I wanted to get this blog going, but couldn’t decide what to review first. Favorite movies? Something new, that I’ve seen? I decided to go with my top list of current shows that I love, why and why you should give them a solid try.
To preface this, I am a cord cutter. I had Time Warner. Then I went to DirectTV, hoping to save money. After having to contact them every month, to insist they correct a bill where they started to try to charge me more, I cancelled that too. I bought a roku, and I now enjoy streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO. HBO is really expensive, but their programming is too good to pass up.
Anyway, with all of that out of the way, the following are the best shows that I am currently all over, and why I love them.
- Game of Thrones – Of course. I mean, it’s so well done. The many story lines, the casting, the sets, the costumes. It’s raw and powerful. The violence towards women has received criticism. I have criticism for those critics. Violence has always happened towards women. We must have it in film and tv, if we are to truly represent a woman’s reality. They would be violently raped and beaten. It’s reality of a timeline, like the one in this story. Not showing that brutality, would be cowardly and dishonest. I’ve never taken HBO for being a coward, and I don’t now. They did the brave thing, and showed the reality. It might be hard for you to watch. I promise, it’s harder for women who experience it, and we need that portrayed, so that we can all acknowledge it.
- Peaky Blinders – I would have made this #1, but had to give it up for Game of Thrones, because of the grand scale of what they are doing. It is pretty massive.Peaky Blinders stars the insanely talented Cillian Murphy. If you aren’t familiar with his work, I highly recommend “Breakfast on Pluto“. Another incredible talent on the show is Helen McCrory. I am more and more convinced every day, that this woman is well overdue for some awards.
The show is set in Birmingham, in the outskirts of England, during the American prohibition era. It follows the lives and tales of a family running the gypsy mob. I will say, that you need to get through the first episode, and into the second, before you will likely get hooked. There is a bit of laying out the scene, the players, etc that takes place in that first episode.
Disclaimer: This has a lot of violence, which may make some uncomfortable. I think it is still worth the watch, because that kind of violence was the reality at that time, and in that world. We are so uncomfortable with violence, we want to pretend it doesn’t exist. It does, whether you acknowledge it or not. Film and tv, acting, are representations of our lives. Artistic representations, but representations nonetheless. If they leave out the violence, they won’t represent our realities very well, will they?
This show is so addicting, you will be binge watching it, and wishing there were more episodes on right now. You will also want to go have a drink in a pub.
- Orphan Black – Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany. My god the talent. But it doesn’t stop there. The filming crew works to splice her into each scene, meaning she does each scene multiplied by the amount of clones are in that scene. I have often caught myself forgetting that all these characters are here. Well, most of them. There is an incredible supporting cast too.But it’s not just the effectiveness of how this show has executed this concept, which sold me. It’s the different angles they bought to the story. We’ve seen many attempts at telling a story on cloning. But this one looks at the science, the religion, the industry (corporate control and greed). This also ensures we don’t lose sight of the most important angle – family.
- The Crown – This is a new Netflix show, and it has caught my eye, for multiple reasons. The lead actress, Claire Foy, is captivating. John Lithgow is transformative as Churchill. Seriously, he better get a nomination, if not an award thrown at him. Maybe not thrown. It can be handed. The sets and costumes are impressive. The story telling reeks of nostalgia, which fits so well. I really feel like I’m getting a glimpse into this untold story of the current Queen. A story of responsibility and obligation, that was placed on her shoulders at a very young age.I am constantly wishing there were more episodes, and that the next season would get here already.
- Good Girls Revolt – There couldn’t be a better time for this show to be on. Showing women standing up to men, in a country that just elected a pussy grabber, as President. I don’t know what possessed Amazon to not order a 2nd season, and I really hope Netflix, Hulu, or some smart network picks up this show.Yes, Anna Camp is flawless. There are a bunch of new actress, who stand out as well. Erin Darke is the biggest stand out. Her role was demanding, and she really brought it home with gusto. I saw a critique that this show is trying to be like Mad Men, but doesn’t really get there. I totally disagree. This is the Mad Men from the womens’ pov. That’s why I also love Genevieve Angelson, who plays the character we probably wish we had been, if we had lived back then. Idealistic and wanting to be woke. Wanting to be part of the change.
Chris Diamantopoulos is also a great part of the cast. He is the Mad Men boy, in epic fashion. “I’m a dapper son of a bitch.”
This show has great character development, and is really going somewhere. It’s an insult to Amazon viewers, to cancel after one season, especially with the cliff hanger we were left with. For a streaming service, producing content is probably an uphill challenge. I would add another challenge. Don’t commit to a series, unless you will commit to at least 2 seasons. Give it a chance to catch on. For this show, I’m not sure what would be stopping you. It got a lot of viewers, and raves from critics.
There must be something else behind the cancellation, but it still stinks.
- Speechless – Yes, we all love Mini Driver. She is a big draw, for people to check out the show. Once you start watching, you’ll be saying “Hey, isn’t that guy on Big Bang Theory.” You’ll end up loving his character on this show. The kid who plays JJ is fantastic. The three kids each shine in their own right, but this is afterall about a mom championing her kid with a disability.This show strives to make us all see what it really means to have a disability. It’s not what you think. It’s not about the disability. It’s about the exclusion from the rest of society. It’s about being treated as different, or special, but not because of you. Because of your disability.
I really like how this show is trying to teach us all how to treat people with different types of disabilities, with equality, compassion, inclusion, and respect. I mean, that’s what we all want, so why treat someone with a disability differently?
Beyond that profound message, the show is hilarious. I literally laugh out loud constantly.
There are too many good shows, to add a why for every one. For now, I will list the “honorable mentions”, for shows that I am also currently hooked on. They are as follows, in the random order that they pop into my head:
One Mississippi (Amazon), Transparent (Amazon), Catastrophe (Amazon), Stranger Things (Netflix), The Good Place (NBC), Westworld (HBO), Goldbergs (Fox), and Sherlock Holmes (BBC).
There are probably others that I am forgetting, but i definitely recommend these great shows, if you aren’t already hooked.