Top 5: First Scenes (TV Dramas)

Some of my favorite television shows of all-time take awhile to get into.  Breaking Bad, The West Wing, even Game of Thrones have a lot of world-building to do and, while I can tell you exactly what the opening scene was to each, they didn’t immediately reach into my brain and addict me.  These five shows, from the very first scene (which I have done my best to include; in the case of Justified, you get the whole pilot with my compliments) light you up.  You want more; you want it now.  Whether it’s Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) delivering the best monologue in TV history, Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) having an old west shootout in very modern Miami, the chaos of ER and the plane crash of LOST, or Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) breaking a dog’s neck and the fourth wall.  You wanted more, and that is skillful writing.  Grab the viewer’s attention so completely within 3-5 minutes that you have them for the run of the series.  These five did the job and then some.

1. The Newsroom (HBO)

2. Justified (F/X)


3. Lost (ABC)


4. ER (NBC)


5. House of Cards (Netflix)

2 thoughts on “Top 5: First Scenes (TV Dramas)”

  1. Interesting. It’s usually the final scene people remember, not the first. I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s because if the writers do their job properly, the process of hooking us and immediately getting us on the main character’s side is invisible. The opening of ER is awesome BTW.

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