This is a top 5 best TV shows for men list written by a mid thirties Brit. The list has been compiled June 2014, there are also some honourable mentions at the end. As a big fan of TV shows over the past few years I have moved away from watching as many movies. I’ve checked out many TV shows and certainly prefer those aimed at guys, so here goes:
5th The Shield
This cop show looks a little dated now but it is still filled with fun. Unlike the other big name cop show, The Wire, The Shield is far faster paced with lots of action. It centers around a small police task force who ride the line when it comes to breaking the law to get what they want. After killing one of their own, the group slide downwards into a pit of lawlessness. Despite having good intentions they never recover from the murder and find themselves hanging onto their jobs and freedom. Most mens TV shows lists would include The Wire, which may be better from the point of view of character and story development, but for me the sheer fun of The Shield makes it a more rewarding watch.
4th Game of Thrones
This is a TV show with a very broad appeal and would likely appear in many lists for women too. This is the only one currently running and it is as good as ever. The setting is medieval times when families and clans rules different regions. They play games of intrigue and deception in order to gain higher standings and more land. Game of Thrones includes small elements of fantasy, which is done is a subtle enough way to keep things feeling rather realistic. The storyline is sprawling and so it is essential to start at the beginning. The books are also worth reading.
OZ is a prison drama set in a unique prison block. It is probably the least famous of the TV shows in my list, so this could the the one you need to seek out. It isn’t always easy to find but I urge you to make the effort, especially if you enjoy action packed violent TV. OZ is jam packed with terrible bad guys doing the most despicable things to each other. It is not quite as polished as some of the others in the list but the non-stop action will keep you entertained from start to finish.
2nd The Sopranos
10 years or so ago The Sopranos was the don of guys TV shows. It features a New York mob boss (played by James Gandolfini) and unlike gangster movies, we get to see far more behind the scenes detail. This includes the inner workings of his crew and a large emphasis on his family life. It is basically like a stretched out version of a movie like Goodfellas. A very rewarding watch.
And the best TV show for men is…
1st Breaking Bad
This blew me, like most others, away when I first saw it. If you haven’t already seen Breaking Bad and you are a guy of any age then I urge you to buy it now. The story is that of a chemistry teacher in a sleepy town in the south of the USA. He is an intelligent chap and missed out on launching a massive company years ago. At the start of the series it is revealed that he has cancer, which brings back the missed opportunity from his past. He realises that his teachers salary won’t be enough to support his family if he dies.
He becomes desperate for money and hooks up with an ex pupil who is a small time drug dealer. Together they cook up meta amphetamine (crystal meth) and we follow their journey as they bite off more than they can chew. As their operation expands we are treated to amazing situations with lots of action and violence. The teacher (played by Brian Cranston) grows into his role as an unlikely drug lord. Every season is perfect, with great cinematography and building suspense.
True Detective– This is likely to be in the top 5 one day, but it seemed too early after just one season. The brooding suspense in this awesome story is enhanced with great acting from Matthew McConaughey. Fargo has just started too which seems great so far.
The Mentalist– Not just for guys, this is great “daytime TV”. A light hearted detective series with the protagonist being a highly perceptive police consultant.
The Wire– For most men this is the ultimate cop show. It can take a while to get into, but once you are hooked you can’t get enough.
Dexter– Blood spatter expert Dexter is also a serial killer. This show had its ups and downs, with the final season being a massive disappointment. Worth a watch but skip the last season.
Sherlock– This is the only British show I have mentioned. It is superior to the US show Elementary, but far shorter in content (so far). Over the top stories combine with outstanding production and acting in Sherlock. For more Sherlock Holmes when you have finished, Elementary is a worthwhile watch too.
Twin Peaks– The oldest TV show mentioned on this page was a trend setter. It is weird weird weird. The story line seems to take a back seat as the series goes on. In fact the story seems to become irrelevant by the end. It is the ambience and incidence which will keep you glued to the screen.
Star Trek Next Generation– This superb series is held together by the excellent Captain Picard. It is cheesy and tacky at times but there are so many episodes to choose from that you can skip the odd one. Great to watch just before going to sleep.