and love-hate relationship is the strongest and most entertaining element of the show and personally is what carried me through the two seasons that the series ran for.

Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Longmire is a Wyoming based crime drama that follows Sherriff and title namesake Walk Longmire (Robert Taylor) as he investigates major crimes in and around his county. I stumbled on this show while looking for a modern western themed alternative to fill the large boots that Justified left behind following its conclusion after 6 seasons, however whilst Longmire is a serviceable show, it's falls short of being the Justified replacement that I was hoping for.

Walt is a gruff and weathered Sherriff whom prefers old schooled methods for his daily duties. He is supported by a number of characters, including his deputy Victoria (Katee Sackhoff) and long-time Native American friend Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips). The show is episodic format, where each episode centres around both the introduction and resolution a murder or other serious crime, and whilst the storylines around each crime are generally interesting, they aren't particularly deep or memorable.

The barren scenery of Wyoming makes a great setting, however other than that the show is fairly unremarkable; it is interesting enough that I can sit through a 45 minutes episode without becoming bored, but it's almost always forgettable as soon as that 45 minute episode has concluded.

Luke CageAlright
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Luke Cage is the third of Netflix's superheroes shows, following on from Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Cage, played by Mike Colter, is a character who develops superhero strength and near impenetrable skin after an experiment goes wrong.

This has just as high production values as the previous Netflix entries, although I felt it was the weakest of the three so far. Similar to the second season of Daredevil it lacks a consistent villain, and in some respects the plot loses its way towards the end.

Despite that it is still a solid entry, and essential viewing if you are a fan of the Netflix superhero collection; especially since it serves as part of the introduction for their upcoming Defenders crossover show

Seasons Watched: 1 - 4imdb
Luther is a BBC One crime drama series that follows Detective Chief Inspector John Luther (Idris Elba) and his personal conflicts with his job and environment. Luther is a troubled character; he is brilliant at solving psychological based crime, however he is also highly flawed, constantly struggling to maintain his mortals and often falling victim to his own uncontrolled temper.

Idris Elba is solid as the main lead, as he always is, and is well supported with Ruth Wilson playing the intelligent psychopath Alice. The show can at times be quite dark. It starts out quite episodic, however towards the end of the first season shifts narrative to a progressive story that builds up to a strong final, leaving you with a sense of 'what's next?'.

Mad Dogs (U.K Version)Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 4imdb
Mad Dogs is a drama that focuses on a group of friends who get caught up in a series of events while holidaying in Majorca. It has a Breaking Bad feel about it, not just in the dusty desert setting, but also in the narrative, where each attempt of the group to get themselves out of trouble only introduces further unexpected predicaments.

It stars Max Beesley, Philip Glenister, John Simm, Marc Warren, who will likely be familiar faces to anyone whom watches a lot of British drama - It was the cast that initially drew me to the show, and in that respect they shine, especially John Sims. However I also really do enjoy these types of shows that focus on the cast jumping from one bad situation to another.

The one area where the show lets itself down slightly is the plot, which although moves along at a decent pace, suffers from a few too many far-fetched moments. However if you are willing to look past that then it makes for exciting and entertaining drama.

Mad MenGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 7imdb
Mad Men is a period drama focusing on an advertising agency during the 1960's and follows central character Don Draper (Jon Hamm) as well as those around him in both his work and personal life. The show is strongly influenced by themes of the time; smoking, drinking and sexism are strongly themed around the workplace, work ethics can be questionably relaxed and there is a clear bounty between the working husbands their home-wives.

Don Draper is magnetic to watch. He is suave, confident, and quite the wordsmith, however he is also supported by an excellent cast. It's definitely slower paced drama; by the end of the 13 episodes of the first season I realized that not a lot had actually happened, but as a testimony to the quality of the show I also realized I didn't quite know where the time went.

Making A MurdererVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Making A Murderer is a documentary that follows Wisconsin resident Steven Avery, and in particular a number of events that have lead to conflict between himself and his local Manitowoc County Sheriff Department.

If you haven't heard of Steven Avery, or the outcome of this show, do yourself a favour: resist any urge to google his name, turn on Netflix and watch the first episode. However even if you do know about the events of this documentary it is still a worthwhile and fascinating investment of your time. There is a likely chance that you'll get swept up in it like my wife and I, and millions before us. I had never seen as much buzz on social media about a new show prior to watching it, but as soon as I started I understood why; it is gripping, compelling and extremely polarizing.

It's captivating what you'll be witness to. It calls into question the US Justice System and there are a number of times you'll probably find yourself staring at the screen in utter disbelief. You may watch the first episode and think "there's no way that they can stretch this out for 10 episodes" but you'll quickly realise that you're wrong. This is as binge worthy as any fiction show, and likely more memorable too.

I have never been the type of person to watch documentaries however if there are others that are even half as engrossing as this one then then perhaps I may end up changing my ways.

Master Of NoneAlright
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Review Forthcoming

Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Review Forthcoming

Seasons Watched: 1 - 5imdb
Misfits is a British drama that follows the lives of a group of young offenders whom gain superpowers after an unusual electrical storm.

The cast is interesting an varied, with a number of different personalities. Each character gains a different superpower, which is heavily written into the plots. The episodes themselves, while aren't completely serialized, aren't self contained either, usually with a number of subplots spanning across a range of episodes, and whilst the story usually tends towards dark drama, there is also a decent amount of black humor as well.

Overall this is an interesting and unique show that I found myself enjoying quite a lot.

Mr RobotGood
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Mr Robot is a cybersecurity thriller centred on Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a socially troubled security engineer whom becomes entwined with a hackivist group lead by 'Mr Robot' (Christian Slater)

Rami Malek plays an outstanding lead in the show. He often narrates his actions to the audience in such a way that you're never sure if his character is knowingly breaking the fourth wall or if he is instead just losing his sanity, and it makes for a compelling character to watch.

