5 of my Favorite Well-Written TV Shows

30 day blog challenge – day 14

The Oscars are coming up, and I realized that I am actually a lot more interested in TV shows these days than films. Is it me or have all of the great writers gone to TV? Not to say that great films aren’t still being made (they certainly are), but I feel like the world of TV has really opened up in the past five years or so.

I hear people say “don’t watch so much TV if you want to be productive,” and things like that all of the time. I would argue, though, that there is a tremendous amount you can learn as a writer from watching well-written, well-crafted shows. In all of the cases below, all of these shows are so addictive to me because the writing is so good. So I say sit on the couch and watch some TV! If you are watching one of these five shows, it’s just as good as reading a book or going to see a play.

Breaking Bad


This series just ended last fall, but it was possibly the best-written television show I’ve seen maybe ever. The entire thing was exceptionall well crafted. The writing was amazing, the acting, cinematography, direction, music, all of it. Amazing. I’ve often said that the series is a modern Shakespearean tragedy. It’s essentially about the destruction of human character, I think. Anyway. If you missed out, check it out on Netflix. You will get addicted.

Downton Abbey


This show is for the Anglophile who doesn’t mind being severely depressed because of things that happen to fictional characters. No, but seriously, this show is also very well written and well acted, and it takes place at a time when the world is changing vastly. The beginning of the series was set in 1912, I believe, and the 4th season brings us up to 1923. (And yet, no one ever seems to get older. Curious!) I think the state of the world and how quickly things were changing during that time period is an interesting parallel for a 2014 audience caught in a world where things are also changing. But this show is really an interesting character study, I think, more so than anything else.

Parks and Recreation


This is my favorite comedy currently on television. The characters are all amazingly funny, and this ensemble cast will crack you up. This show is a hilarious portrayal of small-town government. Plus Amy Poehler is kind of my hero.

Game of Thrones


Alright, I kind of have a love/hate relationship with this show. When I first started watching this show, I watched the 1st and 2nd seasons in a very short amount of time. This show is so well done, and I became so obsessed that I, of course, wanted to read George R.R. Martin’s books. I have since gotten discouraged by the fact that (spoiler alert!) NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS TO ANYONE, but I’m sure I will continue watching the show because I actually think the show is better than the books for the most part. (Something I don’t think I’ve ever said about a TV or film adaptation. Maybe it’s because I saw the show first?) Either way, pick this one up if you want to HATE GEORGE R.R. MARTIN AND CRY A LOT. (Even though they are depressing, both the books and the TV show are VERY well written.)



This show captures dialogue and the way people really talk in an amazing way. The storylines and characters are complex, and it deals with some very dramatic issues but it’s also funny and charming. I think this show is underrated, but I really enjoy it. (Of course, the writing must be awesome to make me relate to a show that’s about being a parent!) (There is more to it than that, though. It’s also just about family in general and the human condition, etc.) Anyway, check it out!

So there you go. Five great shows with great writing. Go watch some TV!

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  1. Pingback: A List of Things I Could Write About & Summing Up 30-Day Blog Challenge So Far | Sara Crawford's Writing Blog

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