Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 Pitch Your Low-Rated Show - Results

With the new year comes the Third Annual Pitch Your Low-Rated Show article. Originally designed as a way for fans of less-lauded shows to share their love, it also allows dedicated TV viewers to find what else is out there when their own shows are on hiatus. With over 30 shows being spotlighted, here's hoping you find one to add to your own TV queue. Underneath the title is where you can find the show in streaming format on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu. You can usually find it on the website of the network that airs it as well. If you don't mind being spoiled, the title also includes a link to a season 1 video or trailer.  Thanks to everyone who nominated shows. Due to space constraints, I used no more than 3 pitches per show so I apologize if yours was not included. You can see ALL the pitches here. If you didn't get a chance to pitch your favorite low-rated show or if something here sparked your interest, please share in the comments below.

The 100:  

Missions - Where do I even begin? Everyone on SpoilerTV has probably heard of this show due to its huge following, or due to its constant wins in polls and competitions. If you have not watched it yet, well I will try to convince you to do so. Let me start by saying that I always consider it to be a mixture of Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Lost, and it is so unlike the CW that you will not even realize that you are watching a CW show, let alone a network TV show. It is about 100 teenagers that are sent to the ground, after an apocalypse, to see whether you can survive on earth again. Right away they realize that they are not alone and all hell breaks loose. This is yet another example of a TV show that has only improved from its pilot, which even according to the writer (Jason Rothenberg) is the weakest episode of the series, and I totally agree. I binged watched this show after I read all the pitches for it last winter and finished it within two days. Here's why: the brilliantly developed characters, some of which are Clarke Griffin (the protagonist) and Bellamy Blake, the shocking twists and turns, and the intense storytelling. This show is not shy of doing anything regarding violence despite being on network TV. People are tortured, people are shot, people are poisoned and so on, but it all belongs to the story and therefore come across as being realistic. Another aspect that even the writer has mentioned is that every season has a different feel to it, which makes each season more unique. In general though, the show is extremely dark since it focuses on survival and what you may have to commit, let alone sacrifice in order to survive. One quote of the series pretty much sums it all up: “Maybe there are no good guys”. Viewers realize that throughout the series’ run. Also those who are very picky when it comes to the show’s pace, it is a very fast-paced show and does not have a single boring episode. I hope that everyone here gives this show a try and does not judge it after having only watched the first three to four episodes; you definitely need to watch beyond that. I am actually jealous of everyone who gets to experience this thrill ride for the first time. It is just epic. My advice: Look for a few days where you have nothing to do and just watch the first two seasons of this brilliant dystopian apocalyptic drama. After watching it, you will just want more and if you are smart, you can watch it just in time before season 3 premieres January 21st on the CW after the series premiere of Legends of Tomorrow. The first two seasons are available on Netflix US, Amazon Instant Video and the CW NOW.

Perry da Platypus - The 100 is a show that has evolved over the first two seasons. What started out a sci-fi teen drama has transformed into this dark, gritty series that shows a world that we've never seen before. Season 2 blew the first one out of the water, and it has only gotten better from there. If you like a show that has family bonds, minimal romance, amazing mythology, great acting, and powerful, tragic scenes that depict the sacrifices of war in order to save a society, a nation; then this is the show for you! The first couple episodes are good, but hard to swallow for some. Once you get to episodes 4-5 it starts getting to be the phenomenal show that it has become. It's just the right blend of everything that I love about TV.

OUaT Fan - This is a show I thought that I'd never even consider checking out due to the fact that I don't really like shows that revolve around a group of teenagers. When I first saw the trailer and read the plot the show didn't really appeal to me. So after a while I started reading some really positive reviews about this show on this site and thought to myself that maybe I should give it a chance. I gave it a try with low expectations and after watching the second season I said to myself boy I was wrong! Cause this show is one of the most captivating shows that I've ever seen. I mean it is everything that you would want in a TV show. The writing is top notch, characters are well developed, it has lots of action, drama, and exciting storylines! It is like watching a mini movie every week.

Agent Carter:

Ivan - I think this show proves that not all heroes need superpowers. A female heroine, need I say more? Decades and decades of shows have been centered on male figures. Sure, shows have strong female characters but they've not always been fully CENTERED on them. The only show that I can think of that was centered on strong women was Charmed. Agent Carter should be watched by many, MANY people, not just women because it's about a woman but it's an inspiration that can transcend genders. In MY opinion anyway, she's a role model so give it it a try. It's definitely got everything - action, romance, and a lot of humor.