Working in I.T I do find some of the hacking plots a bit farfetched, however I've long since to look past this when watching a show. Outside of that it is well paced, has great moments of suspense as well as a few surprises along the way.

Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Narcos is a chronicled view into the life of infamous drug kingpin Pablo Escobar (portrayed by Wagner Moura), focusing on his rise and fall from fame, as well as the tremendous impact he has across Columbia, USA and the rest of the world, told from the eyes of DEA Agents Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook) and Javier Pena (Pedro Pascal).

The setting is spectacular, and the show has a genuine authentic feel about it, with a lot of the dialog weaving between English and the native Columbian language of Spanish. And sometimes I find it astounding that it is based on non-fiction events, so much so that I often found myself researching them on my phone mid episode to settle my nagging doubts that it couldn't be real. It makes for a show that feels like a unique mix of documentary and a drama.

However surprisingly I was never grabbed by this show as much as I thought I would be, even with the great casting and setting. Despite that I will continue to watch it to satisfy my curiously of how it all unfolds.

Orange Is The New BlackAlright
Seasons Watched: 1 - 3imdb
Orange is the New Black is a prison drama series that revolves around the tribulations of Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), an inmate whom is serving time for transporting drug money, a crime she had committed 10 years earlier before moving on to have a quiet life with her fiancee (Jason Biggs)

The show has very well thought out cast and is very character driven. Each episode often focuses on one of the inmates, with flash backs to their lives before they were incarcerated, and we are often given glimpses of their actions that lead them to where they are now. There are elements of black humor within the episodes, however it is actually quite light on drama, which is especially surprising when you consider its setting.

However it's the great cast of characters that keep you engaged, and therefore you don't need a lot of drama in each episode for the show to succeed. In this respect it's similar to Mad Men, it's easy sit sit down and watch an episode only to realize that not a lot happened, but similarly not quite know where the last 60 minutes went.

Orphan BlackAlright
Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
Orphan Black is a science fiction drama that centres on the premise of human cloning. Tatiana Maslany stars as the main protagonist Sarah Manning, a streetwise and resourceful orphan, however she also plays the role of each of her supporting clones, including a highly strung soccer mum, a free spirited medical student and a religious fanatic.

The plot is a bit flimsy at times and can occasionally feel a bit forced, however it moves along at a steady pace and always remains interesting with plenty of mystery. Tatiana Maslany does a great job playing all of the clones, where each character feels like they've got a distinct and unique personality. The rest of the cast is also strong, including Jordan Gavaris playing Felix, Sarah's foster brother, a character whom you may eventually grow to quite like.

I gave this show a go on Netflix while looking for something new to watch and although it's not as engaging as some others I've watched in the past, it still manages to hold my attention.

OzarkVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Ozark is a crime drama that centres on Martin Byrde (Jason Bateman), a financial advisor who is forced to launder money in order to pay off a debt to a Mexican Drug Cartel. It feels very much like a lovechild of Breaking Bad and Bloodline; it's got the continually escalating plot similar to Breaking Bad, and a setting that feels very much like Bloodline, with the pacing somewhere in the middle of the two.

Jason Bateman does a stellar job as the lead. Most people will be more familiar with his comedic roles, however having seen him act as a number of dramatic characters I have never doubted his ability to be a serious lead. In this case he potrays a character whom is able to keep his cool under extreme pressure whichs makes for fascinating viewing. The storyline of the show itself can at times be farfetched, but if you are willing to overlook that then this is a truly binge-watchable show.

One thing to note that is easily overlooked is that the short opening intro features four symbols unique to that episode that act as a premonition of events that will occur within that episode, and looking out for the source of these symbols can make for an interesting distraction.

Peaky BlindersGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 3imdb
Peaky Blinders is a crime drama based in Birmingham, England, set in 1919 shortly after the First World War. It follows Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy), a highly ambitious leader of the historical Peaky Blinders gang.

This series draws a lot of comparisons to the HBO series Boardwalk Empire; it is a periodically set, gangster influenced drama based on historical elements that features a leading man whom is more associated with their film career than their television career. And whilst Boardwalk Empire is the more violent and edgy of the two, Peaky Blinders also sets itself apart, in particular with stunning cinematography and a terrific sound track.

Cillian Murphy is exceptional as the leading character. His striking green eyes and sharp features gives him a serpent-like look, and his character's cool, calm and calculated manner makes him an exceptional villain that at times can be intense to watch. He is also supported by a fantastic cast and great set design, which culminates in an excellent show.

If you are a fan of gang influenced dramas than there is a lot to like about this series.

Peep ShowAlright
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Review Forthcoming

Penny DreadfulGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 3imdb
Penny Dreadful is a supernatural drama set in Victorian England that is rich with many familiar folklore and mythical creatures and characters. The story strongly centers around Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), a seductive medium whom lends her talents to Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) as he searches for answers for his missing daughter.

The show is dark, and gothic-like and at times unsettling. The plot starts a little incohesive until about half way through the first season where some of the characters motivations and past history is revealed. The show is generally very well acted, with Eva Green in particular playing a very disturbing character to view whenever she becomes possessed, and each episode is supplemented with great cinematography and set design.

Overall this is a very decent supernatural themed show.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
Preacher is a comic book adaption about story of Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) a preacher in a small town who becomes possessed by a power that allows him to force anyone who can hear his voice to do what he commands. The story revolves around a mission that Jesse embarks on, alongside his two ramshackle companions; his former girlfriend Tulip O'Hare (Ruth Negg), as well as a party heavy Irish Vampire by the name of Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun).

This isn't your typical comic based TV Show; there certainly aren't any superhero outfits or villains with ambitions to take over the world. Rather most of the focus is on Jesse as he learns to control his power as well as his constant struggle to do good despite his new ability.

