I have always loved a good story. Growing up, I read so many books my brother decided it was worth teasing me about. Rightfully so since I owned a t-shirt that had ‘Book Woman’ emblazoned on the front. Talk about really sealing the deal in nerdland. With attire like that, who needs enemies? That shirt was one big bullseye. To this day, I am still a voracious reader (sans ridiculous t-shirts) and I’m thankful for it. I feel like my ability to visually devour books helped me throughout my school years and also in my adult life. I’m (almost) certain I am more articulate because of it. Please do not read this piece and hold me to that statement.
So, back to stories. I love a good story so it was fairly natural for me to segue that love into a love of film. Film is merely a story on the big screen. I’ve always adored the feeling of sitting in the movie theatre and getting lost in whatever story is unfolding before my wide eyes and buttery fingers. There’s nothing like it. I simply fell in love: the dimming of the lights, the score, the dialogue, the pieces of humanity in each different story being told.
All that being said, what I’ve always had a harder time getting into is TV. TV has never truly captured my attention the way films or books have. Sitcoms have never been my thing. Dramas can be alright but they just never fully did it for me. When I began working in the film industry, I felt like I never even wanted to think about branching out into the land of TV. Film is where I was and film is where I would stay. TV just wasn’t something I felt I wanted to explore. I had seen plenty of TV shows and none had ever truly reeled me in. However, in the past few years the tide has begun to turn and TV is playing on an entirely different level than it used to. Movies seem to be struggling when it comes to depth and originality while TV is soaring and taking audiences to a million different places. I like going places. Complex characters are taking shape, storylines are growing deeper and concepts are becoming more intellectual. TV has finally got my attention.
So recently when life presented me with more time than I knew what to do with (that is a WHOLE different story altogether), I began delving into TV series that I previously may not have had the time for. I wanted to share some of my favorites with you. Some are new, some are not. All are worthy of your viewing. Each is easily accessible. Some of these shows and stories have touched me so deeply, they have changed my outlook on my career. Not only am I now completely open to TV, it has made it abundantly clear to me that I want to be writing my OWN stories. Basically, it’s a big damn deal. It’s been a life changer.
So let’s do it.
The Wire – I actually watched all the seasons of The Wire several years ago and was immediately a goner. It never received the accolades it should have while it was airing but, as in most amazing things, people finally began to catch on. It’s social awareness and phenomenal writing are two exemplary aspects. If you want honest grit and to view the underbelly of certain real life beasts, watch this show. The Wire was and is groundbreaking, period.
Breaking Bad – When I first was introduced to Breaking Bad, I thought ‘A science teacher who starts making meth? Come on.’ Then I started watching. It’s characters are incredibly unique. It’s storyline is the complicated and heart wrenching plight of human beings. It’s different. It’s deep. It’s novel. And, so much more. It’s so worth your time.
Downton Abbey – I’ll admit I have a soft spot for period pieces. I love the idea of what goes into making them. Even with having worked on them before, it’s always mind blowing to me. The effort it takes to get the smallest piece of the puzzle accurately depicted is grand. Downton is superb because you get to see a world through two different lenses and all of the juicy stuff in between. It’s brilliant.
Damages – I hadn’t heard much about Damages. I knew Glenn Close and Rose Byrne both starred in it but that was about it. My parents actually suggested I check it out. It’s twisted and dark and incredibly smart. I’m not sure I’ve seen a series with so many unexpected turns. As soon as you think you have a grasp on what is happening, you are baffled once again. It keeps you guessing and keeps the mind reeling. It’s like a rollercoaster for the brain. Who doesn’t like a brain rollercoaster?
Lost – I was absent during the whole Lost phenomenon. I know that people went absolutely gaga for Lost. Superfans sprouting up here, there and everywhere. Somehow I missed that boat. So, when it became available on Netflix I started a marathon. 6 seasons in 3 weeks. Since I had missed the boat before, I decided to build an entirely new one just for myself. HOLY SH*T. That’s all I’m saying.
Friday Night Lights – I saved the best for last. I love FNL. I am pretty sure if I HAD to have a list, it sits in the number one spot. I could go on for days about how amazing FNL is. It’s so much more than a show about football. I might have to dedicate an entire post to Tim Riggins and then a post after that to Coach Taylor. Honestly, this show changed the way I looked at writing and storytelling. It’s so authentic I immediately felt connected in a way I never have. I want to squeal with the amount of love I have for this show. And, my friends, I am no squealer. I am currently watching the entire show, every season all the way through, for a second time. It might be even better this go round.
So, there you have it. That’s my list. It doesn’t have to be your list but I highly recommend you give any or all of these shows a try. It will be well worth your time. It’s storytelling at it’s finest and, as you already know, I love me a good story.
Image via LucidYacht