So, it’s flu season. And that means that some of us are going to be bed-ridden with illness. It sucks; there’s no way around it. But if you’re going to be stuck in bed, you might as well watch some good TV. You know, the kind of series that sucks you in and so much you almost forget you’re sick. Here, in no particular order, are my 5 favorite current TV series.
Downton Abbey follows the lives of the people who live and work in a large British Aristocratic home, called Downton Abbey. The Crawley family lives “upstairs” and their large staff lives “downstairs” but the show focuses equally on both. It’s intelligent, well-written, and full of plot twists. You’ll love some of the characters passionately, and loathe others just as much (cough, cough, Thomas). If you miss a minute, you’ll miss a lot. And nobody will blame you if you need to make a written list of characters- the cast is enormous.
Walter White is living the average Suburban life. He teaches high school Chemistry, has a wife, and a kid, and another one on the way. Then he finds out he’s dying of cancer and everything changes dramatically. Worried about how his family will get on without him, he partners with a former student (and current meth cook) and applies his scientific prowess to producing the best, purest meth possible. The cash starts pouring in, but you can’t flood the market with the best meth around and expect that no one will notice. With the money come the problems- this show really keeps you guessing.
You know what’s weird about Mad Men? I love the show but I hate all the characters! The fashion is gorgeous, the writing is fantastic, and the story line is divine. It takes place in 1960 and stars Don Draper, the hot-shot creative director at a fancy Madison Avenue ad agency. He has a big house, two kids, a beautiful wife, and a huge secret. Pour yourself a cocktail and get sucked into the drama at Sterling Cooper.
Homeland is my latest obsession. It stars Claire Daines, a devoted CIA agent who has intel that a POW has “turned” [into a terrorist]. When, after 8 years in captivity, most of America welcomes Sgt. Brody home as a hero, Carrie is suspicious. She’s convinced that he’s a national security threat, but it’s hard to prove when he’s rubbing elbows with the US Vice President. In her quest to uncover the truth, she complicates things further by falling in love with him. This show puts a human face in terrorism like I couldn’t have believed was possible. I literally watched 2 seasons in a single weekend. Ah-maze-zing.
It’s hard to talk about Girls without sparking memories of Sex and the City (a moment of silence, please). Girls is about four female friends who are fresh out of college and living in New York. The protagonist may be a writer, but she is no Carrie Bradshaw. She isn’t thin or glamorous or even employed… but she is worth watching as she crashes through life like Helen Keller in a pottery store. Honestly, it’s not as addictive as the four shows above, but it is really good and painfully realistic.