I’m not sure how a series starring Idris Elba (who is nearing Will Smith and Denzel for coolest brotha in Hollywood) slipped through the cracks so much that I didn’t know of it until fairly recently, but upon discovery I was immediately hooked. There’s good news and bad news, and they’re both the fact that Luther isn’t too many episodes long, so depending on how little of a life you have, you could possibly finish and be caught up in a day or two. Idris plays John Luther, a detective who deals with some twisted criminals, resulting in thrilling, edge-of-your-seat type television. It’ll return for a final season, but the premiere date is still being determined.
I’ve tried countless times to recommend this sci-fi brilliance to anyone who’ll listen, and once again I will attempt to convince you to give it an opportunity. It stars Jerry O’Connell, the chubby kid from Stand By Me who grew up and married Rebecca Romijn. The show’s concept is, in my virtually meaningless opinion, one of the most interesting things to come out of the 90s. Parallel dimensions, aliens, portals, and likeable characters – it has a lot to offer. Nitpickers beware; there are a lot of cheesy effects and continuation inconsistencies, but try to give them a break as it was 1995 and Fox screwed up the intended airing order.
3. Freaks And Geeks
It’s not just because this show stars a lot of people who turned out to do pretty well for themselves, or that Childish Gambino created a song of the same title years later, but it’s actually a thoroughly entertaining series. Maybe it was a smidgen before its time, but Freaks And Geeks is a high quality coming-of-age story, that’s certainly worthy of more than one, 18 episode long season.
4. Drawn Together
For those who dig adult animated series’, this might be your show. For those who enjoy reality television as well, this is definitely something worth checking out. It features a cast of cartoon characters who are members of a reality TV series, essentially serving as a caricature of the Real World type concept. Think Archer meets one of MTV’s reality shows. There are three seasons and 36 episodes, so perhaps just enough to satisfy anyone’s animated-reality-cartoon-show hunger.
Maybe we should blame the network for poor promotion. Perhaps we should blame humans for not tuning in. Hell, the writers could be at fault for concocting scripts that were just too dang clever to a fault. This only aired for one season but I assure you that those 13 episodes will leave you confused as to how this didn’t flourish considering it has all the makings of a hit.
6. Sports Night
Created by Aaron Sorkin. Need I say more? It stars Sabrina Lloyd, who is also a cast member of the aforementioned show, Sliders. If you watch and enjoy Newsroom, this certainly something you’re going to want to see, considering it’s a rare opportunity to see what your current favorite show would’ve looked like 15-ish years ago. CNN is to Newsroom what ESPN is to Sports Night.
7. The Buried Life
Looking for something positive and somewhat motivational? The Buried Life might be your answer. It’s a group of dudes who decide to conquer their bucket list, and it’s awesome to see their successes and failures play out, but it’ll certainly have you wanting to fulfill the dreams and desires you know you’ve been putting off. A great message and a quality reality series.
8. Blue Mountain State
I’ll say in advance that this aired on Spike TV and was geared towards younger males. With that it mind, it has quite a few funny moments that make it one of the better comedy series’ that nobody really talks about. It won’t blow you away with unheard of wittiness or the most complex jokes, but if you’re looking for a laugh or two, this is capable of providing that.
More sci-fi gloriousness! If you like Sliders, you’ll like this. If you like this, you’ll like Sliders — or so they say. Firefly is written and directed by Joss Whedon, which might be capable of reeling a few of you in to watch. The show takes place in 2517, so it’s a futuristic story, which unfortunately couldn’t draw in the ratings to survive its sole season. It’s quite a cult success however, which showed in the DVD sales numbers. There are 14 episodes, so hopefully you don’t get too addicted to a product that’s been discontinued.
10. Harper’s Island
When you move a show from its being scheduled Thursday, to Saturday evenings after only a few episodes aired, you can’t expect it to dominate. Damn you, CBS – this miniseries could’ve, and should’ve been a lot more well known. If you enjoy lengthy, drawn out mystery shows, and even if you don’t, you should give this a watch. Here’s the sales pitch. THIRTEEN EPISODES. AT LEAST ONE CHARACTER DIES EVERY EPISODE. Also, I found it fascinating that the cast wasn’t aware they were being killed off until the day their script was given, meaning there had to have been some suspense on set. At least, I like to imagine it being that way.