1. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    What modern TV show (Post 2000) do you think has the best writing?

    Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by VirtuallyRealistic, Mar 22, 2015.

    I'm looking for T.V shows that excel in their writing.

    My two favorites are:
    1. Breaking Bad
    2. Game of Thrones (The books are better)
    So, what would you guys consider the best writing in modern television?

    P.S. I'm not positive this is the correct subforum for this post. Please feel free to move this if necessary, staff.
     
  2. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Lost was fantastically written and produced... The story turned out to be crap, but it was well written crap. I also think that Luther had some really terrific writing.
     
  3. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    I watched Lost halfway through Season 2 then for some reason lost interest. I really enjoyed the initial group, but then they started introducing a bunch of new characters that I wasn't interested in. I keep thinking about picking it back up, but the 24 episode seasons are holding me back.

    I've heard of Luther, but don't know too much about it. I'll definitely check it out!
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Wire was pretty brilliant, but was it the writing or the acting/directing? I'm not sure.

    Justified is reliably solid, with strong writing (and charismatic acting).

    Louie is both funny and important.

    I'd say that Battlestar Galactica, prior to the ridiculous ending, had really strong writing.

    Orange is the New Black does good work.

    Deadwood was pretty damn brilliant.

    And for a dark horse entry, how about Carnivale? It never got a chance to wrap up all the threads it introduced, but they were some shiny damn threads...

    ETA: Firefly was good fun, but I'm not really sure it was the writing that made me like it...
     
  5. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black or the early seasons of BSG. I would have included The Wire, but sometimes it slipped into self parody.
     
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  6. Gawler
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    Gawler Contributing Member

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    The first season of Lost was okay but I lost interest about 3 episodes in the second season. I had further reason to lose interest in the show when they decided to start shooting night time scenes at Makaha Beach right outside our bedroom window, I wanted to shoot the spotlights out so I could get some sleep.

    The Sopranos was excellently written as was Dexter.
     
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  7. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions! The Wire has been on my list for awhile, but I haven't got around to watching it. I've watched some of Firefly, but didn't get pulled into the story as much as I had hoped.

    I enjoy Louis C.K as a standup comic so I'm sure I'd enjoy his show. I'll be adding all your suggestions to my to-watch list.
     
  8. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    I've been meaning to watch The Sopranos as well. I've heard Vince Gilligan say Breaking Bad (My absolute favorite show) was loosely inspired by The Sopranos.

    I attempted watching Dexter, but he started drilling some guys tooth in the first episode and I couldn't get through it. I don't enjoy scenes like that, and given it was early in the first episode I was expecting a lot of that.

    I think it would be cool having a TV show filmed right outside my house, but I can also see it getting annoying quickly. At least it's a story to tell, right? Living in Wisconsin, we don't get very much of that haha.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Such a good show that was! :agreed:
     
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  10. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    True Detective and Fargo had some pretty sharp writing.
     
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  11. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    Interested in both. I've heard Fargo is loosely based on a true story? I heard that second-hand so I'm not sure if that's correct or not.
     
  12. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    The movie intro says it is but that was fake I'm pretty sure (a scene in the movie was extremely loosely based on a true event) and the show put it in as a reference to the movie.
     
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  13. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    Ahh, I see. So it's a gimmick of sorts. Regardless, I'm still very interested. Will likely check that out soon. Thanks for the suggestions.
     
  14. Gawler
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    Gawler Contributing Member

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    No sooner did Lost end and they started Hawaii 5-0. Unfortunately for us they were based in the old Honolulu Advertiser building a street away from where I worked and done a lot of filming in the area. Hard when you want to get some lunch and security is blocking the area. A friend got a part as a Korean shop keeper dealing in drugs because they liked his look, not many Koreans with long dreadlocks.
     
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  15. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    It's difficult to determine, I think, because I tend to, indiscriminately, identify more easily with content that stays more true to a single idea or creator, which is difficult to achieve in fragments, marathons, sometimes failing to make ends meet and tie things together in a greater plot. I do enjoy some series even though I am too skeptical to enjoy the greatest share of it, some are high quality humor that works best in the format it exists in. An example is the fast paced, but superficial enough Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I appreciate it because I conceive it as 'pigheaded', on a writing level something I can't follow but displays a variable level of plasticity, which is why it inspires me and challenges my creativity. Overall fun, but still TV. It serves that original function of entertainment and in a way I am very picky of what works for me on TV (mostly simple , unique concepts), and for the rest I am not going to be interested enough to follow a marathon of a few lead characters (I tend to think that at some point the story bleeds out but the show somehow is kept alive for reasons I don't even dare to question). A group of silly individuals getting into recognizable situations and coping with what we like to think happens on an everyday basis, but always turns into something theatrical because of the social (group) dynamic, I do like. I hope this isn't overall too generalized and virtually says what there is to say about TV and why it works and the exceptions are very scarce, surely somewhere*. I don't like to engage in the uncertainty of a refreshing temporary hype which has legitimate reasons to maintain a solid fan base and following, but I let them be, a shame, because now I can't really judge about Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones. I need to stress that these things didn't work for me once and numbed my sense, of a few selected highly specified characters with a surprisingly generic range of disappointing responses and surreal emotional availability, who have to cope with their dose of challenges in life and lead the audience through their marvels. I get the sensation that every episode exists to give the viewer the sensation that in the next episode one might learn what the story is going to be all about, but in fact each episode does only that. No fun for me. Even Dragon Ball-Z is too long winded in that respect (admittedly, in that particular case I might have to change my expectations, I'm not sure what remains of my words when I did have seen it).

