I know that the point of lists is to argue with them, but come on! Who in their right minds could put Prime Suspect eighteen places above The Shield? – the Guardian, today, that’s who.  Prime Suspect is watchable, if cliched, with a good strong female lead, but it can’t hold a candle to a seven series noir drama that beats it on every count, including plot, character, dialogue, cinematography, sound, originality, theme.

When every drama that runs more than one series inevitably turns to soap, one of The Shield’s many achievements is to create a gripping, horrifying arc that holds convincingly from the start to the bittersweet end. And in Vic Mackie is created one of the most complex, tragically flawed characters in TV history.

That opening episode had me in its clutches by half way through, and the series never gave up its hold… I’m not going to say any more about the brilliance of the twists, the unexpectedness of seeing Film Noir in a cop show. (How dare the Guardian call it a “police procedural”!) If you haven’t seen it, well, repent at speed and grab the DVD boxed sets before it is too late to retrieve the ashes of your wasted life.

OK, I know everyone’s gone bananas over The Sopranos and The Wire and yes, they’re good, but somehow after The Shield has shattered so many stereotypes and developed such a strong personal style, they just always felt a bit, well, predictable.

And then, talking of unpredicatability and a cast of complex, flawed, fascinating characters: no mention at all of Spiral. But of course, silly me, it’s in Frog. Nothing made not in English could possibly be on the list, could it? Well, I don’t see any.

It’s official: all great TV drama is Anglo-Saxon.

The Guardian should expect a very loud knock on the door, imminently.