‘The Haunting of Hill House,’ Netflix
Whether you’re into horror films and TV shows is beside the point. What this series has to offer is everything from thrill to suspense — all wrapped up in a well-produced package. So regardless of your feelings, the show is worth checking out.
The story follows a family (namely, a father and his five sons) that fled their lofty mansion, leaving behind the children’s mother. Mysteriously, the mother dies that night. In an unspeakable act of fate, the family is forced to return to the house from which they fled and face the consequences.
‘Nathan For You,’ Hulu
Nathan For You follows the fictional life of a man who is not only riddled with social anxiety, but also full of quirky ideas that can help you save your business. While these ideas might seem a little much, they’re surprisingly helpful.
The story follows the protagonist, Nathan Fielder, as he awkwardly gallavants from dying business to dying business, helping each along the way. If you’re looking for a fun and light pick-me-up, consider Nathan For You a must.
‘The Wire,’ HBO
The Wire is one of those shows that you can binge until you cringe — and by that, of course, we mean watch until you forget that you have otherworldly responsibilities. In all seriousness, though, The Wire is worth a watch.
What The Wire provides is an uninterrupted story of crime in Baltimore. We follow the perspective of both the police and criminals in the first person, sparing not a gritty detail. Largely based on real characters and stories, the show is a must for those obsessed with true crime thrillers.
‘Alias Grace,’ Netflix
Following on the popularity of another of Margot Atwood’s brilliant novels, Alias Grace follows the life of a woman who is thought to have conspired to kill. The murdered man was her former employer.
But rather than your typical killer mystery, the story deepens as it explores Grace’s troubled past, where her life spent in poverty and pain showcases her endurance of blistering oppression. Expect many similar themes to what you might know of Handmaid’s Tale.
After binge-watching every available episode of Alias Grace, you might want to take a breather with some light-hearted humor. And this is where Letterkenny comes in. Letterkenny follows a self-proclaimed gang of hicks as they engage themselves with antics and mayhem in the tiny city of Letterkenny.
Ultimately, we pass by many novel characters, bringing knee-slapping delight as they bequeath themselves to the typical hillbilly conundrums. If you’re looking to cool down after a long day, this might be the series for you.
‘The Sopranos,’ HBO
The Sopranos is easily one of the most popular streaming shows around. Having gained strong notoriety for its gritty portrayal of mobster crime, it quickly godfathered, hog-tied, and ratted its way into our hearts.
And, because of this, you’d be remiss not to stop what you’re doing and watch this series right now. Okay, not really — since the show is streaming you can watch it at your own leisure. But be sure to check it out. You won’t regret it.
‘Peaky Blinders,’ Netflix
If you’re into shows where the accents of the characters are deeply mired in an indecipherable type of Irish, then Peaky Blinders is the show for you. But in all reality, the language is comprehensible — and the plot line compelling.
In the show, we follow the likes of those subjected to the aftermath of WWI. And in this aftermath comes the interesting story of British crime rule. So, like The Sopranos, this show covers a lot of ground in the mobster world. It’s well worth a watch.
If you’ve ever read the book Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, you will know that it is likely one of the funniest books ever written. Nonsensical, whimsical, and hysterical, it takes you through wartime themes with unexpected humor and wit.
Now, Hulu has embarked on a remake, bringing the delightfully funny read to the big screen (or, perhaps, medium-sized screen). Whatever you’re doing, if you’re looking for a break from the world of gritty crime dramas, Catch-22 is there to help you out.
‘Game of Thrones,’ HBO
Game of Thrones is no secret to anyone. Unless you’ve literally lived on another planet (Enceledus, anyone?) for the past decade, you’re undoubtedly familiar. The show has been seen and re-seen by many loyal fans. This is for good reason.
The show combines witty banter, brilliantly composed plotlines, and wildly unexpected twists and turns to keep us watching. It’s no wonder that the show’s final season was one of the most watched events on Earth.
Mindhunter follows the likes of the original “serial killers.” Based in 1977, the show illustrates the atmosphere of FBI agents and their attempt to understand the psychology behind these ruthless and pathologically indifferent murderers.
Directed by David Fincher, the show is shot in a characteristically compelling fashion, bringing Fincher’s distinct style to the table. But more than that, the show focuses on the psychology behind the murderer — not just the grisly acts themselves.
Ramy is another of those shows that drives its plot with a funny and idiosyncratic character. While Ramy is similar to many in this regard, it stands out in one particularly novel way: its protagonist is a Muslim in search of morality.
