Stuart’s Top 50 Television Dramas of All Time – Part Two (#45 – #41)

#45 – The O.C.

The O.C. can be organised in the same file as Heroes in that it’s a show that started off well enough and then fell off a cliff towards the end.theoc

For two seasons it was as good as a programme of this genre can be. Nice settings, mostly likeable characters & actors, engaging storylines, Jim Robinson off Neighbours; it had it all.

But again, it went on a bit too long, and though I haven’t seen it, my friends assure me there was an episode where they travel in time or go to an alternate universe or something. 

And like Heroes, it’s another show where two of the main characters – in this case Benjamin McKenzie and Mischa Barton – can’t act for toffee.

On the whole though, a fun show with a good theme tune.

#44 – Smiley’s Peoplesmileyspeople

The sequel to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Smiley’s People is another TV Miniseries adaptation of a John Le Carre Spy Novel.

In this one, George Smiley (Alec Guinness) comes out of retirement to pit his wits against his old Soviet counterpart, Karla.

It’s good, but it’s not as good as the aforementioned Tinker…

Definitely one for fans of serious drama

#43 – Lost

It should have been higher; much higher.

But sadly Lost went from being one of the most exciting and engaging Television Dramas of my lifetime into the most drawn out, confused and dull rubbish I think I’ve ever seen.

I ended up watching the whole thing, purely because I was damned if I was going to devote so many years of my life to tuning in to a show without finding out the resolution – a resolution which was garbage by the way.

The problem was that the writers backed themselves into a corner by saying it was going to last as long as it did before realising that they didn’t have enough plot for it and also because they kept having to sack members of the cast for drink driving in Hawaii.

The first two or three seasons – before the Dharma Initiative and Jim Robinson –  were Must-See-TV though.LOST Logo

One thing I would say – and I haven’t put this to the test – is that Lost might be more tolerable as a whole if watched in quick succession. You could forgive the glacial storytelling if you’re watching it 4 or 5 episodes at a time, but when you tune in for an episode one week and nothing happens beyond finding out how Jack got his tattoo, it became too much to bear.

#42 – Homeland

Another show with a great first season but a less impressive second one.homeland

I like Homeland, in spite of the peculiar writing (why does Nicholas Brody’s wife call him Brody?) and the mumbling and all-round unappealing daughter.

But I worry that next season it’ll sacrifice good story-telling just to keep Damian Lewis in it. I’d like to see new threats, new characters and a new purpose.

Instead we’ll probably get a 10 episode story-arc about how Brody’s son falls in with a bad crowd at school…

#41 – The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is a fun show about Zombies that – for two seasons – was strong.walkingdead

Again though – and I feel we’re treading over old ground but it’s a problem that seems to afflict almost every US TV show at some point – the question of whether it’s running out of steam must be asked.

As far as I can see, Zombie fiction starts out with an engaging intro, showing either how the outbreak happened or what the characters’ initial reaction was, but then you’ve got a finite amount of time before either a cure is found, or all the characters die.

It can’t go on forever.

I watched the first half of the current season with all the stuff with the Governor, but I’ve felt no pressing desire to go back and watch the rest.

And One That Won’t Be On The List…


Everyone seems to tell me how wonderful House it, but on the two occasions I’ve tried to get into it, I’ve found the formula to be repetitive to the point of boring,house

Tell me if I’m wrong, but every episode of House I’ve ever seen involves the same basic structure.

  • Patient comes in with weird illness that only House can identify
  • But House doesn’t identify it first time around and almost kills the patient
  • Then some moment of serendipity leads him to discover what’s really wrong at the last minute
  • In the meantime, House is rude to other patients and/or his co-workers

15 episodes of that was about all I could take.

And I like medical dramas too…

Get Involved In The Debate

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4 Responses to Stuart’s Top 50 Television Dramas of All Time – Part Two (#45 – #41)

  1. Slavin Ivanov says:

    That’s right, Lost should have been higher. I think that strike in 2008 was the main reason it got so bad. I remember that everyone had high expectations about it but I still liked the finale (couldn’t sleep after it 🙂 ).
    And if you don’t like House, then you probably don’t like,say, CSI or maybe even Monk either?

  2. bp951927 says:

    On Homeland which I am just ok season two I really enjoy it but I worry it is starting to have story arc with the daughter like 24 has with Kim as around season two it really bugged me as she was always getting in to situations she needed saved from. NCIS is quite formulated in the first two seasons, however from season three on there are some good story arc’s and cliff hangers.

    House i think gets better as the seasons go on.

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