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How FX Become One of the Best Networks on TV

A few years ago, FX was, to me, just the network that It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia was on.  It didn’t have as many original series as it does now, and with the exception of  Sunny, I didn’t really like any of the shows they did have (and I flat out despised Nip/Tuck). So, really, FX was just the channel that aired Sunny.

Well, they did have pretty great syndication, which was better than it is now.  They aired Buffy reruns (and this was before the show was in syndication on about a bajillion cable channels), which I always watched, despite the fact that I had (and still have) the complete series on DVD. They also aired The X-Files, which was amazing and incredible. Nowadays, with the exception of Chiller, I believe, no cable network I’m aware of shows regular episodes of the show. And I don’t get Chiller. Which makes me a sad Panda.

The Shield

The year before Nip/Tuck premiered, FX really changed the way they did things with The Shield, which was their first major original series. I didn’t watch the first few seasons when they were on, but eventually I started watching and I caught up. I don’t adore The Shield like I do so many shows I watch, but it is a good show, a solid cop drama with some really great and well developed characters.  So The Shield led the way for FX to become magnificent.

But even with it going in the right direction, I wouldn’t have called it a great network, or even a good one. In the early years of their original program, they put out a few shows I really didn’t like. I really just hate Nip/Tuck, I don’t really like Rescue Me.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia really was the start for me, but it was a slow start for FX. Sunny is, I really believe, completely brilliant. One of the funniest shows of all time. It doesn’t give a shit about being PC, it’s completely irreverent, and the absurd and sometimes intentionally mean spirited humor is perfect and hilarious.

The Riches

In 2007, FX started to really build beyond that amazing comedy with two new shows, The Riches and Damages. They also debuted Dirt, a drama starring Courtney Cox, but that show was really, really terrible. Between the two good shows, I did love The Riches more. It combined some really tense storytelling with a strong sense of humor and, most importantly, an incredibly written family dynamic. Sadly, the show only last two seasons. The show’s cancellation could have been a sign that the network would never reach greatness.

But they still had Damages.

I think Damages is the point where it started to be an amazing network, rather than just a good one.

Damages is one of the most intense things on television, and it’s brilliantly acted. From there on, I think FX just kept getting better and better, quickly.

Right now, a few of my very favorite shows are on the network.

Right now, Terriers is in-season, and it’s a really good show. If  a show is about private detectives, I’m probably going

Terriers

to watch it, and Terriers is such a good show. I’m so happy to see Donal Logue in a series like this. He is a funny guy, but it’s great to see him in a dramatic series where he can show what a great actor he really is. It also stars Michael Raymond-James, who proves what a really good actor he is. I had only seen him in True Blood, where he played SPOILER ALERT…………………………………..the murderer…………………………………………….. So I was worried about how I’d feel about him in this show. But he makes Britt the most lovable, sympathetic guy. This show is really good, folks, and you should be watching it.

I don’t watch Sons of Anarchy, but apparently, it’s amazing. It’s received some amazing critical notice, so I thought it should be mentioned in n article about how well FX is doing.

My current favorite show is actually on FX. That show is Justfied, and it’s absolutely amazing. I think Raylan Givens is the role Timothy Olyphant was born to play. He’s such a complex, fascinating character and Olyphant is so

Justified

unbelievably perfect. The rest of the cast is really, really amazing, too. Especially Walton Goggins, who plays Raylan’s BFF/antagonist. The show is an exploration of good vs. evil and the gray in between, while finding time to explore the relationships between fathers and sons, friends, lovers. It’s just such an awesome show. The second season starts in February. Watch it.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is amazing, and it’s still great, but comedy was something FX has kind of had a problem with.  Last season their follow up to Sunny was the terrible Testees which was crude and disgusting, which would have been okay, had the show been remotely funny. Thankfully they seem to have started getting it right. Last year they debuted Archer, which is an incredibly hilarious and pretty filthy cartoon for adults. Its new season starts in January. The League follows Sunny on Thursday nights, and it a solid comedy with a really strong ensemble cast that has great chemistry. And they’ve picked up a comedy starring Elijah Wood, Wilfred, about a man and a dog, a dog who looks like a normal dog to everyone else, but who appears as a man in a dog costume to Wood’s character.

So, yeah, FX is awesome. And I hope they keep it up. A new drama series, Lights Out, looks pretty good. It’s a show about boxing and, well…… boxing is kind of one of my weaknesses. I hope it’s good.

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