Mustc Top 30

My Top 30 Mustc TV Shows

This is a golden era for television. In fact, it’s no longer necessary to go to the cinema to experience cinematic quality drama. While the average budget of a Hollywood film still far exceeds that spent on the production of small screen drama, television expenditure is rising. Production costs for Season 1 of Game of Thrones is widely reported at between $50 and $60 million. Internet Movie Database (IMDB ) indicates that there will be at least 6 seasons of the hit HBO show.

GoT 01 -The Eyrie by Natty Dread source Flickr

Image by Natty Dread; source: Flickr

It’s not just the impressive production values of small screen dramas affording cinema competition. TV, as a medium, often surpasses cinema when it comes to plot and writing quality, too. There is much greater scope within a television series for narrative and character development. Although the run time of films is on the rise, most are under 2 hours long. Whereas, the average TV series has 12-22 episodes– and that’s just season one!

In fact, there are so many addictive, ground-breaking, thought-provoking or visually-stunning shows available, that it’s very easy to miss out on even the award-winners when they first air.

There are only so many hours in the day and spaces on the Tivo box, right?

Looking for recommendations? Just finished a brilliant show and left wondering what you should try next? Whether you want to watch on cable, dvd, or to opt for subscribed or free online streaming, here’s the list that can help!

(coming soon:) Click on the title links for more info.

1. Game of Thrones (2011)

shareasimage Game of Thrones final version

 

Quote created using ShareAsImage; image by Jason Train; source: Flickr

The quote is taken from season 1, episode 7: `You Win or You Die,` when Ned Stark (Sean Bean) confronts Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) about her “relationship” with her brother, Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).

Watch season 1 to discover who lives and who dies.

Very hard to avoid spoilers here – and yet, there’s so much more I could have revealed!

 2. The Wire (2002)

Shareasimage The Wire final version

Image by Elvert Barnes; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage

The quote: D’Angelo (Laurence Gillard Jr), in season 1, episode 12: `Cleaning Up.`

The Wire stars also include: Dominic West as Det. McNulty; Seth Gilliam as Sgt. Ellis Carver (The Walking Dead); Michael Kenneth Williams as Omar Little; Wood Harris as Avon Barksdale; Sonja Sohn as Det. “Kima” & Andre Royo as “Bubbles.”

3. Breaking Bad (2008)

shareasimage Breaking Bad final version

Image by Doug Kline; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage

Desperate chemistry teacher turned crystal-meth cook, Walter White (Bryan Cranston), shown in image above. Quote: Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) to Walter White, in season 1, episode 2: `Cat’s in the Bag…`

4. Boardwalk Empire (2010)

shareasimage Boardwalk EMpire final version

Image by Wicker Paradise; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage.

The image shows Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi) and his brother, Elias “Eli” Thompson (Shea Whigham). The quote refers to the conversation between Nucky and his nephew, Will, Eli’s eldest son. It takes place in Season 4, episode 5: `Erikonig,` following what (to avoid too many spoilers) I’m just going to refer to as the “college cover-up.”

Fans of The Wire character Omar Little, will also recognize a familiar face among the cast: Chalky White (Michael Kenneth Williams).

5. Prison Break (2005)

shareasimage Prison Break final version

Image by Siddhartha Thota; source: Flickr, via Bloggerscage.com; quote added using ShareAsImage.

The quote is taken from season 4, episode 12: `Selfless.` These memorable words were first voiced by Theodore “T-bag” Bagwell, they represent a recurring theme in Prison Break.

In the image, from left to right: Kellerman (Paul Adelstein); T-bag (Robert Knepper); Abruzzi (Peter Stormare); Burrows (Dominic Purcell); Dr Trancredi (Sarah Wayne Callies); Scofield (Wentworth Miller); Sucre (Amaury Nolasco); “C-Note” Franklin (Rockmond Dunbar) & “Tweener” Apolskis (Lane Garrison).

6. Scandal (2012)

shareasimage Scandal final version without bold font

Quote created using ShareAsImage; image by M. Mate; source: Flickr

(Spoiler:) The Quote is from Season 3, episode 12: `We do not Touch the First Ladies.` It is Ex-B613 operative, Huck’s (Guillermo Díaz) reply to Olivia (Kerry Washington), when she tells him he’s “gone too Far” by torturing Quinn (Katie Lowes).

7. The Walking Dead (2010)

shareasimage Walking Dead final version

Image by That Hartford Guy; source: Flickr; text added using ShareAsImage

From left to right: Maggie (Lauren Cohan); Glenn (Stephen Yeun); Norman Reedus); Rick (Andrew Lincoln); The Governor (David Morrissey); ???; Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman); Hershel (Scott Wilson).

Can anyone identify the actor in the back, between The Governor and Tyreese?

