5 HBO Series Not To Be Missed

If you think that the 1950s was the Golden Era of TV, you’ll probably understand why so many people are calling the 21st Century the Platinum Era. There are currently so many TV shows in production, all of which have huge budgets, tackle difficult issues and are not afraid to swear, show naked bodies and glorify violence that people are starting to wonder why they should bother leaving their homes. HBO is certainly partially responsible for this, and it is with these fine series that it has made a mark.

HBO

1. True Blood

If you haven’t switched on your TV and seen crazy, half-naked vampires and ditzy gap-toothed faeries on your screen, where exactly have you been? Though it is now nearing its final airing, the series revolutionized TV in that it was one of the first that showed a world where vampirism was known and accepted.

The name of the series originally came from the vile, synthetic blood that had been created for these vampires to drink as an alternative to human blood. What made the show so addictive was that it was set in the bayous of the south, allowing for just about every creepy legend from voodoo to zombies to be addressed.

2. Game of Thrones

Based on the novels by George RR Martin, this series took violence and war to a fantastic and strange new level similar to that of The Lord of the Rings. This series follows a family that is nowhere near perfect through their individual and frightening adventures. It is unpredictable, bloody, sexual and touches on a certain sick fascination buried deep in almost all of us.

3. Boardwalk Empire

Take a trip to the Boardwalk Empire, a so-called gangster’s paradise in the heart of Atlantic City in the 1920s. One of the series’ most amusing anecdotes is that the pilot was produced at a cost of $18 million by none other than Martin Scorsese. Starring Steve Buscemi in what must be his only leading role ever, the series has been received over 40 Emmys, and is set to bring its last series to life this year.

4. The Newsroom

This political drama is a relatively new series from the maker of The West Wing, Aaron Sorkin. Though it is not as hard hitting as any other series on this list, it has acquired a fair following for addressing political issues that affect America both in a fictional, and a very real way.

5. Girls

Sometimes referred to as the Sex & The City for real girls, this show deals with the issue of four 20-somethings living and working in New York. What makes it so spectacular is that creator and star, Lena Dunham, is not afraid to tackle any issue that may have occurred in reality, from handing out ‘pity sex’ to obsessive compulsive disorder. Dunham reveals her own lack of body issues in the series and shows every part of her rather unflattering figure, which has given her a following of girls with their own body issues.

True Detective Review: Real lives of two detectives

When you think of the typical crime drama, you probably have the image of a group of cops trying to solve a new case each week with an overarching story line involving the characters. When it comes to the new drama True Detective from HBO, this premise is thrown out of the window.

True Detective Review

True Detective is written by Nic Pizzolatto, who also created the series. It features two detectives that are on the hunt for a serial killer who has been on the loose for seventeen years. The show switches back and forth between 1995 and 2012 which gives you a great insight into the changes that have happened to the two main characters.

There is a dark and gritty feel to the show that concentrates as much on the lives of the two detectives as it does the crime they are investigating. You can see from the ‘then and now’ scenes, that both have been affected greatly by the ordeal of this manhunt.

The show is a novelistic anthology, which means that this first season deals with one case throughout. The next season will feature a different case, with different main characters and setting. This makes for a really intriguing format that will either keep the show fresh and exciting, or will cause viewers to lose interest. I think this will largely depend on who takes over the reins as main characters.

Characters

The two main characters are, of course, the detectives. There is Detective Martin Eric “Marty” Hart played by Woody Harrelson and Detective Rustin Spencer “Rust” Cohle, played by Matthew McConaughey. Both McConaughey and Harrelson are superb in this series and you can only ever imagine these two playing these characters.

In particular, the character of Cohle is haunted by weird visions which can be quite unsettling at times. These are evident when you see him in 2012.

In the latter time period, they are being interviewed by two new detectives played by Michael Potts as Detective Maynard Gilbough and Tory Kittles, who plays Detective Thomas Papania. These characters don’t seem quite as strong as Cohle and Hart, but they do add a devils advocate perspective to the story line.

