Not quite on topic, but I'm absolutely bowled over by the quality of that show. It took me a while to catch on, though I thought it a good program from the beginning, but now into the second year I see it's absolutely brilliant.  I didn't know television had it in it.  In fact, I was convinced that "mediocre" was about the best one could hope for.

 

Who knew in the age of reality shows?

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AMC runs ads with MAD MEN.

Yes, I think I get Mad Men from AMC.  I prerecord and FF through the ads.  :)

Yes, but it's a completely different financing formula from network TV and the sponsors aren't in nearly the same position of power as they are with networks.

Hmm.  Does that explain the huge difference in quality?  (I'm tempted to apply that logic to campaign financing.)

Breaking Bad, also on AMC, is another outstanding series. And AMC's The Killing (based on the Swedish show) wrapped up season two last night--also well worth seeing.

My wife said this second season of THE KILLING was better than the first, but I got so mad at the ending last year, I refused to watch this second season. Maybe I'll have to relent. Every decade or so I make a mistake.

I can understand that. The pace is pretty slow compared to most shows. The tension is up in season two and the mystery is finally solved in the last episode. A slight teaser for what's coming in three.

I really liked their Rubicon show too, but unfortunately that one was canceled before the mystery unraveled. 

I liked Rubicon, too, but there were really two shows - it changed direction quite a bit when they changed the showrunner. Still, I wish it had continued.

By the way, I cannot get either "Justified" or "The Shield."   ??? 

I agree (although we are a bit behind on finishing this season, so I won't read any of the other comments).  Enjoyable, thoughtful, surprising.  Dish TV is threatening to drop AMC and, should they do so, we will be leaving Dish TV behind.

Absolutely agree ... just finished watching Series 5 (downloaded) and it is fantastic. If you look for them you can find lots of parallels and references. So for example Don Draper is a kind of Gatsby figure (I won't give any spoilers!) because of his mid-West origin and how he reinvented himself. Also, in the last series, there are deliberate references to Catcher in the Rye. If you go to the UK's Guardian newspaper website, find the TV page and then look for the blog on Mad Men you'll find some fantastically erudite and clever interpretations of the show (though beware of finding blogs later than the series you're watching!)

Agree also that The Shield and Justified are fantastic. The Shield was based in part on the Rampart scandal in the LA police a few years ago, and Justified is based on an Elmore Leonard short story, so that's worth its weight in gold right there. The plots are tortuous and clever and the performances are phenomenal (particularly series 2 and 3, with guest-star villains who last the whole series).

I'm only two series into Breaking Bad, but again cable TV has knocked it out of the park. Great show that you sometimes have to watch through your fingers ...

As a Brit, though, I can't stand Downton Abbey (though my partner's a big fan). I don't like those big house period dramas that make out life was something rosier than it actually was. You only have to visit the living and working quarters of those 'below stairs', in real country houses, to see how s**t life probably was for them!

There's also a new show coming out this year called "Copper" that looks like it could be good. Set in New York around the same era as the movie "Gangs of New York" it's BBC America's first scripted series.

 

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