Outstanding and bingeable series that deserve your attention.
In today's world of maximum television, there are more TV shows than ever. You still have shows that capture the cultural attention, like Squid Game and Euphoria, but you also have plenty of great shows that slide under the radar and don't get the attention they deserve.
A show can be overlooked for a variety of reasons, whether it's because it plays on a relatively obscure channel, it doesn't have the star-power of a lot of modern TV, or simply happens to get lost amongst the hundreds of shows that debut every year.
The culture around pro wrestling is arguably more interesting than the actual shows themselves. Michael Waldron's Heels really captures the unique essence of pro wrestling and merges it with incredibly captivating family drama.
The show stars Stephen Amell as Jack Spade, a hard-working wrestler in the small town of Duffy, Georgia, who struggles to balance running the Duffy Wrestling League with his family commitments. The core of the show is Jack's relationship with his brother Ace, played by Alexander Ludwig, who feels like his older brother doesn't respect him as a person or as a wrestler. Jack inherited the business from his deceased father, and along with it, all the stress of balancing the in-ring drama with the real-world. Over the course of Heels' first season, you will fall in love with the world of the DWL, where telling the difference between a babyface and a heel isn't as simple as it looks. Catch up before season 2 premieres on STARZ later this year.
I know, a show about Alfred Pennyworth before he became Batman's butler doesn't sound all that appealing. But, Pennyworth takes that concept and blows it up to be one of the best spy shows on television. Set in an alternate 1960s London, Pennyworth takes place in a world not quite our own. Sure, there is technology and iconography that seems familiar to the time period, but there's also a civil war between political factions, and public, televised executions. It merges the real world with the heightened reality of comic books.
The show follows Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon) after he leaves the military, starts his own private security company, and starts working for the likes of Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) and Martha Kane (Emma Paetz). What makes Pennyworth great is that you get so invested in the world of the show, that you almost forget it's a Batman prequel. Catch up on the first two seasons on HBO Max before the third premieres on the streamer later this year.
HBO's Somebody Somewhere is a truly beautiful show. It captures the complexity of small town life through the eyes of those who don't necessarily fit into the traditions of middle America. The show finds the uniqueness within the ordinary.
The show stars comedian Bridget Everett as Sam, a loud, boisterous woman living in the small town of Manhattan, Kansas, and struggling to deal with the death of her sister. Sam had dreams bigger than her hometown. She gave them up to take care of her sister when she fell ill, and now that she's gone, Sam feels out of place. Her family is broken and grieving, and her only real friend is Joel (Jeff Hiller). That is until Joel introduces her to "choir practice", a weekly meeting where the citizens of Manhattan meet to find community through performance. Season 2 is on the way, but due to his recent unexpected passing, season 1 is the final performance of acclaimed character actor Mike Hagerty who played Sam's father Ed.
Our Flag Means Death captured the hearts of viewers when it debuted on HBO Max this year. The pirate comedy combined the wacky but poignant genius that producer/director/star Taika Waititi has become known for. But the show really clicks into place when it becomes something more than just a funny show about life on the seven seas. It becomes a show about the constricting nature of heteronormative masculinity, and the healing power of love between two men, who just so happen to be pirates.
Our Flag Means Death follows Captain Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) aka The Gentleman Pirate, who left his life of comfort behind to find excitement sailing the seas as a famed pirate. When he and his crew meet the ruthless Blackbeard (Waititi), the two captains teach each other about their different ways of life, and grow closer to one another. With the news that season 2 is on the way, now is the perfect time to catch up on one of the best shows on TV right now.
Somehow, in 2021 we got two shows that merged the sitcom format with a serialized drama, and while WandaVision became a cultural phenomenon, Kevin Can F*** Himself is the far better show. Inspired by the disrespectful way that the CBS sitcom Kevin Can Wait just killed off its lead female character in order to boost ratings, Kevin Can F*** Himself twists the format on its head by focusing on a sitcom wife who decides to take back the focus of her life by killing her husband.
The show stars Emmy winner Annie Murphy as Allison, whose husband Kevin (Eric Petersen) goes on regular wacky adventures like your typical sitcom protagonist. Whenever he is on screen, the show is shot like a multi-cam sitcom. Once he leaves, the format shifts to a single-cam drama focusing on the internal struggles of Allison as she is pushed to her breaking point. With the second and final season on the way to AMC, now is the time to catch up on one of the most under-appreciated shows of the pandemic era.
