The 7 Best Dramas Of 2013

Posted: Dec 23 2013, 12:36pm CST | by


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The 7 Best Dramas of 2013
Photo Credit: Forbes

The wealth of veteran dramas in 2013 that literally took a viewer’s breath away is  breathtaking in scope. There was also a  a quartet of freshman dramas that kept the audience gasping in a good way too, such as “The Bridge,” “Masters of Sex,”  ”Ray Donovan,” and “The Americans.”  Those worthy series may make the 2014 list. Here, however, the spotlight is on dramas that have proven they are more than rookie sensations.

First among equals is “Breaking Bad.” One of the finest television series ever, “Breaking Bad” delivered its finest season in its six-year run. Each episode left the audience gasping for air, right through the  finale song: Badfinger’s “Baby Blue.” Once again “Breaking Bad,” received Golden Globe nominations for best drama series, Brian Cranston for best actor and Aaron Paul “bitch” for best supporting actor/

In contrast, No. 2 on the list of “Best OMG Dramas,” “Sons of Anarchy” got no respect from the Golden Globes. Save Katey Sagal’s 2011 Golden Globe for best actress, the series gets shutout every year  when award time comes around. “Sons” creator Kurt Sutter has justifiably railed against the Emmys in the past. If Jimmy Smits doesn’t get an Emmy nod his year for best supporting actor, Sutter and crew would have every reason to reap “Sons-style” vengeance on those who would deny this wild ride the kudos it has earned.

“Mad Men” use to be a fave at award time, but this year failed to get any love from the Golden Globes. Indeed, it has become popular among some in the critics class to put hate on Don Draper and crew. Still, No. 3 “Mad Men.” is as well-wrought and unsettling as it has been since the AMC series launched in 2007. Rest assured that when “Mad Men” returns in April for its final episodes, it will continue to raise the bar for its unsparing depiction of love, work, family and social upheaval.

“Boardwalk Empire, No. 4 on the list, is as consistently heart-wrenching, and disturbing as any current series.  Building out on the cinematic narrative of its first three seasons, this HBO series about race, class, violence and power in Prohibition America, “Boardwalk Empire” is a  TV series as an epic novel. Not surprisingly, its been nominated for a best dramatic series Golden Globe.

Inspired by a an Elmore Leonard short story, No. 5 “Justified,” embodies the amazing wit that made the novelist who passed away last August a giant of the crime genre. “Justified,” set in rough in tumble Harlan County, may be  the best cop show since “The Wire.” Led by “Deadwood” alum Timothy Olyphant, who perfectly embodies a wry Leonard-esque anti-hero and Walter Goggins, who shines as his seductively evil nemsis, the cast and  writers of “Justified” do justice to the legacy of the late great Leonard.

The rewards of “Homeland “ are far more rewarding than how exasperating the Showtime drama can be at times. The No. 6 series on the list pushes so many hot buttons on everything from the war on terror to the nature of love and family, “Homeland” can be forgiven its lapses into the incredibility of  series like “24.”  {“Homeland” executive producer Howard Gordon was co-creator of “24.”}  Still, ” Homeland” takes viewers on a emotional journey  that  delivers a provocative payoff more often than not.

Provoking viewers seems the main goal goal of “Scandal.”  The sole broadcast series to make it into the Top 7, “Scandal” is so over-the-top, it could as well have made a best TV comedy list. “Scandal” is the “West Wing,” by way of “Sex and the City.”  What’s truly scary is that co-creator Judy Smith actually worked as an aide in the elder George Bush’s White House. Currently, a D.C, public relations fixer, Smith has represented the likes of Monica Lewinsky, Michael Vick and Paula Dean. The series is deliciously outrageous, but it also depicted a very Edward Snowden/NSA scandal months before that real life story broke. Coincidence or something more?

Among the dramas that deserve honorable mentions for making viewers gasp for breath in 2013 are “Game of Thrones,” “American Horror Story: Coven,” and “Walking Dead.” All the shows mentioned, save “Breaking Bad,” are coming back in 2014. Tune-in and keep the inhaler by the remote.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jmaxrobins

Source: Forbes

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