Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Binge with Dolf / 2017 Edition

The following are #DolfApproved TV shows perfect for binge watching. Some are new, some are classics, and some are little-known cult favorites. Don't expect in-depth analysis here. I've become fully Twitterized. If you can't say it in a few words, don't say it. 
  • The Sopranos (HBO GO) – the greatest show that is or was or ever will be. 
  • Genius (National Geographic) - So far the best show of 2017. Both Johnny Flynn and Geoffrey Rush are amazing as young and old Einstein respectively. Ron Howard did a great job adapting Walter Isaacson's excellent biography for TV. The production is top notch . Genius looks like a movie. Sets and visuals are amazing. If there is any justice in the TV world, his show should win a bunch of Emmy's! Also, I can't wait to see which "genius" is selected for Season 2! 
  • The Night Of (HBO GO) - Loved it. John Turturro and Riz Ahmed are excellent, as are the rest of the cast including some of my favorites from The Wire. Oh indeeeeed! Each episode is better than the one before it. A strong contender for the best of 2016.
  • Westworld (HBO GO) - Like The Night Of each new episode of Westworld is better than the one before it. The result is a very satisfying finale. Although primarily draped in visuals of the wild west, this show is about artificial intelligence, technology, humanity, consciousness, ethics, and morality. Deep stuff going on here! Another strong contender for the best of 2016.
  • Mr. Robot (iTunes / USA) – The best technology themed show of all time. If you loved the movie Fight Club, you will love Mr. Robot as it is an unapologetic tribute and homage to David Fincher's classic. Keep an eye on the show's creator Sam Esmail. He's capable of creating some future classics. 
  • Black Mirror (Netflix) – Also the best technology themed show of all time. 
  • Marco Polo (Netflix) - Marco got some major hate from the critics but I don't care. I just finished season 2 which was quite a bit better than the first season. I'll never look at Chinese Swallows the same again. Also, 100 Eyes is one of the best characters to come along in awhile. 
  • Silicon Valley (HBO GO) – The best technology themed comedy show of all time.  
  • Battlestar Galactica (Hulu) – Number Six is the most beautiful female robot to ever grace a TV screen. And yes, I would marry her in a heartbeat despite the fact that she kills a ****** within 10 minutes of first appearing on screen. 
  • Hannibal (Hulu) – A misunderstood hero runs into legal issues over his dietary predilections. 
  • Narcos (Netflix) - Another misunderstood hero runs into legal issues over his entrepreneurial ventures.  
  • South Park (Hulu / Comedy Central) - How can a show that is so vulgar, vile, and childish also deliver TV's most biting social and political commentary? That's the magic of South Park. Eric Cartman is one of the greatest TV characters (animated or real) of all time bringing to life a modern day Archie Bunker. 
  • Fringe (Netflix) - It's 2016 and I'm just now discovering this gem. I love everything about this show. From the science-heavy plotlines to the amazing cast of actors. I'm fairly certain there is no drama in existence that references Quantum Mechanics more than Fringe. I consider Fringe to be the rightful successor to The X-Files. Bonus: Several actors from The Wire make their way onto this show. Also, JJ Abrams is a co-creator. 
  • The Man in the High Castle (Amazon) - What if the Nazis and the Japanese had won World War II? Spoiler… It ain’t good. 
  • Mr. Show (iTunes) – The best comedy you’ve probably never seen. 
  • Get a Life (DVD) – The other best comedy you’ve probably never seen. 
  • Fargo (Hulu / FX) – If you like weird, violent, dark humor with a dose of amazing cinematography, this is the show for you. Despite a slightly slow start, Season 2 surpasses the excellent first season. 
  • True Detective (HBO GO - Season 1 only!) – Whatever you do, please stop once Season 1 is over! 
  • Vikings (Hulu / History Channel) - The real life adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok. If you're a Spartacus and Game of Thrones fan you will love this show. While not as sexually deviant as either of those shows, there's plenty of good old fashioned Viking violence. 
  • The Killing (Netflix) – If you want to be simultaneously entertained and massively depressed, The Killing is an excellent choice! If True Detective and The Sopranos had a baby, this would be it. The show's creator (Veena Sud) is from Cincinnati and I've probably met her at some point before she hit the big time. 
  • Arrested Development (Hulu) - After watching The Killing you are going to need some comedy in your life and Arrested Development is one of the greatest. If you can sit through a typical Hollywood comedy and not laugh a single time (like me) then this show is what you need. 
  • Daredevil (Netflix) – A big surprise. An excellent show with several great characters. Netflix Studios is for real, yo! “Shadows In The Glass” was one of the best singular episodes of any TV show in 2015. It seems that whenever Steven S. DeKnight is involved with a show, it makes my list of the best. Update: Season 2 is even better than Season 1! #ThePunisher
  • Jessica Jones (Netflix) – I didn’t think I’d like it, but I did. Great female lead. And I would kill to have the villain’s super power. 
  • Spartacus (Netflix) – Blood, blood, everywhere, nor any drop to drink. The first season stars the awesome Andy Whitfield who died from non-Hodgkin lymphoma before Season 2 started filming. Created by entertainment genius Steven S. DeKnight. 
  • Rome (HBO GO) – Titus Pullo is the most loveable murderer in TV history. 
  • Mad Men (Netflix) - Don Draper is one of the greatest characters of all time. Although I don't recall him killing anyone, for some reason Don Draper reminded me of another questionable hero, Tony Soprano. 
  • Master of None (Netflix) - This show has been the closest thing to Seinfeld since Seinfeld. The "Old People" episode is a modern day comedy masterpiece.
  • The Americans - (FX) - Set in the 80's against the backdrop of the Cold War. If you've ever dreamed of seeing Felicity (Keri Russell) brutally kill somebody you will REALLY love this show. Great acting and deft handling of familial, political, and religious issues. 
  • Family Guy (Hulu / Fox) - Only in the Family Guy universe can you get Gwyneth Paltrow doing Harriet Tubman. The best non-sequitur-heavy humor since Chris Elliott's Get a Life
  • American Dad (Hulu / Netflix / TBS) - It's in its 11th season, it moved from FOX to TBS and American Dad is... peaking? If you gave up on American Dad years ago check out the latest season and you might change your mind. The move to TBS seems to have reinvigorated the show. "Next of Pin" is the one of the finest pieces of comedy you will see in 2016. 
  • The X-Files (Hulu / Fox) - If you missed The X-Files the first time around, 213 episodes of alien abductions, conspiracy theories, monsters, and other assorted craziness awaits. Often overlooked within the weirdness is the thought provoking social commentary and clever use of metaphor that The X-Files masterfully delivered. 
  • Seinfeld (Hulu) – I’m amazed how many of today’s yutes have not seen this show. Leave the rave an hour early and watch a few episodes so you'll be able to understand all of the references that your 40+ year old co-workers make all of the time.  
  • Tenacious D (HBO GO) – The greatest band in history. Watch it YOU F#CKING ROBOTS! A young Jack Black at his comedic best. Not safe for work. Not safe for home.  
If you need more picks, let me know as I have plenty more. I don’t feel I need to tell you about The Wire, Breaking BadGame of Thrones, and The Walking Dead, but if you live under a rock and aren’t aware of their greatness, be sure to work those shows in as well. Also if you like crime documentaries, I highly recommend Making a Murderer (Netflix), The Jinx (HBO GO), and the dark, twisted granddaddy of them all, the documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (HBO GO) and its sequels. 

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