Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Nebula, Curiosity Stream, Amazon Prime, Peacock, and many other services are now vying for our money. Once we have parted with our hard-earned cash, though, we rely on word of mouth, algorithms, or just dumb luck to find great shows on the services. So here’s a list of the gems you might have missed on some of the above services:
Kim’s Convenience (Netflix)
A highly successful Canadian sit-com, it still hasn’t penetrated the zeitgeist, despite being lovely, hilarious, and uncomfortable in a really satisfying way. Tune in via Netflix, to all five seasons.
Memories of Alhambra (Netflix)
A science fiction series that uses advanced computer gaming in an otherwise normal world makes for a really interesting, well-paced, and engaging escape from reality. It’s only one season long, and all the episodes are available on Netflix. It’s a Korean show with subtitles, but after a while you forget there are subtitles!
Ghosts (HBO Max)
An excellently silly comedy / sit-com series on HBO Max, Ghosts follows the exploits of an old mansion full of ghosts and the young couple that move in and have to deal with their hangups. I just wish there were more than thirteen episodes – but on the bright side, it’s not much of a commitment if you get hooked. Starring Charlotte Ritchie. For UK viewers, it is also available on BBC iPlayer.
Feel Good (Netflix)
Another British show, and also starring Charlotte Ritchie, this comedy is deeply moving, gently funny, and compelling. The humor (humour) is often dark, but it uses that darkness to make you really care about the lead characters’ relationship. It’s also a very modern show in that it treats a gay couple’s relationship as a relationship, rather than making a big deal about what should, by now, not be a controversial idea – that people love who they love. Tune in via Netflix to two too-short seasons.
The Righteous Gemstones (HBO Max)
Not one for children, or even moderately conservative viewers, this very-dark comedy follows the lives of a family of televangelists after the death of the family’s mother. Their extreme, and unrealistic, dysfunction, their power-politics, and terrible choices, all make for a great watch, even if you can’t tell any of your religious friends about it. Tune in via HBO Max for nine episodes.
His Dark Materials (HBO Max)
For a more epic televisual experience, watch Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials books in their television adaptation. With a musical score that can make goosebumps (gooseflesh) in an instant, beautiful scenery, and the most imaginative story, His Dark Materials takes you to another world. Another world where the what-if question present in all science fiction is: What if there was something obviously magical in our world – would that change society’s progress? Watch it on HBO Max.
Though also available on YouTube, Nebula gives you access without any adverts, even paid promotions. Polymatter looks in depth at economic and geopolitical situations in our planet, from China’s demographic struggles, to McDonald’s business model. Watch on Nebula, or YouTube.
Corner Gas (Amazon Prime)
Another Canadian Sitcom, this lighthearted, but heart-felt comedy follows the residents of Dog River, a small town centered around a gas station and its attached café. So good that they made #SixSeasonsAndAMovie (eat your heart our Community) – and surprisingly, the movie was fantastic. One to go and watch over and over. Tune in via IMDb TV, or Amazon Prime, with adverts (commercials), sadly. Also, watch Community on Netflix, if you haven’t already!
I hope you enjoyed this list. Did I miss any great shows? Let me and others know in the comments.