B list TV Series

by stormt | created - 27 Nov 2010 | updated - 1 week ago | Public

Entertaining and well produced shows with minor flaws small enough to ignore but large enough to never make this grumpy viewers A list (http://www.imdb.com/list/kFQDk5fuIYc/)


C list, tried but gave up on / fast forwarded through:

Every nordic noir ever made

12 Monkeys 30 rock Absentia Alpha House American Dad! American Horror Story (gave up mid S2, will give it another shot) Babylon Baptiste The Bay Blindspot Bloodline Bojack Hman Bosch Breaking Bad (somewhere btw S2 and S3, new season, new boss fight, sorry world...) The Bridge Broadchurch Brooklyn Nine-Nine Chuck Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (obv meta-virtuous, just not for me) Criminal Minds The Crossing Dead Lucky (DOA) Dexter (S1 was great) Designated Survivor Dietland Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency Elementary The Exorcist The Expanse Extant Falling Water F Is for Family (sorry Bill) Firefly The Flash Flesh and Bone Fringe Future Man The Girlfriend Experience Glow (sorry Mark and lovely ladies) Goliath Hanna Hand of god Hap and Leonard Happy Valley Homeland House of Cards (somewhere in S2, tried S3...) Into the Badlands It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (always?) Jack Reacher (Krasinskis cross-over day will come. Primo 2028) Justified Life in Pieces The Living and the Dead (beautiful production, stone cold story line) Lost Luther Lucifer (lamest dark lord ever) Mad Dogs Mad Men (get.on.with.it & home for dinner for once will ya) The Magicians (not a kind of magic) The Man in the High Castle (fan-tas-tic set pieces, no budget left for casting or directing though) Master of None McMafia My Name Is Earl The Mentalist The Newsroom The OA Orphan Black (UK) Outcast The Path Patriot Preacher Rogue Rome The Same Sky (Der gleiche Himmel) Scrubs Sneaky Pete Sons of Anarchy Star Trek Discovery StartUp (Why Martin Freeman, why??!) The Strain Suits Supernatural Taboo TURN The Walking Dead (clocked out somewhere around S3) The Widow Under the Dome Unforgotten Vikings. Roarrrr. (nice setup for the Norsemen spoof, sensational production, tats and hair) Wayvard Pines Z: The Beginning of Everything

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1. Carnivàle (2003–2005)

TV-MA | 55 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

During the Great Depression, an Oklahoma farm boy and a charismatic minister learn that they are key players in a proxy war being fought between Heaven and Hell.

Stars: Michael J. Anderson, Adrienne Barbeau, Clancy Brown, Debra Christofferson

Votes: 40,314

Fantastic periodic portrayal. Boring and messy storyline Total lack of humour Ridiculous incestuous Justin Iris gaaazzzing

wtf Sofie moments: sexual climax coincide with end of drought rain (really!) turning from motherless emancipated tarot girl to Christian psycho sect subject to demon bred

Miscastings, Hallmark TV movie performances: Tim DeKay (Jooonesy, limb spitter) Adrienne Barbeau (Ruthie, senior snake charmer)

2. Modern Family (2009– )

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Romance

Three different but related families face trials and tribulations in their own uniquely comedic ways.

Stars: Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell

Votes: 313,297

Nice beat, great crew, somehow gets away with any goofy slapstick idea presented.

Terrrriiible Manny Delgado kid, those lines should never have been written for any child role.

Stopped watching during season 2, tried again in S3, fast forwarding...it's over.

3. The West Wing (1999–2006)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama

Inside the lives of staffers in the West Wing of the White House.

Stars: Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney, John Spencer

Votes: 56,227

impressively complex storytelling within a standard drama series format

Too much up tempo wise crack rush talk Annoying oh-we-fixed-the-world-in-a-day-again arcs

4. 30 Rock (2006–2013)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy

Liz Lemon, head writer of the sketch comedy show "TGS with Tracy Jordan", must deal with an arrogant new boss and a crazy new star, all while trying to run a successful television show without losing her mind.

