1. The So­pra­noS

The Mail on Sunday - Event - - FRONT PAGE -

If we are in the Golden Age of TV, this is the show that ush­ered it in when it launched in 1999. It’s still the best. New Jersey mob­ster Tony So­prano (James Gan­dolfini, op­po­site page) is res­o­lutely old school but has the feel­ing that maybe he and the Mafia are out of step with the mod­ern era. ‘The best is over,’ he tells Dr Melfi, the psy­chi­a­trist he’s see­ing be­cause of his panic at­tacks. Still, he does his best to main­tain stan­dards, how­ever stress­ful rack­e­teer­ing and mur­der might be. Un­pre­dictable, shock­ing, hi­lar­i­ous and im­pos­si­ble to stop watch­ing, The So­pra­nos set new lev­els of ex­cel­lence for TV. teacher Wal­ter White (Bryan Cranston) to make a midlife ca­reer change and be­come a meth chef, cook­ing up weapon­s­grade qual­ity drugs in or­der to sup­port his fam­ily. He grad­u­ally turns into a class-A mon­ster of toxic mas­culin­ity. Show cre­ator Vince Gil­li­gan says the idea was to ‘take Mr Chips and turn him into Scar­face’, and by the end his trans­for­ma­tion is so com­plete that ‘Mr Chips’ is hir­ing neo-Nazis to kill not just busi­ness ri­vals but as­so­ciates, rel­a­tives... Net­flix, 5 se­ries

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