Television amazes me with everything that comes out and just leaves me gasping as too why movies can’t be this good. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that some of the most creative writing, mind-blowing direction, performances and refreshing & completely honest to the story cinematography that we can see comes from television. Without any further blabbing these are some of my favorite Crime/Drama modern TV shows that I have been obsessed with the loads that I have seen and some which does not make it cos haven’t done watching with them. This is my list and these are my favorites and I don’t mean to be insulting towards what you like so don’t go all gangsta troll on me by shoving down your opinion not being in the list. However, I would love to know your favorites. Will try and keep the spoilers to the minimum. So with much further ado here we go:
- Bates Motel
Creator : Anthony Cipriano
Bates Motel initially intrigued me for a pure fact that it is a prequel to one of the greatest movie of all time, Psycho (1960). I watched the pilot as it is too much to resist a creation of an entire series based on a legendary movie. Psycho made me walk the path, but it was Bates Motel which prompted me to continue the journey. Bates Motel focuses on the relationship between Norma Louise Bates played with sterling finesse by Vera Farmiga and Norman Bates pulling off one of the most stunning performance, by Freddie”Charlie in the Chocolate Factory”Highmore and the events that led to him becoming Norman Bates the Psycho . It brings to light all the little details & questions that you must have had while watching Psycho, all the puzzles slowly coming together without the writers getting too cocky and over the top in any way. The astonishing thing is even though the series is setup in current times it feels very rooted to the movie Psycho largely thanks to a detailed production design, hauntingly bleak cinematography and how each facet lets you to relate with Psycho. The story starts off with Norma Bates moving to the town and purchasing the Bates Motel and the story unfolds with the dark realities that hide within the motel, town and the people. Where it excels is that it doesn’t dwell in to too much drama to create the relationship of mother & son instead we see the bonding on the backdrop of the darkness that they go through, so it keeps the original template of creating mystery and suspense. It edgy stuff with new characters and plots that will stun you. If you haven’t watched this you’re missing on something great. If you’re a fan of Psycho then no one is gonna stop you now from watching it and if you’re not, now will be a good time to watch Psycho and get cracking with Bates Motel or vice versa.
- The Booth At The End
Creator : Christopher E. Kubasik
Ever seen something which makes you wonder well this shouldn’t work and somehow it does and you cannot figure out how. The Booth At The End does that to you. It is Storytelling, and I mean it literally. One of the innovative and daring shows to have come out. Just to give you a hard on. This show is entirely based on a man sitting in a diner and telling people who come to him for something that they want and in return The Man (that’s what you can call him)- Xander Berkeley tells them to do some task by looking in to his mysterious book and when people do it they get what they requested from the The Man in their life. Simple enough, well not quite. And this is where it gets daring, you never actually get to see in visuals the tasks that they perform, you only get to hear them when they come back to diner as to how the task went. So that entire set-up story never leaves the diner. You have to create a mental picture when the character describes it out, as to what would have happened. It is the most unique show and leaves you wondering, how. It never gets boring and doesn’t leave you for one second as there are multiple people with variety of request to hold your attention so you don’t have any time to get bored as you’re absolutely glued in. The performance of Xander Berkeley is spell bounding he hooks you in and is one of the major reasons to not drift away from it. Despite the Set-Up there are enough twists in the plot to keep to engaged and constantly thinking.
- True Detective
Creator – Nic Pizzolatto
If you’re aware of how brilliant Nic Pizzolatto is, it comes as no surprise as to how good True Detective is. For the fans of The Killing which very similar in terms of tone was written by Nic. Just for a second forget why we like this series the obvious things like the cast, plot, most brilliant tone and cinematography, still there is so much to love about it. This is one series which gets everything right everywhere. The dialogues are fresh, funny, dark, sinister, gnarly and engaging. Needless absolutely needless to say but the cast is riveting and gives in so much that it elevates to a whole new level. The narration is fresh and that in itself will suck you in. This series was always going to be success considering the buzz that it created and the people involved but to see how great it actually turned out is credible. Two detectives investigating a murder of a girl done in a satanic way and it turns out to be serial killer is a journey in to dark sinister world. The most striking thing which will leave you breathless about it is the unforgettable cinematography which works perfectly in sync with the tone and mood of the series.
- Game Of Thrones
|Creator : David Benioff & D. B Weiss|
Novel – George R. R. Martin
The series that can be declared as porn if it was not binded by the twisted stories blended with the most earnest performance all along with the most brutal and violent action set piece and not to forget the meticulous and grand detail of production design and add to that the most infectious title theme. Game Of Thrones is everything for everyone, it meets all your need’s and fascination that you didn’t think you had. It packs in so much stuff in every episode without being ridiculous it makes you wonder the beauty of storytelling, there is so much going on in every facet of everything that it leaves you gasping.
Game Of Thrones covers every dark human emotion that humans can have especially greed & power. It has ghosts-frozen ghosts-rotting bodies-brother fucking sister-brother stripping sister-a guy pushing a kid to die and boobs lots and lots of boobs and all this is just from the pilot. I really don’t have to sell this, I had you at “The series that can be declared as porn”.
- Breaking Bad
Creator : Vince Gilligan & Jesus (Uncredited)
The Godfather of television takes the cake. One of the most stunning pieces of work that we will see at least for the next few years. Breaking Bad started off slowly mainly having a very cult following and not opening with the bang that the likes of Mad Men & True Detective had, in fact when I started watching it which was around season 3 in US, it was relatively unknown but as result of relentless A grade reviews and Emmy wins when it came close to the season 5 we had every living soul gushing about it. Journey of Breaking Bad in itself can be great story. Ever had a feeling that nothing could be replaced or better than it. Breaking Bad is that feeling. If anyone ever reaches the pinnacle in writing then you will have the writers of Breaking Bad sitting there going Hey !! Wat Up that’s how top-notch writing is on this one and I am not exaggerating.
A middle aged high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with terminal lung cancer sells crystal meth so that he can secure his families future before he goes in to oblivion. I can’t think of one emotion that has not been a part of Breaking Bad, possibly every deepest furthest of emotion that human being can express is used in the stories and pulled off convincingly by the cast. It is worth raving about, how meticulous the writers have been in character design. It is near flawless. Walter White tries to kill a small 8 year boy just to save himself, yet at the end of the day you are rooting for him, how can you possibly pull that off. The performance all around is as good as writing. Direction, Editing and Cinematography which is something else altogether. The Cinematography and the tone set for the show merged with the infectious background score makes it feel like a spaghetti western at times. You look at a blank landscape of Breaking Bad and you will recognize that it is Breaking Bad that’s how unique it is. Action scenes are better than most Hollywood movies. And midst it of all this Breaking Bad is one of the funniest show along with everything else that it is it was the least of what you would expect it to be. The humor is dark yet it evokes out the loudest laughs out of you. The only thing predictable about the twists are its unpredictability. It is more addictive than meth and one of the best things to get hooked on it, so if not, now will be a good time to get your fix.