Top TV Dramas often get overlooked because of trashy reality TV. Admittedly, I'm a reality TV junkie, but I like to keep my braincells in tact – not, in fact, by watching less television, oh no, but rather by watching some of the top TV dramas. There are so many from which to choose that I had some trouble picking, so I've tried to limit my choices to current, or at least recent, dramas. Some of them are on network TV, others are scrumptious, dark cable offerings, but regardless these are some of the top TV dramas you can still catch either on television or on Netflix, which is like my BFF now.
1 United States of Tara
This is one of my favorite top TV dramas – but, regrettably, it's been canceled. There are a number of petitions floating around the internet, begging for it to come back for at least one more season. I wish that would happen, but I'm not holding my breath. I just caught up on the three existing seasons through Netflix, since I always missed it when it was on Showtime, and I fell hopelessly in love. That last episode, though, it really wasn't enough as a series finale. I want more!
Dexter is the best serial killer since Hannibal Lecter. I've adored Michael C. Hall since Six Feet Under (another top, but sadly bygone, television Drama). Showtime's giving HBO a run for its money with series' like this. I'm a sucker for forensics, and I love the fact that Dexter's familiarity with them helps make him the perfect criminal. The show is based around novels written by Jeff Lindsay, and if you haven't read them, I recommend them – a lot. Darkly Dreaming Dexter was just superb.
3 Boardwalk Empire
HBO has come out with a lot of top TV dramas – Sopranos, anyone? Boardwalk Empire, which takes place in Atlantic City during Prohibition, is like pure decadence. It, too, is largely based on a book of the same name by Nelson Johnson, but it's not necessary to read it to enjoy the show. It will, however, give you a lot of insight into the era, the area, and the characters. Steve Buscemi is absolutely brilliant in this, and Michael Pitt is strangely sexy. Honestly, all the acting is great, and the story arcs are both entertaining and historically interesting.
4 True Blood
This show is just so sexy. HBO is notorious for having great dramas (see above), and this one is no exception. Some of the story arcs are a little … odd, but I think it's neat that viewers can read the books along with watching the show, if they like – like with Dexter. True, there are some things from the novels that should be seen more in the show, but that's cool, the show is good on its own. And any time Eric and Bill are on screen together, I'm a happy girl.
5 Once upon a Time
Once Upon a Time is one of newest top TV dramas. It hasn't been on that long, but it's already making huge waves. Filled with dark fairy tales and parallel stories, it has a solid cast and beautiful cinematography. It recently returned and I'm all caught up all over again, to the point where I watch my DVR episodes over and over just to see if I've missed anything. Ginnifer Goodwin is just incredible in this, which makes me wish Big Love wasn't a bygone hit itself (and what an ending on THAT one).
6 The Walking Dead
I only recently got into The Walking Dead, thanks to by dad (so much of our relationship is strangely based around zombies). It is fantastic. Seriously, I never would have thought I'd enjoy a show about zombies so much, but this is fantastic. It's a little like The Stand, with zombies – and Norman Reedus, who's almost as incredible as he was in The Boondock Saints. This actually jumped to the top of my list ahead of Breaking Bad, which is also awesome, but this one … this one is something special.
7 Sons of Anarchy
My parents also got me into Sons of Anarchy, the rich, violent top TV drama about the biker gang SAMCRO, located in Charming, California. This past season was absolutely nuts, what with Clay getting shot by Opie and Jax ready to not just take his place, but his life as well. I've loved Charlie Hunnam since he appeared in the original Queer as Folk, but he's amazing in this. The show is gritty, dark, and strengthened by an incredible cast – Katy Sagal is crazy good. I'm not sure how much longer the show will be able to continue, but I'm writhing in anticipation for the next season.
I can't forget about House. It just gets better and better! I was afraid it would suffer from Moonlighting syndrome once House and Cuddy finally got together, but thankfully, that hasn't happened. I have to say, I love how broken House is, how every break he gets is inevitably followed by a backslide. The show never gets stale, although there have been times when it would have been easy for it to go downhill. The cast is a huge reason – and, of course, Hugh Laurie is just a god. I love that man so much.
I can't forget Bones either, in part because it's one of the longest running top TV dramas still going strong. I'm a little worried about the current storyline, with Bones carrying Booth's baby, but I know something good is going to happen. It has to. If things get stale here, I'll just cry. I don't know, though, do you think this one's going to suffer from the Moonlighting curse?
10 The Vampire Diaries
I love Ian Somerhalder so much. More than that, though, I love vampires done right, where they're crazy and violent and unbalanced, because they're frigging vampires. I was afraid this show was going to be lame when it first came out, but there's something edgy about it, and it keeps you on your toes. Also, it stars Ian Somerhalder.
There are definitely more top TV dramas from different eras and decades, some of them canceled in their prime and some of them still going strong. Some of these are relatively new but others have been around for a number of seasons already (House! House!) and I hope they don't go anywhere any time soon. It seems like a lot of the best top TV dramas end up in television limbo, but these are thankfully still around for your viewing enjoyment. So what are some of your favorite top TV dramas?
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