Which TV Show Inspires You?


I hope that your creative projects are going well.  I still want to hear about what you are working on, but I thought I'd change things up a bit this week by asking you this question:

Which TV Show Inspires You?
 
Art doesn't exist in a vacuum.  Consciously or not, we are influenced by the media that we choose to consume.  A good TV show can be one of the most effective storytelling vehicles.  So...

Tell me about your favorite show(s) in the comments below.

I watch everything through Netflix or Amazon Instant Video.  Just the other day, I finished the 4th season of Farscape.  Now, I need your suggestions for what to watch next!

One last thing, you don't get off the hook this week.  Please tell me what you are working on in the comments below.  

Have a great week!
John Anealio

76 comments:

  1. My favorite show?

    Good grief, ask me an easier one, John :)

    I guess I will rely on Babylon 5, just because I can't decide between several good choices.

    And, at work, I try not to giveaway the Homeworld. So there is always that

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    1. Babylon 5 is a show that lots of people still love. It is currently on any of the streaming services that I use, but when it shows up again, I'll be sure to put it in my queue. Thanks Paul!

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    2. I bought the entire DVD set a few years back. Watching the entire series in a row is quite good. It really was an excellent show. it did have a few moments of awkwardness (when the captain was supposedly in love with the half Minbari/half human (Can't remember her name). Whoa that was some bad and stiff acting. There was nothing between them and it felt really awkward when they were supposed to be close. Shiver. But overall an absolutely excellent show...

      Joerg

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  2. Sons of Anarchy. Justified. Homeland. SouthLAnd. Basically the only ones I want to watch religiously, all of them top notch at storytelling.
    -Karin

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    1. All shows that I mean to check out. I know that Sons of Anarchy is up on Netflix, so I plan on checking that out somewhat soon. Patrick Hester (Functional Nerds Podcast) raves about Justified, so I've got to check that out soon too. Thanks Karin!

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  3. Stargate SG-1. It's Science Fiction, lots of great action, special effects, great stories (most of the time), funny at times, poignant at times. Excellent series.

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    1. SG-1 may be my favorite show of all time. I watched it for the first time on Netflix last year and I just thought it got better every season. I really love the last two seasons with Ben Browder and Claudia Black, which is what got me interested in watching Farscape in the first place!

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    1. If you do watch Babylon 5, stick through the first season. it is slow, but sets up sooo much for the Seasons 2 to 5.

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  5. The only television programs that I watch are Big Bang Theory and Dr. Who. Obviously I am not a large viewer of television. I watched a few seasons of Weeds, and the first few seasons of Mad Men, both of them while I was sick, and neither of them encouraged me particularly to want to watch more television.

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    1. I watched the first two seasons of the revamped Dr. Who. I enjoyed it, but not enough to keep going with it. Must get back to it at some point.

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  6. I don't watch a lot of tv, just until recently I watched Firefly, but Farscape must be my favorite series ever. And currently I'm preparing a solo exhibition of printmaking, maybe it will be ready by the end of the year.

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  7. There are two TV series that had me eagerly awaiting the next episode. Babylon 5, and Lost. B5 would often make me laugh or cry, and I'd think about the show for days. Fringe is pretty good, mainly because I like watching John Noble play another crazy old guy.

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    1. :-) Fringe is definitely in my queue. I'm a little intimidated by Lost. I know lots of people love it, but there seems to be an equal amount of criticism based on the inconsistency and lack of focus.

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    2. With Lost, just watch the first two or three seasons. Then pretend it was abruptly canceled.

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  8. Currently, the UK version of Being Human. The characters actually develop and change over the course of the series (and I'm still watching the first season).

    As many others have said Babylon 5 was a brilliant work with purposeful storytelling. Unfortunately, not available on netflix streaming.

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    1. Yeah, that's a bummer about Babylon 5. I remember seeing it up on Netflix streaming a few years ago, but it hasn't been there in some time. When it comes back, I'll definitely check it out.