Laura Silveria - The writing & directing is new & not contrived, as in most shows. Hayley Atwell is refreshing to watch as the unassuming, Peggy Carter, who gets the better of her male counterparts by laying low, using her brains, & her beauty when necessary. Great writing, acting, & directing all around!!!

American Crime:

Spindae2 - A drama handling real life events in a manner that focuses on the struggle of ordinary people and makes you feel like you are standing just besides those people. The acting, writing and especially the directing favors this show in so many ways making it an excellent drama. The show is dark, moody, depressing and sometimes makes you want to scream and cry at your screen but all that is real. That the show has the ability to transfer all those emotion over the screen is just one more reason to watch it.

The Americans:
Amazon Prime

Milo_MJ - This show is amazing. Now in its third year on FX, The Americans revolves around two Russian spies who are sent undercover as a married couple to America during the Cold War, with their mission so secretive that their own children don't know who their parents work for. With some fantastic acting from Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell, as well as some believable acting from the young kids, this spy series is realistic, gripping and utterly entertaining, boasting a killer soundtrack and some excellent period design, with the highlights easily being the wigs.

Netflix, Hulu subscription - current season

Karen White - For many it will amuse them that I am trying to get people to either tune back in or find an 11 year old show, but I will try anyway. The best thing Bones has going for it is obviously their leads David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel, whose chemistry and evident fun with each other always comes through even in the smallest scenes (last year when they took a backseat as a couple and as working partners, the scenes they did have were terrific). Also Bones except for season three and last season has not gone through major cast changes that have jarred viewers too much. The fact that Bones leads are still on their show after 11 seasons says much about the atmosphere on the set. And while I cannot say that their cases every week are the same or more interesting than their first seasons they can still have powerful moments that affect the major players (witness Hodgins now being paralyzed). When you watch ALL of the characters on Bones you really believe they are a team. Also while their humorous scenes aren't the way they use to be there is still a fair amount of fun between everyone. Obviously the major draw to Bones is Booth and Brennan and their chemistry together but its more than that too. They are on paper opposites but in reality they are very much more alike than they think. They both can have disagreements about wildly different things and manage to let those go and stay strong as a couple and as partners. One of the things I have loved about them is they (for the most part) communicate well with each other and have real conversations. In short they are a believable couple worth coming back to or to start watching. Bones has never been a straight procedural which is another reason why I love it as well. However their science is a big part that they handle well and is very interesting. Of course there is also the fact that they have intelligent women in science, which is a good thing to show to younger girls who might be afraid to try. Any science field needs more women and Bones has done a terrific job promoting women in that field. Now like any show they have had bumps (their biggest was last season) and they tend to promote characters in too much of a hurry (Aubry) or hold on to them too long (Pelant) but for the most part every single character is watchable and relatable. And one last thing this show has, on paper, what could have been the most unlikable woman on television, and yet Emily Deschanel has made her not only likable but much adored (by most of us anyway) and the changes that have occurred in her have been believable and in step with who Brennan is (She still doesn't believe in God. On any other network she would have converted a long time ago). So in spite of their lackluster ratings, which have both been their fault and FOX'S, and their age I hope people will give it a shot. It is a much better show than people give it credit for.

Linda - With new writers this year, Bones is better this season and the actors are doing great jobs with their characters. This is a very good show that has been overlooked and moved so frequently that it's done a dis-service to its leads. Emily, David, TJ, Michaela and Tamara are excellent actors and ALL the squints have been fun as well. David is also an excellent director & I hope he's doing a couple episodes in 2016...that is, if it comes back & finishes the season. The fans that have stuck by this show for 11 seasons deserve a good ending to the series. Give Booth & Brennan a nice departure. They deserve it as do the fans. That said, I hope there is a 12th season & ALL actors come back.

Anita Brunt - Bones has a very loyal following going on 11 years and deserves to have a longer run. Bones has never been boring. The writing is top draw and the actors are all excellent.

Hulu subscription - current season

Barbara Caponigro - Castle is in every way the most enjoyable, entertaining, and spell bounding show ever. It has drama, comedy, love and intrigue. The actors are superb, committed and personable that draw in fans of every age. The themes don't disappoint; the story lines are excellent and riveting. I recommend this show wholeheartedly.

Sorms - Castle has a little bit of everything. The show emphasizes how closeness in a family does exist, has the drama you want to watch, enough humor to make it fun, and romance too. Isn't that a good combination to make it worth renewing?

Katrina - The chemistry between the two leads is really the biggest selling point. Stana and Nathan are magic together. It's not a too serious drama but it can get deep and that's when the talents of these actors show. It is also really funny for a procedural which is nice.