The front row: Andrea (Laurie Holden); Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green); Carol (Melissa McBride ); Carl (Chandler Riggs); Beth (Emily Kinney) & Michonne (Danai Gurira).

8. Homeland (2011)

shareasimage Homeland final version

Quote created using ShareAsImage; image by Laurstpauls; source: Flickr

The quote is taken from Brody’s (Damian Lewis) recording in season 1, episode 12: `Marine One.` Homeland also stars Claire Danes as intelligence officer, Carrie Mathison.

 9. Banshee (2013)

shareasimage Banshee final version

Image by Cucombre Libre; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage

The quote is taken from season 2, episode 5: `The Truth about Unicorns.` “Carrie” (Ivana Milicevic) warns “Lucas”(Antony Starr) that Ukrainian gangster “Rabbit,” (Ben Cross) will come for them both.

10. Justified (2010)

Shareasimage Justified final version

Image by Jeff Moss; source: Flickr; quotes added using ShareAsImage

Quotes taken from Season 1, episode 13: `Bulletville,` and season 1, episode 11: `Veterans,` respectively. Justified stars Timothy Olyphant as Marshal Raylan Givens.

 11. Damages (2007)

shareasimage Damages final version

Quote created using ShareAsImage; image by Brett Jordon; source: Flickr

The quote is from season 2, episode 5: `I Agree, It Wasn’t Funny.` Patty (Glenn Close) is explaining to Ellen (Rose Byrne) how she chooses a case. Fans of The O.C, Hostages or 24, will also recognize a familiar face in Tate Donovan, who plays Tom in Damages.

12. Outlander (2014)

shareasimage Outlander final version

Image by a.poll_o; source: Flickr; quotes added using ShareAsImage

Quote taken from season 1, episode 8: `Both Sides Now.` Outlander stars Caitriona Balfe as time-traveller, Claire, and Sam Heughan as 18th century highlander, Jamie Faiser.

The series is based upon the novels by Diana Gabaldon, which are also well worth a read – in fact, my book group are reading book 1 at the moment!

 13. The BlackList (2013)

shareasimage The Blacklist final version

Image by Titi; source: Flickr; quotes added using ShareAsImage.

 The quotes (all spoken by Raymond “Red” Reddington, played by James Spader) are taken from season 2, episode 11: `Ruslan Denisov,` and season 2, episode 10: `Luther Braxton,` respectively. The Blacklist also stars Megan Boon as Agent Elizabeth Keen (right) and, Diego Klattenhoff, as Agent Ressler (left).

 14. Suits (2011)

shareasimage Suits final version

Quote created using ShareAsImage

The quotes are taken from season 2, episode 6: `All In,` and season 2, episode 7: `Sucker Punch,` respectively; both are spoken by lawyer, Harvey Spector (Gabriel Macht).

Harvey’s brilliant but unqualified  legal protégé, Mike Ross, is played by Patrick J. Adams. Suits also stars Rick Hoffman as Louis Litt; Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane; Sarah Rafferty as Donna Paulsen & Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson. Joss Wheden fans may remember Torres as Jasmine in Buffy-spin-off: Angel and Zoë Washburne in Firefly.

15. Peaky Blinders (2013)

Cillian Murphy at Peaky Blinder Premiere Birmingham by tim cornbill source Flickr

Image by Tim Cornbill; source: Flickr

Cillian Murphy (who plays Tommy Shelby,) at the premiere of Peaky Blinders, in Birmingham, where the gritty period drama is set.

16. The Americans (2013)

shareasimage Americans final version

Quote created using ShareAsImage

The quote is from season 2, episode 11: `Covert War.` The Americans stars Soviet Intelligence agents, Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Phillip Jennings (Mathew Rhys).

17. 24 (2001)

shareasimage 24 final version

Image by Robin A Kirk; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage

The Quote is taken from Day 5, 8:00 am – 9:00 am (Season 5, episode 2). It is spoken by Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland).  Don’t mess with Jack – he’s having a long day!

18. Orange is the New Black (2013)

shareasimage Orange is the New Black final version

Quote created using ShareAsImage

The quotes are taken from season 2, episode 9: `40 OZ of Furlough,` episode 11: `Take a Break From Your Values,` and episode 5, `Low Self Esteem City,` respectively.

Spoiler-alert! The last quote refers to the disturbing incident when Piper (Taylor Schilling) is attacked while alone in the yard. The assault is witnessed, but a certain authority figure (who shall remain nameless here – watch season 2 if you want to know!) chooses not to intervene. The series is based upon Piper Kerman’s real prison experiences.

