Long gone are the days of Hindi serials like ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ and ‘Kasauti Zindagi ki’. No doubt they had their run, but today’s youth does not want the Ekta Kapoor drama of rebirths and family secrets. They need refreshment, a world where the television portrays stuff they can relate to, even learn from maybe. And English television series’ seem to do the right thing. ‘Friends’, ‘Big Bang Theory’, etc, have gained so widespread popularity in not only west, but also in a country like ours which has been in the clutches of the daily soap cliches since what feels like time immemorial.
The best thing about these shows is that they never drag themselves. It’s you who has to keep up with the pace of the story. Every incident has a meaning for the sow, and it ends where it should end. The director does not feel the need to make a man to take birth 4 times, or that classic shot of showing a slap three times!
So here’s the list of top ten television shows that are a must watch if you want to move over the age old dramas. What are you waiting for? Start watching before it is too late!
10. Planet Earth (2006 series)
“A hundred years ago, there were one and a half billion people on Earth. Now, over six billion crowd our fragile planet. But even so, there are still places barely touched by humanity. This series will take you to the last wildernesses and show you the planet and its wildlife as you have never seen them before.” This is the opening statement of the series, narrated by David Attenborough. Belonging o the genre of nature documentary, ‘Planet Earth’ comprises on just eleven episodes, 50 minutes each. Every episode explores a different habitat on Earth, like mountains, ice bergs, seas, caves, deserts etc. The series was successful in showing the world such obscure species and habitats that had never been heard of or shown elsewhere. Winner of four Emmy Awards, ‘Planet Earth’ was the most expensive project taken up BBC. A must watch, for all nature lovers and explorers.
9. Modern Family (2009-2013)
Winner of the Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Comedy Series’ for past three years, ‘Modern Family’ is the story of Jay Pritchett, his second wife and 13 year old stepson, his own two children and their families. His own son is gay and married to his partner. They have also adopted a baby girl to complete their family. ‘Modern Family’ thus shows the acceptance of changing cultures within a family, values that the adults are trying to teach their kids in the days of such huge changes while maintaining their independence. It is not easy to accept your Dad’s second marriage when you yourself are a parent to two kids. The characters sometimes narrate their own reactions to incidents, giving an insight into their minds. A comedy series, yet the kind from which everyone can learn something. For all modern families, do not miss this one!
8. Lost (2004-2010)
Winner of the Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Drama Series’ in 2005, and the Golden globe Award for ‘Best Drama’ in 2006, ‘Lost’ is the story of the passengers on the Oceanic Airlines Flight 815, which crashes on an isolated island somewhere in South Pacific. While the characters struggle to survive the various challenges the island throws their way every day, a part of the show keeps showing their past lives, as an insight into their present state of mind. It has all elements a good drama has- adventure, mystery, suspense thriller, supernatural and emotions. Major part of the story revolves around the number series 4815162342, which has a huge significance in the show. To know what numbers can do and they can change your life, download this series today and immerse in the thrill the show has to offer. It has six seasons, and though the episodes are long; you won’t stand a chance to complain!
7. Prison Break (2005-2009)
Directed by Paul Scheuring, ‘Prison Break’ is a drama series which revolves around two brothers, Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows. Lincoln has been falsely convicted of the assassination of vice President’s brother and is spending time in the Fox River State Penitentiary. Michael, convinced of his brother’s innocence, leaves his job as a structural engineer and formulates a plan for Lincoln’s escape. For this, he himself gets into the penitentiary. What follows is the entire story line of ‘Prison Break’. There are a lot of characters that keep coming and going. ‘Prison Break’ was nominated for the 2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series Drama. Action packed, and with maybe a little too much violence, no episode of this series disappoints. The plot is so fast paced and well connected that the person watching cannot think about anything else for days. The cast is perfect, and never misses any expression. Not recommended for too young because of the violence, ‘Prison Break’ is one of its kind and a must watch for the brave-hearts!
6. How I Met Your Mother (2005- present)
With 8 successful seasons, and 9th season about to be aired soon, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ is a, legen-wait for it-dary, series. The story is narrated by the main character Ted Mosby. It is year 2030, and he is telling his kids all the events that led him to meet their mother. So the show moves in flashback, showing incidents that happen with him and his friends. This show gave birth to the epic character of Barney Stinson, who is probably the dating guru for half the youth. Nominated for 24 Emmy Awards, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ has a huge following. The way the story has been directed appeals to the maximum present generation. It has humor, emotions, the spell bounding comic timing of the characters, and the story itself is so engaging that right from the first episode the viewer is hooked. For dating tips, for friendship, for some awesome punches and equally awesome characters, you should definitely watch this show.
