Throughout my entire young adult life, the one constant that has always brought me joy, is a good, binge-worthy television series. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m terminally awkward, and blissfully lonesome. I’m a misfit, and people tend not to like me. Regardless, my life has been well-fulfilled by complex fictional characters, memorable character moments, and well-paced compelling stories. I’ve invested so much in these stories, and have grown emotionally attached to each and every one of these characters. Nothing beats a rainy day, under the sheets, having Hot Chocoloate with Nutella, with the blinders down, while binge-watching a good series. Bare in mind, that some of the shows on this list will share a spot as I could not bring myself to choose between them. I don’t have a particular favourite because all the shows on this list are so important to me, and they mean so much more than I’d be able to explain. Please note: this list may or may not contain spoilers. Also, this list counts down my favourite network television shows, and NOT anime, as that is a list for another day. Welcome to my first ‘Geek Central’ post, and this is my countdown for the most important TV Shows in my life!
12. The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air
If this was five years ago, this show will be number one on every one of my lists. It’s incredibly funny, and Will Smith grew as a character as well as an actor. The show has become one of the most memorable comedies of all time, and it has been a very important part of my High School life. Looking back, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air was one of the first sitcoms I’ve ever watched, if not the first. I enjoyed it plenty, and it was filled with humour, as well as heartfelt moments that showed Will Smith’s growth as an actor.
11. Game Of Thrones
In all honesty, the first time I watched Game Of Thrones, I wasn’t convinced. I thought it was an overrated medieval sex-fest. But that was just the beginning. I felt the show was very slow in its pacing and its many characters left little to be desired in its introduction. I avoided watching the second season for this very reason, but now I AM IN LOVE WITH GAME OF THRONES. The second season was amazing and the series writing does an incredible job in creating compelling character arcs for each one of its characters, as well as intriguing conflicts and heartfelt, sympathetic moments that grow these characters into their own. In fact, Game Of Thrones, even more than most of the shows on this list, has immense, and compelling characterisation. The characters are interesting, and intensely layered, and the acting is brilliant. I’m a little behind with the series, as I’m in the middle of the third season but so far it has been a wild ride and an incredible experience.
Favourite Character: Tyrion Lannister, Arya Stark.
10. The Flash
“My name is Hector Sibisi and this is one of my favourite series alive! I am THE GEEK WRITER!”
The Flash is an extremely entertaining take on one of my favourite superheroes in the DC Universe. Grant Gustin is fantastic in this role, and I love the direction that the show has taken over the years. As I await the fourth season, I’ve been rewatching the third season and every time I watch the Savitar reveal, I get goosebumps and am again, reminded why I love this show so much. It means a lot to me, and I will remember it for years to come. The Flash is one of my favourite superheroes among Batman and Superman, and this show really does it for me, as it interprets The Flash’s origins and entire universe brilliantly, and doesn’t treat its audience like idiots when it comes to more complex time travel storylines. The narrative is smart, provocative, and the action scenes are exciting to watch. The most exciting is by far the villains that the show introduces and their interpretation. Zoom and Reverse Flash from the second and first season, respectively, are awesome, and Savitar was just exciting every time he appeared on screen. I’d recommend this show even if you’re not a comic book fan, because I feel it appeals to everyone.
Favourite Character: Barry Allen(The Flash), Sisco
9. How I Met Your Mother
In a mood for a non-linear storytelling comedy with hilariously loveable characters, and a Barney Stinson? Look no further than my ninth installment. HIMYM has been in my life for years and years, and I fell in love with the premise as well as the characters at first sight. To be honest, HIMYM is a show that should’ve been higher on my list of favourites, but the finale really broke my heart. After years of build-up to an interesting and heartfelt ending, the pay-off felt more like a rip-off. It was exciting while it lasted though, and I shall binge and re-binge for years to come. The show taught me plenty about love and relationships, and I was happy getting through said relationships vicariously through Barney Stinson. I’ve learned to forgive the finale by making up a new one in my head and completely ignoring the one that broadcast on television. The show boasted eight fantastic seasons of ups and downs, and awesome bro-moments that transcend normal friendship standards. I’d recommend this one if you love 3 dimensional characters, compelling single-goaled premise, and a vast of hilarious characters!
Favourite Characters: Barney Stinson(Duh!) but I love them all though!
[Sighs] … Suits…
Suits is a powerful take on the legal genre, and in my opinion, it boasts a more complex and intriguing premise than other legal dramas. The plot of a fake lawyer with a brilliant mind, gives a thrilling ride worthy of those binge-watching days and nights. Mike Ross’ knowledge of the law impresses self-proclaimed ‘Best closer in the city’ and firm name partner Harvey Specter enough to win him the associate position, even though Mike doesn’t have a license to practice law. Together they try cases for the firm while maintaining the secret that Mike is a fraud. It’s fast-paced, cheeky, intelligent and every episode builds up into the next in heart-wrenching character moments and conflicts.