Code Black:
Hulu (4 episodes)

Owen - Originally, I thought this show would be another boring, typical medical procedural but it turns out Code Black is much better than that. It is a character-driver medical drama with serialized and in-depth character developments, real and gritty medical cases and without any over-the-top romance relationship drama.

Spindae2 - As a long time Grey's Anatomy fan, really falling in love with a medical drama is tough. Still Code Black did the job and made me watch every single episode with so much passion that I'm really surprised. The great thing about Code Black is it isn't sugar coating stuff and it gives the whole show a real feel. The show does a hell of a job to give you a real experience and still manages to give all the characters likable and unlikable traits, and progressively develops them. The amazing cast headlined by Marcia Gay Harden is delivering emotional and powerful moments throughout. Also various guest stars such as Heart of Dixie's Cress Williams and Shiri Appleby are just one more reason to tune in. One turn off could be the dark and melancholic atmosphere that is featured but it serves its purpose it lets the actors shine in that darkness.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend:
Hulu subscription - current season

Laura- Yes, it has a horrible title and it has musical numbers, but please, please give it a chance because:
1.It has an honest portrayal of mental health issues, sometimes expressed through a song, but not treated as a joke or a punch line. Personally, the representation of social anxiety in one of the songs was touching and relatable.
2. The show has an adorable female friendship.
3. It's quirky and a little cringy at times but in a mostly realistic way.
4. Santino Fontana - he's dreamy.
5. It might look like the lead leaves her career to follow a man, but a deeper look would show that it's not exactly what it looks like. It's only half (or, well, a quarter) of the story.
6. The theme song is awesome.
7. The songs are not bad even if you hate musicals (and I hate most of them) - they're funny, smart, catchy and unusual (in a good way).
8. Representation - the lead is not super skinny. Obviously I don't have anything against thin actresses, but there aren't a lot of not-so-thin lead characters on TV that are shown to be funny, sexy and complex. Also, the male lead is Asian, and his family and their traditions are shown in a respectable way.
9. Greg and Rebecca - my favorite pairing. The show is not solely focused on relationships, but when those characters share a scene/storyline, they have amazing chemistry and depth that is unique and genuine.

I hope you will give it a shot and maybe that (and the Golden Globe nomination) would help the ratings and there would be a S02. :)

Owen - Crazy Ex Girlfriend is a sharp, quirky and really funny comedy. Yes, it has the worst and most confusing title ever, but this show is actually about things that you can relate to: mental health, happiness and identities. Also, the music in this show is catchy and funny.

Spindae2 - Are there a lot of unlikable things featured though out Crazy Ex-Girlfriend episodes? Yes there are but all of them are topped by the hilarious moments. The show, as the title says, features a girl who was someone's girlfriend and after meeting that person 10 years later she goes full on crazy. She travels from the East Coast to the West Coast and stalks the hell out of her ex, all while singing hilariously catchy tunes. Rachel is an amazing lead and character and the way she and her co worker, Paula, experience the world is something I haven't seen on television to date. My personal highlight is Donna Champlin who plays Paula, the even crazier part of this equation. Personally Josh, the ex, is a turnoff. He is handsome but not funny and really doesn't suit the show in any segment. The show mostly starts slow and builds up momentum towards the end of episode resulting in an entertaining hour.

CSI: Cyber:
Hulu subscription - current season

Dahne - I first only gave CSI: Cyber a shot because I review all pilots for the Last Week in TV column. I didn't expect to like it for three reasons. 1. I never liked CSI. 2. I had only seen a few sporadic episodes of the entire CSI franchise, mostly CSI: NY. 3. I couldn't see how computer crimes could be that exciting to watch. Other police procedurals have gross autopsies, fancy machines, and my favorite, the perp chase. I didn't see how people on computers could add anything exciting. In the end, I was wrong on almost every count. You don't have to watch any CSI show to get into CSI: Cyber with the exception that a character from the original CSI came on in season 2. CSI: Cyber is unlike the others in as far as I can tell too so if you didn't like the originals, you might like this one. Most importantly though, there was far more action in the pilot than I ever expected and it continues throughout. Apparently geeky hackers like to run just like your average thug. Plus I get an additional thrill watching Dawson take down the bad guys. The show does get preachy at times and gives you a lot more than identity theft to fear from technology, but overall it's a fun, no-brainer show with some intriguing facets of technology to explore. If you like procedurals, check it out. Just don't expect it to be like CSI or NCIS.

Martin - It really is a bad show, but there is no other procedural like it on television. The original CSI is no longer on air and if it gets cancelled, TV loses Patricia Arquette for a long time, I guess. So, you should all watch it, because it's interesting and actually quite enjoyable, albeit moronic.

