We are in the golden age of television. Well, the golden age in my mind.
It makes me feel like the movie industry in the 90s. Back then, it was the birth of the time where movie making became more accessible to everyone and not just the richos in Hollywood. That was my favorite modern era of movies.
The same thing is happening right now with TV. With so many different streaming options, the creativity on television is off the charts.
At the same time, so many options makes it hard to find the little gems, like these shows I’m about to tell you about, so without further ado, here’s my list of the “5 TV Shows You Should Be Watching (But Probably Aren’t)”
These are shows that I think broke boundaries or are kind of bridging the way to the future of television.
These are in particular order, because my number 1 doesn’t have a second season yet and I need everyone to watch it so it keeps going.
30 mins, 5 seasons, 50 episode total, complete series
Immediately, first scene, first episode, this show grabbed me with realistic dialogue and a compelling mystery, but what kept me around (obsessively) was the escalation from season to season. Like, there is no way to predict where this show is going and that is true all the way up to the finale. Except, upon rewatch, I always find tiny clues of whats to come that just floor me. Bonus: the characters are very clear, very real, and very frustrating. I love them all.
30 mins, 4 seasons, 40 episodes total, complete series
This show has the BEST character growth of any show I’ve ever watched. I am not exaggerating. I started watching because the messy out of control drinking felt familiar and I’ve always felt at home in baseball stadiums. But I stayed because the characters were real. They made mistakes, they grew and they showed me a future where it was okay for me to change, because Brockmire did it and people still loved him.
30 minutes, 1 season, 8 episodes, incomplete series
This show is worth watching in one sitting. Natasha Lyonne is perfection. The concept is a familiar “Groundhog Day” type thing but even twistier than “Palm Springs” (the movie on Hulu with Andy Samberg). By the time you get to the end of the final episode, you’re not 100% sure what happened, but you know you just witnessed pure brilliance. It’s great for rewatching, too, which is the real benchmark of a “Jacki” show.
60 minutes, 3 seasons, 28 episodes total, complete series
This series moved me to my very core. A thoughtful drama about what happens when 2% of the global population just disappears made me think about life, and the afterlife, in a way that not much has. Everything about is incredible. The writing, the art direction, the cinematography, the storytelling and the soundtrack. What is most beautiful to me about this show (which is based on a Tom Perotta book) is that the series was able to fill in some blanks the book couldn’t. And when I read the book immediately after finishing the show, I found that it answered some unanswered questions leftover from the show. So, they each provided the others leftovers in a way. I dunno it makes sense in my brain.
60 minutes, 1 season, 10 episodes, incomplete series
This series is the sole reason I pay for Starz every month. Set in the fictional town of Chucalisa, Mississippi, this show centers on “The Pynk”. The Pynk is a strip club run by Uncle Clifford, and it is the most real depiction of what a strip club is like I’ve seen on screen. It’s gritty, it has love and heart and a cast of characters that you’ll feel mega-strong emotions for. Including my baby Lil Murda.
The dancing in this show really showcases how much work it is. They reference bruises and pole burn. There are times during the performance where they drop the music out so that you can hear the heavy breathing and pole friction sounds, so that you focus on the hard work and not the boobs and butts.
One more thing about why this show is so important to me: it is 100% directed by women. The reason for that is that creator/showrunner Katori Hall asked this question when interviewing directors:
“What is your definition of the female gaze?”
None of the men directors that she interviewed could do it and I think that says a lot.
So, please go forth and binge and then come back and talk to me about it! I love getting real-time reactions from people I love about things I love and you are no exception.