Now that summer is here, most of your regular shows have probably gone on hiatus. Maybe you’ve hit the end of your latest show on Netflix and you’re looking for something else to watch, or you just can’t decide because there are way too many options out there, on a million different platforms. I watch a ridiculous amount of TV, so I’m here to help you whittle down the options. Here’s just five shows to try out and get you through your latest hiatus.
(drama/scifi/fantasy) – This show was huge a few years back, and for good reason. Though it’s hard to imagine now, it was actually groundbreaking at the time because of it’s style—incredibly serialized, with a massive ensemble cast of “main” characters (any one of which could die in any episode), and a bounty of “slow-burn” mysteries. It actually changed the TV landscape and how fans interact with television shows. It had its fair share of struggles along the way—negative reactions to a large portion of season 3, cuts to season 4 due to the writer’s strike, and a controversial series finale—which had many viewers turning away. If you’ve never given it a try or if you were one of those viewers who left, now’s the time to give it a(nother) chance!
This show starts as a bunch of strangers surviving a plane crash on a deserted island, but there’s something extremely bizarre about the island and about how they all came to be there. Every episode is full of mystery and mythology, with a slew of characters at the show’s core who remain the most important part of the show from season to season. It’s a dramatic ride, full of twists and turns, and it’s an emotional roller coaster you can’t help but binge. Maybe your questions will be answered, maybe they won’t, but it’s more than worth watching to find out. (Except for the episode about Jack’s tattoos, which even the writers admit was stupid.)
Though relatively short-lived with just two seasons of eight and ten episodes respectively, this show is laugh-out-loud funny from beginning to end. It starts with a knight on a quest in a medieval world, and the quest naturally goes horribly awry. It’s up to him to find his lady love (who may not be who he thought she was) while tangling with an evil bumbling king (who might not actually be evil at all), a sassy sidekick or three, Vinnie Jones, and more. Each episode is full of sarcasm, wit, meta-jokes, and of course, musical numbers—even if you’re not generally a fan of musicals, you’ll probably end up enjoying some of the songs anyways (there’s even a song about the show itself getting surprise-renewed in the season 2 premiere).
Regular guy Chuck Bartowski is an IT guy at a electronics store, his life going nowhere, until one day when he opens an email and accidentally downloads a pile of government secrets into his head. From there, his life is turned upside down and inside out as he comes into the care of two super-spies and he has to navigate big secrets, international espionage, family drama, quirky characters, and more, all while trying to keep his crappy nine-to-five at the electronics store.
This show is full of heart and humor, but it also takes the time to be dramatic or sad. It’s got plenty of silly action as well as classy spy action, and not only is it basically every genre balled into one, but the stories and characters evolve from season to season without the show losing its charm. It’s pure fun with an occasional slice of tears, and it’s five wonderful seasons are totally bingeable.
4. Better Off Ted
Better Off Ted focuses on the R&D team at a major corporation (which may or may not be evil), from the pair of scientists down in the lab to the main exec who keeps the team running—it’s kinda like The Office, but way less awkward and way more quirky. The corporation has them in charge of such ridiculous tasks as weaponizing pumpkins, making toxic Mac & Cheese non-toxic, meatless beef that accidentally tastes like depression, and more.
Though it might take an episode or two to get into the style, this show is clever and funny and just gets better upon rewatching. The episode “Racial Sensitivity” in season 1 is pure gold, and Portia De Rossi’s boss character, Veronica, is dry, gorgeous, and fabulous. If you’re a fan of the kind of quirk and hijinks from shows like Arrested Development or Parks & Recreation, you’ll enjoy this show too.
5. Orphan Black
The pilot starts out with a young woman, more or less at rock bottom, seeing a person who looks exactly like her jump to her death in front of a train. From this dark beginning, the woman in question—Sarah Manning—infiltrates the life of the train victim, and unravels a mystery that not only changes her entire life, but the lives of everyone around her.
The mysteries get bigger and then deeper; this show is just about impossible to stop for a second once you’ve started. HIGHLY bingeable! I don’t want to say too much, but I will mention that it was nominated for (and won!!) multiple awards, including an Emmy for the lead (Canadian!!) actress, Tatiana Maslany, and it’s very well deserved.
That should get you started, hey? Let me know if you end up giving these shows a try and what you think about them!
FANGIRL FRIDAY is a feature by special guest @kimcreatorCA.
Kim spends her time writing things, designing things, and watching a ton of television. She calls Alberta, Canada home where she can be found drinking tea, crying over fictional characters, and fighting her way through art school.