Good TV shows

by writetopcat | created - 08 May 2015 | updated - 06 Aug 2016 | Public

a mix of TV shows I watch whenever I can

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1. Last Man Standing (2011– )

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

A married father of three tries to maintain his manliness in a world increasingly dominated by women.

Stars: Tim Allen, Nancy Travis, Hector Elizondo, Christoph Sanders

Votes: 26,898

Tim Allen is great. I think he is the funniest man on television. The show deals with everyday life, family issues, and sometimes politics tangentially and does it all in a light manner. Makes me laugh hard. I just discovered this show this season so I am going to have to buy the earlier seasons. It is that good.

2. Blue Bloods (2010– )

TV-14 | 43 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Revolves around a family of New York cops.

Stars: Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Len Cariou

Votes: 29,849

Simply one of the best cop shows ever made.

3. Helix (I) (2015)

98 min | Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A recently promoted cop's lavish new lifestyle is jeopardized when the central computer system that governs his futuristic city pins him for a murder he didn't commit. Now he must return to... See full summary »

Director: Eric Petey | Stars: Marc Petey, Robert L. Duncan, David Stuart, Kaare Anderson

Votes: 737

Sci-Fi story involving deadly viruses, scientists from the CDC, and a group of elitists who don't die natural deaths, i.e. unless they are killed they live forever. The first season was fascinating, the second succeeded in holding my interest and the season finale intimates an interesting third season to come.

4. The Americans (2013–2018)

TV-MA | 44 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

At the height of the Cold War two Russian agents pose as your average American couple, complete with family.

Stars: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor

Votes: 75,602

Set in the early 1980s the show features 2 soviet spies living as an American couple (with 2 children of their own born in the US) in the D.C. area. Sometimes the show promotes American leftist ideology through the opinions of the female Soviet spy. I usually don't like TV shows in which characters' opinions are merely lightly veiled leftist political ideology. I don't mind it so much in this case since it is completely in character for a Soviet agent to espouse ideology and viewpoints of the American political left. It lends a sense of realism to the show.

5. The Blacklist (2013– )

TV-14 | 43 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A new FBI profiler, Elizabeth Keen, has her entire life uprooted when a mysterious criminal, Raymond Reddington, who has eluded capture for decades, turns himself in and insists on speaking only to her.

Stars: James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Ryan Eggold

Votes: 168,716

Great story. Great writing. James Spader is great in the lead role as Raymond Reddington. Answers to the persistent questions regarding his relationship to Megan Boone's character Liz Keen are slowly being teased out of Red though he is loathe to give them, and from other sources. The show contains enough mystery, interesting plotlines, intrigue, and surprises that it could have a very long run as one of the top shows. Great cast.

6. Bates Motel (2013–2017)

TV-MA | 45 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A contemporary prequel to Psycho, giving a portrayal of how Norman Bates' psyche unravels through his teenage years, and how deeply intricate his relationship with his mother, Norma, truly is.

Stars: Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Nicola Peltz

Votes: 90,191

The early years of Norman Bates, showing his relationship to his mother and fractured family. Set in the same town, same house, same motel central to the movie Psycho which starred Anthony Perkins. Great cast and acting, especially Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore. Norman and his mother are wound way too tightly.

7. Justified (2010–2015)

TV-MA | 44 min | Action, Crime, Drama

U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens's reassigned from Miami to his childhood home in the poor, rural coal mining towns in eastern Kentucky.

Stars: Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter, Jacob Pitts

Votes: 79,338

The story of deputy marshall Raylan Givens and his quest to bring career criminal Boyd Crowder to justice. Givens has a tendency to break a few rules when he deems it necessary to get his job done. Crowder is willing to break just about any rule and go to almost any lengths to succeed in making his criminal fortune. The series has just come to a conclusion unfortunately.

8. Revenge (2011–2015)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

An emotionally troubled young woman sets out to exact revenge against the people who wronged her father.

