Even though we live in Los Angeles where the weather is nice most of the year, during the fall we sometimes just want to stay in, prepare a cup of hot cocoa and do some binge watching. We each chose our five favorite TV shows of all-time and weirdly enough, none of us picked the same one. So when you’re searching for something to watch this season, you have 15 options to choose from!
I didn’t watch Oz while it was on TV; years later I caught up with it on HBO GO. I’m a huge fan of The Wire, so when I found out Tom Fontana created this prison drama, I had to check it out. After the first episode I was hooked! I’m intrigued by shows that deal with societal issues so Oz fascinated me. Set in the Oswald State Penitentiary, a fictitious level 4 maximum-security prison, the drama follows the daily lives of the inmates and deals with drug addiction, murder, rape, racism, AIDS, and depression. Each character had so many layers to unravel and the acting was emotional and compelling. I loved how the show portrayed the ominous tone of the series by using only gloomy and bland colors for the set and characters clothing; it gave it a sense of grittiness. One of the darkest moments I’ve ever witnessed on a TV show is what happened to Cyril (spoiler alert). It’s the type of show where you can’t wait for the next episode but I didn’t have to because I was binge-watching it.
I became obsessed with The Deuce and had to write a blog post about it just from viewing the trailer. Fast forward to season two and it’s my Sunday evening go to show. Besides Big Little Lies and The Affair, I haven’t gotten this excited for Sunday night TV in a while; I rush to get all my errands done so I can spend the evening unwinding in front of the TV with a glass of wine. The show follows the daily (and sometimes dangerous) lives of a group of prostitutes and their pimps, who then turn to escorting and enter the world of porn. My favorite character is Candy played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. I see someone who is an independent feminist and doesn’t fit the typical stereotype of a “street walker.” I’m a huge fan of the 1970s and New York City (especially the grittiness that no longer exists), and I love how the sets are so authentic. If you look at photos of Times Square in the 70s, or watch films that take place during that time period, The Deuce fits in perfectly.
I started watching Sex and the City in my late teens and it made a major impression on me and helped me realize the lifestyle I wanted to live. I knew that I would need to move away from the small (and boring) town I grew up in and head to the city. I didn’t end up in New York, but I moved to Los Angeles, and I feel like Sex and the City helped to inspire this goal. The show also impacted my career choices; I ended up working in fashion PR, and now I’m a blogger. The characters were relatable on so many levels; I used to consider myself a Carrie or a Samantha, but now I’m older and recognize that I see different parts of myself in all four women. I’ve seen this show more times than I care to admit, but there’s just something so comforting when it’s playing in the background and I’m sitting at my desk writing a blog post.
During the first season of Breaking Bad I honestly felt sorry for Walter. The whole cancer diagnosis and being told he didn’t have long to live, all the while expecting a baby. That would take its toll on anyone. As the series progressed, and I saw this mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher turned meth dealer and then turn into a sociopath, I started having less and less sympathy for him. I did however became more intrigued. The final scene (spoiler alert) was one of my favorite endings ever. I thought “Baby Blue” by Badfinger playing in the background fit perfectly. It was like they wrote the song for Walter.
The Sopranos is one of my favorite TV shows. I think this was because when I was growing up I had a good friend that lived across the street from a mafia crime boss. I never met the guy but I remember thinking to myself, how does someone in the mob live in our town? He ended being killed and maybe that’s where my fascination with wise guys began. As soon as the Sopranos premiered, I was a fan. Sundays consisted of Italian food and a peek at the complex lives of those in the mafia underworld. After airing for six seasons, I like most fans was sad to hear it was coming to an end. When the season finale aired there were those that loved the ending (spoiler alert), and those that hated it. I was somewhere in the middle (after I realized no, my cable didn’t go out). I love the song “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey and think it fit perfectly, but I had so many questions left. The creator David Chase said in an interview that Tony didn’t die, but he wanted the audience to wonder and he certainly achieved that. Eleven years later and we’re still discussing what the ending meant. I always wished there would be a reunion and it would clarify what happened. I was sad to hear that James Gandolfini passed away. He was such a talented actor and seemed like such a nice guy. Even though it’s not the reunion everyone hoped for, I’m excited for the prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark.
Honorable mentions: Big Little Lies, ER, The Affair, Gossip Girl, The O.C., The Chi, Entourage, and The Wire. You can also check out my list favorite TV shows of 2018.
The Bold Type is one of my favorite shows because it has meaning. The show focuses on controversial topics such as; LGBT community, Breast Cancer awareness, sexual assault, feminism, and fertility. It also promotes the value of friendship and the importance of being there for one and other. I started watching it while I was working on a blog post about my career. I got hooked on the pilot because I felt like I could relate to the characters careers and personal lives. Every time I worked on a blog post it became a thing where I’d play an episode in the background. Before I got into fashion design, I had an interest in working for a magazine because I have a passion for writing. This is one of the main reasons I started writing for A Girl in LA because as much as I love creating fashion, I also love writing about it.
