The highlights of television since 2010
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
As another decade is about to end, the world is radically different now compared to 2010. In the TV industry much has changed: most must-see TV is shown on premium-cable channels, reality shows and live programming are shown on network TV, and more streaming site options are at your convenience every day. When Netflix started offering original shows (beginning with House of Cards) the service revolutionized the way shows are aired. This decade created some of the greatest shows of all-time—including Game of Thrones, Veep, Breaking Bad, Modern Family, and Stranger Things. But, there were also other successful shows this decade, and here are my top five picks:
Downton Abbey (2010 to 2015)
My favourite show this decade is Downton Abbey. It is a period piece, and it is much like Game of Thrones—except without the controversy and graphic images. The show follows the aristocratic Crawley family and the staff that works in their house after the original heir of the Downton Estate is drowned in the sinking of the Titanic. Throughout the show, they represent the progress of technological advancements and other major historic events. The writing of the show, by Academy Award winning screenwriter and creator Julian Fellowes, is brilliant and clever. The movie— Downton Abbey (2019)—has recently proven to be a surprise hit.
Kim’s Convenience (2016 to Present)
My favourite comedy this decade is a show that I have written about for this newspaper a lot. The show involves Mr. Kim (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) handling his convenience store in downtown Toronto. Such a funny slice-of-life series has the power to resonate with everyone. I find a connection with the show because the Kim family is like my family. Recently, the show got Most Popular Foreign Drama in the Seoul International Drama Awards (essentially the Korean version of the Emmy Awards) making it the first Canadian show to get the award. It is one of those comedies that you keep you interested, and you have to watch every episode of it.
Unforgotten (2018 to Present)
This PBS show from the “Masterpiece” franchise is one of the surprise hits this decade. In the show, detectives Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) and Sunil “Sunny” Kahn (Sanjeev Bhaskar) solve cold cases. Because their cases are cold, the suspects that they interview cannot recall events from when the case happened. Both Cassie and Sunny are likeable people and they have their own personal problems to solve throughout the show (both with their families). The most recent season talks about how fake news can mislead people and have dire consequences. The season finale is so good, watching the entire season is worth it simply for that payoff.
Episodes (2011 to 2017)
If you’d like to see how the TV industry works, there is this comedy. The series involves a couple from England bringing their hit show to the US. When the network executives wanted an American to play the lead character in the US version of the show, they cast Matt LeBlanc—he plays himself in this quirky comedy. While the couple and LeBlanc do not always get along, they both agree that the industry is bad. There are a lot of funny moments in the show, though it could be considered offensive.
The Durrells in Corfu (2016 to 2019)
Another surprise hit this decade is this comedy drama that takes place in Greece. Based on The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell, this PBS “Masterpiece” show follows the Durrell family leaving their less exciting lifestyle in England and embracing the Greek island of Corfu as their new home. With the help of the locals in the area, they expand their knowledge and build a zoo (with a few mishaps along the way). It is a feel-good show that everyone can watch, plus there are a lot of animals shown throughout the series.