TV? I know what you’re thinking. The last iteration of JKGeekly devolved into nothing but TV posts. Don’t worry, we’ll get back to other geekery. Today we’re going to warm up with a new type of post: 3 Lists of 3.
This particular type of post will feature three small, interrelated lists of three. I hope you like the format because I have more than this one planned for Mondays. Here are three lists of three for television that I’m sure will offend someone. I don’t care. Do your worst.
Underrated or Overlooked TV Series
The Magicians (7.5 out of 10 on imdb)
This particular list of 3 was difficult to compile. I’m starting with a series that isn’t that lowly rated, but it’s still rated a 7-point-something; it’ll be hard to find something good to say about a 6 or less. The Magicians gets a lot of gratuitous nudity and over-sexed hate that Game of Thrones gets—more on GoT in a bit—but like Game of Thrones that hate may go too far. It also gets saddled as a Harry Potter clone, and again, that’s as unfair of a comparison as GoT and Lord of the Rings. The Magicians is an interesting take on magic in a modern setting and is one of the better, binge-able SyFy shows.
BBC’s Skins (8.2 out of 10 on imdb)
Did I mention how difficult this list was to compile? The BBC version of Skins makes this list despite being rated an 8.2 because fewer people have seen it, and they should. Skins is an odd show. It centers around teenagers making their way in the world and the bizarre things that happen to them. We’re talking a musical number breaking out of nowhere and someone who suffers from anorexia getting phantom text messages to tell her to eat. I received text messages for weeks, telling me to eat more fiber. Those were some angry butt dials.
Anyway, Skins is also an odd show to watch as several of the cast regulars, who were in their late teens or early twenties at the time, have since appeared in major films and television shows.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (7.7 out of 10 on imdb)
Yeah, Skins may have two or three sneaky musical numbers in the series run, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has two or three musical numbers in each episode. It’s not for everyone. I even pause the show every once and a while because it’s getting too ridiculous. She’s singing about period sex again. Turn on the red light.
It’s also a bit of a cheat having the show on this list because the critics at Rotten Tomatoes rate it in the 90s, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is very good and tends to get overlooked.
It’s a CW show that satires other CW shows. At first, it subtly suggests that someone who lives their life according to romances (books, TV shows, and movies) should seek psychiatric help because life doesn’t follow a romance plot. After a while it flat out says, life isn’t a romantic comedy. It’s okay to enjoy them, but don’t expect your life to be one. There is more love in life than romantic love. You can love your family and friends. Sorry. Uncle Geekly has a long, complicated history with CW shows, so this sentiment is refreshing, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend also does a good job at handling mental illness and behavioral problems without stigma. And some of the musical numbers are catchy and fun—even the ones about period sex.
Overrated TV Series
Game of Thrones (9.4 out of 10 on imdb)
I’m not saying that Game of Thrones is bad by any means, but 9.4 is a little high. As of this write-up it’s the fourth best TV show of all time according to imdb, edging out Breaking Bad. I’d place Breaking Bad ahead of Game of Thrones and there are plenty of shows further down the list that I’d happily place ahead of the gang from Westeros too. Oddly enough, some of the reasons I’d knock Game of Thrones down a few dozen spots are the same reasons George R. R. Martin believed that it wouldn’t make a good TV show: too many characters, and at times, unfocused storytelling.
Stranger Things (8.9 out of 10 on imdb)
If neuroscience is correct in saying that nostalgia provides a similar chemical brain reaction as methamphetamines, then Stranger Things is TV’s version of crystal meth. Hey, another Breaking Bad reference. Yay! There’s little else to this series than a ton of callbacks that include frame-by-frame recreations of 80s shows and movies. I like plenty of 80s properties, but if I have a hankering for 80s nostalgia, I’ll watch the originals.
House of Cards (8.8 out of 10 on imdb)
House of Cards can be fun to watch. I like seeing how the various traps are set and schemes come to fruition, but the show gets a little too ridiculous at times. Perhaps even random musical number ridiculous. One needs to suspend disbelief to an absurd measure with this title. While I’m okay doing that for the occasional fantasy or science fiction story, it’s a little difficult to do so for shows that are supposed to be more grounded.
It also doesn’t help that Kevin Spacey’s recent sex scandal and subsequent firing from the show make House of Cards difficult to watch.
Intriguing Upcoming TV Series
The Romanoffs (October 12, 2018)
The Romanoffs is the first TV show from the creator of Mad Men since Mad Men ended in 2015. It also features a great cast of Diane Lane, Aaron Eckhart, and Paul Reiser and centers around various people who believe they’re descendant of the Russian royal family. This could get trippy, and I look forward to watching the Amazon original.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (October 26, 2018)
The reboot of the campy teen series Sabrina the Teenage Witch airs just before Halloween and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina pits a young witch against the forces of evil that threaten her family and the world. Mad Men star Kiernan Shipka stars as Sabrina, and the reboot shows plenty of promise. But if there’s no talking cat, I might reconsider.
Homecoming (November 2, 2018)
I may need to listen to the hit Gimlet Media podcast of the same name, but the excellent cast (Julia Roberts, Sissy Spacek, and Dermot Mulroney to name a few) and Mr. Robot creator Sam pique my interest.
Are there any shows we missed with our lists? Which shows do you think are overrated or underrated? Which shows do you look forward to this upcoming season? Let us know in the comments.