The novel theme paints the show in a different social color, allowing different audiences to resonate with the themes plot. So while it on one end offers plenty of humor to keep you entertained, it also offers some deeper subplots to get you thinking.
‘The Larry Sanders Show,’ HBO
The Larry Sanders Show, as many of you likely know, is the show that started it all. Many of today’s comedians — including everyone from Tina Fey to Judd Apatow — owe a large part of their fame and success to him.
What The Larry Sanders Show represents is an early version of the neurotic comedy sitcom. The show follows the likes of Larry Sanders, a crazed TV host that clearly has many psychological problems. The show is definitely worth watching.
‘Mad Men,’ Netflix
Ever wondered how Jon Hamm got so famous? Well, you likely already knew the answer to this: Mad Men. The show follows, well, a bunch of mad men. Based in ‘60s New York, the compelling drama shows the calloused rapacity of Wall Street capitalism.
As competition grows, the landscape that Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) and Peggy Olson (played by Elisabeth Moss) have to navigate becomes increasingly tumultuous. The result is a masterpiece in cinema. Definitely catch up on this series.
‘The Venture Bros.,’ Hulu
Now for a slightly different series to enter our list. Here, we have The Venture Bros., a show that defies typically genres. In part comedic (its largest part, actually), the show takes bizarre and fanciful themes and turns them into hysterical comedy.
The show follows the likes of an unexpected crew — Dr. Rusty Venture, his two sons Hank and Dean, and their superhero bodyguard Brock Samson. As they get themselves into troubled mysteries, we laugh along. This show is definitely not to be missed.
‘The Leftovers,’ HBO
The Leftovers is a series on HBO based on the Tom Perrota novel of the same name. The show is dark, unexpected, and sombre — it offers something for a different mood than what you’d get with these other upbeat shows.
The drama is considered to have some of the best performances on HBO. If you’re looking for something to really sink your thematic teeth into, then, The Leftovers might be the series for you. You might even want to ensure you have some leftovers to enjoy while watching.
‘Breaking Bad,’ Netflix
Breaking Bad is easily one of the best shows on Netflix. Having won numerous accolades for its groundbreaking and edge-of-your-seat inducing style, the show draws you in and keeps you there. It’s difficult not to keep watching.
The show centers on Walter White (played by Brian Cranston), a high school chemistry teacher turned meth lab mogul. After following the ebbs and flows of his wanderings through the drug industry, we are hit with plot twists and turns that keep us engaged. Well worth a watch.
Atlanta is another masterpiece from the mind of Donald Glover. At first comedic, the man took a turn toward nearly everything else — from drama to horror. Anyway, Atlanta follows the life of college dropout Earl (played by Glover) as he attempts to manage his rapper cousin.
As we follow his stories, we are not treated so much with a sequential plot, but rather one that meanders from story to story. The cadence allows for you to drop in on whichever episode you would like, providing much needed relief from the long and sometimes laborious stories like you get in Game of Thrones of Breaking Bad.
‘Six Feet Under,’ HBO
Six Feet Under, as you may have predicted, is a show that centers on death. But what makes the story interesting (or, perhaps, one of the things that makes the story interesting), is that each episode starts with its very own death. Because of this, it’s difficult not to get drawn into the narrative of each successive episode.
You’ll spend days pondering the perplexities of the situations these characters find themselves in — competing with rival funeral homes, awkward conversations with grieving families, and everything else you could imagine. The show is not to be missed — especially if you’re feeling a bit macabre.
‘Better Call Saul,’ Netflix
Better Call Saul is one of the shows to have sprouted after Breaking Bad’s conclusion. The show is a prequel, following the life trajectory of Saul Goodman, the dirty lawyer and man to call in a pinch.
The show follows many of the same twists and turns as Breaking Bad, introducing the backstory to many of the show’s most notorious characters. If you enjoyed Breaking Bad, you will likely enjoy Better Call Saul.
‘The Bisexual,’ Hulu
Despite the show’s candid name, the show is not as one-dimensional as the title might suggest. Rather, it contains a multitude of dimensions, following the life of a bisexual woman. For those looking for depth, this show might be for them.
The Bisexual takes us through the life and times of Leila (played by Desiree Ahkavan), a bisexual woman who breaks up with her girlfriend after an ill-advised proposal. We tune into the aftermath of this decision. The show is not to be missed.
Veep is a masterpiece from creator Armando Iannucci. It’s a political satire starring one of Seinfeld’s finest: Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The show gives us a comedic stance on political topics, breathing humor into what some might consider a drab and unexciting theme.
