Tuesday, April 16, 2024

‘What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…’ 11 Shows That Everyone Else Has Watched That You Need to See Stat

I get a lot of stick for not having seen some of ‘those’ shows that everyone else obsesses over. I mean, I’m not a monster, I’ve seen all of Friends, but for some reason I just don’t seem to have watched the same stuff everyone else did in their formulaic years (are you trying to tell me other 16-year-olds watched something other than Home and Away? )

Thankfully for me – and for you – the all new Neon launches today, with a massive new TV and movie offering which will help watercooler conversations across the country. Now I just need to find someone who wants to talk Game of Thrones with me like it just happened. Here’s our top 11 shows that you simply must tick off your list.

The Sopranos

An oldie but a goodie, The Sopranos follows the complex life of Mafia mobster, Tony Soprano, and features his family and almost-family, his Mafia colleagues. The show portrays the difficulties he faces running a criminal organisation and balancing these against the everyday demands of family life.

STARRING: James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Nancy Marchand, Dominic Chianese, Vincent Pastore, Tony Sirico

The Wire

The Wire follows a single sprawling drug and murder investigation in Baltimore – one that culminates in a complex series of dangerous wiretaps and surveillance. Told from the points of view of both the police and their targets, the series portrays a city where easy distinctions between good and evil, and crime and punishment, are challenged at every turn. Plus it’s also Barack Obama’s favourite show, so if it’s good enough for Obama, it’s good enough for me.

STARRING: Dominic West, John Doman, Idris Elba, Frankie Faison

Game Of Thrones

Nine noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros, using political maneuvers, sexual manipulation and brutal violence. While its last season was, er, not its finest, the series is still worth a watch if you’ve never given it a go before, even if, like me, you do it just to get every else’s references.

STARRING: Sean Bean, Mark Addy, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Michelle Fairley

Big Little Lies

Told through the eyes of three mothers – Madeline, Celeste and Jane – Big Little Lies is an absolute favourite of ours thanks to the absolute heavyweight pairing of Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. It paints a picture of a town fueled by rumors and divided into the haves and have-nots, exposing the conflicts, secrets and betrayals that compromise relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and friends and neighbors. In season two Meryl Streep (of course) turns up – the script was based on a novella written by Liane Moriarty, who wrote Mary Louise specifically for Meryl – whose birth name is Mary Louise.

STARRING: Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz, Meryl Streep

Succession

A provocative, bitingly funny HBO drama series that explores themes of power, politics and family through the eyes of an aging, uber-wealthy media mogul and his four grown children. According to mates of ours who used to work for certain Australian media families, whom this show is apparently based upon, the parallels to real life are shockingly accurate. The only thing that’s tough is forgetting that Kieran Culkin was that kid in Home Alone who kept wetting the bed.

STARRING: Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, Hiam Abbass, Sarah Snook

Ray Donovan

Set in the sprawling mecca for the rich and famous, Ray Donovan is LA’s best professional fixer. He’s the one man called upon by celebrities, superstar athletes, and business moguls to make their most complicated and combustible problems disappear. However when his father, Mickey Donovan is unexpectedly released from prison, it sets off a chain of events that shakes the Donovan family to its core.

STARRING: Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight, Eddie Marsan, Dash Mihok, Paula Malcomson, Katherine Moennig

The Newsroom

The Newsroom takes a behind-the-scenes look at a high-rated cable-news program at the fictional ACN Network; charting the professional and personal challenges facing volatile cable-news anchor Will McAvoy and the ACN team

STARRING: Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr., Alison Pill

Breaking Bad

Mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher Walter White thinks his life can’t get much worse. His salary barely makes ends meet, a situation not likely to improve once his pregnant wife gives birth, and their teenage son is battling cerebral palsy. But Walter is dumbstruck when he learns he has terminal cancer. Realizing that his illness probably will ruin his family financially, Walter makes a desperate bid to earn as much money as he can in the time he has left by turning an old RV into a meth lab on wheels.

STARRING: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

The Handmaid’s Tale

In a dystopian near-future, the former United States is now Gilead – an oppressive society run by Christian fundamentalists who force all fertile women into a breeding programme. It’s designed to re-populate a global infertility problem caused by environmental damage. But one such “handmaid” (Elisabeth Moss) is determined to survive this terrifying regime and find her daughter who was taken from her before her world was turned upside down.

STARRING: Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Ann Dowd

Chernobyl

On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union suffered a massive explosion that released radioactive material across Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, and as far as Scandinavia and western Europe, and the sacrifices made to save Europe from unimaginable disaster.

STARRING: Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, Emily Watson, Paul Ritter, Jessie Buckley

Six Feet Under

Your name is Nathaniel Fisher Sr. You’re the owner of Fisher & Sons Funeral Home. You have a wife and a son who work in the business, another son who moved to Seattle, and a rebellious teenage daughter. You’re the head of a typical American family. And you just got killed on Christmas Eve!

STARRING: Peter Krause, Rachel Griffiths, Frances Conroy, Richard Jenkins, Michael Hall

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