First of all, I’m not exactly a tv critic. Or is it tv show critic? To be honest that kind of tells you everything. I don’t know actors’ names. I don’t know good camera work. I don’t even really know if people are acting all that well. What I do know is what I find watchable and if you’re looking for dam watchable TV, I got yall covered folks.
Disclaimer number two; these aren’t my favourite shows. They’re basically shows I’ve watched in the last six months that I’ve enjoyed and that, if you’re inclined to watch something right now, might keep you on the hook. Oh and, disclaimer three, I’m going to try not to spoil anything but if you really want to avoid any details, maybe don’t my choice explanations. Now, in no particular order, the shows…
- Peep Show
So, I sort of told I lie before because one of the shows in the lineup is my all time favourite. Peep Show is absolutely hilarious. It’s the story of two thirty something flat mates, the el dude brothers, living their slightly sad lives relentlessly in South London.
The quirk is that you can hear their inner monologues at all times. Moreover, almost every single shot from every series is filmed from the perspective of one of the characters. It takes a few minutes to get used to but when you do, it’s brilliant, if slightly cringey and uncomfortable, television. Mitchell and Webb nailed this one.
The word Ozark seems to be in just about everyone’s mouths who I’ve been talking to recently. The series is undoubtedly brilliant. Jason Bateman is the financial advisor who drags his family from Chicago and into rural Missouri at the behest of a cartel. There he is to launder money and try to stay out of trouble, but everyone knows that in the back creeks of middle America, even the hills have eyes.
For a tv series that is supposed to focus on the task of banking money, it is never slow. Things just get worse and worse, and its awesome to watch. If you were hoping for one of those twenty-episode American crime series with each episode seemingly distinctly separate though, this isn’t for you. The plot is intricate, and the characters flawed. The line between good and bad is so blurred that no two of my friends have rooted for the same character as their favourite. That’s the beauty of the show though, it reminds you that you never really know what people are capable of until they’re pushed.
Chuck Rhoades and Bobby Axelrod. District Attorney and billionaire hedge fund manager. Ever heard the story of Laelaps, the hunting dog that never failed to catch its prey, and the Teumessian Fox, the canine that could never be caught? This feels a lot like that.
The series is all about a district attorney seeking to bring down a kingpin and that’s enthralling to watch. Chuck is absolutely relentless and ruthless. His character is complex and perhaps a fair bit twisted. He’s coming to hunt a whale and is willing to do just about anything to get him. Bobby is well liked and, at times, seems almost more moral than his counterpart, but there are skeletons in his closet too and he knows it. For a crime drama that takes things to the next level, put Billions atop the list.
I almost put Peaky Blinders on here, and maybe I should’ve done, but I actually prefer this gem because its Tom Hardy’s show through and through.
Taboo is the story of a returning James Delaney who has come to London in the wake of his father’s death. London itself is dark and foreboding; with all of its tenants themselves embodying varying degrees of malice and menace. Set in 1814, the series centers upon the shadowy past James Delaney, a man who is not to be trifled with, and his dealings with the Crown of Britain and the behemoth that was the East India Trading Company.
The series is full of mystery, pithy quotes, and bloodshed. Probably the least well-known show on the least, and perhaps the one with the dreariest sounding premise, I wouldn’t be surprised if the show gained a lot of traction with people sat at home. If you give it a go you won’t be able to stop watching. It’s just too good!
If Taboo had a dreary premise, this show’s is downright depressing. Ricky Gervais is Tony, the widower in mourning after the untimely death of his wife at the hands of cancer.
If you want a lighthearted comedy then this might not take your fancy but, in all honesty, this is the singular most heartwarming comedy I have ever watched. Of course, there are many lows, every episode really, and even times when your heart sinks to your stomach as our protagonist contemplates suicide, but that only serves to fuel your joy when good comes about in the story.
There are a plethora of zany, and sometimes slightly too real, characters who all care about Tony and they are all wonderfully complementary to his, at times, slightly tiresome persona. You may have never thought that some of the topics in Afterlife could get you laughing, but I promise you, Ricky Gervais is the king of black comedy. Season 2 also just came out!
- Gangs of London
If you have a weak stomach, and I cannot stress this enough, do not watch Gangs of London. The violence and gore are absolutely gratuitous. Yes, the fight scenes are coordinated better than any I’ve ever seen, and as a fighter I sort of know what I’m looking at, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to watch.
The show starts out with Finn Wallace’s death. That’s no spoiler, it’s all over the trailer. The rest of it details the brutal hunt for Finn’s killers by his son, Sean Wallace, a young man full of pent up rage and with a need to prove himself. As he gets further down the rabbit hole of London’s criminal underworld, there are twists and turns abound which keep you on your toes. If you can watch through the violence, then you will be glued to the screen. Season 1 only just came out so get on the hype train now guys!
I can’t say I’m usually a fan of Dwayne Johnson’s acting but, as Spencer Strasmore, financial manager to the young stars of the NFL, he lights up the screen. There is something authentic about the former wrestler jumping in to play a former NFL veteran.
The show is a little less pedal to the metal than the other dramas I’ve thrown your way. It’s not about shootouts or mob-level crime, but I found it enthralling. I am a big NFL fan (go Broncos!), but there isn’t much actual sporting action depicted. Its more about the trials and tribulations of the big guy, Spencer, and those around him. It touches on major health scandals that have afflicted the sport, the lavish lifestyle that goes along with being a premier athlete, and the struggle it takes to get to the top of the business world. There are definite undertones of Jerry Maguire, but across several seasons of action rather than one film, and if that takes