Okay, my birthday and anniversary have come and gone. Thanks for the well wishes. Thanks for downloading my books. Now, it’s time to move on to REALLY important stuff. The kind of stuff that has me staying up all night to watch back-to-back episodes. And screaming on the phone with friends because a favorite character did Lord knows what, or even worse, DIED . After so many rigged contests and poorly scripted “reality” shows, it’s good to have something worth turning the tube on for. This (drum roll please) is Dicey’s spoiler-free MUST-SEE TV list.
Oh, my gosh. Where to start…? I’d like to be able to tell you they are in no particular order, but they kind of are. That being said, the 1st 6 are tied at #1 because my life would be incomplete without any one of them.
1. Sons of Anarchy (FX, 5th Season, Tues. 10 ET/PT) *takes a breath* I LOVE some of the characters. I HATE some of the characters. Whenever a show pulls on my emotions the way this one does? That’s good writing right there. At a glance, this did not look like something I’d be interested in. I saw a white biker gang and thought WTF? Ha! Watching Charlie Hunnam play Jax was a major reason I got through the first 8 episodes. Then something happened and I realized I wasn’t just watching him anymore. I cared about what happened with SAMCRO (the club) and Charming (the town) and…this show had me hooked in a major way. It is about a family (and that includes the motorcycle club) doing what they can to survive. They run guns, drugs, prostitutes, porn… whatever. The streets are hard. The journey is rough. They get their hussle on. Some don’t make it, but the family finds a way to get by. *sniff* Sorry. I’m still reeling from the last two episodes. We lost one of our own. They are not playing around this season.
2. The Walking Dead (AMC, 3rd Season, Sun. 9/8 C) I’m about to jump out of my skin with excitement as I type this. This show is off the chain! It caught me by surprise. The first season’s only 6 episodes. I thought, “Well, I’ll give it a shot.” Boy, am I glad I did. Hubby and I stayed up until 4:30 AM to watch them. Season 2 was even better. You know how in 28 Days Later (2002) Cillian Murphy’s character wakes up in a hospital and finds that the world has gone to hell in a handbasket? Well, that’s what happens here. The zombie virus has spread like a wildfire, and anyone left alive has to fight for survival. They have to kill or be killed. It’s VIOLENT. It’s BLOODY. Horrific things happen. The zombie makeup/costumes are stellar. The writing is gripping. You will fall in love with the characters and wonder which one would you be more like if you were in their situation. Both seasons are on Netflix instant. Start watching now so you can be ready for the season 3 premiere on Oct. 14th. I can not wait!
3. Spartacus (Starz, Season 3 premieres Jan. 2013) The seasons are broken up like this: Spartacus, season 1 (Blood and Sand), Spartacus, 6-episode prequel (Gods of the Arena), and Spartacus season 2 (Vengeance). Wow. Just W-O-W. This show is an unapologetic chronicle of Spartacus’s life as a Gladiator in the arena and how he goes on to lead the slave revolt against the Roman Republic. If you don’t mind full frontal nudity, graphic violence, excessive blood, and explicit sex scenes, you need to watch this show immediately. EPIC TV. Think Gladiator (2000) and 300 (2006) rolled into one. Around episode 4 of season 2, I thought, “They can’t get any better than this. They have really outdone themselves.” You know what? Episode 5 and 6 and 7, 8, 9, and 10 were PHENOMENAL too. They kept the momentum up and gave me some of the best TV watching hours of my life. *taking a deep breath* I wish there were more than ten episodes per season, but I understand it must cost a LOT to put on a production of this magnitude.
Sadly, Andy Whitfield had to take a break after season 1 due to his health. The show tried to hold out for him to get better, hence the prequel, but things didn’t go the way we ALL hoped they would, and Andy later died of cancer. He OWNED the role of Spartacus. Recasting him with Liam McIntyre was a difficult thing to do, but no one was to blame for it. Getting used to him took much time and effort, but I’m grateful the show managed to go on. I prefer the old Naevia too. But as much as I miss the old actors (Andy will forever be missed), the writing on this show is so good, I was finally able to overlook the casting changes.
Talk about loving and hating some characters–OMG! This show has some of the best heroes and worst villains in history. And that’s probably true for real history. It comes back in January with Spartacus (War of the Damned). My tube will be on an hour before just to make sure I don’t miss a thing. The bad thing is that I’ve heard this will be the last season…and that makes me soooo sad.
P.S. I’d like to meet the show’s executive producer/creator Steven S. DeKnight one day. He HAS to be one heck of a person to have had this vision and pulled it off. I think he would love my narcoleptic vampire series.
