Season after season, networks introduce us to new characters and plots, gripping us to our screens with no point of return because we crave drama. Netflix and Amazon Studios have taken notice, and now they too, are getting in on the action!
Gone are the days when we passively sat in front of our television sets watching sports and soap operas. Now, we watch them on the go and with this new era of fictitious non-fiction dramas, we are engaged and active in our watching. Thanks to Netflix and Amazon, we no longer need to bury ourselves in cable contracts in order to properly entertain our families, instead, we hook up our internet, plug in our fire sticks and behold, a new luxurious watching experience awaits. Although I’m not a big fan of watching television, I do have a select number of shows I occasionally binge watch and I think you should too! We’ve all heard of Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Dexter and a host of other critically acclaimed dramas, and sadly all have since been canceled, however, with Netflix and Amazon you can continue reliving the experience, and it’s a wonderful one. Though these incredible shows are no longer on television, there are a wide variety of new shows that will quickly occupy your free time, as well as your heart. There’s a show for everyone and for every mood, so tread lightly if you still hate your ex and his or her new partner. Now that we’ve established boundaries, let’s take a look at the shows you should be watching right now.
Better Call Saul, AMC, Mondays @ 9 PM (Season 3 premiered April 10)
A spin-off prequel to Breaking Bad, created by Vince Gilligan and starring Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill, America’s favorite criminal lawyer. This show is brilliant because it takes you on a journey through Jimmy’s life before he became Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad. It focuses mainly on his struggles to become a successful lawyer and his relationship with his brother, Chuck McGill (Michael McKean). We all saw Saul become Walter White’s accomplice in his drug empire, but to get to that level, he went through many trials and tribulations. You see, Saul have always had a way with words and he wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, so because of that his brother never trusted him. However, Saul was very motivated to get into law just like Chuck, except Chuck wasn’t flattered, instead, he became bitter and jealous. Throughout the first two seasons, Jimmy (Saul) tried mercilessly to make partner at Hamlin Hamlin and McGill (HHM), but with each attempt, Chuck found a way to sabotage his efforts. The show is incredibly well written and exquisitely performed, and I love the twists and turns that make up Jimmy’s life. Although he is a complicated man, he possesses a great deal of passion and drive to rise above his failures, and I think this is what makes Better Call Saul so engaging.
Bloodline, Netflix (Season 3 premiered May 26)
Bloodline takes you on an emotional thrill ride because it’s so good, you’ll easily forget that these characters are related. The show is set in the Florida Keys with the Rayburns, a prominent family of six, who owns a beachfront resort and is very respected in the community. Now, success doesn’t always come without problems and indeed this family has a lot to go around. As with most families, there’s a black sheep, but he quickly gets used to the notion that he’ll always be the outsider. The show is riveting and loaded with drama! Ben Mendelsohn’s character, Danny was severely beaten by his father as a boy because he was believed to have caused the death of his younger sister, Sarah, so he grew up being the designated black sheep. Kyle Chandler plays John, a detective with the local Sheriff’s office; he struggles with accepting Danny as part of the family. Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz) owns a marina, also struggles with forgiving big brother Danny for causing Sarah’s death, quick-tempered and impulsive, he gives in to his vices. Meg, played by Linda Cardellini, is an attorney who uses her power for the greater good of the family, also dislikes her brother Danny. Their parents, played by Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard just want to forget about Danny and his drama because they’ve lost hope that he’ll change his self-destructive ways. Although they’ve taken some responsibility for the way he’s turned out, there’s still a part of them that think Danny just uses his sister’s death as a way to guilt them into fulfilling his wishes. The story gets even more intense when a death occurs and then Danny goes missing…It’s very entertaining and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Stranger Things, Netflix (Season 2 premieres October 31)
Set in the 1980’s in fictional Hawkins, Indiana, a young boy goes missing and the investigation is not only conducted by the local police, but also by the boy’s friends and family. Winona Ryder plays the young boy’s mother (Joyce Byers), and she’s every kind of mother combined. It’s easy to see her pain when she realizes that her boy is gone, but it’s also incredible watching her keep the faith that he is still alive. She utilizes every angle and outlet to prove to the police that her son is somewhere close, but not easily seen with the naked eye. The supernatural theme of the show leads you to believe in the impossible and I think this is why it’s such a hit. Stranger Things tell the story of how the U.S. Department of Energy conducted experiments using human subjects, which ultimately went awry after they decided to delve into paranormal and supernatural activities. Will Byers’ (Noah Schnapp) friends really came through for him, especially when they came across a psychokinetic girl, who takes them on the journey of their lives in an effort to find him. Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) escaped the Hawkins National Laboratory, where she was born and experimented on after her mother became a test subject and due to the experimentation, she developed these psychokinetic abilities. She ultimately becomes a very friendly foe in the search for Mike. The excitement and fear from these characters make you want to continue watching, so give it a try.