Classic

You must experience these.

Game of Thrones (Season 3)

It may be a little slow in places, giving too much attention to peripheral storylines, but when it is good it is better than anything else currently being made. The penultimate episode, The Rains of Castamere, is what the producers apparently had in mind as a target and it more than delivers.

Classic

Breaking Bad Felina (final episode)

A fantastic end to Breaking Bad. Arguably too neat but a satisfying set of conclusions, tying up many threads with nods to earlier events for the fans.

Classic

Game of Thrones (Season 2)

More fantastic television. The world widens and more fantasy elements are introduced. One episode (Blackwater) comfortably exceeds most of cinema.

Classic

Ray Donovan (Season 2)

Stunningly interwoven, orchestrated dark drama. An astonishing mid series episode with a Donovan family party (and inevitable chaos) which seems like it will be the high point of the season is followed by a shocking episode which turns things up another level. Essential viewing.

Classic

Frago (TV Series)

Brilliant 10 episode series following the style and set in the world of the Cohen Brothers' film; captures the dark humour of the original, and if anything, exceeds it. A must watch.

Classic

Game of Thrones (Season 1)

Astonishingly good television series. Compelling stories and high production values in a sophisticated fantasy-light/middle ages world. Makes the Lord of the Rings films look like they are for children (in every sense).

Classic

The West Wing

I rewatched some of the key episodes via Amazon instant video. An incredible, powerful and compelling series: sharp dialogue, lefty-idealism, fascinating plots and great characters. Not yet bettered.

Classic

Game of Thrones (Season 4)

Perhaps the best yet? Four absolutely brilliant episodes (the other six are excellent) and a sustained pace not seen before. The best television series currently being made. A rich fantasy world which keeps expanding, great stories, great actors and a brutality which keeps you on your toes.

Classic

Making a Murder

Powerful TV series following exonerated rape convict as, as he looks to be winning a civil case against those who arrested him, is arrested for murder. The series paints a convincing picture of corrupt police and manipulation of a child. (though apparently it leaves out some key evidence). Definitely one to watch.

Classic

Friday Night Lights (Season 5)

Fantastic conclusion to a brilliant series which doesn't outstay its welcome: a must watch. Beautifully resolves a multitude of interwoven stories.

Classic

House of Cards (Season 3)

Another fantastic series. It lacks the urgency and direction of the previous seasons; but the leisurely pace allows for the development of some great storylines with Frank and Claire; international relations and confrontational domestic politics.

Classic

House of Cards (Season 4)

Another enthralling, dark season with plenty of twists and shocks. Watched the entire thing over a (long) weekend... definitely one to put at the top of your Netflix list.

Classic

Great

Highly recommended.

Damages (my overall opinion)

Excellent television series, which used flash forwards to great effect (compelling you to watch more), had interesting, ruthless characters, intricate plots and mostly satisfying resolutions to each series. A few series are a bit overlong, it was a bit light on the actual legal jousting (some seasons barely had any) but fairly consistently compelling and edgy. Recommend, particularly the first season.

Great

Ray Donovan (Season 1)

Dark, compelling drama; centred around Ray (who does the dirty work for LA's rich and famous) and his troubled family (including newly released from prison father). Serious, intelligent stuff.

Great

Boss (Season 2)

Another excellent dark political series.

Great

The Leftovers (Season 1)

Filling Game of Thrones' slot on HBO is tough; but this was an interesting series. After a powerful opening episode it was a slow burner for a while, but really picked up towards the end of the series. 3% of the world's population vanish on one day, we follow those left behind. New religions, nihilism, insanity and the possibility of an explanation.

Great

The Pity of War

First World War documentary with live audience and panel of experts from Niall Ferguson. The British (early) entry into a continental war was a catastrophic mistake, prolonging the conflict (by keeping France going), making it a truly world war and was generally terrible for British interests. Surprising to find myself largely agreeing with Ferguson. Though none of the in studio historians agreed.

Great

Rita (Season 1)

Danish school drama centred around uncompromising teacher Rita. Fantastic series.

