Seven shows for lovers of complex characters

Some of the greatest shows of all time have told stories of intriguing characters dealing with the struggles of their lives, from the mundane to the extraordinary.

But with an ever-expanding list of shows to watch, it is difficult to know which are worth the time.

Here are seven shows that will capture your attention with interesting characters and keep you invested from beginning to end.

Boardwalk Empire

“Boardwalk Empire” is perhaps one of HBO’s most underrated shows.

Set during Prohibition, the series follows the character Nucky Thompson, played by Steve Buscemi, as he runs the criminal underworld of Atlantic City.

The show tells the extremely fascinating tale of Thompson struggling to balance his personal life and career as a mob boss while also showcasing HBO’s recognizable graphic nudity and violence to heighten the story.


Better Call Saul

While “Better Call Saul” is a prequel telling the backstory of Bob Odenkirk’s character in “Breaking Bad,” viewers are not required to have seen the original show to appreciate this one.

Odenkirk and the rest of the cast give fantastic performances, and showrunners Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould do an amazing job of crafting the engrossing story of lawyer Jimmy McGill’s metamorphosis into Saul Goodman.

McGill’s complex relationships with those in his life create an intriguing and somewhat more subdued show that is nonetheless extremely engaging.

With these factors at play, it is no surprise the show is considered one of the best currently on television.


Sharp Objects

Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn, “Sharp Objects” tells the searing tale of a damaged reporter returning to her hometown to cover the murder of one girl and the disappearance of another.

Amy Adams provides a striking performance as her character confronts her past, facing the people and events that made her who she is.  

The New York Times hailed the miniseries for its deep insight and staggering performances, and with only eight episodes, the show is one that can and will be quickly viewed.


Breaking Bad

First airing in 2008, “Breaking Bad” became a household name as it told the story of a high school chemistry teacher driven to cooking crystal meth to pay for his cancer treatment.

Beginning with a thrilling first episode, the show only ratchets up the suspense as viewers follow Bryan Cranston’s Walter White through his journey into the criminal underworld of Albuquerque, New Mexico as every aspect of his life is impacted.

“Breaking Bad” was a stunning success, winning 16 Emmys throughout its run, reflecting both critics’ and viewers’ obsession with the hit show.


Game of Thrones

The flagship of HBO’s original programming, “Game of Thrones” has a massive scope.

With story arcs as varied as the political machinations of medieval kingdoms, to the ever-present threat of a mythical ancient enemy, the series has become one of the most well known and liked in the history of television.

It comes as no surprise then that the show has broken several Guinness world records in terms of awards.

With the final season fast approaching, it is a great time to get caught up and see what the world is talking about.


The Leftovers

Dealing with themes of grief and loss, “The Leftovers” is a devastatingly beautiful show.

Consisting of 28 episodes over three seasons, the series tells the story of the strange disappearance of 2 percent of the world’s population, and one family’s response.

As the show progresses, audiences witness Kevin Garvey’s raw and emotional experience as he attempts to re-contextualize his reality following the mysterious event of the first episode.

Painful and poignant, the series is a must-see.


Mad Men

One of AMC’s greatest shows, “Mad Men” is a masterpiece of character crafting.

Exploring the depths of Don Draper and the widespread cast of supporting characters, the series is astounding in its complexity and insight into who these characters are.

By the end of the series’ seven-season run, I knew these characters better than they themselves did.

Jon Hamm’s performance as Draper is quintessential acting as his subdued and multi-faceted life is showcased over the span of a decade.

This entrancing quality of the show captured my attention and held it to this day, with the series still being my favorite show of all time.

by Jesse Kunze

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