Overall I must say I quite enjoy this show.

Prison BreakGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 4 + Final Break Filmimdb
Prison Break is an action drama based around Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller), a structural engineer whom intentionally gets himself incarcerated in order to try and rescue Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell), his troubled older brother whom is awaiting the death penalty after being framed for a murder that he didn't commit.

The episodes are in a serialized format and are very dramatic, similar to other shows such as 24. Like 24, the episodes are full of twists and turns, often ending on a cliff hanger to keep you engaged. The story is a little more stationary than 24 though; with 24 the plot goes on so many tangents that by the end of a season you can't remember the trail of events that lead you there, whilst in Prison Break the plot remains more focused on a singular narrative

Micheal Scofield is a very calm, centered and calculating character, and the way that he maintains his composure even when things are falling apart around him makes for compelling viewing. The show throws in a range of other characters as well, many of whom are typical villain archetypes whom you quickly grow to despise.

Overall I would recommend this much in the same vein as 24; the show can be tense and exciting just so long as you are able to suspend your disbelief enough to look past the excessive drama, illogical timescales and frequently absurd plot points.

Ray DonovanGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 4imdb
Ray Donavan is a crime drama that follows the show's namesake Ray Donavan (Liev Schreiber), an Irish/American who makes his living by performing somewhat illicit tasks for a law firm that represents the rich and famous. Ray is certainly a compelling character to watch, where his employment constantly sees him arranging payoffs or bribes for his clients, threats to others, or generally just solving any of their problems as they arise.

Much of the storyline revolves around Ray's family, including his wife and children, his two brothers and his estranged father Micky (Jon Voight). Jon Voight plays his role exceptionally well; he is immediately a character whom you will likely grow a strongly dislike for, however he does a fantastic job at keeping the audience engaged. The episodes are paced well and the story is interesting enough to make you want to continue watching.

Rick and MortyAlright
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Rick and Morty is an animated comedy that follows the misadventures of an alcoholic mad scientist and his simplistic grandson. In some ways it is a parody of Back to the Future, with the characters often traveling to different times, locations and realities.

You never quite know where each episode will end up, often with the stories spinning off into different tangents. However I didn't quite engage to the show as much as I thought I would based on what my friends and colleagues had said. Some of the episodes were genuinely entertaining, such as one that involved a spin-off of Stephen King's Needful Things, however many of the other episodes struggled to hold my attention.

Ultimately it's not a bad way to spend 20 minutes but personally I prefer some of the other adult themed animated shows, such as Archer.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
Rome is a HBO series set in the 1st century BC that focuses on the Ancient Roman Empire. It includes a cast that represent both historical and fictional characters, and it is based on historical events of that era such as the rise and fall of Julius Caesar and the succession of Emperor Augustus.

The main protagonists of the show are the two fictionalized characters Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson). I hadn't seen much of Ray Stevenson prior to his performance within this series however he was exciting to watch and his character quickly becomes one of my favorites. The show has plenty of drama and features some excellent sets, although there isn't quite as much action as you would expect from a show of this nature. There also one or two occasions that require more suspension of disbelief than you would hope for from a historical drama. These complaints are minor though when compared to the overall quality of the show, and as a complete package this is an entertaining series.

Santa Clarita DietAlright
Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
Santa Clarita Diet is a dark comedy that focuses on the Hammond family adapting to thier new circumstances after the wife Sheila (Drew Barrymore) is struck down by a zombie infection, supported by her husband Joel (Timothy Olyphant) and daughter Abby (Liv Hewson).

The show feels surprisingly low budget, despite the high profile leads. That is even further exacerbated with the show being filmed on a single camera setup, resulting in picture quality that lacks any of the high production values of other show. The plot also just ambles along, doing enough to be slightly amusing and interesting but not doing enough to stand out in any way.

However I am a huge fan of Timothy Olyphant; he is the reason I started watching the show in the first place, and whilst he he is still a principal cast it is enough for me to look past any of its shortcomings.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
Sense8 is a science fiction drama that follows an ensemble cast of eight characters from different nations and cultures who develop a link that allows them to communicate and sometimes even control each other’s actions despite not physically being together.

It has a really interesting cast of characters, with each feeling unique and well defined. And the transitions between them, as well as the introduction of them communicating to each other is, although a little repetitive, still seamless and fun to watch. It also sets up some fascinating scenes when a character calls upon the skills of another to get themselves out of a difficult situation. However a number of other scenes are just uncomfortable to view, or border on plain silly.

Despite that the good outweighs the bad, and the sum of the parts makes for an entertaining and unique show.

SherlockVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 4 + The Abominable Brideimdb
Sherlock is a modern adaption of the original Sherlock Holmes novels. Created by the BBC, each 90 minute episode is highly engaging, filled with both mystery and humor.

The cast is exceptional, including Martin Freeman as Dr Watson and Andrew Scott as Sherlock's archnemesis Moriarty, however none more so than Benedict Cumberbatch as the lead character of Sherlock Holmes; This was Cumberbatch's breakout role and when viewing his performance it is obvious why. Sherlock is a truly eccentric character who has an exceptional ability to cold read people and situations, however he has a limited understanding of human emotion and his actions often lack empathy, and Cumberbatch plays the role with such grace and natural talent that he carries the show above and beyond the excellent writing and supporting cast.

The show is highly entertaining and engaging, and I have no doubt in my mind that this is the BBC's best series to date.

Six Feet UnderAlright
Seasons Watched: 1 - 5imdb
Six Feet Under focuses on the lives of the Fisher family who are brought together after the death of a family member, where Nathan Fisher Jr (Peter Krause) is begrudgingly pushed into co-ownership of the family funeral business with his brother David (Michael C. Hall).

Being a show that revolves around a funeral business it has a strong focus on death and mortality; Each episode starts with the random death of a stranger that is then usually used as a minor plot device, and death is a strong theme though-out the entire series.

