Now the flurry of Christmas is over it is time to really relax. January and February are quiet months on Ibiza so it is the perfect time to put on your slippers, grab a bowl of popcorn and something to drink, and unwind with our recommended viewing. First up, Drama. Here are five great TV box sets that will make those long, dark nights go by in a flash.
Hailed by fans and critics alike as the greatest TV show ever made, The Wire takes you on a white-knuckle, heartbreak ride through America’s War on Drugs, as played out on Baltimore’s stone poor west side. What makes this series brilliant is that there are no conventional goodies and baddies. Instead, a cast of flawed, infuriating, fascinating characters. It doesn’t try to explain them much either, it just lets them be. The result is unforgettable.
The X Files
One of the all-time great shows of the ’90s, The X Files feels more relevant than ever with its theme of government conspiracies and shadowy forces of darkness. Its tagline “Trust no one” seems particularly good advice in our era of media manipulation, “fake news” and endless war. The X Files never lost sight of the human factor, though. The simmering sexual tension between foxy true believer Fox Mulder and his sceptical partner Dana Scully makes for fabulous viewing.
The West Wing
Anything as complicated as the U.S. federal government can make for great TV, as The West Wing proved. This long-running political drama, with a cast headed by Martin Sheen as President. Its story lines delve into the arcane business of running a nation: bargaining, negotiating, pushing through legislation, dealing with the fallout of personal and political problems.
Six Feet Under
Dying isn’t the worst thing that can happen in this stately drama about a family running a funeral home after the unexpected death of the father and husband. The widow is a spaced-out, yet prim woman who is horrified by the behaviour of her grown-up children. Of the two sons, one is a free spirit dragged reluctantly home by his father’s death; the other an uptight religious type who also happens to be gay. Their younger sister is a budding artist with a penchant for hard drugs. Throw in their quirky lovers (a gay cop, a borderline psychotic former child prodigy, and a crack dealer) and you have an addictive show.
There are many TV versions of stories about the brilliant fictional detective, but the recent BBC version may well be the best. It boasts terrific talent in the form of the aloof yet slyly funny Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as his sidekick, Dr John Watson. Sherlock gives classic tales like “The Hound of the Baskervilles” and “A Scandal in Bohemia” a contemporary setting and retelling. Expect lots of twists, topical subplots involving identity theft and terrorism, and lavish productions that show modern London at its best.
What’s your favourite TV box set? Share in the comments!