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Added by DrStrangeblog on 7 Sep 2012 07:31
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Favorite TV Series - Drama

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People who added this item 2567 Average listal rating (1421 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 9.5
After careful consideration, I'm naming the downward spiral of a science teacher-turned-methamphetamine manufacturer as the most brilliantly realized TV drama ever made. Expert direction is matched by writing that uncannily reveals the darker side of human nature, and the ever-thickening plots continually produce nailbiting watershed moments of decision-making that could go anywhere. Then there's Bryan Cranston setting a new standard for acting excellence as the unforgettable Walter White. Tread carefully: once you see the first episode, you're going to want to know what happens in the last episode, and every masterfully plotted step in-between that takes you to a fully satisfying conclusion.
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Perfect blend of weight and whimsy, a show that makes me ponder both the intricacies and simplicities of life while putting a smile on my face. How the creators managed to sell this highbrow approach to a network AND have it become a ratings hit still boggles the mind! One-of-a-kind series, although it did jump the shark once Joel (Rob Morrow) left near the end of its run.
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People who added this item 1595 Average listal rating (971 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.7
Large-scale action epic with an uncommonly deep interest in its complex characters. Dares to take its apocalyptic scenario seriously - how would humanity react when brought to the brink of extinction? Asks big questions while providing plenty of eye candy, hard to believe the spectacular effects and detailed sets on display are in service to a television show. I've never seen a show with such keenly observed character development either. You may not always agree with their decisions, but you almost always fully understand *why* they make their particular choices. Great writing, great acting - heck, great everything.
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THE definitive Holmes, Jeremy Brett brought an arrogance and unpredictable humor which breathed unparalleled vibrancy into the legend. Incredible period detail too. The earlier series (Adventures and Return Of) contain the best stories as some of Conan Doyle's ideas became more far-fetched over time.
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People who added this item 3446 Average listal rating (2006 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.7
What if you went inside the mind of a serial killer and discovered that person might not be pure evil after all? That's the fascinating groundwork of the bold series Dexter with Michael C. Hall brilliantly portraying one of the most compelling characters in TV history. His internal monologue voice-overs, often laced with black humor, are a highlight. You will ask yourself the very question posed by the tagline, "Is he a bad person doing good things, or a good person doing bad things?"
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People who added this item 506 Average listal rating (245 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.3
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People who added this item 4928 Average listal rating (2970 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.4
Just another run-of-the-mill existential adventure survival sci-fi drama (heh heh.) Extraordinary undertaking, this feels more like a segmented 75-hour movie than a weekly TV series. Terrific characters and an unprecedented feeling of bewilderment & excitement highlight the weekly perils of the castaways with the most addictive episode-ending cliffhangers in TV history.
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People who added this item 3201 Average listal rating (1717 ratings) 8.9 IMDB Rating 9.5
So far GoT has lived up to the overwhelming hype. A staggering achievement in TV production rivaled only by Rome in its opulence, Westeros truly looks and feels like a different world. Epic scale storytelling with excellent writing that blends crafty political intrigue with the personal trials and desires of a vast array of characters. These are ruthless men and women each pursuing their own vision of justice, greed, honor, birthright, or power most of all. Sometimes bloody and displaying nudity from both sexes, this is robust sword and sorcery drama for adults.
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People who added this item 2610 Average listal rating (1771 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.7
Excellent blend of mystery, science, and a big dollop of sci-fi following FBI agents Mulder and Scully as they investigate all things weird. I wasn't as taken with the recurring 'government conspiracy' theme that ran throughout the show, it worked best when the dynamic duo encountered the next bizarre entity. Some episodes were downright scary, some hard to watch (mom in a box, anyone?), and a few were even very funny, providing a great mix of long-running reliable entertainment.
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The original iconic female superhero: the wisecracking, vampire-staking, butt-kicking Buffy! Gave birth to a new era of strong female characters and completely changed the pop culture landscape. There really is no other show like it by deftly combining sidespltting comedy with heartfelt drama, sometimes within the space of a minute. Throw in some genuinely scary horror elements, self-aware silliness, witches, demons, and a civic death rate that would make Beirut seem like a vacation destination, and you've got a real popcorn party happening.
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People who added this item 2138 Average listal rating (1457 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 8.1
The definitive dialogue-driven dramedy of the 2000's, glad I started watching this on DVD so I can rewind to catch all the quips that fly by at a machine-gun pace. Incredibly witty scripts with spirited banter not seen since Moonlighting. Interesting how this show feels both at home and out-of-place in either a drama or comedy category since it straddles both with such panache.