This, along with The Sopranos, was at one time HBO's flagship drama series and was consistently meet with widespread acclaim and high ratings. It is certainly well produced and full of family drama with moments of dark humor, yet I don't think I shared the same connection with the show as other people have; If you asked my wife for her opinion on the show then I have no doubt that she would say it is very good. Similarly I know of a friends wife who was also so attached to the show that she got through all of the episodes at a blistering pace. That's not to say that it's a female orientated drama however, only to say that I didn't quite have the same engagement with the format of the show than other people did. One thing I will add however is that despite that, the final few minutes of the last show are extremely memorable, and rate well among my list of favorite TV drama moments.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 3 + Gods of the Arenaimdb
Spartacus is a series based on the legendary figure of the same name and follows his tale from starting as a gladiator to eventually leading a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic. This show embodies everything you would expect to see in a gladiator series; It is extremely violent, with plenty of blood and gore, and it contains graphic battle scenes in every episode. It also has explicit nudity and sex, and you can expect to see plenty of boobs and butts throughout the show.

The one thing that stands out most is that it sets up some epic confrontations; It will continually build up and tease you with the rivalry and emotions between characters to the point that when they finally meet in battle it has become highly tense viewing. The battles themselves are are highly CGI based and extremely over the top, but still entertaining none the less. It also has a surprisingly deep story-line, more so than I was expecting.

Spartacus was originally played by Andy Whitfield, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after the completion of the first season. The producers created a prequel mini-series while Andy received treatment however he tragically passed away from his illness in 2011. Liam McIntyre was then selected to play the main role and fill the large boots that Any had left behind, and to his credit he did a decent job. He doesn't have the physical presence that Andy did, however he does have the stage presence.

The show certainly wasn't out to win any awards or cater to all audiences. It was instead specifically targeted for viewers who wanted an intense, bloody and over the top gladiator show. If you fall within that category then you will probably find it highly entertaining.

Sons Of AnarchyAlright
Seasons Watched: 1 - 5imdb
Sons of Anarchy is a crime drama that centers around an outlaw Motorcycle Club in the Californian fictional town of Charming. As you would expect it has a strong focus on Organised Crime as well as criminal rivalry against opposing gang factions.

There is plenty of gang related drama in the show, however I have the same issue with it as I did the The Sopranos, in that I can't say I particularly like any of the central characters and therefore don't have any investment into their fate. And speaking of the Sopranos, Charlie Hunnam playing the lead character Jackson is certainly no James Gandolfini - I find his acting somewhat wooden and one dimensional, with a lot of his role seemingly consisting of him mostly shouting angrily or walking around with a chip on his shoulder. The majority of the remaining cast is solid however, including Ron Perlman playing the president of the club and Katey Sagal playing his wife.

Otherwise the show is fairly decent, and whilst it doesn't hit the highs of other crime dramas such as The Shield, there is still enough to keep you invested in the episodes.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 10imdb
Spooks is a BBC Series that focuses on a group of MI5 officers based in the Thames House headquarters in London and follows their pursuit in domestic counter-intelligence and counter terrorism. The episodes are well made and usually revolve around dealing with some threat in the UK that range from the plausible to ridiculously absurd.

The cast is highly revolving with most characters usually present for two or three seasons out of the 10 that it ran for. You will develop favorite characters along the way, only to face the realization that they will probably be removed from the show in one way or another. Personally I found the cast towards the second half of the series more engaging than the first half.

My main issue with the show, particularly in the earlier seasons, is how stand alone each episode is. Each episode will have the MI5 team frantically scrambling to resolve the latest threat, with the next episode having completely moved on from the last. The episodes become less episodic towards the end of the series however, with the 9th & 10th seasons being my favorite due to the strongest seasonal plots, with the final episode being my favorite of them all. Overall it's decent enough, and it had enough success to span more seasons than most other drama shows.

Stranger ThingsGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
Stranger Things is a supernatural themed show based around the disappearance of a boy in a small U.S town. It has an excellent cast, including Winona Ryder as the mother desperately searching for her son, as well as Millie Bobby Brown as '11', a telekinetic girl whom a lot of the plot revolves around. Millie Bobby Brown in particular is outstanding, and in my opinion a little star in the making.

The show is based in the 80's and has a wonderful retro feel about it, from the music in the opening credits to the style of cinematography. The plot is interesting, with a good amount of tension and suspense, and feels like some sort of mash up between The Goonies and a Stephen King novel.

I am very much looking forward to the next season.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 4imdb
Suits is a legal drama series that centres on Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), a college drop with photographic memory, who through circumstance manages to illicitly secure a position as an associate for Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), a senior lawyer for a high profile legal agency.

This show is almost unapologetically full of tropes and plot devices that you will have probably seen in dozens of shows before it; A character has to do one more illegal job to raise money for his sick grandmother. A savvy, confident guy wakes up next to the gorgeous barmaid whom only in the last scene said she would never sleep with him in a million years. These cliché's happen in just the first dozen or so minutes of the first episode, and overall it all mashes up into a heap of familiar feeling, somewhat melodramatic and mostly farfetched storylines.

Despite that I really quite enjoy the show; it remains fun and entertaining despite the familiar and implausible plots, and I really enjoy watching the relationship develop between the two male leads and the others that work within the firm.

I should add however that the quality really starts dropping off after the first few seasons, with a feeling like you're just watching more of the same. After feedback from friends that confirmed my own suspicions I tapped out of this show after the 4th season .

Seasons Watched: 1 - 12imdb
Supernatural is a show that follows the adventures of the Winchester brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) as they travel around defeating supernatural beings, saving lives and generally being silent heroes against the forces of evil.