There are also a number of other recurring characters that pop in and out of the series as it goes along. Most of these are other detectives or members of law enforcement.

Conclusion

True Detective is one of those dramas that comes along only once in a while. It changes everything you come to expect from a crime drama and isn’t afraid to test your preconceptions. Its a brave move by HBO and time will tell if this first season can be matched or even bettered by the new crew who follow. It will be a tall order to better the acting of Harrelson and McConaughey which has been nothing short of marvelous.

True Detective is certainly one of those shows that you really need to see, even if its only to judge for yourself.

Top 7 TV Series

The cheapest and easily available form of entertainment is watching TV. There is a lot of good stuff to watch, it can be old or new. But it has to be well written and the projection of the well written series should not be less than great, because if the actors are not able to enact their character, then the scenes cannot be executed properly .Here is a list of the best written TV series with actors who are made to play those characters.

  1. THE SOPRANOS             Genre: Drama

The sopranos is an American TV series that  revolves around an Italian American Mobster named Tony Soprano played by James Gandolfini and the complexities of his life while he tries to juggle his home life and manage his criminal organization. He is also seeking professional help from a psychiatrist named Jennifer Melfi played by Lorraine Bracco, due to panic attacks. Created by David Chase. This show was premiered on the cable network of HBO in the Unites States on January 10, 1999 and ended on June 10, 2007.This series consists of 86 episodes divided into six seasons. This series has won numerous awards including PEABODY award, Emmy award and Golden Globe award.

  1. THE WIRE          Genre: Crime Drama

A crime drama series shot in Baltimore and nearby areas .It is about drug dealing and the police trying to control the happenings in town. This series involves the slums and the corporate world.  A comparison of the crimes that happen in the sophisticated world with law abiding, educated and rich people  and the ones that happen in the slums committed by hoodlums and thugs. The series aspires to Dostoevsky’s. Created by David Simon a former Police reporter .Premiered on June 2, 2002 – March 9, 2008. This series has not won any major awards but according to critics and fans this series has been described as one of the best TV series of all time.

  1. 3.   THE SIMPSONS               Genre: Animated Sitcom

The Simpsons is an animated adult sitcom .The story is an ironic and scornful parody of a middle class family in USA in the fictional town of Springfield. This series is produced by James L. Brooks and all the characters in this series have been named after Matt Groening. The Simpsons is the longest running animated sitcom in American history. It was first aired on December 17, 1989. It was said to be the best Television Series of all time by “Times Magazine” on December 31, 1999.It has won 28 Emmy awards, 30 Annie Awards and one Peabody award.

  1. F.R.I.E.N.D.S                Genre: Sitcom

A sitcom revolving around a group of 6 friends living in Manhattan, trying to live their lives to the fullest and When they grow up they help each other to deal with the point that they all have to face being the 30 years of age , and the troubles that come with it. Starring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. Created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, the finale of this series was seen by 52.5 million American viewers.

  1. MAD MEN        Genre: Drama

A series set in the 1960’s showing a firm named Sterling Cooper which is an advertising company later named Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. The story revolves around Don Draper played by Jon Hamm who has stolen the identity of a man he fought alongside in Vietnam, his life and the people in his life both in and out of the office. The deals he makes, how his mind works? How he also mentors a female in that time to be as good as the next man in the cut throat world of advertising. This series is the winner of 15 Emmy awards and four Golden Globe Awards. Created by Matthew Weiner.

  1. BREAKING BAD         Genre: Thriller

This series revolves around a high school Chemistry teacher with a fatal disease of Lung Cancer which in his case may take his life as it is inoperable. With the fear of death looming large on his head he starts living a dark life committing crime by producing and selling Meth  to secure his family’s future. This series has secured 10 Primetime Emmy Awards and won The Best Television Series – Drama .In 2013 the Guinness Book of World Record called it the highest rated TV series of all time. It was created by Vince Gilligan.