Hulu subscription - all episodes

A Mind Amazed - Three of the main reasons many people stayed away are misconceptions:
1. Elementary is not "the American Sherlock"; it's not a remake of the BBC show. It, like BBC Sherlock, is one of hundreds of adaptations of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories about these characters.
2. Elementary's Sherlock Holmes may live in NYC but he's British (and played by a British actor).
3. There is no romance between Dr. Joan Watson and Sherlock Holmes. It's been 78 episodes. Folks need to stop believing that making Watson female was a ploy to hook Holmes & Watson up as a heterosexual couple. The show runner said it would not happen from the very start and so far it really hasn't, not even as innuendo.

So with that out of the way, Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller do a great job as modern-day Watson & Holmes. The show's thoughtful focus on addiction and recovery is one of its great strengths. The first season in particular was excellent long-form storytelling, and I recommend all 24 s1 episodes unequivocally. Try to avoid spoilers if you haven't already heard about how season one ends. Seasons 2 & 3 were more uneven, with some great episodes but not such a strong over-all narrative as s1. It's early days yet in s4, but I'm hopeful. I personally find the procedural aspect a bit boring - in 78 episodes (as of the end of 2015) only one hasn't had a murder - but that's not why I watch. Miller and Liu give consistently compelling performances, and the growth of their characters and their partnership is true to the spirit of all good Holmes & Watson stories. The show has also created a small group of fascinating secondary characters, some drawn from Doyle's stories and some original to the show. The writers and actors have frequently commented on reading and referring to the original text as source material to develop the characters. Even though Elementary doesn't do traditional retellings of individual Doyle stories, if you're familiar with ACD canon you'll often hear a spoken line or a name or a crime that's based on something from canon. If you're not familiar, you may decide you want to be (that's what happened to me).

Georgette Timmerman - Halfway through its 4th Season, the concept of Sherlock Holmes in 21st century New York with an Asian female Dr. Watson is no longer revolutionary. Oddly enough, that very concept is the reason I, a big fan of Arthur Conan Doyle's character, was not interested in watching Elementary. The day I gave the show a try (nothing better to watch) was when I became addicted to Elementary. While the writers take liberties with canon, they do treat the original stories reverently (copies of Doyle's books are on each of their desks for reference). The episodes are well written and intriguing. I especially enjoy the character development and relationship growth that builds throughout each season. Jonny Lee Miller thoroughly embraces Sherlock's persona. This underrated actor is brilliant in his facial expressions, posture, and perfectly delivered lines. Lucy Liu is Joan Watson, a dainty (looking) partner who should not be underestimated as a formidable adversary. Every week I anxiously await the new story that will unfold and give me a glimpse into the workings of Sherlock's mind. The witty lines make me laugh out loud and force me to re-watch to catch what I missed. If you haven't watched Elementary yet, do yourself a favor and watch this most intelligent show for the first time. I am so happy I did.

Starg8 Fans - I know a lot of Sherlock fans won't give this a chance, but I watch both shows and they are different enough that you can enjoy them both. Johnny Lee Miller is amazing as Holmes, and he plays him with a certain innocence that makes his egomania less jarring. He also regularly delivers the best one-liners on TV. Lucy Liu as Watson complements him perfectly, and I took to her right away although I wasn't sure at first whether a female incarnation of the character could work. It definitely helps that Holmes and Watson are one of the few couples on TV who have great chemistry without the slightest hint of romance - something which is a bonus in my book. The cases are well constructed, always come with two or three twists and mostly keep you guessing until the very end. This is a high quality show with lots of heart and deserves at least a try.

Hulu - all episodes available for free for limited time

Dahne - Galavant was one of the funniest shows to debut last year and yet it was largely overlooked. I'm not sure if it was because of the fairy tale content or the musical format. If either was a concern, I highly suggest you at least try it. With only 8 episodes at 22 minutes each without commercials, Galavant is by far the quickest to marathon on this list and dedicated viewers could even catch up before season 2 premieres tonight. It's razor-sharp wit is found in the dialogue and the songs, where the main romantic song is called "Maybe You're Not the Worst Thing Ever".  It also has loads of fabulous cameos from Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) to John Stamos (Grandfathered) to Ricky Gervais (The Office) to Weird Al Yankovic. Still the very best thing about it is Timothy Omundson (Psych) as King Richard. Some episodes are better than others but there's not one in which I didn't laugh at least a few times. Give it a try and you might be pleasantly surprised at just how much fun this show is. After all, how many shows would make fun of themselves and actually sing these lyrics in their opening number for season 2:
1. Pirate King: "What I'm saying is we're gonna have to kill you if you sing the freaking song." Galavant: "What?" Pirate King: "It didn't win an Emmy. Now it's time to move along."
2. Pirates: "You'll know hell's freezing if we get decent ratings."
3. Pirates: "It's a new season so hold on to your sword." Castle: "A new season, which you'll probably record."

