America puts out that much television that sometimes it’s hard to really find the best of the best, especially as sometimes it fails to find a home over here in the UK.
To celebrate the DVD release of the fifth season of the slick, smart, sexy Burn Notice out on 3rd December (which we have a special clip of at the bottom of page), we’ve compiled a list of TV series that should definitely be on your radar.
Criminally not on British broadcast TV (thank goodness for Netflix bringing it over), Breaking Bad is one of America’s best dramas of the last decade.
Starring Bryan Cranston, who most UK audiences will remember from comedy series Malcolm in the Middle, Breaking Bad is the show that’s gotten him the parts in films such as Drive, the re-boot of Total Recall and the recently released Argo as he owns the screen as Walter White.
This story of a man going from underachieving chemistry teacher to crystal meth mastermind has captivated viewers Stateside, and should be a vital part of your TV viewing.
Burn Notice has spies, sun-soaked Miami and Bruce Campbell. What else could you possibly want from a TV show?
Starring Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen, a blacklisted spy who finds himself stranded in the gorgeous city, but it’s not all time on the beach for him. Oh no, he survives by doing impossible jobs for desperate people in Miami aided by trusted friends and his search for the answer to the question that has plagued him ever since his arrival: who gave the order to burn him, and why?
With hair raising action and a few laughs along the way, Burn Notice is easily one of America’s best action dramas out there, all held in place by the effortlessly charming Donovan.
If you thought Edie Falco couldn’t top her performance as the wife of Tony from the hit series Sopranos, think again.
In the very funny Nurse Jackie, Edie plays a drug-addicted nurse struggling to find a balance between the demands of her frenetic job at a New York City hospital and an array of personal dramas.
The show is currently in its fourth season in America, and although the show manages to mix the dramatic and comedic better than pretty much everyone out there, it’s Falco’s towering performance that’s the biggest eye catcher, getting her Golden Globe nominations and another Emmy to her name.
Not a lot of shows can make a suburban mother turning into a major marijuana dealer a giggle, but Weeds does exactly that with great aplomb.
Struggling to support her family after her husband dies of a sudden heart attack, Nancy (played by the brilliant Mary-Louise Parker ) turns towards a new career in narcotics to put dinner on the table. Over the next few years, the show got darker, but never lost that comedic edge that made it so brilliant.
Having just finished its eighth and final series, Weeds is worth it’s heap of award nominations and definitely worth the investment.
From the Brilliant Armando Iannucci who brought us In the Loop and hit comedy series The Thick Of It, VEEP centers on former Senator Selina Meyer who finds being Vice President of the United States is nothing like she expected and everything everyone ever warned about.
While some UK comedy goes a little askew in getting an American version, Veep sticks strongly to the groundwork set up by The Thick Of It, Veep was actually a happy accident, after the original American version of The Thick Of It didn’t get picked up by Amercian network ABC.
Ianucci hated that version of the show, and got far greater control over Veep, which hit HBO and Sky Atlantic this year and landed lead actress Julia Louise-Dreyfus and Emmy for her efforts.
While not quite as scathing as the British original, Veep is still a whip-smart take on American politics.
Tine Fey rose to power as TV’s first lady of funny at the head of this absolutely spot-on satire of the behind the scenes antics of a TV show.
Fey, who also created the show, stars as Liz Lemon, head writer of the sketch comedy show "TGS with Tracy Jordan.” If that isn’t hard enough, she must deal with an arrogant new boss (Alec Baldwin) and a crazy new star, all while trying to run a successful TV show without losing her mind.
The hit show has seen a whole host of guest star appearances, with Oprah Winfrey, Kelsey Grammer, Matt Damon, Salma Hayek, Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, Susan Sarandon just being the tip of iceberg.
One of the critical darlings of American comedy, it deserves a place in your life.