Shows You Need To Be Watching But Arent

I have been working on the biggest project I’ve ever tried to tackle on this blog.  Up until last night I was writing two new additions to my Power Ranking Literally Anything series: A power ranking of every character who has ever been in Game of Thrones and a power ranking of every episode the show has had.  I was planning on timing it to be released a week after the season finale to the biggest and baddest season the show has had to date.  But then I watched that season finale and I’m just exhausted of Game of Thrones, I just couldn’t bring myself to write for 15 hours about a show after spending the another 21 hours watching the remaining episodes I have to rewatch.  The show took a turn for me yesterday where for at least the time being it’s just no longer fun.  So here we are; instead of me thinking about Game of Thrones I will give you all the shows that you need to be watching while we wait with baited breath for the return of possibly the most popular show of all time.

The below doesn’t really contain spoilers.  But I will be hinting at shit that happened in Game of Thrones season five mostly because I want to–go fuck yourself.  But if you’re an absolute genius and can just figure shit out then maybe don’t read this.  But read it anyway though.

If you are reading this, Game of Thrones just destroyed you.  It’s fine  I know it doesn’t feel like it but there are actually other shows out there.  Shows you can watch to pass the time between now and next year where Martin, Benioff, and Weiss will spend 10 weeks getting you to love something before raping, setting it on fire, and then finally killing it.  But until that happens here are the shows that you really should already be watching–but aren’t.

The Comedies:

The only way to make it through these next 42 weeks will be to laugh to keep from crying over our fallen comrades.

You’re the Worst

You're-the-worst

FX somehow went from the surprisingly shitty network with little to get excited about and even less to talk about.  And in almost no time they became one of the prestige networks along side big names like HBO, Showtime, and BBC.  It caught everyone by surprise which is both a great thing and a terrible thing for FX’s network executives.  They made some real missteps that’s for sure, people at FX I’m sure don’t like to acknowledge the fact that they gave Charlie Sheen 100 episodes of a show after one god awful, horrendous season, but they have made more right moves than wrong since they took off. All of a sudden FX was able to bid for all the shows they wanted which meant that it had a lot of program slots to fill up meaning it took a lot of chances on shows no one else would have.  Because of that we have shows like Louie and The Americans–and of course You’re the Worst the romantic sitcom lovingly billed as the story of two assholes falling for each other.

What’s Good About It:

Comedy lives and dies with the writing.  Even the funniest person in the world can be made as funny as Rush Limbaugh given the right (or wrong) writing, just ask my man Kevin Hart’s entire film career.  Stephen Falk does an incredible job with  the writing its always difficult to write witty banter that comes off as believable and Falk finds a happy medium between Suits (which as much as I love let’s be honest is way over the top) and Furious 7 (come at me).  But the real high point of You’re the Worst is the chemistry between Aya Cash and Chris Greene, in just ten episodes they made a strong case for TV’s best couple.

Will It Fill Your Void?:

It’s a show about sexual politics and unabashed vulgarity.  Yeah it’ll fill your void, plus if Aya Cash’s charming I-don’t-give-a-fuck performance than you may have a problem.

Man Seeking Woman

Man Seeking Woman

If you had told me five years ago that Jay Baruchel would be starring in TV’s best comedy before the end of the decade I probably would have laughed.  Then said something like, “This Jay Baruchel?  You sure? This guy?!  Jay Baruchel?  Not Jay Duplass?”  And then I would have laughed at you.  I would now owe you flowers or something.  Jay Baruchel, yes that one, is officially the star of TV’s best comedy.  Baruchel plays Josh Greenberg as he tries to find love in a world of trolls, magic, overbearing sisters, and Hitler and does it better than I ever would have expected from the man who to date has given one good performance–yes that Jay Baruchel.

What’s Good About It:

Besides the already covered “best comedy” thing Man Seeking Woman is the an amazing examination of the relationship between men and women.  It also manages to juggle the ridiculous and poignant with impressive expertise.

Will It Fill Your Void?: 

Just as there is no hope for your favorite character in Game of Thrones, there is no hope for men and women.  It’s not nearly as depressing as a Baratheon family barbecue perhaps but it’s certainly hits closer to home.