The show has been considered so compelling as to receive a solid 8.2 rating on IMDb. Ultimately, the satirical show offers much for those who find cynicism and bleakness in the world of politics. In other words, it is a must watch.
Rectify follows the riveting tale of a man who has been falsely imprisoned for 19 years. Considering that this same depressing tale has happened to a great number of people in the real world, the topic is one that captivates.
The show is produced by Sundance TV, ensuring that its novel scenes will be artfully sculpted. And they are. Like many other of these tales, the protagonist is released on new exonerating evidence. We follow how he adjusts. The show is definitely worthy of a binge.
PEN15 is another coming-of-age story, showcasing a ragtag group of teenagers as they navigate the rocky terrain of teenagedom. Here, we see the ever identifiable quirky, jock-y, and nerdy likes of our high school past.
Ultimately, the show infuses ‘90s themes with those that cover the raunchy and often undiscussed world of the teen. If you’re looking for a blast from the past with an abundantly funny and sometimes disgusting twist, Pen15 is the show for you.
‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ HBO
Curb Your Enthusiasm comes from the brilliant mind of Larry David, one of the prime movers behind one of the greatest shows on the planet: Seinfeld. In fact, many claim that the show takes many of the show’s best elements and distills them into something even better.
The show, however, has some key differences. First off, it’s set in LA. Secondly, it’s amusingly darker in tone. But, like Seinfeld, the show is characteristically about really nothing at all. Still, it manages to captivate, inspire laughter, and makes us want to sit down and keep watching.
‘Penny Dreadful,’ Netflix
Penny Dreadful is another of those shows that takes on a dark theme and adds a little bit of ancient mysticism and supernaturalism. The show features Josh Hartnett, a prolific actor of the early 2000s.
What makes the show different, however, is the protagonists it chooses to incorporate. For one, it includes the likes of popular 19th century characters like Frankenstein. Secondly, it lets its plotline simmer, breeding relationships between these familiar characters and then tearing them down. Definitely worth a watch.
‘Better Things,’ Hulu
Better Things is a drama that is about, well, better things. The show follows a single mom who works as a struggling actress — all the while raising three kids. The task is predictably challenging, and the challenges are something we tune in to watch.
While the show can (and does) take on some extremely dark themes, it often does so with humor. This combination of real with comedy is one that brings us a newfound empathy. The show is definitely worth watching.
The world has not yet had enough re-vamped westerns. And so, we are treated to the likes of Deadwood, a modern western take with witty script and delightful cast. While the show is many things, it is typically a gunslinging western at roots.
The show is set in none other than 1870s North Dakota. And while the show might be notoriously riddled with profanities (making it questionable as a series suitable for young children), it is definitely one to be watched by the parents.
‘The Fall,’ Netflix
The Fall is a crime drama that focuses on a series of murders in Northern Ireland. We follow the likes of those that pursue the culprit, making it a gripping crime mystery. But beyond the typical, the show also infuses more depth with its multiple storylines.
Rather than just the gritty and suspenseful, the show brings us the dramatic portrayal of psychologically struggling families and relationships. Ultimately, the show is much more than just a crime thriller, making it a must-watch for any TV lover.
‘The Last Man on Earth,’ Hulu
The Last Man on Earth gives us a scenario many wouldn’t find all too funny — namely, the end of the world — and turns it into a hilarious comedy. Ultimately, the show gives us a story of desolation mixed with hope.
First, the show follows the likes of Phil Miller, wandering the empty plains of Tuscan post-outbreak. Miller does, however, eventually meet a companion, Carol Pilbasian. The two’s wildly incongruent personalities provide ample entertainment. Definitely tune into this show.
‘Big Little Lies,’ HBO
Big Little Lies is about exactly that: big little lies. The protagonists of the show — a star-studded cast featuring the likes of everybody from Nicole Kidman to Reese Witherspoon — are united by one decently large lie (which I won’t reveal here).
We follow these protagonists as their relationships and lives intertwine or disentangle in the world of the stupendously wealthy and affluent Monterrey, CA. This show is a must-see drama for pretty much everyone.
Tiger King, Netflix
Tiger King has broken records and quickly became the most-watched Netflix docu-series. Joe Exotic, a zoo owner of exotic animals, is followed through what can only be described as a downward spiral in this true murder-for-hire story.
This big cat breeder, along with other eccentric characters, takes us through a journey that leaves us shocked that these events really happened in the world we live in. A reality full of murder, mayhem, and madness.