I've recently become a huge fan of AMC's Breaking Bad, which is not only desperately entertaining but also, I think, ideologically sound. (Huge spoilers ahead).
The show follows Walter White , a high-strung high school chemistry teacher who turns to manufacturing crystal meth to provide for his family and pay his medical bills after he is diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer.
Much of it focuses on family drama, but a few of the primary themes are absolutely critical. The first is the absoluteness of a man's duty to provide for his family, without recognition of which Walt would simply be a thoroughly despicable bastard. He goes to extraordinary lengths to provide for his family, erecting a vast but fragile network of lies to shield them from his secret life of crime.
The second is the problematic deadening of conscience. In the first season, Walt, clearly in over his head, is forced to kill a rival drug dealer who wanted to kill him, but unable to bring himself to do it, he keeps the man locked up in his basement. He finally does the deed but only after much internal turmoil. At the end of season three, he casually orders the murder of a mostly-innocent and basically good-hearted man just to protect his own life (and business arrangement). The result is Walt's slow transmogrification from a deeply flawed but mostly decent man into a ruthless and unrepentant killer, hobnobbing with drug lords and hatching elaborate schemes to protect himself and his family. The change is most clearly witnessed by the perpetual scowl that later-seasons Walt seems to wear (not to mention the Satanic van dyke he decides to grow). His partner Jessie (a former student of his and a meth addict himself), by contrast, does not deal with the change well, gradually turning into a badly traumatized and broken man, alternately raging and retreating within himself. Their life of evil destroys the latter emotionally and the former spiritually.
And a third is the far-reaching and unforeseen consequences of evil. Walt's life of crime constantly comes back to harm those around him (even those only tenuously connected to him) in various ways, most especially when cartel hit men sent for Walt instead shoot and maim his brother-in-law, a DEA agent, or when Jessie's efforts to avenge the shooting of one of his drug-dealing henchmen results directly in the murder of his girlfriend's eleven-year-old son.
The various meth addicts they encounter are absolutely wasted and pathetic individuals: paranoid, rambling, pasty, twitchy, bleary-eyed, pockmarked with sores, toothless and generally disgusting. No leftist/libertarian romanticization of drugs is to be found here: meth ruins everyone who touches it.
One of the best things about the show is its general lack of flashiness; the story draws you in not with explosions but with subtle and lingering glances and perfectly-timed lines. The performance of Giancarlo Esposito as a stony-faced drug lord is simply impeccable.
If the show is spiritually honest with itself, it can end in only one way: the imprisonment of Walt and the impoverishment and humiliation of his family, the death of Jessie, and the ruination of countless dozens of lives. We'll see about that, but for now, Breaking Bad is absolutely worth watching, if only as a rare instance of the real consequences of evil.