What makes a show great?

In the last year, the way I watch TV has changed a lot. Having a baby tends to shift your schedule around. So, instead of watching NCIS re-runs while I do my run at the gym, I now get up at 5 a.m. every morning and watch a lot of great TV on my home treadmill while The Husband and The Babe are snoozing.

And obviously, there just isn’t as much time to watch TV. So I’m pickier than ever about what fills up the DVR.

This morning I got to thinking about what makes a TV show great while I was watching Sons of Anarchy (probably in my top 3 favorite shows right now).

I came up with a bottom line answer that works for me. A show has to be truly believable. No matter how fantastic the premise (take The Walking Dead, for instance), a show has to be so true to its universe that you never question it.

This might seem simple enough. But to be believable, a show has to have excellent writing, talented actors and superior production value. Take just one of these factors out of the equation and you can forget about it.

In a lesser show, I might raise an eyebrow over the fact that a bunch of rival criminal organizations could exist in one small area. But Sons of Anarchy sells it. And every week, I keep coming back, because I just can’t wait to see what these characters are going to endure next. How they will survive. What they will have to compromise to keep going. Who they will become. And that’s how you know its good TV.

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