10 TV shows you aren’t watching but really should be
These TV shows deserve some more love (and eyeballs)
Give Marvel a rest for a moment. Stop that 78th run through every season of Friends. It’s time for something new.
Quality TV shows are released at an impressive lick these days. It’s easy to miss the gold, particularly if you no longer work in an office five days a week, where a chat about TV gives you a brief respite from emails.
We have 10 recent TV shows we think you may well have missed, and shouldn’t have. Not all of them were viral hits, but there are certainly no misses in this line-up.
10 TV shows you aren’t watching but really should be...
1. Slow HorsesWhere to watch: Apple TV Plus
Slow Horses is an espionage thriller that explores familiar themes and character archetypes, but it doesn’t matter thanks to the quality of the writing and acting here. Gary Oldman stars as Jackson Lamb, the ramshackle leader of a bunch of MI5 agents. And Will Smith (no, not that one) of Veep fame contributed to the script.
The six-episode seasons, of which there are two, leave little room for bloat. Season one is themed around far-right domestic terrorism, the second on Russian sleeper agents.
2. The EnglishWhere to watch: iPlayer
Called a masterpiece by some, The English sees Emily Blunt’s Cornelia Locke arrive in America seeking revenge for the death of her son. She teams-up with Chaske Spencer’s Eli Whipp. They travel through the American West, which is painted as a place that offers innumerable dangers.
The two leads elevate The English, but it also has a great sense of style and recalls classic westerns in its cinematography. Its first season is comprised of six 50-minute episodes — a manageable watch.
3. HuntersWhere to watch: Prime Video
Al Pacino plays a Nazi hunter in Hunters, a show that surely would never have attracted such a star presence in the pre “golden age of TV” era. The show is currently in its second season, which sees Pacino’s Meyer Offerman track down Hitler himself, after it is discovered the Nazi leader is actually still alive.
Sound preposterous? Sure, but that’s all part of the Hunters vibe, a tonal melange that reaches its heights when indulging in the ridiculous. And, crucially, season two sticks the landing. There are 10 episodes in season one, eight in season two.
4. Tulsa KingWhere to watch: Paramount Plus
Sylvester Stallone is a mafia capo who has spent the last 25 years in prison. On release, he is sent to Tulsa in Oklahoma to set up shop. While there’s violence, this is a crime show with a lighter touch, buoyed by the always watchable (well, most of the time) Stallone.
Tulsa King was co-created by Tyler Sheridan, known in TV land for his work on Yellowstone, starring Kevin Costner. There’s more of a whiff of fromage to this series, but it ends up being a core part of the show’s appeal. Season one consists of nine episodes, and a second has been commissioned.
5. Station ElevenWhere to Watch: Lionsgate+
A flu virus has taken out most of the world’s population, leaving just pockets of humanity in the shell of civilisation. This slow burner of a series is based on a brilliant novel by Emily St John Mandel, and stars Mackenzie Davis and Himesh Patel.
A group of survivors travel the wastes, performing Shakespeare plays at the outposts they encounter — to bring a bit of hope to a lost world. Station Eleven consists of 10 episodes, and that’s your lot as they cover the entirety of the source novel’s narrative arc.
6. ClarkWhere to watch: Netflix
The con is on. Bill Skarsgard plays Clark Olofsson in this crime story based on a real-world figure from Sweden. Some say this represents a career-best performance from Skarsgard, a tall order following his iconic portrayal of Pennywise in horror smash It.
He brings life to what is a rather nasty gangster character. Most criticism of Clark revolves around the idea it gets too close to glorifying a monster — a pitfall of true crime content that may or may not be a turn off.
7. Under the Banner of HeavenWhere to watch: Disney Plus
Andrew Garfield becomes a detective investigating a double murder in a mormon community in the US’s Salt Lake City. This weighty-feeling 7-part miniseries is based on a non-fiction book by Jon Krakauer.
It has big themes, but is not so big on action, so pick this one up if you’re looking to engage your brain and, sure, your heart too. Each episode runs at a little over an hour bar the roughly 90-minute finale. But as this is a mini series you can be sure you’re not strung along beyond the initial run.
8. ExtraordinaryWhere to watch: Disney Plus
This comedy series’s first season has achieved a rare feat, a 100% Rottentomatoes rating. It’s a UK TV show set in London. But this is a very different London, in which it’s the norm for people to gain a superhero power on their 18th birthday. Jen (Máiréad Tyers) doesn’t get one, bringing on a coming of age crisis with a twist.
The writing is clever, there’s a good mix of comedy and touching moments. It’s a fun and charming watch. There are eight 30-minute episodes in season one, and a second season has been commissioned.
9. I Hate Suzie TooWhere to watch: NOW
Celebrity Suzie Pickles’s (Billie Piper) life is turned upside down when compromising pictures of her are leaked online. That is the backstory behind I Hate Susie Too, the follow-up second season to 2020’s I Hate Suzie. This season starts with a similarly nightmarish scenario as Suzie’s ex posts a tell-all account of their relationship online.
I Hate Suzie Too explores themes that seem incredibly timely in 2023. It’s affecting, at times anxiety-inducing, and yet incredibly funny at points too. And it all hinges on the ever-brilliant Billie Piper, whose performance is so good it doesn’t matter if you frequently find the Suzie a little hard to like. Season one consists of eight episodes, the second just three, so make sure to start with the original I Hate Suzie.
10. Alice In BorderlandWhere to watch: Netflix
This Japanese sci-fi thriller is based on the manga of the same name. A group of teenagers in Tokyo find the city suddenly changed into a game arena. The concept sounds similar to mega streaming hit Squid Game, but there’s more of a fantastical character to Alice in Borderland.
It has less of a grounded feel, but the creativity of the games is worth witnessing, particularly if you are game for its more obviously anime-influenced style. There are two seasons of Alice In Borderland, with eight episodes a piece.
- More of the best underrated shows you need to know about.