  1. X FILES           Genre: Science Fiction

In this series special F.B.I agent Fox (David Duchovny) and Dana (Gillian Anderson) solve cases denoting events of phenomena such as telekinesis or clairvoyance that are beyond the scope of Science. Agent Fox believes in the existence of Evil and whatever he is doing while Agent Dana tries to find scientific and logical reasons for their findings. As they work very closely together and have been in situations they could only trust each other gradually. This platonic relation changes in to that of romance. The series created by Chris Carter is shot in Vancouver and Los Angeles, consisting of 9 seasons.

Top TV show review sites

Reviews are important they measure the popularity of a program in terms of numbers, the quantity of viewers and their feedback after watching a particular series and different episodes of the series in which the story arcs. Reviews are important not just for the audience but for the broadcasters as well.

Best review sites that tell us the ongoing hot TV shows and the not so hot ones as well so that we don’t waste time in watching them are given as follows:

1.      THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

This website gives us review related to not just TV shows, but Movies, Music, Tech, The Business, Style, Culture and Awards. This site has its reviews of TV shows based upon Ratings, shares, and viewers .On this site we can have reviews not just related to the Series as a whole but individual episodes as well. There is a section at left hand corner of this page called PRIME RAATINGS, in which there is latest rating of television shows available.

2.      THE TV CRITIC.ORG

This website gives audience critical reviews of U.S TV shows and an in-depth analysis of the different episodes, that they are good, bad, irritating or enlightening. This website is divided into parts which are HOME, REVIEW, SCORES, PODCASTS, BLOG, and FORUM etc this site has very active bloggers and discussions happening.

3.      METACRITIC.com

The reason that Metacritic happens to be on this list is because it has lots of stuff categorically in it, but one has to take time and know how to navigate here. This site also has a search bar in which one can add keywords for what they are looking for, it’s all here waiting to be found.

4.      IGN.com

IGN is the leading website for reviews on TV shows and criticisms on the performances of various celebs acting in these shows. This site not only gives reviews related to TV series but also has everything related to the scandals happening on and off sets.

5.      ZAP2 IT.com

This site is not only a review site but has everything from TV news, TV listings, Celebrity gossip, Photos AND uploaded movies as well. It also has a search bar so the hindricane of having to navigate through the site is no more an issue.

6.      TELEVISIONWITHOUTPITY.com

Well as the name suggests this site does not take into consideration the feelings of anybody. And in addition to the general features available on all sites this one has options given to share stuff on social networking sites such as face book, twitter etc and of course very blunt reviews are found here

7.      TVworthwatching.com

Smart talk about TV is best… And where to find it

This is the logo of this site and rightly so because this place does not bother with any riff-raff, all it has is smart news about different TV shows, Reviews on who was being considered to play the lead in different series and finally who accepted the role? And are they doing justice to the characters of a series.

8.      HUFINGTONPOST.COM/TV

This site is a pretty good one; it gets a lot of traffic. With a bounce rate of 7%, daily page views per visitor being 4.66% and a daily time on site of 4%, the statistical information tells us that this site is a much visited sit and among most popular TV shows review sites in the world.

Top 5 US Reality TV shows of all time

This is one of the most ordinary question people asked to you, what are the good reality TV shows ever? There are many reality shows out there, but frankly many of them are considered as low quality garbage. This is a list of the top 5 highest rated and most popular reality TV shows in the world.

1.       Born Survivor: Bear Grylls (Man vs. Wild)

Man vs. Wild is known as the number 1 top reality show on this list. With Bear Grylls working as a host, this show is entertaining, interesting and educational. In each episode, Bear Grylls goes to some dangerous and remote places on Earth and expresses us how to survive and thrive there. This reality show is aired on Discovery channel in America and it has around 7 seasons. A person would surely recommend it and it’s for a cause one of the great realities TV shows out there.

