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Essential TV Shows

Fill the void left by one of your favourites…

Welcome back to Written Mirror. Have you recently finished a series? Ran out of episodes because you binged too hard? Hate the long wait between seasons? Not to worry; today we have a list of the Essential TV shows you should consider sliding into your rotation. In no particular order here are numbers 25-11…

25: Nip Tuck (2003-2010)

Six seasons and 100 episodes of this duo keen on bringing a little more beauty to the world. If you’ve ever wondered what plastic surgery and drama in a volatile environment would look like, Nip Tuck is your answer.

Fascinating TV from start to finish. – JM

Essential TV Shows - Written Mirror Ltd

Tell us what don’t you like about yourself?

24: 24 (2001-2010) & (2014)

Be warned this show is seriously addictive. 24 episodes of real time counter terrorist unit (CTU) response to threats against the USA. Leading in it’s defence is Jack Bauer. The man who will not relent until the job is done and done well.

Jack Bauer! Why I said his name you ask? You’ll understand soon enough! – JM

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Jack Bauer stands between America and ruin…

23: Oz (1997-2003)

Want to play a game of, “Oh I know that actor! He/She was in…” Then watch Oz! An absolute trifecta of gritty storytelling, fantastic casting and barnstorming performances from some of the best to ever do it. This will have you covering your eyes or widening them with alarming regularity. Oswald Maximum Security Correctional Facility: Level Four, Emerald City. A behavioral experiment inside a prison? Sounds like a great place to try and effect genuine reform right?

To say anymore than that would be criminal, and I don’t want to end up somewhere like Oz… – JM

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It’s an experiment in a pro human rights American prison. How bad could it possibly be?

22: Chappelle’s Show (2003-2006)

Journey to a time (if you have already, go back!) when the envelope was being pushed in every single episode. Dave was trying his hardest to get cancelled and the audience loved him for it. Serious themes end up in serious laughs and although you might not be sure how, you’ll be glad it did.

Witness the unfiltered genius of Dave Chappelle while he tests both your bladder control and body punch resistance. – JM

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I’m rich…

21: Hunter x Hunter (2011-2014)

As we’re lightening the mood a little, this one is something you can truly enjoy unravelling. You’d be excused for thinking it was a Dragonball rip seasoned with a little Z. It would be hard to argue against that. It would also be shortsighted and a touch ungrateful for what is a beautifully told and balanced story. Coming of age, friendship and working hard to attain huge goals.

HxH is a flavourful treat, it promises to make you feel a range of deep emotions. – JM

Essential TV Shows

Join Gon and his friends on one of the craziest rollercoaster adventures ever…

20: Mr. Robot (2015- )

You thought it was all going to be all throwbacks! Haha, wrong! How can you describe this show? Clever and also weird in equal measure. Sort of like the world of today. Let’s go with that.

A clever show based in a strange world which closely resembles our own. Also, Rami Malek is awesome! – JM

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A refreshingly unique change of pace…

19: The People v. O.J. Simpson (2016-2017)

Racial politics and dynamics explored in the vacuum of time. See how one man blurred the lines in a way not seen in American history before or since. There are so many elements of this series that were fascinating. The furore this case caused pre-social media makes you wonder what what’ve happened if this was now?

The only advice it makes sense to give; savour the 10 episodes like they were bites from your last meal on earth. – JM

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Cuba Gooding Jr is ‘The Juice’

18: Samurai X/RurΓ΄ni Kenshin (1996-1998)

Come and see the journey of Kenshin Himora. Wandering swordsman and indeed the most dangerous pacifist to ever walk the earth. This anime is the story of a man who has a dark past but he is trying to leave a peaceful life going forwards. He wonders alone until he meets the fiercely passionate and stubborn Ms Kaoru. What happens next is an unexpected journey filled with laughter and zeal for life.

What could possibly go wrong in a peaceful meiji era Japan? – JM

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A reverse blade sword?

17: Dragonball (1986-1989)

You’re probably familiar with the franchise. You may even have kept up with it from Z to GT (let’s never mention that again) and finally Super. However, a lot of people (outside of Japan or people that speak Japanese) missed out on Dragonball during its initial run. Also the english dub happened to become available after Z (*Piccolo eyes* ‘ahhhh’), so many people just never bothered to see it.

The pacing and stakes are very different to Z. I admit, I was shocked by how much I enjoyed it! Definitely worth a watch… – JM

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The original series that birthed an iconic franchise…

16: Californication (2007-2014)

As a Writer I have to say there is a special place in my heart for Hank Moody. He is a child in a mans body. It just so happens, he is also a procrastinating Writer underneath all that too.

Disclaimer, I’m nothing like Hank Moody! That’s why I find him so entertaining and hopefully you will too. – JM

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He’s Hank, he’s Moody and he’s just a little looney…

15: The Punisher (2017-)

It’s first season raised the bar of what a Marvel comic book serial could be. Quickly plans to make a second got on the way. For now you have Frank Castle in his debut solo season doing it his way and making no excuses. Jon Bernthal is a very believable Punisher. Keep on eye on that guy…

Think Rambo: First Blood mixed with Homeland. That might give you an idea. – JM

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One batch, two batch, penny and dime…

14: Narcos (2015- )

Columbia is a beautiful country with a beautiful soul. Maybe that’s why it serves as the perfect backdrop for some of the most devious acts in history. It makes such captivating TV. The protrayal of Pablo Escobar in particular, feels like it’s happening live and real time.

This is one for those weekends when you have no plans. You can’t rush Narcos, it’s too rich to not pay full attention to. – JM

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Wagner Moura certainly didn’t call it in. He channels Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria with pinpoint precision.

13: Suits (2011 – )

My experiences with lawyers would be so much cooler if it were anything like suits. Style, efficiency and Harvey Spectre. Oh yeah and baby Harvey aka Mike Ross. What’s not to like? If you’re still in doubt, wait until you get a load of Donna. See what it takes to run a top tier firm and keep it lit! I’m so sorry, I couldn’t help it…
Will you learn how to practice the law from watching Suits? Probably not! However, you’ll never walk into an ambush unprepared ever again. Maybe you will, but I’d like to think you’d learn to always be prepared…

Essential TV Shows - Written Mirror

Batman & Robin or is it Batman & Nightwing?

12: Rick and Morty (2013 – )

Irreverent and disgusting; thats just describing Rick. Wait until you see the rest…
Okay, I’ll add some more. It’s witty in an understated way, it’s gross in an explicit way, inventive when it wants to be and it gets stronger from episode to episode. Caters to the incredibly smart and the incredibly dumb in equal measure. No need to identify yourself…

The makers of RaM really care and it shows. Or maybe they don’t care and their distain is what makes it good? *Burps loudly* – JM

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Complimentary brainwaves….

11: Stranger Things (2016 – )

Yes I purposely put it in 11th because of 11. Bite me! The soundtrack, the setting, the story, the imperious cast and did I mention the soundtrack? ST is awesomeness to the power of infinity…

If you haven’t seen ST I envy you! If the ‘Neuraliser’ from Men In Black actually existed, I’d continuously wipe my own memory just to see season 1 with fresh eyes! – JM

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Shout out to Ulvi Esedli for this awesome poster


There you have it guys! A few Essential TV Shows for you to slot into your personal timetable. You have some that are relatively short and others that will take you some time to get through. Just in case you go through boxsets like a game of pacman.


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