Favourite Character: Harvey Specter, Louis Litt, Mike Ross
7. Pretty Little Liars/Teen Wolf
Remember when I said some of the shows on my list will share a spot? Well, Teen Wolf and Pretty Little Liars are the first of many. These two shows are a ton of fun, while also creating complex storylines and heartfelt impactful character moments and sorrowful deaths. I fell inlove with the two shows from their Pilot episodes and the depth of material and diverse cast of characters is a road trip with more highs than lows.
Pretty Little Liars
Pretty Little Liars’ dark and mysterious plot and characters serves as a mind-f*ck in a way that many teen dramas have failed. This book adaption is totally obsessive and I’ve never found myself sick of it no matter how many episodes I watch. It’s terrifying, mysterious, humourous and totally engaging in more ways than one. Following an all-girl main cast of protagonists, the series follows the four girls facing a new set of challenges when anonymous text messages from “A” threaten to expose all their secrets. The anonymous person uses their knowledge of the girls’ secrets to ruin their perfect little lives, and manipulate them in a deadly game, which is not for the faint of heart!
Favourite Characters: Gun to my head: Hanna! The Liars are all delightful though!
Teen Wolf boasts a blend of mystery, romance and a blend of different supernatural creatures who threaten to wreak havoc on the little town of Beacon Hills. The series revolves around social outcast Scott McCall, a high school student living in the town of Beacon Hills. Scott’s life drastically changes when he is bitten by a werewolf the night before sophomore year, becoming one himself. He must henceforth learn to balance his problematic new identity with his day-to-day teenage life. I could never get enough of the bizarre nature of the story’s supernatural elements, as it introduces a lot of mythical supernatural creatures that I never knew even existed.
Favourite Characters: Scott. Stiles
6. Daria/Phineas & Ferb
My next installment is filled with some of my favourite cartoons of all time. Daria and Phineas & Ferb have been with me for the longest time and have not shied away from being smart and quirky in each of the series’ runs.
Brainy, sardonic Daria Morgendorffer tries to fly under the radar at Lawndale High School, and she’s doing a pretty good job at it: Her self-esteem teacher can’t even remember her name. Not that low self-esteem is a problem for Daria, who explains that “I don’t have low self-esteem,I have low esteem for everyone else.” Frankly, she couldn’t care less about the airheads in the “in” crowd, like her sister, Quinn, or cheerleader Brittany. At least best friend Jane Lane is readily available any time Daria needs a break from all the clueless masses around them. She’s smart, sarcastic, and loveably indifferent. I must say, I have a little crush on her!
Favourite Characters: Daria, Jane.
Phineas & Ferb
Phineas Flynn and his stepbrother, Ferb Fletcher, are determined to make every day of their summer vacation fun. Their family pet, Perry the Platypus, doubles as a secret agent and battles evil, with his arch-nemesis, Dr.Doofenshmirtz. Meanwhile, their older sister Candace is tattling on them to Mom and Dad, though she can never seem to catch them in the act. The last thing you’d expect from a colourful, fun-sized animated cartoon show is for said show to appeal and be enjoyable to an older audience just as much as it is for the young. It takes a special kind of series to be amazing at every turn, even though the same thing happens in every episode. Same story, different songs! Phineas and Ferb is still special and Candace Flynn is one of the best things that have ever happened to cartoon shows!
Favourite Characters: Everyone! Gun to my head: Candace Flynn & Doof!
5. The Vampire Diaries/The Originals
These two shows have surpassed the vampire-werewolf genre by a landslide. I’ve been geeking out to the Vampire Diaries for years, watching and re-watching old seasons. Its spin-off, The Originals, swept me off my feet with complex storylines and powerful adversaries.
The Vampire Diaries
The Vampire Diaries is set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, a town charged with supernatural history. It follows the life of Elena Gilbert who falls in love with a 162-year-old vampire named Stefan Salvatore. Their relationship becomes increasingly complicated as Stefan’s mysterious, and delightfully evil older brother Damon Salvatore returns, with a plan to bring back their past lover Katherine Pierce, Elena’s doppelganger – his one true love. The show became stronger as the seasons went by, and the romance, action and complex characters increased in depth and overall complexity.
Favourite Characters: Damon Salvatore!
Klaus, the original vampire/werewolf hybrid, returns to New Orleans — which his family helped build — to investigate rumors of a plot against him, in this spinoff of “The Vampire Diaries.” He finds his former protege, Marcel, reigning powerful over its inhabitants, causing growing tension in the supernatural community. Klaus’ brother, Elijah, joins him, and they learn that werewolf Hayley has fallen into the hands of a defiant witch who has life-changing information. This show depicts the very first vampire family, living for over a thousand years, and the tension between said original family and their sire lines, and other supernatural beings, as well as the struggle for power within the supernatural community.
Favourite Characters: Niklaus Mikaelson, Elijah Mikaelson.
4. Young Justice
Don’t call them sidekicks!
The series follows the lives of teenage heroes and sidekicks who are members of a fictional covert operation group referred to simply as ‘the team’. Young Justice is essentially a young counterpart to the famous adult team, the Justice League. The series depicts the journey of the young heroes as they go from reckless airheaded sidekicks to soundly capable heroes in their own right. I loved the premise of the show ever since it was announced all those years ago by Warner Bros. Pictures. The stories are well-written and the action scenes are remarkably choreographed. It does an incredible job in conveying the young heroes’ various strengths and weaknesses, as well as their emotional journeys as they try to prove themselves to their predecessors, and better themselves as heroes. Additionally, the series blends everything we know and love about the DC Animated Universe, with its mature storytelling, and conceptually brilliant episodes.
