Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday Goes TV

This week The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday is taking a detour from its usual bookish matter to look at the other the stories we love, the ones that come to us by screen.  Without intending to, I've made a list that consists entirely of TV dramas.  I do like the odd sitcom or few, but for some reason, when I'm hashing out my absolute favorites, it's all dramas all the time.  Some are shows I discovered (or rediscovered) via the wonders of Netflix streaming (ah, it's a beautiful thing!).  The rest are just straight up network TV.  So, see below to find out about some of my biggest distractions from reading.

Thank you, Netflix.

1. Breaking Bad - I came to Breaking Bad late after hearing everybody rave about it.  I watched the first few episodes, and thought, eh, it's okay, but somewhere between the melted bathtub and the port-a-potty incident I was totally hooked.  I mean, what great characters.  Turns out I like both books and TV shows with flawed characters, most especially when the writer can make me care about them both because of and despite their flaws.  Breaking Bad does just that with mad skill.

2. Orange is the New Black - Listen to this, for, like, the first time ever I was ahead of the game on something.  When Orange is the New Black came to TV, I was like, "Hey, I loved that book!" because I had the book, I read it, and I even reviewed it well before it was a craze (instead of my usual, "I have that book, I should read it some day" MO).  The show definitely doesn't match up with the book quite the same, but both are definitely great.  
3. The Walking Dead - Because who doesn't want to know what will happen to the survivors in a zombie apocalypse?  All the things you might expect, and a lot of the things you wouldn't.  Plus, this last season even featured, like, character development.  Can't wait for it to come on again in the fall!

4. The Tudors - My parents started watching this, and then I got sucked into it partway through the first season.  For most of it, I felt conflicted.  I mean, I'm not that keen on watching people being tortured and beheaded, and a lot of that kind of thing goes on.  Enter more characters that are deeply, profoundly flawed and are rendered surprisingly sympathetic.  King Henry VIII?  He's a bad, awful dude, but as I was watching the last episode, all the sudden I found that I was feeling for the guy and had been for a while, that I maybe understood why he was such a wretched, evil mess.  So I felt for him and all the unfortunates who made the mistake of getting too close to him, and it's all very well done and well acted, and, except for all the lost heads, I like that kind of thing.  (Also, it doesn't hurt that Henry Cavill is blazing hot, but that's beside the point.... or is it?) 

5. The West Wing - I loved The West Wing so much when I was in high school that it actually influenced my choosing of a college major. I guess I wanted to be all articulate and passionate like the characters in this TV show.  Unfortunately, I'm, uh, not...but this show is still tops in my book.  Aaron Sorkin, you know, what a guy.  I loved revisiting this show in its entirety last year so much that I could just about start watching it again this year.

Network TV?  You're not so bad yourself.

6. Grey's Anatomy - I've been watching this show since I was in college, when my mother derisively referred to it as "Bed-Hopping With Doctors" until she started to like it.  Its season finales have a higher main character body count than The Walking Dead has in a whole season.  It's had its ups and downs but mostly ups, and happily Shonda Rhimes has a great knack for making you care so much about the current characters that you almost forget about all the characters that you loved who got killed off in the last finale. 

7. Nashville - Okay, so it's kind of like a country music soap opera that plays in the evenings.  However, the music is great, and I love Hayden Panettiere's character.

8. The Black List - This one was new last season.  While its not always the most believable show, I loved how it kept me guessing all season and look forward to seeing where it goes in its next season. 

9. Criminal Minds - I've been watching the BAU hunt down serial killers for the longest time.  Admittedly, it seems like it's trying to cater to two very different audiences in recent seasons: the audience that loves really, really sick twisted freaky killers and the audience that is more fascinated with the whole process of profiling and unpacking what makes really messed up people tick.  I'm definitely more of latter, so I often find myself thinking, "What in the heck am I watching?" Nonetheless, it's very satisfying because (spoiler alert?) they pretty much always catch the killer in the end.

10. Elementary - Sure, the Sherlockian deductive reasoning is always fun, as is the quirky crap Sherlock is always getting up to, but what I really like is Sherlock and Joan's relationship and how she helps him get in touch with his less prickly side while he's helping her get in touch with her logical side. 

So, what are you watching when you should be reading?  ;-)


  1. I haven't seen any of those but my guys did watch all of Breaking Bad.

  2. My husband LOVED Breaking Bad, but I haven't seen it yet. I watched about half the first season of Orange is the New Black, but I haven't gotten around to finishing it. The Tudors was an addictive show, as is Walking Dead! Great list!

    Here are my Top Ten!

  3. Great list! I have The Blacklist on my list too, and can't wait to see what the new season holds. Love that show!

    Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...

  4. We have some favorites in common! I really like The Walking Dead and Blacklist too. I like Orange is the New Black too--although I haven't seen any of the second season yet. And it's been years since I last saw Grey's Anatomy. I used to love that show.

    I haven't seen Elementary, but I would like to.

  5. Yesss.. Orange is the New Black. So good. I also watch The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and used to watch Grey's. I know that I NEED to watch West Wing because one of my friend's is a huge fan. Also Tudors, because I'm obsessed with all of them.

  6. I have yet to start Breaking Bad, but it sounds really good! I will definitely have to check it out soon.

  7. I've seen only one episode of Breaking Bad but I enjoyed it. I notice I love tv shows that I can't watch with the kids around. :-) Orange is the New Black is my show!