Great

Man in the High Castle

Alternate history; Nazi's win WWII thanks to assassination of Roosevelt. We follow the resistance, Nazi's and Japanese in USA split into two. Entertaining, disturbing drama which, after slightly flabby mid season, pulls things together with panache. From Wikipedia's description of the novel it is based on looks like the creators did a great job of adapting and reimagining it.

Great

Boss (Season 1)

Excellent series centred around Chicago Mayor with degenerative neurological disease (Kelsey Grammer); compulsive dark political drama.

Great

House of Cards (Season 2)

Another fantastic, compelling (roughly, evil West Wing) series from Netflix. A must watch.

Great

Friday Night Lights (Season 4)

Return to form for an excellent television series (based, like the film, on an excellent book). Highly recommended.

Great

Game of Thrones (Season 5)

While it can't match the strength of season 4, it is still better than almost anything else on television.

Great

Orange is the New Black (Season 2)

Another great season ripe for binge watching. The way the rivalries between groups at the prison develop makes this hard not to keep clicking on 'next episode'.

Great

The Killing (Season 4, US Version)

The best so far: restricting it to only 6 episodes resulted in a much tighter series; a powerful story building on the end to season 3, with Linden's private and professional lives more directly intertwined.

Great

Orange is the New Black (Season 1)

Compelling Netflix series, which weaves interesting individual stories and rivalries in a US women's prison.

Great

Better Call Saul

Prequel to Breaking Bad centred on the creation of Saul Goodman (the name to be adopted by the main character). Entertaining stuff.

Great

Les Revenants (Saison 1)

Fantastic French television series. The deceased start to turn up at a remote French town. Difficult to say much without giving things away but definitely a series to watch.

Great

Daredevil (Season 2)

While there are quite a few scenes where my reaction was roughly "sigh, Daredevil is again clearly going to non-lethally beat the shit out a bunch of interchangeable bad guys"; the major new characters and interesting stories keep it moving. Perhaps would have been better as 10 episodes, but still great stuff. The sustained intensity of this season is incredible and definitely one to watch.

Great

Rita (Season 2)

Another great season of Rita

Great

Rake (Australian original, Series 3)

A return to form for Rake after a slightly disappointing, though still entertaining, second season. Big themes, events and courtroom exchanges; well worth watching.

Great

Mr Robot (Season 1)

Show centred around hacker with social issues. Remarkably realistic in many respects, a little too like a certain film I think is vastly overrated; with a few of the mid to later season episodes looking ready to jump sharks; but the final few (largely) return to form. Looking forward to the next season.

Great

The Pixar Story

Fascinating documentary charting the origins and ascension of Pixar.

Great

In the Flesh Series 1

Great alt-zombie mini series from BBC; treated zombies return to society and are met with intolerance. I don't want to give things away, but a substantial, dark and original series.

Great

Rita (Season 3)

Rita grapples with being alone in another fantastic series.

Great

Rake (Australian original, Series 1)

Fantastic series featuring a talented but alcoholic, drug-taking and gambling barrister who defends the (almost) indefensible.

Great

Sens8

Ridiculously ambitious, world spanning TV series where 8 individuals are mentally linked across the world. They share experiences and skills as the group is hunted down. The best thing the Wachowskis have done since, at least, V for Vendetta.

Great

Good

Worth experiencing but not essential.

Top of the Lake

Exquisite footage of New Zealand lakes and mountains is the backdrop for a gritty, dark crime series where the crime(s) committed become gradually clearer.

Good

Under the Dome (Season 1)

Entertaining not-yet-sure-what-genre series adapted from Stephen King's novel. High body count but with some interesting characters.

Good

The Killing (Season One and Two, US version)

These twenty six episodes (or about 19 hours) need to reviewed as one compulsive unit: with a few exceptions each episode delves deeper into the mysteries surrounding the killing of teenage girl, what we think we know is revealed to be untrue or partially true. Would have been better with fewer episodes and some side plots trimmed but worth watching: occasionally great, nearly always compelling.

Good

Black Mirror, White Christmas

Christmas special, this time with three interesting tech-dystopian-near-future stories. This works a lot better than the normal episodes, which while interesting always felt significantly too long.

Good

Rake (Australian original, Series 2)

Another impressive series of Rake, with the focus shifting toward politics and conspiracy. Lacks the first series tight focus on individual cases but still manages to include interesting moral issues.

