Oct 032011
Authors: Jeff Geiger

American Movie Channel, can you do any wrong?

I’ve always been a fan of the network when they have shown great Tarantino films, back-to-back “Die Hard” or “Lethal Weapon” and other amazing action flicks. But then they decided to switch up the formula and create their own shows. I didn’t watch them right away, but now I’m wondering why I waited so long.

A few years ago, there was this magical show on ABC called “Lost.” Abrams provided me with a fantastic and complex overarching story that filled my Wednesday, and sometimes Thursday and Tuesday, nights for years. I love him and hate him for that masterpiece – and not because of the season finale.

No, it’s because I’m constantly on the search for a show to fill that “Lost” void. J.J. Abrams’ hit changed the way I view television. I can no longer watch simple episodic crime dramas. Knowing that the bad guy is caught every 60 minutes just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I need that depth and intrigue to keep me interested. And AMC has been able to control my lust.

 Last year, I managed to catch the pilot of the fourth season of “Mad Men,” AMC’s drama about advertisers in the ‘60s. I’ve heard about the success of the show, and I’ve seen it nab many awards, even stealing some from my prized “LOST.” I just never got around to catching it, so I figured a start of a season is as good as any other. After the first commercial break, I knew I was hooked.

The enthralling plot and outstanding ensemble quenched my thirst.

I watched every Sunday with delight, counting down the hours until the next episode. When Christmas rolled around, I got my hands on the first three seasons and watched them whenever I could. Then they were added to Netflix instant play, and I watched the fourth again, only to discover that it would be another year until “Mad Men” was back on the air. I needed a fix for my fix. Thankfully, AMC created more than one show.

Last fall when “Mad Men” ended, “The Walking Dead” began. This show is based on the graphic novel of the same name that depicts a zombie apocalypse. But this isn’t just any standard zombie plot turned into a show. AMC’s tendrils of writing, casting and directing talent touched this show and elevated it as an amazing drama that anyone can enjoy –– no need to be an undead fanatic.

Unfortunately, the first season was a short one to test the waters, and the second has yet to air. But no worries, AMC has another great show.

  “The Killing” is a crime drama, but instead of the perpetrator getting caught every week, this show focuses on the investigation of a single murder. However, I only managed to see the first three episodes before the rest vanished from my DVR. So, with the help of Netflix instant play, I turned to yet another fantastic show: “Breaking Bad.” I’ve also seen success of this one throughout the years, so I knew I was in for another great ride. This show is about a chemistry teacher who turns to making meth to help his family’s financial troubles. Think “Weeds,” but with less comedy and more fantastic drama. It doesn’t have the large and dynamic ensembles of “Mad Men” or “The Walking Dead,” but Bryan Cranston alone is superb. So far, I’m a season and a half in, and it has yet to disappoint.

 I’ve discovered that AMC is the poor man’s HBO, and it is simply wonderful. They’ve created a multitude of shows to appeal for all tastes, and they’re all equally stellar. They have a new one coming out in November called “Hell on Wheels,” which from what I gather, is about trains and the Civil War. It hasn’t exactly sold me, but at this point I don’t care. It’s AMC. Do yourself a favor and start watching one of these shows.

Jeff Geiger is a sophomore English major.

 Posted by at 3:22 pm

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