4. Dexter (Showtime, 7th season, Sun. 9 ET/PT) Dexter is a serial killer who kills serial killers. GENIUS! He works in the Miami PD crime lab as a blood spatter expert and helps to solve murders. When he suspects someone is a serial killer, they better hope his sister, Debra, who is a detective on the force, finds the perp first. Dexter doesn’t play. He does not break character. He will kill yo’ ass. Friends, family…it doesn’t matter. He does his best to follow a code his adoptive father taught him when he anticipated Dexter may have a dark passenger, but sometimes the darkness in Dexter wins. It’s bloody. It’s violent. The sex scenes are terrible. The casting is perfect! The writing is excellent, as in edge-of-your-seat-what-will-happen-next? excellent. Some seasons are better than others, but I highly recommend them all. The current season came in with a mother-freaking bang last week. I will be glued to my tube this coming Sunday as well.
5. The Vampire Diaries (CW, 4th Season, Thurs. 8/7 C) This is HOT TV. It has the most beautiful cast I’ve ever seen. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone that doesn’t look like a runway model here. But the acting is good too. The writing is AMAZING. After you get past the first…oh, 6 episodes of the first season, you will be in for a wild, exciting ride. Ian Somerhalder as Damon is an AWESOME reason to watch this show. Sure, he’s gorgeous, but his character is compelling. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love this bad boy…though Klaus sure gave him a run for his money. This show is unpredictable. I LOVE that. If you are not one of the 3 on the poster for the show, there is no guarantee you will make it out of the current episode…but you may be back in some form later. There is a spicy love triangle between Elena, who is a doppelganger for the vampire that turned her love interests, two brothers who are vampires (Stefan and Damon). There are other subplots and villains that keep it interesting too. This is the only show on my list that is not TV-MA. That says a lot because I don’t hardly watch shows that center around high school or teenagers. I learned my lesson from Twilight. But I can guarantee this: on October 11th, my tube will be on FIRE when the 4th season of this show premieres.
Side note: I can’t believe Alan Ball, HBO, or whoever is responsible for what’s been going on with True Blood, allowed The Vampire Diaries to supersede it by leaps and bounds, but they did.
6. Game of Thrones (HBO, 3rd Season, March 31st 2013) The first few episodes were slow and boring to me. Then I realized they were full of information. This is a game and you have to learn who the players are. There are 7 noble families who all want one mythical land: Westeros. Once I learned who they were and started to love them, they started dying. WHAT? Yes. Some of my favorites. And I realized that was the appeal of the show. It’s unpredictable. I have NO idea what’s going to happen to them. They are playing a game for power, and sometimes they lose. Everyone wants the throne. Everyone shouldn’t have it. Boy, do I HATE some of these characters. Sometimes the bad guys get what they have coming to them. Sometimes they don’t. No matter what, we get to see what people will do for power. It’s a scary thing. The supernatural element infused in the story is another reason to watch. I’ve been torn between wanting to read the books before season 3 premieres or just watching the story unfold before my eyes. I’m still deciding. This is another raw, violent one set in medieval times.
I have to end commentary on my list for now because I have some other work I have to do. Not to fear. I’ll do a part II and give you my thoughts on the rest of my Must-See TV list. I’m going to talk about the following shows:
Burn Notice-loved earlier seasons. Liked the last one a lot.
Being Human-loved season 1. Liked season 2. Hopeful for season 3.
Lost Girl-loved season 1. Liked season 2. Hopeful for season 3.
True Blood-loved seasons 1 and 2. It fell waaaay off. Seasons 3 and 4 were slightly disappointing. Season 5 was a waste of time. Still holding onto hope for season 6.
These are honorable mentions that probably SHOULD be on my list but aren’t because I haven’t seen them yet or I’m not up-to-date. They come highly recommended, so they are in my queue. I’ll let you know what I think once I get to them.
American Horror Story
Hell on Wheels
Supernatural-I watched several of the earlier seasons, but haven’t watched the last few. I need to catch up. I have mad respect for a show that’s been around this long. And the brothers are gorgeous.
Suits-only watched season 1. Liked it a lot. The legal stuff isn’t accurate many times (the way they handled that patent case was laughable), but it’s still entertaining. Given the premise of the show, the legal accuracy doesn’t matter much anyway. Once I watch season 2, I’ll give my thoughts.
What are your thoughts on my list?
Have another show you think should be included? You see my tastes. If you think it fits, let me know!