Here at The No Seatbelt Blog, you’ve seen movie reviews, analyses, and recommendations aplenty, but I also watch more television than I care to admit. To break from the box office just a bit, I’m going to put five different television shows on your plate that you’d be remiss not to check out – some are old, some are new, and one is old and new again. Kick back, pick your poison, turn on the tube, and enjoy these essentials this year!
Making a Murderer:
If you have not yet jumped on the bandwagon and become a pissed-off armchair lawyer, reactivate your Netflix account and get into this true story of a Wisconsin man by the name of Steven Avery, who spent 18 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of a sexual assault. Not long after he was exonerated and released from prison based on the reveal of DNA evidence that pointed elsewhere in that attack, he found himself back in the courtroom after being accused of the murder of a young photgrapher. The sheriff’s department that presided over his original case, allegedly embarrassed by their blunder the first time around, is accused of various improprieties in the investigation of the murder case, even for as much as planting evidence to secure a conviction. This 10-episode documentary delves into the depths of our justice system – its imbalances, its fairness (or lack thereof), and what it can possibly get away with. It will make you angry at points, and may even make you shout at your television on occasion. Pay attention to Avery’s defense attorneys – they’re certified rock stars.
The Aussie Anthony Starr is Lucas Hood, an ex-con who after spending 15 years in prison, rolls into the Amish town of Banshee, Pennsylvania, and assumes the identity of the town’s soon-to-be sheriff who is murdered in front of him in a bar fight. Things get complicated as Hood finds his ex, who was also a criminal and is now trying to lead a normal life. Add to that a big time criminal in Kai Proctor who practically runs the town and makes Hood’s attempts to play an honest lawman difficult to say the least, and you have a bloody and explosive show that you won’t soon forget. Hood leaves death and destruction in his wake at every turn, and continues to alienate everyone around him with his secret that for some reason nobody figures out. One of the show’s major highlights is Job, a foul-mouthed, cross-dressing computer hacker that was a former (and current) criminal associate of Hood’s. He steals every scene he’s in. The fourth and final season of the show airs on Cinemax this year.
That’s right, kids, it’s back! The show I watched religiously when I was a kid has come back for a six-episode run, complete with Fox Mulder and Dana Scully! The first run of the show followed FBI agents Mulder and Scully through 9 seasons and several movies as they investigated bizarre, otherwise unexplained cases, with Mulder’s underlying mission to find his sister, who he believed to have been abducted by aliens when they were kids. At the time of this writing, I have only seen the first episode of the new run, and the chemistry between the two seemed to be forced and overdramatic. I’m hoping they’re just shaking the cobwebs off, and I am absolutely going to finish the new series. A special character appears at the end of the first episode, and I won’t lie, I let out a “YES!!” and an air punch. I don’t know about you, but I still want to believe.
You’re The Worst:
You’re The Worst is a hilarious half-hour sitcom that airs on FXX, the spin-off channel where FX dumps many of its raunchier shows, and it follows Jimmy Shive-Overly (Chris Geere) and Gretchen Cutler (Aya Cash), as they meet and dance around each other, attempting to defeat their morally-devoid, anti-social and romantically-averse tendencies, getting into an on-and-off, dramatic and thoroughly absurd relationship. Jimmy is a British transplant and struggling writer who relocated to sunny California to make a name for himself, while Gretchen is a PR executive of sorts whose main client is a goofy rap trio (who are responsible for much of the show’s comedy, at least as far as the supporting cast is concerned. Jimmy and Gretchen are both fairly terrible people, making the show a fun trainwreck. The show recently wrapped up its second season, which turn a dark turn as it dealt with a resurfacing of a lifelong case of clinical depression for one of the characters. One of the comedic highlights of the second season lies in “New phone. Who ‘dis?”, a running joke which even turns into the hook for a song at one point. Catch up before the third season begins!
Showtime’s hour-long comedy/drama has just begun its sixth season, and the Gallagher clan is back and up to its horribly dysfunctional tricks. Fiona (Emmy Rossum) tries to hold it all together as Frank (the brilliant William H. Macy), her alcoholic absentee of a father mopes around after the death of his love, a cancer-stricken doctor, younger brother Carl continues his criminal activities after being released from jail, and young teen sister Debbie (who may be the most irritating character to ever appear on a television show) purposely gets pregnant and decides she’s keeping the baby, even after her boyfriend disappears. Add to that Fiona’s boss and recovering drug addict of a boyfriend, who sticks around despite the fact that she’s still technically married to another man, and you have yourself an unholy mess of a family. Despite all of the ridiculousness, all of the charm remains, reminding you of why you’ve become so attached to this fictional family by this point. Check your cable carrier’s On-Demand for back episodes to catch up!
There you have it! Unleash the unabashed TV addict in you and check out these shows! Give The No Seatbelt Blog a like on Facebook to get updates and follow on Twitter at @noseatbeltblog!