You may have gathered by now that I’m a huge TV lover, given that it’s what I mostly tweet about. So I thought I’d do a round-up of everything that’s been floating my boat in the world of television.
This absolutely had to be the first one on my list, as it’s quite simply phenomenal. I won’t say too much, but basically the series follows Elliot, a cyber-security engineer by day, and vigilante hacker by night. Sam Esmail has created a gripping drama filled with complex characters whose motives, for the most part, remain a mystery to the viewer.
Filled with clever nods to iconic movies and enough twists and turns to leave you breathless, this is truly unmissable television. It’s also worth noting that this show has been widely praised for its accurate portrayal of hacking/programming, but at the same time it’s not so technical that it will alienate any not-so-technologically-inclined viewers.
I could literally talk about this show for hours. Fantastic writing (in particular Elliot’s inner monologues), striking cinematography, and Mac Quayle’s dark and atmospheric score create a captivating, thrilling world that will suck you in and refuse to let go.
The whole experience is rounded off by an incredible cast who add depth and dimension to the host of intriguing characters Esmail has created. Special mentions go to Rami Malek (Elliot), who brings so much to his character – vulnerability, intensity, and humour – and Swedish actor, Martin Wallström, who plays ‘villain’ Tyrell Wellick. To call him a villain would be too black and white, and that’s what also makes this show so intriguing; even by the end of the series we still know so little about each character and their motivations that it’s hard to actually label anyone good or bad.
Wallström is a strange mix of charming and unsettling, threatening and child-like. Watching his character unravel is fascinating, and it’s oddly difficult not to feel sympathy for him as, unhinged and desperate, he tries to claw his way back to the top.
Season one is on DVD now. Season two starts 13th July. If you watch just one show on my list, make it this one.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
It’s impossible not to love this feel-good offering from Tina Fey. The show follows Kimmy, who is adjusting to life in New York City after being rescued from 15 years spent in an underground bunker as part of a doomsday cult. Doesn’t exactly sound cheery, but cheery it is, and ridiculously so. Ellie Kemper is wonderful as the relentlessly optimistic Kimmy, and Jane Krakowski is as fantastically self-absorbed and altogether ridiculous as she was in 30 Rock.
I’m a little bit obsessed with Nordic Noir, and for me The Bridge is crime drama at its absolute finest. Well-crafted and perfectly-paced, each ten episode season follows one case, and guarantees a dizzying, emotional climax.
Season one begins with a body found on the Öresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden, and the bridge remains a pivotal part of the show throughout, symbolising the relationship not only between the two countries, but our two lead detectives, Martin and Saga.
It really is their chemistry that makes the show great. He is the classic maverick cop, likeable yet flawed, while she is blunt, uptight and a stickler for the rules. While their clashing personalities and resulting disagreements could easily seem contrived, instead it feels natural as we watch them grow together, and better each other.
I’m very much hoping for a fourth season, but in the meantime there’s certainly no shortage of Scandinavian crime shows that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into. Next up will probably be The Killing, or Blue Eyes, which I’ve recently had highly recommended.
A big fan of Kenneth Brannagh’s Wallander (rumoured to be returning for a new season soon, hurrah!), I’m keen to check out the original.
And one to look forward to…
I couldn’t exactly write this post without mentioning the upcoming Gilmore Girls reunion. If you’re a die-hard Gilly (a term coined by the awesome Gilmore Guys – seriously, check out their podcast if you haven’t already) like me, you’ll already know what’s being planned. Four 90 minute episodes set during and named after each season.
No news on a release date yet, though rumour has it we will get our first installment late 2016/early 2017. I’m literally bursting with excitement, and not at all ashamed to admit I wept with joy when the official announcement was made. Finally we will get the ending (and those infamous final four words) that Amy Sherman-Palladino had planned for us, and I have no doubt in my mind that it will be everything we hoped for and more.