The mini series mania has put television ahead of the film industry. I’ve heard many people say that TV shows are better than movies. Although I wouldn’t necessarily agree, I can name at least ten TV shows in each genre that are better than most movies.
So lets start with CRIME. If you are a fan of The Sopranos and/or The Wire, and are looking for similar high-quality TV shows to get yourself hooked on, check out this Top Ten Crime TV Shows list. Included are the short video clips so you can get a feel for each show.
Best of all, most of these TV series are available online. Check out the Top 5 sites where you can watch TV shows for free.
Homicide Life on the Street
This TV series is a cop drama, but not a typical one: the accent isn’t on the crimes, but on the nature of the characters. They are all very realistic and human, full of virtues and faults, with issues that evolve from show to show. With elements of film noir, Homicide: Life on the Streets is television at its best.
Made by the creators of the Homicide: Life on the streets, The Wire has that same realistic quality. It’s an intelligent show with lots of characters and multiple story lines, and if you don’t pay attention you will miss important pieces of the plot. The Wire has been described as a visual novel, with each episode one chapter of the overall narrative. The story will absolutely suck you in if you give it time.
The Sopranos is the most financially successful series in the history of cable television and is acknowledged as one of the greatest television series of all time and a seminal work of fiction. The series is noted for its high level of quality in every aspect of production and is particularly recognized for its writing, its cinematic style, and the performances of its lead actors. The show is credited with bringing a greater level of artistry to the television medium and paving the way for many successful drama series that followed. It also won a multitude of awards, including twenty-one Emmys and five Golden Globes.
The story revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads.
Although in some ways similar to The Wire, The Shield is different in that it doesn’t focus so much on the social aspects, but goes more for the action. The Shield has got all you need: gritty realism and the anti-hero characters, corrupt cops, drugs, violence, betrayal, good detective work, and most importantly, a fast going story line that will suck you in from the start.
Presenting a harsh and realistic view of prison life, Oz is one of the most graphic, down-right filthy, but at the same time, enthralling shows you’ll ever watch. Set in Oswald State Penitentiary (OZ), the script doesn’t lack hardcore brutality and unflinching scenes of sex, drug abuse, and violence. OZ is not for the faint hearted. However, it is a wonderful mixture of superb acting and character development; its characters are intensely dislikable one moment and oddly lovable the next. By the end of the first episode you’ll be hooked.
This deeply disturbing mini series realistically portrays the hopelessness of inner city life in major American cities. The Corner is a great American tragedy and a crime story combined; a masterpiece of television drama offering unforgiving insight into the life on the streets, narco trafficking, drug abuse, and broken families.
Sons of Anarchy
If your a fan of The Shield you will love Kurt Sutter’s take on the bikers. Sons of Anarchy realistically depicts the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club operating in Charming, California. The cast is great, the characters are well defined and the story line is full of intelligent twists that keep you on the edge of your seats from one episode to the next.
HBO series Generation Kill offers a disturbing insight into an indiscriminate war, and an unforgiving, alpha-male world. The story follows the elite Marine unit that led the first invasion of the Iraq war. It presents a vivid, unsentimental view of conflict that tries to avoid simple “shoot ‘em up” scenarios. Instead, this flawlessly acted show gives realistic impression of what it’s like to be in the front line.
The series is about two brothers who take different paths in life. One is a state Senator and the other is tied in with the Irish mob. Set in Providence, RI, Brotherhood blends crime and politics, similar to The Wire. It also deals with mob and family issues, like The Sopranos. It’s available for Instant watching on Netflix.
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Created by Graham Yost, Justified is based on Elmore Leonard’s novels Pronto and Riding the Rap and his short story “Fire in the Hole”. It centers on Raylan Givens, a deputy U.S. Marshal, a modern day lawman with the style of a wild west cowboy.
This show has a lot going for it: the dialogue is fresh, gritty, real and absolutely hilarious. Casting is perfect; the characters are believable, even when they bounce from utterly ridiculous to downright relatable. Justified is a violent show, but balanced by a lot of humor and the crisp dialogue. The story will have you sitting on the edge of the chair season after season.