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  9. Just watch the last season of FRINGE and, beside the fact that nearly everybody said nasty things about the ending of the series, I just loved some ideas that popped up there, such as the hero using semiotic tricks to deal with telepathy of the captive Observer. I also love the work done in The Walking Dead, and obviously can’t wait for the next Game of Thrones season.

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    1. Is anyone ever happy with a series finale? There's always going to be a group that is dissatisfied with how a series ends.

      Fringe and The Walking Dead are definitely in my "To Watch" List. Watched the first season of Game of Thrones on DVD and loved it. Need to catch up with Season 2.

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  10. Black Books and also The Vicar of Dibley (Netflix instant). Two shows that are very funny, but their humor only serves to highlight the deep character relationships (at least in Vicar).

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    1. I love British comedies! My wife and I loved the IT Crowd and Coupling. Will definitely check those too out. Thanks Adam!

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  11. Firefly for me here. Shame it lasted only one season.

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    1. Loved Firefly. Need to re-watch that soon.

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  12. My favorite thing to watch actually isn't a TV show, but an online series of shows. ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com is the host for a bunch of internet reviewers, who post comedic reviews for various forms of media (blockbuster movies, arthouse films, video games, pop music, comic books, etc.). I keep up with several of the reviewers' shows, and even though it's usually considered nothing but a funny-stuff site, I've actually grown as a person as a result of watching these shows. I'd always been afraid of disagreeing with generally accepted opinions, unless they were actually offensive in some way. After seeing how the reviewers each have their own opinions on what they review, I've started figuring out how to respectfully critique stuff for myself. In fact, I actually disagree with a few of their opinions now, and I know that that's okay. And if I see a movie or something, I no longer feel the need to pretend to like it if I actually didn't. For instance, I just didn't get into the movie "Hugo" when I saw it; I didn't find the characters all that engaging, and I felt that some of it remained unresolved (did that police officer guy ever find out that Hugo was doing the job of tending the clocks all those years, and was there any change within him at that realization?). But I agree that it was a very pretty movie, with excellently blended CGI.

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    1. That's great Julia! Took a look at that site and it looks really cool.

      Art isn't black and white. It strikes everyone differently. Some people think late 70's Punk Rock is the be all end all. It's not my cup of tea, and that's okay.

      It's important to be open to new things, but if you give everything a try and something still doesn't do it for you, there is no shame in not liking it.

      Hope all is well with you.

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  13. From a purely creative standpoint, the most inspiring show for me is Face Off on Syfy. I love to watch the make-up artists create original creatures based on the weekly challenge. Last week, for instance, they had to create giants with more than one head. Some were amazing. This show also shows the importance of time management in the creative process.

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    1. Haven't watched it, but I can definitely see the appeal. Time management is super important to the creative process. It's one of the reasons that I started the "23 in '13" challenge. You can end up obsessing over one project and the next thing you know, you haven't released anything in months. Having self set deadlines helps you to just keep moving on. And in my experience so far, the quality of the art hasn't really suffered.

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  14. my show right now is fringe. the acting and writing are top notch. when it comes back on i will be watching game of thrones.

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    1. Cool. Maybe Fringe will be the next show that I get in to.

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  15. Oh and i am working on a sorry about a skywriter on Mars.

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  16. It's cliched at this point but I've always liked several aspects of Lost's first season. The dynamic character development which is able to introduce multiple characters without losing track of the plot progression (something I wish shows like the Walking Dead were more capable of). Also, the cliche part: J.J. Abram's mystery box, i.e. the hatch in Lost, Rimbauldi in Alias, and whatever mystery exists in every one of his works. That idea of the box, that something which is the size of a shoebox could hold any mystery has always been interesting to me simply from a dreamer/writer standpoint. That story could be written a million times as to what's in that box.
    More interestingly to me though, is what leads people to find that box, why that box exists, or any number of outcomes that come about that box existing in the first place (what's inside doesn't always matter nearly as much).

    As to what I'm working on, my novel is moving along briskly now, and I have an editor for the first time, helping me to push it along for my target finishing date.

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    1. I watched the first two seasons of Alias on DVD years ago. Never completed the series though. Did it end well? Did the quality continue? If so, I need to check it out again.

