No Right Answer: Best TV Drama Ever

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I'm gonna say breaking bad before i watch the video, because it was consistent. dexter had too many ups (4 and 6) and downs (looking at you season 5 and 7, and the ending of 8), whereas breaking bad just seemed to get better with every season, and ended beautifully. now to watch and address what's brought up...

1. i can, and did beast through seasons of dexter and breaking bad. didn't start watching either until they were in season 3, so the first seasons i just blasted through, and really enjoyed both
2. i really enjoyed the 'big baddie' aspect of dexter, they were usually REALLY well done characters
3. i've never heard somebody around me say a breaking bad meme
4. he hasn't seen season 8 yet?! christ, that just leaves with a sour taste in your mouth after watching it

edit:

blackrave:
Kyle, what do you mean "there's never a flawless show"?
Are you implying that "Scrubs" don't exist?

Also you're both wrong- "Scrubs" is the best drama show at this point
"But it's a comedy"
Oh, non-existent average escapee, you are saying this only because you're wrong
See, drama and tragedy can't have impact if it's only thing we have
If there is some fun and laughter AND then bad things happen, then it is a whole different thing
Then emotions are much...
Aaa, fuck it, just watch this
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/6281-Crying-Through-The-Laughs
What Jim said wasn't true only for games

providing scrubs finishes after season 7, which it does!!! then yeah, it does have some really good drama in it. they handle deaths really well i thought, especially JDs dad and that woman who accepts death and the staff go through the stages of grief, so many feels

What about ER? A show with amazing characters, several multi-year storylines, and whose premise allows it to continue for as long as they feel like making it. It launched dozens of careers including George Clooney, spawned a copycat show called Chicago Hope, without it House likely wouldn't have existed... If it's not the greatest, it's definitely up there.

Now, I watched and really enjoyed both, but come on, there's no competition here. Dexter was good but it's already "just another decent show I once watched" (and I only finished it a few days ago). Breaking Bad is in a whole different class. That show, particularly the last few episodes, was an event.

I'm not sure I'd watch it all over again, but Breaking Bad was astonishingly good television. Dexter, while fun, just isn't.

Breaking Bad ended very well, whereas Dexter just...eh. The final four seasons where just awful, and it kind of soured my entire opinion of the show.

Breaking bad could have won the spit take round right then and there by mentioning the ending of Dexter, no one could not laugh at "Okay, I'm sad my sister died, I'm going to drive my boat into a hurricane and LUMBERJACK!"

TripleDaddy:
Justified.

Walter White wouldn't have lasted 10 days in Kentucky.

I'm gonna throw in my hat with this man. Justified has a really cool relaxed vibe and is covered wall to wall in some of the greatest characters in tv history.

Dexter didn't stand a chance against Breaking Bad and with both final seasons running side by side the issues in Dexter only became even more apparent.

Breaking Bad had a clear cut plan from the start and a direction it was heading in. There was an ending we could see as an audience (even if Gilligan wasn't fully sure how he would end it) and it never strayed away from that ultimate conclusion either. It was always there, even if it was off in the distance we knew it was there. This created a presence in the series that made everything carry serious weight behind it. Nothing happened without having a reason behind it so when something major happened you knew the game was changing and that final conclusion was one step closer.

Dexter never had that. We were just watching Dexter's life unfold and while some had an idea of how it could end the show never painted that vivid picture for us. Because of this the audience was often left twisting in the wind about what certain developments meant. When Rita died that was a massive shock to everyone and personally my mind immediately turned to how this would impact Dexter's life moving forward. The only impact it had was that it made everything easier for Dexter. The kids went away, no one ever really looked into him despite all his tools and equipment being right there, and ultimately Rita's death amounted to nothing. The idea was thought up in the writer's room and they had nothing to follow it.

When you compare the two shows you have to take everything into account, the highs and the lows. Dexter is full of lows in the form of seasons which amount to nothing, character development which is undone in a matter of moments for no reason at all other than convenience for the writers, and of course the series staple formula which wore out its welcome long before the show ended. Breaking Bad had none of that. There was never a pointless seasons, character development matter and was never undone just to wrap things up, and while not every moment was pure gold I have a hard time pinpointing any bad moments in Breaking.