Stars: Madeleine Stowe, Emily VanCamp, Gabriel Mann, Nick Wechsler

Votes: 108,571

The story of a young woman out for vengeance against those who framed her father and sent him to prison where he was believed to have been murdered. The first season was brilliantly done. The show suffered somewhat in the second and third seasons; it was too predictable, the episodes made from similar templates. Also, a steady diet of anger & plotting evil against others (even though they are evil people) is unhealthy, even for the viewers of the show. I stayed with it because I like the actors and there were always redeeming qualities in the characters doing the plotting and destruction. This the final season has seen the show return to its best in terms of quality of storylines and acting. The price of seeking revenge against others is steep and the characters in the story learn this dear lesson. I want to see the good people wind up happy at the end and to see the evil people face their karma. But we don't always see justice from our own viewpoint, or on our timetable. I look forward to the finale.

9. Castle (2009–2016)

TV-14 | 43 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

After a serial killer imitates the plots of his novels, successful mystery novelist Richard "Rick" Castle receives permission from the Mayor of New York City to tag along with an NYPD homicide investigation team for research purposes.

Stars: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan, Jon Huertas

Votes: 134,740

I feel good when I watch this show.

10. Stalker (2014–2015)

TV-14 | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A team of detectives investigates stalkers in Los Angeles.

Stars: Dylan McDermott, Maggie Q, Victor Rasuk, Mariana Klaveno

Votes: 16,292

Show involves a special unit of the LA police department which deals with crimes of stalking.

11. Crisis (2014)

60 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

Centers on an idealistic Secret Service agent who finds himself at the center of an international crisis on his first day on the job. In his search for the truth, he will have to cross ... See full summary »

Stars: Dermot Mulroney, Rachael Taylor, Lance Gross, James Lafferty

Votes: 7,903

Gripping show about the kidnapping of a busload of children of the most powerful and influential people in Washington DC, including the President's son. I don't know if another season is planned or if this was a one off. If you have not seen this series, you should buy or rent it.

12. Shades of Blue (2016–2018)

TV-14 | 60 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Harlee Santos, New York police officer and single mother, is forced to work in the F.B.I.'s anti-corruption task force while dealing with her own financial problems.

Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Ray Liotta, Drea de Matteo, Dayo Okeniyi

Votes: 9,162

Story of a detective unit of the NYPD led by Matt Wozniak played by Ray Liotta. They began working outside the lines, initially in order to better keep control over drug selling gangs, to at least keep drugs out of certain sections of the city. Their illegal policing methods slowly begin to include more serious actions. When an FBI sting catches one of the detectives, played by Jennifer Lopez, she has to work as a mole inside the unit in order to save herself so she can be around to raise her daughter.

13. The Ranch (2016– )

TV-MA | 30 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

The son of a Colorado rancher returns home from a semi-pro football career to run the family business.

Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Sam Elliott, Grady Lee Richmond, Elisha Cuthbert

Votes: 28,868

Sam Elliott plays a rancher, separated from his wife, who with 2 sons works his cattle ranch. The sons compete with each other for favored sons status, and fight sometimes as brothers do. Girlfriends galore and life on a ranch. Good show

14. NCIS (2003– )

TV-14 | 60 min | Action, Crime, Drama

The cases of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service's Washington, D.C. Major Case Response Team, led by Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

Stars: Mark Harmon, David McCallum, Sean Murray, Pauley Perrette

Votes: 111,022

15. Blindspot (2015– )

TV-14 | 42 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Jane Doe is found in Times Square with no memory and mysterious tattoos on her body.

Stars: Sullivan Stapleton, Jaimie Alexander, Rob Brown, Audrey Esparza

Votes: 61,997

Jane Doe is found in a duffle bag in Times Square with an FBI agent's name tattooed on her back. Her body is nearly completely covered in tattoos, apparently written in code. Decoding the tattoos leads the FBI to solutions for high impact crimes, often in time to prevent them. But there is much more to the story

16. Gotham (2014–2019)

TV-14 | 42 min | Action, Crime, Drama

The story behind Detective James Gordon's rise to prominence in Gotham City in the years before Batman's arrival.

Stars: Ben McKenzie, Jada Pinkett Smith, Donal Logue, Camren Bicondova

Votes: 201,470

Before Batman, when Bruce Wayne was a young boy, James Gordon was just a detective on the Gotham police force. The people who would later become famous criminals opposing Batman are at this point in the story, merely people. Most of them are not yet on their path to a life of crime.