Favourite Characters: Robin & Kid Flash.
Gotham is an American crime drama television series developed by Bruno Heller, based on characters published by DC Comics and appearing in the Batman universe, primarily those of James Gordon and Bruce Wayne. Quick story, when I first heard about this show, I was reluctant to watch it. Originally, it was to depict the early life of James Gordon in the GCPD as a rising detective in the crime-ridden Gotham City. I was morally unwilling to watch and immerse myself in a story about a character from the Batman universe without Batman himself being in said story. It mostly has to do with an emotional attachment that I have with Batman as a character, as well as his city, Gotham. In a network television show that bares its name, I expected Batman to be an important part of the story, as well as James Gordon. Batman is Gotham. That’s an undeniably unspoken given when it comes to any Batman story, and such is the powerful connection between Batman and his city.
One night, I had a dream(True story!). I dreamed of myself watching the series and I remember waking up feeling absolutely exhilarated! Upon experiencing the pilot episode, I was extremely moved by the tragic origin of Batman, as I always am, because Batman is extremely important to me. The series is well-written, well-acted, and well-respected as not just a great network television series, but also a great depiction of Batman’s extended origin story and that of his rogues gallery. The series is not without its flaws, but it’s an undeniably terrific television show that completely immerses the viewer in its dark universe. The darker tone to the depiction of important comic book stories and characters is in a sense, utterly inspired. The early years and varying interpretations of the early years of our favourite characters is genuinely complex, and in overall, fascinating to experience.
Favourite Characters: Every character is well-developed!
2. Friends/The Big Bang Theory
The two sitcoms that changed my life completely, and at the risk of sounding cheesy, made me a better person. I remember watching Friends for the first time, and asking myself how a television could be so immersive and emotionally fulfilling in every way. It was the only sitcom that affected me so powerfully in terms of its blending of smart and subtle humour, and intelligiblly dumb narratives . I never felt this way about a sitcom until The Big Bang Theory. The Big Bang Theory was, in a way, a reaction to the misconceptions of society when it comes to the geek alternative lifestyle, just like Friends was, an expression of the relationships and bonds which we cherish. TBBT shattered the illusions I had about the world and about myself. I repressed my geeky side because I felt society would not only misunderstand, but taunted behind closed doors. When I was introduced to Sheldon, Howard, Leonard and Raj, I was — at home. I won’t analyse these two shows separately, because of how similar they are, and more importantly, how I could never separate the connection I felt with either show, when the only friends I had, were the friends on these shows. The shows are well-written, and interpret a realistic narrative that suggests how it’s totally okay to be who you are as long as you have friends who accept you.
The sitcoms are masterful in engaging the audience at an emotional level. The drive towards unity and family is extremely reminiscent and the elements that make these two shows iconic is the traditional stories held together by the internal strengths of its characters. I could never help but feel a kinship with the characters on the show, and I have an irrational fear of losing the characters from TBBT when the show inevitably ends, just as I lost the characters on Friends. Unity and family is a good lens which to look at the respective shows. The comedy and plot drivers are delightfully sophisticated, and the redemptive power of the “friends as family” premises are extremely timeless in their unintended nature.]
Favourite Characters: Can’t pick, even with a gun to my head!
1. Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatar: The Last Airbender (Avatar: The Legend of Aang in some regions) is an American animated television series that aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon. If I was asked what was my favourite television show of all time — a television series, that was so near and dear to my heart, my answer would be Avatar: The Last Airbender. Throughout its run, this series had me completely immersed in its complex blend of characters, breath-taking fighting scenes, and above all, its unrelentingly amazing story. The show combines the styles of anime and American cartoons, and relies on the imagery of various East Asian Southeast Asian, South Asian, and New World societies. It boasts some of the most fully-realised, and deeply complex characters ever depicted on television.
Avatar: The Last Airbender takes place in a world that is home to humans and hybrid animals, adjacent to a parallel Spirit World. Human civilization is divided into four nations: the Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. Each has a distinct society, wherein select people known as “benders” have the ability to manipulate and control the elements of their respective nations. At any given time, only one person in the world is capable of bending all four elements: the Avatar — known, as he, who would help keep the balance in the world. The themes of loss, pain, doubt, friendship, and love are shown to be the internal strengths that make this television show so iconic and unforgettable. Avatar: The Last Airbender, to me, is a masterful perpetuation of a new realm of animated storytelling. It stands the test of time as a testament to an essential form of maturity in cartoons that captivates a changing world, and a changing audience. The anime style drawings breeds also the heart and soul of anime complexities. It is absolutely fascinating to see pain in the eyes of those who cause it, and loss in the hearts of those that give. This expresses the very depth of how much the characters on this show have meant to me in only three seasons of story. To me, these fictional characters mean more to me than reality itself!
Favourite Characters: Literally every character!
The Geek Writer.