    I imagine it can be fun if you're all into, which I boldly call the malicious pleasure accompanied with looking into the adventures of someone with a not so average life. It's about emotions and getting to know a person intimately, without taking direct responsibility of what we feel for the character or the way it's world treats the character, since it's all fictitious, made up, and contemporary. The clue lies there, because then it's easy to take your mind off it for a while, without being all the way satisfied so there's still something to look forward to, thanks to the traits we've been treated with by the writer(s) of the personalities in the story. We don't get to see a full fledged person, but still act like as if it were that guy we all know and have something to do with. The boy/girl next door in your house when you want it. (I just imaging that's what it's about, judging by looking at people who are all into certain television shows and get upset if they can't watch the next episodes).

    I only like this effect in books and comics, because then I'm presumably not as eligible to have to take the position of the compassionate, because even episodes or editions have a one time only short moral or message or adventure (unless you're otherwise specifically notified there's going to be a Part Two or even Part Three if not a Special, restricted to the more simple basic sitcoms). And I can look away and decide the sound of the narrative better while looking at what the writer tries to specify, or to let it take me away if it doesn't happen naturally already. Then there's the newspaper's comic section I always happily read because even if there's been a run up leading to the content you're presented, it doesn't matter if you've missed it at all. Without context I'm missing the whole point, if the episode is only about raising questions or portraying a certain turn of events I could not imagine anyone cared about if they weren't taken into account some point later on during the season. And that's the point, in too many cases the answer comes too late; I've lost interest in the whole thing a few episodes in between. Even with my favorite theme (zombies) the insurmountable dramatization of the expected or far-fetched surprise, doesn't work right for me, especially while looking at the writer(s'/'s) attempt to clean up the chronological mess caused by drastic sudden impulsive plot twists (the division here is that I believe one work of genius can be the equivalent of a caffeine driven group brainstorm session). And then there's a gateway to the virtual world of games; which I'm very suspicious of. Still a world that came from the (platonic) drawing, or, writing table.

    Even trying to turn this criticism off and put myself in a more distant mood to remain open minded for new things and the likes; I'm not going to have a good time because all I start to notice are the endless stream of seemingly irrelevant detail and I start to become annoyed by the question who the writers were and if they were considering the greater picture of what they're making at all. I'm not good couch material, socially speaking. And if you force me to watch I can definitively destroy ones perception of what they find enjoyable, if I'm forced to have an opinion I mostly talk about things you weren't even supposed to think about in the first place. One might look in awe up to me for not understanding I look at those programs the way it was intended, or something, because unlike everyone else I always seem to miss the point (and other people never want to hear mine or are downright offended if I don't pick my words carefully). I can do it alone, but I don't find my arrogance developed enough to put myself in the position to decide I want to sit down and be annoyed at things I know I would have done way differently (just kidding: I often can't put my head around what it is that makes these programs attractive and intriguing, especially if any creative signature is muffled). Or do I need to put my arrogance aside to develop a deeper understanding of the many different exotic methods to create 'worthy' television? I rather just like to think there will always be audiences shaped by collective preference, whether it be by viewer's commitment or by commercially targeting.

    In all, Comedy Central provides a surprising (mainstream) source of sincere entertainment.
    *Wilfred (serious fun)
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  16. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Mad Men is pretty good. And Foyle's War was excellent. Not a single bad episode. And Battlestar Galactica was superb until the writers realised they'd manufactured a case of cliffhangeritis, and painted themselves into a hole trying to get the cliffhangers to make sense. Then it got totally silly and unbelievable, but till then it was fantastic stuff.
     
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  17. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    Basically why I generally enjoy sitcoms and cartoons instead of marathons (because of the predictability)
     
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  18. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I thought Hell On Wheels was well-written.
     
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  19. Justin Rocket 2
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    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

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    I've heard a scriptwriting professor claim that the Vampire Diaries is the best written show on tv. Some of the shows I think are among the best are Six Feet Under, Allegiance, Dead Like Me had some really great episodes but I don't remember if it was consistently great, Taken was an awesome mini-series, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad, the 100, and Dexter.
     
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  20. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    I'm actually related to the guy who plays The Swede on that show.
     
  21. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Lost. First, last and always. I'll actually fight any and all of you who lost interest after season 1, or think the story sucks. ;)

    But honestly, that's my favorite show of all time. That and Breaking Bad. The Sopranos and The Wire are also obvious choices. Surprised no one's mentioned The Shield yet, or Parks and Rec.
     
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  22. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Polar bear did it for me, so I didn't even make the end of S1...:meh:
     
  23. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    La Femme Nikita, although after a couple of seasons you learned the pattern and kind of knew what to expect, you just didn't know who was double-crossing who.

    Oh, it started before 2000 apparently. I thought it was newer.
     
  24. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've got one, Harper's Island. It was one season long, and took the normal cast of obnoxious American teens to an island where the entire cast got killed off by a serial killer. It had many faults, it was trashy in places, the twist was obvious and so on. But serious bonus points for making a series that could never be recommissioned (by virtue of the cast being dead).
     
  25. A Fellow Stalker
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    A Fellow Stalker Member

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    On the comedy side, 30 Rock was a show that liked to dabble heavily on the side of genius. The levels the show went into to maintain so many layers of jokes is amazing.

    Scrubs was also good. I can't think of a piece of television that was able to give as many emotional punches as that show.
     

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