As the title states, this is a reflection of the 2010s: A Decade of Television Gone By. The past ten years have brought some thought-provoking pieces of entertainment our way. Whether it be an epic plight between fire and ice in the land of Westeros. The uncanny know-how of a brilliant sociopath, working to solve another crime. Or a ragtag group of unlikely friends just trying to get through community college in one piece. There was certainly something for everyone, and then some.
I won’t sit here and tell you that I have no favourites from the past ten years, that would be an outright lie. So instead, I will tell of some of my favourite shows from years gone by. The beauty of so many series existing is that you have so much to choose from. Including the bold content from streaming services, viewers have never been more entertained. Onward to ten years of brilliant television.
2010: Rookie Blue (Global)
This Canadian Television series started 2010 with a bright young cast, filling the roles of unrelenting rookies embarking on their new calling in the police force. Bringing in such talent as Missy Peregrym (Van Helsing), Eric Johnson (Smallville), Gregory Smith (Everwood), Charlotte Sullivan (Chicago Fire), just to name a few. This series explored the lives and times of these rookies, ugliness and all. Showing that you don’t have to be perfect to make a difference in the world. Lasting 6 Seasons, they are ones that won’t be forgotten for fans.
2011: Game of Thrones (HBO)
I wouldn’t feel right not including this in my favourites. Being a fan of the book series, there was so much build-up to this release being brought to the “small screen”. The first season was easy to follow and the characters brought a beloved story to life. Although there have been many questionable “decisions” from showrunners, I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. Between dragons and a quest to rule the iron throne, the fantasy elements easily hook viewers in for the ride. And what a ride it has been.
2012: Girls (HBO)
Centered around a group of 20-something friends who are just trying to make their mark on the world. Their many trials and escapades can be reflections of real-life occurrences. There is no manual when it comes to life, things need to be experienced. Not only are we able to see the growth of these characters through the years, but it goes to show you that no one ever really has their lives together. Even the strongest fall apart some time, and there is something quite humbling about that. Adam Driver helps drive the storyline as well. His quirks and charm do wonders for the series.
2013: Under The Dome (CBS)
This series is based on a Stephen King novel with the same name. When an invisible and mysterious force descends upon the town of Chester Mills, they soon come to find that the real threats lie within. They must work together to find out the origins and purpose of the “sphere” if they are to have any hope of getting out alive. When people are trapped, their animalistic tendencies come out to play. Watching the calamity unfold is what kept me tuning in to this series, and with King’s name attached, there was sure to be something sinister afoot.
2014: Constantine (NBC)
This short-lived series was around long enough to garner quite a cult following. Hellblazer’s were eager to see what their “petty dabbler in the dark arts” was going to get himself into week after week. I was (and still am) one of them. The dark magic and the story behind John Constantine is what got me hooked. Following along with the stories from the many graphic novels and comics, there were so many stories left untold. It was pulled too soon, only giving us 13 episodes. The fight would go on, no renewal, but other opportunities have come for Constantine, played by the brilliant Matt Ryan. You can see him in Legend’s of Tomorrow as well as his unmistakable voice in Constantine: City of Demons.
2015: Limitless (CBS)
Based on the movie, we are introduced to “Brian”, who was an unassuming slacker, until he was introduced to the mind-altering drug, allowing him to have full use of his brain. This made him a valuable asset in his new role as a consultant for the FBI. It’s not all business in this series, which drew me in. The fact that there are comedic elements on top of the many murders and “mysteries”, is usually a good combination. The actors meshed well, but it sadly wasn’t enough to garner them a second season. Another series that went before its time.
2016: Preacher (AMC)
Based on the Graphic Novels, Preacher brought the life and times of Jesse Custer to life. Murder, mayhem, and gore make for a solid hour of entertainment, I mean, if you are into that sort of thing. Jesse (A Preacher), Tulip (A Badass) and Cassidy (a bloodthirsty yet loveable vampire) make an unstoppable trio, and their many debacles rarely disappoint. I mean how could you not like a series that has Hitler vs. Jesus, a biker God and a character named Arseface? If that sounds like insanity, it is, but it is glorious as well.
