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30 December 2012

So, I just finished watching Breaking Bad, What gripping, character-based drama series do I watch now until the next season of Game of Thrones starts? [More:]

I absolutely LOVED Breaking Bad. Every character was perfect (my favourite being Saul Goodman - and I'd never heard of Bob Odenkirk before BB) and I particularly liked the way the intro would have a teaser of something that's not going to happen for weeks and I'd be thinking "how the hell is the story going to go there?". But it did, in ways I could never predict.

I liked the moral ambiguity of the characters, where nobody was totally bad or totally good (except the kids) and I would in turns feel so sorry for Walter and then be appalled at his behaviour. Gustavo Fring has to be one of the most chilling villains since Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men.

Anyway, I'm looking for something else I can watch now (doesn't need to be on NetFlix or anything, as I can stream from the net) which will similarly grip me.

I'm already watching Friday Night Lights, which is shown here on Sky Atlantic every Tuesday.
"Boss," starring Kelsey Grammar.

Like you, I was looking for something to satisfy me in the same way that Breaking Bad did. I wanted something dark and serious that had me on the edge of my seat.

"Boss" is very different, but it's very dark, very gripping (I watched multiple episodes in a sitting because I couldn't stop). It definitely helped fill the void left by BB. Unfortunately there's only one complete season (it's currently airing season 2, I think).

Just watch a couple of episodes, and you'll get sucked into that world and you'll be hooked. And the end of Season 1 just blew me away.
posted by jayder 30 December | 13:47
I enjoyed BB very much too, for the same reasons. Our favorites recently have been: Sons of Anarchy, can be a bit violent at times but the story and characters really grab you. Dexter, Walking Dead and Homeland. I have been considering Boss but haven't started it yet.
posted by meeshell 30 December | 14:28
Oooh yes, Homeland, people at work have been talking about that. Boss sounds great too.
posted by Senyar 30 December | 14:52
I strongly recommend Justified. It's not as good as BB, but only a few shows have ever been and none of those are still on the air.

Sons of Anarchy is fun. It's pure garbage but in the good way.

I couldn't get through more than two episodes of Boss. None of the characters interested me. Homeland's first season was good but I kinda lost interest in the main character toward the end and haven't felt the urge to keep up with season two.
posted by mullacc 30 December | 15:16
Switched at Birth! So I have someone to talk about it with.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 30 December | 15:24
I recommend Homeland. It could be a real eye-roller at times with its unbelievable plot points, but there was quite a lot that was real in it and it's very suspenseful. Plus, it has Mandy Patinkin. I never got past wanting to say, "Hello, I am Inigo Montoya. I work for the CIA. Prepare to die," whenever he came on screen, but you're probably not that childish.
posted by Orange Swan 30 December | 17:14
We have been watching Deadwood. And True Blood. If you are liking Friday Night Lights, you might try Parenthood, I think it is by some of the same people.
posted by fancyoats 30 December | 19:22
If you're not familiar with Bob Odenkirk, please please PLEASE watch Mr. Show. I think it's tied in my mind with Mitchell&Webb for my favorite sketch comedy. (Bonus: It's got Tom "Spongebob" Kenny doing some decidedly un-kidfriendly stuff.

Though there are clips on youtube, it's best consumed by the episode, because of the ridiculous transitions between sketches that somehow tie together by the end of the show.
posted by Eideteker 31 December | 09:52
HOMELAND homeland homeland!
I might have watched 3 episodes in a row last night. Or 4.
It's so good.

I also enjoyed the new sitcom Ben and Kate.
posted by rmless2 31 December | 12:00
We're at the beginning of Homeland (which I sprang for on DVD) and it's great. And next we are going to launch into Downton Abbey.

I loved Friday Night Lights, btw. It was good all the way through.

Needless to say, if you haven't seen The Wire, don't miss it (with English subtitles, because the language is both important and hard to pick up initially.)
posted by bearwife 31 December | 14:34
Downton Abbey is terrible, but in a so-bad-it's-wonderful way. It was only from Season 2 that the plot started to get very, very silly.

I didn't realise quite how bad it was until I saw a couple of episodes of Brideshead Revisited recently. Evelyn Waugh's dialogue was spot-on, as he was of that time. Julian Fellowes (Downton's writer) uses 21st-century dialogue and phrases that really don't fit at all with the period setting. But it's fun listening out for the anachronisms (one of the characters in the Christmas episode said he was "on a bit of a learning curve").
posted by Senyar 31 December | 17:06
Not sure how apposite this recommendation is since the shows are so different, but since I'm a huge Breaking Bad fan this may interest you too: House, M.D. I know, I know, but just hear me out. I searched quite a bit for a show to fill the place of Breaking Bad but didn't find anything (except for the one season of Boss, which I saw in a weekend, so ... too short.)

I have been completely sucked in and transfixed by House, M.D. I had never given it much thought before, even though I had watched a number of episodes back when it was first starting out.

I'm at the point now where I consider House, M.D. to be pretty much the equal of Breaking Bad in terms of gripping, authentic-human-dimension television. They are certainly very different as viewing experiences but you really should give House a chance.

You may be thinking, "I just can't deal with the formulaic episodes." And even ardent House fans complain about that. But in my experience the formulaic format becomes less noticeable, it is sort of like the meter of a poem or the container into which all the good stuff is poured. The more I watch the more I'm not bothered by that. In fact, I theorize that House is sort-of two shows: the formulaic show that anyone can drop in and watch without knowing the backstory, and the deeper show that you only "get" if you've watched from the beginning.

And if you find you like it, the best thing is that it's eight seasons, with something like 180 hour long (forty minute?) episodes.
posted by jayder 01 January | 14:30
Anyone up for a little karaoke in Toronto this Thursday night? || Norman Lear's "Cold Turkey"