It’s the time of year when everything is starting to change. The days are getting shorter, we need to be home more, and it’s natural to shop around for some new TV shows. So here are my top 4 overlooked TV series!
The Plot Against America
Suppose hearing the slogan “America First” makes you anxious. In that case, you might be an ideal viewer of the show The Plot Against America on HBO Max. Based on the novel by Philip Roth, The Plot Against America imagines a past where real-life American hero (with fascistic tendencies) Charles Lindbergh challenged FDR for president in the 1940 election.
In the days before Pearl Harbor, there was a vocal presence opposing American involvement in the war in Europe. This show really goes there and shows us how strong that presence could’ve become with the leadership and nurturance of a charismatic leader. The plot focuses on a Jewish family in a New Jersey suburb of New York City who experiences growing anti-Semitism. The family struggles with the idea of leaving the country they’ve known and loved. John Turturro plays a rabbi born in the South, who downplays the risks of the new administration. He marries a woman played by Winona Ryder.
There are clear villains in the story, but it also highlights the terrible consequences when people who aren’t necessarily bad fail to stand up for what is right. When we’re afraid for our own safety, or don’t want to rock the boat, or don’t think things will get worse – we enable the worst to happen.
The show was produced just last year by HBO and had high production values and an impressive cast. This six-part mini-series is full of tension. It’s a little depressing for sure and hits close to home for those who see similar dangers in today’s America.
But, if you choose to watch, a little cannabis could calm your nerves during the suspenseful moments. That could also help revive your optimism in a promising future for us all.
Another six-part mini-series, found on Netflix, Unbelievable is based on a true story of a woman who was raped but coerced to withdraw her report to law enforcement.
The first episode pulls us immediately into the experience of Marie (played by talented young actress Kaitlyn Dever of Booksmart), a former foster child living on her own for the first time. Marie describes the rape to a cop, with cuts away to show terrifying flashbacks of the crime.
The show is incredibly empathetic to Marie and helps us understand how confusing and painful repeated interrogations are. She is accused by two male detectives of making the whole thing up.
Thankfully, the second episode shifts to the perspective of a detective played by Merritt Wever (of Nurse Jackie fame). She plays a kind, empathetic and respectful detective. Acting powerhouse Toni Collette soon joins her as another detective. Together they work to solve a series of rapes.
Unbelievable is a serious show, gripping and sensitive, with fantastic acting. I think you will find it eminently binge-worthy. This is another show where some cannabis could help you calm down in the face of a lot of suspense and some deep injustices.
While I never got into the show Big Bang Theory, I stumbled across Young Sheldon and found it an amazing show with great humor! Back in the 80s, Sheldon was an adorable little boy. In a beautiful bit of stunt-casting, Sheldon’s mom is played by Zoe Perry, the real-life daughter of Laurie Metcalf – who played Sheldon’s mom in the original series. Annie Potts plays Sheldon’s grandmother, and she is fantastic.
Sheldon’s parents don’t know what to do with his brains. He is a wonder child and goes to college early. He decides to pursue theoretical physics around the time the show begins when he’s only nine years old. While gifted intellectually, young Sheldon can’t read social cues and projects a sense of his own superiority. But, he does love his family.
While Big Bang Theory was hugely popular, it was also known as a show that valued laughs more than it cared about its characters. Young Sheldon is just a better show, kinder, but also more insightful and funnier.
Seasons 1 – 3 of Young Sheldon can be watched on HBO Max, and season 4 is on Paramount Plus and CBS. Seasons 5 – 7 are in the works!
Young Sheldon will keep the laughs rolling for those who like to enjoy marijuana while binge-watching a show. Just don’t be surprised if you also feel moved!
Brotherhood is a gritty show from 15 years ago, which can now be seen on Hulu, and I totally recommend it! The brothers are Michael Caffee, a mobster, and politician Tommy Caffee. They operate in the relatively small arena of Providence, RI. It is a raw portrait of blue-collar Americana and Irish-Americans.
The actors playing the brothers are phenomenal – Jason Isaacs and Jason Clarke. The brothers are antagonistic and follow very different paths, but they have similar approaches to life. They both want to improve their neighborhood, and both find loyalty to be crucial. Unfortunately, corruption invades both the community and family.
The show was fascinating but only lasted three seasons and wasn’t given a proper ending. The series may have hewed too closely to the true story of real-life criminal Whitey Bulger, precipitating its premature termination. I was heartbroken when the show ended without a chance for the stories to be resolved.
If you are looking for a show to binge while partaking in some excellent cannabis, I would highly recommend Brotherhood! It’s gritty but gripping.
TV – Take Me Away!
My top 4 overlooked TV series have given me so much to think about and could inspire a lot of bonding and vital discussions with friends and loved ones. For me, TV is another art form. It can help you pay attention to challenging issues, make you laugh, and help you feel more connected. TV allows us to remember history and to reimagine it. As we get ready for colder weather, it helps to know that our electronic hearth will keep us warm.