The Weekly Review: April 21 – 27


Best TV shows of the 21st century


Disclaimers:  A) This list is fiction only; no news, no documentaries, no reality TV.  B)  There are some conspicuous titles missing, not because I think they are undeserving; I simply haven’t seen them. These include shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, and Mad MenC)  Most shows on the list were superb from start to finish. A couple (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Black Mirror) are on the list for their early seasons only.  D)  These are my preferences — not a critics’ consensus, not your list, just my favorites. Here’s my list, in no particular order:


The Shield


The Shield: Two scenes stick with me, 20 years after I first watched them, on this cop drama that aired on FX at the beginning of what we now call Peak TV. The first scene is the rape of an authority figure (Captain Aceveda), who is forced to literally bend the knee to a very bad man (“Mum,” season three). The second scene is the defilement of an innocent little girl, which we don’t see but can imagine simply from seeing a dove tattoo inked onto her cheek (“The Quick Fix,” season two). The scenes are a reminder that evil can touch anyone, the weak and the powerful — which also happens to be the show’s main theme.


Curb Your Enthusiasm


Curb Your Enthusiasm: The best comedy I saw in the 2000s — although after the first few seasons, it gradually lost its sharpness. My comments here.


Game of Thrones: See my recent review here.


Breaking Bad: There have been many great crime dramas. This is the best of the best. My review here.


The Crown: It’s soap opera, sure, but delicious soap opera about Britain’s royal family.


Doc Martin


Doc Martin: Here we have The Andy Griffith Show for the 21st century. By the way, that’s a compliment.


Black Mirror: When it transitioned its creative base from England to Netflix, its quality dropped. So, its deterioration is Netflix’s fault. But when it was good, early on, it was very good.




Rectify: This wouldn’t be much of a list if it didn’t include at least one great show of which you probably haven’t heard. Aden Young starred as an ex-convict who attempts to adjust to life on the outside after serving his sentence. The adjective “absorbing” was invented just for this drama. My review here.


Honorable Mention


Shows with flashes of genius, but which were not consistently great: Peaky Blinders, Ozark, Rescue Me, Louie.




Sometimes you feel like taking a break from the real news, and instead becoming TMZ:



I realize that the incident on a New Mexico film set was deadly business. But aside from that, I always find hothead Alec Baldwin’s misadventures with paparazzi and the public oddly entertaining. Possibly it’s the enraged expression on his face.





It’s got to be culture shock for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes when he has to go from placing his hands on wife Brittany’s shapely derriere (orange bikini, above) to placing his hands between the legs of some beefy center on the line of scrimmage.





I’m not at all sure to whom these pictures are meant to appeal. Sydney Sweeney fans? Man haters? Clothed Female Naked Man fetishists? At any rate, she seems to enjoy ogling this dude’s nutsack and/or ass.


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