Great TV: Downton Abbey, Switched At Birth, Suits

Everyone knows Mad Men, The Good Wife, and Glee – especially Mad Men — are great TV. If you read about TV, you have read about them — especially Mad Men — endlessly. Not everyone knows that Downton Abbey (second season trailer), Switched At Birth, and Suits are also great TV.

Downton Abbey is great because Julian Fellowes, who also wrote Snobs and Gosford Park, is a great writer. The plot is good, the details are good. I’d read or watch anything he does. (After I wrote this post I came across this interview with Fellowes — apparently the NY Times saw the same gap in coverage as I did.)

Switched At Birth is great because to a perfectly good idea for a TV show (two girls are switched at birth, a fact discovered when they are teenagers) was added — by management, not the originators of the show — an excellent idea: one of the girls is deaf. This adds an attractive layer of complexity and novelty (deaf teenage life).

Suits appears formulaic: lawyer show, buddy show, cartoon villain, romantic plot connecting the episodes, every episode, the good guys win cleverly. But perhaps the formula, whatever it is, is really well-executed because I enjoy every episode and don’t feel dirty afterwards.

 

 

 

11 Responses to “Great TV: Downton Abbey, Switched At Birth, Suits”

  1. dearieme Says:

    Downton Abbey bears one resemblance to Pride and Prejudice: everything turns on an “entail” in a will.

  2. TomGinTX Says:

    I like the shows on USA Network, but _Suits_ is at the bottom of the list. I like Psych, Burn Notice, and White Collar much better.

  3. Stephen M (Ethesis) Says:

    Now I have to watch some television again. ;)

  4. Eric Says:

    Other good shows that are overlooked: Luther, Zen, Louie, The Hour, The Killing, and Friday Night Dinner.

  5. dearieme Says:

    Yes, I liked “Zen” too. Unfortunately they decided not to make any more.

  6. emily Says:

    so are u saying there is a book series on the tv series swiched at brith

  7. Seth Roberts Says:

    no there is no book series based on the switched at birth tv series.

  8. Alrenous Says:

    That pretty much rules out me thinking that I’m liking TV more because, as I grow up, they address my demographic better.

    I wonder if it’s a permanent upswing in quality or just a cyclical trend.

    Because good lord TV was awful when I was growing up. It’s nice that I don’t watch Glee because it isn’t my kind of show, not because it is utter dreck. Appreciation and respect are way better than the alternative, contempt.

    Suits, on the other hand, sounds like exactly my kind of show.
    Kings is cancelled now, but when I was growing up I was constantly wondering why they didn’t make exactly that kind of show. I think they flubbed the plot in episode 9; otherwise stellar in every detail. I don’t know a single other show where I actually cared enough about the plot to tell if they screwed it up or not.

  9. Seth Roberts Says:

    Alrenous, you mean “episode 9″ of Suits?

  10. Alrenous Says:

    Your mention of good television, including Suits, reminded me of Kings. Kings screwed up the plot in episode 9.

    Suits is now on my list of things to watch.

  11. erica Says:

    I like Switched at Birth personally. Also, I want to be an actor, especially ON Switched at Birth. The problems are:
    I only have slight acting experience
    I am not, and don’t desire to be on a AFTRA contract thingy
    And I wouldn’t be able to start until towards the end of 2012
    And the way I would be on the show, is (I have ideas for it but don’t know what to do with them accept for dream…) :

    Ty comes back, and bay and Ty get back together, Bay gets Pregnant. Emmit and Daphne get together, but Emmit slowly “drifts away” from Daphne, because of his new friendship with a little younger girl, that newly goes to their Deaf school. who was from NY. But this girl he becomes friends with, also happens have to been adopted by the Kennish family, and she becomes Bay and Daphne and Tobye’s little sister, (13-15 yrs played by me). The girl is deaf, (isn’t a deaf actor) but is still learning sign (the character and the actor) because she recently has gone deaf. (not the actor, the actor is hearing, playing a deaf character, both the actor (me) and the character are still learning sign language) so Emmit and this girl, (me) (I don’t know what her name should be) become really close friends like Emmit and Daphne were, and the whole friendship between _______ Kennish and Emmit is a secret because you know Bay and Daphne would flip and stuff.

    And from there they can do what they want with the story…

    The thing is, if they were to use any part of my idea, they have to use me.

    But that’s never going to happen. But I dream.

    The reason why I like this idea for the show is because i feel like its just going… I think this would really twist it up, especially give it a spice.
    But I don’t know if it would work because the second season isn’t out yet, but whatever……..