In truth this is the hardest show I have faced when giving a rating as the episodes can range from stellar to dreadful, sometimes swinging from one to the other in quick succession. Most seasons have over 20 episodes and while there is always a seasonal plot, it is never strong enough to span the entire season. Therefore half of the shows end up following an extremely episodic 'monster of the week' formula, where Sam and Dean will hear of a supernatural type crime, rock up with fake FBI badges, happen by change to meet the one person that connects the whole thing and vanquish their foe. Rinse and repeat. While some of these stand alone episodes do stand out among the crowd, a similar amount of them are also equally as awful.

When the show does focus on the season plot it can be very good, often with strong finals. Season 5 for me was easily the highlight however it's very much been a mixed bag since then. I very nearly gave up on the show at the conclusion of the 7th season however it once again improved, and now it's become one of my longest viewed shows.

I don't think the show will have survived as long as it has without Jared and Jenson since they have a natural chemistry on screen together and make entertaining viewing despite the predictable outcome of many of the episodes. I do think the show would benefit greatly from cutting down the number of episodes and having a stronger focus on the seasonal plot, even if it meant less episodes in a season. Oh, and I'd be more than happy to not have to listen to another 'family means everything, you've all I've got' type speech from Dean Winchester, something the producers seem to like to throw in on a regular basis.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor ChroniclesAlright
Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
The Sarah Conner Chronicles is a science fiction show that is a direct spin-off from the Terminator Movie franchise. It stars Lena Headey (a.k.a Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones) as the central character Sarah Connor, as well as Thomas Dekker playing her son John and Summer Glau playing as a Terminator sent back in time to protect them.

Events and characters are tied directly to the movies and therefore if you are unfamiliar with the Terminator franchise then you are unlikely to understand many of the references in the show. Additionally although the show does contain a few more personal touches and family drama found outside of the movies, it is still very much a Terminator series so if you aren't a Terminator fan then it's unlikely that this will be your type of show.

It's not difficult to find plot holes or inconsistencies with the show, and although it does enough to keep the materiel from becoming tedious, it never really does enough to elevate it into something that sets itself apart.

I will add however that the second season is a remarkable step up from the first, in particular the starting and ending episodes, despite the story remaining unfinished.

The AmericansGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
The Americans is a intelligent and sophisticated written drama that is set during the Cold War Period, following two Soviet KGB officers who have infiltrated America under the guise of a married couple working together as travel agents.

It is fantastically acted, with Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys doing a stellar job as the two main protagonists, and the story is full of spy and espionage material that manages to keep you engaged without ever becoming too far fetched. It also features a very stylish opening sequence in the first episode that does a wonderful job of introducing you to the nature of the show.

Overall this would be a great recommendation to anyone whom has an interest in spy related drama.

The BlacklistGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 4imdb
The Blacklist is a crime drama that centres on Raymond Reddington (James Spader), a highly elusive criminal turned FBI informant whom seeks immunity from prosecution in exchange for proving information on high value targets that he has knowledge on (i.e. his Blacklist). While I am not usually a fan of James Spader, I did warm to him in this role even despite struggling to suspend my disbelief that his character could be the efficient assassin as portrayed in the show.

Before starting this show I expected some sort of Villain of the week format and in a lot of ways it is exactly like that, albeit at times with a plot that was a little darker than I first expected. However it develops a deeper serialized story as the show progresses which I found to be far more interesting and intriguing than its otherwise episodic nature, and there was enough continuity between each episode to make me want to watch the next.

This all results in a show that I expected to want to give up on after the first season but surprisingly instead find myself very much looking forward to the next.

The DefendersAlright
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
The Defenders the cumulation of the previous Netflix Marvel Superhero productions, combining all of the major protagonists from Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage & Iron Fist into one big crime fighting ass kicking team.

The show brings the individual characters together in a seamless way and there are at times some very exciting scenes; in particular when the team members are fighting in amongst themselves more so when they are fighting against their enemy. However like many of the previous series the show lacks a clear villain and suffers from poor dialog, and it's unfortunate that it shares some of the same flaws that its predecessors were criticized for.

I really wanted to enjoy this show and had a great deal of anticipation for it before it was released. However, whilst not boring, the franchise now is feeling tired, stale from an oversaturation of these types of shows in the last 2 years.

The FallGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
The Fall is a crime thriller set in Northern Island that follows DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) as she hunts down a serial killer. This show is different from many other similar shows, such as Broadchurch or The Killing, in that there is no mystery over whom the killer is since Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) is introduced almost immediately as the show starts. Spector is a Counsellor with a wife and two children, and a lot of the narrative is from his perspective as he attempts to conceal his true nature from his family.

Gillian Anderson makes a great lead; her character is well educated, assertive, pragmatic and calm, and the cat & mouse investigation between her and Spector makes for fascinating viewing. The show is slow paced but methodical and well detailed, and is comfortably on par with other similar crime dramas.

The FlashGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
The Flash is a DC Universe show based on Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), better known as his alias The Flash; a superhero who has the ability to move at incredible speeds. This is set in the same universe as Arrow, for which the show occasionally shares cross-over episodes.

Gustin is terrific as the lead character and the episodes, whilst many of which are villain of the week format, are fun and entertaining to watch. The show does however suffer from moments of corny dialog and familiar tropes, and you'll constantly find yourself asking questions like 'how someone who can move and react faster than a bullet constantly getting caught out by mundane attacks from people moving at ordinary speeds?'

Despite that I found myself really enjoying the show. It does start to get a bit 'paradoxy' in the later episodes, but without becoming too convoluted. Of all of the DC adaptions that I have seen in the past, this is most likely the one that I will continue to watch.

The IT CrowdAlright
Seasons Watched: 1 - 4 + 2013 Specialimdb
The IT Crowd is a comedy that centers on three employees whom work in the IT department within a basement of a London based industry, two of which are stereotypical IT nerds that lack some of the most basic people skills, whist the third is their female relationship manager whom knows nothing about IT and is completely comfortable to lie in order to get ahead.

