Note: The Shield and The Wire are both highly recommended, but because both shows had ended in 2008, they are not included on this list (among many others).
(FOX – 2008 – Sci-Fi)
At first this show didn’t stick with many of us on the must watch show list, but the unique plots lured us back and now we consider it a must watch. This show is about a government task force tracking down paranormal activity with the help of a research scientist, Walter Bishop (actor John Noble), who has the characteristics of Frankenstein and the brilliance of Albert Einstein rolled into one, his sarcastic son Peter Bishop (actor Joshua Jackson), and FBI Agent Olivia Dunham (Actress Anna Torv). Besides the X-Files element in this show, one of the things viewers will notice is the parent-child conflict specifically between Walter and Peter as they try to resolve cases. Kurulus Osman Fringe is big on conspiracies and some intense twists on “fringe science”. This show just stands out from the rest in its plot developments.
(USA – 2002 – Dramedy)
Background: This is the creator of the website talking, Nick Shin. Call me an idiot or ridiculous and I certainly deserve both, but I personally ignored this incredibly humorous show for about 6 years solely because of the title; not once did I give this show a chance before 2008. I thought the show was literally about a monk and the adventures inside the monastery. I figured how can a show about a monk and a monastery be remotely interesting. Bad assumption (don’t judge a show by its title?) On a random weekend in 2008, I was incredibly bored, had no commitments, and had all the time in the world. Thus, my introduction to Monk. Now onto why you need to start watching too.
3. In Treatment
(HBO – 2008 – Drama)
Each episode of In Treatment features therapist Dr. Paul Weston (actor Gabriel Byrne) having a session with one of five patients. The casting for this little known show offers an array of characters ranging from teens to middle aged and singles to married couples. In Treatment displays a full range of emotions with superb acting that makes you care about and believe what you are watching. One of the more unique and riveting parts of this show is the portrayal of the therapist (Paul) going to his own therapist. The character development and the artistic storytelling is brilliant. This show might make you uncomfortable at times and it might take a lot out of you, but what we do know is that the combination of incredible acting, storytelling, and character development will get you hooked; don’t give up after one episode.
2. Breaking Bad
(AMC- 2008 – Dramedy)
Quite possibly the most entertaining show and most original show to watch right now, Walter White (actor Bryan Cranston – the dad from Malcolm in the Middle) quite simply is a high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with terminal lung cancer going entrepreneurial to raise enough money for his family. Well, the entrepreneurial part isn’t exactly what one might suspect and this is where the show becomes extremely entertaining. Walt decides to team up with a former student, whom Walt flunked, to get into the crystal-meth business. How’s that for unique writing? If you’ve ever felt you’ve been way in over your head, you will certainly enjoy watching this show as Walt quickly learns the dangers of competing with rival meth dealers.
1. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (IASIP)
(FX – 2005 – Comedy)
Remember Seinfeld? The show from the 90’s that everyone seemed to enjoy immensely due to its random plots and often commercial resolutions. The oft-imitated formula has been mirrored throughout the years, but one show in particular has nailed it on the head. IASIP is possibly the funniest show on television due to the obvious lack of rules or shame. We follow the lives of Mac, Charlie, Dennis, and Dee as they scheme and screw people over on an hourly basis. In the end, everything blows up in their faces in a commercial fashion. If there was ever a show that embodies the basic drives of the human nature within all of us, this is it. Just watch it. Now.