"A superb Season 1 and even better Season 2 invite comparisons with "The Sopranos" and "The Godfather." Complex and nuanced storyline, with writing so good you may want to turn on the subtitles. In an extended tour-de-force, each of the 5 seasons took on a different urban theme: the drug trade, policing, politics, unions, and schools."
"This harsh, brutal show will offend many with its bracing violence and language, but underneath lies a rich vein of lyricism. Viewers may need to see 4 or more episodes before appreciating "Deadwood.""
"Seasons 1-3 of this Emmy award-winning AMC series about a Madison Avenue advertising agency looks drop-dead gorgeous on screen and provides a fascinating trip back to Manhattan circa the early 1960s. The storylines have an ingenious structure where the various advertising campaigns "under development" reflect not only trends in '60s society but also the narrative arcs of its main characters."
""Breaking Bad" is a one-of-a-kind series that is deliriously accessible, outrageous, and hilarious at the same time. This subversive, transgressive show leads one repeatedly to ask: "Was this really on TV?" Exceptional writing and acting throughout characterize this smart, adult, controversial & funny show."
"Seasons 1-5 thrive on psychological turmoil. With its mix of "normal" & "extreme" characters, this series explores the deep fault lines that lie beneath families, relationships, and personal identity."
"This FX series stars Glenn Close as a ruthless high-powered NYC attorney. Plot twists, nonlinear storylines and top-notch acting make this series intellectually, psychologically and emotionally satisfying. The pilot episode concludes with a jaw-dropping surprise that epitomizes the series' dark and unpredictable storyline."
"This fantastic re-imagining of Sherlock as a brash young man in modern London (and Watson as a newly-returned veteran from the war in Afghanistan) charms and dazzles. Rat-a-tat-tat dialogue complements amazing visuals and dark storylines. Season 1 of this BBC series consists of 3 90-minute episodes."
"Seasons 1 and 2 of Sons of Anarchy continues the nasty, abrasive, TV-MA tradition of The Shield, combines it with the narrative of "Hamlet," and plunks it down in a Hells Angels-style motorcycle club in Northern California. Episode #8 "The Pull" catapults the series into a whole different orbit and the final 6 episodes of Season 1 (plus all of Season Two) are consistently excellent and riveting."
"This series directed by the multi-talented writer/producer/director Alan Ball (writer of film "American Beauty"; creator/producer of HBO series "Six Feet Under") is a genre mashup: Southern Gothic, vampire, serial killer, camp, Romeo & Juliet, and social satire (among others). A fun, unusual and entertaining series replete with edgy, intriguing characters."
"Seasons 1-4 of this "reimagined" Battlestar Galactica feature excellent writing and sustained interludes of sheer bravura. At its best, this series features some narrative arcs and cliffhangers that are both imaginative and spellbinding."
"This funny, lightweight show about four guys "living the life" in Los Angeles is hugely entertaining. Crosses "The Office" (from BBC) with Swingers & Spinal Tap. Seasons 1 & 2 brim with style and attitude."
"A solid show that has been widely (and justifiably) praised in reviews for its excellent writing and acting. Doesn't take on the "big ideas" to the same extent as other politics-savvy shows like The Wire, The West Wing or Deadwood but has a distinct sense of place through its evocative, gritty shooting locations in Providence."
"Best of the Rest - A second tier of "TV on DVD for people who don't watch TV": Castle, Glee, In Plain Sight, Carnivale, Friday Night Lights, CSI, Lost, The Simpsons, MI-5, Oz, The Tudors, My So-Called Life, Northern Exposure, Murder One, Boomtown, Firefly & Poirot."
"Best of the Rest (cont.): Monk, Rome, Farscape, Horatio Hornblower, The Office (BBC version), Freaks and Geeks, All Creatures Great and Small, and Prime Suspect. "Reference" section follows featuring selected DVD titles cited above."
"This comedy-drama from ABC pairs a male best-selling crime novelist with a female NYPD homicide detective. This show nods and winks at its own formulaic genre with non-stop banter between Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic that is clever, witty & bright. Fantastic writing by a team that clearly has an ear for dialogue. Whimsical & charming "PG" show with mainstream appeal."
"Fun and satiric Fox series. Each episode features at least one "set piece" involving an amazing musical performance by a show choir. Thoroughly enjoyable, this show can make you laugh, smile, dance and, above all, sing."
"Season 3 of Mad Men continues to immerse viewers in a slice of the early 1960s with its astonishing attention to detail and dazzling writing. Mad Men is a feast for the eye, the mind, and the mind's eye."
"Sons of Anarchy guns the engine and peels off from the very first episode of Season 2. This series has found its sweet spot and the talented ensemble of writers, directors and actors show every intention of keeping it there. Season Two is gritty, compelling and addictive, exploring on multiple levels the issues of transplantation, adaptation and rejection."
"Even more subversive, nuanced, funny (at times) and memorable than the very good Season One. Every episode delivers sharp writing and unforgettable situations. This series delves into human relationships, morals, and the psyche in highly provocative ways that stick with you long after the credits roll. The tone of the writing grows progressively dark and serious, with a bleak finale."
"In its second season, True Blood provides "more" of just about everything. Compared to the inaugural season, Season Two is edgier, weirder, darker, racier and more unpredictable. The storyline still works on several different levels at once, including the personal, the family/tribe, and society at large. Provocative with lots of embedded social commentary and critique."
"Sharply written and heavy with world-weariness, this USA Network series about the Witness Protection Program is surprisingly good. Deliberately different, all the way down to its location - set (and shot) in Albuquerque. Mary McCormack is fabulous in the lead role. NOTE = 2-episode "finale" disappoints, with steep nosedive into TV cliche-land."
"Glenn Close won back-to-back Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2008 and 2009 for her remarkable performances in Seasons 1 & 2 of "Damages." The plot gets a little convoluted in Season 2 - nothing is as it appears - but the ride remains eminently worthwhile."
"The first 15 episodes represent West Wing's last "good" year - creator/writer Aaron Sorkin, director Thomas Schlamme & actor Rob Lowe all left after Season 4. Season falters badly in its final third."
"The fifth year of "The Shield" features an absolutely riveting, series-long acting performance by guest star Forest Whitaker. Whitaker's complex, multi-faceted character slowly unravels before our eyes, and constitutes the most robust, nuanced individual to yet appear on "The Shield.""
"Season 3 delivers yet again: "The Wire" remains extraordinarily well-conceived and rewards close viewing for those who wish to delve into its many layers. Essentially a novel that happens to be on TV."