It’s been a while since I have watched or let alone written about TV series that I like to watch. These past few months were so hectic that I had little time to start a new one, but during my summer vacation, which ends today, I watched a few series again. I stayed true to my obsession with CSI and watched a couple of final seasons of newer shows. But not everything I watch is worth recommending and so, I figured it would be nice if I’d let you know which TV series I have been enjoying most these past few years.
Crime Scene Investigation
In case you don’t know: CSI is about a team of crime scene investigators who search for trace and other forensic evidence to catch bad guys. In the current series the team is lead by DB Russell who transferred from Seattle after Catherine Willows leaves. He brings along Jules, a blood spatter analyst who he worked with in Seattle. The rest of the team that was already there, Nick, Gregg, Sarah all still play roles as a few lab techs and a newbie who happens to be the Sheriff’s daughter.
The very first TV series I ever decided to watch was the first edition of CSI. There were 2 other spin offs that already completed their run a few years ago, and now this original series is also stopping to be replaced by CSI: Cyber. I’m a bit sad, because CSI was a great show that I loved watching it for some no brainer distraction after a long day at work. Every episode is like a little puzzle and I generally liked some of the character development storylines too. I kind of lost interest in the storyline when Laurence Fishburn joined the cast, as I couldn’t get into his obsession with Nate Haskell, but after Ted Danson took over as DB Russell I felt the show took a turn for the better. He will be joining the cast of CSI: Cyber which is why I am secretly hoping that show will be better when it starts its second season.
Based on the original Sherlock stories and always with a reference to them either in titles or in actions, this series focuses on some of the most iconic Sherlock Holmes stories. Played by Benedict Cumberbatch who is assisted by Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman), the duo are consulting detectives who help solve cases for Scotland Yard and for regular members of the public. The series is created and broadcast by the BBC, with only 3 episodes per season that have the running time of a movie, Sherlock gives a modern take on the old stories as well as adding something new at the same time.
The reason why I like these series is because they are original, the acting is great and by now you know I like solving puzzles. The setting of modern day London combined with the clever stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle makes for an enticing show that will leave you on the edge of your seat at times, but at other times it has you wrecking your brain trying to think like Sherlock. I love the combination of action and suspense and am looking forward to this year’s Christmas special, which seems to be set in Victorian times.
Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson rules Atlantic City through corruption and scandal in the 1920s, at the beginning of Prohibition. He finds good money in the bootlegging business, be it with the help of criminals, the mob and anyone else who wants to do his bidding. During 5 seasons, we see Nucky’s rise to fame and his downfall and how he tries to get back on his feet, though not necessarily in this order.
From the excellent 1920s decor and style that is applied throughout this series, to the intricate system that is build to keep the booze flowing and the cops unknowing: there isn’t much that isn’t to like about Boardwalk Empire. The best part about the series is that it is based on real life events and people. Of course it is more dramatized, but Enoch Thompson is based on a real person, as are many of his cronies and the high level gangsters he meets with. There is some seriously great action going on, especially the chilling scenes in which Rosetti loses his mind. It is a solid show that came to a hasty end, but nonetheless it is worth a watch.
Set in a TV newsroom where every night a team puts together News Night with Will McAvoy, this show is based around recent news events and shows how this might have been handled by a news show. Broadcast by fictional network ACN, News Night is one of the leading news shows of the US and Will is a famous tv presenter with ditto behavior. Enter Mackenzie McHale: ex of Will, but with a much higher standard of doing the news.
The premise may sound fairly boring, but myself having been in newsrooms before and thus I know a little bit of the goings on. During the moments in the show where the tension builds up because a story has to come out now, that feeling, that rush, I know what that feels like. So I can relate to the characters even if I don’t like them. The show only ran for 3 seasons, but I loved every minute of it. It tackles some news journalism developments such as civic journalism and the battle of Internet vs ‘old school’ media. I really enjoyed this and I think you might too, even if you’re only watching because Jeff Daniels (of Dumb & Dumber fame) plays the lead character (and does so really well).
House of Cards
Finally the newest show in my arsenal and one that I only started watching this year. I had heard great things about House of Cards which is about Kevin Spacey’s character who tries to become President of the United States. It focuses on modern day politics and the games played by those in power to stay in power or to gain it. There are glimpses of Francis Underwood’s life and he is often aware of the camera and steps aside for monologues given you as a viewer his direct insight.
What I love about this show is again how well it is done. The acting is great, the settings are great and it is a series unlike many others I have seen. It shows ruthlessness and cunning tricks that are used by Underwood and his wife to try and gain their way in the world. For a long time the series doesn’t go into how this scheming might affect their relationship and everything goes well for a while, until one trumps the other at a terrible cost. Even their personal life is not free from scrutiny, but the couple knows this and tries to use it to their advantage.
Can you recommend me any other new series that I should watch?