Heck even in the final episodes one of Walt's first major steps into the darkness (letting Jane die) came back in full force. Something that had been kept secret for pretty much the entire show exploded onto the scene and consequences of Walt's actions were never forgotten. In fact it was great comparison to show how much of a monster Walt had become. Before he felt remorse for letting Jane die, unsure if he had made the right choice and did everything he could to help Jesse recover from it. Then after Jesse cost him all his money, got Hank and Gonzo killed, Walt took pride in what he had done. He told Jesse about it with a sense of smug satisfactions as if to say "I'll always have the last laugh." Go back and watch the scene when Jane dies then watch the scene when he tells Jesse, it's amazing to see these play out and seeing what Walt has become.

At the end of the day it's pretty clear which show was better. I'd argue that the first four seasons of Dexter are up there with Breaking Bad (still not as good though) but when you factor in the mess that came afterwards Dexter just doesn't compete.

Personally I'd have picked Game of Thrones to go up against Breaking Bad but that's just me.

Hmm... well I did enjoy Dexter even if it did fall into the trap of a formula, but I do think the end of the most recent (last?) season was fairly bullshit... not to spoil, but it really threw his whole "trying to become human" arc under a bus.

Breaking Bad on the other hand... I just can't get into, while Dexter is about a monster trying to become human, BB from what I hear is about a good man becoming a monster, which while fascinating, is just kind of depressing.

Firefilm:

Greg Tito:
Farscape!

Frell yeah!

I'm backing this up as well. And I give all of you exactly 200 microts to admit it before I crash this place into a Gammak base!

Farscape is not just the best TV show, it's also the coolest sci-fi show ever. Crichton was completely aware that his life turned into a sci-fi adventure. So every time he got a chance he'd spit out some classic sci-fi reference that no one around him could possibly understand. It was so awesome to watch.

TripleDaddy:
Justified.

Walter White wouldn't have lasted 10 days in Kentucky.

No one leaves Harlan alive. He'd be one of those villains that die at the end of the season.

I have to laugh reading through this thread. I've no interest in Dexter, but I find it humorous that folks are in complete disagreement over which seasons were "good" and which were "bad." Sounds like everyone was watching the show for different reasons.

I also feel like this thread can't end without a shout-out to BBC's "Robin Hood" series. It was short, and season 2 took a bit of a dip, but Seasons 1 and 3 were flat-out astounding. The show didn't try to outlive itself either. 3 seasons, fantastic ending, and that was it. If you haven't seen it and you love Robin Hood as a character, I highly recommend it. My favorite television drama, hands down.

A lot of Breaking Bad didn't appeal to me. Maybe its depressive setting gets to me, maybe it's too real in some aspects or maybe I just can't stand Walter's wife, which I guess says something about how good an actor she is.
The worst thing about Breaking Bad, was how I couldn't watch Dexter afterwards, because the writing in the latter was so piss poor in comparison. I used to like Dexter, a lot.

With a sigh and despite my dislike for Breaking Bad, I have to say it was the better show by far, in almost every aspect. Subjectivity only goes so far, there's something almost tangible to the show that makes it genuinly good, which was somehow missing from Dexter.

I will say this, despite the lackluster ending of Dexter, I do think they did one thing right.

o_d:
God no, Skyler's just a poor man's Carmela Soprano.

Maybe, but I'm not trying to argue Breaking Bad over The Sopranos. ;)

More seriously, well, she's clearly a riff on a pretty well established character type of the criminal family matriarch. I kind of like Skyler a bit more than others, though, in that we get to see her start of darkness, and she's also kind of one-foot on either side of it, too. Carmela may be likewise shifting in her level of loyalty, but her reasons for those loyalty shifts are very different to Skyler's. Both characters may be cut from the same cloth, but I think it's a mistake to compare them too closely - Skyler's a much more ambivalent criminal... even to the end... than Carmela is.