American Horror Story has been one of my favorite horror televisions shows since its debut. Every fall I look forward to the new season. Halloween is my favorite holiday so my festivities kick off with watching the newest episodes of AHS. I don’t believe in ghosts, but there is something so fascinating about the supernatural. The first season, called Murder House takes place in Los Angeles and the house resides in Country Club Park. I am intrigued by haunted houses/hotels so I went to the home and admired its exterior. Even though it’s not haunted, it was thrilling to look at its architecture. I was drawn to the fifth season, titled Hotel because it takes place at the Cicada Club which is a restaurant I have dined at. It’s inspired by The Cecil Hotel (now called Stay on Main) located in downtown LA. It is said to be haunted due to the horrendous crimes that have taken place over the years, as well as the multiple suicides. Two serial killers called The Cecil their home years ago. When I was attending FIDM, I was near the hotel when the Canadian student Elisa Lam “drown” in the water tank. When I walk by I get such an eerie feeling, which intrigued me to continue watching AHS. Even though I would never enter the hotel myself, I enjoy seeing how beautiful it is on screen—safe in my living room.
Desperate Housewives is a show I’ve rewatched multiple times. I remember my mom would watch it when I was younger, but I didn’t understand it. It is definitely a show you have to commit to because the plot changes dramatically, making it a good show to binge watch. The series focuses on the lives of five women with completely different personalities and ambitions. I like how it portrays everyday struggles, aside from the perfection that is reflected on outside appearances. Gabrielle Solis is the character that I relate to the most because she’s into designers and is always so put together, she also worked in the fashion industry and as model. Her lifestyle is a lifestyle any girl would honestly kill for. For the longest time I did not know The Desperate Housewives set was at Universal Studios. After touring it, I watched the show again and caught things I missed before. I could watch it over and over and never get bored with it.
I got into Grace and Frankie because a friend suggested it. The show focuses on two retired women who could not be more different from each other. They come together to form a bond and help each other in their time of need. The show takes place in La Jolla, California and I would love to retire there because it’s so beautiful. They represent the true meaning of #friendshipgoals. When I’m older, I hope to have a strong friendship like theirs because a partner in crime is essential in life.
Alone Together is a show I randomly started watching. At first, I did not know how I felt about it, but I came to appreciate the humor. Benji and Esther are two millennials living in Los Angeles and they‘re trying to fit in. They’re both awkward and the show portrays their struggles through their friendship. It may be challenging to understand the wit if you are not a millennial, but I can relate because I am and I have a similar mindset about residing in Los Angeles. It’s also interesting to see the places they go and some inspire me to want to go there. Esther is easily relatable because she’s a girl from a small town (like me), who moves to LA with big dreams of becoming someone. Alone Together is a show I love because it’s honest and highlights the pressure and criticism one can face living in LA.
Honorable mentions: The Jersey Shore, New Girl, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Younger, and Gilmore Girls.
Claws is a series that’s part drama, part comedy and features a nail salon that becomes the center of an organized crime ring. Drugs, sex, and murder, it’s the female centric crime series we’ve always wanted! The characters are flawed, but loveable, like Virginia, the murderous stripper, Polly, the con artist, and Desna, the glamorous money launderer. I love the story of the female lead, who grew up in an abusive home and was so determined to make something of her life she begins working for a drug lord. While she is indebted to the mob boss for the first season, by the second season, she and her girl gang are in control. Claws is gritty and flashy, with a hint of funny; it’s my go to show when I want to binge watch with a glass of wine!
Harlots is a period drama written and created by women. It takes place in 18th century London and centers around two feuding brothels. The show struck me because of its female lens, and because of its women’s empowerment theme. Though the series explores dark topics like human trafficking, murder, and rape, the female characters are fearless and are shown tirelessly fighting for their place in a violent, male-dominated society. I also love how cinematically striking the series is. Harlots is a fantastic watch that perfectly contrasts grace and grime.
The Handmaid’s Tale felt like the show of the year. It seems as though everyone has been talking about it since its first season aired in 2017, and for good reason. Set in a dystopian future where the United States is overthrown by a totalitarian regime in which women have no voice, its metaphors on gender and sexuality draw parallels to our current society. The drama is full of heart wrenching plot lines and action, a perfect combination to keep me entertained week after week. What I love most about this award-winning series is that it’s based off the book by Margaret Atwood published in 1985, yet it still has such a powerful message today. The symbolism of the women in red is being used for women’s rights protests. It’s a compelling series that showcases how a lesson on oppression can empower many.
Westworld is about the costs of indulging the human psyche. The series develops with a slow shifting of power from the human creators to the artificial intelligence until chaos ensues. I like that the female A.I. characters, abused for sex, develop their own agency until they refuse to be used. Even though they aren’t as “real” as their human counterparts, I cheer for their freedom. The show also brings up many philosophical questions about what make up “real” humanity. Is it consciousness? The idea of A.I. developing consciousness and “robots taking over” has been a fear since the beginning of modern technologies. I appreciate how the show entertains that idea in such a fascinating way. I love how each episode is a cinematic experience and feel as though I’m thrust into a futuristic world where something sinister is bound to happen. The show is dark, beautiful, and memorizing.
I first watched the science fiction show Black Mirror in 2016, and I was immediately hooked! In this anthology series, each episode’s setting and characters are new. I love that the viewer never quite knows whether the setting is some time in the future or an alternate reality altogether; it leaves much to the imagination. I’m fascinated by this show and can appreciate how it brings up real questions about the intersection of technology and humanity. I love how Black Mirror isn’t afraid to play on controversial topics; it’s daring, thrilling, and definitely not a show to put on before bed!
Honorable mentions: Insecure, The Deuce, American Horror Story, Dear White People, Big Little Lies, Game of Thrones
What are your favorite TV shows of all-time? Share with our readers below!