Julia Child is a television icon. Her cooking show The French Chef created a whole new genre of TV and inspired a generation of home cooks to feel empowered to make five-star dishes themselves. HBO Max's Julia captures the essence of her life, while also providing a deeper look at the person behind the show than ever before.
In Julia, the titular character is played by Sarah Lancashire, who may not be well known in the States, but has been starring on the incredible crime drama Happy Valley since 2014. Lancashire captures the larger-than-life charisma of Julia while also making her feel like a real person. Her performance is truly incredible. The show around her lives up to the performance as well, focusing on her journey to the small screen, which required a lot of determination and willpower. With season 2 set to hit HBO Max in the near future, catching up on Julia is the perfect way to spice up your life.
Showtime is one of those channels that doesn't get talked about enough, but consistently delivers high-quality television. While Billions and Yellowjackets have been getting the attention lately, one of the best shows on the network has been City On A Hill, a crime drama set in 1990s Boston.
The show stars rising star Aldis Hodge as ADA Decourcy Ward, who teams up with corrupt FBI agent Jackie Rohr (Kevin Bacon) to take on a case that would expose and change the criminal justice system in Boston. The two actors' partnership becomes the reason to watch the show as they both give stellar performances. After the first season, the show continued to explore the criminal justice system in a way that, even though it is set in the 1990s, is still incredibly relevant to today's world. Season 3 of City On A Hill premieres on Showtime on July 31.
The importance of history is that if we don't remember what happened, it's like it never happened. There are many of woefully misinformed people who believe that the history of the LGBTQIA+ community doesn't go any further back than the 1900s, but that's just not true. One of the biggest trailblazers of the community was Anne Lister, who, in the 1830s, made the decision that she would be the first woman to marry another woman. The HBO show Gentleman Jack showcases her incredible life.
The show was based on Lister's own diaries, and was created by Sally Wainwright, best known for other brilliant British shows like Last Tango In Halifax and Happy Valley. It stars Suranne Jones as Lister as she fights against the confining social restrictions of 1800s England. Season 2 just wrapped on HBO, so it's all ready for you to binge and learn about a long forgotten hero.
What makes P-Valley such a great show is how it fully embraces itself, without an ounce of shame. It takes place in the world of stripping, which is often looked down upon and discussed like everyone involved is degrading themselves. But P-Valley doesn't do that. It finds the humanity in these characters, and the nuance of the lifestyle. There truly isn't a show quite like it on TV right now.
The series focuses on the employees of The Pynk strip club in the Mississippi Delta. Some, like Mercedes (Brandee Evans), have dreams of leaving for something more. Meanwhile the non-binary owner of the club, Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan) is fighting to save the club amidst financial struggles. The show is full of characters that you can't help but fall in love with. Season 2 of P-Valley is airing now on STARZ, and you won't regret catching up.
If you want an exquisitely well-made show full of gorgeous costumes, Broadway actors, and stakes so low Christine Baranski barely gets off a couch, then HBO's The Gilded Age is the perfect show for you. Created by Downton Abbey mastermind Julian Fellowes, The Gilded Age takes the formula that made Downton a hit and applies it to the late 1800s in New York City. It's a time when class is everything and there was no better way to show off your class than by throwing a party. The rich New York elite act as if they are somehow American royalty, and yet you can't help but like them somehow.
The primary protagonist is Marian (Louisa Jacobson), a small town girl who goes to live with her aunts Agnes (Baranski) and Ada (Cynthia Nixon) in NYC. At the same time, her aunts gets new neighbors in Bertha Russell (Carrie Coon) and her husband George (Morgan Spector) who are going to establish their place in New York society no matter what it takes. With season 2 on the way, The Gilded Age is the perfect binge watch if you want to get swept up in low-stakes historical drama.
Next: HBO's 10 Most Underrated Shows (& What Makes Them A Must-Watch)
Chance Morgan made a decision at a young age to forego having friends and a social life in order to prepare for a career writing about movies and TV. He stuck to that decision whether he wanted to or not. Now, after graduating from the prestigious University of Alabama, Chance spends most of his time putting that training to use. When he is not watching and/or writing about movies and TV, you can probably catch Chance listening to countless podcasts about movies and TV.
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The Best TV Shows You're (Probably) Not Watching Right Now But Should – Collider
Outstanding and bingeable series that deserve your attention.