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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 2808 Average listal rating (1918 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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 1627 Average listal rating (1092 ratings) 7.8 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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 3401 Average listal rating (2282 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 9.2
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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 524 Average listal rating (296 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.3
Orphan Black (2013)
Secretive corporation of mad scientists have conducted human experiments for decades, and a small group of female subjects sharing a specific connection band together and fight back to reclaim their lives. Unique high concept thriller filled with twists and turns remains anchored in reality due to extraordinary performances by this cast. Top of this mountain stands Tatiana Maslany who incredibly plays 5 of the major roles, and at least another 10 characters during the series, each with their own clearly defined identity and mannerisms. It’s truly amazing to watch and a joy when her characters share a scene together, filling each role so convincingly that at some point I guarantee you will forget it’s the same person acting with herself. Genius-level television that elicits gasps, laughs, tears, and an enduring affection for all the sestras.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 3511 Average listal rating (2362 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.6
Dexter (2006)
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?"
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 171 Average listal rating (110 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.5
The Expanse (2015)
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People who added this item 886 Average listal rating (525 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1
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People who added this item 268 Average listal rating (192 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8.2
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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 4985 Average listal rating (3688 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.3
Lost (2004)
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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 695 Average listal rating (428 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.3
Homeland (2011)
I'll argue that Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, a brilliant bipolar CIA agent, represents the best dramatic performance by any woman on TV, ever. A character crammed with complex motivations, I alternately want to comfort or strangle her depending on the situation, but Danes always makes her believable in every context. Stonefaced Mandy Patinkin as her mentor makes a perfect levelheaded foil to her impetuous nature, and the show has provided some of the most shocking moments I've experienced.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 2164 Average listal rating (1603 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 8.2
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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 2675 Average listal rating (1952 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.6
The X Files (1993)
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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 3264 Average listal rating (2453 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8.2
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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 2230 Average listal rating (1543 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.9
True Blood (2008)
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People who added this item 2192 Average listal rating (1634 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 8.4
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People who added this item 496 Average listal rating (294 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.6
The 100 (2014)
Exceptional futuristic survival action drama with a terrific cast of, well, hundreds with a key character mortality rate that rivals Game of Thrones. There’s never a dull moment where the surprises and intrigue keep building across the seasons as we learn more about what actually happened on Earth before and after it was consumed by nuclear destruction. It’s Lost with more focus and without the nonsense, the are few shows that I love watching more than The 100.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 403 Average listal rating (273 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.7
Felicity (1998)
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People who added this item 999 Average listal rating (703 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.'
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 32 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 6
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People who added this item 821 Average listal rating (568 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4
Dark Angel (2000)
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 553 Average listal rating (339 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.9
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People who added this item 929 Average listal rating (589 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.5
Spartacus (2010)
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 1776 Average listal rating (1143 ratings) 7.8 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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 1787 Average listal rating (1189 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.8
Twin Peaks (1990)
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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 1272 Average listal rating (745 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.7
Rome (2005)
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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 825 Average listal rating (452 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.6
Deadwood (2004)
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People who added this item 265 Average listal rating (145 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.4
The Americans (2013)
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People who added this item 2175 Average listal rating (1617 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.1
Charmed (1998)
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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 1173 Average listal rating (894 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.3
Star Trek (1966)
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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 518 Average listal rating (352 ratings) 7.5 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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 1489 Average listal rating (942 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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 562 Average listal rating (314 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.6
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People who added this item 1174 Average listal rating (867 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.8
Ally McBeal (1997)
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People who added this item 382 Average listal rating (284 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.6
Moonlighting (1985)
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People who added this item 1370 Average listal rating (1002 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.9
Monk (2002)
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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 339 Average listal rating (185 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.9
The Borgias (2011)
People who added this item 282 Average listal rating (198 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.5
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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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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 214 Average listal rating (143 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.4
The Prisoner (1967)
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 1857 Average listal rating (1237 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 9
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People who added this item 1330 Average listal rating (958 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.6
Alias (2001)
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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 1158 Average listal rating (654 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 9.3
People who added this item 796 Average listal rating (515 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.6
The L Word (2004)
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 1523 Average listal rating (1099 ratings) 6.2 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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 129 Average listal rating (91 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.3
Lexx (1997)
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.
DrStrangeblog's rating:
People who added this item 106 Average listal rating (59 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.5
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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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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