(Pop)culture in real life

The best TV shows I’ve ever seen and why you should watch them too

I can’t say no to a good TV show. Guilty as charged. I love a bit of high quality TV and I can’t help it. I’ve watched LOADS of shows in my life, more than I can count to, most likely, but here are 9 (because most such lists have 10 things and I don’t like being boring) that I fell head over heels for and, in some cases, watched and rewatched many times over. With some quotes thrown in to encourage you to watch. ;)

Grey’s Anatomy

Probably no surprise to anyone who’s know me for any significant period of time. Grey’s Anatomy is definitely my favourite TV show and I’ve been faithful to it since primary school. Meredith Grey has taught me that family doesn’t have to mean blood ties, and that, no matter what happens, you can pick yourself up and face the next day, head on. I mean, that girl had her fair share of tragedies (which I won’t mention in detail in case you decide to start on this amazing, 12-seasons-and-counting journey), but after each one, she found her ground. Although not many original characters remained (I believe we now only have 4 of the original cast), the new ones that come along soon become favourites. It might seem that a 12 season TV show might not have a lot to offer, but that’s certainly not true, as I cry literally every other episode and laugh at least a few times during every hour. If you want a show that will move you, characters that will stay with you for longer and some truly phenomenal dialogues, Grey’s Anatomy is a safe bet.

Callie: Did anyone ever think you two were a couple
Meredith: No, because we screw boys like whores on tequila.
Cristina: Then we either try to marry them or drown ourselves.
Callie: Huh.

Glee

Ok, I know it’s a controversial one, as not everyone likes singing. Also, not everyone likes covers of famous songs done by a show choir. But before you run off, doubting my sanity, hear me out. Glee isn’t all about singing. Of course, they do sing a fair amount, but the quality of the singing is, in most cases, really good (just hear this version of ‘I lived’, beautiful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-va7P05S2e4). But Glee is mostly about friendship. About being different, maybe slightly weird, and that it’s ok (It really fits into the topic of my last post). Glee is slightly crazy, slightly fantasy world, but in some ways, it’s really authentic – those kids are not problem-free, they have their issues, conflicts arise, there are loves and broken hearts. And a message of the week, be it about homosexual marriages or OCD, that really makes you think. If you don’t hate on a bit of singing, Glee is a solid choice.

Rachel: I’m sorry for calling you contemptible and deplorable.
Finn: That’s okay. I didn’t even know what those words meant.

The Blacklist

A show found by accident on Netflix and an instant love. It made me gasp and pause a number of time because I just couldn’t believe the plot twist that just happened. You know those tv shows where you can foresee three scenes ahead? Well, not Blacklist. It will have you gasping and covering your mouth in shock, while at the same time admiring James Spader’s phenomenal acting. And I really do mean phenomenal. It’s slightly theatrical, granted, but also shockingly good. There are few actors this good, but James is definitely one of the best I’ve ever seen. If you need one reason to see The Blacklist, and the plot twist and great storyline don’t convince you, do it for James Spader as Raymond Reddington. Please. Just one episode, and you’ll be in love. Gaby promise.

Elizabeth Keen: A lawyer? How is that gonna help us with this?
Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington: Lawyers find and exploit loopholes. It’s what makes them so loathsome. And Marvin Gerard is the most loathsome of them all. That’s what makes him so invaluable.

Ekipa (only for those who speak Polish, unfortunately)

Before there was House of Cards (ok, not before the UK version, but before the Kevin Spacey one), there was this beauty, which, unfortunately, got cancelled after one season. But if you can get your hands on this one season, do. It is a captivating story about a brand new prime minister, a man from the outside, who is being taught the ways of highest level political game. An absolute diamond in Polish tv (probably why it was cancelled), directed by Agnieszka Holland, fantastic acting by some of the best of the best we have in our country by Vistula river, with great dialogue (you see, how I stress dialogue quality when describing these shows, that’s because of my love for words, I talk a lot).

Premier Turski: Przepraszam, a pan cały czas siedzi w tym bunkrze?
Prezydent Szczęsny: Tak, panie premierze, to jest miejsce głowy państwa w czasie sytuacji kryzysowych.

