It seems the only thing more exhausting than Katy Perry’s antics the last two months is the incessant onslaught of “good television” flooding our screens day after day. In the so-called “Peak TV” era, we as viewers are treated to an endless stream of enthralling storylines and fantastic performances weekly. You can watch Tyrion Lannister and co. on Sunday nights, weep-fest “This Is Us” on Tuesdays, Shonda Rhimes’ entire catalogue on Thursday nights and dozens of Netflix, Hulu or Amazon programs any time/day/place you want to.
As much as I love having a bevy of quality shows grace my screen every night, I’ve become a bit overwhelmed. Since January, Netflix has premiered over 20 shows and Hulu produces about 30 shows altogether. I don’t even have the energy to check Amazon or HBO. I mean, I haven’t gotten around to watching “Breaking Bad” yet, how am I supposed to have time for “The Santa Clarita Diet”?
Now I know in these scary and overwhelming times it’s easiest to curl up in a ball and just give up. To go back to the safe places of “Big Bang Theory” syndications and re-watching “Parks and Rec” because it’s away from a world where Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman do television and Kevin James is on a network sitcom again.
But out there, amidst the oppressively dark political dramas and “comedies” about the saddest people alive, a few shows have gotten lost in the shuffle. Their greatness overlooked because Jeffrey Tambor wins every Emmy, and HBO has dragons.
“Angie Tribeca," a cop drama comedy on TBS, is one of television’s buried treasures. Starring Rashida Jones as the titular cop, the 30-minute show takes every Dick Wolf Factory cliche and turns it on its head. I recommend this to every reader who’s on their seventh re-watch of “The Office”— the show was created by Steve Carell and his wife (aka Carol the real estate agent).
Although it’s executive produced by Seth Rogen, “Preacher” is a gritty ride that serves up dark humor and mythical themes in a small Texas town. It stars Dominic Cooper as a preacher/ex-con named Jesse, who just happens to be possessed by a god-like spirit that gives him insurmountable powers. Throw in a feisty ex and vampire bestie, and “Preacher” is one surreal ride you can’t believe is allowed on cable television.
Lastly, for those of you who despise “Portlandia” because it’s become too mainstream but still secretly obsess over everything Fred Armisen does, I suggest “Documentary Now!” A sketch show on IFC, SNL vets Armisen and Bill Hader spoof real life docs with their own brand of wacky, quiet humor. The first two seasons can be found on Netflix, if you have no idea what the IFC channel is, like me.
I hope my suggestions will help you wade into the churning tidal pool of shows and safely find a new addiction. If not, keep to your “Friends” reruns and “Law & Order” marathons: You’re in a safe space. *dun dun*