The clear winner was Farscape, right from the beginning it scored infinite points and no more needed to be said. :)

(I myself am a major Farscape fan)

To be honest I was cheering for Dexter to win, and kind of though it would because well.. it seems Kyle almost never wins. Either way this seems to have been one of the more evenly matched episode as far as the two contenders, well done. :)

I've just re-watched Battlestar Galactica and have to say that it'd still be my top pic. Yes it's Sci-Fi but as a Space Opera/Drama it's almost without peers. It's still holding up very well 10 years on. It has a great cast, excellent character development, very high production values, intriguing and well developed plot/lore and probably the best sound score ever recorded for TV. Yes it only got 4 seasons, but that meant it didn't over stay its welcome, something I get the feeling Dexter and definitely SG1 did. Get on Youtube and search for 'All along the Watchtower BSG' and tell me it doesn't get you in the mood to watch it all again.

I enjoyed Caprica more than most I suspect, and was disappointed to see it only get 1 season.

I'd put Farscape a close 2nd to BSG.

Regards
Jordan

Greg Tito:
Farscape!

I loved farscape but as far as drama goes Babylon 5 beats it every day.

Robot Number V:

OBVIOUSLY THE WIRE. Come ON, guys!

there are people who dont like the wire. you know, like me. i thought it was crap.

Granted i only saw first 3 episodes of breaking bad, but there was plenty of healthcare bashing in it.

How the hell did you pick Dexter? I watched Dexter beginning to end when it aired. Dexter was NOT required viewing and it doesn't outdo other shows. This is the reason I don't watch no right answer. The guys don't seem to have any idea about what is in the topics they choose.

Strazdas:

Greg Tito:
Farscape!

I loved farscape but as far as drama goes Babylon 5 beats it every day.

Robot Number V:

OBVIOUSLY THE WIRE. Come ON, guys!

there are people who dont like the wire. you know, like me. i thought it was crap. I'll assume you've ran into plenty of superfans who looked at you as if you were the devil after you said you didn't like it, and I'll assume that's where your reaction is coming from. So I just want to say that I am not one of those fans. I really don't care if people don't like the things I like. Nothing is for everyone.

Granted i only saw first 3 episodes of breaking bad, but there was plenty of healthcare bashing in it.

Well, obviously there are people who don't like the Wire. I don't seem to recall every denying that, or even implying otherwise. I'll assume you've ran into plenty of superfans who looked at you as if you were the devil after you said you didn't like it, and I'll assume that's where your reaction is coming from. So I just want to say that I am not one of those fans. I really don't care if people don't like the things I like. Nothing is for everyone.
And about Breaking Bad...sorry, but it just isn't about health care. They make several things VERY clear right from the start:

1. Walt was perfectly capable of getting better care IF HE WANTED IT, thanks to his rich friends.

2. Walt didn't want better care because he'd rather die on his own terms. He was afraid that getting treatment would only draw his death out and make the whole thing worse for everyone.

3. He goes into the meth business to pay for his children's education. He even calculates exactly how much he'll need for two college educations. He is NOT doing it for any kind of health care.

Anyway, I would honestly like to hear what "health care bashing" you saw in the show, as I can't recall any. I'm legitimately asking what, specifically, you are talking about.

Robot Number V:

Well, obviously there are people who don't like the Wire. I don't seem to recall every denying that, or even implying otherwise. I'll assume you've ran into plenty of superfans who looked at you as if you were the devil after you said you didn't like it, and I'll assume that's where your reaction is coming from. So I just want to say that I am not one of those fans. I really don't care if people don't like the things I like. Nothing is for everyone.

Im glad you are not one of those people. Your post i was quoting however made you look like one.
your point number 4 and the part i quoted implied that the wire was the only obvious choice because it somehow is the only choice when talking about best drama, when such is not the case for everyone.

As for breaking bad, like i said i only saw first 3 episodes (and then my cousin gave up since i pretty much predicted everything that was going to happen so it was no fun for him), so i dont know how much the story moves away in the future, but in those three episodes the main crysis was that he got Cancer that he could not cure because messed up health care system does not even provide actual healthcare and wants him to pay for it, essentially forcing him into dealing drugs, which turns him into a murderer. Its not direct exposition of characters bashing healthcare, but it was the underlining cause of a chemistry teacher turning into a murderer, which could have been avoided had healthcare system worked.