Stars: Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jack McBrayer

Votes: 104,166

Some great quirky characters, nice ensemble piece.

Challenging pace, must hold the record for most dialogue per recorded footage.

5. Arrested Development (2003– )

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy

Level-headed son Michael Bluth takes over family affairs after his father is imprisoned. But the rest of his spoiled, dysfunctional family are making his job unbearable.

Stars: Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett

Votes: 256,462

S4&5 remake missed my mark

6. Weeds (2005–2012)

TV-MA | 28 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

When a suburban mother turns to dealing marijuana in order to maintain her privileged lifestyle after her husband dies, she finds out just how addicted her entire neighborhood already is.

Stars: Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish, Alexander Gould, Kevin Nealon

Votes: 97,345

Season 4-5: Sooo, all the things that worked flawlessly in season 1-3 comes back with a sloppy vengeance and it gets worse for every episode.

Still an offbeat charmer but running out of ideas. We get to know Nancy and Andy much better though, grow up with Shane and Isabelle and suffer nicely with barking Doug. Alanis Morissette/Dr. Audra surprishingly refreshing as back in the day

Lowlights: Hunter Parrish/Silas not exactly maturing with accommodating acting chops, silly cougar Julia Bowen dream team

Celia stories loosing touch, here comes a lost daughter, a rehab, a red rebel, a lesbian wacko pyramid perfume queen and here they go again while Perkins are bashing her arms and rolling eyes every second scene.

Demián Bichir/Esteban whispering, gleaning, smoking 30 cm long cigars, omg

Guillermo! What!? Same mystery with Seychelle Gabriel/Adelita & Kate del Castillo/Pilar. Hardly colourful, completely nonsense soap storylines.

Daynah Burnett, popmatters "I want to laugh at its jokes, but its constant oscillation between vilification and victimization of its female characters leaves me frustrated, and more than a little pissed off. The women of Weeds can be bitches, but the men are typically babies. Their behavior remains unchecked and unpunished, and their characterizations are mostly sympathetic, even as they can’t decide if they want Nancy to be Mommy or MILF."

7. Enlightened (2011–2013)

TV-MA | 28 min | Comedy, Drama

A self-destructive woman who has a spiritual awakening becomes determined to live an enlightened life, creating havoc at home and work.

Stars: Laura Dern, Diane Ladd, Sarah Burns, Luke Wilson

Votes: 6,490

8. Game of Thrones (2011–2019)

TV-MA | 57 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Nine noble families fight for control over the mythical lands of Westeros, while an ancient enemy returns after being dormant for thousands of years.

Stars: Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey

Votes: 1,552,344

Big budget fantasy universe succeeds although some surprisingly big flaws sneaked in, worst of all Daenerys Xena princess warrior among savage mascara men.**

All explanation of the 4000+ pages saga and legacy is given to characters to explain (instead of voice over narrator or similar) which just about works considering the magnitude.

Final screenplay turns out as a strange mix of noble family life, generic fantasy action, generic political power play and scheming and repeatedly gratuitous sex and incestuous relations*

Meanwhile every adult character inside any house is having a glass of wine in-between lines and closing scenes with waving in, evil James Bond villain style, guardsmen/happy whores/court jesters/able servants.

Still a compelling story and impressive production and cast effort overall.

* 'Playboy-TV-style' acc. to Ginia Bellafante at NY Times http://tv.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/arts/television/game-of-thrones-begins-sunday-on-hbo-review.html ** clever & funny feminist piece on female depictions in GOT: http://tigerbeatdown.com/2011/08/26/enter-ye-myne-mystic-world-of-gayng-raype-what-the-r-stands-for-in-george-r-r-martin/


Phillip Maciak http://www.slantmagazine.com/tv/review/game-of-thrones-season-one/248

"This continent, of course, is swarming with feudal lords, traitorous schemers, prostitutes, women the lords treat like prostitutes, and women the show runners treat like prostitutes, nearly all of whom, children included, are protecting devastating secrets and itching to slit somebody, anybody's, throat. "

"...Every act of brutality, every assaulted woman, every exoticized barbarian is presented for the delectation of the audience. No prostitute appears on screen without her bosom already exposed, no transgressive sex act occurs without the frame of luxuriant tapestries or the glow of moonlight upon it. This show's historical misogyny and racism are purely aesthetic, and that's a problem we should hope this series works out on the double."

