The Unquestionable 13 Best TV Shows Ever

The Unquestionable 13 Best TV Shows Ever

Warning, this might be a little biased.

I've spent this winter break trying to get into some acclaimed TV series and even trying to watch some that I used to think were great. I tried "West World," "Game of Thrones," "How I Met Your Mother," and "Black Mirror," shows that I used to think were good, even great. For some reason, however, they just weren't the same. They didn't have the same fire they used to.

I realized this is because ever since I started watching "The Wire" in September I have seen the light. It is God's gift to the Earth, and you are sadly mistaken if you think any show is better. Watching clips of some of the best scenes on YouTube has given me all the purpose I need in my life.

Here are the best 13 shows ever on TV, with an incredible amount of spoilers:

1. The Wire

It's only the best show. Ever.

Stringer Bell has no chill.

2. The Wire

Surprised? You shouldn't be, because "The Wire" is the best show ever.

Stephen King called Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, "the most terrifying female villain to ever appear in a television series.

3. The Wire

The story of Wallace getting shot by his best friends, Bodie and Poot, is singlehandedly one of the most tragic events on Television. It rings true more so because each time you see it again on YouTube, it still has the same effect, much like the Matt Damon and Robin Williams It's not your fault scene.

Also, do you recognize the actor? It's none other than a young Michael B. Jordan, playing one of his first principal roles. We also have "The Wire" to thank for the rise of now legendary actors Michael K. Williams and Idris Elba. I saw the movie "Molly's Game," the other day, where Idris Elba played a lawyer to Molly Bloom. However, I could only see the actor as Stringer Bell, as if Mark Hamill did anything other than Luke Skywalker.

4. The Wire

I have a blasphemous confession to make: I didn't like "The Wire" that much at first. There were too many characters to remember, and it was pretty difficult to figure out what was going on. But my friends kept raving about how "The Wire" was the best show ever, halfway through season 1, something clicked. Omar killed Stinkum and wounded Wee-Bey, and then I started seeing the light.

5. The Wire

The only show that has been spoken to even match "The Wire" in greatness is "Breaking Bad." But ostensibly, what "Breaking Bad" achieves in its entirety, "The Wire" is able to achieve in one season.

Ostensibly, "Breaking Bad" is a show about the decline of a middle-aged, middle-class white man who sees has seen his life reduced to mediocrity due to social and economic change. He resorts to crime to support his family and make his living and gets too caught up in it.

"The Wire" did that before "Breaking Bad" was a thing in season 2, highlighting the efforts of Frank Sobotka trying to keep his stevedores' union afloat. A lot of critics give season 2 a bad rep as an attempt to appeal to a broader, more white audience, but seen in the light Trump era, David Simon all of a sudden seems like a genius and prophet.

6. The Wire

Another reason why "The Wire" is such a good show is the duality between the various institutions it depicts. Stringer Bell and James McNulty might be on opposing forces of the War on Drugs, but both are rivals because they are both willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want.

Stringer orders the unneeded deaths of Wallace and D'Angelo just to be careful and tie up loose ends, even betraying his partner, Avon, in the process. McNulty invents a serial killer in season 5 to extort the resources for Lester Freamon to work the Marlo Stanfield case.

Whatever the perspective is, each individual that works for these institutions is somehow betrayed. They serve as pawns on a chess board, and it doesn't matter what side they work for; at the end of the day, the game is rigged.

7. The Wire

When I talk about "The Wire" (and I do a lot), I actually struggle to tell what it's about. First of all, if you gave me 10 minutes of uninterrupted speech, I probably could, but it's simply such an ambitious show that does so much that it can't be summed up in a sentence.

David Simon, the executive producer, does it pretty well.

"It's really about the American city, and about how we live together. It's about how institutions have an effect on individuals. Whether one is a cop, a longshoreman, a drug dealer, a politician, a judge or a lawyer, all are ultimately compromised and must contend with whatever institution to which they are committed."

8. The Wire

Maybe season 5 wasn't the best of the show, but it showed the cyclical nature of the game. Our beloved characters are replaced by a new age as everyone else either dies or moves on: Michael becomes Omar, Randy becomes Prop Joe, Dukie becomes Bubbles, Slim Charles becomes Avon, and Sydnor becomes McNulty. How well these people usher in a new era would require a sequel (looking at you, David Simon).

9. The Wire

"The Wire" has a lot of strengths and a lot of selling points. But perhaps the best is its characters. Each character has his or her demons and flaws, but "The Wire" shows a human side to each of them. Our favorite police detectives are alcoholics and adulterers, but we love them regardless. The asshole bosses are sometimes funny. Even Wee-Bey, the person directly responsible for the majority of murders in season 1, makes the audience laugh with his love of fish and his undying loyalty to Avon and Stringer. The complexity of each character only grows with each episode and each season, and we start to identify with the characters we start to see ourselves in, from drug dealer to police to politician.

Also, "The Wire" has a lot of strength in keeping its characters growing and changing. Prez is seen as the worst of police brutality in the beginning to becoming an incredible teacher for Randy and Dukie. Carver similarly undergoes a transformation from a cop that likes to bust and beat up corner kids to a community-oriented police sergeant who goes on to know the name of every kid. McNulty stops the womanizing and drinking for a season to allow other characters, like the kids, to shine through. Bodie, at the end of season 4, stands up for what's right once disgusted with the brutality of the Marlo Stanfield organization.

In the process of watching "The Wire" through its entirety, you grow to "know" these characters, grow attached to them and almost feel as if you're in it together with them.

10. The Wire

Omar is a badass. He shows that every man must have a code - even someone who robs drug dealers for a living. His perjured witness testimony singlehandedly gets Bird life in prison. Even when he's lying, Omar comes off as an authentic and honest man. His critique of the unscrupulous lawyer, Levy, is perhaps the best moment of the show.

"I got the shotgun. You got the briefcase. It's all in the game, though, right? "

11. The Wire

"The Wire" is a show that is, in fact, so authentic, that drug dealers in New York watched the show and used the tactics used by the Barksdale organization to avoid police surveillance.

"Believe it or not, these guys copy 'The Wire,"' said the sergeant, who is assigned to the Organized Crime Investigation Division. "They were constantly dumping their phones. It made our job so much harder."

12. The Wire

I'll admit that the one critique of "The Wire" that I take seriously is that it's a critics' show, often dismantling the ills of an institution after institution, but never giving a solution. People can call it liberal propaganda, but it's great TV that largely criticizes other mainstream liberals. "The Wire" shows us everything that's bad and everything that's wrong with the War on Drugs, and how it ruins the lives of users, dealers, and police themselves.

But does it offer an alternative? Only in one case, it does. In season 3, Bunny Colvin, a police major in West Baltimore, offers free drug zones, where drug dealing and using are not punished, but allowed, with workers from a public health school providing medical treatment. Crime rates and murders go down substantially in "Hamsterdam," but to Simon's credit - he doesn't present "Hamsterdam" as an end-all be-all panacea. Users still die. Prostitution and disease grow more rampant.

But is it better than the traditional way of doing things? Is it realistic? That's something we still don't know.

13. The Wire

Has that convinced you to watch "The Wire" yet? I hope so, but like it or not, "The Wire" is a show that will definitely challenge your way of thinking and your perception of individuals and institutions. You can watch it ten years from now, and it will still be relevant, or watch it for the third time and see things you didn't see before. That's what makes it the best show ever.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.

When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...


"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"


Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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