17. Downton Abbey (2010–2015)

TV-PG | 58 min | Drama, Romance

A chronicle of the lives of the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the early twentieth century.

Stars: Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Brendan Coyle

Votes: 149,159

18. Sons of Anarchy (2008–2014)

TV-MA | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A biker struggles to balance being a father and being involved in an outlaw motorcycle club.

Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior, Kim Coates

Votes: 237,108

The saga of a motorcycle gang involved in criminal activities, their personal interactions, conflicts with individuals, dealings with law enforcement, agreements with other chapters of their gang, other motorcycle gangs, and conflicts with many of the same at various times. There is a lot of violence, including murder. The series shows us their personal lives, the tight brotherhood of the gang members, and the independent nature of the gang members.

19. Marseille (2016– )

41 min | Drama

A tale of power, corruption and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the French port city of Marseille.

Stars: Karen Strassman, Anne Yatco, Gérard Depardieu, Benoît Magimel

Votes: 4,070

20. Aquarius (2015–2016)

TV-14 | 42 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

A gritty 1960s cop drama about LAPD detective Sam Hodiak and his trainee, who must deal with gangs, brutal crimes, changing times, family crises and unhinged manipulative small-time crook Charles Manson, who's slowly building his cult.

Stars: David Duchovny, Grey Damon, Gethin Anthony, Emma Dumont

Votes: 10,367

A fictional narrative revolving around some LA cops and Charles Manson during the time period leading up to the Tate LaBianca murders. Sam Hodiak is a tough veteran LA cop played by David Duchovny. There are some historically accurate parts to the show, but most of the show is a fictional, imagined account of both the cops and what Manson may have been doing with his family of girls. The Beach Boys drummer, who actually did meet Manson and allow the family to use one of his houses as their home for a while, also has a small role for a while. I really like the show. If you want a 100% historically accurate show about the Manson family, this is not for you.

21. Lilyhammer (2012–2014)

TV-MA | 45 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A New York mobster goes into hiding in rural Lillehammer in Norway after testifying against his former associates.

Stars: Steven Van Zandt, Trond Fausa, Steinar Sagen, Marian Saastad Ottesen

Votes: 24,223

A funny show about a Mafia guy, Frankie the Fixer, who survives an attempt on his life and afterward agrees to testify against the mob. He is given a new identity and choice of a new home. He chooses Lilyhammer because he had seen the Olympics winter games on TV and like the town. His interactions with the mostly very nice Norwegian people is hilarious.

22. The X-Files (1993–2018)

TV-14 | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Two F.B.I. Agents, Fox Mulder the believer and Dana Scully the skeptic, investigate the strange and unexplained, while hidden forces work to impede their efforts.

Stars: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, William B. Davis

Votes: 187,360

23. Columbo (1971–2003)

TV-PG | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Los Angeles homicide detective Lieutenant Columbo uses his humble ways and ingenuous demeanor to winkle out even the most well-concealed of crimes.

Stars: Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan, Bruce Kirby

Votes: 24,615

24. Luther (2010– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

DCI John Luther is a near-genius murder detective whose brilliant mind can't always save him from the dangerous violence of his passions.

Stars: Idris Elba, Dermot Crowley, Michael Smiley, Warren Brown

Votes: 110,281

Great show about a detective in London. I hope they do another season

25. Lost (2004–2010)

TV-14 | 44 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

The survivors of a plane crash are forced to work together in order to survive on a seemingly deserted tropical island.

Stars: Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly

Votes: 465,706

A plane goes down on the beach of a deserted island. But this is no ordinary island. Strange electromagnetic forces reside within it. The plot was innovative and the story contains many twists. The writers had very little time to come up with a pilot and a rough sketch of the overall plot. I think that added to the unusual twists and plot devices in this show. Keeps you interested.

26. 12 Monkeys (2015–2018)

TV-14 | 42 min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery

Follows the journey of a time traveler from the post-apocalyptic future who appears in present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will nearly destroy the human race.

Stars: Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Noah Bean, Barbara Sukowa

Votes: 37,063

Time Travel. A killer virus which wipes out most of humanity. And a team led by a brilliant scientist working to go back in time and prevent the disaster. I love this show.

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