Robot Number V:
Well, Chris officially knows nothing about television. Here are all of his horrible mistakes, in list form:

1. Compared Dexter to Breaking Bad.
2. Said that Dexter was BETTER than Breaking Bad.
3. Said that Breaking Bad was about drugs or health care. (DEFINITELY not health care)
4. (All three of you did this one) Not even MENTIONING the MOTHER. FUCKING. WIRE.

Seriously, I can't stress this enough:

OBVIOUSLY THE WIRE. Come ON, guys!

PS: Dexter only had 3 good seasons, since season 3 was utter crap. Even season 2 was iffy.

Out of so many people here making the point I was going to make, you were the most succint, so, here's me quoting you in recognition.

Seriously, this NRA was so abysmal I could not even watch it. The reason why there's no right answer in this case is because both hosts are completely ignorant to their subject matter.

Dexter was a good premiss who was unlucky enough to be produced on Showtime and being therefore run into the ground. But yeah, nearly all of HBO's catalogue surpasses it in terms of depth, quality of storytelling... everythin. So, NRA guys, do educate yourselves, this was quite pathetic.

Strazdas:

Greg Tito:
Farscape!

I loved farscape but as far as drama goes Babylon 5 beats it every day.

Robot Number V:

OBVIOUSLY THE WIRE. Come ON, guys!

there are people who dont like the wire. you know, like me. i thought it was crap.

Granted i only saw first 3 episodes of breaking bad, but there was plenty of healthcare bashing in it.

It is pretty fair game and understandable to dislike The Wire. There's plenty to not make it an easy watch, from the drawn out pace, to the subject matter to the some tims incoherent scope of the narrative painting too wide a picture. Saying it's crap is another thing altogether.

As for Breaking Bad, the first 3 episodes are nowhere near indicative of what the show will become, how it will pick up pace, and why so many people were hooked on it.

Best TV drama ever... and it's Breaking Bad (legit choice) versus DEXTER? Fucking Dexter?? I only have one way of reacting to this... and I pray to God that you understand wtf I am saying:

image

Ok fudge it ima rant anyway.
This show is used in universities to give examples and explain complex theories about true workings of society. Dexter is a easy-consume shitshow that barely anyone will remember five years from now. Dexter has pretty much no deeper layer. Gives you barely anything to consider.
Everyone goes nuts about BB bashing the healthcare system... My candidate does so much more than just bash. Bashing is easy. What is hard is to take something that is easy to bash and then show many different freaking sides making you both want to hate it and be apologetic at the same time. That is art. That is social commentary. That is a show worth watching.

Ehh...

Whilst I enjoyed Dexter, it did have a lot of bad moments (Pretty much every season finale was just the worst thing ever). I mean, I enjoyed the first half of Season 1, season 4, 5, 6 and the tolerated season 2 and season 7. But everything else was just bad (I barely made it through season 3... In fact I skipped half of it when it became apparent that nothing interesting was going to happen)

As far as Breaking Bad goes, it was pretty good. I didn't like the second half of the final series much (With the whole Hank vs Walter stuff) but I guess there's not much that could be done for a finale that'd be workable...

Other good TV Dramas:

Game of Thrones

Vikings (Currently one of my favorite shows, really looking forward to season 2)

The Wire - I admit, I'm still getting into this, nearly at the end of the 1st season... But it gets a lot of admiration and does have potential to be very engaging.

Eamar:
Now, I watched and really enjoyed both, but come on, there's no competition here. Dexter was good but it's already "just another decent show I once watched" (and I only finished it a few days ago). Breaking Bad is in a whole different class. That show, particularly the last few episodes, was an event.

I'm not sure I'd watch it all over again, but Breaking Bad was astonishingly good television. Dexter, while fun, just isn't.

This pretty much sums up my thoughts on these shows.

