5 Awesome International TV Series

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This is basically the UK’s answer to The Wire.  It’s a hard-hitting look at life in London’s ghetto.  Set in the fictional Summerhouse projects in Hackney, East London, we follow the life of Ra’Nell and his best friend Gem as they try their hardest to resist the street life that is constantly pulling at them.  Dushane, a local low-level drug dealer and his crew are trying to make it big  in the drug business and the series explores his challenges with rival crews and appeasing his suppliers.  As the worlds intersect, we meet other interesting, yet damaged characters that help to flesh out a great story with all of the drama, violence and all to often sadness of the mean streets.  The first season comprised of 4 STRONG episodes that will instantly make you a fan of the show.  The critically acclaimed Top Boy is slated to return for a second season.  I personally can’t wait.

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The original cast

Well into it’s fourth season, Misfits is probably one of the most crass, brash and funny series about what happens when a group of individuals – mostly degenerates – get special powers.  How do they use them?  For good, or for ill?  Maybe – both?  Well, let me put it this way – they go both ways in this series and this show quickly racks up a body count.  However, despite its dark nature, it has some of the most hilarious and interesting characters I’ve seen on TV.  Period.  Over the four seasons, some of the leads change as characters leave for parts known and unknown, and even die – but I’ve found that the constant changing ensemble has been nothing but spectacular (even if I didn’t get it at first).  There was a pretty massive tonal change by season 3 that threw me for a loop, but into the 4th season – I’m finding I like this show as much as I did season one.  This is a NSFW series.  The language, crassness, sexual situations and rudeness is way too belligerent for the general American audience or networks thus you’ll never see it on American TV.  However, if you aren’t too prudish and just want to see a show that will actually make you forget you saw Heroes seasons 2 – 4, then this show is right up your alley and worth every minute of viewing pleasure.  Enjoy.

The current cast

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I tried.  I really, really tried.  However, CBS’s Elementary is every much like the title of the show – basic, simple and to me – boring.  As far as I’m concerned, Sherlock is undoubtedly the best modern day version of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson that has ever been produced on TV.  Without a doubt, this IS my favorite show on TV.  Unlike it’s American counterpart, there’s no question who’s the smartest man in the room and that he WILL solve the case – if not always in the manner in which even HE thinks he will.  Two seasons in, this show has become legend to anyone who’s had the pleasure to witness brilliance at its finest.  The cases are interesting, the supporting cast is fantastic and season 3 can’t come fast enough for me.  They regularly show the series on BBC America and Masterpiece Theater so it shouldn’t be too hard to catch up.  Do yourself a favor and WATCH THIS SERIES.  You will not only thank me, you’ll never STOP thanking me.  Plus, wait until you meet this series’s Moriarty and Irene Adler – WHOOOBOY!!!

Who? Me?

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Idris Elba, as John Luther, is a Detective and – a damaged man.  He’s also a good man that finds himself in the most peculiar and trying situations.  He’s made some mistakes in his life and career and they unfortunately come back to haunt him – regularly.  He can’t help himself – for some reason he’s attracted to other damaged individuals that need help – whether they want it or not.  He’s the lost and downtrodden’s savior and he’s not afraid to break a few bones and heads to make sure that those under his protection are safe.  This is a very introspective series about what it means to be the anti-hero and the “anti-villain” in the same breath.  Another main character, who I won’t name because that person becomes integral to the show – is CRAAAAZY.  So crazy that it almost makes sense why there’s a connection between that character and Luther.  Damaged, but not in the victim way – but as the victimizer.  The hunter, never the prey.  Season 3 is scheduled for a fall 2013 release and I personally can’t wait.  Great TV is hard to find – and this is some of the best.

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I generally stay away from time travel shows because they tend to be retreads of about half a dozen already retreaded stories and theories that mostly bore the heck out me fairly quickly.  This show is NOT one of them for the most part.  Rachel Nichols is a CPS Protector (basically a cop) from 65 years in the future where the corporations now rule and the government is under their heel.  In a terrorist escape plot, she is accidentally (or is she?) sent into the past.  Now she must acclimate herself to a very different and archaic time period (2012) to hunt down these terrorists before they can alter the future.  She befriends Alec Sadler, a 15 year old genius that’s on the verge of developing the technology that will revolutionize the future.  Together, they use his genius and her future technology to try and save the future and hopefully – send Rachel home.  This has the action, drama and sentimentality of most great TV series.  It’s fun and engaging and it’s hard not to wonder – is the future WORTH saving?  Are the terrorist right to change the corporate-controlled future?  Time will tell.  Season 2 is scheduled for release in 2013 and Syfy picked up the series to air in the US.


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