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All Good Shows

Good shows to watch on Netflix and elsewhere.

Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis (Homeland) star opposite each other as a prosecutor and a billionaire suspect in this well-crafted drama.Axe is a venture-capitalist who lost his business partners in 9/11 and who is widely appreciated in the public eye for his charity work. He comes under scrutiny from a ruthless and unusual public prosecutor (Giamatti) after allegations of insider-trading. The two alpha-male types go head-to-head which makes for an immensely watchable fight.

7.9

An HBO show that's almost too suspenseful to watch. It stars Riz Ahmed as a kid who steals his father's cab to go to a party, only to later find himself tangled up in a crime. Everything leading up to his arrest, while not necessarily indicative of anything criminal, boasts cut-throat suspense. And that's the magic of this show, it's taking familiar crime story arcs, adding flawless acting and incredible writing, and perfecting the thrills. You'll want to binge this show but, if your anything like me, your heart might not be able to take it.

8.0

Amy Adams stars as a troubled journalist investigating a serial murder and Patricia Clarkson stars as her (also troubled) mother. This duo of stardom is made to shine by director Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club) in a story that's as much about the journalist's family as it is about the gruesome crime she's investigating. All this makes for a raw and dangerously bingeable thriller drama that packs a lot of insight into the consequences of abusing others as well as self-abuse.

8.1

A show about teens but hard to imagine it as one for teens. It's a mostly nihilistic look at the drug problems, self-esteem and body image issues, and online bullying that govern the lives of many teenagers today. So why or who should watch? I don't know, but I can tell you the plot runs like an impeccably-oiled machine, the acting is out-of-this-world, the music is epic, and if you're not affected by them, the issues are interesting to discover and discuss. Maybe everyone should watch, or maybe no one, but if you're looking for a well-made and edgy drama, this is one of the best.

8.4

One of the best TV dramas in recent memory, Succession is about a mega-corporation (based loosely on Disney) and the family behind it. It starts with the eldest son trying to prove himself worthy of the CEO position that his father promised him over his siblings. But what does that mean in the world of the 0.01%? A lot of family dysfunction. Watching Succession feels like a vice: it's a guilty sneak-peak into the world of the mega-rich where you're constantly rooting for something or someone you never thought you'd root for. All the characters are amazing but watch out for Cousin Greg!

9.2

Olivia Colman and Hugh Laurie (House) star in this espionage drama based on a John le Carré novel.A quick mini-series that spans six episodes, it’s about a former soldier (Tom Hiddleston) who, while working as a night manager for a hotel in Cairo, Egypt, ends up getting hold of very sensitive information. He is then recruited by an intelligence officer (Olivia Colman) to bring down a corrupt businessman (Hugh Laurie.)A highly-acclaimed TV show not to be missed by lovers of spy stories, John Le Carré films (A Most Wanted Man, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), or just anyone who appreciates excellent acting.

8.0

Phoebe Waller-Bridge became famous for her hit show Fleabag, but few people know about Crashing which she has also created and stars in, and which deserves just as much attention. She plays a girl who moves to London to be with her childhood friend, who’s already in a relationship and living with his partner and four others in an abandoned hospital. Waller-Bridge settles into the hospital as well, and the six twenty-somethings become property guardians of the hospital building.Funny characters and excellent performances make this show dangerously bingeable.

7.7

A hilarious BBC/Viceland comedy about an underground hip-hop station and the unique characters that run it. Kurupt FM is lead by MC Grindah, a disillusioned but dedicated DJ. He is introduced in the first episode by his wife as someone who has been arrested before, but only for “silly little things” like “drug dealing and hate crimes”. His friend and manager is Chabuddy G, a “business” man who lives in the cybercafé he runs with his Eastern European wife he can’t communicate with, all while trying to start a company to import “peanut dust” (the last bits of peanut that remain at the end of a peanut pack). People Just Do Nothing is legitimately funny with quick episodes and even quicker seasons. The first one only has four episodes, so it’s a guilt-free yet amazing binge.

8.6

This is one of those reviews where it’s probably enough to say: watch the pilot. There is no better proof of how good Modern Love is than its first episode.The show is based on true stories that were shared in The New York Times column by the same name. That first episode is about the relationship between a doorman and a New Yorker. But, plot twist, Modern Love isn’t just about romantic relationships. It’s also about friendships, family links, and all displays of love and affection.The second episode is with Dev Patel and Catherine Keener, which I found to be also excellent. There are other ones with Tina Fey, Anne Hathaway, and many other big names, but the first two episodes are still my favorites.The power of Modern Love is in the riveting true stories it tells. It might as well have been called “you can’t make this stuff up.”

8.5
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