2.       The Amazing Race

The Amazing Race is the next the most watched and most popular reality TV shows in the US. It has very original and interesting concept. The contenders are in two teams who travel to every part of the world so as to win the cash prize of dollar 1 million. There are around 22 seasons already, only in America. This show is also very famous all around the World and over 10 countries have this type of version of this great reality TV show.

3.       Hell’s Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen is an excellent cooking reality show at the time with Chef Gordon Ramsay working as a host. This is a competition for cooking reality show which has around 16-20 contestants in every season. The winner, decided by Ramsay, will provided all the charged to work as head chef in a famous and exclusive restaurant or if the winner does not want to get the reward, then he has the choice of getting $250,000 as cash prize. It’s good to know that the guests that are served by all the competitors are actually well-known individuals. This cooking TV show is quite famous all over the world and so far it has around 11 seasons.

4.       Survivor

Survivor is a famous reality game show that airs on CBS in America. In this show, there is a team of strangers who are on any place (mostly on island) where they require providing shelter and food for themselves and compete in games so as to get rewards or exemption from being omitted from the game. The aim of Survivor is to just one left in the game and the winner gets dollar 1 million as a cash prize. The show is much harder and if you are concerned, everyone would advise you to watch at least one season, as this is one of the greatest reality shows.

5.       Pawn Stars

Pawn Stars is US TV show that broadcasts on History channel. It was filmed in Las Vegas and it has 6 seasons as yet. This reality TV show is related to the activities of single pawn shop, which is a family business managed under the supervision of father and son. Pawn Stars is generally regarding the interaction with the costumers who take artifacts to the shop, to pawn or sell them. It’s good that in this pawn shop the owner does not attempt to rip individuals off or take benefit of them.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Review

 Marvels’ Agents of SHIELD is a science fiction drama that has followed on from the successes of Marvel’s movies on the silver screen. Created by Joss Whedon and Jed Wheadon for the ABC network, the show follows the exploits of the fictional organization S.H.I.E.L.D (Strategic, Homeland, Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division). Most noticeably, SHIELD has been heavily portrayed in the Iron Man series of movies as well as Avengers Assemble.

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD follows on from the events in Avengers Assemble and the leader of the organization Phil Coulson. One of the main subplots of the series are the events of the Coulson character following his apparent death in the Avengers movie.

 The show centres around Coulson and his team as they try to deal with various supernatural and extraterrestrial events that threaten the world. Along the way, they pick up additional team members in order to help them deal with new events and to make the team more effective.

Characters

The lead character is head of the field operatives, Phil Coulson played by Clark Gregg who reprised his role from the Iron Man and Avengers Assemble movies. As well as setting up his new team, Coulson also has to deal with the events following his apparent death.

One of Coulson’s first recruits is pilot Melinda May played by Ming-Na Wen. Her characters history is a little in the dark, she has been working in a desk job after turning her back on field operations. It is quickly apparent however, that she is an accomplished and deadly agent.

Black Ops specialist Grant Ward is played by Brett Dalton. He has a hard time interacting with the rest of the team, and is frequently trying to assert his dominance in operations. His relationship with new recruit, a civilian called Skye, is particularly thorny and often threatens to disrupt the whole team.

Skye is a computer hacker played by Chloe Bennet, that the team come across in the first few episodes. Coulson likes the way that she operates and thinks that she will be a good addition to the team. Although there is some conflict with the other members of the team, she quickly establishes herself as an important part of the group.

There are two science and technology experts on the team, Leopold ‘Leo’ Fitz, played by Iain De Caestecker and Jemma Simmons played by Elizabeth Henstridge. Fitz specializes in engineering and especially weapons technology, while Simmons deals with human and alien life sciences. They are often working together to solve problems encountered by the team.

Reception

The initial reception of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD was good, with critics stating that it worked well. The ratings for the show however have dropped slightly since the first episode, and many have questioned whether it can target a wide enough audience.

