The greatest drama of all time is on TV right now. Are you watching?

By ROSIE WATERLAND

The Emmy’s were on a couple of days ago, and some of the ridiculously obvious questions I was getting asked in the office gave me serious cause for concern. Questions like: “Is Breaking Bad about vampires?” and “House of Cards. Nah… I’m just not that into poker”.

Some people say I know too much about television.

I say I have my priorities in order.

Either way, I decided that it was imperative I provide a cheat sheet on the TV you should be watching (or TV that should at least be on you radar).

TV fans, please know, this is a highlight list only. I couldn’t fit everything. It breaks my heart that I had to leave off gems like Eastbound and Down and Boardwalk Empire but I’ve tried to narrow it down to the best/most-talked about shows that are on TV at the moment.

Here’s everything you need to know about what you should be watching RIGHT NOW:

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DRAMA

1. Breaking Bad

Walter White

Arguably the greatest drama of all time, Breaking Bad follows main character Walter White, a brilliant high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in the first episode.

He uses his knowledge to manufacture and sell meth to try and build a nest-egg for his family before he dies. The last episode airs next week, which is probably why anyone you know who watches the show is an emotional wreck right now.

You’ll like this if you liked: The Sopranos or The Wire

Notable stars: Bryan Cranston

What kind of investment are we talking?

Emotional: High

Intellectual: Medium

Time: 5 seasons total (ends next week). Episodes are 45 minutes.

What to say to cheat your way through a conversation about it: “I can’t decide if Walt is the protagonist or antagonist” or “YO. Bitch.”

2. The Newsroom

Created by Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, The Social Network), The Newsroom follows the day-to-day operation of fictional program News Night. Interesting because it’s set a couple of years in the past, so we get to see the team handle actual news stories as they break (like finding Osama Bin Laden).tumblr_mspgwyi4GI1qe8ujwo2_250

You’ll like this if you liked: The West Wing

Notable stars: Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Jane Fonda

What kind of investment are we talking?

Emotional: Low

Intellectual: Medium

Time: 2 seasons so far. Episodes are 45 minutes

What to say to cheat your way through a conversation about it: “I wish they would focus less on Jim and Maggie and more on the news stories.”

3. House of Cards

hoc-ph-22120r-babd299b44de4b096fc2d563c31bb2398737e5d5-s6-c10House of Cards is a political drama. It centers around Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), a congressman who gets passed over for the Secretary of State position.

The series follows him as he takes sneaky political revenge on those who screwed him. Was originally a BBC production.

You’ll like this if you liked: The original version or Labor in Power.

Notable stars: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright.

What kind of investment are we talking?

Emotional: Low

Intellectual: High

Time: 1 season so far. Episodes are 45 minutes

What to say to cheat your way through a conversation about it: “So, do you think Frank Underwood is a psychopath?”

4. Homeland

Homeland is about a female CIA agent with Bipolar disorder, who is convinced that a soldier held captive by Al-Qaeda has been turned and is now a terrorist. Because of her mental illness, she finds it hard to convince people that she is right. Also, she kind of falls in love with him and things get complicated.homeland

You’ll like this if you liked: 24

Notable stars: Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin

What kind of investment are we talking?

Emotional: Medium

Intellectual: Medium

Time: 2 seasons so far. Episodes are 60 minutes.

What to say to cheat your way through a conversation about it: “Do you think Carrie is actually in love with Brody?”

5. Mad Men

About to enter its final season, Mad Men is about an advertising agency in the 1960’s. It follows main character Don Draper, who has a brilliant creative mind and a mysterious past, which is slowly revealed throughout the series. The show explores some interesting themes like racism, feminism, alcoholism and mental health.

mad menYou’ll like this if you liked: The 60’s. Or The Wire.

Notable stars: Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, Elisabeth Moss

What kind of emotional investment are we talking?

Emotional: Medium

Intellectual: High

Time: 6 seasons so far (one more to go). 45 minutes each.

What to say to cheat your way through a conversation about it: “Do you think Don Draper will ever be faithful?”

6. Game of Thrones

daenareysGame of Thrones is a fantasy drama based on a series of books by George R. R. Martin.

It’s kind of like The Sopranos in Middle Earth. Basically everyone wants to rule everything so there’s lots of intrigue.

