Game of Thrones is over again for another season and damn was it a hell of a season and so now come the year long wait for the next series. To help fill the gap is my (a little late) annual round up of TV shows to watch now that Game of Thrones is over.
Oh shit!!! Jack’s back. After destroying the USA three times over they have now moved proceedings to London for some more destruction where Jack is up against terrorists who have taken over the US drone fleet and threaten to blow up London. For those that haven’t seen the previous seasons this one stands alone and its real watchable. A few episodes in some of you’ll be missing some of that Jack Bauer pure callousness, but don’t threat – he brings its back hard. Those from London will have to look over some of the geographical mistakes they make.
It’s a breath of fresh air when an American show looks from the perspective of whom it considered the enemy in this show of suspense & intrigue following 2 undercover KGB agents posing as an American family during the Cold War in the 80s. The stakes are raised in the second season with new dangerous enemies. There is also more of a focus on family life where the agents try to keep their family together whilst leading this double life. This is another one of those series that fall under the radar of many and doesn’t get near as much praise as it deserves
This show was initially cancelled earlier in the year following some very poor promotion making it one of the lowest viewed opening of a drama on the big networks. After much protest it has been brought back. Based on real events it tells the story of the Cold War and a CIA agent deciding to work for the Russians and give up their Assets and the hunt for him. This show has obvious comparisons to The Americans, but in one of the many ways it differs it its hyper realistic procedural portrayal of the hunt of a traitor.
Back from the pits of Paris the French answer to The Shield is back for its third season. Season 2 got a little too Hollywood and commercial but they have brought it back for season 3 for the grit that we are used to and its amazing. This season they are up against the Russian mob as well as some old enemies – I love this shit
How many times can this alien invasion drama draw you in a keep you interested? 4 seasons worth of times!!! I didn’t think this show would have lasted more than 2 seasons but now at 4 its still going strong. Based around a very simple story its managed to bring in a whole new host of elements enemies and themes much like The Walking Dead has taken it beyond a straight zombie story
Another Emmy snub – I find it strange that it didn’t get a single nomination. This show is a retelling of the Hannibal story that starts before the movies as well as introducing some of the characters from the films that we know so well. The music and the filmography is amazing which leads to a brooding, dark and often weird series. Its also great to see a younger Hannibal in the real world rather than behind bars. The makers plan to continue the seasons through and beyond the times of the movies – its going to be huge
The Honourable Woman
In 2011 Hugo Blick brought us the most underrated (and highly recommended) British series of the year The Shadow Line staring Chiwetel Ejiofor and now he is back with his latest series staring Maggie Gyllenhaal as Nessa Stein, a woman who inherits her fathers arms business and finds herself in a world of trouble was she tries to reconcile divisions between Israelis and Palestinians
There will be an extra eye of this series considering the current political strife occurring in the world, but this is not the total focus of this series. It’s a tale of intrigue as a woman tries to recover her close friend’s kidnapped son and keep her own secrets safe. In true Hugo Blick style none of the cards will be laid out by the end of the first episode and you’ll have to be in for the long haul to see exactly where its going to go. His loves his camera work and takes as much time creating some beautiful involving shots as on the surrounding story. This slowly developing story takes a bit of patience but is highly worth the wait – its riveting viewing
The House of Cards
The first season set up the cards and the second knocks them down. There is no warm up to this second season and comes in with a huge bang – it gets better and better. I’ve never really been a fan of the political drama genre but shows like this and Boss have really turned me on to the genre
This new HBO show is set in small American town in the aftermath of a rapture like event which 2% of the world population mysteriously disappeared. It deals with how those that were left dealing with the loss of their lost ones as they try and put their lifes back together. Don’t expect any instant answers as to why the people disappeared – the strength of the show is it doesn’t concentrate on that mystery but brings forth a whole host of others, Strange incidents, weird coincidences, dreams, religious cults this show has them all. Reveals come in small snippets. To get any true answers you’ll have to be in for the long haul – HBO does it again!!!
