4 GROUNDBREAKING TV SERIES YOU MUST WATCH IN 2020
Often derided as the opiate of the couch potato, television has churned out more than its fair share of junk shows. But while there are plenty of forgettable TV shows out there, there are also several unforgettable classics that stay with viewers forever. In this piece, I’ve listed four groundbreaking TV shows that you must watch in 2020. Some are old, some are new — but each series is a groundbreaking classic that you should absolutely add to your watchlist this year.
Starring the inimitable James Caan, Las Vegas is the ultimate casino TV series. Following the exploits of James Caan’s casino pit boss and former government agent, it accurately depicts the inner workings of the fictional Montecito Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
The relatively short-lived series had an incredible cast roster, featuring, Jean Claude Van Damme, Elliot Gould (who would later go on to star in casino heist film Oceans’ Eleven), Alec Baldwin, and even Sylvester Stallone.
What made Las Vegas so groundbreaking is its unique ability to truly capture the thriving spirit of the eponymous city. The show was unfortunately abruptly canceled in 2008, and with the coronavirus crisis still ongoing, you won’t be able to experience the magic of Vegas yourself any time soon.
Unless, of course, you fancy trying your luck on the slots at a 50 free spins casino online. Read these tips to find the best one for you and recreate the magic of the slots at home — it’s not the same, but it’s damn close.
Will & Grace
Will & Grace first premiered in 1998, but its influence can still be felt today. It was, at the time, a daring portrayal of LGBTQ+ culture at a time when mainstream audiences were still unused to the concept, beyond as a running joke or in a gay minor character.
The series following the eponymous best friends and their coterie of unique associates (including the unforgettable duo of Jack and Karen) as they lived, worked, and loved in New York City. At once achingly funny but movingly sweet, Will & Grace made an immense amount of progress in familiarizing mainstream straight audiences with gay culture.
The show was so groundbreaking that several props and scripts from the series were displayed in an LGBTQ+ exhibition at the Smithsonian — a high accolade indeed.
Is there any other show of the last twenty years as groundbreaking and unforgettable than Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad? Grisly, shocking, and yet utterly believable, Breaking Bad charts the struggle, rise, and fall of the one who knocks, Walter White, aka Heisenberg.
Breaking Bad is groundbreaking in so many ways: its unique cinematography, deep characters, artistic style, unforgettable dialogue, and more. But what really sets it apart is the natural and believable development of Walt as a character.
Beginning the series as a meek chemistry teacher who balks at the thought of holding a gun, he ends the show as a cold, ruthless drug kingpin who seeks power for the sake of power. His development is completely organic, and he is all the more believable — and terrifying — for it.
The mockumentary TV format is often criticized by pundits today. Often lambasted as an overused and hackneyed trope by lazy writers, it’s a common feature in countless comedies, from Trailer Park Boys and Arrested Development to Parks & Recreation and Modern Family.
While this isn’t necessarily a fair criticism, it’s undeniable that the mockumentary format is a widely-used method today. But it’s important to remember where this all began (mockumentary films such as This Is Spinal Tap notwithstanding) — The Office.
The original British show followed the humdrum exploits of a paper company in Slough, specifically the middle manager from hell, David Brent, played with excruciating skill by Ricky Gervais.
Awkward, cringe-inducing, often downright uncomfortable, but always hilarious, The Office trailed a blaze for the mockumentary format. It highlighted the tactic’s ability to shine a light on the reality of everyday interactions, without it feeling scripted.
The US version has spawned into a classic show in its own right, but you’d do well to add The Office UK to your lockdown watchlist this year.
The series listed above are just a few groundbreaking examples of television at its finest. If you need something new and refreshing to add to your watchlist, you’d do well to make time for these groundbreaking classics in 2020.