Big Time in Hollywood, FL

Big Time in Hollywood FL

Two brothers with a shitty handheld camera and way too much time on their hands try to make it big in Hollywood.  Unfortunately for them it is not only their state of choice that is off.  Big Time is a show where literally everything goes wrong and then after that it goes wrong again.  It’s hard to say what’s truly great about Big Time in Hollywood, FL without ruining the surprise so I won’t try I’ll just leave you with this quote: “Did I ever tell you he molested me?” “WHAT?! Keep your mouth shut you Diddler!” “I DID NOT DIDDLE HIM!” That’s basically the show in a nutshell.

What’s Good About It:

Dark comedy at its finest as Cuba Goodin Jr. delivers one of the best performances of his career, which is not really saying much I guess but still.  Few things are simultaneously as funny and so successfully irreverent as Big Time is.  Honestly this show is two actors and one writer away from being a shitty version of The Wire instead it is a triumph.

Will It Fill Your Void?

It might be one of the bloodiest shows on TV right now.  And there’s a lot of really shit parent child relationships.  It’s basically Game of Thrones if it were given a thirty minute structure.

Scrotal Recall

Scrotal Recall

You can catch it on Netflix if you live in America, but the truth is its actually a Channel 4 show which is why its actually good and the opening credits aren’t 100 minutes long.  Scrotal Recall is the story of a hopeless romantic who and his journey to find love.  The story is told through flashbacks as Dylan, our hopeless romantic, has to go back to all the women he’s slept with to tell them he has Chlamydia.  The show takes a typical will-they-won’t-they story and makes it fresh through a new story telling lens.  As with all romantic comedies where the guy falls for the girl he can’t ever have the stake of the story is based mostly in the chemistry of its main cast.  And maybe its an attestation to how great British TV is but the cast is spectacular as tends to be the trend across the pond.

What’s Good About It:

It’s a romantic comedy not starring Katherine Heigl.  It has character and it;s rough and its short.  For those in America its perfect for binge watching only 3 hours its two movies at the end of the day.

Will It Fill Your Void?:

It’s certainly British enough that’s for sure.

The Honorably Mentioned: Community

Sure we are deep into the run of this show.  A show that at its peak was one of the most watched shows on TV.  Even if Nielsen and his band of close minded statisticians didn’t actually know that.  But for some reason when Yahoo, a company that rarely ever does anything good, did one of the best things a company has done for the internet community they were repaid with no one watching the show they had saved from cancellation.  Even in the face of what I think is in the top three of seasons the show has ever produced the audience viewership will drop off hard.  It’s because you all suck, but that’s okay what are you gonna do.

The Dramas:

Spend an hour forgetting all the babies Game of Thrones aborted with a sauce covered steak knife right in front of you.

Broadchurch

Broadchurch

Everyone’s got a show that they tell all their friend about when that friend makes the mistake of asking for a show suggestion.  Broadchurch is that show for me.  Admittedly series two was not as good as series three but I am pretty sure that barring a Wire season or two Broadchurch series one is one of the best seasons a show has ever had.  The show is amazingly fun to watch despite being a horrifying subject matter.  Broadchurch at the end of the day is just a typical detectives show about the death of a child in a small town.  The power of Broadchurch comes from its ability to do the small things impeccably.  Broadchurch is nearly flawless television creation from start to finish and every little inch handled with extreme care which is why it seems so much more impressive television story telling than its American counterparts like CSI or Law & Order.

What’s Good About It:

There has possibly never been a better paced or directed show to ever be on television certainly not now.  David Tennant is actually incredible in this version and the supporting cast is impeccable.  It really should go without saying–mostly because they never should have made the piece of shit–but this is clearly referring to the UK version of Broadchurch not the embarrassment that the Americans rolled out this past year.

Will It Fill The Void?:

It may not have the budget of Game of Thrones which is one of the only shows that manages to feel like a film on the little screen every week but Broadchurch may be the closest after that.  It accomplishes with polished directing and attention to detail what Game of Thrones accomplishes with lofty shots of two armies meeting ina a snowy tundra the likes used to be reserved to Peter Jackson films.

