With rising support from big name directors and actors, television has become the new vanguard for silver screen praise. Whether it be for the serial format allowing a more expansive story and set of characters, or the freedom that new platforms like Netflix deliver, it’s hard to deny that television has gone from strength to strength in recent years. However, with the rising amount of shows being produced, there are several that undeservedly go under the radar. Here are five new shows from the last year that definitely deserve your attention, even if you missed them the first time around.
Mr Robot (Season 1)
This is the kind of show that comes along and grips you from the very first moment. The show follows Elliot, a young “whitehat” hacker who works as a programmer by day, but as an online vigilante at night. A new job leads him to becoming embroiled in a shady hacktivist collective, hell bent on creating a utopian anarchy for humankind. Its realistic approach to the art of hacking, alongside its many gripping twists and rich characters makes it a curious watch that will keep you guessing all the way until its final episode.
Man Seeking Woman (Season 1)
If you’re like me and still trying to fill the absence in your life left from shows like The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghis Darkplace, then this is well up your twisted alley. Starring Jay Baruchel and Eric Andre, the show is an often side splitting look at modern relationships but with a surrealistic edge. Subverting sitcom and rom-com conventions through grotesque monsters, body horror and even a trip to hell, Man Seeking Woman fits so snugly in its oddball niche that it’s even more surprising how insightful it can be.
You’re The Worst (Season 2)
Very few TV shows have handled the concept of mental illness well, especially within the constraints of what is essentially a romantic comedy, but You’re The Worst has managed to approach both with deft understanding. The best way to describe this show is New Girl meets Community, taking the character scenarios and contemporary take on relationships of the former with the acerbic wit of the latter. While it may have taken until this season to really find its footing, its hit a stride of subversive comedy that’s been sorely lacking in recent years.
Hannibal (Season 3)
Bless Bryan Fuller’s heart. After having most of his shows canned before they hit their third season, Hannibal looked like it would maybe make it further but a declining viewership hurt it beyond repair. Expanding upon the mythology and origins of its titular villain (superbly played by Mads Mikkelsen), the series has never been an easy watch. However, it’s as rewarding as it is gruesome. With the latest series’ more surreal yet darkly baroque approach, Fuller
firmly cemented the show with his own indelible brand which shall hopefully see a greater response as time goes on.
Catastrophe (Season 1 & 2)
Mostly known for their stand up, this series’ creators/writers/actors Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan are seriously funny people. Considering the fact that they play themselves in a TV show loosely constructed around unplanned pregnancy, they are able to fill it with non-stop riffing that will leave your rib muscles hurting for days. With two seasons amounting to only 12 episodes in total, it’s pretty low time investment for a show that seems to only get better and better.
Halt and Catch Fire (Season 2)
With both Breaking Bad and Mad Men finally finishing their tenure as television Titans, there was a void left in our hearts, waiting to be filled. While The Walking Dead filled the action quota, it was up to one of several new AMC shows to take on the role of the flagship character drama. While it may have still been burgeoning in season 1, this year’s season 2 has shown it to be the logical next step for period drama. Taking place in the personal computer boom of the early to mid 90’s, this show is really bolstered by its solid suite of actors (including Lee Pace, Mackenzie Davis, and Scoot McNairy) inhabiting a well fleshed out series of characters. While its subject matter may seem a bit daunting, it’s worth sticking it out for the interpersonal relationships, understated sentimentality and thoughtful retro styling of a show that deserves far more reach than what it got.