Posted on May 25, 2010
Yep. It’s Tuesday. No LOST tonight. Sure. You could rewatch the series. You could write down all the incosistencies, all the unanswered questions in your sweaty notebook. Or you could grow up and start looking around for new television to watch. If there is one thing LOST has taught us, it is that television doesn’t only have to be something that idly entertains you for a couple minutes every evening. It can make you think; it can be something you talk about and analyze with your friends. Here are 5 shows that I think fit in that category.
I think the most telling point of Twin Peaks is that every once and a while the first episode of this show will show up on ’100 Movies You’ve Never Seen’ lists and stuff like that. The best way to describe this show is cinematic. Yes, it was directed by David Lynch, the same guy that did Eraserhead and Mulholland Drive. In this series, he takes on Small Town America. It follows the investigation by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachland) investigating the death of prom queen Laura Palmer. The show mixes Tibetan Spiritualism, ghosts and a deep mystery. For those of you who grew up like me in a small town, this show definitely captures the weird relationships between people who are surrounded by wilderness. After you watch this show, you will not stop seeing references to it. It will make you think, and it is easily one of the most entertaining shows put on.
Epic is the only way to describe this 1986 miniseries produced by the South African Broadcasting Corporation. This show, based off of the writings of British traders who dealt with the Zulu king, Shaka, between 1816 and 1828 chronicles the rise and fall of the Zulu kingdom alongside the imperialism of British Victorian England. I don’t even want to think of how much this production costs, because they constructed multiple kraals (villages), choreographed battles and celebrations and gave, probably, tens of thousands of men and women costumes. It may be tough to find this one. My friend was lucky to get it from the donations bin at a library.
Mankind cannot gain something without giving something up in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy’s First Law of Equivalent Exchange. In Full Metal Alchemist, you inhabit a world where men and women can move matter around indiscriminately. The story follows two brothers on their quest to find the Philosophers Stone but they get caught up in a battle between forces that they could not have comprehended. Here is an anecdote that sums up the show, in my opinion. I would go over to my friend’s place to hang out, and sometimes I would be reluctant to watch Full Metal, because I thought they were 44 minutes. Turns out that the episodes were only 22 minutes, but they were so chocked full of action, that I thought they were longer. Each episode never failed to blow my mind and this was the first time I have ever watched a show where each episode is better than the one before it. It also gets my blessing as the best series ending I have ever watched.
I’m in the middle of this one right now. Written by the same dude that did ‘The Wire’, it is based on the book of the same name by Evan Wright. It follows a Rolling Stone reporter who is embedded with a humvee with the US Marines during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Honest would be the best adjective to describe it. Marines rated it highly. Every episode is an hour and eight minutes long, and each one feels like its own movie.
5. The Wire
Seriously if you haven’t watched ‘The Wire’, do it now. Following the drug trade in Baltimore, it is more of a portrait of the city. Each season examines a corrupt section of the port. The dialogue is solid, and most of the cast was local. The most common regret of people who have watched it is that they can never watch it with fresh eyes again. It also has the best explanation of the rules of Chess that I have ever heard.
Comedy Option: The Venture Brothers
The Venture Brothers is a study in failure. It’s basically Johnny Quest, but way, way funnier. It follows the Venture family as they do super science and go on adventures. Honestly, it’s really a hard show to describe. The writers have an obvious love for music and pop culture in general. You could go crazy trying to decipher all the cultural references. This isn’t like Family Guy, where you get slapped in the face with them. This is subtlety at its best my friend. However, I would say at the same time that this show is not very subtle. Judge for yourself. Watch more than one episode. Many people have watched several episodes, not liked it, and then watched one more and then it becomes their fave.
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