Laura Markus - Way back in days of old,
there was a legend told,
about the hero known as Galavant.
This TV show's lots of fun,
something for everyone
music and dancing and funny dialogue.
Fun characters at large,
a badass woman in charge,
and witty lyrics and cameos.
A bromance starting too,
now it is up to you,
to try out this epic show; it rules!
So start the show right now,
if you catch up then take a bow,
be prepared for Jan. 3rd - for the return of GALAVANT!

Bert - It's an original, funny show with a lovable cast and catchy songs.

The Good Wife:
Amazon Prime, Hulu subscription - all episodes

J. Frasier - Every week is wildly different. There's tension on many levels!

Hulu subscription - current season

Spindae2 - I always think it is hard to pitch a comedy, especially the half hour longs, cause humor is individual. Either you feel it within a show or you don't. Grandfathered is such a delightful show that I have to write this plea for you guys to watch it. The comedic momentum is on point. All the actors have a nice sense for comedy and deliver really hilarious moments. The story revolves around player and restaurant owner Jimmy, played by John Stamos, who discovers he not only has a 25 year old son but he also has 2 year old granddaughter. The way Jimmy is trying to get out of his player ways and build his son, granddaughter and ex in his life is really hilarious. Jimmy's struggle with getting older is sweet and John delivers a charming performance. Other highlights are delivered by Paget Brewster's Sara who always has a great one liner to follow up Jimmy's awkward thoughts. The show lives up to its potential starting with episode 4. While 1-3 are good and have their funny moments, with episode 4 the show reached full potential and delivered a hilarious outing from the first minute.

Supergirl - It's funny, cute and charming. Each episode leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling. It's the kind of show you can sit down with and really enjoy. The 30 minutes is over way too fast. It always leaves me wanting more. It's the best performance from John Stamos since Full House. Josh Peck is as quirky as his Drake & Josh character, in a good way. It's nice to watch him being a father. I enjoy the interaction between all the characters. The back and forth between the two set of love interests are interesting to watch. You can tell Paget Brewster and John Stamos have real chemistry. It's way better than I ever expected. It's worth the watch. Even the sub-plots are good to watch. It's got everything you hope for and more from a sitcom.

Amazon Prime, Hulu subscription - current season

Rosember - The reason I think you should try this show is because this show is not like any supernatural show out there and also because of the monsters they show each episode which all usually look pretty cool. The first season of Grimm starts slow but over the seasons it starts to improve.

Jaci - This is a great TV show. I can never wait to see this show. It is a very different cop show as it has one of the greatest twists. The show is very well written and they keep you on the edge of your seat every show. IT IS THE BEST SHOW ON TV.

Halt and Catch Fire:

Milo_MJ - Several shows this year have had excellent sophomore seasons and Halt and Catch Fire is certainly one of them. It raised itself to a whole new level of quality, developing its characters well and boasting a kicka** soundtrack as per usual. It's no longer a weak imitation of Mad Men, instead becoming the perfect Mad Men replacement, with some great actors - Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy and Mackenzie Davis, all at the top of their game. Season 2 ended on a really strong note. This show has also been renewed for a third season, so now's the perfect time to get caught up.

Hawaii 5-0:
Netflix, CBS Access (pay) - all seasons

Laura Markus - For a CBS procedural to still be on the air for six seasons, and STILL offer fresh and exciting cases and character arcs is a big deal and should be worth checking out based on this alone. The bromance of McDanno (Steve and Danny) continues to grow throughout the show, and the other main characters keep providing us with fun and thrills. Kono is one bada** female character in all meanings of the word, and Chin is just a positive, intelligent guy who makes every episode better just by being there. Some cases may perhaps be more interesting than others, but you must check out the show to see which ones you prefer. The way these characters solve these crimes always involves witty dialogue and new ways to figure things out. There is still so much effort put into this show, even after six years, which should be commended because most shows seem to check out after being on the air for that long. Hawaii Five-0 is a great exception to the rule and definitely deserves more people checking it out!

Hell on Wheels:

Milo_MJ - Now that Justified has ended, Hell on Wheels has taken its place as the best western show on television. Smart, with some great dialogue and some great acting, this series has experienced an excellent journey over the course of its five seasons. It remains incredibly unpredictable and is not afraid to end seasons with high body counts so the vast majority of the cast don't make it to the end. Anson Mount is superb as the lead protagonist Cullen Bohannon, and the soundtrack is a killer too. Obviously not as popular as AMC's other series, it's still worth a watch even if it may get lost in the shuffle with the vast amount of other shows on. Now may be the perfect time to start watching so you can catch up in time for the second half of the shows' final season, airing in next year. This show is far more than just a race to build a railroad that links the coasts of America, and is one of the most underrated series on television.

