This article is written by guest writer Seth Hecox of Becoming The Archetype
There are many TV shows worth watching. Some of them are uber-popular and universally adored (like the Andy Griffith Show). Others are only appreciated by those fortunate enough to be initiated (like Freaks and Geeks). But there are five TV shows that I think are absolutely fantastic and that everyone should watch, regardless of race, creed, lineage, IQ or grooming ability. These are those five shows:
The Walking Dead
I don’t care if you like zombie flicks. This show is the top of the heap, cream of the crop show of current television. Frank Darabont (who directed Shawshank Redemption) cast a vision so large in scope and so profound that even after he left (he only directed the first season), The Walking Dead shows that it was built on extremely high artistic integrity. There are zombies. They are scary. I happen to like that. But there is also a great diorama of humanity present in this story. The characters are believable. The story is superb and the pictures it paints of humanity are something to behold. Get in on it now before Season 3 starts and you’re left in the dust.
It only ran three seasons, but it was a comedy-packed three seasons that almost seems perfect in a way. It was so good, in fact, that there have been constant rumors of a movie or of more seasons – none of which have completely materialized yet – but season 4 seems to be a almost a guarantee for 2013. The comedy comes from a building and building of misused words, inside jokes and bizarre episodes in the lives of a family enmeshed in a financial scandal. Narrated by Ron Howard, Arrested Development is like the LOST of comedies – you have to watch all the episodes in order or else not much will make sense. Although with Arrested Development, it’s comedy you’re missing out on instead of conspiracy theories.
Hell on Wheels
If there’s been a better western-themed show on TV, I’d like to know what it is. Hell on Wheels has been a blast to watch, even though it’s only one season in. The acting is possibly the best on TV and the story here is endearing and terrifying at the same time. The characters spar with heartache over lost loved ones while simultaneously struggling to keep their heads above water in the ludicrous wild westward expansion of the first trans-continental railroad. The styling, the lighting, and the gritty quality of the filming all work together to create a reckless world in which you feel like any success by a character will most likely be coupled by some defeat or tragedy. Such is the tightly-wound, intense story of Hell on Wheels.
Since The Office has been on the air for so many seasons, most of you are familiar with the show, I’m assuming. You’ve seen Michael Scott make a fool of himself and you’ve witnessed the heartwarming and hilarious dynamic of the Scranton branch of Dunder-Mifflin. What you may not have seen is the nifty transition into a new era of The Office. As Steve Carell left the cast, everyone wondered what would happen with the story and plotline. I admit that I was concerned and am happy to say that the writers forged a new identity for the show that I found quite pleasing. I’m not saying everything is perfect; there are characters and situations I dislike. But there have been annoying characters in this show since the beginning (I’m looking at you, Meredith). Andy as the boss is refreshing and fun (although even that continues to morph) and if nothing else, you get to look forward to at least five seconds of Creed (the character, not the band) every episode.
It seems almost everyone has already made up their minds on LOST. Some people love it all the way through. Some people just didn’t like the constant plot twists and metaphysical aspect of the story. And most people liked the show until the end of the last season and just hated the way it ended. Regardless of those facts, LOST set a new standard for television. The show reached heights never before achieved on TV in terms of character development and intricacy of plot. I believe the three best characters ever created in any work of fiction (whether it’s TV, movies, books or music) all exist in LOST (John Locke, Jack Shephard and Benjamin Linus). The depths plumbed by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (the show’s creative team) leave a legacy of storytelling and character development that no other show will rival for a long time. This mythology will remain a show I hold in reverence and watch yearly for quite a long time.