Good

Chef's Table

Good international cooking documentary series: we meet 6 of the best chefs in the world and learn about how they started and how they approach cooking.

Good

Fresh Meat (Series 1)

Hilarious and entertaining first-year-at-university comedy-drama from channel 4.

Good

Marco Polo

Missing Game of Thrones? Well this has even more nudity, along with epic power struggles and impressive martial arts. Entertaining stuff. All available on Netflix.

Good

Dexter Remember the Monsters? (final episode)

A somewhat disappointing end to Dexter, after what has probably been the weakest season. Still better than almost everything else out there.

Good

In the Flesh Series 2

Less focused than the first series, there are twice as many episodes, but still pretty good alt-zombie series. Some great moments, but quite a few weak storylines, retreading of earlier material and less plausible (given we accept the zombie premise) events (the MP grates).

Good

The Walking Dead Season 3

Can't quite decide where to place this show: it is compelling, grim and well presented; but, it feels like this 16 episode season is twice as long as it should be (though doesn't ever drag).

Good

World Without End

While I don't think this was ever quite as good as Pillars of Earth, this adaptation of Ken Follett's historical novel is compelling. And by featuring the Black Death manages to kill off a greater proportion of its cast than Game of Thrones!

Good

Educating Yorkshire

I usually try to avoid reality TV, but this series showing teachers making a difference is well worth watching. Inspiring and funny.

Good

Homeland Season 4

Entertaining, a major improvement on the (particularly) silly season 3.

Good

Damages (Season 5)

A strong end to a strong series (after a relatively weak season 4). Addictive, compelling stuff.

Good

Video Game High School (Season 2)

More entertaining stuff.

Good

Silicon Valley (Season One)

Entertaining series, which like Amazon's Betas focuses on the start-up world in silicon valley; for comedy series both are surprisingly realistic takes, though each has its out of place aspects (most notably in SV, that they are producing a product that actually solves hard CS problems and does something useful).

Good

Video Game High School (Season 1)

Great little series mashing up a high school drama and competitive video gaming. Entertaining, funny stuff.

Good

Scream (Netflix series)

Entertaining, watchable series. Surprising how well it worked in this (serial) medium.

Good

Daredevil

A dark, physical take on Marvel's Daredevil from Netflix. Entertaining.

Good

Betas

Amazon's comedy drama series set in the start-up world of Silicon Valley. Entertaining and more charming than HBO's Silicon Valley. Both are decent and surprisingly realistic takes (a lot more so than for example The Social Network).

Good

Damages (Season 4)

Another ridiculously compulsive (just one more episode) season; perhaps not quite as strong as the first two seasons, but very easy to binge on (thanks Netflix).

Good

Okay

Acceptable; I didn't regret it but I wouldn't really recommend it.

Jericho

Promising yet disappointing TV series (I gave up in about of third of the way through the first series on Netflix). Some interesting ideas (or more precisely the promise of interesting revelations), but, like many US series of 20+ episodes, spreads itself way too thinly.

Okay

Community

Popular US comedy-drama around lawyer without degree who is going to community college to get one. Polished but insubstantial.

Okay

Hjordis

Centred around characters from Rita (but without Rita). Disappointing after Rita: I think I only watched first episode. Lacks substance.

Okay

Outlander

Ultimately disappointing, though lavishly realised, drama of a WWII nurse sent back in time to Jacobite revolutionary Scotland.

Okay

The Walking Dead Season 2

Compulsive post-apocalyptic zombie action. Feels a bit repetitive at times, but entertaining, grim stuff.

Okay

Whitechapel (Series 3)

The crime has become formulaic, while the ongoing personal stories of the characters more developed. 6 episodes, but even this feels like a stretch (the first two seasons were a much tighter 3 episodes each).

Okay

Orange is the New Black (Season 3)

After two great seasons I just couldn't get into this. I think I watched the first three or so episodes. Piper is as weak a central character as ever, but this time none of the other characters pick up the slack.

Okay

True Detective (Season 1)

Can't actually tell if I like this! Clever, compulsive, dark but ultimately lacking anything special.

Okay