Seasons: 2 seasons, 16 episodes. Starring: Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden. Description: The End of the F***ing World is based on the book of the same name by Charles Forsman. This is a dark story of a teenage boy named James who thinks he might be a psychopath, as he enjoys harming animals as a hobby. Together with Alyssa, a classmate with whom he develops a bond, they run away together, which she sees as an opportunity to escape her difficult home life. Along the road, there are inevitable mishaps, but as they travel, they begin to develop a very interesting relationship.
Why it’s a keeper: The End of the F***ing World is extremely dark at times but very endearing at others. It is very British in nature, and through their road trip across the UK, you can’t help but fall for these characters, just as they fall for each other. The show has received critical acclaim due to the brilliant performances of Lawther and Barden.
Seasons: 1 season, 7 episodes. Starring: Michelle Dockery, Jack O'Connell, Scoot McNairy, Merritt Wever, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kim Coates, and Jeff Daniels. Description: The series was created by Scott Franks, and it’s set in the 1880s in Colorado, where a train wreck has just occurred. It is believed to be the work of Frank Griffin, who is described by many as an outlaw. The police think this in response to the betrayal Griffin feels by his former protégé, Roy Goode. Roy goes on to find refuge in a town called La Belle, which following a mining accident, is almost entirely inhabited by women. Godless was very well received by audiences and it has been nominated for a slew of awards, winning Emmys for best-supporting Actor and Actress in 2018.
Why it’s a keeper: Godless manages to mix themes of father-son relationships alongside the struggle of women and femininity in the American West of the 1880s. It does so with a beautifully written script and exquisite cinematography. It’s no wonder the show was nominated for so many awards, it is truly a pleasure to watch.
The OA (BEST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 16 episodes. Starring: Brit Marling, Jason Isaacs, Phyllis Smith, Emory Cohen, Ian Alexander, Brandon Perea, Brenden Meyer, and Patrick Gibson. Description: Brit Marling stars as Prairie Johnson, a blind girl who’s been missing for seven years and suddenly reappears with several scars and the ability to see. She refuses to tell the police or her family how this has happened. Instead, she assembles a small group of five confidants to who she tells her story and asks them to help her rescue other missing people as she claims she can reach them through another dimension. This ultimately skews their concept of reality.
Why it’s a keeper: The OA is unlike any other show out there. It traverses both this world and an unknown universe and does so while being highly enjoyable. The majority of the reviews have been positive, but it did not receive critical acclaim like many other series. However, the story is compelling and ambitious and above all, imaginative.
Seasons: 3 seasons, 30 episodes. Starring: Wagner Moura, Pedro Pascal, Boyd Holbrook, Paulina Gaitan, Joanna Christie, and Juan Pablo Raba. Description: Narcos is based on the true story of a famous Colombian lord, Pablo Escobar. The first two seasons show his rise to becoming one of the most prolific suppliers and distributors of illegal substances in history. Alongside his dealings with fellow lords, there is also a heavy focus on his relationship with the DEA agents, specifically, Steve Murphy, who makes it his life mission to bring Escobar down.
Why it’s a keeper: Just like its subject matter, Narcos is addictive, especially when it’s focusing on Escobar, whom the viewers quickly form a love-hate relationship with. The makers of Narcos decided to focus on a different lord for Season 3, which they renamed Narcos: Mexico.
Seasons: 3 seasons, 39 episodes. Starring: Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Toby Leonard Moore, and Vondie Curtis-Hall. Description: Daredevil is based on the Marvel comic of the same name and features Matt Murdoch, a lawyer by day and a crime-fighting vigilante by night. Due to being blinded as a child, Murdoch discovers that his other senses are heightened, especially after nightfall. Along the way, he discovers the criminal underworld of New York City. Murdock may follow the letter of the law by day, but when the sun goes down, he takes matters into his own hands, going above the law to pick up where the justice system fell short.
Why it’s a keeper: Daredevil mixes drama and humor effortlessly. It captures the essence of the comic with excellent character development. The show finds a place to explore the characteristics of both hero and villain, which is especially interesting when they fight against each other.