Top Ten Television Shows (American) – 1

Literature includes all forms of writing even if you are only given the visual result. For this reason, I value plays, and television shows as much as I value books.

These are the ten American Television shows which I like most. Do note that they aren’t in any specific order.

1. The Newsroom
2. Frasier
3. Law and Order: SVU
4. Criminal Minds
5. Golden Girls
6. House
7. Gilmore Girls
8. Gray’s Anatomy
9. Suits
10. Saved By The Bell vs. Boy Meets World

Oddly, it took some time to put this list together simply because I could not remember them. I don ‘t watch television much these days. In 2013 I began watch Korean shows (K-dramas) and I fell completely into that world until recently when my internet connection began failing. However, as noted in other posts, there’s a notable difference between American and Korean shows. I still don’t watch American shows as much as I used to despite not having an K-dramas at my disposal. Instead I’ve began reading more to fill the slot. It’s much better than getting irritated by the shows.

I like perfection, and that it exactly what each actor delivered in each of these shows so that won’t be mentioned in any of the reviews.

Newsroom

I fell into this from the first episode without knowing it was the first.

Scrolling through the channels two years ago I stopped at HBO. Everything about the scene, in that moment, was perfect: the lighting; the sound of the room; the pitch of the speaker’s voice; the emotions on the faces of the audience. I would learn later that cinematic perfect was this shows norm. I stopped, and I began to listen.

Will McAvoy, was berating America for its pompous attitude towards its mediocre achievements. He was saying everything I thought, and more. His speech, which was a response to “Why is America the greatest country in the world?”, taught me a few things as he gave statistics on America’s standing in a few areas.

I was hooked. That scene made my heart quicken, cheeks raise, and eyes glisten. In the next scene McAvoy asks his counterparts what he said on-stage, and continues by informing that them that does not remember anything. The fact is, he does but his fear that he could have such a vivid hallucination scares him. This hallucination triggers a major change in him, and he goes from being a go-with-the-flow news anchor to being a speak-truth-to stupid person. It changes his life entirely.

For three seasons I got a behind-the-scenes look at and a commentary of the running of nightly news. The show, which was entirely fictional, dealt with directly and indirectly stories of the past such as the Anthony Weiner story, the killing of Bin Laden, the America Vote Act, and the Snowden situation. It showed how and why errors are made in gathering and disseminating news, and also how some errors could be avoided.

Some viewers and fans may have been displeased with the commentary aspect of the show as well as the portrayal of the female characters. But I am quite pleased with both since the commentary was accurate and the portrayal was in no way far fetched. The biggest and most valid criticism is that of Season 3, episode 5 (Oh Shenandoah) in which Don Keefer interviews a campus-rape victim.

As the story goes the victim was raped, didn’t get justice from the system, and began a website for other victims to name their rapists without the need for the rapists to have gone through the justice system. Some viewers state this would have been a good place to take a stand on the side of the victim, others think the dialogue between the victim and Keefer should have had more of an emotional dynamic with the Keefer leaving with some sort of relation.

I am not certain how those changes exactly align with common sense. The case in question did not have enough evidence for the average man to assume that she was indeed raped nevermind in a courtroom. So siding with her was difficult on that ground. However, if the writers had decided to side with the victim, a website for naming alleged rapists would not be it. As pointed out in the dialogue the website makes the alleged rapists targets, and would destroy them without them being given the chance of a fair trial. It allows for persons with grips to ruin another’s life with a few clicks, which to me is just like revenge porn which was (dealt with in an earlier season).

And finally the dialogue. For my purposes it was perfect. But for others it might be a little annoying in how similar they seem, and the rapid-fire delivery. (But it seems I like those types. Gilmore Girls has the same ‘problem’.)

If you’re a sucker for actors, here you go:

Cast of The NewsroomFrom L-R: Dev Patel, Olivia Munn, Thomas Sadoski, Sam Waterson, John Gallagher Jr., Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, and Alison Pill.

Other names of note include Jane Fonda, Chris Messina, Adina Porter, Marcia Gay Harden, Chris Chalk, and the like.

Though I do not use or condone the use of expletives, note that they…more like ‘it’ is used liberally in most episodes if not every episode.

This brief review is almost at the 1000-word mark. I’m sorry, I got carried away. I’ll continue the reviews in the upcoming weeks.

What are you top ten favourite shows, and why?

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