I’m doing God’s work and recommending you some amazing TV shows that have flown under the radar for too long… So what are you waiting for?
Inside No. 9
If you like: Black Mirror, Tales of the Unexpected
Inside Number 9 is British dark comedy anthology series created by two of the guys behind the cult hit sitcom The League of Gentlemen. Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith write and star in every self-contained episode of this weird and hilarious BBC show, and though it might not be for everyone I absolutely love it. The weakest episodes of the bunch aren’t even actively bad or forgettable, they just don’t sparkle as brightly as the others. And the best episodes… they’re haunting. The anthology format means the writers can get creative with filming styles and genres and try unique ways of storytelling. This show is a real gem and somehow slips through the cracks of serious success, in part because the network doesn’t do enough work in marketing it. Season four is coming in 2018 so get caught up and let us know what your favourite episode has been so far. We love The 12 Days of Christine.
If you like: Stranger Things
The OA seriously suffered from launching on Netflix at around the same time as Stranger Things and also being a mystery show with supernatural elements. Without any real headline names attached and no word of mouth power, the show struggled to make much headway but it’s a hauntingly beautiful series with a talented cast of up and coming actors led by indie actress Brit Marling. Created by Marling and longtime collaborator Zal Batmanglij, The OA tells the story of a young woman who mysterious reappears after going missing for seven years, no longer blind and with some confusing stories about where she’s been. I don’t want to give too much away about what happens but it’s an emotional ride and some of the philosophical questions it’s prompted haven’t left me a whole year later. A second season has had the greenlight so the story isn’t over yet.
If you like: Fargo, X Men
Legion aired earlier this year on FX and currently stands as the most critically acclaimed Marvel TV show so far, but viewer figures hovered below 1m for pretty much the whole run. The showrunner is Fargo’s Noah Hawley, which speaks volumes for the intelligent scripts and stunning visuals that are a trademark of the show. By focusing on a lesser known Marvel antihero, Hawley had the space to create something with enough comic book links to sustain fans but enough of its own legs to appeal to much wider audiences. Legion is a retro trip into the weird world of a mutant with a severe mental illness, and Dan Stevens has been perfectly cast as the troubled David Haller. Acting alongside Aubrey Plaza in an absolute career defining role for the young actress, Stevens is equal parts melancholic, desperate, bouncy and eternally hopeful. This is a very stylish TV show that transcends its genre and deserves far more viewers.
If you like: Girls
Another Netflix original, Love is a romantic comedy TV show created by Judd Apatow that takes a ‘down to earth look at dating’. None of this really sums up the real essence of the show though which is just two people in their late twenties fucking things up and the people around them trying to wade through their shit to maintain their own lives. Gus and Mickey are both Serious Cool Kids TM with very LA jobs, Mickey is a radio producer and Gus tutors child actors, and Los Angeles is really the third main character of the show. I like the way the show takes a non-judgemental look at some of the really stupid stuff that they do when trying to find happiness, and I love Gus’s regular hangouts with his group of friends where they bring instruments and write theme songs for movies that don’t already have them. Highlights include Carlito’s Way (“He left the door ajar-lito’s way”) and While You Were Sleeping.
If you like: Hannibal
I could recommend pretty much anything created by Bryan Fuller, because everything he touches is critically acclaimed but criminally under watched. For the purposes of this list thought I’ve chosen American Gods because it hasn’t been cancelled (yet) and is also based on an equally amazing book by cult dark fantasy author Neil Gaiman. The show follows Shadow Moon, a newly released convict thrown into a world of Old Gods like the Norse Odin and Ghanaian Anansi struggling to find their place in today’s society, with New Gods like Media and Technology Boy dominating the landscape.