From SEX EDUCATION to Star Trek: Picard here are the best TV shows
There’s too much good TV out there for any person to handle these days. It’s not like we can talk about that, though. More than ever, there’s something for everybody, no matter what you’re in.
What we can think about is how difficult it can be to keep up with all these incredible series. Between big season drops and all of our weekly faves, TV can often be a little daunting.
But in these unpredictable days, more of us find ourselves at home with time on our hands.
Since we’re not the absolute arbiters on what’s nice and what’s not, we’ve also included some of the shows that we’ve been really loving, but you may not agree.
Showrunner Richard Price has effectively created a waking nightmare, grounding only the most disturbing elements of The Outsider within the grim limits of a especially chilling police procedure. Much like the credits that slowly fade into view, the show’s supernatural horrors can also reach your brain in ways that none of Stephen King’s adaptations have managed to do before.
The Pale Horse
Sarah Phelps has been a BBC resident specialist, Agatha Christie, adapting no fewer than five of the author’s plays to a small screen because, if you haven’t done anything, she’s ruggedly smart.
The most recent is The Pale Horse, in which the wealthy antique dealer Mark Easterbrook (Rufus Sewell) is caught up in a story of witchcraft and pagan terror after his name is discovered on a document hidden in a dead woman’s shoe.
And therein lies its initial lure: Christie doesn’t normally do witchcraft, but we can see it playing out here in an enticingly sinister fashion.
And it’s not just the more intense elements of the two-part thriller that hold you locked in, desperate to find out how it’s going to wrap up. Phelps hones on Christie’s ability to simultaneously reveal the very worst and inherently human characteristics that we are all predisposed to, making them both interesting and awkward.
Animation legend Genndy Tartakovsky has returned to Primal, a gritty survival story set in the distant past.
Although it consists mostly of silent battle scenes that end in copious quantities of blood, what stays with you at the end of each episode is the tender relationship formed between Fang and Spear, the dinosaur and caveman at the center of this series.
Sex Education season 2
There are not many series that manage to move smoothly from a joke to a chaotic, farcical sitcom to a tragedy that profoundly transforms a human permanently, but Sex Education finds a way to juggle the two, offering intestinal moments in which audiences are deeply embedded.
We didn’t think it was conceivable for Sex Education to surpass its debut in the second season, but Laurie Nunn lifted the bar, and then some. Her commitment to get people to think about sex and gender in the best way merits constant respect, and what we get is a show that knows how to party and when to get serious.
Flesh and Blood
Imelda Staunton is at her finest in this four-part family series of ITV, which means that it’s practically difficult not to love what’s on offer in this soapy, deliciously melodramatic affair.
She plays Mary, a loyal yet meddlesome next-door neighbor and acquaintance of Vivien (Francesca Annis), a widow who, in the months after her husband’s death, takes on a new partner.
Yet Mary and Vivien’s three grown-up children are wary of the young man on the scene, and Stephen Rea’s sketchy attitude definitely contributes to the pervasive sense that something is wrong.
As the episodes roll by, conflicts intensify, with both of Vivien’s children trying to keep their own houses in order, creating a dramatic crescendo that will leave you weeping for the second season.
TV shows about family relations are just a few and far between, but Flesh and Blood sound new, balancing an old-school who has a relatable understanding of what it means to be a mom, a granddaughter, a sister, and a lifetime friend.
Flesh and Blood on FalconTV
Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts
At first sight, Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts look like something we’ve seen before, influenced by the likes of Avatar and She-Ra.
However, it doesn’t take long to know that Netflix’s newest animation blends all of that into something fresh and uplifting, due in large part to winning character creation, a rousing soundtrack and the kind of beautiful inclusiveness that is seldom seen in popular TV.
Star Trek: Picard
So you saved the world a thousand times, so you’re no longer satisfied with your work or the men who are in charge of you. What are you doing? If you’re anything like Jean-Luc at Star Trek: Picard, you’re going to hang out in a vineyard with a really nice boy by your side.
