Wednesday, 10 February 2010

WIll Simpson's Top 10 US TV Shows

Bands have plenty of time on tour to watch TV and films and with Brigade getting on the road in April we asked frontman, Will Simpson what's his Top 10 American TV Shows

1. The Wire

I'd go as far as saying this is the best TV show I have ever seen. I'd heard people banging on about it for ages but never got round to watching I can't get enough and will be gutted when I finish Season 5. It's the grittiest, most realistic drama I have ever seen and the script is incredible. I love the fact there's no music anywhere else apart from the title sequence - it just doesn't need it because the writing is so good. Plus it's got some unforgettable characters like Omar, McNulty and Stringer Bell and has featured one of the best lines ever spoken in a script... "Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet."

2. 24

I was blown away by 24 the first time I saw it as i'd never seen a show with such a wicked concept as being in real time and also was shocked when season 1 finale was not a happy one and, despite numerous amazing twists throughout, my jaw hit the floor in the final sequence as you expected everything to work out in the end. The show was ground breaking and since then elements have been copied many times but rarely beaten. It's gotten more and more ridiculous with every season but I still love watching copious episodes back to back and it always has me hook, line and sinkered. It'll be a sad day if Jack Bauer bites the dust.

3. Breaking Bad

I've only just started watching this after our manager tipped me off about how good it is. I'm just finishing Season 1 and it's more than lived up to expectation. I love how dark the concept is yet it perfectly balances the emotional content with black humour and intrigue which makes it addictive. If someone had told me superb show would be made about a chemistry teacher whose wife is pregnant, has a disabled son and works two jobs finds out he is dying of lung cancer but doesn't have good enough insurance and ends up trying to sell crystal meth to disastrous consequences...I would have laughed in their face.

4. Curb Your Enthusiasm

Larry David is a genius it's as simple as that. I'm reluctant to admit i've barely seen any Seinfeld but his own outing into acting in a comedy is nothing short of hilarious. All the actors are brilliant (his actual friends also playing exaggerated versions of themselves) and it's made even sweeter by the fact that it feels so improvised. "Self-centred, misanthropic and regularly difficult, Larry creates awkwardness and discomfort in social situations. His problems are often caused by his neuroses and obstinate faith in his understanding of ethics and etiquette." In short, Larry David is misunderstood and I can't wait to see the 7th season.

5. Sex And The City

I don't care what you may say I am neither gay nor extremely effeminate - this show is awesome. I've seen all six seasons and it has been pure entertainment at it's best from start to finish - there isn't one bad episode. Plus i've learnt a few things too. The acting is fantastic (with only one exception is all those years - Geri Halliwell's cameo in 2003 was truly horrendous) and the film was good too. The character development throughout the seasons was great and it comes in a nice pretty box set for the ladies to own next to tattered copies of The Wire. I'm looking forward to the film sequel, see you in the cinema men.

6. American Dad

All the guys in the band love this show. I can't believe some of the scenes they get away with like Whitney Houston on her knees begging for crack offering her dishevelled mouth to Stan. The comedy is awesome and has some of the funniest most quotable lines I have ever heard. I've never seen our guitarist James crying with laughter as much as he did when he first saw the dog that Stan buys Steve to help get girls. Roger and Stan are fantastic characters and both played brilliantly by the show's creator Seth McFarlane. It's the perfect show to watch on tour and the best piss take of America done by Americans i've ever seen.

7. Flash Forward

The first season is half way through right now and on hold as it's being shown at the same time all over the world and America like their mid-season breaks...damn it. Can't wait for the second half - it's another cracking new concept where each character glimpses themselves six months into the future and is left to deal with what they saw and whether their future is already sealed. For some they may be being cheated on, for others they might be dead...sweet stuff. Also the cast is dominated by Brits which is a refreshing change and we're leading up to the exact date of the flashback in real time - April 29th 2010 people!

8. Scrubs

My brother and I piss ourselves when we watch this show. Some of the humour is very slapstick but other parts are much more subtle and really clever. J.D's comical daydreams are always amusing and it tugs nicely on the emotional heartstrings too without making you want to vomit on the TV. Plus the character of the lawyer is unbelievably funny and he sings in a barbershop quartet as if his lines alone aren't good enough. I've been interested in hospital doctors' experiences ever since I read 'Bodies' by Jed Mecurio and this brilliantly balances ridiculous humour with real-life experiences and is still going strong.

9. Dungeons & Dragons

A childhood classic and one of the best cartoons I have ever seen. I love good sci-fi/fantasy and this ticked all the boxes. But the one thing with this show I've struggled to let go of all my life was the moment the children missed the perfect chance to return to their world and would have done had it not been for the frickin' unicorn tripping up...unbelievable. D & D had it all - violence, magic weapons, a scary villain called Venger and numerous desperate attempts to return home from a roller coaster ride gone very wrong. They don't make cartoons like this and Cities of Gold anymore. What I still don't know is if they ever made it home?

10. The Sopranos / Heroes

Ashamedly I am yet to watch these two shows which are both recognised as classics (most notably The Sopranos which is undisputed), but I shall be remedying this travesty later this year once i've finished all of the above! Until then i'd be a fool not to have them on the list...


By Damon Fowler

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