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A string of emotions get played with and nothing can replicate that experience other than being there first-hand.
So, with that, I bring you my most coveted list of breathtaking fictional content.
From sub-plots being properly answered to meaningful character development throughout the series to lighting and cinematography choices being considered, I was there watching intently, scrubbing frame by frame to ensure continuity and flow.
Real, raw and as close to the source as it gets, I try to get in-depth with TV series that transcend the ages and help us better understand the human psyche just a little more.
If we had to explain ourselves to Aliens to help them not want to terraform our planet and reap it of its resources, I think this list is our best "fictional hope" for survival.
These series contain some of the best acting, monologues and script-writing I've ever watched. They are held to the highest standard of judgement and they were meticulously researched with serious merit for enunciation on 'growth, change and development of human emotion, plots and sub-plots.'
All to determine the most bad-ass, innovative, earth-shakingly RAW material I could present. Complex subtleties weigh through all of these picks with many great metaphors and imagery of events, both past and present. Displayed wonderfully with unmatched cinematography coupled with a brilliant delivery.
These TV series do one of two things;
- they either do an amazing job of helping you escape reality as they consume your neural-impulses for a few weeks,
UPDATE DEC 2015:
So... It's been a while, I get that. So much production has happened since I've last updated this list. TV is the new "movie" and people are realizing a better story can be told through episodic television than it can a film (albeit, I still lovvvve film). I guess I should start with what I've removed and why I thought I'd make room to add some more "current" productions.
First off, I removed Firefly. A few reasons being; it only made it through one season and all the others were at least 3. So, I think I'm going to count from 3 seasons minimum (given the current competition) for this list, unless it's a mini-series.
Also, I don't do honourable mentions because that list would be to far and vast. There is so much good content out there that I cannot even begin to write about it without knowing I'll lose you guys by page 72 of the list...
Secondly, I removed Carnivale. It made it to only 2 seasons and was cancelled, which sucked, because in my opinion, it had the premise/themes to be one of the greatest shows ever produced, honestly, it's quite a masterpiece, cut short in its prime.
Thirdly, I've removed The Newsroom. While brilliant, it was also cut down in its prime. It brought about important world events in an entertaining and approachable manner that everyone could watch while maintain good character development throughout the series. It however, wasn't "groundbreaking" per se, considering there were series before this using this structure.
I also wanted to mention another thing regarding a few more of the "greats". First being, I get you all love Band of Brothers and people are giving me flak for not including it, but, quite honestly it was that or Generation Kill for ground-breaking military movies and I feel that GK took the win for creating a slightly more engaging and raw series and didn't want to dilute the pool with two war series when everything else is pretty unique to its genre.
The same reason, more or less, goes for "Breaking Bad" -- which didn't make my list and will-not because, while fun and brilliant, it was, at times, missing sub-plots and not tying up certain characters story-lines as well as some of these series. It had strong drama a little shock and awe and comedic elements that were new and exciting, but, it just didn't really irk my heart strings as much as I hoped it would beyond the "cool factor."
Also, I might be slightly inebriated, but, I have to mention one of the greatest primetime network TV series, beyond "The Goodwife."
They call it Homeland, and season 5 sold me. Finally, a premise that relates to what is really going on in the world, not just some fantastical premise that is so close to reality, but not (but so close that it skews reality to a biased pov).
Revolution: Dreamcatcher (2014)
Ep 15, s.2 - Beautiful Creativity... Finally Challenging the Status Quo
Finally Revolution is amping up the volume, the intellect, the script- writing and I LIKE IT.
Mainstream/Broadcast TV (not specialty networks) has to cater to a PG13 audience... It's hard for adults to truly immerse themselves in these TV series that are meant to be escapes from reality but are so fake you cringe at the sub-plots...
Revolution started off pretty darn slow s.1 and has slowly gained momentum to build into a complex and wonderfully depicted dystopian apocalyptic society.
If you guys marathon this series, you will enjoy it. It's a pleasant and unique story that isn't demented like LOST, not going anywhere...
Syfy Original with Potential but Urine Soaked Delivery
Where to begin?
We're on the Syfy channel are we not? The foremost network for Science Fiction on the entire planet. Easily the most popular with the largest viewership...
Yet, I sit here and watch in utter disappointment for lack of reasonable execution of any of their post-production work.
The first two episodes had wonderful sound composition, mixing and effects that went downhill as episodes went on. Their niche, similar to that of BioShock entering the gaming industry was gone by the 4th episode.
I cannot put into words how dissatisfied I am by this series. When you have a network supported by a company that gross's BILLIONs (not millions) in revenue and that output such trash visual effects....
Have you all noticed how bad the greenscreen spill is? Yikes. Watch on a 70" and it's almost comedic.
Such a brilliant idea flushed down the drain due to their lacklustre ability to deliver true and raw content, instead they fluff it for the nonintellectual masses that have to comply with the PG-13 rating...
Good content cannot be made like this, ever. Challenge me otherwise on a show that has received critical acclaim for pushing boundaries, besides a doctor series... you cannot.
Sad times we live in when networks just don't get it... literally, decades of experience and they still cannot placate the people asking for quality....
The Switch (2010)
How Dare They...
Jennifer and my Jason have let me down significantly. They sold out and did the worst popcorn piece since Channing Tatum and Rachel in 'The Vow'.... What is going on in middle America with ALL STAR CAST and HORRIBLE SCRIPTS. Degrading, rushed and unbelievable pieces of garbage. I was so angry after watching this, I thought, Grandma's sure, senile dysfunctional inebriates, sure.