Heroes Reborn:
Hulu - first 9 episodes

Laura Markus - Based on the successful 4-season long series of the name 'Heroes', Heroes: Reborn rehashes some of those characters that you knew and loved, but ultimately focuses on brand new characters that you get to grow with and follow their experiences. With bada** females, POC representation, and a wide plethora of special abilities dubbing them 'EVOs' (evolved humans), this show offers something for everyone. Using a drama centered around an event that you can equate to real-life events, cool time-travel storylines, multi-layered characters and altered timelines when they cross paths, this show takes elements from the old and combines them with new technologies and sceneries. You don't have to have seen the old show to watch this one, but it is an added bonus. I highly recommend checking this show out if you enjoy anything I've mentioned, and there are even more things to love that I didn't talk about!

Netflix, Hulu subscription - current season

Dahne - iZombie was one of the most fun new shows last year. I'm not typically a fan of zombie shows, but what caught my attention was the perfect combination of humor, mystery, and action. Basically Liv, a med student, is infected with a zombie virus and has to change everything in her life. Now working at the morgue so she can get the necessary supply of brains, she works with her boss Ravi and a detective named Clive to solve murders. The catch is that with each brain she eats, she takes on the characteristics of that victim and can sometimes see flashes of their lives. It sounds hokey but it supplies the constant stream of humor that makes iZombie so much fun.

Mary - It's good.

Jane the Virgin:
Netflix, Hulu subscription - current season

Emma - Many people, including myself, were so put off by the show's name and premise that the possibility it could be good never even occurred to us. Then all the critics started praising it. Since I rarely agree with critics, I knew I would hate it and determined to prove myself right, I decided to give the pilot a chance. Funny thing happened…I loved it! Yes, Jane the Virgin is a telenovela so they use every trope in the book, but the writing/production team uses those tropes to call attention to serious topics with humor and without being preachy. The entire premise of the show is a prime example of this – a young woman is accidentally artificially inseminated at her routine yearly physical. On the surface, one would think “Wow, what a crazy, over the top premise” but the reality is that medical mistakes happen all too often and they can drastically alter a patient’s life. The first season deals primarily with the effects of the medical mistake but also touch on heavy topics such as immigration, reproduction and parenthood. At the heart of the show are the three generations of Villanueva women but even the supporting cast is well fleshed out. Each character has had to face their own unique trials in life and even if you don’t agree with the character’s choices, you will understand why they made them. If you give this show a chance, I promise you will laugh, you will cry, and before you know it, you will want more. Season 1 is available to stream on Netflix (USA, not sure of other countries).

HV - Whether you like over-the-top funny characters, love triangles, family drama, or crazy international crime stories, you will love Jan the Virgin! Great acting and writing help this series reach its full potential.

DJ - One of the most original and well crafted shows on television.

The Leftovers:

Missions - The Leftovers is a show that I have just finished binge-watching. I actually binged it in less than a week. It is about 2% of the world’s population that suddenly vanishes on October 14th. The art of this series however, is that we will never find out why the people departed, let alone where they went. It deals with how the rest of the population, “the leftovers”, deal with it and what God may have to do with it. All I can say is that it is a phenomenal show, led by the incredibly talented Justin Theroux. But Justin is not the only good actor on this show, the entire cast is profoundly talented yet criminally underrated. I have to admit though that the show is dark, depressing, bleak, and pretty slow, many characteristics that the majority of TV viewers do not sympathize with, and therefore the show is definitely not for everyone. However, I had the same fear before watching since I thought that I hated slow paced shows but I absolutely loved it. If you watch the episodes back to back at first, you will not even realize the slow pace, and at one point you will become so invested in these interesting characters and storylines that the pace will not even bother you anymore. This show has delivered some of the best hours of television that I have ever seen. Many of them are character-centric episodes, another special thing about this show, which let you explore different storylines with all these unique characters. My favorite part about this show though is the background score, composed by the brilliant Max Richter. It is probably the most beautiful score for a series that I have ever heard, and it is not even a “large” soundtrack. They use the same score for so many scenes, and right away, those scenes become amazing. In addition to that, this show does not need twists and turns, let alone sudden character deaths to be amazing and I do not even want any. All it needs is brilliant character development, which it has. The unfortunate part is that the show is criminally underrated both ratings-wise and especially critically, from the writing to the directing to the acting to the sound editing. So I cannot even compare this show to anything else on television; it is that unique. Everyone should at least give the first three episodes a try before they give up. It has become one of my favorite shows, and it would be nice if more people joined the fandom for its final 10 episodes. You can catch up on HBO NOW, HBO GO and for the Europeans: Sky On Demand and Sky Go.


