Seinfeld (9 seasons)
Often described as a “show about nothing,” Seinfeld remains one of the most critically acclaimed and widely popular sitcoms ever created. It’s volatile, unpredictable sense of humour defied the far more ordinary set up of most of the episodes, managing to be one of the most artistic, irreverent US sitcoms, and on these levels, it still hasn’t really been matched. It’s intelligent comedy made a watch that was as much for the mind as anything else, really setting the tone for the increasingly large wave of intellectual comedies in the last couple of decades (think Rick and Morty in particular). It managed to pull off an edgy satirical slant on the modern world while, above all else, continuing to provide laughs upon laughs, courtesy of its colourful slate of characters.
Justified (6 seasons)
A no-nonsense modern day tale of the Wild West, Justified manages to rein in the bloody violence just enough to allow a complex, layered drama to eventually take form. The startling authenticity of the locations make the show feel grounded, while the snappy dialogue and characters ooze a Tarantino brand of cool that emanates throughout every season. Its location alone fails to do justice to the blending of genres and themes that Justified manages to pull off. You could talk endlessly about how well-paced the show is too, especially from the second season onwards, but it’s the devilish performances that seal the deal, in particular from a wicked Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins. This is a violent drama to savour.
Words by James Hanton.
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