The humor isn't particularly intelligent, but neither is it lowest common denominator, and I often found myself laughing out loud. There are a number of obvious IT jokes however most of the comedy centers around situations that the 3 core members get themselves into due to their social shortcomings.

Despite not being as clever as other comedies this is still an easy show to watch for a few primitive laughs.

The Killing (U.S Version)Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 4imdb
The Killing is crime drama that centers around the murder of local teenager Rosie Larsen. It opens with a stellar season premier that draws the two main detectives Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) into a homicide case surrounded by mystery and wrought with strong political implications.

The series is set in Seattle and most episodes dark and foreboding. The family anguish around the events is at times painful to watch, and the unfriendly atmosphere and constant rain in throughout the series adds to the bleak tone that the show sets. Mireille Enos does a great job as the lead detective however she is upstaged by Joel Kinnaman playing as her rookie protege. Kinnaman plays a 'yo homie' type character with plenty of street skills who never quite fits in with the homicide department; he's constantly trying to prove himself and he makes for fascinating viewing.

The story not only focuses on the central murder, but also has a strong emphasis on the personal battles of all of those that are affected, as well as a strong political focus from characters whom are circumstantially implicated with the crime.

One area where the show does let itself down is that it suffers from way to many red herrings and false leads, and it becomes a little predicable that each major clue that the detectives stumble across is going to end up in a frantic and dramatic chase to nothingness. However despite that it is still a show that remains engaging throughout; It doesn't quite maintain the quality that is set by the exceptional premier, however it still remains a consistent and well rounded crime drama with a highly memorable ending at the end of the second season.

The Last KingdomAlright
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
The Last Kingdom is a historical fantasy drama set during the 9th century AD where all England regions except the Kingdom Of Wessex have been conquered by Viking Danes. It follows the protagonist Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon), a Saxon born man whom was captured as a child and raised as a Dane, only as a man to have his loyalties constantly tested between those that raised him and the kingdom he was born in.

It draws very heavy parallels with the show Vikings, both of with centralising on Viking raiders invading England, however The Last Kingdom narrative is mostly from the Saxon perspective whilst Vikings narrative is mostly follows the raider’s perspective. However whist the Last Kingdom does have some great battle scenes and strong moments, I do feel like Vikings has the stronger lead character and is overall the better show.

That doesn't mean that The Last Kingdom isn't a decent drama though, and there is plenty to enjoy if you are a fan of historical fantasy.

The OAAlright
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
The OA is a Netflix based science fiction drama show which begins with Prairie Johnson (Brit Marling) unexpectedly returning to her parents after being missing for seven years. This is even more remarkable given that she was blind at the time of her disappearance but has full sight when she is found again.

The explanation around her seven years absence and the restoration of her sight slowly unfolds with clever narrative that switches between her past and present in such a way that it is woven together seamlessly. The mystery keeps you wanting to discover more, however the show is let down by a highly ridiculous premises that by the time you've discovered what it is you've invested too much time to not see it through to the end, which in itself is unsatisfying and vague.

Overall it's an alright show that starts much better than it ends.

The PacificAlright
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
The Pacific is a ten part HBO mini-series that focuses on the U.S Marine Corps during the Pacific War within World War II. Like similar HBO mini-series is is based on non fictional characters and events which have been researched from memoirs from those that were present.

At the time of writing this the show is noted as the most expensive television miniseries ever created by any network and HBO certainly haven't cut any corners. Its production cast includes both Steven Spielberg & Tom Hanks, and the show does a very good job at portraying what (I would imagine) it was like for the Marines during the war. While watching them trying to sleep in thick mud, during endless pouring rain, while they slowly lose spirit, I could almost imagine how soul destroying it would have been in their situation.

Some of the episodes are very well done too, in particular several towards the middle of the series. They share strong similarities with movies such as 'Saving Private Ryan' and do an exceptional job at illustrating the ferocious nature of the war, with untold casualties occurring on both sides. The cast however doesn't match that of other HBO mini-series such as Generation Kill. I never really felt a strong connection with the characters, and with so many comrades being slaughtered my emotions towards the central cast became dulled. Not only that, but the show doesn't maintain focus on any one group of units. The first half of the series portrays James Badge Dale as the central character of PFC Robert Leckie, however about half way through the show it moves away from him completely with Joseph Mazzello fulfilling the central role of Cpl. Eugene Sledge.

The one thing above all else that made me want to watch Generation Kill was that I felt a connection with the cast. I didn't feel that connection with The Pacific, and so the end result for me was a very well produced war mini-series with some excellent episodes, but also one that I didn't feel compelled to watch.

The PunisherVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Review Forthcoming

The ShieldVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 7imdb
The Shield is an American Police Drama Series that follows Detective Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) and his fellow members of the 'Strike Team', a 4 man anti gang unit.

Corruption within the force has a strong focus within the show, with Mackey very much an antihero. He is thuggish and has little respect for any boundaries, however he is also highly efficient at what he does when he's not under scrutiny and therefore able to set about his cause using questionable means. The consequences of his actions start catching up with him more and more as the show progresses, for which I always likened to a metaphor using the Sword of Damocles being held up by strands of thread; Everyone is continually pulling away and cutting at threads, while Mackey is busily tying them back up to prevent his fate.

The rest of the cast is also highly memorable and the show moves along at a a good pace, with a number of poignant moments. The show is consistently entertaining and exciting, from the solid first episode all the way through to the strong final, and is easily one of my favorite crime related dramas.

The SopranosAlright
Seasons Watched: 1 - 6imdb
The Sopranos is based on mobster boss Tony Soprano (the late James Gandolfini) and follows his difficulties with managing both his criminal organisation and family life. Tony Soprano himself is quite a dislikable person who can be cold, calculating and selfish, and his actions often have significant impacts on those around him, in particular his wife and two children.

