On the surface, you might think that asking a person what types of television shows and movies they like to watch is a dull question that pops up only within the realm of small-talk. I, however, like to think that a person’s taste in entertainment reveals a lot about their true identity, and I love to talk to people about what they’re currently watching to try to learn more about who they are and what they might enjoy discussing.
After all, it isn’t hard to surmise that a person who watches a lot of crime dramas might personally have a bit of an investigative flair. Perhaps the individual who watches primarily romantic stories might yearn for true love in their own life. I tend to fall hard for epic tales of justice and empowerment, and that reveals something about how I feel about the world I live in. If you can pinpoint a specific theme in a person’s cinematic taste, you may find it easier to initiate a real, interesting topic of conversation, and finally exit the gloomy wasteland that is small-talk.
Without further ado, here is my list of the top 3 best shows on television right now:
#1.) Vikings, the History Channel
This show is my life-blood right now. It contains several characters who were real historical figures, but some who may not have ever really existed. This gives the show an edge, because they can follow real historical events, but mix in fictional elements as well. Even the protagonist, Ragnar Lothbrok, has likely had the story of his life mixed with prevalent myths from his culture. The story of Vikings contains sub-genres outside of its historical mainframe: it has moments of romance, drama, action, political intrigue, horror-style gore, and even a few moments of laughter.
My favorite thing about this show, by far, is the comparative way that it displays cultures. Obviously, you’ll see much of Viking culture and pagan beliefs, but you’ll also see how it was similar to, and different from, Christianity and culture in England. It doesn’t portray Christianity as “real” and paganism as “fake”, or vice versa. It shows aspects of brutality and humanity coming from both the Christian culture and the pagan culture. They are displayed as equal, and very much products of their time, but also uniquely different.
I would recommend this show to just about anyone who can tolerate scenes of war and intense violence. The depth of the characters is astonishing, and I often find myself thinking about each episode for days on end. I’m normally not a person who goes crazy over costumes and hairstyles, but whoever works in that department for Vikings needs a raise. Seriously. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve tried (and failed) to produce a Lagertha-esque hairdo. The worst thing I’ve ever heard anyone say about this show is that the shields and weapons used in the show weren’t exactly like the ones that the Vikings actually used. So, if you can get past that “major” plot hole, it’s a must watch!
#2.) The Exorcist, Fox
True to the original, but also unique enough to stand on its own, The Exorcist is an enthralling ride. I’ll admit, when I first saw advertisements for the show, I nearly laughed out loud. I’ve seen plenty of attempts at re-boots that fell short of the original, so I didn’t expect much from it. I never imagined that they could develop the plot of an iconic movie into a captivating and chilling story that truly continued the original story of The Exorcist. Boy, was I wrong. Beyond that, I was utterly unprepared for the immensity of the story they had to tell.
I’m a huge horror nut, so I’ve developed some thick skin for many of the jump-scares that most cinematic horror uses. The Exorcist chooses not to utilize many jump-scares, rather, it seeks to take an ordinary, everyday situation and transform it into a frightening one. For example, a young girl’s smile can come across as a menacing threat within the premise of this story. It aims for more of the bone-chilling, psychological scare that sticks with you far beyond the end credits. But don’t worry, you’ll still get to relive some of the classic jump-scare moments of the original, like the backwards crab walk, with a new and modern twist!
I would recommend this show for anyone with a taste for horror, or anyone who has seen the original movie, The Exorcist, and enjoyed it. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed at the thrills delivered by this outstanding cast performance, which includes the lovely Geena Davis. The Exorcist is one show that I find myself waiting anxiously for every week. Just don’t forget to cuddle up with popcorn, a blanket, and a low-light setting for maximum enjoyment!
#3.) Arrow, the CW
Don’t judge me, this show is amazing! I saw that it had only about 3.5 stars on Netflix, but I decided to give it a chance anyway. No regret there. This shows starts in the heat of the action, with many probing, unanswered questions urging you to continue watching. The protagonist, Oliver Queen, is rescued from a barren island in the South China Sea in the opening scene of the show. Oliver returns to his city and becomes a vigilante superhero, the Green Arrow. He seeks to save the city from the grip of corporate crime and greed, which was his father’s final wish for him, but it becomes much more than that.
I like how this show portrays somewhat realistic villains. For the most part, the Arrow deals with gun-wielding super baddies, and not perpetrators with superhuman abilities. The Arrow utilizes martial arts skills, precision shooting, technology, and of course, a reliable, trustworthy, and intelligent team to steer him in the right direction. Secrets unfold continually throughout each season, and the show does a great job of keeping you on your toes and always wanting more. The concept of right vs. wrong is a major theme within the show, and I was surprised at how dark the CW was willing to be to promote this gem of a show.
As far as recommendations go, I can’t think of anyone who I would not recommend this show. Although it uses dark themes, it’s portrayed in a way that isn’t too intimidating or gory, even for people who may be sensitive to it. Best of all, this show has a ton of content, and averages 45 minutes episodes and about 23 episodes per season. The show is currently running its fifth season, so there’s plenty of binge-watching to be done!
Well, there it is, folks. Let’s get to talking. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments section!