I’ve only seen one episode of this series so far which I found quite accidentally and have found it really intriguing. In a similar vein to The Children of Men its set 10 years in the future and humans have become infertile, the youngest child on the planet is 6 years old. A fertility scientist manages to fertilizes 100 donor eggs, but rather than let her continue her work and track down the donors the government have a lottery for these eggs and fire her from her position. Its still hard to see where exactly this show is going to go but definitely is one to watch
Orphan Black is back and its another show to add to the list of Emmy Award snubs – Tatiana Maslany plays 8 very different characters in this tale genetic manipulation. The mystery further deepens in this second season with strange religious cults as well as the origins of the original experiments being revealed. The 3rd season needs to hurry up already
This has been one of the surprise shows for me. I didn’t know what a penny dreadful was before I saw the show and my ‘tell a book by its cover’ self was put off by the name of the show. When I finally got around to watching I was instantly hooked and haven’t looked back. Set in Victorian London its tells a story of a group brought together fight supernatural forces in the hunt for the missing daughter of an explorer. Vampires, monsters, demons and more – this show has it all and this isn’t some Twilight bullshit – blood, gore, terror, violence – its strictly adults only and spooky as hell. The production values are super high and you’ll believe that you’re there in the Victorian times as well as a great cast including Eva Green, Timothy Dalton and Josh Harnett.
Produced by 50 Cent, Power is the story of a drug king pin looking towards going straight with the opening of his new elite nightclub. His double life becomes difficult when factions are trying to take over his operation and his battles with rival club owners. His new girlfriend also works for the prosecutor’s office and doesn’t know he is the guy she is hunting. This show is pure entertainment and not to be taken too seriously, all the people online that are saying that the show is inherently racist have too much time on their hands and need to sit back and enjoy the show for what it is
There seems to be a theme with quite a few of the new series out there – people going missing, infertility and now people coming back from the dead. I initially dismissed this show as I thought it was a remake of the great French series The Returned, but in fact the series is based on the book of the same name and are completely different stories but based on similar concepts of people returning from the dead in a small town. Much like The Leftovers its based on how the people of the town are dealing with the goings on. Beyond that I don’t want to reveal too much about the series
Bassam “Barry” Al Fayeed is from the war-torn fictional country of Abbudin. He has been living in self-imposed exile in Los Angeles for nearly 20 years. Barry, the younger son of Abbudin’s dictator, ends his exile to return with his American family to his homeland for his nephew’s wedding. His arrival leads to a dramatic culture clash, as he reluctantly returns to the familial and national politics he once left.
This series is likely to get a lot of criticism and controversy for its portrayal of arabs, but it is a truly riveting show. In many ways it can be seen as a sort of retelling of The Godfather in the arab world, it’s a great intelligent drama
Utopia has finally returned to the screens after a year and a half wait. For those that don’t know its about a group who get embroiled in an international conspiracy when they get their hands on a graphic novel called The Utopia Experiments which leads to them being hunted by a group called The Network as they try to unravel the graphic novel’s hidden messages. Season 2 starts with a flashback which answers many of the questions of the origins of The Network but then goes on to ask a whole host of others. If you haven’t watched this show you’re slippin’.
Vice continues to open those doors that many news shows refuse to open. The great thing about HBO is they’re known for not getting too involved in their productions and will literally through money at people they trust and let them get on with the show – with Vice this has worked great. This documentary series is a raw alternative slice of life we wont see elsewhere including subjects like the repercussions of nuclear radiation in Kazakhstan, drought denial in Texas, the heroin epidemic in Iran and futuristic police surveillance in New Jersey to name a few. This is documentary making at its best
Ragnor Lodbrok continues the Vikings purge of Europe but this does not become easy when he comes across a new English enemy who thinks a lot like he does. This show has its many comparisons with Game of Thrones, but at the same time its all so different and in some ways a better show. The second season takes a deeper look at Viking life including their gods, rituals and use of hallucinogenic drugs as well as making the battle scenes twice a big as the first season. I love this show
Guilty pleasure show:
This show has many flaws including some shoddy acting but its absolutely great. It tells the story of Ryan Lopez a rising star in the gangs taskforce who is actually working for Los Angelicos a notorious LA street gang. His loyalties come into play as tries to do his best as a cop and protect the interests of his gang. This not to be taken too seriously show has nothing on similar shows like The Wire, Southland and Breaking Bad but is still good for some mindless TV watching
Throwback TV show:
Highly underrated this show can be considered as the older, not so popular but way smarter brother to Homeland. It tells the story of an undercover FBI agent who has infiltrated a terrorist sleeper cell who are planning an attack on Los Angeles
Unlike Homeland, Sleeper Cell is a little more deeply seeded in reality and takes a darker more sinister path, making it less commercially viable than its little brother. It really puts you into the mindset and the lives of the terrorists to the point where you find yourself sympathizing with them a little. Its truly an amazing show which didn’t get the praise and admiration it deserves and surpasses Homeland on many levels – its intense viewing
That’s enough shows for this round and should satisfy you for a while whilst Game of Thrones is away. Even if you don’t watch Game of Thrones there will be something in here for you
Until next time
By Tendai – Cognitive Space