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People who added this item 671 Average listal rating (379 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.4
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People who added this item 2211 Average listal rating (1323 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.9
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People who added this item 2178 Average listal rating (1453 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 8.4
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People who added this item 956 Average listal rating (646 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 9
Hard to believe one guy came up with the majority of these thought-provoking, often unsettling tales of the fantastic, Rod Serling's creation remains a gold standard for provocative television. So many classic episodes to choose from and everyone has their favorites, mine are probably the bitter irony of 'Time Enough At Last' and the shocking revelation in 'Eye of the Beholder.'
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People who added this item 805 Average listal rating (526 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.4
Ambitious futuristic action drama never got to fully blossom due to network pressure, but the first season remains a rock solid, exhilarating example of the best of co-creator James Cameron's sci-fi slant. Jessica Alba oozes sassy sex appeal as no-nonsense Max, a genetically engineered soldier hiding from the secret government agency that created her while serving as package delivery girl in a society sent into economic chaos by an act of electronic terrorism. Ahead of its time and influential.
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People who added this item 1752 Average listal rating (1044 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.7
Charges into areas no show has ever dared venture, creating a unique television experience while asking the Big Questions about life and especially death. Not for all tastes and sometimes hard to watch but richly rewarding.
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People who added this item 1725 Average listal rating (1067 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.8
David Lynch's landmark mystery of the bizarre & surreal would rank even higher if the self-indulgent second season hadn't spiraled into complete incomprehensibility.
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People who added this item 1252 Average listal rating (682 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.8
Amazing immersive TV experience - ancient Rome is transformed from the crumbling stones that remain as tourist attractions today into a vibrant, thriving, dangerous city. Their customs, clothes, colors, and cunning plots are all on display, convincingly bringing the brutal realities of that time to screen. In fact the attention to detail and opulence of the costuming and set construction ultimately proved far too costly, leading to cancellation after 2 seasons. Anyone with an interest in Roman history and culture will want to see this extraordinary achievement.
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Carries on the grand journey into the unknown that began with the original and succeeds, and in some respects exceeds, despite the ridiculous expectations heaped upon it to resurrect the franchise. Which it did, by the way. Don't know how favorably it will withstand the bar-raising by the new Battlestar Galactica, but at least at the time it offered plenty of adventure and food for thought about humanity's role in the cosmos.
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People who added this item 789 Average listal rating (410 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.7
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Tony Shaloub introduces a refreshingly unique and strangely endearing character to the worn-out private investigator arena with Adrian Monk, a brilliant police detective forced to retire after the murder of his wife sends him into a debilitating obsessive-compulsive cycle. He starts a private practice and regularly assists his former chief with their investigations. The series became more and more uneven by the time the 4th season rolled around, relying too heavily on Monk's condition for cheap laughs and uncomfortable situations. I liked the changing method of telling the story: sometimes played as a straight mystery, sometimes we see the crime take place at the start and Monk closes in Columbo-style, and sometimes the first half is a red herring to the REAL crime.
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People who added this item 1125 Average listal rating (827 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.3
Beyond the mystique and now-cheesy special effects and rubber monsters, Star Trek holds up close to 50 years later due to Gene Roddenberry's forward-thinking stories and some brilliant character dynamics featuring Kirk's impassioned impulses, Spock's cool logic, and Bones McCoy caught in the middle.
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People who added this item 491 Average listal rating (320 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.3
I'm just beginning this far-flung space saga which already has captured my imagination featuring spirited personality clashes between its disparate alien races. A huge helping of humor adds immeasurably to the fun, while the decade-old CGI still looks impressive and Jim Henson's Creature Shop filled this universe with the most creatively designed inhabitants ever seen on TV.
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People who added this item 1466 Average listal rating (825 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.4
A most worthy successor to The X-Files carries on in the same exciting, imaginative tradition with Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, and especially John Noble forming a terrific investigative trio. I've only begun watching this series recently and therefore must be conservative, but if the quality continues I fully expect it will climb higher on this chart.
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People who added this item 279 Average listal rating (183 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.6
Bleak examination of a covert counter-terrorist government agency with a capital BLEAK. I've seen Swedish dramas with happier endings. Years ahead of its time with bad guys who are really bad and good guys who often aren't very good. This created an exciting atmosphere of tension where I really didn't know what would happen next and who would live or die. Consequently I couldn't watch more than one episode at a time.