9. Homeland (2011– )

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A bipolar CIA operative becomes convinced a prisoner of war has been turned by al-Qaeda and is planning to carry out a terrorist attack on American soil.

Stars: Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Damian Lewis, Rupert Friend

Votes: 280,099

10. Top of the Lake (2013– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Obsessed with the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant girl near a freezing lake in New Zealand, a brave detective will find herself up against small-town secrets and a side of herself that was meticulously kept at bay.

Stars: Elisabeth Moss, David Wenham, Peter Mullan, Thomas M. Wright

Votes: 29,579

11. Battlestar Galactica (2004–2009)

TV-14 | 44 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

When an old enemy, the Cylons, resurface and obliterate the 12 colonies, the crew of the aged Galactica protect a small civilian fleet - the last of humanity - as they journey toward the fabled 13th colony, Earth.

Stars: Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber, James Callis

Votes: 141,496

Probably only S1&2. Back in the pre-streaming days it was spectacular

12. The Fall (I) (2013–2016)

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A seemingly cold but very passionate policewoman goes head to head with a seemingly passionate father who is in fact a cold serialist in this procedural out of Belfast. The only thing they share is their common complexity.

Stars: Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, John Lynch, Aisling Franciosi

Votes: 65,561

13. The Night Of (2016)

TV-MA | 525 min | Crime, Drama

After a night of partying with a woman he picked up, a man wakes up to find her stabbed to death and is charged with her murder.

Stars: Riz Ahmed, John Turturro, Bill Camp, Amara Karan

Votes: 99,733

14. Better Things (2016– )

TV-MA | 22 min | Comedy, Drama

An actress raises her three daughters while juggling the pressures of working in Hollywood and being a single parent.

Stars: Pamela Adlon, Mikey Madison, Hannah Alligood, Olivia Edward

Votes: 9,413

15. The Returned (2012– )

TV-MA | 52 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

The Returned opens in a small mountain community which is rocked to its core when several local people who are presumed dead suddenly re-appear at their homes. Despite having passed away ... See full summary »

Stars: Anne Consigny, Clotilde Hesme, Frédéric Pierrot, Céline Sallette

Votes: 18,460

16. Mozart in the Jungle (2014–2018)

TV-MA | 29 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

Love, money, ambition and music intertwine in Mozart in the Jungle, a half hour comedic drama that looks at finding yourself and finding love while conquering New York City. A brash new maestro Rodrigo stirs up the New York Symphony as young oboist Hailey hopes for her big chance.

Stars: Gael García Bernal, Lola Kirke, Saffron Burrows, Hannah Dunne

Votes: 20,470

Soap opera at the opera! Great use of music and arty themes. Love the tours to Venice and Mexico. Lola Kirke perfect match for the casual style. Classical music fans probably properly pissed off.

17. The Bridge (I) (2013–2014)

TV-MA | 43 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Two detectives work together to take down a serial killer operating on both sides of the Texas-Chihuahua border.

Stars: Demián Bichir, Diane Kruger, Thomas M. Wright, Ted Levine

Votes: 16,850

18. The Night Manager (2016– )

TV-14 | 358 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The night manager of a Cairo hotel is recruited to infiltrate an arms dealer's inner circle.

Stars: Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Debicki, Olivia Colman

Votes: 59,858

19. Mindhunter (2017– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Set in the late 1970s, two FBI agents are tasked with interviewing serial killers to solve open cases.

Stars: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv, Hannah Gross

Votes: 121,611

20. The Americans (2013–2018)

TV-MA | 44 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

At the height of the Cold War two Russian agents pose as your average American couple, complete with family.