 19. The Chicago Code (2011)

shareasimage the chicago code final version

 Quote created using ShareAsImage

Chicago Police Officer, Isaac (Todd Williams), quoted above; taken from season 1, episode 2: `Hog Butcher.` The Chicago Code also stars Jason Clarke as Jarek Wysocki.

 20. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

shareasimage Buffy final version

 

 Image by Hot Gossip Italia; source: Flickr; quotes added using ShareAsImage.

The top left quote is taken from season 4, episode 4: `Fear Itself.` It’s a Halloween episode and Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. Xander is played by Nicholas Brendon.

(Spoiler) The bottom left quote is taken from season 5, episode 22: `The Gift,` in which Buffy makes a monumental sacrifice for Dawn. The bottom right quote is taken from season 1, episode 5: `Never Kill a Boy on a First Date.`

Yes, it was the 90s; we had pagers and they beeped… well, I didn’t, but I’m just about old enough to remember them. Personally, I went straight to a “brick-phone” – remember the the clunky, protruding aerials they had?

 21. Life on Mars (2006; original UK series)

shareasimage Life on Mars final version

 Image by “Gene Hunt;” source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage

The quote is taken from the series opening title sequence. Gene Hunt (left) is played by Philip Glenister & Sam Tyler, by John Simm. The title is a homage to the David Bowie song and the character, Gene Hunt, is also inspired by Bowie’s lyrics.

 22. Revenge (2011)

shareasimage Revenge final version

Image by Jenschapter3; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage

The quote is taken from season 1, episode 2: `Trust.` Revenge stars Emily Vancamp as Emily Thorne (AKA Amanda Clarke); Madeleine Stowe as her nemesis: Victoria Greyson; Gabriel Mann as Nolan Ross; Josh Bowman as Daniel Greyson; Henry Czerny as Conrad Greyson & Nick Wechsler as Jack Porter.

 23. Vikings (2013)

shareasimage Vikings final version square

Image by Mararie; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage

The quote is taken from season 3, episode 1: `Mercenary.` Vikings stars Travis Fimmel as the legendary Norseman, Ragnor Lothbrok; Katheryn Winnick as (one of Ragnor’s wives,) the formidable shield-maiden, Lagertha; Clive Standen as Ragnor’s envious brother, Rollo; Gustaf Skarsgård as the excentric shipbuilder, Floki & George Blagden as Anglo-Saxon, Christian monk, Athelstan.

In season 2, fans of The Hunger Games will also discover a familiar face in Alexander Ludwig, who plays Ragnor’s eldest son, Bjorn.

 24. Wentworth Prison (2013)

shareasimage Wentworth Prison

Image by Becky Bean; source: Google Images, via AddisonRecorder; quote added using ShareAsImage

The quote (spoken by Jacs, played by Kris McQuade) is taken from season 1, episode 10: `Checkmate.` Australian drama, Wentworth Prison stars Danielle Cormack as Bea Smith, whose desperate attempt to escape domestic violence ends in a prison sentence. Except that’s only the beginning of her harrowing story.

The photo from left to right: Franky (Nicole da Silva); Bea; Liz (Celia Ireland); “Boomer” (Katrina Milosevic) & Doreen (Shareena Clanton).

25. Love/Hate (2010)

shareasimage Love Hate final version

Image created using ShareAsImage; background image by Stockerre; source: Flickr.

The quotes are taken from The season 2 trailer; season 2: `Episode 2,` and Season 1: `Episode 4,` respectively. The top and bottom (unnamed) quotes were spoken by John Power, played by Aidan Gillen (“Littlefinger”: Game of Thrones).

Irish Crime-drama: Love/Hate, also stars: Tom Vaughan-Lawlor  as “Nidge” & Robert Sheehan (Misfits; The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) as Darren.

 26. Six Feet Under (2001)

shareasimage Six Feet Under final version

Image by gttall1; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage

The quote is taken from season one, episode 3: `The Foot.` It is spoken by Ruth (Frances Conroy).

The dark-comic drama, centred around a family run funeral home, also stars Peter Krause (Dirty Sexy Money)as Nate; Michael C. Hall (Dexter) as David; Lauren Ambrose (Torchwood) as Claire; Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters; Saving Mr. Banks) as Brenda; Freddy Rodríguez as “Rico” & Mathew St. Patrick (NYPD Blue) as Keith.

27. NYPD Blue (1993)

shareasimage  NYPD Blue by Chels725 source Flickr

Image by Chels725; source: Google Images; text added using ShareAsImage

NYPD Blue stars Denis Franz as Det. Andy Sipowicz.

28. Black Sails (2014)

shareasimage Black Sails final version

Quote created using ShareAsImage

The quote is taken from Season 2: `XVI.` John Silver is played by Luke Arnold, and Captain Flint by Toby Stephens. Many of the characters in the series are based upon actual 18th Century Pirates who sailed the Caribbean seas.