Milo_MJ - Whilst this show is fairly big in the UK I believe it isn't as popular in the US so I thought I'd share it here. It's a British Detective thriller featuring Idris Elba as the unstable, often violent Luther, and often goes into very dark places. What makes this show better though is the female antagonist Alice Morgan, who brings some fantastic levels of unpredictability to the screen as you're not really sure what the character will do next. Ruth Wilson's performance is just as good if not better than Elba's, and the if you're into anything from the UK or just want a good crime series that rivals the best American ones, Luther is well worth a look.

Hulu subscription - season 1

Milo_MJ - Are you someone that is looking for the perfect Mad Men replacement? Well Manhattan may be your best bet. It's a smart, tense, well-plotted and unpredictable drama about the race to launch America's first atomic bomb during World War Two. There's plenty of well rounded characters (both male and female), some great attention to detail, and the show manages to work in real life scientists like Oppenheimer very well indeed, in a major role. It's a great period drama that is probably the best show that you're not watching, and thanks to some excellent acting from the likes of John Benjamin Hickey and more, Manhattan is a cable show that really deserves your consideration.

Minority Report:
Hulu subscription - season 1

Patrick Maloney - Minority Report is the perfect introduction to the science fiction genre! The show deals with the big ideas from the film without going overboard into meta/heady territory and you can't find a better cast in crime television!

Mysteries of Laura:
Netflix, Hulu subscription - current season

Preston Pagel - It's funny, smart, and has great acting so what else more could you ask?

Hulu subscription - all episodes

Joy Haldar - This show falls somewhere in between the two extremes, a story that thrives on heightened melodrama and big twists but gives its characters more depth than you generally find in network lather-fests. It's high-class entertainment that takes its locale and its characters seriously and treats the audience to some enjoyable music along the way. It all blends together in an entertaining, easily digestible hour. The depiction of the modern country music business in Nashville feels reasonably authentic, and when the story stays within that realm, it has the mix of hard headedness, sentimentality and honky-tonk come-on you can get from a good country song. Panettiere is deliciously manipulative, Connie is as effervescent as ever and Esten brings the melodrama. The chemistry between Rayna & Deacon is organic and well developed over the course of the series. You can't help but fall in love with this couple as the show progresses. The supporting cast makes up for the rest of it. That's not to say this show is flawless because sometimes the doom and gloom gets too much to digest on a weekly basis or the tedious romantic triangles feel childish and unnecessary, but overall it has a great cast and characters. Plus it has great "Inside music industry" stuff. I am by no means a country music lover but I am proud to say that Nashville has given me a new respect for the genre. Give it a try. You won't regret it.

Holly Rhodes - Nashville is a show that will tug at one's heartstrings through beautiful and original music and dialogue. It's unique in the sense that the show is actually filmed on location in the City of Nashville too. The cast includes Connie Britton, Charles Esten, Hayden Panettiere, Jonathan Jackson, Clare Bowen, Chris Carmack, Sam Palladio and Lennon and Maisy Stella, who are very talented actors and actresses that I greatly admire. To be able to sing and act is amazing. As a huge fan of the show myself I can see the authenticity, emotion, and passion within their characters that each actor and actress portrays. I believe the ability to mix really great music with real talent is special. Some of my favorite songs today came from the show and have meaning in my life. For those who are seeking inspiration in your life I recommend listening to a song titled, "A Life That's Good" as it's become the theme song in my own life. I believe more people will fall in love with the show just as I have once they really listen to the music and their lyrics. They will become attached to the characters just as I have as there is real chemistry between them. The chemistry between Connie Britton and Charles Esten (AKA Rayna Jaymes and Deacon Claybourne) is especially breathtaking. The passion of loyal Nashville fans is unique as well as so many of us have bonded through the show and become friends (even globally). For those who are looking for a show that will make you smile, laugh, cry, sing, dance, and even get angry at times because of your investment with each character, then this is definitely the show I highly recommend investing your time with.