      I agree with the "mystery box" idea. It is an excellent storytelling device.

      good luck with the novel!

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  17. Favorite shows, that depends on my mood but top 3 would be Doctor Who (both classic and re-boot), Fringe and my son has gotten my hooked on Supernatural (really gets you thinking). As for creative projects- I'm up to 18 yarn projects completed (a variety of hats, fingerless gloves and now finishing up 2 baby gifts). My writing projects - I just launched one more corporate website, just finished building a site for a client (found out last week that is now part of my job) and have my first 2 blog posts due next week.

    Love the TV show idea- picking up a few new ideas as I'm also only using online services

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    1. Excellent! Happy to hear that you've been so productive with your various projects.

      That's why I put this post together, always great to discover new things!

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  18. Interesting. I was going to say that I don't find TV to be very inspiring. I've watched a lot of old Doctor Who, all of Farscape and Buffy, Star Trek and Firefly, but inspiring? Not really. However, then I remembered "White Dwarf" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114926/). It was the pilot for a TV show that never happened. It was so interesting and different. I found that quite inspiring. Still do.

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    1. When done well, TV can be inspiring. Unfortunately, lots of great shows don't get the chance to reach their creative potential because they are cancelled too soon.

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  19. I don't know about "inspiring", but shows I like to watch are: Doctor Who (of course)- I'm not a big fan of the originals but I REALLY like the revamped series with all three Doctors. Has its ups and down, but overall Who stories often look at things from a different view. Fringe- revolving (usually) around the idea "how far would you go for someone you love", is often truly mind-bending. A good show. (the series finale was - IMHO - serviceable.) I like Grimm too, it has developed since it first started, I wasn't crazy about it at the beginning, but the characters are interesting and the plots are better. Munroe is priceless/awesome.

    I've watched Revolution as well and have mixed feelings. Very uneven, and the concept seems shaky, but we don't know much at all at the beginning - which I like, I think it's interesting to discover stuff along with the story. The last few episodes at the end of the first season were a vast improvement, I thought, and Charlie became endurable. :-)

    That's all I got... except that my projects are... well, just paint me the color "fail". :-)

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    1. Hey Ingrid,

      I've watched Revolution. I like how each episode seemed to reveal something new about the world or about the characters relationship. I was truly surprised a few times. That being said, it has been a bit uneven. Hoping the second half is good.

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  20. TNT had a far too-short lived show called Trust Me that was set at a Chicago ad agency. This is my Firefly! The show that was cancelled unjustly and far too soon.

    The primary problems with the show was that the network kept moving it on the schedule - especially during NBA playoffs. Also it was essentially a procedural show. But it wasn't a cop/courtroom procedural or any other format viewers had seen hundreds of times before. These two problems combined so the show never developed a large audience. Still it captured the essence of life in a creative office.

    As popular long-running shows go however I would have to recommend the West Wing. It's hard to think of a better written TV series. The diversity of the characters in the show is incredible. Each has his or her own distinct voice. Even the minor characters and guest stars.

    It took YEARS of NCIS reruns for me to think of Mark Harmon as Gibbs instead of Simon, the bad-ass boy-scout of a Secret Service agent who appears in just a few episodes of West Wing. That's powerful characterization.

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    1. Excellent suggestions! Thank you Matthew.

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  21. I have been into the CW's Arrow, it is an odd show, but there is something compelling about it. Lately, I've found Pokemon to be inspiring, though it is more of a listening thing. My daughter watches it, so I hear it quite a bit. I find Pokemon surprisingly motivating as the characters struggle to improve themselves, and deal with interpersonal relationships between each other, and their Pokemon. Also, I just like the creativity in the Pokemon world, where anything is possible.

    On my personal projects, I have not figured out how to include them in the 23 in 13. I am making progress, but I should set myself some sort of self imposed deadline. Finish it already!

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    1. Yeah, Arrow is a show that I definitely want to check out.

      It doesn't matter if your projects fit 23 in '13. What's important is to finish them.

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  22. Breaking Bad was an awesome show, but now I have to wait for season five to be on Netflix, and haven't found one that's comparable. I am debating paying for the Justified Season 3 set, and am jealous of people who can watch Walking Dead.

