9 TV series recommendations
I’m way behind on reading books for reviews, but here are some TV options:
- Counterpart (2 seasons, 2017–2019)
I didn’t do a full quarantine rewatch of this sci-fi drama series, but there are certain episodes which I think about often. There are elements about what decisions and events make us who we are. The villains get too much free rein in Season 2, but we do get a reasonable series conclusion.
- Little Things (4 seasons on Netflix, 2016–2021)
This is an Indian romantic comedy which started as a YouTube series. Watch with original audio and English subtitles (for frequent Hindi interjections). The main characters have great chemistry and realistic arguments. It’s interesting to see a couple-living-together-but-not-talking-marriage dynamic in India where it appears additionally complicated. The third season has more focus on a long-distance phase of their relationship.
- The Serpent (8 episodes on Netflix, 2021)
True crime following a deadly con-artist in 1970s Thailand and Nepal, and an embassy staffer who begins to unravel the case. I want to read the book.
- I’m Sorry (2 seasons on Netflix, 2017–2019)
Sarcastic sitcom set in LA, following Andrea Savage basically as herself. I saw one episode on a plane and it was uncomplicated and awkward enough to win me over, IDK.
- Married at First Sight (past seasons on Netflix, current season on Lifetime)
Are you ready to see people make the biggest mistake of their lives? Reality TV, long episodes, but once you’re familiar with the cast you can have it on in the background without paying attention. The framing raises other questions like, are the ‘experts’ who run the show low-key religious extremists, or opportunists who match couples for dramatic purposes? Australian version also exists, but not my particular strain of crazy.
- Occupied (3 seasons on Netflix, 2015–2020)
An idealistic Norwegian politician is cornered by Russia and the EU into essentially a military occupation. Despite being topical, it was hard to see the scenario as realistic or as an allegory for Ukraine? Twists and turns become a little too twisty with each season. I skip over a whole character.
- The Salisbury Poisonings (3-episode BBC dramatization, 2020)
In 2018, a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned with Novichok in Salisbury, England. This was underreported in the US, so I had not realized the scope of the emergency response and risk to the public. The show follows a police officer’s family, a couple who were exposed, and a public health expert. It was good to see a hard-fought win for public health.
- The Lady and the Dale (4 episodes, HBO Max, 2021)
Better to go into this documentary with as little information as you can.
- Tiger King (1 season on Netflix, 2020)
So far I’ve only convinced one of my family members to watch the show. If they’re reading this, I’m not kidding about this show.