Friday, January 20, 2017

10 Best Drama TV Shows of the Decade (2000-2010)

Every decade has its memorable drama TV shows. Since 2000, TV from the “Oughts” (the 2000s) has brought us a more nuanced, grittier view of our lives. The heroes of the best drama shows are more complex and the problems they face seldom end in neat little packages. It was a messy, complicated, bittersweet decade. Here are ten of the best TV dramas from 2000-2010.

1.The Sopranos (1999-2007) – James Gandolfini starred as Tony Soprano, a mobster who tried to stay in control of his crew and family. Superb acting and writing lured viewers into the dark world of the New Jersey mob. Part soap opera and part Scorsese film, the Sopranos was the definition of compelling drama and was appointment TV for its entire eight year run.


2. The West Wing (1999-2006) – Writer/Producer Aaron Sorkin brought his unique rapid-fire wit to this “if only” political drama. Martin Sheen starred as President Josiah Barlett in this liberal-leaning drama with a superb ensemble cast including Allison, Janney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford and Rob Lowe. The issue-oriented writing made this White House drama one of the smartest shows of the decade.


3. 24 (2001-Present) – Set in “real-time”, each season depicted a 24-hour period in the life of Agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland). From terrorist plots to an annoying teenage daughter, Jack Bauer faced it all in this edge of your seat serial drama. Unique structure and heart-pounding plots make 24 one of the most fun, water-cooler friendly shows of the decade.


4. Foyle’s War (2002-Present) – Masterpiece Theater brought this brilliant series to American shores. Set in Hastings, England during WWII, this beautifully written drama centered on Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchens). Unable to fight, Foyle remains on the home front to solve murders in a time of war. Gorgeous production value and excellent acting and writing make this understated and underrated drama one of the best.


5. Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009) – Based on the campy series of the same name from the late 1970s, Battlestar Galactica is a clever reimagining of the premise. Great special effects and set design take a back seat to the human drama. Edward James Almos anchored this imaginative and thought-provoking science fiction series.


6. House (2004-Present) – British comedian, Hugh Laurie, shed his accent and his funny-man only status with the title role in this medical drama. Laurie’s Dr. Greg House is a curmudgeon’s curmudgeon. A misanthrope with only the tiniest glimmer of a heart, House is a character every woman wants to heal. Funny and shocking, House is a slow burn for redemption.


7. Six Feet Under (2001-2005) – Alan Ball’s complex drama tackled the big stuff: life and death. Set in a funeral parlor, Six Feet Under followed the lives of the Fisher family. Never easy, but always compelling, Six Feet Under made for great TV. The talented ensemble cast included Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy and Rachel Griffiths. More than just another TV drama, Six Feet Under is about the fragility of life and how we deal, or don’t deal, with our own mortality.


8. Mad Men (2007-Present) – Set in the world of a 1960s advertising agency, Mad Men is a reflection of our changing world. Beautifully filmed with fantastic period detail, Mad Men tells us where we are by showing us where we’ve been. Cool and stylized, Mad Men is repressed drama at its best.


9. The Wire (2002-2008) – Gritty and complicated, The Wire was an extreme close-up of our failures. Each season focused on a different aspect of Baltimore, Maryland from the drug trade to the government and the systemic failure of each. Violent and dark, The Wire is a grim police drama that required a commitment from its viewers and rewarded them with some of the best drama on television.


10. Friday Night Lights (2006-Present) – Based on a book and film of the same name, this wonderful series explores the sports-obsessed side of America. Set in the fictional Texas town of Dillon, Friday Night Lights follows the lives of the football team and their families. Grounded by an outstanding and understated performance by Kyle Chandler as coach Eric Taylor, the young cast is full of faces you’ll be seeing for a long time to come.


Labels: 10 Best Drama TV Shows of the Decade (2000-2010)

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