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Popular writer Hank Moody struggles through writer's block, a mid-life crisis, raising a daughter in Hollywood and his endless battles with sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.
House M.D. (2004)
The product of his upbringing (loveless parents) and circumstances (a blood clot in his leg, leading to surgical repair, leaves him in eternal, opiate-dampened pain), House is a genius of a diagnostician. His anti-social behavior and addiction to opiates (not always intertwined issues) are his downfall and his self-destructive ways are often projected onto those who love him and those he mentors through the path to becoming a physician.
House of Cards (1990)
A hilarious (if you understand British politics and humour) but equally dark modern-day take on Machiavelli. The late Ian Richardson is positively giddy as he breaks the fourth wall and lets the viewers in on his malevolent machinations. The series continued with "To Play The King" and "The Final Cut," based upon the Michael Dobbs trilogy.
House of Cards (2013)
The Americanized version of the UK's House of Cards. Someday, I'll renew my Netflix membership and watch it.
Rescue Me (2004)
The events of 9/11 initially took the lives of 343 firefighters. I say "initially" because, even to this day, the toxic stew of jet fuel, building materials and vaporized body parts from Ground Zero has killed or disabled hundreds more in the ensuing years. But there's also another toxic stew in play on Rescue Me: survivors' guilt, a post-9/11 FDNY with a decimated command structure, and the alcohol and drugs to get through the little daily horrors of being a firefighter. The role of Tommy Gavin is the embodiment of all of this, played by Denis Leary (who has some FF bona fides: his cousin was one of the "Worcester 6" who died battling a warehouse fire in 1999).
Sons of Anarchy (2008)
The Sopranos (1999)
The Godfather trilogy started our fascination/love affair with the Mafiosi, Goodfellas brought it back to prominence in 1990, and The Sopranos serialized it for immortality! Absolute power still corrupts absolutely!
Two and a Half Men (2003)
On the surface, it's an update on The Odd Couple (which was also recently updated, to mixed results). Take a wealthy, drunken reprobate and team him up with his responsible, down-at-the heels, professional brother and hilarity ensues! Who knew life would ultimately imitate art? Winning!
The Young Ones (1982)
The original Bad Boys from Britain! I've never been able to watch more than an episode or two because it so rarely pops upon cable TV these days!
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