I watched Dexter first and found it quite enjoyable at some points, and less enjoyable at other points. I even liked most of season 8, but that ending killed it. Then I decided to give Breaking Bad a try, even though it doesn't even remotely fall into any category of things I might like. As I watched, I was constantly being retroactively reminded how much Dexter actually isn't good at all. I mean, it's alright, but compared to something like Breaking Bad? Almost hilariously incompetent with handling characters and plotlines. Breaking Bad was superb in all aspects and I devoured all five season in, like, three weeks. An amazing cast and acting, no plot left unexplained or handled outside the screen, all characters consistent and their development works in regard to what is happening and everything wraps up marvelously, unlike in Dexter where it ends with an absolutely unnecessary soap opera type drama. That ending soured the entire series for me because it was so stupid, as if the writers wanted to shock us for nothing other than pure shock value. And none of the characters, other than Dexter and Deb, were ever even remotely important. After watching Breaking Bad, I'm convinced that Dexter would've worked much better if it was less seasons and if they caught him eventually. And I actually expected season 8 to be with Dexter being discovered, but nope. Same old plot and we get an ending that doesn't really give any feeling of conclusion or actual development for characters that I just watched for 8 seasons.

Breaking Bad mops the floor with Dexter.

BlindChance:

o_d:
God no, Skyler's just a poor man's Carmela Soprano.

Maybe, but I'm not trying to argue Breaking Bad over The Sopranos. ;)

More seriously, well, she's clearly a riff on a pretty well established character type of the criminal family matriarch. I kind of like Skyler a bit more than others, though, in that we get to see her start of darkness, and she's also kind of one-foot on either side of it, too. Carmela may be likewise shifting in her level of loyalty, but her reasons for those loyalty shifts are very different to Skyler's. Both characters may be cut from the same cloth, but I think it's a mistake to compare them too closely - Skyler's a much more ambivalent criminal... even to the end... than Carmela is.

Well argued. And I do concede that I'm a little biased against Skyler because of how much I disliked her in the earlier seasons. Part of the reason for this is that I watched seasons of Breaking Bad and The Sopranos back to back; so season 2 Skyler who is simply frustrating to watch when paired next to a Walter White who is still trying to be a good guy, vs. Carmela whose concern over her marriage is justified given how amoral and complex Tony already is.
This is, I admit, a flaw in my part to judge Breaking Bad too harshly on its earlier seasons when it is, more than the other great shows, much more about being a single piece, rather than a series of individual seasons tied together.

Strazdas:

Robot Number V:

Well, obviously there are people who don't like the Wire. I don't seem to recall every denying that, or even implying otherwise. I'll assume you've ran into plenty of superfans who looked at you as if you were the devil after you said you didn't like it, and I'll assume that's where your reaction is coming from. So I just want to say that I am not one of those fans. I really don't care if people don't like the things I like. Nothing is for everyone.

Im glad you are not one of those people. Your post i was quoting however made you look like one.
your point number 4 and the part i quoted implied that the wire was the only obvious choice because it somehow is the only choice when talking about best drama, when such is not the case for everyone.

As for breaking bad, like i said i only saw first 3 episodes (and then my cousin gave up since i pretty much predicted everything that was going to happen so it was no fun for him), so i dont know how much the story moves away in the future, but in those three episodes the main crysis was that he got Cancer that he could not cure because messed up health care system does not even provide actual healthcare and wants him to pay for it, essentially forcing him into dealing drugs, which turns him into a murderer. Its not direct exposition of characters bashing healthcare, but it was the underlining cause of a chemistry teacher turning into a murderer, which could have been avoided had healthcare system worked.

No, see, that's what I'm trying to tell you. You really didn't watch enough of the show to make any solid judgements. I can guarantee you that you misunderstood what was happening. There is a part of the show (might be after the third episode) where the main character straight up says that he does not want treatment, because of the likelihood that he would just end up dying anyway. He tells his family that he believes treatment would only draw out his death, so that he would slowly grow more pathetic and weak before finally dying anyway.

Seriously. You are misunderstanding the show. This is probably because you only saw 3 episodes of it. I'm not saying you should go watch it or anything, that's entirely up to you. But as of right now, you have not seen enough of the show to really talk about it.

Breaking Bad
Dexter

None of the Above.

Sorry to categorically disagree here but neither should really be considered.

Dexter started off as a great show but the series jumped the shark after it decided to keep going after the end of the Trinity season. Everything beyond that became a painful mockery of where the series came from, with each consequent season becoming more comical than the last and culminating with its final season spent by Dexter Morgan trying to deny the assessment of him only to end up finally agreeing with it.

Breaking bad was overhyped to begin with. It featured terrible pacing, dragging points out well beyond logical bounds, Jumped its own shark In its second season with Walts recovery and perhaps its biggest failing is being something terribly mundane and too believable that it all too easily could have been ripped from local police blotters and makeshifted together.

Now are either of these shows bad? Absolutely not. However to be considered the best TV drama ever when they were not even the best TV dramas on the air during their run, much less over a half century worth of television history. To name either of these the best is a pretty bad joke and fairly stern slap in the face to shows like The Sopranos, The wire, House of Cards, The Shield, The prisoner, Dallas, and so many many more to chose from that Neither Dexter or BB were even close to. Neither were bad. But a series that went on twice as long as it should have and a series that was always just a mid season replacement series that only had limited competition are not the hallmarks of what would be called best

Speaking of TV shows, did they ever do a Friends vs Seinfeld video? Seems like something's ringing a bell but I don't remember.

Robot Number V:

No, see, that's what I'm trying to tell you. You really didn't watch enough of the show to make any solid judgements. I can guarantee you that you misunderstood what was happening. There is a part of the show (might be after the third episode) where the main character straight up says that he does not want treatment, because of the likelihood that he would just end up dying anyway. He tells his family that he believes treatment would only draw out his death, so that he would slowly grow more pathetic and weak before finally dying anyway.

Seriously. You are misunderstanding the show. This is probably because you only saw 3 episodes of it. I'm not saying you should go watch it or anything, that's entirely up to you. But as of right now, you have not seen enough of the show to really talk about it.

I agree that judging whole show based on 3 episodes is unfair, hence why i mentioned that my knowledge comes from only those 3 episodes which is where i base my opinion and it may be completely incorrect.
Ill probably watch it eventually, but i got plenty of shows to watch before that. Currently watching Xena of all things hehe. Im the kind of guy that once i start i finish the show hence why i stuck thouh the Wire, of which i think second season was the best. I had plenty of experincesthat started off badly and then got really good (my favourite TV show of all time - babylon 5 - was looking bad till around half a season in).

P.S. this is the THIRD time capcha gives me exact same image in 2 days. the image reads: My spot.
i think its trying to tell me something.

Heh, I was thinking about what TV drama's really sucked me in, and it's only Full Metal Alchemist that made me suffer wondering what was going to happen next. You can imagine when they played episode 50 on Adult Swim without saying 'to be continued' at the end had me in shock.

The Shield or The Wire would be better options than Dexter. Or just use Game of Thrones.

Robot Number V:
Well, Chris officially knows nothing about television. Here are all of his horrible mistakes, in list form:

1. Compared Dexter to Breaking Bad.
2. Said that Dexter was BETTER than Breaking Bad.
3. Said that Breaking Bad was about drugs or health care. (DEFINITELY not health care)
4. (All three of you did this one) Not even MENTIONING the MOTHER. FUCKING. WIRE.

Seriously, I can't stress this enough:

OBVIOUSLY THE WIRE. Come ON, guys!

PS: Dexter only had 3 good seasons, since season 3 was utter crap. Even season 2 was iffy.

Seriously, THIS. To not mention The Wire at all, and to put Dexter over it just astonishes me. Also not mentioning Justified baffles me. Both shows gave us nuanced characters, tight writing, an incredible sense of place (so much so with The Wire that I fell in love with its dysfunctional but fascinating Baltimore and moved here), characters who aren't all rich and Hollywood-pretty, refusing to go down the predictable path of cop hero vs. criminal villain but locating the motivations of both solely in the milieu in which they were born and raised, product of the institutions and the history around them. Both defy the expectation of making their hillbillies laughable stereotypes (Justified) and making their inner-city criminals monstrous and beyond redemption *or* pathetic but noble victims of The Man (The Wire). IMO season 4 of The Wire blows just about anything else that's ever been on television out of the water-- the seasons before it were great, too, and the issues important but both the command performances of all the young actors and the expose of the mess of US schools post-No Child Left Behind Act is a thing every American should see.

can we get a best Tv comedy?

Also; Lie to me.

I'm guessing The Sopranos weren't a side because that would have removed the possibility for debate?

The wrong answer is Dexter. Didn't like that show, period.

If Game of Thrones continues to be awesome, it would eventually surpass The Wire for me. I'm also digging House of Cards US version as well.

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