By now everyone's seen the great modern TV shows. You've all experienced the thrills of Breaking Bad, the intrigue of Game of Thrones and the darkly comic Dexter. You've all marathon-ed True Detective and found yourself agreeing with Rust Cohle's misanthropic philosophies. You've been told Orphan Black and Luther are both the best. You've wished you were part of Vinny's gang in Entourage and you've rushed to inform your friends that Sherlock is the show they should be watching, only to realise that they already are and that you're pathetically late to the party. Oh, the shame.
But here's the thing: there are more shows out there that deserve your attention; shows that are pushing the boundary in more ways than one, and are making a case for a medium that is often looked down upon.
Dan Harmon's show is one that every film geek should watch. It is a tribute to every aspect of popular culture (specifically movies and TV), and how we've all been shaped by it without even realising. The lovable cast of misfits, the meta riffs on familiar tropes and memorable special episodes (paintball!) all make Community unique. Add to the list a dedicated fanbase that refuses to let the suits cancel the show despite trying to on several occasions and you have yourselves a winner. #sixseasonsandamovie for life.
Louis CK, world's best comedian and premier philospher of our times has somehow managed to convince the folks at FX to give him complete creative freedom for his odd, surreal and partially autobiographical show. Louie is a show that defies logic, told entirely in unrelated vignettes that range from broad physical humour to dark surrealism.
A better anthology series than True Detective, this speculative science-fiction show from the mind of brilliant British satirist Charlie Brooker is dark, disturbing and mind-bending in its ideas. The show has a mean and hateful outlook at humanity, especially at how technology has ruined us. It offers little hope, but is one of the best shows in the history of TV.
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
The most addictive series since Breaking Bad, this documentary miniseries focuses on an eccentric New York billionaire who has, over the course of four decades, been involved in, and acquitted for three murders. Andrew Jarecki, no stranger to investigations into seedy characters, gets the subject, Robert Durst to sit for a long interview. What unravels during the course of six, extremely tense episodes is nothing short of a miracle. Silicon Valley
An HBO show about a group of 20-something guys navigating an alien Californian lifestyle sounds familiar. But this isn't an Entourage clone. Creator Mike Judge has made a hilarious, biting satire of the vapid, slightly pretentious (veganism) Silicon Valley lifestyle. TJ Miller's Erlich Bachman is the standout in a cast filled with diverse comedic geniuses.
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
John Oliver has succeeded in making his spin on Jon Stewart's great The Daily Show unique. His excellent investigations into areas not many people pay attention to are both hilarious and ground-breaking. Running gags, completely un PC reporting and a genuine anger make his weekly news show the one we need to make time for.
Mozart in the Jungle
From Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman and Alex Timbers comes this quirky look inside the obsessive, raunchy and often hilarious world of classical music told through the eyes of Lola Kirke's oboist for the New York Philharmonic, Hailey Rutledge. When a wunderkind conductor played with magnetic charm by Gael Garcia Bernal is brought in to replace Malcolm McDowell's veteran, the plot kicks into motion. What we get is one of the best comedies in years.
Transparent, for lack of a better word, was transformative. Like Mozart, it comes from Amazon Studios. It is a semi-autobiographical look at the life of creator/feminist Jill Soloway, focusing specifically on the time her father came out as a transgender man in his 60s. This is uncharted territory for TV, and Soloway infuses in her heartbreaking characters genuine warmth. It is a fantastic show about the 21st century family, full of heart and humour.
Based on Michael Connelly's series of novels featuring LAPD detective Hieronymus 'Harry' Bosch, the streaming show is a great showcase for the talents of the underrated Titus Welliver. For fans of noir cop dramas, Bosch is the motherlode. Set in the home of noir, Los Angeles, the show integrates three of Connelly's novels into a cohesive character study. Bosch is a mildly alcoholic, jazz enthusiast with single-minded dedication. To top it off, the makes for a great binge.
Netflix is known for more famous shows like House of Cards and Daredevil, but Bloodline is like their neglected stepchild, which is fitting, because it's a show about how the dark secrets of a wealthy Florida family unravel when its black-sheep son comes home. Juxtaposed with the tranquil beauty of the Florida Keys, Bloodline is a slow-burn mystery thriller of the finest form.
Follow the author at @NaaharRohan