Black Sails also stars: Hannah New as Eleanor Guthrie; Toby Schmitz as Jack Rackham; Jessica Parker Kennedy as Max; Zach McGowan as Captain Charles Vane & Clara Paget as Anne Bonny.

29. Fargo (2014)

shareasimage Fargo'Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman tap into their alter egos by The Examiner source Google Images

Image by Examiner.com; source: Google Image; quote added using ShareAsImage

Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman: The OfficeThe Hobbit; Sherlock) and Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) shown in the image above. The quote (spoken by Molly Solverson, played by Allison Tolman,) is taken from season 1, episode 10: `Morton’s Folk.`

 30. Luther (2010)

shareasimage Luther final version

Image by Karen Roe; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage

The quote is take from season 1, episode 1. DCI John Luther is played by Idris Elba – of The Wire fame! Genius and sociopath, Alice, is played by Ruth Wilson.

Well, that’s the list. I hope it helps you discover your new Mustc TV obsession! If you’d like to know what Mustc TV shows are currently available, check out the TV Listings page.

Now, I should probably add that Mustc sitcoms and other addictive, but drama-lite shows, will be listed in a separate post. Not only because I feel they deserve their own posts, but because if I didn’t tackle them separately I’d still be agonizing over what should make this list come Christmas!

I should also mention that I’m aware of a handful of shows (past and present) that warrant consideration for my Mustc list. Since I’ve not personally seen them yet (and I don’t recommend TV series I haven’t seen,) they haven’t make the cut this time around.

This post will be updated as and when I discover a new series worthy of stealing a place in My Top 30 Mustc TV shows list. So, please check back regularly for new recommendations and feel free to make a case for a series to be included if it’s not yet listed.

Just scroll down past the image citations to post a comment. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these great TV Shows!

Images: GoT 01 -The Eyrie by Natty Dread; source: Flickr. Game of Thrones quote by MustcTV; quote created using ShareAsImage. The Crown by Jason Train; source: Flickr TheWire.HBO.GP.WDC.16sep06 by Elvert Barnes; source: Flickr – image altered to remove the outdated air date, in order to avoid confusion; quote added using  ShareAsImage.  Inside the Breaking Bad Screening Lab in Hollywood (Walter) by Doug Kline; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage. Boardwalk Empire Wicker by Wicker Paradise, via Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImageWatch-Prison-Break-Online-Free by Siddhartha Thota; source: Flickr, via Bloggerscage.com; quote added using ShareAsImageLiv’s beloved monster by MustcTV; quote created using ShareAsImage; image: blood by M. Mate; source: Flickr. The Walking Dead Season 3 wrap up photo by That Hartford Guy; source: Flickr; text added using ShareAsImage. Brody’s Confession by MustcTV, quote created using ShareAsImage; image: deepwave by Laurastpauls; source Flickr. Banshee Quote by MustcTV; created using ShareAsImage; image by Cucombre Libre; source: Flickr. Ranchers Hat by Jeff Moss; source: Flickr; quotes added using ShareAsImagePatty’s Cases by MustcTV; created using ShareAsImage; image: Black by Brett Jordon; source: Flickr. Eilean Donan Castle by a.poll_o; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage. The Blacklist- Panel by Titi; source: Flickr; quotes added using ShareAsImage. Suits quote by MustcTV; created using ShareAsImage. Cillian Murphy at Peaky Blinder Premiere Birmingham by Tim Cornbill; source Flickr. The Americans Quote by MustcTV; created using ShareAsImage. Keifer 333×500 by Robin A Kirk; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage. Orange is the New Black Quotes by MustcTV; created using ShareAsImage. Chicago Code Quote by MustcTV; created using ShareAsImage. Ecco Sarah Michelle Gellar by Hot Gossip Italia; source: Flickr; quotes added using ShareAsImage. DCI Gene Hunt and DI Sam Tyler by Mikey “Gene Hunt”; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage. 2007 – the hamptons by Jenschapter3; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImageViking Age Jewellery by Mararie; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImageBecky’s Been Bingewatching Wentworth Prison by Becky Bean; source Google Images, via AddisonRecorder; quote added using ShareAsImage. Love/Hate quote by MustcTV, created using ShareAsImage; red background by Stockerre; source: Flickr. Oat Tree by gtall1; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage. NYPD Blue by Chels925; source: Google Images; text added using ShareAsImage. Black Sails Silver Quote by MustcTV; creating using ShareAsImage‘Fargo’: Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman tap into their alter egos by Examiner.com; source: Google Image; quote added using ShareAsImage. London Eye at Night/Night by Karen Roe; source: Flickr; quote added using ShareAsImage.

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