Tony is a serial adulterer and family drama is a very strong focus on the show, perhaps even more so than the crime drama. Crime drama is frequent however, usually with several crime related fatalities in each episode. The drama itself leans more towards an episodic format, usually with one of two plot points carried across an entire season.

The Sopranos was meet with widespread acclaim, has an exceptional list of awards and is frequently referred to as one of the best TV series of all time. Whilst I understand the praise, I don't quite share the same enthusiasm. The cast is really well acted however most of the characters are unpleasant and I never developed any favorites. I also started watching this a decade after it first aired and I couldn't quite shake the feeling that the art of TV narrative has evolved quite a lot since the show was first screened; It shares a lot of similarities with more recent shows like Boardwalk Empire, only I believe that many of these more recent shows are of a higher quality in terms of overall entertainment.

The TudorsGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 4imdb
The Tudors is a historical drama based on the Tudor Dynasty within sixteenth century England, and in particular focuses on the reign of King Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers).

I am not British and therefore before this show I had very little education of the monarchy of the Kingdom of England, however it really is quite fascinating viewing; King Henry really was a busy little monarch, chopping of heads, crushing uprisings, marrying a plethora of wives and rewriting religious practices, and when watching the episodes it is a constant reminder that sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.

The set and costume design of the show is outstanding, more so than any other show I've seen. I'm not usually one to take note of these details, however it is so well produced that it is impossible not to. The other striking element of the show is Jonathan Rhys Meyers portrayal as the lead role of King Henry, something that he does such with such natural brilliance that I couldn't imagine anyone else, past or present, who would have done as capable a job. The rest of the cast aren't nearly as memorable, even that of series regular Henry Cavill who later went on to play the next Superman, however ironically that only gives Jonathan Rhys Meyers more room to shine.

Overall this is a well produced show with fantastic costume and set design and a very strong lead character.

The Walking DeadVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 8imdb
The Walking Dead follows a band of refugees trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic zombie outbreak, lead in the most part by Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).

It is everything you'd expect from a zombie show; it's full of gore and tension, with plenty of characters falling to their grisly deaths in the hands of the hordes of undead. Each season brings in a litter of new characters to replace those that they killed off in the last, and at no point am I ever quite sure who will survive and who will not.

The zombies themselves are the slow, stumbling type, where it's really only mass in numbers that is on their side. In fact they are individually quite easily defeated and characters that are killed by them can take hours to reanimate, so it leaves me wondering just how they managed to overcome so many of the military encampments that were positioned to stop them. Above and beyond that a healthy amount of suspension of disbelief will still be required, such as overlooking that there seem to be packs of zombies everywhere, including in some very remote locations in the show.

I wasn't actually that taken with the show after the first season however it's only grown stronger since then. And of all the shows I reflect back on, this one is probably the most common.

The West WingGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 3imdb
The West Wing is a political drama series focused around the day to day activities within the White House of the senior staff. Martin Sheen does a standout job of the President however the show is absolutely full of wonderful and infectious personalities; this show is truly defined by the likability of the characters within it, especially that of Allison Janney as the White House Press Secretary, Bradley Whitford as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Rob Lowe as Communications Director.

It feels like a busy show, containing many short scenes with lots of movement and fast dialog. And whilst the episodes are usually inconsequential, they are often highly entertaining, filled with satire, along with occasional emotional or poignant moments. While watching this show I constantly found myself breaking into a huge smile or laughing out.

It makes for a tremendously enjoyable show that I find myself watching more so for the personalities within it rather than the actual storylines.

The WireGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 5imdb
The wire is a crime drama set around the American City of Baltimore. Throughout its five seasons it has a strong emphasis on political, social and urban themes, and the show generally focuses on a different facet of the city each season.

To this day I still don't think I've seen a show that does as good a job of portraying a living, breathing city as the Wire does. Many of the cast members are method actors and the episodes are filled with more character development and depth than is rarely seen in any other series. The show strives to be as realistic as possible, where justice doesn't always win and street crimes often left unsolved. There are no flashy stand offs, with unsuspecting characters often shot down in street crimes before they have a chance to react.

The result of all of this is a show sets itself apart from others by having unparalleled realism. Given the depth of each episode however it means that the show isn't able to match the drama of similar shows. The series spends a lot of time focusing on the little things, and therefore it moves at a slower but denser pace that what you might expect. It can't match the entertainment value of shows like 'The Shield', however that is also a double edged sword where by shows like The Shield are unable to match The Wire for character development or immersion - This is the area where The Wire sets itself apart from others.

True BloodAlright
Seasons Watched: 1 - 7imdb
True blood centers on the premises that not only do Vampires exist, they are publicly known about with a strong movement to have them integrated into society. The term 'True Blood' actually refers to the name of synthetically manufactured drink that is designed as their replacement for human blood.

The show is decent enough. The season plot lines try to keep you guessing and it's filled with the usual vampire type gore that you'd expect in a vampire show. I find the cast only marginally interesting, with Alexander Skarsgård playing Eric Norman the only noteworthy role.

One of my my biggest problem though is that that the premises is one big contradiction; It centers around a movement to integrate vampires into the society with equal rights yet you barely even need to scratch the surface to discover that the majority of them are the uncontrolled human killing monsters that you would expect them to be. That is just only one of the many contradictions the show has. It is also at times very trashy, playing out like a vampire soap opera; if you're looking for a 'serious' vampire show then this may not be the show for you. Despite that I still find enough value in it to see it through to the end.

True DetectiveVery Good
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
True Detective is a crime drama focusing on a collection of serial murders spanning 17 years within the U.S State of Louisiana. The story tracks two Detectives Rust Colhe (Matthew McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) across two separate timelines, with the story frequently jumping between the two as the show plays out.