    I watched the first episode of Farscape, and didn't really love it, but you and Bryan Thomas Schmidt are recent advocates of the show.

    The Following is pretty good so far. I'm curious to see if I like how they incorporate story structure so openly in their dialogue between antagonist and protagonist.

    I hit 80k words in my novel's fifth draft, and am 70% through, so that's exciting. I had a lot of fun writing my two telepaths fighting, and how they're son and mother.

    Have you thought of making a 23 in 13' logo that I could use whenever I add a book to my goal of reading 23 great books this year? I would like to include that in my book reviews, but understand the difficulty that might present.

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    1. I found the first season and the the first half of Season 2 of Farscapse difficult to get through. But it gets awesome, midway through Season 2.

      Good luck with the novel Tim.

      Unfortunately, making a logo is out of my skill set. Maybe I'll see if anyone I know would be willing to make one.

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    2. Rewatching Farscape now, and agreed, John. Worth sticking with, it finds itself around the time we learn Pilot's back-story, and just keeps picking up steam. Don't be afraid to skip any episode featuring Moldus.

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    3. I forgot about Moldus. Those episodes were hard to get through. Skip those for sure.

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  23. Todd & The Book of Pure Evil is an awesomely cheesetastic view... Two quick seasons will leave you wanting more... And it's Canadian so you get the occasional aboot.

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    1. Nothing wrong with the occasional aboot.

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  24. A lot of good suggestions here, my wife and I are currently enjoying catching up on Psych... as a musician you probably will appreciate the tweaks the do to the theme from time to time.

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    1. Cool. I've been studying lots of film/TV scores lately and composing a lot of my own instrumental music. I've found myself really paying attention to the scores of everything that I watch. Be curious to check out the Psych theme. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  25. My wife and I are rewatching Farscape right now, and are entering season three. It still stands up really well, and I'm still amazed at how much personality they manage to infuse into Rygel. I feel like they'd never have pulled that off with CGI. Other Sci-Fi favorites are Firefly (of course) the Battlestar Galactica reboot (at least until its conclusion), and season one of Heroes. As a big fan of the old Tom Baker Doctor Who episodes, I loved the idea of a bigger-budget Doctor Who but I couldn't get by David Tennant's spastic performance. For non-SF, I'm into Breaking Bad, Dexter, Nurse Jackie, and lord help me, I love Wilfred...

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    1. Agreed. Rygel became a favorite of mine. I found the puppetry to be a bit distracting in the first season, but as the show went on, it improved, or I just got used to it.

      I'm a huge BSG fan and I loved that first season of Heroes too.

      Thanks for dropping by James!

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  26. Breaking Bad, and The Wire definitely. Comedy wise, classic Simpsons (let's not talk about the later seasons, shall we? 11 on, oy ...), The Tick (cartoon), Venture Brothers, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Arrested Development ... currently I'm enjoying the hell out of Bob's Burgers. The first season didn't really start cooking (pun intended) until the end, but right now I find it to be unmissable.

    Oh, and I sold another short story to another Dreamspinner anthology, so .. two for two on the first short stories I've written in a dog's age.

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    1. All shows I need to check out. I was a big early Simpsons fan myself.

      Congrats on selling another short story!

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  27. Breaking Bad - from a writing, storytelling, and characterization standpoint, few things I've watched (TV or Film) have been so expertly handled.

    Criminal Minds - The writers on this show constantly come up with inventive serial killers for the FBI to hunt down.

    Somebody up above mentioned Face/OFF on SyFy and while it is a reality show on a channel that once had some pretty good scripted programs, Face/Off is genre themed and gives a peek into the creative process. From an artistic standpoint and how these people have to work within certain constraints.

    FarScape is a long time favorite. Firefly, too, just because I love Joss's dialogue.

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    1. Yeah, Breaking Bad is a show I really need to check out. Read a cool blog post about the composer too. The soundtrack sounds really interesting.

