Top 10 New TV Shows

The Top Ten New TV Shows

It is impossible to be a writer if you do not have an appreciation for, well, writing. All writers constantly read other people’s work, not only as a source of entertainment but for inspiration as well. The same goes for screenwriters. I wanted to become a screenwriter because I love to watch television and movies. A great show builds an emotional connection between you and the characters; it makes you care what happens to them. The best shows can make you examine your own life in relation to the characters. They can help you to appreciate a relationship that maybe you took for granted, or be thankful for what you have. There are not many things that can motivate me to write better than watching an especially good show. As such I have compiled this list of my ten favorite TV shows currently in their first or second season on air. Who knows? Maybe you will find some inspiration in them as well…

10. American Horror Story

American Horror Story is a unique and intriguing show created by Ryan Murphy, who also created Glee and Nip/Tuck. It follows a family that moves into a mansion in Los Angeles that turns out to be haunted. The show merges all the classic horror stories that we have grown up with, from The Shining to Psycho to create its own stylistic blend of dark humor. It has been picked up for a second season that is set to air in the Fall. Plenty of time for you to catch up on season 1.

9. Once Upon a Time

Currently in its first season and created by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, Once Upon a Time takes place in a town called Storybrook in Maine. Fairytale characters such as Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, Prince Charming and others have been trapped in our reality and no longer remember who they are. The story alternates between the past in the fairytale world and the present in our time as the characters slowly learn who they are and try to find a way back home. Once Upon a Time is a refreshing take on a genre that has grown somewhat stale in the last few years. While the story definitely treads in familiar territory, it is a fun show to watch and easy to follow.

8. The River

Also in its first season, The River was created by Steven Spielberg and Oren Peli, the creator of Paranormal Activity. Shot in the format of a documentary, the show follows the wife and son of a famous documentarian as they lead a team to find him six months after he has disappeared in the Amazon. Equally full of horror elements and mystery, it is a gripping series which latches on and makes you want to find out what will happen next.

7. Luck

While its first season is still airing, unfortunately Luck will not be back for a second season. That doesn’t mean, however, that it is not a fantastic show to watch. Dustin Hoffman plays an aging gambler recently released from prison that dives back into the world of horseracing. It is a fascinating look at the world of horseracing with realistic characters that are all have their own agendas. The horse races are beautifully shot and once you start watching it is hard not to be sucked into this incredibly fleshed out world.

6. Homeland

Another show returning for its second season in the Fall, Homeland follows a CIA agent who is convinced that a POW and war hero, Nicholas, who recently returned home is actually plotting a terrorist attack on the US. Homeland is the first show to successfully bring to light the war on terror. It is a smart show that is well written and it will keep you guessing whose side Nicholas is really on up until the very end.

5. House of Lies

Don Cheadle takes the lead in House of Lies. He plays a management consultant for one of the top firms. An amazing, character driven show, House of Lies strives to answer the question: “What exactly does a management consultant do?” Don’s character is a self-loathing, self-absorbed man who will do whatever it takes to land a deal, yet he brings a charm to the role that makes you like a character that gives you so many reasons to hate him. He is joined by a stellar ensemble that includes Kristen Bell. In its first season, House of Lies gets stronger with every episode and is one of the most exciting new shows.

4. Smash

Airing its first season, Smash is the first real contender to Glee’s dominance in TV musicals. It tells the story of the creation of a Broadway play about Marilyn Monroe. The show was created by Theresa Rebeck, who has written several Broadway plays and her experience brings an authenticity to proceedings. The music is amazing, many of the songs having been written specifically for the show and it is matched by an equally interesting storyline as we learn what it takes to build a Broadway show from the ground up. Led by American Idol’s Katherine McPhee, the cast delivers solid performances all around. Even people who are not fans of musicals will be able to enjoy this show.

3. New Girl

The first comedy to make me laugh out loud uncontrollably in its pilot episode, New Girl is a must see for any comedy lover. It stars Zooey Deschanel, charming and quirky as ever, as Jess. Having just broken up with her boyfriend, she moves into a loft with three guys who are polar opposites and yet best friends. The show follows their hilarious antics as the guys try to get Jess over her break up. New Girl is a little over halfway through its first season and has only gotten funnier along the way.

2. Game of Thrones

Based on the Best Selling books of George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones is a fantasy series that lovers of the genre and people who have never read a fantasy book alike are enthralled by. Based in the mythological Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, the series follows Eddard Stark who is appointed Hand of the King after the previous Hand dies suddenly. Full of intrigue and political power plays, the plot is a labyrinth of twists and turns that you will never see coming with characters who are as flawed and full of life as real people. The action is gritty and intense and you will love this series…as long as you don’t mind hefty amounts of bloodshed. The second season premieres in April, so if you haven’t already, go catch up on season 1!

1. Awake

Awake is a heartbreaking drama of a police officer, Michael, who is in a car accident with his wife and son. After the accident Michael develops a psychological disorder where he lives in two realities. In one reality his wife is dead but his son survives and when he goes to sleep he wakes up in another reality where his son is dead and his wife is alive. Unable to tell which world is real and which is imagined, Michael continues working cases in both realities where clues from one reality lead to solving the case in the other. It is impossible not to feel for Michael, knowing that as awful as his situation is, the truth can only be worse. Written incredibly well, the series will leave you wondering which world is real and which is the dream. Only the first few episodes of the first season have aired so far, yet Awake is already my favorite new show. If you watch none of the other shows on this list watch this show.

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