Elissa - Nashville is a drama about talented artists trying to make it in the music industry. It is a unique show because it incorporates original music written by local Nashville songwriters, and what some people might not know is that when you see a character singing or playing guitar on Nashville, that actor REALLY is singing and actually plays guitar! Every year, the cast even goes on tour across the US and performs songs from the show - and they have started writing their own material too. I didn't like or know anything about country music before I stumbled upon this show. It is shot in Nashville. You can download every song heard in an episode on iTunes and they put 2 albums out every year with all the songs from each season, that do quite well. The mix of romance, music, drama and the struggles of being an artist makes for a very entertaining show. It deserves more recognition.

The Originals:
Netflix, Hulu subscription - current season

Marissa - In the beginning, I was not open to The Originals because I thought it would be cheesy but I watched past the pilot and I grew to love the show. Every week I could not wait to see what would happen, and I still get that feeling now that I am into the third season. I would try this show because you will get a thrill out of it.

Danny - The Originals has a perfect blend of action, drama, supernatural, and romance. I've been following this show since it first came out and I can honestly say it's in my top 5 favourite shows ever.

Obsessed with Mikaelsons - The show is based on a family, a complicated one where they betray and hurt the ones they love. But even when hate is in its strongest form, they still love each other. It's a battle with lots of twists and everyone fights for something, mostly family or redemption. Everything is complicated, but even when all seems burnt to ash, there is always hope.

The Player:
Hulu subscription - current season

Romeo Yotat - The Player is one of the most amazing shows I ever seen. It keeps you on edge on your seat every time. The premise is creative, the plots have been extremely interesting, and the acting is really good. This show takes an old premise - that of the lone vigilante - and develops it in new and interesting ways. It has Excellent writing, action scenes with Snipes and Winchester, and excellent acting. You won't be disappointed.

Please Like Me:
Hulu subscription - all episodes

Gio - I've already pitched Please Like Me last year, but it's still pretty much unknown and it's not fair. It tells the story of Josh, a boy that realizes he's gay after his girlfriend breaks up with him. The show deals with rough issues like depression, bipolar disorder and abortion with grace and tenderness. Please Like Me was nominated for an International Emmy and won a lot of Australian awards. It's produced by ABC (Australian TV) and Pivot, which airs it in the US.

Netflix, Hulu subscription - current season

Spindae2 - First off to all of you who never watched an episode of Reign, it is a beautiful story about evolution of a young girl into a queen. The intrigue, the court politics, the sexy actors and the occasional CW love triangle just made this show such an enjoyable ride. It isn't a perfect show - it has its major ups and downs, but when it's up the acting, dialogues and storytelling is simply amazing and so enjoyable to watch. It has major guilty pleasure potential. Even though the CW love triangle writing killed the show during season 2, it bounced back nicely in season 3. Don't read the 2nd paragraph if you haven't watch the show.

Second off if you have dropped Reign cause of the Frary mess, go back and enjoy the show again. After his death, Reign found its place again. Once again it is about politics, strategic moves, game changers and all the secret stuff happening behind the nice facade of the French court.

Tyanna - Reign is one of the CW's most promising shows. Given its strong female lead(s) and historical context, it has shown itself to be unique and fresh without the need for procedural elements. Yes, the second season wasn't as good as it could be with the love triangle, poorly done political storylines and lack of character growth, but this has all changed. Season 3 brought a much needed fresher look into Mary's life as a young monarch. Along with a new focus on her character and the new and far more intriguing problems she faces, the show is better than ever. Mary Stuart of Scotland had a very complex, rich and tragic life. We have barely begun to scratch the surface and cancelling this show will never give us the chance to do so. This show has strong women, fun and appropriate political storylines, social commentary on gender roles and elitism, and decades of history to cover one of the most formidable and tragic females monarchs that ever ruled. It would be a shame for it to go to waste.

Alanna - This show is a historical drama based on Mary, Queen of Scots, which may not have historically correct costumes but the costumes are still beautifully done and represent each character's personality. The plot is exciting with twists and turns that you never expect. It's exciting and intriguing! The characters are full of heart and soul and will either make you root for them or make you hate them with a burning passion. If you love strong female characters, then this is the show for you!

Sleepy Hollow:
Hulu subscription - all episodes

Words One - There's nothing else like it on TV. It's a supernatural procedural with a sense of humor and a marvelous cast. It's the only show I have ever binge watched.

Hulu subscription - season 1

Harry - In its third season, it's relevant about the Middle East struggle. There's lots of action and suspense.


Kissan Capers - This show has amazing writing and twists to its story. The characters are mean, vile and superb at what they do while the setting is based on a Bachelor type reality show. This show was on Lifetime during the summer and was one of the lowest rated shows if not the lowest.

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and/or creates polls for Teen Wolf, The 100, Grimm, How to Get Away with Murder, The Librarians, and others. She also runs the annual Character Cup. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts The 100 "Red-Shirted" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
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