5. Dexter (2005- present)
A psychological thriller, ‘Dexter’ is the story of Dexter Morgan, who leads a double life- one as a blood analyst for Miami Police Department, and another as a serial killer. This fact alone pulls the viewers towards the show. Dexter is adopted by Harry, a Miami police officer and his wife at the age of three. Harry teaches him the code of killing on finding that Dexter has a natural tendency to kill. He takes never to kill innocents and examining every minute detail before moving in for kill. As a memory of each murder, Dexter keeps with himself a blood droplet of every victim. Dexter is portrayed as a hardhearted man, who does not believe in emotions. He tries his best to remain anti social. ‘Dexter’ has been nominated for 25 Emmy Awards and 10 Golden Globe Awards. The lead actor, Michael C. Hall won 5 Emmy Awards in a row for ‘Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series’. ‘Dexter’ forces us to explore our violent side, our own tendencies to kill someone. Winning huge critical acclaim and millions of audiences, the last season of ‘Dexter’ is due airing on 30th June, 2013.
4. Breaking Bad (2008-present)
Basically a morality play, ‘Breaking Bad’ is the story of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who has been diagnosed with incurable lung cancer. In an attempt to secure his family’s future after he’s gone, Walter takes the road of crime and starts selling methamphetamine with the help of a former student. The basic idea of ‘Breaking Bad’ is to instill the thought of right and wrong in a man. The director, Vince Gilligan himself says that the motive was to tell people that right and wrong are the only two aspects of life. ‘Breaking bad’ explores what defines wrong- actions, intentions, or decision to walk down that road. The series is the recipient of seven Emmy Awards. The lead actor, Bryan Cranston has been nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, three times consecutively. Some critics claim it to be the greatest television drama of all times. Too valuable a show to miss!
3. F.R.I.E.N.D.S (1994-2004)
One of the most popular television series of all times, ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S’ won over hearts of millions of viewers as soon as the first episode was aired. A story of six friends (Ross, Rachel, Monica, Joey, Chandler and Phoebe’, this series can rightly be said as the most hilariously heartwarming series ever. It tells of their lives, their work, and their relationships with each other. The main theme is of course friendship, but I bet you will ever see this friendship in reality. It was nominated for wonderfully shocking 63 Prime-time Emmy Awards. The famous ‘Central Perk’ coffeehouse shown in the series may be given credit for establishing the concept of such coffee places. It guarantees you 22 minutes of such a pure relief and enjoyment that you won’t be able to stop yourself from watching one episode after another, and this will hold true for generations to come. ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S’ in one must show you should watch, by hook or by crook!
2. The Walking Dead (2010-present)
Based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, ‘The Walking Dead’ is a horror drama series, starring Andrew Lincoln in the lead as Rick Grimes. He is a sheriff, who has awakened from coma to find himself in a world ruled by zombies, a post apocalypse world. ‘The Walking Dead’ refers to the human survivors, who have endured the zombie invasion. The story enfolds as Rick sets out to find his family. ‘The Walking Dead’ was nominated for the ‘Best Television Series’ in the 68th Golden Globe Awards. It has been received positively by the critics, and has become the most watched drama series. It shows how the small group is surviving the danger from being eaten alive by the zombies, as well as the human danger, as it is ‘every man on his own’ now. There are scenes that will jolt you awake and you’ll scream. A true to its theme series, ‘The Walking Dead’ is not for weakhearted. A must watch if you want good horror!
1. Game of Thrones (2011-present)
The most talked about television series in the history of television, ‘Game of Thrones’ takes you to a world where the kings rule and politics flows in place of blood. The fight is for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms between seven noble families. The word ‘noble’ is controversial, since they will stop at nothing to reach their ambition. ‘Game of Thrones’ includes themes like religion, supernatural, love, family ties. The violence at times exceeds its reasonable extent, but it doesn’t feel out of place. Whatever you can imagine, and more, this show gives it to you. ‘The night is dark and full of terrors’ remains the punch line throughout the show. Because of excessive nudity and sex scenes, the show is considered unsuitable for below 18 years. Nevertheless, it is the most epic series, and a must watch.