Boxsets Actually Worth Spending Your Hard-Earned Cash On

By : Ben HaywardTwitterLogo

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So what to do with those long dark winter evenings? Personally, I would suggest indulging in a bit of unforgettable, edge of your seat, totally enthralling TV.

Whether it’s comic book heroes, brutal gangsters or awkward science geeks, there’s something in this lot for all of you.

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Breaking Bad

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This multi-award winning drama has won worldwide success with its brutal  rawness, hilarious wit and exceptional acting. Bryan Cranston plays Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who, after being diagnosed with lung cancer, resorts to manufacturing methamphetamine and drug dealing to ensure his family’s financial security after his death. Brilliantly scripted, beautifully shot and featuring some breathtaking performances this is one of the best shows you’ll ever see. Ever.

Game Of Thrones

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Well, it just has to be in here doesn’t it? Even though it was originally labelled a “big-budget nerd-out” (not my words) the show has since skyrocketed in popularity, winning over masses of its former critics. There’s no shortage of sword fights, nudity and betrayal and the medieval fantasy series has won critical acclaim being described in Forbes as “one of the smartest, most nuanced shows around, in both plot and language.” Did I mention the sword fights and nudity?

The Big Bang Theory

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Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that this show about a group of socially inept scientists is now one of the most popular sitcoms in the world. In the UK, the opening episodes of each new series pretty much guarantees E4 stellar ratings and the young actors now get paid $1million per episode. The premise of the show is pretty simplistic and it definitely appeals to the mainstream audience across the generations, making it an ideal family sit-down favourite this holiday season.

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Boardwalk Empire

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It feels like this one has slipped under the radar a bit, but rest assured it is worth investing some serious time in this dark, prohibition-era drama. Based around the central character of Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) – the infamous 1920s Atlantic City gangster – the show is jammed full of drama, horrendously realistic violence and booze fuelled sex scenes. Look out for powerful performances from Stephen Graham as Al Capone and Michael K. Williams as Albert ‘Chalky’ White who provides a brilliant backdrop for the show to deal with issues of race, culture and prejudice. It’s an easy one to get sucked into.

Daredevil

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This is Marvel’s second TV venture after Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and it is a much grittier, take on the superhero genre than any of its big-screen buddies. Charlie Cox stars as the title character – a blind lawyer by day, a ruthless vigilante beating up criminals in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen by night. In an inspired twist it also plays with the consequences of big-screen superheroics with Hell’s Kitchen half-demolished after Thor, the Hulk and Iron Man destroyed the city while fighting an alien invasion. The action sequences are as good as any film, in fact this is probably the best thing Marvel Studios has put out this year.

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The Walking Dead

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Based on the comic book series of the same name, The Walking Dead, now in its sixth series, sees Andrew Lincoln (him from Teachers) play Rick Grimes, a Sheriff who awakens from a coma to find a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. He soon meets other survivors and becomes the leader of a group who struggle to adapt and survive in a world where the greatest threat comes not from the ‘walkers’ but from other survivors. It has had unprecedented ratings in the US, with the most 18 to 35-year-old viewers of any cable TV show but be warned, you’ll be pretty much permanently on the edge of your seat.

Mad Men

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The slickest, coolest, most stylish TV show of the last decade finally drew to a well earned close after seven seasons and 92 episodes in May 2015. Following the trials, tribulations and frequent sexual conquests of main-man Donald Draper (played by Jon Hamm) and an ever-present, and ever-engaging, cast of supporting characters, the plot focuses on the business of ad agencies as well as the personal lives of the characters. Set against a thrilling backdrop of the changing moods and social boundaries of the US through the 1960s, this is widely regarded as one of the greatest TV dramas of all time.


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