Television is at its very best right now; the small-screen is delivering more original and quality programming than it ever has before. And with so many heavily acclaimed shows taking over our living rooms, there’s only so much we can handle. There are fan favourites, like Dexter and Breaking Bad (which are unfortunately coming to an end this year), big series like The Walking Dead and Homeland (still quite the wait until their respective season premieres) and of course, the incredible and beloved Game of Thrones (still another 242 days away–and counting)!
So, what do we watch in the meantime?
We’ve had so many great series to choose from lately that it’s easy to understand why so many shows have been overlooked. 2013 has introduced a number of original shows into the television mix, but there are a few you need to check out immediately. Yeah, you’re welcome.
Orphan Black: SPACE Network
A compelling new series that is gaining a lot of buzz and attention, this Canadian science fiction series follows Sarah Manning, played by Tatiana Maslany, who encounters a woman named Beth Childs at a train station. Beth looks exactly like her, but before Sarah can question her, Childs walks in front of a moving train and commits suicide. In an attempt to escape her current life, Sarah Manning assumes the identity of Beth Childs and quickly finds herself deep in a terrifying mystery.
The series is incredibly well written, and the acting is excellent. Tatiana Maslany is so good that she makes other actors look lazy, as she plays several different characters through out the season. This show was an extremely pleasant surprise for me, and I urge you all to check it out.
Nathan For You: The Comedy Network
This show really flew under a lot of people’s radar. Created by, and starring, Canadian comic Nathan Fielder, Nathan For You is an docu-reality comedy television series that is incredibly funny, incoherent, and awkward. It is a refreshing new form of comedy that cannot quite be categorized. Nathan Fielder (played by Nathan Fielder…) graduated from one of Canada’s top business schools with “really good grades” and is now using his knowledge to help struggling businesses make it in a competing world.
Nathan is socially awkward, awful with people, and comes up with terrible business proposals and gimmicks. The show starts off with Nathan as the “business expert,” but as series progresses we learn more about Nathan, the person, through his fake reality dating show, his fear of skydiving, and his risky and daring television stunt “The Claw of Shame.” This series will have you laughing and feeling uncomfortable all at the same time, and is guaranteed to be your new favourite.
In the Flesh: BBC
This three-part series is a completely new take on the zombie apocalypse. Four years after the Rising, the government implements a plan to rehabilitate and medicate the “Undead” back into society. This drama/horror follows Kieren Walker, who returns back to an unwelcoming community after being infected with Partially Deceased Syndrome. PDS sufferers are given coloured contacts and makeup to conceal their decomposing flesh to help them “fit into society.” Kieren not only has to face prejudice and small-town mindedness in a hostile and extremist community, he also must battle his own inner demons while being haunted by the horrific memories of acts he committed while in the “rabid” stage of the Rising.
Utopia: Channel 4
A British thriller that follows a group of five online forum users in search of an unpublished manuscript. It is the supposed unpublished sequel to an underground cult graphic-novel called “The Utopia Experiments,” rumoured to have predicted some of the worst world disasters of the last century. The online users soon discover a dark conspiracy in their uncovering, and they become the target of deadly operatives belonging to the organization known as “The Network.” Gripping, violent and addictive!
Phew! We had a scare that this series might not get picked up for a second season, but it did! I’m not quite sure why this show has continued to struggle in the ratings, but I hope people give it the second chance it deserves. Bryan Fuller presents the origin of the classic horror star Hannibal Lecter, and his relationship with FBI special investigator Will Graham, in a new light. This prequel is eerie and twisted, as well as beautifully shot.
The charisma of Mads Mikkelsen is extremely entertaining to watch, and Hugh Darcy’s take on the broken and tortured Will Graham keep us second-guessing the true intentions and actions of the show’s protagonist. The season one finale left audiences with an incredible cliffhanger that altered the fortunes of many of the characters; it’s also provided Fuller with a ton to material to create a thrilling second season. All we have to do is make sure we’re tuned in to watch it.
Luther: BBC One
Okay, this show just wrapped up its third season, so while it may not be a new series, it’s definitely one I suggest you check out. Luther is a British psychological crime drama starring the incredibly awesome Idris Elba as the brilliant Detective Chief Inspector John Luther. John does the right thing, but often tests the lines of moral ethics. The show’s storylines are bold, gritty, and entertaining. If you are looking for a crime thriller that avoids all those annoying cop-show clichés, check this show out. It’s also a detective show that employs actual investigation to solve its cases (sorry, CSI). Enjoy!
Know of any other underrated television shows? Let us know below.
Feature Image sourced on WeHeartIt. Included images sourced on Google.