TV’s been called a vast wasteland, a mind numbing pastime and the bane of modern day society. So why do we still watch it? In 2011, it was because of shows like the ten featured below, which show how, despite J-Shore and reality television’s ratings reign, TV can also mean quality. Continue reading →
Television often acts as a little slice of escapism in a hectic world. 2011 was a year of unrest in many ways, and so television, with its little vignettes of un-reality, was perhaps more important to some than ever before. TV is also often an arena for the exploration of hot-button issues and social taboos, and 2011 was no different. Whether you seek escapist flights of fancy or something a little more stimulating, here’s the best TV 2011 had to offer. Continue reading →
It’s that time of year again: when all our favourite television shows return to our screens and monitors. Two of the most anticipated returns to the small screen this year have been the newest seasons of Showtime’s Dexter and AMC’s The Walking Dead, and they share a striking similarity. Yes, these two dramas, one about a sociopathic cop-by-day-serial-killer-by-night and one about a ragtag group of survivors stuck in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, do have something in common. Apparently this season, religion is in vogue. But is there an ulterior motive for this invasion of piety on our TV screens, and does how each show deals with the subject paint a more revealing picture? Continue reading →
The characters last longer than a few hundred pages or a couple hours, making the commitment level required for TV one of the most interesting aspects of the medium. Why do we do it? Why do we sit on the couch (or at our desks) for houring consuming what has been called a “vast wasteland”? It’s because nothing beats good TV. When television is good, it’s damn good.
After the jump, check out our list of the best 2010 had to offer, from the culturally significant to the plain hilarious and the utterly captivating.
AMC is officially the Pixar of TV. Like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Rubicon before it The Walking Dead, premiering tonight at 10, continues AMC’s streak of thrilling television. It’s hardly even “television” – this feels more like a movie than any other show I can think of. Maybe it’s the fact that zombies usually walk the theatre, not our living rooms.
Grimes (Lincoln) tries to escape a horde of zombies
The premise might sound a little familiar too: man awakens from coma to find hospital trashed, buildings blackened, cars overturned, city deserted – except of course for the walking dead, those lovely infected folk donning their intestines like apparel. This of course is the basic premise of 28 Days Later, that 2002 horror flick AMC seems to hope you forgot. The scenes with hero Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) walking through the streets of his ruined city look identical to those in the Cillian Murphy movie.
It almost doesn’t matter that The Walking Dead plays on this and so many other zombie flicks – that’s what genre is about. And there’s enough reinvention here to keep the zombie stuff from feeling overdone. The episode, which follows Sheriff Grimes as he searches for his wife and kid, features some great scenes with a horse that play on the Western genre, and the latter half of the episode even hints at some soapy Mad Men-style drama to come. Continue reading →