View Poll Results: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

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  • The Sopranos

    19 21.59%
  • The Wire

    17 19.32%
  • Mad Men

    3 3.41%
  • Breaking Bad

    49 55.68%
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Thread: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

  1. #1
    Coachella Junkie Miroir Noir's Avatar
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    Default Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Klosterman's right: there are only four acceptable answers to this question. So which one is it?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Arguments really could be made for all four, but I'm a Wire sycophant. Just the fact that they had such a sprawling ensemble cast that rotated throughout the seasons and every.single.fucking.character was a memorable, three dimensional person should be enough convince anyone of its greatness.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    I would bet anyone who doesn't vote for The Wire has not seen the The Wire.

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    old school LickTheLizzard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    I can't choose one.
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by Pee Wee Herman's Hermits View Post
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    Coachella Junkie Miroir Noir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Man, I loved Six Feet Under, but I just can't see it matching the heights of the other four. It started great and finished strong, but the Brenda-light third and fourth seasons are just too soapy.
    Quote Originally Posted by canexplain View Post
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  7. #7
    Member tyles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    If I had to vote for one, it's going to be the Sopranos. Those other shows would not have come around if I hadn't been for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captncrzy View Post
    Theme night listing:

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  8. #8
    AMBIVALENT bobert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    I voted The Wire. I also think Game of Thrones will rank with those four shows when all is said and done.

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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by enginedown View Post
    I would bet anyone who doesn't vote for The Wire has not seen the The Wire.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by Miroir Noir View Post
    Man, I loved Six Feet Under, but I just can't see it matching the heights of the other four. It started great and finished strong, but the Brenda-light third and fourth seasons are just too soapy.
    Yep.
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  11. #11
    Member icedKeg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by Miroir Noir View Post
    Man, I loved Six Feet Under, but
    .

    is Mad Men really that good and on-par with the other three? I watched the first couple of seasons or so and then sorta lost interest...
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  12. #12
    old school xanman86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Slightly unfair to Mad Men since it hasnt finished yet but it will probably not be better than The Wire in the end anyway.

    Breaking Bad tries to be The Wire so bad that it's funny to me that they get put side by side like this.



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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by xanman86 View Post
    Breaking Bad tries to be The Wire so bad that it's funny to me that they get put side by side like this.
    No.

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    I am just starting on The Wire (many years after I should have), but after a few episodes I see absolutely zero similarity between it and Breaking Bad.
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by GuyInTucson View Post
    I am just started on The Wire (many years after I should have), but after a few episodes I see absolutely zero similarity between it and Breaking Bad.
    I'm assuming they simply shared a color coding on one of his TV scheduling dioramas.
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  16. #16
    old school xanman86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    The cold opens. The crossover actors. The subject matter. It's all similar but focuses on different things (The Wire utilized new groups to revolve around for each season such as the crime groups, school children, and media while BB revolved around the White family and had the rest of those things come secondary).

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  17. #17
    AMBIVALENT bobert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by icedKeg View Post
    is Mad Men really that good and on-par with the other three? I watched the first couple of seasons or so and then sorta lost interest...
    It would probably be my least favorite of the four listed but I still think it's a great show. The writing and acting are excellent and I believe Don Draper is one of the great television characters. To fully appreciate the show, you need to be caught up. Don's character arc is probably the most fascinating aspect of Mad Men and the last season was a doozy in that regard.

  18. #18
    Member tyles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by xanman86 View Post
    The cold opens. The crossover actors. The subject matter. It's all similar but focuses on different things (The Wire utilized new groups to revolve around for each season such as the crime groups, school children, and media while BB revolved around the White family and had the rest of those things come secondary).
    After that explanation, I am still confused as to how BB is somehow the Wire for people who haven't watched the Wire.

    Also, if we are going to list shows that haven't finished up, The Americans needs to be added at the very least. I'd also throw in Boardwalk Empire, but I know some would disagree.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captncrzy View Post
    Theme night listing:

    Thursday Night: Woo, my parents let me out of the house!
    Friday Night: Woo, my parents let me out of the house!
    Saturday Night: Woo, my parents let me out of the house!
    Sunday Night: Boo, I have to go back to my parent's house!
    Quote Originally Posted by Drinkey McDrinkerstein View Post
    The level of sheer laziness and pure speculation and confusion about very easily found and well-known things that this board has gotten to is truly confounding.

  19. #19
    old school xanman86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by tyles View Post
    After that explanation, I am still confused as to how BB is somehow the Wire for people who haven't watched the Wire.

    Also, if we are going to list shows that haven't finished up, The Americans needs to be added at the very least. I'd also throw in Boardwalk Empire, but I know some would disagree.
    No I just believe The Wire was a strong source of inspiration for Breaking Bad. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

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  20. #20
    Member tyles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    A lot of shows use cold opens.

    Boardwalk Empire uses actors from the Sopranos here and there, but I wouldn't call them similar shows or that Boardwalk was inspired by Sopranos, outside of the fact that one that of the series writer/producers made Boardwalk.

    (...but let's not mention some of the similarities between Jimmy on Boardwalk and Jackie Jr. on Sopranos)

    Point is, you are stretching here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captncrzy View Post
    Theme night listing:

    Thursday Night: Woo, my parents let me out of the house!
    Friday Night: Woo, my parents let me out of the house!
    Saturday Night: Woo, my parents let me out of the house!
    Sunday Night: Boo, I have to go back to my parent's house!
    Quote Originally Posted by Drinkey McDrinkerstein View Post
    The level of sheer laziness and pure speculation and confusion about very easily found and well-known things that this board has gotten to is truly confounding.