2017: Mary Kills People (Global)
Another Canadian series with a stellar cast. It’s also from the creators of Rookie Blue, so there are familiar faces that appear on the screen. Dr. Mary Harris is a miracle worker, as well as the Angel of Death. The subject of giving people the choice to end their own lives, especially when it comes to disease with no possible cure, has always been an intriguing subject. This show pushes some uncomfortable boundaries and makes you think. What would you do if you had nothing left to lose? I’d want to die with my dignity and mind intact.
2018: 9-1-1 (FOX)
It seems as though the later we get in the 2010s the harder it is to choose a favourite. With so many series streaming, how can you choose just one? For me, it happens to be a network show that caught my attention. 9-1-1 surrounds the life and times of first responders. Each episode is packed with twists, turns, and heartache. They can take tragedies and make them into something profound. The cast is phenomenal making it easy to enjoy the show and all it has to offer.
2019: The Boys (Amazon Prime)
Speaking of streaming services, Amazon Prime has been presenting us with some rather delightful series as of late (American Gods, anyone?). The Boys is one of the many that comes crashing into the forefront. It’s a world of mayhem where superheroes are not only revered, they are rarely held accountable for their actions. With an elite team of heroes at the helm, corruption is soon to follow. Image is everything right? Enter the misfits that must right all the wrongs, in their bloody design. There’s action. Blood. Badassery. More Blood. What could go wrong? Short answer. Everything, which makes it a fantastic show to get lost in.
MacGyver. One of the many reboots from the past decade has steadily maintained a diverse storyline. There is nothing the team can’t handle, even when it comes to life or death situations. The characters are all so likable, which makes the show more enjoyable to watch. Expect the unexpected, anything is possible in their world.
Killjoys. This Canadian made Sci-fi series is one that won’t soon be forgotten. It follows the fast-paced life and times of a group of intergalactic Bounty Hunters. You can’t go wrong with a bunch of badasses in space, just trying to do their jobs. It never goes quite as planned, but that’s what keeps people coming back for more.
The Exorcist. There are demons among the living, and they will do anything to get what they want. This is a take on the powerhouse movie, that follows two priests who aid a family in the horrors of demonic possession. A psychological thriller that was able to take viewers into the darker parts of the void. They did a great job on this series, and the actors were able to bring the horrific circumstances to life.
Supernatural. I must include this, even if the show didn’t premiere within the 2010 parameters. When a series has been on as long as this one has, a significant impact and fandom have been acquired over the years. The brothers have been through hell and back, and even though they’ve lost so much along the way, they keep fighting. 2020 marks the end for this series, so I find it befitting to mention it here in some capacity.
Legion. Which comes from the plethora of stories that Marvel has up their sleeves. Focusing on the life and times of David Haller, who just so happens to be a mutant of extraordinary powers. Not only is he one of the most powerful beings in that world he is a bit unhinged. This series often leaves the viewer questioning their sanity, episode after episode. It’s quite the trip, and it’s easy to get lost going down that rabbit hole. It’s worth a watch.
Out with the old, in with the new
I could easily go on, and on the series that have been released in 2019 alone (Good Omens, The Mandalorian, Carnival Row, Watchmen, etc.), but then we would be here all day. When it comes to connecting with television series, it’s a very personal thing. No matter the differences there is something for everyone out there, that’s the beauty of this generation.
Television is a neverending escape from reality, it’s something that people need in these times. Something is soothing about turning on the television, getting lost in another adventure with beloved characters. In time, you find that you feel for these fictional beings. Becoming an emotional wreck when an unexpected death occurs, or something catastrophic befalls one of the heroes (or villains).
Here’s to the next ten years of exceptional (and sometimes not so exceptional) television series.
What were your favourites?
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