You’ll like this if you liked: The Sopranos, The Tudors and Lord of the Rings

Notable stars: Peter Dinklage, Sean Bean, (My husband) Kit Harrington

What kind of emotional investment are we talking?

Emotional: High

Intellectual: Medium

Time: 3 seasons so far. 50-ish minutes each.

What to say to cheat your way through a conversation about it: “You know nothing Jon Snow” or “OMG THE RED WEDDING.”

7. The Walking Dead

thewalkingdeadThe Walking Dead is basically every zombie movie you’ve ever watched but in a TV show. An unlikely group of people become a family as they band together to try and survive a world filled with flesh-eating zombies.

You’ll like this if you liked: Any zombie movie, Lost

Notable stars: None really.

What kind of investment are we talking?

Emotional: High

Intellectual: Low

Time: 3 seasons so far. 45 minutes each.

What to say to cheat your way through a conversation about it: “I can’t believe Daryl has become my favourite character.”

COMEDY

8. Veep

Veep (short for Vice President) follows VP of the United States, Selina Meyer. She and her team are pretty much useless, which doesn’t really matter since the Vice President is pretty much a redundant role anyway.veep

You’ll like this if you liked: The Office, In the Loop

Notable stars: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

What kind of investment are we talking?

Laughs: High

Emotional: Low

Time: 2 seasons so far. 25 minutes each.

What to say to cheat your way through a conversation about it: “I wish Selina was President.”

9. Louie

louieLouie was created by Louis CK, widely considered the best comedian working right now. He writes, directs and stars in every episode, which is loosely based on his life as a divorced father of two and stand-up comedian in New York City. Pretty much every comedian on earth has been a guest star at some point.

You’ll like this if you liked: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld

Notable stars: Louis CK, every comedian ever.

What kind of investment are we talking?

Laughs: High

Emotional: Medium

Time: 3 seasons so far. 25 minutes each.

What to say to cheat your way through a conversation about it: “Who’s been your favourite guest star so far?”

10. Orange is the New Black

Based on a memoir of the same name, Orange is the New Black follows Piper Chapman, an upper-middle class New York woman who is sent to prison for a crime she committed ten years earlier. Just like in creator Jenji Kohan’s last show Weeds, there are some amazing female characters to hate/root for.orange

You’ll like this if you liked: Weeds

Notable stars: Laura Prepon, Jason Biggs.

What kind of investment are we talking?

Laughs: Medium

Emotional: High

Time: 1 seasons so far. 60 minutes each.

What to say to cheat your way through a conversation about it: “I was CHOSEN”

writer-director-creator-star-lena-dunhams-first-season-of-girls-concluded-sunday-and-some-critics11. Girls

The brain-child of wunderkind writer Lena Dunham, Girls follows four 20-somethings as they try to navigate their way through life in New York. Has been called the anti Sex and the City for its more realistic portrayal of sex and relationships.

You’ll like this if you liked: Juno, Sex and the City

Notable stars: Lena Dunham

What kind of investment are we talking?

Laughs: Medium

Emotional: High

Time: 2 seasons so far. 30 minutes each

What to say to cheat your way through a conversation about it: “I can’t decide if I want Hannah to be with Adam or not.”

12. Parks and Recreation

Parks and Rec is about the government Parks department in a small US town. Amy Pohler is glorious as Leslie Knope, the deputy head with big political dreams.parks and rec

You’ll like this if you liked: The Office

Notable stars: Amy Pohler, Rob Lowe

What kind of investment are we talking?

Laughs: Medium

Emotional: High

Time: 5 seasons so far. 25 minutes each

What to say to cheat your way through a conversation about it: “Ron Swanson. America. Bacon.”

13. Community

Community follows a group of unlikely friends (from a mum with kids to a dodgy lawyer) as they make their way through a crappy community college. The show is famous for its use of meta-humour and pop-cultural references (like entire episodes parodying famous movies). It’s worth it just to see if you can spot every reference.

communityYou’ll like this if you liked: Any cult classic, ever.

Notable stars: Joel MacHale, Chevy Chase, Jim Rash (and for a few glorious episodes, John Oliver)

What kind of investment are we talking?

Laughs: High

Emotional: Medium

Time: 4 seasons so far. 22 minutes each

What to say to cheat your way through a conversation about it: “Troy and Abed in the mooorning.”

And if that wasn’t enough to convince you. take a flick through this gallery:

What are you watching and loving right now?

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