There are shows that are known for their drama. There are shows known for their action. There are shows that keep us on the edge of the couch hoping someone doesn't get killed off this week. Yet, we should not forget those shows that are known for their dialogue. Characters who speak the English language so beautifully that it reminds us how words can elevate conversation if used properly. In an age where we slaughter our communication with slang, and ghetto speak, we need to be reminded from time to time that there is an art to using words to express our thoughts. It almost feels like the world has become fearful of using big words. We rush our sentences when we should sometimes pace ourselves comfortably when talking to another person.
I have chosen a small list of shows with characters that do just that: speak beautifully. These are characters that can immerse us in their worlds by just expressing their thoughts. Whether you enjoyed the series, or didn't care for the genre, these characters can show us a thing or two about dialogue.
I started off the list with a show from the CW which really brings a flavor to the Vampire genre. Klauss (Joseph Morgan) and Elijah (Daniel Gillies) Mikaelson have a manner of speaking so eloquent that it makes you forget that most times they are planning someone's demise. They speak comfortably and I've never heard them use any form of slang to express themselves. Their sister Rebekah (Claire Holt) also adds a feminine flavor to the beautiful dialogue used between the siblings.
Although it was sadly cancelled by NBC, Hannibal provided us with such great use of words, it was inspirational. Unafraid to use a big word from time to time, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), Dr. Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), Dr Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) and Agent Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) entertained us for three seasons with great dialogue. Conversations were spoken so well that you ignore the fact that the show was about a cannibal serial killer who cooked his victims using french culinary techniques and recipes.
Sleepy Hollow gives us a taste of Colonial speak in modern America. Tom Mison who plays Ichabod Crane anchors the great dialogue highlighted in this show so well that it makes you wish that manner of talking would make a return. Ichabod uses words every now and then that have been long forgotten in our every day language. Oh, and let's not forget the words used when addressing evil, adding the dramatic flair when needed.
A legendary comedy that had a great run. Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammar) gave us great comedy that was intelligent and eloquent. His tone was perfect, his speech delivery was unique. It almost made you want to sit down and have a cup of coffee with this man just to hear him psychoanalyze you. Let's not forget to mention how funny his interactions with his equally gifted brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce) were when those two shared the screen.
The West Wing
Although I can extend this list by the dozens, I'll end it with a show dearly missed on TV. The West Wing and her entire cast gave us such great moments of exquisite language that it's almost legendary. Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Bradley Whitford, Allison Janney, Richard Shiff, Dule Hill, Stockard Channing, and the late John Spencer broke the mold with this show about life in the White House. So many other great actors and actresses came through the doors of the West Wing and each brought a new level of language to the game. Alan Alda, Jimmy Smits, Joshua Malina, the list goes on and on. Everyone wanted to be a part of this great show and its place in modern TV still hasn't been filled. Using big words was a must in this administration.
So that's it friends, just a small list of great shows with even greater ways of speaking that I wanted to share with you. So the next time you have a conversation, the next time you hold court just remember this one thing: The most beautiful way you can express yourself is in the way you speak. The most effective way to get your message across and sound...poetic at the same time.