American Movie Channel, can you do any wrong?
Iâ€™ve always been a fan of the network when they have shown great Tarantino films, back-to-back â€œDie Hardâ€ or â€œLethal Weaponâ€ and other amazing action flicks. But then they decided to switch up the formula and create their own shows. I didnâ€™t watch them right away, but now Iâ€™m wondering why I waited so long.
A few years ago, there was this magical show on ABC called â€œLost.â€ 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 â€“ and not because of the season finale.
No, itâ€™s because Iâ€™m constantly on the search for a show to fill that â€œLostâ€ void. J.J. Abramsâ€™ 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 doesnâ€™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.
Â Last year, I managed to catch the pilot of the fourth season of â€œMad Men,â€ AMCâ€™s drama about advertisers in the â€˜60s. Iâ€™ve heard about the success of the show, and Iâ€™ve seen it nab many awards, even stealing some from my prized â€œLOST.â€ 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 â€œMad Menâ€ was back on the air. I needed a fix for my fix. Thankfully, AMC created more than one show.
Last fall when â€œMad Menâ€ ended, â€œThe Walking Deadâ€ began. This show is based on the graphic novel of the same name that depicts a zombie apocalypse. But this isnâ€™t just any standard zombie plot turned into a show. AMCâ€™s tendrils of writing, casting and directing talent touched this show and elevated it as an amazing drama that anyone can enjoy â€“â€“ 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.
Â Â â€œThe Killingâ€ 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: â€œBreaking Bad.â€ Iâ€™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 familyâ€™s financial troubles. Think â€œWeeds,â€ but with less comedy and more fantastic drama. It doesnâ€™t have the large and dynamic ensembles of â€œMad Menâ€ or â€œThe Walking Dead,â€ but Bryan Cranston alone is superb. So far, Iâ€™m a season and a half in, and it has yet to disappoint.
Â Iâ€™ve discovered that AMC is the poor manâ€™s HBO, and it is simply wonderful. Theyâ€™ve created a multitude of shows to appeal for all tastes, and theyâ€™re all equally stellar. They have a new one coming out in November called â€œHell on Wheels,â€ which from what I gather, is about trains and the Civil War. It hasnâ€™t exactly sold me, but at this point I donâ€™t care. Itâ€™s AMC. Do yourself a favor and start watching one of these shows.
Jeff Geiger is a sophomore English major.