You Tell Us: What's the Best Show on TV Right Now?
There's an argument that we're currently in a golden age of television, what with the impressive group of cable dramas out right now (though there are certainly arguments to the contrary). The quality usually reserved for HBO has bled over into basic cable, and even the networks can boast some quality single-camera comedies, at least for the time being.
So, in this boom of quality TV that makes the movies seem a little less important every day, which TV show is the best one on the air?
"Mad Men" must certainly get its credit for acting as a catalyst to all of this. The show was bold in its approach to the cable drama, which are usually limited to procedurals with a gimmick. "Mad Men" offers a smart, evolving soap without the soapiness instead, and you can argue that the string of other contemplative dramas that have followed (most of them on AMC) owe something to "Mad Men." Even HBO might owe "Mad Men" a bit of credit for "Boardwalk Empire."
But for all its brilliance, "Mad Men" can occasionally flounder due to the fact that very little actually happens on the show. Building a drama on characters is wonderful, but when you consider what makes a show really great, accessibility is an issue. "Mad Men" is great, but will the average "Two and a Half Men" fan be able to pick it up and watch it? Probably not.
Apologies to the "Two and a Half Men" fans out there, but you are easy targets. Seriously, what do you see in that show?
For a similar reason, "Game of Thrones" probably can't be considered the best show on TV either. Even if you watch from the beginning of season one, that show can be a bit too much in terms of juggling storylines and characters.
"Community" certainly deserves a nod, and if originality and ingenuity were the sole factors, you could easily call it the best show on television. But inconsistency has plagued "Community," probably, as we're gathering, due to imbalances between what the network wanted and what Dan Harmon wanted to make.
To me, the choice is clear... and also fast approaching. "Breaking Bad" has provided four seasons of drama that is eventful, nail-bitingly suspenseful and action-packed, yet at times quiet and contemplative. The actions of the characters are heavily informed by their emotional states, but it doesn't mean they just sit and brood. There are layers to everything that happens in the show, and yet the average viewer can follow along even if he or she doesn't pick everything up. And even with all that, it still manages to be funny.
In short, I vote "Breaking Bad," which returns on July 15.
Sound off in the comments if you agree/disagree.