That’s the remarkably serene set up for Patrick Stewart’s return to the Star Trek franchise, but as you would imagine, Jean-Luc’s retirement doesn’t last long. At the conclusion of Picard’s first season, a man without a crew or a starship has set out to recover them in an effort to solve the deadly mysteries of the past.
Luckily, Picard himself balances the old and the modern even better than Jean-Luc did at first, keeping true to the Star Trek of the past but still confidently taking the series ahead to areas it had never been before.
The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez
It’s not easy to recommend Netflix’s new true-crime show, The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, but that’s not a reflection of the program itself.
Via thorough and critical reporting, Director Brian Knappenberger discusses the murder of Gabriel Fernandez and the trials that resulted, documenting the horrific circumstances that lead to the death of an 8-year-old child.
We will stress that this is a stressful, disturbing activity, but it is also an incredibly valuable one, addressing concerns that may continue to save lives in the future.
Élite season 3
It would be quick to ignore Élite as yet another salacious adolescent drama. After all, this is not the first time we’ve seen rich children rip each other apart with violence and murder. Saying that though, there’s a fair explanation why the original Spanish Netflix is one of the top ten titles of the streamer.
While Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars have taken a glamorous look at this not-so-perfect universe, Élite has no fear of confronting big problems and discussing how classism, religion and racial discrimination affect real teenagers (even in a fancy setting).
Yes, Élite is beautiful, and yes, everyone on the show is beautiful, but all three seasons of Netflix’s best teen drama sound much more authentic than most of her contemporaries at the moment, particularly when it comes to queer representation.
Westworld season 3
At the conclusion of the second season of Westworld, the park had been ruined, and the image of Westworld itself has not been any improved. What began as an enticing example of prestige TV quickly got lost inside its own vortex, confounding audiences with needlessly convoluted timelines.
Season three has taken down the most complicated aspects of Westworld, but that’s not to suggest the series has been dumbed down. Instead, perplexing time-related questions have already been exchanged for identity problems. The unpredictable time shifts are gone, and a leaner, meaner story stands in their place.
Among the genuinely spectacular and award-winning results, Westworld is only getting more enjoyable in season three, too. Thandie Newton and Tessa Thompson shine more than ever before, and Evan Rachel Wood has never found a finer match in the form of Dolores.
If you’re able to rebuild your views after season two, then it’s certainly worth coming back to one of the most exciting shows airing today.
The comedy-drama follows Mae as … Mae, a stand-up comedian who falls in love with George (Charlotte Ritchie), a woman who has previously kissed men but ends up snogging the self-proclaimed “corn kernel.”
Flashforward: the two are in a relationship, living together in a share of George’s home.
Happily, even since that. The End … except that real life is never that easy.
At times, Feel Good needs a lot of you, wading through red-blooded feelings that make you feel painfully sad. Yet there’s comedy, lots of it, and if you’re not laughing out loud, we’re sad to let you know that you may be broken.
Episodes are always 30 minutes long, which keeps the series running constantly – often a bit too fast – which means that there is no waffle or wasting. Each plot choice is consciously considered, keeping frustration and exhaustion well and truly at bay, and can also be credited to an inspiring ensemble – the screams of Sophie Thompson’s Maggie and Mae’s Mama Linda, played by Lisa Kudrow. Yes! Yes! It! Her!
Netflix’s Unorthodox is one of the most important programs you’ll be seeing this year.
The four-part film, based on Deborah Feldman’s memoir of the same name, tells the story of Esty (Shira Haas), a 19-year-old Jewish woman who is leaving her ultra-religious home in Brooklyn, New York, for Berlin.
The age-old customs of her Satmar Hasidic heritage, placing her husband and children at the core of her life, do not set her soul on fire, but stifle it. At the other hand, her new life in German city, though totally unfamiliar and uncertain, is intoxicating and not one that she wants to leave behind.
But her husband is adamant to get her home, and you, along with Esty, live in fear of the result, Unorthodox flitting between intestinal emotional beats and heart-rending thrillers.
An honorable mention must also go to Haas, a captivating chief you can’t help but fall in love with, her on-screen appearance capturing your heart at every turn as you do, longing for Esty. To find a place in the world.