In terms of A List TV credits it is hard to look past McConaughey and Harrelson, both of whom did an exceptional job and each of whom were nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (which Bryan Cranston ended up winning for his role in Breaking Bad). Harrelson plays a well respected Detective who is assigned as lead on an initial serial killing while McConaughey plays a talented but troubled and obsessive character who is assigned as Harrelson's partner.

The relationship between the two leads is frequently strained and full of tension, constantly leaving you on the lookout for the inevitable breaking point. The story itself is very dense and character driven, and whilst the story only trudges along at a slow pace, there is so much character detail that each episode leaves you wanting more.

There are a number of other aspects I could mention; the outstanding tension filled soundtrack, the superb cinematography, the way the story cleverly converges the two timelines, the incredible long take at the end of the 4th episode and the tense final - It all adds up to a stellar show where even as early as the first episode I knew I was watching something quite special. In terms of Crime Drama, True Detective is best in class.

Twin PeaksAlright
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
Twin Peaks is a murder mystery drama focusing on the murder of student Laura Palmar (Sheryl Lee), investigated by the somewhat unorthodox but effective FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). It is an older series that I had always intended to one day watch, which I finally did after it was announced it was getting a 2017 revival.

The show is unusual and quite dated by today’s standards; it doesn't have a very well-paced story, often full of lots of inconsequential and implausible plotlines, and its frequent, almost overbearing melancholic soundtrack makes the whole thing often feel like a soap opera.

This series is certainly an acquired taste and in my case I didn't get into it as much as I hoped I would - I am comfortable to leave it behind me after only one season.

Utopia (U.K Version)Good
Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
Utopia is a conspiracy theory heavy story that follows a group of individuals whom come into possession of a manuscript that has the potential to have a significant influence on the course of mankind. It's a wierd, crazy plot that comes together well through very clever writing.

The cast is mostly unknown but well performed and characterized. The story can at times be quite dark, something that becomes obvious in even the first opening minutes. The presentation of the show is fantastic, often filled with beautiful and vivid colours and a very catchy soundtrack. It can make for intense viewing.

So long as you can stomach dark themes and paranoia heavy plots then this is one of those shows that you are will be better off going into knowing as little as possible as it will likely be unlike any other show you've seen.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 4imdb
Vikings is a historical drama that centers on the legendary Norse hero Ragnar Lodbrok and follows his rise in fame from a farmer to becoming first Viking to lead an army across the western seas to raid England.

Travis Fimmel plays the lead character very well, and is backed up by a great range supporting cast members. Ragnar Lodbrok is a character whom is quite captivating to watch; he's confident, somewhat arrogant and extremely proficient the art of combat, however he's also quite reserved and not outspoken, and has a sly sense of humor. In fact I would say the show does a good job of making you like him considering he leads a band of mercenaries whom frequently murder, rape and plunder everything in their path during their raids.

The combat in the show is violent and at times graphic. It's not as over the top and stylized as shows such as Spartacus, yet it is still fluid, brutal and exciting to watch. The set locations also stand out, with breathtaking scenery and gorgeous visuals shown consistently throughout the show.

The historical accuracy of the show is questionable, however that doesn't bother me - I watch it for the entertainment value, and in that respect it does very well

Wayward PineGood
Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
Wayward Pines is an usual show to classify: it's a unique series made up of part drama, mystery, horror, sci-fi & thriller, wrapped up in a story full of religious overtones. I am unable to comment much at all about the setting since otherwise it is very difficult to avoid spoilers.

It begins with FBI agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) waking up in a hospital in an unfamiliar town after suffering a car accident during an operation to locate two of his missing colleagues. The story soon spirals off in a different direction however, and it takes a number of episodes before you can start piecing together the mystery. Whilst I am not normally a fan of Matt Dillon, he makes for a solid lead in this show, and Charlie Tahan playing his son Ben also puts forward a strong performance.

All in all this is a show I would recommend for someone who is looking for something a little dark and different.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
Weeds is a suburbian drama about a Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), recently widowed mother of 2 children who turns to selling marijuana to support her family. The show has traces of comedy, however also has a few darker undertones.

The show is very easy to watch; the episodes are only 30 minutes each, and are supported by a good cast and interesting storyline. In my case it makes for a near perfect show for me to watch on the train while travelling to work.

West WorldGood
Seasons Watched: 1imdb
West World a science fiction/western themed show developed by HBO, centred on a theme park populated with self-aware androids where paying customers can travel to and indulge in whatever fantasies they choose, without consequence.

It is a visually striking show with a stellar cast, including some high profile actors such as Anthony Hopkins & Ed Harris. The acting in particular is terrific across the board however none more so than Thandie Newton in her role as Maeve Millay. The story moves along at a good pace and has a number of significant twists and turns along the way.

The entire premise however is let down by many unanswered technical questions that the viewers are expected to look past. If you are able to do that then this is a great, high budget series.

Seasons Watched: 1 - 2imdb
Whitechapel is a drama series that follows a group of detectives who investigate murders based on historical crimes. Each season follows an individual story, with the first season focusing on a copycat killer based on Jack the Ripper.

Rupert Penry-Jones stars in the lead role as D.I. Joseph Chandler, an Inspector whose lack of street experience and obsessive-compulsive tendencies cause frequent friction between himself and the team he is trying to lead. I quite enjoyed Penry-Jones in Spooks and he does well in this role also.

The show itself however mostly just plods along, doing enough to hold my attention but, other than a few fleeting moments of excitement, not doing enough to elevate itself to anything other than average. Whilst the show isn't bad, there are better crime dramas available.

Currently Watching
- At home: The Night Manager (season 01)
- At home with my wife: Sons Of Anarchy (season 06)
- While travelling to work:Lost In Space (Season 01), Weeds (season 03)
- Sporadically when I have time: Archer (season 05)