Showtime’s series might lag behind HBO’s in terms of visuals and budget. But this doesn’t mean it’s inferior. Through the years, Showtime has improved a ton and showed to the world that it can effectively compete in the cable TV industry. Having a style of its own, equipped with relatable storylines that address the current issues of today’s society, Showtime has created a number of masterpieces that people find entertaining and meaningful.
From LGBT-inspired dramas, to women-centered comedies, and even Latino and black family action-thrillers, Showtime is continuously amusing its audience throughout the years. Here, we’re bringing to you Showtime’s all-time best shows.
1. The L Word
Showtime knows how big of a hit its six-season series “The L Word” has become. And now, Producer Ilene Chaiken will bring back the drama series to the small screen. Starring Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailer, Erin Daniels, and Laurel Holloman, along with a number of high-profile stars, the series will continue to follow a group of lesbian friends based in Los Angeles.
This series will continue to support the LGBT cause, as it shows that gay women also live normal lives. It centers on the romantic issues, career problems, complicated friendships, and family drama around the characters.
Though this isn’t your typical kind of drama because of the character’s sexual orientation, it’s worth watching especially if you want to know more about the lives of gay women. It’s like “Queer as Folk”, but with more steamy lesbian scenes you’d expect from a Showtime-produced series.
2. Masters of Sex
If you’re hooked up with “You Don’t Know Me” and “Fight”, and you’re in it for more, “Masters of Sex” is what you’re looking for. Producer Michelle Ashford successfully used the sexual theme of the series to portray its professional side.
The story revolves around two sex researchers played by Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan. These actors are just too good-looking to not give this series a try. Filled with emotionally erotic scenes and highly-relatable storylines, there’s no doubt that “Master of Sex” would spice up your evenings.
Illegal drugs might seem to be an overrated theme for movies and TV series. But if a suburban mother was the one involved in dealing marijuana to drug addicts and criminals, it sure would be more interesting.
What makes this worth watching is that this mother is a widow who’s doing this just to support her family’s needs. Her husband died due to heart attack and there are no other means for her to keep her family afloat.
Mary Lousie-Parker carried her drug-dealer/mom role beautifully, making this a not-your-typical kind of show. Packed with dark comedy scenes that would break your traditional motherly character, it sure is satisfying to see how it’ll turn out for this “hardworking” mom. And take note: “Weed” won one Golden Globe Award and two Emmy Awards, along with a three more.
4. Penny Dreadful
Then there’s “Penny Dreadful” which is what you need to watch if you’re into thrillers and horror series. A Gothic-inspired show that’s set in Victorian London, you’ll have your fill of monsters born of classical horror literature from this one. From Dracula to Frankenstein-ish characters, to goblin-like beings, Creator John Logan sure knows how to turn your nightmares into reality.
It chronicles the adventures of a trio consisting of a clairvoyant, an explorer, and a gunslinger. Their main mission is to slay the supernatural creatures that threaten London and the rest of the world. The series’ main highlight is Eva Green, as she kicked off her career with this series. The way she handled her role as the clairvoyant Vanessa Ives is nothing short of brilliant. Without a doubt, her daring and wittingly bold personality is what makes this one of the best Showtime series.
If you’d like to have a taste of crime drama that revolves around the theme of family loyalty, then this one’s for you. Blake Master’s “Brotherhood” goes on par with HBO’s “The Sopranos.” However, it fell short of ratings in its third season which resulted to it being canceled after three seasons.
But this doesn’t mean that it’s a flop. In reality, its first season is one of Showtime’s highest raters. It even won a Peabody Award in 2006; a testament to its widely acclaimed writing and performance. It follows the story of two Irish-American siblings who have opposing perspectives.
One is a local politician played by Jason Clarke, and the other is a gangster of the Irish Mob who’s played by Jason Isaacs. And it’s up to these two brothers which path they choose. Will it be family or their respective affiliations?
6. The Big C
Darlene Hunt’s “The Big C” follows a cancer-stricken mother named Cathy Jamison, played by Laura Linney. Having been diagnosed with melanoma, Cathy decided to keep her terminal condition a secret to her family. But through time, her sickness was discovered by her son, Adam. And that’s where the spice starts.
The show shows the positive side of life as Cathy fights to stay happy despite her impending death. Because of this, “The Big C” emerged as a meaningful series that goes beyond the theme of sickness and managed to incorporate family-ties and friendship into the whole meaning of life.
Some might consider “Shameless” the live-action version of the animated series “The Simpsons.” There’s some truth to that but the Gallaghers are a way more dysfunctional family than the Simpsons. This series follows how the Gallaghers manage to keep up with their normal lives.
It is a family with six unruly kids and a single father who’s supposed to take care of them. Unfortunately, their dad is an alcoholic who can’t do something good other than to indulge in drinking. Or perhaps embark on a series of misadventures. This is where the interesting part goes — how the kids are going to take care of themselves.
Though it might be a comedy/drama show, it never fails to detach itself from reality. The show is a reflection of families who are living under the poverty line and are headed by irresponsible parents. It’s a show that won’t just let you laugh or cry, but it’s something that will wake you up to the reality.
Paul Abbot is pretty good at this kind of shows. And the star-studded cast of William H. Macy, Ethan Cutkosky, Emmy Rossum, Cameron Monagan, and Shanola Hampton are a perfect fit to their respective characters.
8. Queer as Folk
The LGBT community is a market that’s been targeted by Showtime for quite some time. And that’s even before “The L Word” became a hit. Before it, there was “Queer as a Folk” which aired on December 3, 2000, and ended on August 7, 2005 with its 5th season.
It’s a series that follows the lives of gay men living in Pittsburgh. Not only did it successfully depict the gay community in the US, but it was also Showtime’s first show to go beyond the average budget cap. It was because of this that it quickly became Showtime’s highest rated show, and made it compete with HBO’s premium cable dominance.
There are a lot of sexy and melodramatic scenes promoting equality between homos and heteros. This is elaborately done with the help of Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman’s genius. And when matched with the acting brilliance of Randy Harrison, Gale Harold, Peter Paige, Scott Lowell, and a host of other talented actors and actresses, you’ve got yourself a true masterpiece.
Here’s another crime drama series from Showtime. A show produced by James Manor, Jr., “Dexter” follows the life of Dexter Morgan, a forensic technician who has a traumatic childhood experience. His trauma is due to her mother’s brutal murder by a chainsaw-wielding man.
Dexter (Michael C. Hall) is then adopted by a policeman who soon finds out of his psychopathic tendencies. Luckily for him, he learned to channel his bloodthirstiness through his job. It’s the kind of series that gives the thrills and the goosebumps. It lets you feel the satisfaction by watching criminals die in a number of unconventional ways. If you’ve got a bit of a sadist in you, then this might be a good choice for your next series marathon.
Showtime is now closing in on HBO in terms of rating. And in the future, it wouldn’t be surprising to know that it had overtaken HBO as the leading premium cable provider. With more shows that are visually pleasing, action-packed, and morally relevant in today’s society, Showtime is now becoming a staple to people’s leisure times.
However, not all Showtime series can be viewed in all countries. Some, if not most of them, are blocked in certain areas. But you don’t need to worry because you can opt to use a Smart DNS Proxy to unlock Showtime’s shows.
Smart DNS Proxy is currently priced at $4.90 per month. But you can get it for a lower price if you subscribe on the Best Smart DNS Special that’s good for two years. This gives you a 70% discount as you just need to pay $34.90 every month instead of the standard $117.6.
With this, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to watch these Showtime all-time greats. Have fun watching!