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People who added this item 2146 Average listal rating (1458 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.1
Sort of a left-field choice to rank up here, but I admit I enjoyed the exploits of the incanting Halliwell sisters fighting the forces of darkness on a weekly basis. The one Aaron Spelling creation that doesn't make me lose my lunch. The series did take a steep quality dip after Shannen Doherty left following Season 3, she provided a convincing gravitas of responsibility as the oldest sister which Holly Marie Combs never managed to shoulder effectively. On the plus side, Alyssa Milano's outfits became progressively skimpier over the years.
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First show to bring kung fu kicks to the American idiot box, this Hercules created by Sam Raimi & Rob Tapert never took himself too seriously which led to many entertaining adventures and amusing squabbles among the petty gods of ancient Greece.
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There's not been another series quite like the peculiarly plotted and sinisterly oppressive world of The Prisoner. The hero Patrick McGooghan's backstory is almost as impenetrable as the reasons behind his kidnapping and relocation to 'The Village.' As such, we're kept guessing with each tantalizing morsel of new information.
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People who added this item 307 Average listal rating (186 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
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People who added this item 1326 Average listal rating (911 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.6
Plenty of thrills and spills to spare with great episode-ending cliffhangers that are second only to that other J.J. Abrams creation Lost. Just don't think about it too hard! I love spy stories but for some reason passed this over when it aired and I didn't understand all the fuss over Jennifer Garner. Now, consider me enlightened.
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People who added this item 1484 Average listal rating (1041 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.7
Hercules spinoff was somewhat more serious due to the brooding Lucy Lawless as Xena atoning for her past sins, but still found plenty of room for chuckles from episode to episode. Lots of attractive women throughout too. Actually deserves more credit for pioneering the Girl Power movement two years before Buffy reached a much wider network audience as opposed to Xena's obscure late-night syndication slot.
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People who added this item 113 Average listal rating (80 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.4
You won't read any review of Lexx without encountering the word 'weird' or 'strange'. Imaginations ran wild in the creation of this sci-fi series that, more than any other, feels truly alien. An undead assassin, a love slave with reptilian DNA, a disembodied robot head, and a cowardly security guard in control of the most powerful ship in the two universes form our unlikely band of 'heroes' through adventures born from bizarre, often gruesome ideas and sealed-in-an-oil-drum-at-the-bottom-of-a-mineshaft dark comedy. Definitely not for all tastes, or probably even most tastes.
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Terrific cast and crafty crimes elevated this precinct of Baltimore detectives far above the ranks of the standard police/investigative drama. Andre Braugher as Frank Pembleton gets my vote for most memorable TV cop.
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People who added this item 229 Average listal rating (151 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7.1
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People who added this item 205 Average listal rating (153 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.5
Groundbreaking cop drama that added a new dimension of gritty realism to network TV, including the premiere of both shakey cam and bare butts. I wasn't a regular viewer, but whenever I happened upon an episode I usually got pulled in.
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People who added this item 335 Average listal rating (161 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.5
Doesn't receive nearly enough credit or attention for its faithful yet inspired rendering of the Arthurian legend. I've never liked Joseph Fiennes before, however his idiosyncratic spin on Merlin as a wise, sly, tortured sorcerer sets him apart alongside Eva Green's fiery lust for power as conniving Morgan le Fey. Great sets, costumes, and accurate period detail emboss an England in search of a leader.
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People who added this item 72 Average listal rating (52 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.4
Too "heady" for network TV back in the '80s (haha), and yet the themes - erosion of the community, invasion of the media into personal lives and influencing our thoughts - are even more pertinent today. Should have been given a chance.
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People who added this item 780 Average listal rating (572 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 8.3
Smart sentimentality, and not all the memories are fuzzy in this cleverly crafted family comedy/drama. Great soundtrack, which unfortunately is the reason the series is so late in arriving to DVD. Added bonus: I once got a funny personal tweet in reply from Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper) herself, how cool is that?
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Admittedly the show isn't that great - why else would it be 33rd, right? - but still gains a place because of Tia Carrere's megahottie archaeologist Sydney Fox. The first season is fun escapist fare, the second suffers from some bad writing, and the third loses a key ingredient in Lindy Booth as the delightfully ditzy receptionist.
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I can't say whether this branch of Law & Order was significantly better since I didn't watch the others other than Criminal Intent, but I couldn't help but be occasionally drawn into these case files due to the compelling stories and sympathetic yet no-nonsense demeanor of co-star Mariska Hargitay.
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I think the title speaks for itself. I also think that while comedy is harder to pull off than drama, an exceptional drama series seems to be more difficult to develop than an exceptional comedy series. Go figure.

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