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The Spoofer's Guide To Talking About TV Shows

Not caught up on The Wire, Breaking Bad, or Game Of Thrones? Not a problem – just read on. (No spoilers.)

WE KNOW HOW it is. You’re tired, it’s been a long day and you want to watch some telly.

Maybe you do a catch up on the soaps because Coronation Street still reels you in every week. Or maybe you ended up watching 3 old episodes of Friends because you couldn’t find the remote. We’re not here to judge

But the problem now is that watching TV is now becoming the new “it” thing to do. And not just any old TV but “good” TV.

We blame The Sopranos and The West Wing for this really. Now you’re nobody if you can’t hold court on the “themes and issues” of whatever TV show is currently clogging up your best mate’s Netflix queue.

We’ve created this handy cheat sheet to some of TV’s most critically acclaimed shows. (No spoilers.)

Game Of Thrones

triviatrailers / YouTube

What is it?: It’s a critically adored HBO drama based on famous fantasy novels that people love because there is swearing and frequent nudity alongside the dragons and fantasy frills. Also it’s apparently really good and not all that fantastical but if you’re watching a show with a dragon in it you have to admit that’s a bit ridiculous. But anyway.

Do say: “I hope they follow the plot of the books, I really enjoyed reading those even before knowing HBO had commissioned a series.”

Don’t say: “The dragons remind me of that Kevin Costner movie Dragonheart from the 90s. Anyone? Anyone?”

TheFantasyCentral / YouTube

Mad Men

Zachary Pankratz / YouTubeZ

What is it? Serious drama series (that doesn’t air on HBO but lots of people think does) about ad executives in the 60s looking sharply dressed and engaging in sexist behaviour but it’s ok because it’s social commentary and it’s all deep and layered and oh god I really want a cigarette after watching it.

Do say: “I feel like Don Draper’s relationship with Megan really represents a changing shift in the way male female dynamics were shifting in 60s America.”

Don’t say: “Wow girlfriend that high waisted cinched at the waist pencil skirt is just so Mad Men!!! Fab!!!!”

HelloStyleChannel / YouTube

Breaking Bad

DvdAmnesty / YouTube

What is it? Edgy drama series (that doesn’t air on HBO but lots of people think does) starring Bryan Cranston as a high school teacher who turns to selling meth when he gets cancer and wants to make money for his family’s future. It’s very intense and will change the way you watch Malcolm in the Middle forever.

Do say: “God, it’s just great isn’t it? Really haven’t felt so moved by a show’s commitment to taking risks since the heyday of The Wire. Honestly.”

Don’t say: “Yeah, but is Frankie Muniz gonna do a cameo in it and are we sure it’s not a Malcolm in the Middle spin off? Like, honestly.”

Jake Winter / YouTube

The Wire

SATAM55 / YouTube

What is it? Cult crime show (that DID air on HBO) that takes place in Baltimore with each season looking at different aspects of the city such as it’s drug problem and government politics. It’s very gritty and is still the complete series boxset found in 99% of homes of people who are “really into their TV”.

Do say: “It really is just like a terrific book isn’t it? Slowly layering all those plots and rewarding you for watching closely. Masterful.”

Don’t say: “Yes but can you watch three episodes of it in a row while crying softly into leftover takeaways when hungover?”

Deepak Kashyap / YouTube

Boardwalk Empire

BoardwalkEmpire / YouTube

What is it? HBO’s latest attempt at The Sopranos style award-show bait, it’s a sprawling period piece that looks at New Jersey during Prohibition. It’s executive produced by Martin Scorsese for maximum critical approval and also has Steve Buscemi in the lead role.

Do say: “Really, it’s the show that proves Buscemi is one of America’s greatest acting talents and that cinema really pales to the kind of TV are doing right now, y’know?”

Don’t say: “The only shows about New Jersey I have any time for are Jersey Shore, Jerseylicious and The Real Housewives of New Jersey. In that order.”

Tommy O’Donnell / YouTube


jTVTracker / YouTube

What is it? Hard hitting spy thriller that sees Claire Danes play a FBI agent who cries alot and has to fight terrorists. It’s a bit light on laughs and missing scenes of Danes mooning over Jordan Catalano but anyway.

Do say: “Wow, it’s just so addictive even if season rwo lost the plot a bit. Danes is such a great actress.”


clairedanesvideos / YouTube

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