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This week’s question: What’s is the best current basic cable network? Why?
Can there be any other answer than FX? “Pose,” “American Crime Story,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” “Atlanta” — show after show manages to be a gorgeously filmed, genre-twisting masterpiece that carves out a special place in an increasingly balkanized pop culture conversation. Even when some series’ reach exceeds their grasp — “Legion”, anyone? — at least their greatest pitfall is an overabundance of ambition. It may not make sense, but it doesn’t feel like any show you’ve ever seen before. As a rule, FX shows are allergic to playing it safe, which makes even their most flawed shows that much more fascinating. There’s a network-wide feeling of invention and innovation over there, something in the secret sauce I just have to sample each and every time.
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Derek Mio and George Takei Mine Personal Family History for 'The Terror: Infamy'
It’s not all prestige dramas, either, which is incredible and refreshing; most cable networks, premium or basic, lean hard on their dramas for critical and cultural clout. But this is the network of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “Archer,” edgy, provocative, and formally interesting comedies in their own right, with “Shadows” now joining their number as some of the best sitcoms on air right now. It’s the home of “Fargo” and “The Americans,” too, which alone places it on the top tier of TV networks taking chances and pushing the medium to crazy places. There are other basic cable networks doing some lovely work (I almost picked Freeform just for how vibrant and just plain new they feel), but beat for beat, the winner’s gotta be FX.
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Kiki Sukezane in “The Terror: Infamy”
After suffering through a few years of a wicked “Breaking Bad”/”Mad Men” hangover, AMC has rebounded quite nicely,...
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