Overall

Although the show is quite narrow in terms of the demographic that it will appeal to, I think that it still has a lot to offer. I am a fan of science fiction, so the premise suits me well, although I will say that at times, the storylines have been a little slow to get going. Some of the dialog doesn’t flow as smoothly as you would like, and seems a little disjointed. It would be interesting to see how Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD evolves if it is commissioned for a second season and hopefully it will. 

Game of Thrones Review – TOP HBO TV Series

 Created by David Benioff for HBO, Game of Thrones is a fantasy drama based on George R R Martin’s series of novels. The series has enjoyed much success around the globe since its debut in 2011, winning many awards including a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Television Series – Drama, Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and Peabody Award.

The show is set on the fictional continents of Westros and Essos and involves many different cultures and social groups. In many ways, it represents a fictional history series as it takes the main characters through their lives and the dangers and conflicts they encounter.

There are several storylines going on at the same time, but mainly focuses on a fight for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. There are also sub plots involving other factions from other parts of the kingdom. These are also looking to become involved in the struggle for power.

Game of Thrones focuses on storylines in the novel series A Song of Fire and Ice, which includes varied landscapes and climates. So the series is filmed in many locations including Belfast, Scotland, Croatia and Morocco.

Characters

It has been noted that Game of Thrones has one of the biggest cast lists in a TV show, with some 257 at one point. There are however, only a small number of main cast that are series regulars. There are in fact some 11 houses portrayed in the series along with villagers and other court officials.

At the head of one of the families is Lord Eddard Stark who is played by Sean Bean, with him is his wife Catelyn Tully, played by Michelle Fairley. They and their five children played by Richard Madden, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams and Issac Hempstead-Wright, are one of the major influences in the show. Jon Snow is an illegitimate son of Lord Stark played by Kit Harington. He joins an order called the Night’s Watch and is regularly at odds with his family.

Another main faction is the House of Lannister, at the head is the Queen Cersei Lannister played by Lena Headey. She has an incestious relationship with her twin brother Jamie Lannister played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. They are the richest family in the continent of Westeros and this proves to be both a blessing and a curse for the family. Another member of the Lannister family is Tywin who is played by the versatile actor, Charles Dance. He is the Lord of Casterly Rock and is involved in many of the troubles throughout the series.

Other main characters are Olenna Redwyne, otherwise known as the Queen of Thorns and played by the wonderful Diana Rigg. Also, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont and Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon.

Reception

Game of Thrones has had a very positive reception since its debut. Its mixture of exotic locations, wonderful costumes and intriguing storylines has made it one of the best dramas according to many critics. It has been the subject of some controversy however, because of its use of violence and nudity, but when you consider the scenes in their context, there are all designed to compliment rather than shock.

Overall

In short, Game of Thrones has become a worldwide phenomenon since it graced our television screens. It is a gloriously extravagant piece of television that is reflected by its big budget. Hopefully this will continue to be a show that impresses both in its storylines and in its acting, which is perfectly pitched by the whole cast.

The Good Wife Review – CBS drama at its best

 There are a number of legal and political dramas on our screens at the moment. They are all vying for our precious spare time, and they all have take on a familiar subject. With this in mind, CBS drama The Good Wife has had many people glued to their televisions not just because of the storylines, but because of the rather unique angle the characters came into being.

 The show revolves around Alicia Florrick, played by Julianna Margulies, who is the wife of a former state attorney. Her husband, Peter Florrick, played by Chris Noth, is jailed following a sex and corruption scandal. Alicia decides that she has to return to work to provide for her children, so she goes back to her job as a litigator. While the show has definite problems to solve in each episode, it also usually has a much wider story arch that encompasses the whole season.

 Characters

 The main character is of course The Good Wife, Alicia Florrick. She is played with great subtlety by Margulies and is a very strong character that binds the rest of the cast. Alicia finds that she has to start from the beginning after taking a 13 year break to raise her children. She is written with great calmness and strength which are traits that many wives in similar positions in real life possess. Her problems are not solely restricted to work, she also has to deal with the fallout from her husbands public scandal and this takes many turns along the way.

