From: Near Portland, OR
"The Newsroom" was excellent. Watched it several times. The pilot episode is perhaps the best one-hour of television ever made, at least in terms of character introduction and premise.
You should watch "The Sopranos." At least the first season, which can be viewed as a self-contained arc. It's the show that utterly changed the direction of US television and set off the devolution of network control we see in full flower today with Net-delivered content. It's a Greek tragedy in form; it has a pilot that is paid off eight (?) seasons later in the last episode. (Tip: the ducks in Tony's pool are not an accident.) James G. absolutely inhabits Tony Soprano--an acting process for the ages. If you write fiction you appreciate that the "story question" is presented overtly in one, classic line of Tony's in his first meeting with Dr. Melfi. The show has symbolism in its music selections, its still pictures in set design, and in the movies Tony views on his TV. Nothing is by accident, everything ties together. Even the opening credit sequence, with its now-classic song by Alabama 3, is a time machine trip through the NJ Mafia's recent history, as well as Tony's life.
"The Sopranos" is big-boy television. It's adult in every meaning of the word, including the violence, but far more than that. It's well worth your time.
Television is where the stories are being told today. Movies have become violence porn, and a lot of movie actors who want to tell stories are going to the little screen. JK Rowlings said that if Harry Potter was being put on a screen today, she would insist on it being a TV series instead of a series of movies.
When my SO and I met, I had satellite TV, but I had turned it off a year or two before because I just wasn't watching it. I watched a couple of programs a week but otherwise didn't watch TV. She grew up doing theater and planned on being an actor until she spent a summer doing reparatory theater and realized she didn't want to spend her life with those people. Her ambition was to be a director, so she looks at movies and TV through a somewhat professional eye. We turned the satellite back on for her and we've been watching some of the best of TV ever since.
I wasn't as impressed with the Sopranos as a lot of people were, but then Star Wars didn't impress me as much as it did a lot of people. I thought it was well done though.
I thought Breaking Bad was better. The pitch Vince Gilligan made was they were going to start with Mr Chips and turn him into Scarface and they did a masterful job. It's a 5 year movie and very intense. The prequel Better Call Saul has every lawyer I know going ga ga. All of them say it's probably the most accurate show about lawyers ever made.
WitP AE - Test team lead, programmer