Stars: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor

Votes: 73,250

Historical episodes tie-in and set designs fantastic. The main premise seems to lock them down and keep the drama oh so dramatic and predictable. They meet some new people and we wonder if they will glimpse the truth. If they do they'll die sooner or later anyway. Two or more people have sex. Next episode.

It's fine. Russell is made for this kind of series.

Surprised about the rave from some of the magazine reviewers claiming it's up there with ensemble pieces as Sopranos (without its humour) or The Wire (without its scope).

21. True Blood (2008–2014)

TV-MA | 55 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

Telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse encounters a strange new supernatural world when she meets the mysterious Bill, a southern Louisiana gentleman and vampire.

Stars: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten

Votes: 219,259

22. Halt and Catch Fire (2014–2017)

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama

Follows some players in the 80s technological revolution that lead to information society.

Stars: Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis, Kerry Bishé

Votes: 24,505

Strange mix of spectacular set design, careful US tech industry storytelling and pure soap drama king&queens main characters bathed in golden lightning at any time of year or day. Scoot McNairy's Gordon and Toby Huss' Boz are just great nevertheless.

23. Sherlock (2010– )

TV-14 | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A modern update finds the famous sleuth and his doctor partner solving crime in 21st century London.

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs, Rupert Graves

Votes: 710,639

Not really about the villains - nothing at stake there - but it doesn't really matter in this universe and with these actors

24. Godless (2017)

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Western

In the 1880s American West murderous outlaw gang leader Frank Griffin hunts for ex-protege Roy Goode. Frank's chase leads him to La Belle, New Mexico - a town inhabited, after a mining disaster, almost entirely by women.

Stars: Jack O'Connell, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy, Merritt Wever

Votes: 39,049

Just keep it going for years please

25. Boardwalk Empire (2010–2014)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, History

An Atlantic City, New Jersey politician plays both sides of the law, conspiring with gangsters during the Prohibition era.

Stars: Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon, Shea Whigham

Votes: 160,024

26. Sense8 (2015–2018)

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A group of people around the world are suddenly linked mentally, and must find a way to survive being hunted by those who see them as a threat to the world's order.

Stars: Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton, Tina Desai, Tuppence Middleton

Votes: 124,325

27. I Love Dick (2016–2017)

TV-MA | 32 min | Comedy

In an arty Texas town in the desert a woman becomes obsessed with a colleague of her husband's and creates an art project around it, a series of letters that start "Dear Dick..."

Stars: Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Hahn, Griffin Dunne, Roberta Colindrez

Votes: 3,281

Hail mini-series. Hahn given free reign. Not sure about Mr. Bacon.

28. Mr. Robot (2015– )

TV-MA | 49 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Elliot, a brilliant but highly unstable young cyber-security engineer and vigilante hacker, becomes a key figure in a complex game of global dominance when he and his shadowy allies try to take down the corrupt corporation he works for.

Stars: Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin

Votes: 278,781

Perfect cast and tone, though oh so dark and gloomy every single minute. Totally compelling. Probably not re-watchable.

29. Manhunt: The Unabomber (2017– )

TV-14 | 60 min | Crime, Drama

An in-depth look at how an FBI profiler helped track down the terrorist Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber.

Stars: Jalen Major, Sam Worthington, Jeremy Bobb, Ben Weber

Votes: 36,203

30. Baskets (2016– )

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

After failing at a prestigious French clowning college, Chip Baskets looks to keep his dream of becoming a professional clown alive.

Stars: Zach Galifianakis, Martha Kelly, Louie Anderson, Ernest Adams

Votes: 8,788

Season 2 is off the charts

31. The Looming Tower (2018)

TV-MA | 50 min | Drama, History

A look at how the rivalry between the CIA and FBI inadvertently set the stage for the tragedy of 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan.