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  28. Hmmm. I've been thinking about this all weekend. There are a lot of shows I've really loved watching (a couple that no one mentioned are Buffy and Veronica Mars -- though not the last season of Veronica), including Babylon 5, Psych, some of Fringe, Battlestar Galactica, and Doctor Who. Lots of cartoons, too. But I don't go out of my way to watch, and I don't watch shows by myself, but rather with someone else. My husband has rewatched Buffy at least twice through on Netflix. I could, but I content myself with catching the occasional episode he's watching.

    As for what I'm up to -- I finished my first new short story of the year last week and submitted it to an anthology! Today, working on the next one.

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  29. I'm really enjoying Arrow right now. It has a very good balance of tone between what Smallville had and what the Batman movies had. Love it.

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    1. I can't believe how much I'm enjoying Arrow especially with how disappointing Smallville was towards the end. Arrow is ten times better than it has any right to be. All that baggage aside, it is a flat out entertaining show.

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    2. Definitely need to start watching Arrow.

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  30. Leverage is a great show. It's a heist show about 5 different people who at first didn't want to work with anyone, but realized that when working together, they are able to produce the best results. It's a modern Robinhood-like show, but the characters are so great and the chemistry of the cast is genuine. Writing is witty, smart, funny and dramatic as well. Sadly, TNT cancelled it, but the fans are fighting for a comeback

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    1. I totally agree with everything you said about Leverage. It is my family's favorite show. It definitely inspires me. They are always looking out for the little guy. It is a show that makes you feel good to watch. It is also a show that the whole family can enjoy from your children to your grandparents. It is amazing. I am hoping a smart network will give Leverage and the millions of fans a new home.

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  31. Leverage. Funny, witty, smart, with a great cast...
    Too bad TNT cancelled it.

    That's why we fight to get it back.
    #SaveLeverage

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  32. Which TV shows inspires me? There´s only one show! Leverage! It´s so much more than "a TV show"! I love it, love the cast, love the stories...love all about it!!! They´ve shown us that it´s worth fighting for your rights, that you can get what you deserve. The five friends get a family and grow together more and more with every episode. I love it. For me my friends are more family than my real relatives... With every episode we´ve learned more about the reasons why they react the way they do it. It´s awful that the show was cancelled as we love it and there are so many stories that haven´t been told yet...
    We want and need a season 6! And we won´t ever give up fighting for it!!!

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  33. "Leverage" it has it all. The stories are basicly real & well writen. A disfunctional "family" helping the little guy get justice against the bad guys through cons.
    The cast is brilliant, guess stars are great, the stories are filled with drama,witt,smarts, fun,development of relationships,trust and respect within the characters. Leverage is great family entertainment.
    Leverage ran for 5yrs. It's the only show I've ever watch from day 1 to the series finale, faithfully! I totally LOVE Leverage, it's the best! AND it made history...
    Leverage is the only tv show to win A Peoples Choice Award AFTER being cancelled, never before and probably never again will that happen.
    Give Leverage a try, you won't be sorry, you'll be happy you did.
    I'm A Die Hard #Leverage Fan and still have hope & faith for season 6 or movies to continue this wonderfully awesome show.
    #LEVERAGE~The Very Best There Is!!!
    Thank You, Mary (Naimo987 twitter)

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  34. All that has been said is true! What hasn't been said is that while the Leverage crew made their own little family, its fans made a huge world wide family! There are fans in Australia, Russia, Czec, Germany, the UK, Denmark, South America, Canada, Japan, and I am sure many other places. We talk about the episodes and show via Twitter and Facebook on a regular basis. Friend ships have been forges through Fan organized activities and official conventions. I imagine that the Trekie fan base is not that much different, really.

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  35. I'll wonder off the SciFi path …

    For polish, creativity, and amazing execution: Mad Men. One of the best shows ever in my humble opinion.

    I think a show like The Wire will hold up for a long time. Hard to describe what made that show so special. Documentary turned to exceptional drama? I don't know, but it captivated me.

    Game of Thrones completely sucks me in.

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    1. Mad Men is a show that I really need to get to.

      Watched the first season of Game of Thrones and loved it. Have you read the books Craig? They are fantastic.

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