  21. #21
    old school Mr. Fuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    I just started watching Breaking Bad - Episode I, Season I - and I don't find it very compelling. The cinematography is horrible and so is the acting, but I've only watched the first four episodes. I'm trying to give it a shot because it has been so highly praised.
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  22. #22
    Member tyles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Fuzz View Post
    I just started watching Breaking Bad - Episode I, Season I - and I don't find it very compelling. The cinematography is horrible and so is the acting, but I've only watched the first four episodes. I'm trying to give it a shot because it has been so highly praised.
    It's also a pilot, so I would say go a few episodes in before nixing it. A lot of these shows (I don't know if it's the case on BB or not) make a pilot and then the rest of the series may not end up being shot months later. The Sopranos pilot production and the filming of the remaining first season was about a year apart.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captncrzy View Post
    Theme night listing:

    Thursday Night: Woo, my parents let me out of the house!
    Friday Night: Woo, my parents let me out of the house!
    Saturday Night: Woo, my parents let me out of the house!
    Sunday Night: Boo, I have to go back to my parent's house!
    Quote Originally Posted by Drinkey McDrinkerstein View Post
    The level of sheer laziness and pure speculation and confusion about very easily found and well-known things that this board has gotten to is truly confounding.

  23. #23
    old school xanman86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by tyles View Post
    A lot of shows use cold opens.

    Boardwalk Empire uses actors from the Sopranos here and there, but I wouldn't call them similar shows or that Boardwalk was inspired by Sopranos, outside of the fact that one that of the series writer/producers made Boardwalk.

    (...but let's not mention some of the similarities between Jimmy on Boardwalk and Jackie Jr. on Sopranos)

    Point is, you are stretching here.
    Unfortunatly, I haven't gotten to those two shows yet but I'd say BE was strongly inspired by Sopranos based on what you just said. Then again I believe damn near all serialized dramas in the last decade owe themselves in part to Buffy the Vapire Slayer.

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  24. #24
    Member tyles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by xanman86 View Post
    Unfortunatly, I haven't gotten to those two shows yet but I'd say BE was strongly inspired by Sopranos based on what you just said. Then again I believe damn near all serialized dramas in the last decade owe themselves in part to Buffy the Vapire Slayer.
    Actually, a good deal of them owe a lot to Twin Peaks, but that goes without saying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captncrzy View Post
    Theme night listing:

    Thursday Night: Woo, my parents let me out of the house!
    Friday Night: Woo, my parents let me out of the house!
    Saturday Night: Woo, my parents let me out of the house!
    Sunday Night: Boo, I have to go back to my parent's house!
    Quote Originally Posted by Drinkey McDrinkerstein View Post
    The level of sheer laziness and pure speculation and confusion about very easily found and well-known things that this board has gotten to is truly confounding.

  25. #25
    old school xanman86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by tyles View Post
    Actually, a good deal of them owe a lot to Twin Peaks, but that goes without saying.
    I can agree with you there.

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  26. #26
    ankle biter guedita's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by xanman86 View Post
    The cold opens. The crossover actors. The subject matter. It's all similar but focuses on different things (The Wire utilized new groups to revolve around for each season such as the crime groups, school children, and media while BB revolved around the White family and had the rest of those things come secondary).
    Congratulations, you've listed criteria that almost every TV drama touches upon. Awful analysis.

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  27. #27
    ankle biter guedita's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    I mean, I guess it's true: Gilligan probably never would have thought to write a TV show with a bipedal main character had it not been for the groundbreaking work of an upright standing Tony Soprano.

    9/12: Shifted @ Mercer
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    10/4: Ought @ BoH
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  28. #28
    Coachella Junkie Miroir Noir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by icedKeg View Post
    .

    is Mad Men really that good and on-par with the other three? I watched the first couple of seasons or so and then sorta lost interest...
    Mad Men is probably my second favorite among equals. It picks up what The Sopranos excelled at -- finding these very rich (and very literary) short stories and letting them play out over the course of a self-contained episode. It's very much a series where the individual components and characters are given room to shine without sacrificing the overall narrative that builds over seasons and the series itself. I think the characters, as a group, are the most fully realized of any of these shows. The amount of thematic material in Mad Men is exceptionally deep, and I've found multiple viewings to be incredibly rewarding. I can get lost in Mad Men where I don't in some of these other shows because it grapples with the big questions of morality, and family, and social identity at a level that is more relatable than, say, the grand Dickensian social novel of The Wire, or the Greek tragedy of Breaking Bad.

    Seasons 4 and 5 were my favorite; I'm not sure, but that is probably not the consensus among a lot of other fans of the show, though.
    Quote Originally Posted by canexplain View Post
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  29. #29
    Coachella Junkie Miroir Noir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    I think there is a big similarity between The Wire in Breaking Bad (other than the obvious drug trade subject matter) in that both series are so tightly plotted, albeit in their own ways. The Sopranos and Mad Men were always happy to go down weird roads that diverted from an overall narrative; hell sometimes The Sopranos wouldn't even worry about plot for several episodes, and would then hurry and cram a whole bunch of plot and climax (or more often, anticlimax) into a single episode. The Wire and Breaking Bad didn't do that. Those series rarely spent time on weird tangents and non-plot obsessions. Even Breaking Bad's two famous bottle episodes were packed with detail crucial to the overall momentum of the series.
    Quote Originally Posted by canexplain View Post
    To you guys I say Wat?????????? Off to ?????? ....... cr****
    Quote Originally Posted by TomAz View Post
    It's hard to argue with that.

  30. #30
    ankle biter guedita's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Television Drama of the Last Decade

    Well, I guess that proves xanman's point. Had The Wire not been the first TV drama to ever focus exclusively on plot, Breaking Bad wouldn't even exist.

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