I have already introduced my Husband Nik to the blog with his last Book review. Today he is back to talk about all things TV. Nik loves TV, he watches a lot of it! All different sorts of stuff, from drama series to comedy, to documentaries . I often come down stairs after I’ve finished work of an evening and find him watching some weird and wonderful programme about science or history. His brain is like a sponge and he just remembers every bit of information he has set his eyes on. Pretty annoying for someone like me who has the brain of sieve!
Today Nik is starting off his TV review series with his 3 all-time favourite TV programmes. I’d love to know what you think of his choices.
(Available on DVD Box sets and shown from time to time on Sky)
The original, and arguably best, export from America’s HBO channel. Written by David Chase, who submitted so many scripts to Hollywood he almost lost count, The Sopranos charts the rise and suspected fall of a New Jersey crime family headed by Tony Soprano (played with absolute aplomb by James Gandolfini) who whilst in therapy, manages to run a dysfunctional home life, racketeering outfit, assassinations, drug ‘businesses’ and anything else you can think of that is illegal!
At home, we have his wife, son and daughter in the suburbs – a wife that is obsessed with the material things in life and turns a blind eye to how it is paid for, a good-for-nothing son and a doting (for the first few series at least!) daughter. In therapy we see the influences his early years had on shaping a young Tony into the man he has become and we get an insight into the darker side of his psyche. The irony being that if anything, these therapy sessions are moulding Tony into a more rounded manipulator and better mobster!
Surrounded by loyal and disloyal Lieutenants, Tony does all he can to keep on the wrong side of the law, and the right side of the other crime bosses, all the while balancing his ever problematic home life with a life on the edge.
Plot turns, betrayals, murders, savage beatings, intimidation, brutality and a dark, caustic humour make The Sopranos my favourite series of all time and one I am now going to revisit once I finish The Wire (my review of that will follow!)
The Sopranos truly did pave the way for all that followed including Breaking Bad, The Wire, Mad Men and even Homeland, where producers, writers and directors were given the freedom and more importantly time, to develop characters and plots that until now had been solely for the Sit Com and Soap genres. The Sopranos was a game changer and a masterpiece, made possible by the genius of James Gandolfini, who sadly passed away in 2013.
Game of Thrones
(Sky Atlantic and Google Play Store)
Another HBO stable, Game of Thrones is based on the epic fantasy novel Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin and is set in the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos. Now, I don’t normally go for ‘Epic Fantasy’ but when I saw the trailer for this, I couldn’t resist. And am I glad I did!
Game of Thrones is simply the most epic (there it is again!) TV series that has ever been produced and follows a civil war of the Iron Throne in the Seven Kingdoms (stay with me, it’s worth it!) The action takes place between the North and South of Westeros, with noble families called such names as Lannister, Baratheon, Targaryan and Stark, each trying to outwit the next with double crossing galore! Bonds are made and broken at the drop of a hat and what look like long standing; strong relationships can be undone at the swipe of a sword!
Perhaps the best thing about Game of Thrones is the fact that main characters live and die by the sword (literally in a lot of cases!) and not even the most prominent characters are safe for long. Gasps are let out in every episode that someone you think will never perish is brutally murdered!
We are about to enter the next series of Game of Thrones (April 7th 2013) on Sky Atlantic and I cannot wait to find out what happens in this next exciting chapter. I can definitely recommend Game of Thrones to you all – just try and get past the language and the names and you will love it!
Netflix or on DVD
Breaking Bad tells the story of Walter White, High School Chemistry teacher from Albuquerque, New Mexico , who is diagnosed with lung cancer and whilst on a crystal meth drug bust ride along with his DEA officer brother-in-law Hank Schrader, meets Jesse Pinkman. Jesse is a former student of Walt’s and an accomplished Crystal Meth ‘Cook’ called Cap’n Cook!
What unfolds is a twisting, thrilling, tantalising trail of destruction that takes our two protagonists from small time drug pushers to international drug kingpins over 5 series of the most exciting plots and intertwining stories that has ever graced our screens.
The relationship between Walter (played by Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) is part tutor / pupil, part father / son and part chemist / meth cook. With the help of their Strip Mall Lawyer Saul Goodman (played by the incomparable Bob Odenkirk), they take on the might of Mexican Drug Cartels, local 2-bit gangsters, the all-powerful DEA and everything in-between.
Vince Gilligan’s (Creator) attention to detail is second to none and it is widely known that he spent 2 hours analysing and mulling over the right shade of red nail varnish for Walter’s wife’s toenails! This goes someway to emphasizing the quality of a programme completely overlooked on Channel 5 in the UK and taken up for the last series by Netflix online. The only reason the Boho household took the plunge for Netflix and what a reason indeed!
Look out for the hotly anticipated prequel series ‘Better Call Saul’ charting the rise of Saul Goodman. We for two cannot wait to see this later in 2014!
(Kelly here! I’d like to add that Breaking Bad is by far the best thing I have ever watched on TV. We were completely glued to it for 2 months and I still have a big Breaking Bad void in my life now it’s all been watched. I’m going to leave it a year or two and start all over again, it’s that good!)
- Nik will be back in a few weeks to go through some more TV reviews with us all.