This is not heart-warming, this is pure satire written from a writer whom doesn't even know first-hand. PATHETIC Hollywood/NY not doing research and hiring proper script supervisors/writers.
I love these two actors with my soul (they are both so damn talented and they sold out) and I ask myself, what brought them to such a bad decision. This film, albeit, may have read beautifully to them in a script when they were sitting in their 15mm mansions but once the camera's lit up, all hell broke lose and you were left with a torrent of horrendously acted out scenes that didn't feel legit.
To that average boring American, this might have worked, to those that are just looking to pass time, sure, BUT for goodness sake, for anyone that ACTUALLY APPRECIATES good cinema, TURN AWAY. Do not waste two hours of this chalky spoon-fed cabbage. If you get a lift from this, you are truly simple minded. Tune into Women's network or something of the equivalent that does not even stimulant your brain synapses firing and you'll feel more nourished...
Setting and Cinematography WERE PATHETIC. How do you hire such high-end actors and then put out such a piece of garbage. How do the producer(s) or director sign off on this POS. How is there not any innovative nothing?
Cut and dry polished turd.
Enjoy it if it's free. If you paid for it, you're part of the problem.
The Vow (2012)
Desperation Never Wins
Don't get me wrong, I love Channing Tatum and Rachael McAdams but this is the most unrealistic piece of bull I've ever watched. The film-work, the cinematography, all of it beautiful. Chicago, the sites, the settings, the environment, all the making of a gorgeous film but never ever ever ever does these even play to the slightest of realities. Based on true events purposely embellished to sell a script.
Add a few sexy songs to try and set the mood but no, let's be real. But the desperation in this film bleeds pity. It's chaotic tales that we all wish were true but its not.
I know film-making is meant to be make-believe but don't portray two gorgeous people in circumstances that would never pan out. If you GOO*GLE this and check out the real characters. They do not even resemble ANYTHING remotely close to these two beauty's. NOT THE SAME.
8/10 Cinematography. 8/10 Cast and Acting. 3/10 Screenplay/Writing
What more can I say besides when you put a sexy cast like this together you need to play to the realities of North Americans for them to truly connect. Unfortunately at 26 years of age, and a lot of experience in the dating field this is just benign crap and I'm in a happy relationship.
Watch at your own peril or forever succumb to fake Hollywood B.S. that feeds into the plasticity of morrow years.
Then I started reading the reviews. I am so disappointed in most Americans it's sinister. If you see the international reviews, its below 4 stars. If you read the Americans its above 6. How are you guys so used to spoon-fed B.S. that you settle for something so pathetically mediocre that with that budget, you'd pee roses.
Do any of the IMDb reviews take into consideration actual film-making? NOT IN THE SLIGHTEST. Therefore, MOST (95%) review's are incomplete and unsubstantial with misleading information. Given this budget and the cast, I expect clockwork, not miss-edited fragmentation that placates to mo.ons under the 100IQ taboo.
Falling Skies (2011)
How is TV still progressively getting worse?
DreamWorks Television & TNT, sigh & why... my first and only reaction to this series.
At the very least I expect DreamWorks TV to throw a little bit more into their visual effects budget, seriously. Or even the script... Instead they just spend it aimlessly to hire 10 producers, 14 archaic exec producers and approx. 23 associate producers, (there's your frickin' budget).
After watching episode six of Falling Skies & having read thousands of reviews for years on here I figured its my time to comment because I'm so blown away by how bad TNT & Dreamworks did with this series.
It's a hybrid of Jericho (the aftermath and re-gathering of a community of people) & Outcasts (humanity lost Earth, fighting for survival - great UK series cancelled after s1), but not near as good.
It's character driven because their writers cannot pen a harmonic blend of sci-fi mixed with drama to save their life. Instead they turn it into a family drama where dialogue is slow and there is absolutely no complexity to this series.
Hell! Why not put it on MTV with some music dub'd over top and call it artsy. Why is this not on Lifetime Network or daytime TV? TNT+DreamWorks TV also seems to allocate their entire budget towards the cast and one prosthetic alien that they tend to re-use over and over and over and over so that they don't have to expend it on VFX.... Who is your moronic producer(s) thinking that one prosthetic alien can provide dynamic, action filled shots, it's 2011 guys, kids are OCD, ADD, ADHD and just plain wet for better content.
Any action they engage in is sub-par and almost always contained within one set location. The visual effects & CGI are not coordinated with the actual TV series, ie. you have photons that magically shoot from an alien mech that stuns one single child at the end of the show but when these aliens fight a human army the entire 3 episodes prior to this event they can't manage to kill any of the soldiers nor fire anything other than what seems basically exactly like human ammunition.
But the bit that gets me is how they hype it up to be this SciFi, Action/Drama but in all entirety its really a family drama that promotes that crucial parent/child bond.
Don't expect much. In fact, having no expectation will allow you to sit through most of it.
Polar Storm (2009)
Exciting yet predictable, fun yet easily missed clinical errors. Delirious and bleek but elegant for a budget Sci-Fi Movie of the Week.
Well, this was a fun film all and all. Jack Coleman did a great job in one of his first lead roles in a feature film, like a really good job. Apart from that, the rest of the cast were great too, I particularly liked the scene of the mugger car jacking them in broad daylight, well played.
For the budget, 9/10.
Overall, 5.5-6, because like many said, it has too many loopholes and the continuity team could have briefed over this script a few more times, hell a joint smoking monkey could have fixed some of the errors, but one writers bad attempt at an exciting action scene might be a visual effects artists opportunity of a lifetime, or an actors golden shot for their reel.
The humour is far and few between, but it has its moments and it's pretty genuine, for the most part.
Enjoy it as a fun B budget disaster movie of 2009.