Once upon a time characters like Michael Scoffield and Tony Soprano held us under their spell season after season as they brought magic to the screen. While these shows may have ended, we can never forget the thrill of watching them.
So, in the spirit of Throwback Thursday, we take a look at 10 classic shows that held us all spellbound through the years, and which you can check out again on Showmax while on lockdown.
1. Lost (2004)
The recipient of numerous awards including the 2005 Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama series and the 2005 Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Ensemble Cast, Lost, according to Wikipedia, has regularly been ranked by critics as one of the greatest television series of all time.
The show contains elements of supernatural and science fiction, and follows the survivors of a commercial jet airliner flying between Sydney and Los Angeles; backed by flashbacks and flash forward sequences, after the plane crashes on a mysterious island somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean.
The show stars Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly (Hope van Dyne/Wasp in Avengers: End Game) , Josh Holloway, Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries) among others.
2. Modern Family (2009)
Modern Family follows the lives of Jay Pritchett and his family, all of whom live in suburban Los Angeles. Pritchett’s family include his second wife, their son and his stepson, as well as his two adult children and their respective husbands and children. The show addresses the changing social norms and culture throughout the 2010s
In it’s ten year run, the show has won a total of 22 Emmy awards from 75 nominations and is currently ABC’s longest-running comedy series.
It stars Sofia Vergara, Ed O’Neil, Julie Bowen, Tyler Burrell among others.
3. Sex & the City (1998)
Sex and the City follows the lives of a group of four women – three in their mid-thirties and one in her forties who, despite their different natures and ever-changing sex lives, remain inseparable and confide in each other.
The show won seven Emmy awards, eight Golden Globes and 3 Screen Actors Guild awards and stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon.
4. Prison Break (2005)
Would this countdown be complete if we don’t recall the adventures of Michael Scofield and his squad of fleeing inmates?
Prison Break revolves around two brothers, Lincoln Burrows and Michael Scofield; Burrows has been sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit, and Scofield devises an elaborate plan to help his brother escape prison and clear his name.
The show garnered a huge following while it aired and won the 2006 People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama. Prison Break stars Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Sarah Wayne Callies, Amaury Nolasco among others.
5. True Blood (2008)
The show revolves around Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress living in the fictional rural town of Bon Temps, Louisiana and is set two years after the invention of a synthetic blood product branded “Tru Blood” that has allowed vampires to “come out of the coffin” and let their presence to be known to mankind, chronicling the vampires’ struggle for equal rights and assimilation, while anti-vampire organizations begin to gain power. Sookie’s world is turned upside down when she falls in love with 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton and for the first time, she must navigate the trials and terrors of intimacy and relationships.
True Blood won several awards including an Outstanding Casting for a Drama at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards. The show stars Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard and more.
6. The Sopranos (1999)
The Sopranos revolves around Tony Soprano, a New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster, portraying the difficulties that he faces as he tries to balance his family life with his role as the leader of a criminal organization. These are explored during his therapy sessions with psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi.
According to Wikipedia, the show is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time and has won a multitude of awards, including 21 Primetime Emmy Awards, and five Golden Globe Awards. The Sopranos stars James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco and more.
7. Will & Grace (1998)
Set in New York City, Will & Grace focuses on the friendship between best friends Will Truman (Eric McCormack), a gay lawyer, and Grace Adler (Debra Messing), a straight interior designer. It also includes their friends Karen Walker, an alcoholic socialite, and Jack McFarland, a flamboyantly gay actor. The interplay of relationships features the trials and tribulations of dating, marriage, divorce, and casual sex; as well as comical key stereotypes of gay and Jewish culture.
8. Tinsel (2008)
The only Nigerian show on our countdown, Tinsel has aired over 1,000 episodes.
The show revolves around two rival film companies – Reel Studios, founded by Fred Ade-Williams (Victor Olaotan), and Odyssey Pictures, headed by Brenda “Nana” Mensah (Funmilola Aofiyebi-Raimi). Tinsel is a tale of drama, romance, betrayal and triumph.
The show also stars Iretiola Doyle, Linda Ejiofor, Ibrahim Suleiman among others.
9. Game of Thrones (2011)
Unarguably one of the biggest shows ever made, Game of Thrones is set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos, and follows several story arcs. One arc is about the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms and follows a web of alliances and conflicts among the noble dynasties either vying to claim the throne or fighting for independence from it. Another focuses on the last descendant of the realm’s deposed ruling dynasty, who has been exiled and is plotting a return to the throne, while another story arc follows the Night’s Watch, a brotherhood defending the realm against the fierce peoples and legendary creatures of the North.
The show has received 58 Primetime Emmy Awards, the most by a drama series, including Outstanding Drama Series in 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019, among numerous other awards.
10. Grey’s Anatomy (2005)
Grey’s Anatomy focuses on the lives of surgical interns, residents, and attending doctors at the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital (which changes to Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital then Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital and then Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital through the seasons), as they develop into seasoned doctors while trying to maintain personal lives and relationships.
According to Wikipedia, as of February 28, 2019, it is the longest-running American primetime medical drama series and has a total of thirty-eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations and several Golden Globe nominations and wins.