A Tour of my iTunes library – TV edition

Posted: January 5, 2014 in Miscellaneous

Following on from my post yesterday on the movies I have in my iTunes library I’d like to share with you the TV shows in which I have chosen to invest my hard earned cash.  I would also like to direct your attention to a post I wrote some while ago on what I consider quality drama.  In most cases the shows I have purchased fall into that category.  So without further ado, let’s get on with it.

Battlestar Galactica.  This is Ron Moore’s updating of the classic space opera about the humane survivors of a genocidal robot attack.  Moore had the good sense to ground this series in real and relatable characters who were portrayed by excellent actors.  The whole drama stemmed from humans dealing with other humans and their interrelationships as well as situations well beyond their experience amidst the chaos of struggling for survival.  Moore’s next project is bringing Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series to the small screen, and given how much I enjoyed Galactica I am very excited to see this.

Doctor Who.  Regular readers of my blog will know that I have recently gone through a real Doctor Who phase.  I’ve always enjoyed the series but with the 50th anniversary of the show’s being celebrated with special events, my interest level was even higher than normal.  I have all the seasons and specials since the reboot and each of the actors playing the Doctor has brought something unique to the part.  I look forward to seeing what Peter Capaldi will do with the role.  I also have edited highlights of Classic Who – the best episodes from each of the eight pre reboot Doctors. You may wish to check out my post on celebrating Doctor Who.

Downton Abbey.  The dramas of the upper class Crawley family still makes for compelling Sunday night viewing.  Again the drama is rooted in relatable characters dealing with ordinary human issues such as love, loss and work troubles even if the setting is somewhat grander than that of most watchers.

Elementary.  I’ve really enjoyed this updating of the Sherlock stories with Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu in the roles of Holmes and Watson respectively.  Miller plays a very vulnerable but intelligent Holmes and the relationship between him and Liu’s Watson is one of the highlights of the series.

Sherlock.  Clearly, the Arthur Conan Doyle stories are great material because another series I have on season pass is the BBC’s excellent Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.  The scripting of this series is just so smart and intelligent it is a joy to watch, particularly in the hands of such accomplished actors as Freeman and Cumberbatch.

Game of Thrones.  HBO’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire has received both critical and viewer acclaim with good reason.  Martin’s books provide a strong foundation for an adaptation and while the scriptwriters and show runners have made the occasional misstep (dragon napping?   DRAGON NAPPING?  Just. No.) in general this is faithful to the books.  I’m sure GRRM was having a nice little snicker to himself; originally a screenwriter, he turned to novel writing because the visual media hadn’t yet caught up with his imagination and only in novel form could he be free of those limitations.  Now of course, Benioff and Weiss have to translate his vision to the screen!  I have both currently available seasons and have season 3 on preorder.  

Lost.  In its heyday this was must-see television.  It was a fantastic blend of character studies, mystery and the supernatural and made for compelling viewing. It lost its way for a bit in the third and fourth seasons when it started raising far more questions than it was answering, but the showrunners’ decision to set a series end date a couple of years in advance helped focus the show.  Sadly the ending didn’t quite live up to all its hype, but generally speaking this was a great show, and I own all six seasons.

Lost in Austen.  This is a four part comedy drama in which a modern day Jane Austen aficionada finds herself trapped in the world of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  She has to find a way to return to her normal life while avoiding derailing the plot of her favourite novel.  The script is intelligent, witty and well acted and a lot of fun.

Once Upon a Time.  ABC’s take on fairytales meet real world.  While I don’t consider this an example of quality drama in the vein of Sherlock or Downton Abbey, it’s still a lot of fun and very watchable thanks to an excellent cast.  

Pride and Prejudice.  Jane Austen.  Colin Firth in a wet shirt.  Need I say more?

24.  In its time Fox’s real time counterterrorist drama was the master of the unexpected twist.  It’s real time format was novel and well done, even if at times it stretched the timing somewhat.  However it suffered from trying to outdo itself.  I mean, where do you go in season eight when you exploded a nuclear bomb in season 6?

So here you have it – my favourite television shows.  Which ones have I missed?

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