A Best of Television: 1985 - Presentby AltonMann | created - 01 Dec 2011 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
With the advent of DVDs, Netflix and Amazon streaming, you can finally enjoy the best television has ever had to offer without commercial interruption and at your own pace. Obviously, there are plenty of omissions (but you are already aware of your own personal favorites) and not every episode of any series deserves your time and attention. There are late bloomers like Miami Vice and Rockford Files where you can skip the first few seasons with minimum loss. Other shows peak early and hang around far too long. Saturday Night Live, West Wing and Gilmore Girls continued after the creative force behind them (that is the principal performers or writers ) had departed. Then there are brilliant shows which rarely miss like Homicide and The Wire. If movies are coming up dry for you or you'd enjoy a change of pace, try one of these TV series. And don't be afraid to dip into the black & white 30 minute shows of the 50s. Sadly, there are fine shows that have still not surfaced either on DVD or streaming: 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, Lou Grant and Shannon's Deal are good examples. Happy hunting!
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2. Wiseguy (1987–2009)
TV-14 | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Vinnie Terranova does time in a New Jersey penitentiary to set up his undercover role as an agent for the OCB (Organized Crime Bureau) of the United States. His roots in a traditional ... See full summary »
4. Shannon's Deal (1990–1991)
60 min | Drama
Once a successful corporate lawyer at a prestigious Philadelphia law firm, Jack Shannon lost his marriage and his job, due in part to a compulsive gambling habit. While Shannon maintains a ... See full summary »
9. The Newsroom (1996–2005)
22 min | Comedy, Drama
Resuscitation of the acclaimed 1996-97 series that picks up nearly a decade later. We again follow the exploits of George Findlay in this biting satire of the day-to-day operations of the mainstream news media.
11. The Sopranos (1999–2007)
TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama
New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano deals with personal and professional issues in his home and business life that affect his mental state, leading him to seek professional psychiatric counseling.
14. Slings and Arrows (2003–2006)
60 min | Comedy
In the fictional town of New Burbage, legendary theatrical madman Geoffrey Tennant returns to the New Burbage Theatre Festival, the site of his greatest triumph and most humiliating failure... See full summary »
15. The Good Wife (2009–2016)
TV-14 | 43 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Alicia has been a good wife to her husband, a former state's attorney. After a very humiliating sex and corruption scandal, he is behind bars. She must now provide for her family and returns to work as a litigator in a law firm.
20. The Killing (2011–2014)
TV-14 | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A police investigation, the saga of a grieving family, and a Seattle mayoral campaign all interlock after the body of 17-year-old Rosie Larsen is found in the trunk of a submerged car.
21. True Detective (2014– )
TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Seasonal anthology series in which police investigations unearth the personal and professional secrets of those involved, both within and outside the law.
22. Fargo (2014– )
TV-MA | 53 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and murder in and around frozen Minnesota. Yet all of these tales mysteriously lead back one way or another to Fargo, North Dakota.
24. Bron/Broen (2011–2018)
TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller
When a body is found on the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, right on the border, Danish inspector Martin Rohde and Swedish Saga Norén have to share jurisdiction and work together to find the killer.
27. Foyle's War (2002–2015)
TV-14 | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
As WWII rages, DCS Foyle fights his own war on the home-front; investigating crime on the south coast of England. Later series, see the retired detective working as an MI5 agent in the aftermath of the war.
31. Endeavour (2012– )
TV-14 | 89 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Set in the 1960s, the show follows Endeavour Morse in his early years as a police constable. Working alongside his senior partner DI Fred Thursday, Morse engages in a number of investigations around Oxford.
33. Longmire (2012–2017)
TV-14 | 60 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Walt Longmire is the dedicated and unflappable sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming. Widowed only a year, he is a man in psychic repair but buries his pain behind his brave face, unassuming grin and dry wit.
39. 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.
42. The Thick of It (2005–2012)
TV-MA | 29 min | Comedy
Set in the corridors of power and spin, the Minister for Social Affairs, is continually harassed by Number 10's policy enforcer and dependent on his not-so-reliable team of civil servants.
46. Patriot (II) (2015– )
TV-MA | 58 min | Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Follows the complicated life of intelligence officer John Tavner, whose latest assignment - to prevent Iran from going nuclear - requires him to forgo all safety nets and assume a perilous non-official cover.