 Along with Alicia, other main characters include private investigator Kalinda Sharma played by Archie Panjabi and senior partner in the law firm Will Gardener, played by Josh Charles. Alicia Florrick and Will Gardener are old friends and he is one of the reasons that Alicia gets the job at the law firm. Their friendship is used as a source of sexual tensions throughout the show.

 Sharma is a very grounded character who uses various tactics to pursue her case. They have kept her background very secret and only give away snippets as the episodes go by. It is known however, that she used to work for Alicia’s husband Peter for three years. He fired her because he thought that she was working a second job.

 Other main characters include senior partner Diane Lockhart played by Christine Baranski, Alicias children Zach and Grace Florrick, played by Graham Phillips and Makenzie Vega and Peter Florricks campaign manager Eli Gold played by Alan Cumming.

 There are many recurring characters who pop up from time to time. These include Alicia’s husband Peter Florrick played by Chris Noth, who is embroiled in the scandal trial for much of the first season. There is also Peter’s mother Jackie Florrick played by Mary Beth Peil, former attorney Glenn Childs, played by Titus Welliver and Lana Delaney, played by Jill Flint, who is an FBI agent and Kalinda Sharmas love interest.

 You will also find the odd well known face including Michael J Fox who plays a rival attorney Louis Canning, and Nathan Lane who plays trustee Clarke Hayden.

 Overall

 The Good Wife is a very well written and acted piece of drama which deals with many relevant topics in the world of politics and drama. It is this mix that sets it nicely apart from other dramas in this category. If it captures the audiences imagination, there is no reason why this show cannot run and run.  

CNBC Channel Review – one of the most valuable cable channels

CNBC is an abbreviation of Consumer News and Business Channel. It’s a satellite business news television and an American basic cable channel. It mostly covers business news and all the events that take place in the financial markets. With more than three hundred and ninety million worldwide viewers in the world, CNBC ranks at nineteenth spot in the list of “the most valuable cable channels in US.” Its main headquarter is located in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. You can also find some other important news related to tech, politics and other happenings in the world, however, its main focus always remains on business related activities.

CNBC was started in the year 1980 with the name of Satellite Program Network (SPN). It showed entertainment and instructional programs and movies that were not only old, but also low-budget. Later, the name was changed to “Tempo Television.” At the time when the letter of intent was signed after acquiring Tempo, the deal was opted by NBC for the lease of the transponder of the channel in the month of June 1988. The channel was completely re-launched in accordance with the guidance of Tom Rogers on the 17th of April, 1989. Finally, the name of the channel was changed to Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC). This channel was operated through a joint-venture of Cablevision and NBC. The main headquarter of the channel was built in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

In the beginning, CNBC faced lots of difficulties in getting the cable carriage because the providers were not convinced to give it a place along with the famous Financial News Network. In the winter season of the year 1990, the reach of CNBC was only seventeen million houses, which was not even 50% of the reach of FNN channel. The most amazing thing was that NBC was also there with CNBC, but still it was having a lot of problem.

In the leadership of Rogers, CNBC started to grow in the year 1990. They launched the European and Asian version channels of CNBC in the year 1995 & 1996. The strategic alliance between CNBC and Dow Jones was also formed in the year 1997, which included the sharing of content with The Wall Street Journal & Dow Jones Newswires. The channel was totally rebranded after that as “a service of NBC and Dow Jones.” The international channels of CNBC were merged in a joint venture of 50-50 with the rivals of Dow Jones in the year 1998. The names of these two rivals were ABN, A Singaporean based channel (Asia Business News) and EBN, A London based channel (European Business News)

CNBC has got lots of channels that broadcast transmissions in different countries and in a similar way, you will also find that every country has got its own website as well. The reason why these channels and websites are different for every country is to cover all the news that is related to local stock markets and local affairs. Another benefit of having a separate channel and a separate website in every country is to develop trust among people.