Top Ten Tuesday | My Favorite TV Shows

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Hello everyone! It’s that time of the week again! Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Basically, you get a different bookish topic every Tuesday, and you comprise a list of ten (or however many you’re able to list) relating to said topic.

This week’s topic is a television-related freebie in celebration of fall television! Like any other college student out there, I spend my free time half-studying, half-binge-watching Netflix. Although I wouldn’t call myself a TV buff, in any sense of the word, I am very passionate about what I watch. Since I don’t talk much about TV on my blog, this is a great opportunity to tell you about the kind of TV I watch/enjoy. 🙂

I’ll also try my best to include videos that I think best capture the essence of the show – hopefully without spoiling anything.


Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

I know Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah- and they’re all amazing hosts, but no TV journalist/comedian has captured me quite like John Oliver. He covers topics that are often brushed aside, as well as topics that are extremely important, popular and relevant. His delivery of his punch-lines is always spot on, his jokes are never over-the-top but just the right amount of self-deprecating hilarity. Not to mention that I think his show is a show that puts so much effort in relaying genuine information. They go out of their way to talk about issues. Examples:

  1. In the video I linked above, Oliver LITERALLY flies out to Russia to interview Edward Snowden. If that’s not commitment to your craft, I genuinely do not know what is.
  2. When talking about tax exemption of the church, his team created their own church (the fact that they called it “Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption” is just an added LOL-bonus).
  3. When he was a pen-pal with a televangelist for months and months, simply so he could expose their corruption on TV.
  4. And of course, when he did his legendary segment on Donald Trump (and started the #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain movement online)

Despite obviously being a liberal himself, Oliver is also incredibly fair. He’s going to spend a segment criticizing the Republican party? Sure, he’s going to do the same thing to the Democratic party a couple of weeks later. He spends just as much time talking about corruption and messiness in America as he does abroad. And despite using colorful language and sexual innuendo (most of the time), his humor is never offensive. Although, his comment section is so stay away.


The Office

I don’t know. I’ve seen this clip so many times, and I always just about pee myself from laughing. The Office was a fairly recent discovery- I started watching it after it had ended, but binging it just made it all the more special. I loved all the characters in their weird eccentricities, but they all felt so authentic. The humor can be a little offensive, but it’s done in a way that you know it’s intentionally done to make you dislike a character.


One Tree Hill

I’ve seen so many high school dramas in my life, honestly. There was a time when I didn’t watch anything but. One Tree Hill is, by far, the best one out there. It’s the most cohesive, the most wholesome show that puts its focus on more things than one. I know many people reduce the show to shipping wars: Lucas and Peyton, or Lucas and Brooke, or whatever, but I’ve always thought that this show was about so much more than choice. It was about family, about tumultuous relationships between overbearing parents and kids who are just trying to do their best. It was about friendship, about ambition, about love and loss. About how you don’t have to stay with the family you’ve been given- that you can create your own families. I’ve seen this show at least four times after I watched the entire thing, and it’s constantly surprising me with its poignance and depth. “Poignance” and “depth” – two words you don’t hear often when it comes to high school dramas, ha.


My Mad Fat Diary

I came across this show by accident when I saw a GIF set on Tumblr. The first season was out when I started watching it, and I binged it in one night. This series is so many things: it is laugh-out-loud hilarious, but it’s also devastating in its unflinching portrayal of mental illness, of how the world can be so cruel when all you need is some support. Again, it is such a wholesome show in the way that it focuses on one girl’s life: not her love-life, not her family-life, not her mental illness. No, her life. We see how her relationship changes with her mother, who she evolves from episode to episode, how she struggles to fit in with a group of friends who love and adore her for who she is. The acting is top-notch, and if I have one complaint, it’s that it was too short.


Hannibal

I’m still angry that this show got cancelled, which is why I haven’t yet seen the final few episodes. I take comfort in the fact that I still have some moments left unseen from the show. Hannibal is a ridiculously underrated show. For starters, it has some of the best cinematography I have ever seen. I couldn’t believe it was aired on network television because it was so stunningly shot, and it looked the highest of high-value productions in television. The acting, too, was fantastic and the psychological aspect of it was grueling for both the characters and the viewers. It wasn’t scared to show you brutality, and that’s what made it so completely fascinating.


Doctor Who

Doctor Who was the first show I binge-watched, and it remained my favorite show of all-time for a long, long while. Apart from being wildly entertaining with a cast of characters so large and interesting, Doctor Who was an intelligent show with brilliant acting, emotional, powerful storytelling and storylines that both captivate you and completely confuse you. I stopped watching a year and a half ago, mainly because I didn’t think the writing and storytelling was up to par and the current Doctor deserved better. It’s unfortunate, because it was once a show that I talked about all the time, and now when I talk about it, I am mostly just reminiscing fondly.


The Night Of

The Night Of is an 8-episode miniseries that ended a week ago, and I have not stopped thinking about it since. I will never stop thinking about this series. I know we talk about diversity in literature a lot, but I never knew how it feels to see yourself in such a prominent role even on the screen. When you think of Pakistani characters, terrorism is almost always involved, and the actors cast are mostly Indian or Middle Eastern. So imagine my surprise when HBO decides to drop a high-profile show with a Pakistani-American protagonist played by a Pakistani-British actor, steering so FAR from the stereotypes without EVER brushing aside the realities of Islamophobia, xenophobia and prejudice. This show’s portrayal of Pakistani-American families is so authentic; their values, their mannerisms, their limitations and privileges- it’s so authentic, and believe me when I say that. A series where the protagonist was like me: who likes going to parties and does everything a normal kid his age would do, who isn’t ruled by stereotypical representations of religion and culture. It was so refreshing.

