Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the few things on earth to have reached my heart, pulled it out and then ate it while it was still beating. Heartbreaking to the truest extent, Hideoki Anno's peak and masterpiece is to this day the single thing that I can watch over and over again for consecutive days and not feel the slightest boredom wash over me. NGE is a piece of work that encompasses everything; philosophies over the meaning of life to the poignancy of noodles and beer in one's life are themes dealt with here as the series attempts to cover an impressive spectrum of very human emotions and feelings with very inhuman methods. Dehumanisation of everything human, demoralising all morals and the sheer breaking of many taboos make Neon Genesis Evangelion a shocking and raw piece of material that allows it's viewer to see life itself in pure, unadultered humane form.
In order to see the beauty of this world, we must see the dark side of it. This series shows it, without forgetting that we sometimes need to be cheered up as well. The last episodes and the film End Of Evangelion are really narrative masterstrokes from one of the greatest artists of our time.
It's rare that I can watch a show for fun just because the dialogue is so daring and wonderful. Ian Macshane, Timothy Olyphant and even Brad Dourif join a star-studded cast, all of whom seem to be doing one-man tour de forces and powerhouse performances in this fantastically written piece of western. David Milch's brainchild is full of twists, turns and vicious throat slittings, and it's all delivered in such beautiful style that one can't help but awe as MacShane deals with those nasty cocksuckers the way men do - Punching them in the face or stabbing their arses!
Now here's something most people never really got into. Buffy is a genre show in it's truest form. It will not hook anyone but dumb teenagers with a single episode. Like most of it's kind, it too requires a certain commitment from it's viewers. You owe it to yourself to watch this. Shows like this, they often have very, very bad episodes scattered here and there. Buffy is a case of when the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. The sole thing here that truly stands out from practically every other TV show that I have seen is that the characters are human beings who grow for seven seasons, and we still feel as if they could grow more had the show not ended. Whedon succeeds in making all of his main characters feel ever-evolving human beings instead of obscure entities that are unrelatable. The characters in Buffy face everyday conflict with themes of obsession, love and hate in a supernatural enviroment. It's all buffed by witty dialogue and surprisingly good performances. If you give Buffy a chance, there's little chance you'll be dissapointed.
So yeah, another so-called genre show. This time it's sci-fi. I need a fantasy show now to complete the circle of life! BSG is essentially every politically involved show mixed into one inside a spaceship with very, very deep and intelligent writing involved. It's exactly what remakes should be like; it barely has anything to do with the original, taking just names and the very, very core setting of the original show. Creator Ronald D. Moore figured out how to make this unique and a fantastic breeding ground for political issues and themes of apartheid; he created cylons that look human. This single unique masterstroke is all it took for Battlestar Galactica to become what is in my opinion the best example of "traditional" sci-fi ever created for television. Now, as I prepare to be bashed by the Babylon 5-fans of the world, I leave you with words that I hope put you in the mindset to look for this, and the other shows mentioned on this list, and watch them all. Each one is worth it every step of the way.
These are bound to change, except with NGE, which will probably always be there. But this is my current list, and I'm bloody well sticking by it.