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My Top 5 TV Series in the Past Decade
Based on George R.R. Martin's amazing Song of Fire and Ice Series, the Game of Thrones is huge! I am not a huge fan of fantasy, or historical fiction but I absolutely love this!
The Game of Thrones
I had, of course, read all of the available Song of Fire and Ice books before starting to watch the Game of Thrones. I have to say that the series almost makes the book justice. Set in a fantasy world were seasons last for years, the seven kingdoms of Westeros are ruled by one king. There are also 7 major noble houses, and a vast number of smaller ones. The struggle for power between the houses is ruthless.
As the Queen, Cersei of the House of Lannisters says "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die".
Many people do die. George R.R. Martin is famous for killing off major characters with no regard for the feelings of his readers. However it is not all grim, witty humour is provided by the Imp, Tyrion Lannister, a son of one of the most powerful men in the Kingdoms.
Add to this a young female contender to the throne, Danaerys Targaryan, the only surviving member of the previous king's house, who is gathering an army and hatching dragons in an attempt to regain the throne, zombies in the North and you can see why this series is as successful as it is. Now if only the author could hurry up and finish the next book!
I came quite late to Breaking Bad, but then had the pleasure of watching all the seasons in one glorious feast. The story of the downtrodden New Mexico chemistry teacher, who finds out he has chemical cancer, and takes the rather radical step of cooking meth to provide for his family, is utterly absorbing.
It is fascinating to watch the self-effacing Walter White turn into the criminal mastermind, Heisenberg, almost by accident. The interplay between him and his brother in law, Hank, an FDA agent obsessed with catching Heisenberg is fantastic.
The completely shameless, bent lawyer "Better Call Saul" is another delight. A series this intelligent comes around very rarely.
And in the end, it all goes bad because of such a simple mistake. If only Walter didn't take the Walt Whitman book to the toilet!
Really more of a Western than sci-fi. This had it all, mystery, humour, great characters.......I can't believe they didn't renew it!
I am sure everybody has a show that they simply cannot believe was cancelled too soon, for me that show is Firefly. This show had it all, plenty of action, humour, likeable characters, mystery and adventure.
Produced by Jess Whedon of Buffy and Angel fame, it is really more of a Western than a sci-fi series, although a lot of the action takes place on the firefly-class space ship, the Serenity.
The Earth That Was had run out of resources to support humanity who migrated to other solar systems. The two remaining superpowers, the US and China, formed the Alliance, which rules all the planets. Captain Reynolds and his second in command Zoe, had fought against the Alliance in a civil war, and lost. Now they eke out a living on the fringes of society, smuggling and salvaging goods from derelict craft.
Sometimes they even take on passengers, including the uptight Doctor and his genius but damaged sister, whom he rescued from an Alliance facility that was experimenting on her brain. They have become the two most wanted refugees, and hide on board the Serenity from strange government officials in blue gloves.
I am of two minds about including this, because the current season 3 is seriously disappointing. However there is hope now that we've Carrie is out of the mental institution and being used as bait to trap an Iranian manager of terror.
The first season was an excellent cerebral thriller, however. After missing in action for 8 years, marine Nick Brody is discovered in a cell when US forces attack an Al-Qaida compound. He comes back home as a returning hero, celebrated by everybody, except for CIA agent Carrie Matthieson, who believes he was turned by the terrorists.
The series worked on so many levels. There was the initial mystery about whether Brody was a terrorist or not. But also his trying to cope with being free after 8 years in captivity, and re-intergration into his family. Then there was Carrie, dedicated, brilliant but also explosive, and with her own mental demons to deal with.
I sincerely hope season 3 regains its previous excellence.
The Killing (Forbydelsen)
I am of course talking about the original, Danish series, I haven't even watched the US version, so have no opinion about it.
The Killing is a tight police procedural, mixed in with some political intrigue. In all three seasons the crimes impact on local or National elections which complicates the investigations.
What makes this stand out from all the other crime series is Sarah Lund, with her intense focus on solving the crime. She does appear to be rather socially challenged. Typically she will not answer when people ask her questions but stares off into the distance and then comes up with her own mode of action.
It is to the credit of the show and the actress that she still comes across as completely human, and even vulnerable, rather than a stereotypical weirdo in charge of the investigation. Must be those jumpers.
The setting in rainy Copenhagen adds to the atmosphere of the series. It is well worth dealing with subtitles to see it.