The Sopranos.
The Sopranos.

The 5 TV shows you need to watch before isolation ends

WE can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Most of us have lost track of how long we have been in lockdown and are itching to get out and about as much as we can.

Even as some restrictions are eased, it will be a long time before we are back to life as we once knew it.

It has been a good chance to relax during our downtime but Netflix and Stan only have so many shows to scroll through before we run out of things we actually want to watch.

They might not currently be at the top of your list, so here are some TV shows you need to catch up on before isolation ends:

The Sopranos


Tony and Carmela Soprano in a scene from The Sopranos.
Tony and Carmela Soprano in a scene from The Sopranos.

WITHOUT The Sopranos, so many shows that captured the world's attention - think Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones - would not have existed.

The mobster drama kickstarted TV's 'golden age' and made the small screen the place to be.

The late James Gandolfini puts on one of the greatest acting performances of all time as Tony Soprano, who is struggling to juggle home life and his crime family.

Razor sharp writing and Gandolfini's ability to realistically flick between loveable rogue and pure scumbag in the blink of an eye makes gripping viewing.

There is never a better time to get stuck into it with a prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark, set for release next year.

The Wire


Detective Jimmy McNulty in a scene from The Wire.
Detective Jimmy McNulty in a scene from The Wire.

THE WIRE is not an easy show to jump straight into.

It doesn't hold your hand and for the first couple of episodes chronicling police and drug dealers on the mean streets of Baltimore, it can be hard to follow what is going on.

But hang in there and you'll be hooked.

It's a gritty, in-your-face and highly detailed take on a police drama that has yet to be replicated.

But it's not a black and white look at crime.

It takes on all levels of society - examine politics, education, the media and unions - and how they all intertwine to impact everyone from the high rollers to the working class.

Friday Night Lights


Coach Eric Taylor a scene from Friday Night Lights.
Coach Eric Taylor a scene from Friday Night Lights.

ITS subject matter is not as deep and heavy as some of the others on this list, but for a show about a small high school football team, Friday Night Lights leaves its mark long after the final credits have rolled.

Don't let the exterior drive you away - it's not all about sport - it digs into class, race, love and what it means to be successful.

The football might drive the narrative forward but it's the long list of loveable characters and the highs and lows they experience that make it what it is.

High school coach Eric Taylor and wife Tami battle their way through the small town politics of Dillon, Texas and cement their place as one of the top TV couples of all time.

Breaking Bad


Jesse Pinkman and Walter White from Breaking Bad.
Jesse Pinkman and Walter White from Breaking Bad.

AFTER a slow burn, Breaking Bad kicks into gear in a way that will keep you watching until the early hours of the morning.

Science teacher and cancer patient Walter White's descent into heartless drug lord, while dragging former student and addict Jesse down with him, is gripping TV.

Flawless writing, stunning cinematography and a cast without a weak point makes it an all-time classic.

If you're likely to churn through the series in an effort to get to the next episode as quickly as possible, a second watch is never a bad idea.

Better Call Saul


AS good as Breaking Bad was, many fans weren't overly thrilled a prequel series was about to follow.

With comedy relief Saul Goodman set to take the lead, there were fears a lacklustre follow up would soil the hit show's legacy.

It has exceeded all expectations.

With one final season still to come, it may have even surpassed Breaking Bad.

Comedian Bob Odenkirk has shown he is more than capable of being the main man, and combine that with what you'd expect from creator Vince Gilligan, a new stellar cast and some new faces and you're on to a winner.