Stuart’s Top 50 Television Dramas of All Time – Part Six (#25 – #21)

#25 – Prison Break

For many people, Prison Break is considered to be good for only the first season.pBreak Logo

I disagree.

Although the first season was the best, both seasons two (in which the prisoners go on the run after making their escape) and season four (which is a bit like the Doctor Who story, The Keys of Marinus) are also great in their own ways.

Season Three? The one where they all end up back in a different prison? Dreadful, and what’s more you could probably just skip past the whole thing and it’d make no difference.

Prison Break has a wonderful crapness about it, with the majority of the cast – and especially Michael and Linc the Sink – being pretty poor actors.

William Fichtner is excellent though. He plays haunted better than anyone I’ve ever seen.

#24 – Entourageentourage

Arguably this should have gone into the sitcoms one along with Californication, but then there’s an argument it’s more of a comedy drama than a sitcom.

It’s another terrific show though, with engaging plots, interesting characters, fantastic cameos from Hollywood types playing exaggerated versions of themselves, and of course, Ari Gold and Johnny Drama.

#23 – Band of Brothers

Here’s one I almost forgot about when compiling my original list, but it would be ridiculous to leave it out.bob

Band of Brothers is a top-notch drama set during the last year or so of the Second World War, telling the story of a group of US soldiers from their initial training, their march through Europe and ultimately the surrender of Japan at war’s end.

It’s engaging, dramatic, authentic and well acted.

If you’ve not seen it, sort that out soon.

#22 – Angel

The spin-off show to Buffy the Vampire Slayer started off…not poorly but not particularly well either.angel

As it developed though, it improved immeasurably, with better characters being welcomed into the cast, some nice storylines and ultimately a very good fifth season, culminating in one of the finest Final Episodes of any show I’ve ever seen.

David Boreanaz drives the show forward, but it was only when he stopped being so brooding and added a bit of humour to the character that the show came into its own.

The MVP though goes to Amy Acker, who shines by playing two totally different characters and selling it effectively.

#21 – Alias

I think Alias was the first “modern” US TV drama that I watched an entire season of. That might sound strange now, but before DVDs became widely available and cheaper, you just weren’t going to go out and buy a boxed set without knowing what it was first.

And so to me it opened up doors, because I realised how good these 24 episodes-a-season US TV dramas with their long running story arcs could be.Alias

It’s an excellent show, containing brilliant characters like Arvin Sloan, Jack Bristow and Marcus Dixon, but it also can be credited with creating my long held dislike for Bradley Cooper, whose character Will was a total arsehole.

What stops Alias from finishing higher up this list is the final season. Having worked hard to establish Sydney Bristow’s character and world for four seasons, in hindsight, they should have ended it there.

When they brought it back for a fifth season, they tried to reinvent it and start an entirely new approach with a bunch of new characters, but it didn’t work, and so when it was announced  it would be ending, the writers just fell back into old habits, made Sloan evil again and rushed to a disappointing finish.

Best just forget that ever happened.

And One That Doesn’t Make The Listbones

Bones

Having finished Angel, I had heard that David Boreanaz was starring in this new and highly rated show, Bones.

And much like House, I watched it, but found myself uninterested by its repetitive nature, as well as its lacklustre cast.

So I didn’t bother continuing.

 

 

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