Like your mum said: only boring people say they're bored. Here's how to find hidden gems in Netflix when you think there's nothing left to binge-watch.
If you’re making full use of Go Binge – and watching as much Netflix as your heart desires without any impact on your data allowance – then binge-watching TV is now as easy as firing up your phone.
But with every silver lining comes a cloud: whether it’s the latest teen dramas, sci-fi, crime or action series that float our binge-boat, haven’t we all at one stage felt as if there’s nothing left to watch? Well, no need to worry. If you look a little deeper into the new stuff, have a rummage in the archives or get your head around subtitles, here are some tasty televisual treats to try.
Sample some fresh picks
For dynastic secrets and lies… Greenleaf
If you love to get lost in high-octane family epics, then Oprah should be your first port of call. After all, her last project Queen Sugar is a sexy, brooding rise-and-fall-and-rise story that juggled countless mysterious, shocking and moving storylines – and Greenleaf is no different. In this steamy Southern drama, the family behind a Memphis megachurch have to deal with the return of a prodigal daughter – 20 years after the mysterious death of her sister.
For surreal comedy… Lady Dynamite
Crafted by writers from South Park and Arrested Development, this distinctly odd comedy is loosely based on the life of its star, standup Maria Bamford (whose voice you will recognise if you’re an Adventure Time fan), and the material she performs around depression and anxiety. If you’re jonesing for a fix of clever/awkward/uplifting comedy it’s worth checking out the protagonist, whom Judd Apatow calls “the funniest woman in the world”.
For subversive teen dramz… Riverdale
Unless you know your comic book history, chances are you won’t recognise the names Veronica, Archie and Jughead; small-town (Riverdale, to be precise) teens from the American-as-apple-pie Archie comics. Having spent the best part of 50 years having sweetness-and-light adventures, Riverdale sees them undergo a dark reinvention where they get to the bottom of some seriously unwholesome events.
For bodice-ripping intrigue… Medici: Masters of Florence
Do you find it hard to fill those lonely months between Game of Throneses? Well, while there’s no straight substitiute available, if you can do without the dragons there’s enough intrigue and, er, romping: former Stark son Richard Madden plays Cosimo Medici, the first father of the family that came to dominate medieval Florence with its Lannister-like ways. Sean Bean is even slated to star in the second season (not that we’d put any money on him being in the third, obvs).
Dial back a year or two
For terrifying laughs… Psychoville
If you enjoyed the sinister laughs of League of Gentlemen, chances are you’ll find Psychoville – brought to you by 2 of those very gentlemen – even more hilarious and creepy. A puzzling array of odd and unpleasant characters learn they’re connected by one thing: a mysterious blackmailer who’s taunting them with letters claiming to know their guilt, but for what? Imagine an Agatha Christie plot only she’s eaten a lot of cheese – some of it past its sell-by date.
For mobster-out-of-water comedy… Lilyhammer
Did you swoon for The Sopranos, and its often weirdly chucklesome leaps between violent crime and the mundane details of everyday life? Well, meet Frank ‘The Fixer’ Tagliano, played by Steven Van Zandt (who we loved as Silvio in the HBO classic). Forced to go into witness protection, he chooses Lillehammer, Norway as the one place vengeful mafioso can’t get at him. Cue a variety of distinctly Nordic domestic situations, handled (or attempted to be) amusingly by a baffled Frank and his adorable ‘made man’ ways. Che macello!
For dynastic wheeler-dealings… The Tudors
If you enjoy a historical-ish drama – ‘ish’ being a dose of 21st-century soap opera liberty-taking – then the 4 seasons of The Tudors will certainly sate your appetite. Jonathan Rhys-Meyer plays the cutest Henry VIII ever, Henry Cavill his BFF Charles Brandon, and the likes of Natalie Dormer, Anabelle ‘Peaky Blinders’ Wallis and Joss Stone pop in and out as his temporary life partners. It’s educational, honest…
For darkly funny detection… Backstrom
Imagine a detective show where the protagonist isn’t a troubled, dysfunctional mess – then stop imagining, because this is NOT that show. Rainn Wilson, aka US Office‘s Dwight Schrute, is the miserable, drunken crimefighter whose ability to get under the skins of suspects and loved ones alike makes him the least likeable TV sleuth we’ve ever seen. The end result? Some dark humour and the occasional, fleeting moment of redemption. Before he stuffs it up again, of course.
Give subtitles a go
For dark psychological mystery… The Break
Does a season-long whodunnit appeal? The Break (or La Trêve) is your dealio – if you can stop double-screening and read the subtitles, that is. Detective Yoann Peeters fancies a quiet life, so he moves back to his home town. BAD MOVE, YOANN. Of course the neighbourhood has its first ever body on day 1, when an African footballer turns up dead in the river. Only Yoann has the skills to work out it’s not a suicide, but it’ll take him the whole season to find out the truth. Genuinely gripping stuff.
For a knife-edge plot… Stranger
There’s a small army of Korean TV devotees over here, and with very good reason. Case in point, Stranger (or Secret Forest) is an exquisitely-plotted, action-packed procedural thriller, in which a spunky lady detective teams up with a ruthless yet neurologically challenged prosecutor to solve an incredibly complicated murder. It’s complex, but thrilling – with a tiny dose of sexual tension between our two heroes. What’s Korean for ‘binge-worthy’?
For macabre thrills… The Method
While the producers of The Method (or Metod) are at pains to point out that this show isn’t a Russian remake of Dexter, fans of the crusading psychopath will find enough familiar detail to enjoy. A trainee detective is paired up with a new mentor, whose cold case-solving techniques are, shall we say, somewhat unconventional.
For street crime and city corruption… Suburra: Blood on Rome
Whether it’s warring gangs fighting on the streets, young blades from rival families teaming up for a blackmail scheme, or a crime lord triggering City Hall-level insitutional fraud, the power plays and plot twists of Suburra practically demand that you descend into binge-mode mode. It would be rude not to – in fact, they’d take it personally if you didn’t. *stares*
Have we piqued your interest? With Go Binge, there’s nothing to hold you from stepping off your tried-and-tested binge-watch path. Feel free to frolic, experiment and explore, wherever you are – because there’ll be no damage done to your data allowance.