If you’ve watched Stranger Things for the fifth time, and you’ve just completed your third binge of Friday Night Lights, you might be wearing out your thumb scrolling through Netflix looking for something new and brilliant to watch. Here’s a list of five great shows that are so little watched I might as well have made them up.
A full decade before President Bartlet asked ‘What’s next?’, there was another show about the backroom shenanigans driving a major political figure. Staffers is an ensemble piece that lasted for eight seasons, and managed to embody the social optimism of Sorkin’s masterpiece without ever really being watched. In particular, you’ll be so blown away by the performance of the Governor, that you won’t even notice that he’s played by Steve Guttenberg.
Netflix is rightly known for its brilliant documentaries, and Six Seconds is no exception, even if no-one is talking about it over the water cooler. It’s hard to tell you what it’s about without ruining the concept, but needless to say, all ninety episodes of this true life re-telling of a six second event in May of 1984 are riveting. What lets it down is the narration by Shia LaBeouf who inexplicably decided to do an impression of Gilbert Gottfried throughout.
Who knew that stories about obscure inventions could be so compelling? Like Halt & Catch Fire, Crimson explores an esoteric world with such humanity that it almost doesn’t matter what the precinct is. But that’s the thing, the precinct here is as fascinating and human as the characters we meet. Over three season, we watch scientists at General Electric in the 1930s struggling to invent the colour red. And it’s brilliant.
Sitcoms are getting rarer; good sitcoms doubly so. But Laffter is right up there with shows like Seinfeld, Taxi, and Perfect Strangers. Starring a post Cheers Harry Laverne Anderson as the eponymous Bob Laffter, we follow the hilarious goings-on backstage at a comedy club, where the same five comedians gather every week and share lives and loves. What sets this apart from other nineties network sitcoms is that it contains swearing, real life sex scenes, and a laugh track featuring one person laughing sarcastically. Waaaay ahead of its time.
Before he decided to run for office because President Obama made some funny jokes about him at the White House Correspondents Dinner, Donald Trump was a reality TV star. And I don’t mean that one where he pretends to be a business man who’s so tremendous at business that he he thinks he can fire people who don’t actually work for him. Trump is the ‘mayor’ of Trump Town, presiding over the lives of real people, some of whom live behind a big wall. As Mayor, it’s his job to walk around town, urinating on everything with his magic willy that micturates his name in gold letters.