These are not necessarily the most patriotic shows or even the most American ones, but the shows I like to think that represent a certain American-feeling that is appropriate for the 4th…
Silicon Valley…What better than watching a bunch of intrepid explorers try—and sometimes fail—to create something great out of nothing? The spirit of innovation is alive on HBO.
Turn…Obviously, a show that is actually about the American Revolution should be considered. Especially now that the third season—the best so far—has concluded, and we begin to see the inevitable face-off between vain-glorious traitor Benedict Arnold and sly “Old Fox” spymaster George Washington.
Veep/House of Cards…Two very different shows (for my money, “Veep” is the most realistic political show on TV) that still manage to get at something of the craven nature of American politics where incompetence, cunning, and media collide.
Hell On Wheels/The American West…AMC’s pair of Westerns have different formats. “The American West” is a docuseries about the truths behind larger-than-life historical figures like Jesse James, Crazy Horse, and General Custard (don’t worry, the history actually is interesting), and makes the case that the story of the West is the story of America. “Hell On Wheels” is AMC’s perpetually ignored horse opera about the creation of America’s railroad in all its violent, lively glory and timely tales of immigrants. The story of the railroad truly is the story of America. We’re in the final episodes, and it looks like our eternally suffering hero Bohannon might just find real happiness with a Chinese railroad worker who’s having to pull a Mulan since female workers were forbidden in those days.
Outlander…Sure, this story isn’t even set in America and doesn’t feature a single American character, but the story of a Scottish thirst for independence from a tyrannical England captures the spirit better than most shows that are set in the USA.