It would not border on exaggeration when said that 2013 was one of the most creative and thrilling years that television has seen in a long time. There are a number of shows that are not only promising, but also mind boggling, catering to intelligent audiences that seek drama, thrill, and logical explanations all wrapped up in a neat little bow. Some of the do-not-miss-unless-you-are-dead shows of the previous year are:
Genre: Drama, Sic-fi, Thriller
Starring: Tatiana Maslany, Kevin Hanchard
It will not be amiss to say that 2013 has set a whole new benchmark or the sic-fic and fantasy genre, and my personal favourite is Orphan Black. Imagine you are at a train station, and suddenly you witness someone who looks exactly like you, down to that tiny little mole you have over your left eyebrow, jump in front of a moving train. Wouldn’t that scare the living daylights out of you? This is what happens to Sarah (Tatiana Maslany), and within micro seconds she is sucked into this world where she comes to terms with the fact that she and the jumper are a part of a scheme that is bigger than she could ever imagine in her wildest dreams. With a compelling performance by Maslany, Orphan Black is one show that simply must not be missed.
Genre: Horror, Crime, Drama
Starring: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen
There have been a number of explorations based on Thomas Harris’s brilliant, yet bat shit crazy psychiatrist, Hannibal Lector. So I was a little sceptical about this show when I first heard of it. However, being a firm believer in giving everything a fair chance I did watch the pilot, and I am compelled to admit that Hannibal is nothing but pure excellence. Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) is a criminal profiler for the FBI with the unique ability to empathise with the murderers. Who else to help him retain his sanity after a hard day of field work but the charming and elusive Hannibal Lector (Mads Mikkelsen)? Fair warning, this show is not for the weak of heart, or the squeamish audience, as it gets quite graphic. Hannibal will reach its fingers in through your eyes, reach up into your brain, and caress the deep recesses of your personal unexplored psychopathic tendencies that have remained dormant for too long. You have been warned.
House of Cards
Genre: Political Drama
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright
House of Cards is by far one of the most gripping political dramas that I have come across. Not for nothing is it one of the biggest hits of the year 2014. If you love Homeland, you will gobble up House of Cards like a junkie fresh out of crack. Come for the thrills; stay for the back-door deals, the manipulative yet admirable characters, and unbeatable performances. Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is by no means a likeable man, and yet when he is betrayed by the ones he trusted, he makes it a mission to rebuild his fort no matter what the cost.
Genre: Drama, Crime
Starring: David Tennant, Olivia Colman
The predominant reason I started watching Broadchurch is because David Tennant played the role of DI Alec Hardy, a shady detective who has all but given up on the world. I was pleasantly surprised that the show grew on me as anything that has anything to do with human nature or psychology. The storyline revolves around the murder of a little boy in a sleepy town by the name Broadchurch, and how this attracts the attention of the media which proves to threaten the once friendly community of seemingly ‘perfect’ people. Broadchurch’s writer Chris Chinball explores the ideology behind the ‘ideal human’, portraying its characters with such depth that is relatable, and astonishing at the same time.
Genre: Action, Crime, Comedy
Starring: Karl Urban, Michael Ealy
Classy, sassy, and a bit smart-assy! That’s the entire extent of introduction that Almost Human requires, however, I shall elaborate for your sake. I was excited about this show because J.J. Abrams was one of its creators, and anyone who has watched Star Trek, or Fringe will follow him to the end of the universe itself just in the hope to catch a glimpse of his brilliance that lights up the Sic-fi world. Almost human explores a future set in the year 2048, and the crime rate has increased astonishingly, to deal with this the police force has sanctioned robots with a minimal level of human intelligence to pair up with human cops and fight crime. With exceedingly brilliant chemistry between the leads, Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban), and his nearly human companion Dorian (Michael Ealy), Almost Human is a feast to those of us who love to peek into the future and see the high-techie world that could be awaiting us.