9 TV Shows You NEED To Watch (But Probably Haven’t)
Every now and then I remember that I’m not The Only Person In The World, and that not everyone has watched the TV shows I crazy love. But everyone SHOULD! I mean, I’m fully aware that there are some seriously huge holes in my TV education (never watched The Wire, The X Files, The West Wing, Shameless, Arrested Development, etc, etc). Still, I’ve watched and loved some absolutely BRILLIANT shows in my time: shows that I figure pretty much everyone should also watch.
I’m not talking about standards like Friends or Sherlock – not the shows that pretty much everyone has watched anyway. I’m talking about shows that have probably gone completely over your radar, or shows that you’d never think to watch. It’s so easy to miss something SO GOOD, y’know? Especially in the UK, where some big US shows seem to sink without a trace.
So here it is – a list of my must-see TV shows – TV shows that you may well not have seen, but that you really should. I am sorry though that they’re not all available for free, but they’re worth it.
This is a hard show to write about. It’s written by and stars Julia Davis, my Comedy Heroine #1, and is the most uncomfortable black comedy you could ever wish to see. It’s almost impossible to watch at points. And, as you may have guessed, it is HELLA HARD to write about. Basically the show follows Jill, a truly horrific human being, as she tries to ditch her husband and steal Angus Deayton from his disabled wife. Prepare for super-squicky moments, super-awkward moments, and feeling just plain SUPER UNCLEAN as the series unfolds. But, but. It is 100% hilarious. In my mind, everyone should watch it, and not only so that then everyone understands what I mean when I (frequently) say “I hate it Cath”.
FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS
If you haven’t watched this then A) WHAT THE HELL B) hot-foot it to Amazon right the heck now and buy the DVDs. Because this show is built around the pinnacles of all parody songs. It follows Jermaine and Brett, two Kiwis attempting to Make It Big In New York with their two-man band. It ended after just two seasons, and that’s probably a good thing, because those seasons were Per-fec-tion. Absolute hilarity. Absolute joy. And songs that will never ever ever ever ever everrrrrr leave your head.
Sticking with a theme, here’s another show featuring many musical segments and parody songs. I’ve written about this show and my epic love for it before, and it is starting to really catch on, but still. It needs more attention. More more more. Rebecca Bunch and her self-centred ways need far more attention. The whole lot is on Netflix, and a third season is upcoming.
WHERE CAN I WATCH?: Netflix!
Look, if you’ve never watched this then all I can do is silently point you in its direction and mouth “HOT. MEN.”. OK, that’s not the only good thing about it (but they do help). I never thought I’d love this type of show just so, SO much. It follows Dean (not Dean from Gilmore Girls) and Sam (actual Dean from Gilmore Girls) as they hunt monsters, save people, and carry on the family business. There are vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demons, angels, the Devil, God, and clowns, and yet it somehow never flags. Never gets old. It’s just brilliant. And yeah…Hot Men.
THE GOOD WIFE
I only introduced myself to this show at the start of 2016, thanks to Netflix. Now that I’ve finished it, I fully understand why some of my friends were so jealous that I got to watch it from the start. The show follows Alicia Florrick as she returns to work in the wake of her husband’s public humiliation and incarceration. It’s all about lawyers, so there’s a lot of legalese, BUT: it’s never boring, it’s just plain amazing. There are some episodes that I swear could be right up there in Best TV Episodes Ever. And I never get tired of good old Colin Sweeney.
WHERE CAN I WATCH?: Netflix!
LES REVENANTS (THE RETURNED)
This began back when I had just become a mum, and was legit THE scariest thing I had ever seen on TV. My mum and I got addicted to it, subtitles and all (it’s 100% in French). Long story short: the dead start returning to a mountain town in France. Nobody knows why, or how, but here they are – exactly as they were before they died, but Returned. Each episode is a masterclass in tension and mystery and what-the-gubbins-is-going-on-here. There were only two seasons in the end, but the finale is perfection. Oh, and the soundtrack by Mogwai is likewise. Netflix holds the US version of the show, but it’s nowhere near as good. Nowhere. Near.
Critically, this show did really well last year. In reality, I only know one other person who’s watched it. Which is a CRIME. This is one of the best short series I have ever, ever seen, and even my husband sat and happily binge-watched it with me. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is both the writer and the main star, and she is fantastic. The show follows a young woman (Fleabag) whose best friend has recently died. It’s a dark, dark comedy about a woman who masturbates to Barack Obama’s speeches and thinks a man loves her because she let him do anal. It’s BRILLIANT. Oh, and it also features Olivia Colman as a completely evil stepmother. Totally evil. I’ve never, ever hated the woman before. Oh OH, and it also has a conversation between Hugh Dennis and Fleabag which is the best thing you’ll ever, EVER see.
WHERE CAN I WATCH?: Via the iPlayer
Ever wondered about the mental health and issues of famous women from history? Of course you haven’t. But this show will make you 100% wonder why the hell not. Rebecca Front plays the therapist who has to deal with all sorts of horrendous clients, from a repressed and disgusted Beatrix Potter to an incredibly irritating Audrey Hepburn. It will make you LAUGH. And LAUGH. I cried the first time I saw Mark Gatiss as Joan Crawford, and almost suffocated at Michelle Gomez’s incoherent Mary Queen Of Scots. And y’know what? It’ll teach you something too – I happily spent hours after some episodes reading up on some of the women.
Another show that was critically revered (apart from the second season) but which doesn’t seem to have been viewed by anyone I know. It gets quite dark, and quite heavy, but (in my opinion) both seasons are great. Each follows an entirely different story – season one is set in the bayou and follows Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as they hunt a serial killer, and season two is set in a fictional version of LA and follows Vince Vaughan, Colin Farrell, and Rachel McAdams on a storyline about corruption. Look, I won’t lie, both seasons are pretty complex and it does not help to be a bit tipsy when you watch, but still: both are great in their own ways, and should be enjoyed by all.