House of Cards

I don’t think there is any need to advertise it, as it has become a true classic of our times. Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood will have you covering your mouth in horror, but also wonder if it’s really how big time politics works. Amazing dialogue, frequently with braking the fourth wall (I love people breaking the fourth wall, except for Carrie Underwood in The Sex and the City, but I dislike Carrie in general), some great character dynamics as well. It’s one man’s rise to power, and he’s going to stop at nothing. It’s mesmerising, it’s fascinating, it sucks you in and doesn’t let go until you watch every last episode. If you’re looking for something to play in the background while you’re playing Candy Crush, this won’t be a good choice, but if you want a show that you will fall in love with, House of Cards is the perfect choice.

“The road to power is paved with hypocrisy and casualties. Never regret.”
-Frank Underwood

Bones

If you’ve a delicate stomach, I recommend watching the first few minutes with your eyes closed. But it’s definitely worth watching. Even though the main theme of the show is solving some really brutal murders that can sometimes make you scared of stepping a foot outside of your house, to me this shows is really about relationships. Some of them unlikely, some of them developing slowly, others an instant hit. It is also about the way a person can change. The best part to me is watching Dr Brennan/Bones develop as a person. She starts out as a cold, hard scientist, but thanks to people around her… I’d tell you, but I’d rather you watched the show. ;) Let me just tell you that her complete lack of knowledge about popular culture, and insistence on taking everything seriously, are absolutely hilarious. Also, apart from the ‘everyday murders’ (the ones they solve in every episode), there’s usually some bigger, season-long storyline, that adds to the drama.  Definite winner in my book.

Booth: You’re a smart ass, you know that?
Bones: Objectively, I’d say that I’m very smart, although it has nothing to do with my ass.

Gossip Girl

Although it’s finished now, the show will always stay close to my heart. Maybe not all seasons were good, maybe not all storylines made sense, maybe I didn’t like all of the characters. It is, however, a highly entertaining, highly engaging and very funny Sunday afternoon watch, with a beautiful love story in the background. And some really great fashion, and versatile, too, so you can choose if you’re team Blair or team Serena (for me, it’s definitely Blair, always and forever). It might not be the most realistic show, but definitely worthy of a binge watch.

Destiny is for losers. It’s just a stupid excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen.
– Blair Waldorf

Scandal 

I don’t actually know a lot of people who watch Scandal, which is a real shame, because it’s yet another brilliant drama. Created by the writer and producer of Grey’s Anatomy (the amazing Shonda Rhimes), with some truly shocking moments and, yet again, witty dialogue. The show is in a way similar to House of Cards (to the extent that I’m sometimes confused which storyline is happening in which show), as it delves deep into high level politics, but is also a bit of a crime type drama, as Olivia Pope gets high level people out of high level trouble. We are therefore split between the White House and Olivia’s firm, both of which bring different types of drama. Add to that end of season cliff hangers that will leave your jaw dropping to the floor, and you get an absolutely brilliant show. Big recommend.

Quinn: I so admire your work in the White House. It’s an honor to work for your law firm.
Olivia: We’re not a law firm. We’re lawyers but this is NOT a law firm.
Steven: Law firms are for pansies.
Olivia: We solve problems.
Abby: Manage crises, save reputations.
Quinn: It’s still an honour.

Boston Legal

Last, but definitely not the least, this long finished show. The last episode aired in 2008, but this show definitely deserves a mention. It is set in a Boston law firm and, although it might sound like yet another law drama, it’s simply, absolutely, bloody hilarious. Nothing there is entirely serious, we have lawyers dressing as flamingos for an office party (James Spader and William Shatner play a delightful duo), sexual innuendos and amazing court performances. And James Spader. You cannot say no to James Spader, this guy is in a class of his own. If you’re looking for a laugh, this is probably the best choice of the whole list.

Judge Harry Hingham: A ho-mo-sexual? That’s where we’re at now? Santa Clauses being played by ho-mo-sexuals?
Alan Shore: [mockingly] I believe “homosexual” is one word, judge. But to avoid confusion, let’s say “gay”.

Alan Shore: Let me tell you two things about myself. I too am a lawyer, I can be painfully vindictive, and I do not play fair.
Lester Tremont: That’s three things.
Alan Shore: See? Not playing fair already. And I’m just getting started.

Couldn’t settle on one quote for this one…

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