Oh shit son – Game of Thrones is over again and won’t be back for another 10 months!!! I lot of people have hit me up asking what they should watch to fill the void – well there is solace in a plethora of other tv shows on right now. Here are some of the ones you should be checking out….
This Cold War drama is a breath of fresh air. Set in 1980s Washington it follows 2 KGB spies posing as an American couple to spy on the US. Think Homeland with the sort of writing you’d expect from Breaking Bad. I absolutely love it. The show was apparently inspired by the incidents of a few years back when a Russian spy ring was discovered in the US. The series follow the anti-heroes of the show as they spy, lie, cheat, steal and kill their way to spying on the US – its unmissable TV
I’ve had a crush on Gillian Anderson since the X-Files and its good to see her back on TV again (she also plays a small part in Hannibal). She stars in this Irish hunt for a serial killer series with a difference. The killer’s identity is revealed at the beginning and as we are watching the investigation let by DS Gibson (Anderson) we are also following the killer as he stalks and kills his victims as well as seeing his home life – he is not your usual Buffalo Bill type psycho that is depicted on TV – he is a family man and a counsellor. The way it follows the killer is unique and you find yourself almost rooting for him at parts and then you see him gruesomely kill with all the details and then you realise how truly evil he is. The show hits harder with him being in plain sight – he is just a regular guy – if you saw him in the street you wouldn’t think he was a crazed killer. With the whole “who is the killer” aspect of the show out of the way it leaves space for some amazing side stories on those gritty Belfast streets which touches on gangs and police corruption. For me this The Shadowline and Utopia are the best British TV series of the last few years.
I haven’t seen any Steven Spielberg movies recently that have really grabbed me but the man produces a good TV show with The River (which stupidly got cancelled after one season), Under the Dome and now this. This show takes place in the aftermath of an alien invasion on earth and feels like a sort of Walking Dead with Aliens. What seems like it will be a simple us vs them story has developed into something fresher with plenty of unexpected turns. Whilst its not the most intricate of TV shows its great TV all the same for those times when you want kick back and not have to think too much when watching a show – I love it
Words cannot describe how much I love this show. I haven’t read the books (at Cognitive Space TV we don’t read – haha) but I have seen the movies including the original Manhunter movie by Michael Mann which contains the Will Graham character. This show is a retelling of the Will Graham story, his character is more flawed than the one played in the movie, also its great to see a younger Hannibal (played by the amazing Mads Mikkleson) out there in the real world rather than being on the run or behind bars. The series is dark and contains ways of killing that I’d never though of. Every episode is amazing and doesn’t always end in some cliff hanger but is building to something. I want to say details but I don’t want to spoil it – just got watch it!!!
The House of Cards
The great thing about Netflix is that you don’t have to wait a week before catching the next episode of a show. The disadvantage is when it’s a show as good as House of Cards you send up finishing it in a week and are left craving for more. This is a smart drama following Majority Whip Frank Underwood as he plays political games in his attempt to become President. With David Fincher creating and Kevin Spacey starring you cannot go wrong – its also Kate Mara’s first role where I haven’t found her super annoying (although her character is purposely pretty annoying). After the initial smash of the first few episodes it then takes another few to warm up again after which it truly goes into some on the edge of the seat TV when it takes some turns you wouldn’t expect. My favourite political drama is still Boss, but this is well worth a watch
That mix of Mad Men, Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire is back. Set in Miami in the 50s it follows hotel owner Ike Evans amongst the midst of mob violence, gambling, the collapse of Cuba and is hitting hard with no warm up from the blistering end of the first season. Its been great so far and I can’t actually wait to see Rick Ross’ gangster character in the show
This has been my surprise show of the year. I had no clue what to expect when I started watching it and what I got was one of the most original scifis on TV in a while. It tells a story of a British con artist Sarah living in Canada who sees a woman who looks exactly like her commit suicide and she decides to steal her identity in order to extort some money out of her account. What soon becomes to unravel is the doppelganger is a cop and there are more lookalikes of her around and they are mysteriously being murdered. I wont say anymore other than that about the story as I don’t want to spoil anything. Tatiana Maslany deserves an award for this series as she manages to seamlessly play 8 completely different characters in the show. This is scifi with a difference and deals as much with identity and motherhood as it does cloning, scifi and action. You soon get over the fact that Tatiana’s English accent isn’t quite right – she has done an amazing job on the show
This the first foreign language TV series that Channel 4 that has aired. This show is very intriguing and is not giving away quickly what its actually about. 2 episodes in and I cannot tell if this show is a ghost story, zombie story or a scifi show about cloning. The French show is based in a small mountain town where dead people have started reappearing as well as other strange phenomenon. I cannot wait to see how the story develops. Naturally for a show of this calibre an English language remake is already in development
As one HBO show ends another begins!!! True Blood is back son!!! I know a lot of people who stopped watching after the first few seasons as the show got a bit weak, but it came back hard the last 2 seasons, and it got very political and religious (in a good way). This show is exactly what the vampire genre needs in the times of Twilight
Under The Dome
As far as pilots go this was pretty amazing. Its based on a Stephen King book of the same name that I haven’t read (like I said earlier Cognitive Space TV do not read) about an invisible force field that descends over a small American town. It has a very Twilight Zone feel to it and if this first episode is anything to go by the series is going to be massive – some people are even going so far to say that this will be the new Lost – I guess we’ll find out soon
Vice is one of the greatest magazines and has always being on the cutting edge of alternative news – they touch those stories that no one else does whether it be them being the first to report from North Korea to reporting on sexual fetishes in other parts of the world. So when it was announced they would have their own HBO show you knew it would hit hard. Vice in their show have achieved what CNN should be doing. They head right into the middle of the issues bringing you those uncut slices of news from all over the world, it’s a slice of life that you won’t see on any other news channel and its hard hitting. They deal with a whole host of stories from political violence in the Philipines to reporting on Mauritania where women are sent to eating camps as bigger women are sees as more wealthy and desirable amongst the poverty and food shortages. Its pure uncut and shocking news that the younger generation needs right now
Now this show is the closest to filling the hole that Game of Thrones left, but its very much different. From the History Channel with their first scripted series is tells the story of Vikings in 793 AD as they begin the leave the Baltics and travel west to the UK. Its good to see a Viking story told from their perspective rather than that of the victims of their pillaging – there are elements of the show that feel like the great Mads Mikklesen movie Valhalla Rising. The show gives a healthy dose of that sword play and sex that is now missing since Game of Thrones ended. Watch it!!!!
This is going to be my guilty pleasure shows. Its feels very much like Captain Planet (or the Justice League as one of the characters describe it) where some of the best cops from different parts of Europe as well as one American are brought together to fight international crime. The show is super clichéd with loads of different European (not so funny) cultural references thrown in and was pretty damn terrible but I couldn’t stop watching it – its perfect mindless TV after a long day at work. I’m not sure if I’ll still be saying the same after seeing more than the 2 episodes I’ve seen – we’ll soon find out
So that’s it for now – the ending of Game of Thrones left a huge hole but there is some great TV to fill it….
…..and I leave you with this one trailer – although it wont be back on TV until the autumn Boardwalk Empire season 4 is nearly upon us!!!
By Tendai – Cognitive Space