Penny Dreadful

Penny-Dreadful

Penny Dreadful is dark and weird and unceasingly fun.  The best description I ever heard of the show was that it was a more violent, more naked, far darker version of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  The show is the story of a group of people living in 19th century Britain who clearly fucked with the devil one too many times because he has spent what seems like an inordinate amount of time trying to get their goat.  The cast puts together a spectacular performance I’m not sure how Eva Green puts in such a demanding performance like this week after week it’s certainly a good thing this show is on Showtime and not CBS–for more reasons than one.

What’s Good About It:

The show has a lot going for it; it’s bloody, sexy, scary, and action-packed.  And just like the Entourage movies it has a plethora of cameos from your favorite and most famous fable characters from the English canon including Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and of course the Dark Prince everyone’s favorite evil son of a bitch.

Will It Fill The Void?:

Yes, its got all the intrigue and mystery of Game of Thrones.  It’s really only missing the political complexity and constant danger of your favorite character being murdered after they spent three episodes getting you really invested in them.  Admittedly that is most of Game of Thrones but it’ll do that’s for sure.

Fortitude

Fortitude

A murder mystery set in a small town where everyone knows everyone and no one has ever even heard of murder much less experienced it.  The murder comes at a time of great importance for the town and the solving of the crime rests hand in hand with someone important’s future.

Sounds familiar I know.  Why bother watching something so tired and cliched?  Because Fortitude may seem like your standard small-town procedural but it is certainly not that.  For one it is sent in basically the arctic where you are more likely to get killed by a polar bear than ever see someone’s skin outdoors.  And one other small point: it is literally illegal to die in Fortitude which doesn’t really come into play much admittedly seeing as the dead guy had no choice in his untimely gruesome departure from this world.  But isn’t that such an awesome high concept pitch?  Fortitude, a show about a murder in a town where you aren’t allowed to die.

What’s Good About It:

The mystery is well structured, it is both many layered and complex while being easy enough to follow.  The characters are realistic and relatable and while the show may seem to dwell to much on the details of their lives trapped way up north in the tundra it is the most successful part of the narrative.

Will It Fill The Void?:

There are three types of people who watch Game of Thrones.  The people who are there for dragons, murder, and nudity.  Those that are taken with the incredible production value of the fantasy monster hit.  And those that come back week after week for the complex character development which Game of Thrones is second to none at. Did you all remember that Jamie is the main villain for most of the first season and now it looks like he is poised to be our main hero?  While Fortitude is not nearly as successful in that department in comes close.

Happy Valley

Happy-Valley

Another not-so-original Netflix “orginal” that way outshines any of the shows they actually produce.  Happy Valley is a marvelously made revenge story that is wrapped in cop drama.  Driven by Sarah Lancashire stellar performance the show manages not to devolve into the sensationalism and pitiful non-story experience that most rape revenge stories tend to sink to.  I wasn’t intending to include this on the list because I thought Happy Valley was a mini-series but as it is apparently returning later this year for a second series it’s about time you started watching it.

What’s Good About It:

The show is carried by its a fantastic performance by its big cast and stellar writing. Happy Valley knows what it is and in an era where the most watched show on TV is a sporadic laugh track multi-camera comedy that is a rare thing in a TV show.

Will It Fill The Void?:

It’s a good show with nothing in common with Game of Thrones that should be enjoyable after this season honestly.

Ripper Street

Ripper Street

Are you seeing a trend here?  You should be.  British TV is just better in the year 2015 by a mile.  And while Ripper Street is not the best show on this list by any means it is one of the most fun on TV right now.  It’s so very English while also being The Gangs of New York; very polite, full of whores, fisticuffs, and dynamic dialogue.  The structure of the show is every week the boys down at the East End precinct have to find one other deranged murderer who is never Jack The Ripper except when it is.

What’s Good About It:

My favorite thing about Ripper Street is on occasion it becomes the best History Channel show not on History.  It pretty brilliantly handles the intricacies of the English history. The show is fantastically brutal and unapologeticly lewd, everything I want from my Scotland Yard TV shows.

Will It Fill Your Void?:

It’s basically the same cast.  You might even catch the return of some of your favorite actors.

Honorably Mentioned-The Americans

I felt it was my responsibility as kind of an American to throw an American show in here.  It is performing badly in the ratings but just like Community that’s because the ratings system is outdated and ineffective at measure monetary value; everyone I know watches this show because it’s fantastic but if you don’t–start.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: