TV Review

After Breaking Bad: Five Dramas Worth Watching

It’s only been a week since Breaking Bad ended, but at least for me, it feels much, much longer. Far better writers than I have written at length about the finale, so I’m not going to waste time on that (okay, real quick: I liked it a lot. It did a good job of wrapping up various storylines in a satisfying way. And no, it wasn’t a dream, no supernatural deals with the devil were involved, or any other silly theories like that.). No, I’m writing because I’ve seen a lot of people since then bemoaning the end of Breaking Bad as the end of good drama television. While it’s true Breaking Bad is an exceptional show, the likes of which we probably won’t see again for a while, it’s far from the only drama on TV right now worth making time for in your week. Thus, I’ve put together a list of shows for Breaking Bad faithful to check out.

RULES: All of the shows I’ve listed are either ongoing, or planning new seasons or series in the future. The Sopranos is great, and well worth checking out, but these shows are listed because they give viewers a chance to discuss and react in real time, as they premiere. I also picked shows I think would appeal to this demographic. There are plenty of good shows not on here, from Orange is the New Black to Shameless, but these shows share at least some of the DNA that made Breaking Bad so appealing.



TV Review: The Blacklist

I am a guy who watches a lot of television. I try to follow a ton of shows, via watching them when they air, catching up with them online a week or two later, or marathoning entire seasons in one sitting. And I’ll be honest: the sheer variety and amount of TV shows out there has also turned me into a bit of a snob. I follow around a dozen or so drama shows pretty devoutly, but all of them are at least on basic cable channels, if not premium channels or alternative content providers like Netflix. I firmly believe that there is value to the kinds of procedurals that broadcast networks put out: sometimes people don’t want to spend hours mentally unpacking or recovering from the events of an episode, and sometimes people just want the comfort of watching characters they’ve come to care about solve a problem. But the fact remains that I’ve grown accustomed to a certain level of narrative freedom and complexity that usually comes with cable television, and is a bit more rare on network TV.


Guest TV Review: Hannibal, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Suspense

Adam Dietz is a regular contributor to Filmophilia.

In early January I made my mind up. I was going to make a concerted effort to follow the Kevin Bacon driven vehicle The Following. This decision was made partly out of devotion to Bacon for his excellent work in the (highly underrated) film “The Air Up There” (arguably the seventh best basketball film ever made) and partly because I wanted to make a genuine effort to add a bit of suspenseful programming to my life. I guess I am the type of person who considers watching hour long thrillers to be a legitimate and worthy goal, as opposed to getting myself in better shape or learning a new language. All three are, indeed, worthy of setting my sights on, but The Following was going to be first.

I oft myself often seeking refuge in the serialized 21 minute situation comedy and, I mean, why wouldn’t I? The plots are easy to digest and the characters are all attractive, funny, and smart. Situation Comedy stars are capable of coming up with more one liners in a two minute conversation than I could in an entire year and are intelligent/talented enough to land high paying jobs that afford the luxury of living in hip lofts, yet allow them plenty of time for their trivial escapades.


WIREd In: The Inaugural Post

Adam Dietz is a regular contributor to Filmophilia. He’s graciously agreed to chronicle his The Wire-watching experiences here on Gentlemen, Behold!!

I don’t feel well, blogosphere. Things are not right in the world of your (noble, handsome, humble) narrator.

My current state of dissatisfaction has two contributing factors that have brought me to where I currently am. The first involves a weekend of debauchery in the windiest of cities. CHI-town (as the locals call it) has me in a state of zombie like benevolence. The establishments I frequented last evening ate me alive, and I was all too happy to supply the required utensils. It’s been the kind of day where you realize that you’ve put your shirt on inside out, but the prospect of turning it the right seems too exhausting to consider.

Adam Dietz, probably

Adam Dietz, probably

The second, and far more relevant, cause of my grief is not an ailment, per se, but is an experience that I have deprived myself from. As a (self-proclaimed) television aficionado, I take pride in my knowledge of current and past television shows and genuinely enjoy the experience of watching episodes, seasons, and entire series of shows. With all of this said, I am missing an important piece to the popular culture puzzle. It seems that through inexplicable circumstances, I have not tasted the sweet dish that is/was HBO’s The Wire. How is it possible that a man with such love for television and popular culture hasn’t seen a show of such high acclaim? I have decided to right this wrong and cure this injustice. Tonight and for many days and nights to follow, I will be watching this former premium cable darling and writing posts that will detail my journey.


Parks and Rec Talk: “Leslie and Ben”/”Correspondents’ Dinner”

Joe Stando is the writer and proprietor of Gentlemen, Behold!! (He’s writing this sentence, actually.) Adam Dietz is a writer for Filmophilia. Parks and Recreation is a long-running, critically-acclaimed comedy series on NBC. They (we) sat down together over the weekend to talk about last week’s episodes, in what will hopefully become a regular column. Here goes!


Animation Wednesday: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)

This post is part of the Animation Wednesday series, a regular column which looks at animated TV series and movies of the past, present and future.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are older than I am. Conceived in 1984 as a parody of current comic trends (particularly those of Frank Miller), the resulting movies and TV series launched its heroes to international stardom. The adventures of Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo were the biggest thing in the world for children in the early 1990s, rivaling Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny in name recognition. Since then, there have been numerous reboots and remakes, from an early 2000s cartoon to a CGI feature film. With the threat of a Michael Bay movie looming on the horizon, you might think that all of the juice has been squeezed out of this admittedly flimsy premise. But as Nickelodeon’s new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles take proves, there’s still some new tricks in this old dog.


TV Review: House of Cards

We are living in a golden age of television, specifically of drama television series. The rise of cable and premium channels has allowed creators to present their visions for series with less oversight from networks and advertisers. These shows are made with fewer strictures; rules like ease of entry and stable status quo that make things easy to sell in syndication don’t matter as much. But now Netflix has taken things a step further, with original programming produced by them, for them, a TV show that never airs on TV. They have new Arrested Development episodes in the pipeline and a couple more prospects after that, but they opened with House of Cards, a gripping, visually stunning adaptation of the U.K. series of the same name.