Stars: Jeff Daniels, Tahar Rahim, Wrenn Schmidt, Bill Camp

Votes: 7,313

32. The Handmaid's Tale (2017– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.

Stars: Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, Max Minghella, Joseph Fiennes

Votes: 120,863

33. Forever (2018– )

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

June and Oscar live a comfortable but very predictable suburban wedded life when suddenly they find themselves in a completely otherworldly situation, raising questions about love and marriage in the afterlife.

Stars: Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, Catherine Keener, Noah Robbins

Votes: 3,442

34. The Terror (2018– )

TV-14 | 60 min | Adventure, Drama, History

In 1848, two real life warships, HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, sent on a Royal Naval expedition to find the treacherous Northwest Passage become trapped in ice near Arctic and face starvation, mutiny, cannibalism and a demonic polar bear.

Stars: Jared Harris, Tobias Menzies, Paul Ready, Adam Nagaitis

Votes: 27,629

35. Tôkyô Joshi Zukan (2016–2017)


Asami Mizukawa plays Aya, a woman who arrives in Tokyo in her twenties, then grows and changes along with her career and romances through various residential areas in the glittering city.

Stars: Tsuyoshi Abe, Masako Chiba, Shiina Hanasaka, Hana Hizuki

Votes: 208

36. The Romanoffs (2018– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama

Anthology of 8 stories about people who believe themselves to be descendant of the Russian Royal family.

Stars: Diane Lane, JJ Feild, Aaron Eckhart, Louise Bourgoin

Votes: 3,680

37. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017– )

TV-MA | 57 min | Comedy, Drama

A housewife in the 1950s decides to become a stand-up comic.

Stars: Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Tony Shalhoub, Michael Zegen

Votes: 44,281

When going over the top go over this one. Spectacular time and set pieces. Funny that 1950-ish comedy isn't really that funny but doesn't really matter for the show. Fantastic cast all around.

38. Electric Dreams (2017– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Sci-Fi

A sci-fi anthology series with stand-alone episodes based on the works of Philip K. Dick.

Stars: Steve Buscemi, Geraldine Chaplin, Bryan Cranston, Terrence Howard

Votes: 10,309

39. Red Oaks (2014–2017)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

A coming-of-age comedy set in the "go-go" 80s about a college student enjoying a last hurrah before summer comes to an end--and the future begins.

Stars: Craig Roberts, Ennis Esmer, Oliver Cooper, Richard Kind

Votes: 8,053

quite close to perfect

40. American Crime (2015–2017)

TV-14 | 43 min | Crime, Drama

Seasonal anthology series. Season 1: The lives of the participants in a trial with significant racial motives are forever changed during the legal process.

Stars: Felicity Huffman, Regina King, Timothy Hutton, Richard Cabral

Votes: 8,597

Most Wire-ish ensemble series I've seen since The Wire. Devoid of any street smarts or humor though. All drama with a D. All cops and corporate and board room scenes seems to end with a walk-out and a looong close up and jaw clenched stare. Skipped S1 but 2 and 3 were great. Regina Carter and Felicity Huffman both fantastic.

41. Homecoming (2018– )

TV-MA | 30 min | Drama, Thriller

Heidi works at Homecoming, a facility helping soldiers transition to civilian life. Years later when the Department of Defense questions why she left, Heidi realizes there's a whole other story behind the one she's been telling herself.

Stars: Julia Roberts, Bobby Cannavale, Stephan James, Shea Whigham

Votes: 12,416

42. American Gods (2017– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

A recently released ex-convict named Shadow meets a mysterious man who calls himself "Wednesday" and who knows more than he first seems to about Shadow's life and past.

Stars: Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Yetide Badaki

Votes: 62,589

43. Genius (I) (2017– )

TV-14 | 43 min | Biography, Drama, History

The life stories of history's greatest minds. From their days as young adults to their final years we see their discoveries, loves, relationships, causes, flaws and genius.

Stars: Samantha Colley, Seth Gabel, Antonio Banderas, Clémence Poésy

Votes: 14,152

S1. Basil Exposition and set design tour de force.

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