Many would say that we are living in a golden age of Television. With the rise of video on demand shows are now more accessible than ever and people often tend to feel spoiled for choice.
The strongest genre of TV over the last 15 years has been the crime genre. Whether it be gangster-based, cop-based, or even prison-based drama the genre has excelled and provided us with some of the most iconic TV images of the century so far.
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Like most of his victims Dexter’s TV career came to a rather miserable and upsetting end, but for a period of around four years the show was one of the best on Television and deserves its place on this list on the back of those first four seasons alone.
Based on a series of novels by Jeff Lindsay Dexter told the story of Dexter Morgan, a normal, family orientated guy who just also happened to be a serial killer/vigilante. The show’s first few seasons provided plenty of plot twists and character development to sink your teeth into and the show it its peak with its fourth season.
Unfortunately the show could never quite live up to its fourth season and seasons five to eight, despite a few highlights were a bit of a mess really.
Orange is the New Black
One of Netflix’s MVPs Orange is the New Black became the first Netflix original to really make its stamp in the world of television. Written by Jenji Kohan, who had previously wrote Weeds, the show is based on the memoirs of Piper Kerman, an educated woman who had to spend a year inside a woman’s prison for money laundering.
It’s easy to see why Orange is the New Black has gone on to be the success it has. It features a phenomenal array of talent and is often a roller coaster ride of emotions. It is also one of the most groundbreaking shows currently on TV (well, Netflix) tackling issues such as homosexuality, religion, sexual abuse and corruption.
What Oranges is the New Black does so well is take the tropes of a prison drama and make them feel fresh and exciting, which in such a crowded market is no easy task.
Over the last 12 months we have seen a lot of films being developed into TV shows, the majority of which have been a total failure. The small screen adaptation of the Coen Brother’s Fargo turned out to be a massive success.
Fargo worked so well because it managed to maintain the quirky, dark nature of the movie but also create enough suspense and humour to carve its own identity. With talent like Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks and Billy Bob Thornton involved as well the show had already won half the battle, whilst the Coen’s taking executive producer roles pretty much guaranteed that the show would be able to hold its own.
Think Gangs of New York set in the West Midlands, starring Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy and that’s Peaky Blinders. Based on the real life gang from Birmingham the show has turned out to be one of the best on British TV in recent memory, largely thanks to its excellent cast and gripping story telling.
The show, which has been renewed for a third season starting in October has also proved popular on the other side of the pond, being sold as a Netflix original in the states and Canada.
True Detective (Season One)
Any TV show that features talents like Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey is always going to be worth watching and last year the two give us one of the greatest single seasons in TV history with True Detective.
Any great crime show needs an air of moral ambiguity and some good character development and True Detective managed to deliver that and then some. McConaughey and Harrelson were magic whenever they were on the screen together and the show was at its most gripping when it was just the two of them, driving along and talking about their lives.
That’s not to say that it didn’t feature some awesome action sequences either. The one take shootout in a drug dealer’s house would not have looked out of place on the big screen.