All that aside, I think this show is a brilliant look into the American criminal justice system and its pitfalls. It does this with a captivating murder-mystery background, with fantastic acting and a diverse cast of characters in a dreary depiction of New York City. The cinematography, the score, the storytelling – it’s all amazing, and I wish this show gets the recognition it deserves.


Breaking Bad

Ah, Breaking Bad. No list is complete without it. The series I binge-watched with my father, the series that got me hooked on moral ambiguity, on anti-heroes. The series that made me realize what well-written villains are. That inspired me to write and appreciate characterization, development above action. Don’t get me wrong, Breaking Bad has tremendous storytelling, but the characters outshine its plot – no doubt about it. A series about how an innocent, frail man was corrupted by greed and the illusion of power to turn into someone unrecognizable. I have a burning desire to re-watch it now.


Game of Thrones

All the best scenes in this show are spoiler-y, so this was the only one I could come up with. It’s a great scene- don’t get me wrong. Although I prefer the books to the show, I would be lying if I said the show was meh. The fact is that when it airs, Game of Thrones is the best part of my week. I love the costumes and the world, seeing the creatures and characters come to life, watching breathtaking battle choreographies unfold in front of my eyes. Now that the show has passed the books in terms of storytelling, it’s also just incredibly exciting to be on the edge of my seat. This may have been on the top had it not been for some minor mistakes made by the showrunners.


Supernatural

Is Supernatural the best written show in my list? Absolutely not. Does it have the greatest storytelling or the best character development? No. So, why the fuck is it Number 1 on my list? Because I’ve been watching it for seven freaking years- watching these brothers on journey after journey. I have cried, I have laughed, I have raged. I have said hello to beloved characters and then say goodbye to them with fists clenched and vision blurry. I love how META Supernatural can get. I love how the show-writers are constantly making fun of themselves and their show in the episodes. And the fact that Jensen and Jared are best friends in real life makes their chemistry such a delight to watch on screen. My relationship with this show transcends viewership; I genuinely do not know what will happen when the show comes to an end…


That’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! Do you watch any of these shows? What are some of your favorite shows? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

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Comments

  1. OH MY GOSH! My Mad Fat Diary! Particularly the first season was FANTASTIC. Loved it. It was recently added on Hulu so I think I might have a rewatch one day. Finn <333

    I can't believe I forgot about that show. Also on your list is Breaking Bad which I put on my list, too! I'm not quite done with it yet, but I love it.

  2. I’ll have to look up The Night Of, I love British TV and it would be fantastic to watch a show with a diverse lead(s). And I was so happy about the episodes of My Mad Fat Diary that I watched. Especially at the time when I watched it struggling some with my own insecurities it strikes that perfect balance of funny and moving.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Do you pay for your blog so you can embed? Cause I have a free account and I don’t think I can do that…
    I love Supernatural. I’m behind several seasons because I used to watch it with my ex, and it’s been hard to watch it without him. But I love that episode! I could go back and watch them ALL again on Netflix, and I own box sets up to season 6.
    I need to start watching The Office. Never saw it, but that was funny.
    That one about the Diary of a Fat Girl? That must be outside the U.S. Not familiar with it.
    Great new shows for me to check out, and a fave classic old one to start watching again!

  4. I love My Mad Fat Diary and consider it to be one of the most honest interpretations of mental illness I’ve seen on TV so far. I actually added it to my top ten most underrated shows! So glad to see it on this list. Also Game of Thrones!!! Yaaaas!!! Great post.

  5. You summed up One Tree Hill so perfectly! I love that show to pieces! It’s a show you can always go back and watch and it makes you feel better! Ah Breaking Bad is SO good! And same with Game of Thrones. I was very surprised when I actually fell in love with the tv show. I liked the books (the first 4 that I actually got around to reading) but the TV show is SO damn good, I’m completely obsessed! 🙂

  6. I haven’t actually watched many of the TV shows you’ve featured in your list this week but Supernatural and Doctor Who are both all time favourites of mine. I’ve watched probably every episode of each at least twice, and a few way more than that! 🙂
    I am also a huge fan of GoT and all I can say is after the latest season finale I need the start of the next season like I need air! I don’t know how I’m going to survive the wait!
    Great picks for this week! 🙂

  7. Supernatural is my favorite show of all time. It’s just amazing. Doctor Who is good as well but sometimes I find the storylines boring, but I haven’t seen it in a while so… yeah…. Haven’t seen GoT but love the books!

  8. Ohh yes Game of Thrones and Supernatural are one of those tv shows that’s really addictive to binge watch! Especially GoT because it only has 10 episodes per season, and each season always ends in cliffhanger! Mystery spot is also one of my favorites SPN episode, along with Changing Channels!

  9. Great list. That Breaking Bad scene is quite possibly my favourite from the whole series. I’ve just started The Night Of, and was completely blown away by the first episode. I’m really looking forward to watching the rest of it.

  10. Oh I remember One Tree Hill when it just started showing here. I don’t think I ever finished it though. I really need to get into My Mad Fat Diary. I’ve seen bits and pieces, but they never aired it here.

  11. I watched every episode of One Tree Hill. I didn’t love it as much after Lucas and Payton left but it was still one of those shows I had to watch!
    I love Doctor Who so much too.
    And as for supernatural! I find I can only watch that show if I marathon it. One episode a week just doesn’t work for me!

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