Hap and Leonard one of the 5 Best on TV

Five Hours A Week You Will Not Waste

Yes this is the original Mike South.

I got an email that noted that I had suggested some really good TV shows and wanted to know what I have been watching lately.
Let me start by saying that Television has changed…A LOT…There are television shows right now that are WAY WAY better than any of the OSCAR nominated movies.  That said there is also a lot of shit on TV right now, so lets pre=qualify this a little….If your idea of intelligent writing is “The Middle” or “Blackish” or “The Goldbergs”  skip the rest of this article.

Hap and Leonard one of the 5 Best on TV

Still here?  Good!  Here are five Television shows currently running that you will not regret the time you spent watching.  They are in no particular order.

Hap and Leonard This Sundance series is based on the books written by Joe Lansdale, I have long been a fan and have turned a bunch of people on to this book serial.  Its intended audience is men, no doubt but a lot of my chick friends love it too, It defies stereotypes and its rough and tumble, in your face fun reading isn’t what you expect.  It is good television and excellent writing, Kenneth Michael Williams may be best known for his role as “Omar Little” in “The Wire” but his portrayal of gay, black, badass Leonard Pine is perfect casting.  Hap and Leonard is just plain fun watching.

Billions  This Showtime series is outstanding, it doesn’t talk down to you and in doing so it is a bit esoteric if you don’t  have a basic understanding of The stock and commodities markets but the casting and the writing is brilliant.  It is nice to see Maggie Siff in a show that isn’t a juvenile fantasy of how biker clubs work.  her acting ability was way too good for SOA but she really shines here.  It’s a great look at passion, drive and raw revenge.  They throw in a few porn references too, this season they mention the AVN Awards and  “A Traci Lords idea being a market dominating, barely legal, brilliant cocksucker of an idea.” Watch Billions.

The Americans  This FX series explores the lives of a family of Soviet Spies living in DC during Reagan’s cold war 80s.  The show is smart and brings up topics you likely never considered.  It doesn’t preach and it doesn’t take sides except that sometimes both sides are on paths of evil and how much we sometimes had common goals or how important it is that cooler heads prevail despite what the respective leaders may have wanted.  One of the things that struck me about The Americans was that the role of the female lead isn’t written to make her a strong character as so many are these days, instead she is a strong character because they play her positives as would happen in real life, and you get the sense that she is not only equal in her importance to the objectives but that she is necessary.  A really good look at spying on both sides of the cold war.

Black Sails In its fourth season on Starz. Black Sails is something of a prequel to Robert Louis Stevensons book “Treasure Island”.  Set on New Providence Island it is a fairly accurate look at the life of Pirates and Privateers.  It is interesting to have a look at the first and the most successful “Democracy” ever formed.  Pirates were truly a democratic form of society, everyone got equal shares and captains were elected, Pirates had no racial or even gender barriers.  It is so good because it is honest, Forget the Pirates porn movies, forget Peter Pan, Forget Pirates of the Caribbean this is the real life story of people like Calico Jack Rackam, Long John Silver, Anne Bonney, Charles Vain and Edward Teach (Blackbeard)

Sun Records This CMT show is just starting but I can already tell that it is everything that the disappointing “Nashville” should have been.  Unlike “Nashville“, “Sun Records” is not a soap opera, it is about the music and about the people who created something new and something that would change history.  People like Sam Phillips, BB King, Ike Turner, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Prisonaires, and evangelist Jimmy Swaggart…just to name a few.  The look and feel is authentic 1950s and the story is fascinating, I predict good things for this show.

There you have it.  Some of these shows like Billions will not get massively popular because the average viewer isn’t intelligent enough to understand it but those of us who do are in for a treat.


5 Replies to “Five Hours A Week You Will Not Waste”

  1. Djoser

    Many thanks for the recommendations. I have scrupulously avoided watching television for many years–most of my adult life–until someone recommended ‘Breaking Bad’ and I binge watched the entire series, all 3-4 years, in a week, then ‘Better Call Saul’ more recently. Clearly things have changed in the last decade or so. I was a bit put off by the short bit of Black Sails I saw, but perhaps I need to give it another shot, as it is one of my favorite subjects in non-fiction literature. ‘The Americans’ sounds particularly intriguing.

  2. Mike South

    D…You wont regret any of them I liked Breaking Bad as well because it totally went in a direction TV had never gone before…not as big on better call saul but it isnt bad by any means.I dont think you could start Black Sails in the middle and enjoy it because the story evolves much like it did in Breaking Bad..The Americans is REALLY good…I actually look foreward to that one every week…its in its 4th season IIRC

  3. schlermy

    Thanks Mike, I need something to watch and it’s hard for me to find good TV because I’ve been let down so many times. Honestly, I think I got spoiled by Oz and The Sopranos, man those were fantastic shows. The Spartacus series was outstanding as well. Luck was a huge disappointment, I tried so hard to follow that show. Rome=Lame. Carnivale=borefest. House of Lies=No thank you. The Pacific<Band of Brothers. Prison Break=Great first season.

    HBO needs to get their mojo back big time. They invented this type of television and they need to step back up to the plate. Do The Sopranos back in the 50's/60's instead of that Steve Bucemi series they were doing. You CAN'T have slow pacing, it doesn't ever work.

    Right now I think I'm going to at least try Black Sails and go from there.

    Oh yeah, killing of Adriana was the death of The Sopranos no matter what anybody else says!

  4. Karmafan

    Next week the 3rd season of Fargo will be on FX. If you have never seen it you are missing something great. Go binge the 1st 2 seasons now…

  5. Mike South

    lmk what you guys think of my suggestions….and Im always open to your suggestions with so few good movies in theaters iys cool that there is a LOT of decent TV the hard part is finding it……

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