With so many shows out there to watch nowadays, it can be overwhelming to try and find a place to start. Especially now that there has been a huge influx of streaming services in the past few years, and with many more to come. For a bit of guidance, here is a small, but diverse, list of 5 must watch shows to add to your queues right now. Some will leave you happy, others sad, and almost all will have you a bit stressed, but the characters and storylines are worth the wild ride.
1. Peaky Blinders
This BBC period drama starts its first season in 1919 Birmingham, UK, fresh off the tails of World War 1. London and the surrounding cities are in turmoil, the streets are riddled with crime and gang activity. The Peaky Blinders, a prominent gang in Birmingham, are controlled by the Shelby family. Thomas Shelby, played by actor Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later, Batman Begins, Inception), is the leader of The Peaky Blinders and reassumes his position once he returns from the war. His older brother Arthur, and younger brother John are also co-leaders of the gang and they too rejoin the family business when they come home.
Hardened from the horrors of war and with a sudden hunger for power, Tommy decides to start expanding the family’s empire to gain more control over the surrounding areas in England. Prepare yourself for a lot of violence, but some damn good storytelling. Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Mad Max: Fury Road, Venom), Helen McCrory (Harry Potter, The Woman in Black 2), and Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, Thor: Ragnarok) also star in the show. Peaky Blinders is currently on its 6th season, which is set to premiere some time in 2019. You can watch seasons 1-5 right now on Netflix.
2. The Bold Type
Set in modern-day New York City, The Bold Type centers around three best friends: Kat Edison played by Aisha Dee, Jane Sloan played by Katie Stevens, and Sutton Brady played by Meghann Fahy. The show follows their journeys of self-discovery as they work in different departments at a popular woman’s magazine Scarlet. All three women want different things from life, and the audience gets the pleasure of watching them all grow, discover themselves, and support one another over the course of three seasons. Melora Hardin (The Office, 17 Again, Hannah Montana: The Movie) stars as Jacqueline Carlyle, the leader of Scarlet Magazine, and is literally the boss that all of us want and need in our lives.
This show always touches upon real-world issues like women’s rights, racism, homophobia, sexual awakening/owning your sexuality, and so much more. Each topic is treated with care and honesty in a refreshing way that does not feel like they’re just crossing off a list of P.C. topics to include. The Bold Type is a very important show to watch in the current political climate, and it will leave you with feelings of hope, empowerment, and inspiration. The cast is as diverse as the storylines and they all work so well together to make this show feel natural; so much so that it feels like you’re watching a show about your good friends and coworkers. The Bold Type was just renewed for a season 4, and you can watch the first three season on Hulu or Freeform.
3. The 100
Currently on its 6th season, The 100 is a journey like no other. The first season starts in space about a century after a nuclear apocalypse that forced the human race to evacuate to space. As they run out of resources on the Ark, the decision is made to send 100 kids under the age of 18, who are imprisoned for various crimes, back to Earth to see if it is inhabitable once again. Once the group lands on Earth, one can imagine the Lord of the Flies-esque lifestyle that ensues as they encounter an unfamiliar landscape with unknown threats around every corner.
At times, the first few episodes can be a bit rough to get through while the show tries to find its footing. However, it only takes until roughly the fourth episode for the action to really start and then never stop. The 100 is known for it’s violent, high-stress storylines, but its one of very few shows that will literally keep you on the edge of your seat in anticipation. The characters are the heart of the show, and you will find yourself rooting for people you might not expect as they all develop throughout the seasons. The main theme that continues to come up is human morality, and just how far we’ll go to protect ourselves and our loved ones. The CW has renewed The 100 for a 7th season, and you can watch the first 5 seasons on Netflix, with the 6th season coming to the platform a week after the season finale airs.
4. AP Bio
AP Bio is a show on NBC that follows the life of Jack Griffin, played by Glenn Howerton (Always Sunny), who recently lost his job as a professor of Philosophy at Harvard. He is forced to move back home to Toledo, Ohio, and gets a job teaching Advanced Placement Biology at Whitlock High School. Needless to say, Jack is a bit disappointed in the recent turn of events in his life, and uses his position to enlist his students’ help in revenge missions against his nemesis Miles, the head of Philosophy at Stanford University.
The entire cast is incredible, especially those who play Jack’s students and the staff of Whitlock High. Patton Oswalt plays Whitlock’s enthusiastic and naive principal Ralph Durbin, and Paula Pell is ridiculously hilarious as Whitlock’s proud secretary Helen DeMarcus. This show truly evolves and develops with each episode, and has way too many amazing characters to even start choosing favorites. Unfortunately, NBC recently decided to cancel AP Bio after only 2 seasons, but there has been a huge social media movement to save the show from that terrible fate. It truly was blossoming into a masterpiece in season 2, and deserves a shot at a third season. Watch seasons 1 and 2 on Hulu, enjoy endless laughs, and join the rest of us in the movement to #saveAPBio .
5. The Promised Neverland
Last and certainly not least on this list of must watch shows is a manga-turned-anime called The Promised Neverland. Set at an orphanage called Grace Field House, the story revolves around a core unit of three 12-year-old kids at the orphanage named Emma, Norman, and Ray. Emma is the main protagonist of the story, and she is known for her altruism, physical capabilities, and ability to learn quickly. She brings a true heart to the show and exhibits a strong moral compass that she never seems to break. Norman is the smartest kid at Grace Field House and Ray is one of the only other kids who can equally keep up with Norman and Emma.
Their lives seem normal and happy at first. They’re cared for by a woman named Isabella, most of whom refer to her as Mom or Mother. The kids all have their own beds, matching uniforms, treat one another like true family, they share meals together, play outside, take daily tests, and all of them have a series of numbers tattooed across their necks. However, as time progresses, things begin to unravel and the kids quickly realize that life at Grace Field House is not as it seems.
You can watch the first season of The Promised Neverland in English on Toonami or if you prefer to watch the Japanese version, you can find it on Crunchyroll. (Definitely try to watch the Japanese version with English subtitles if you can.) Season 2 is set to release in 2020, but if you can’t wait that long, consider reading the manga series in the meantime. The show only covers roughly the first five books, and the 10th book in the series was just published at the beginning of June, with at least two more in the works to be released.
Do any of these shows catch your interest? What are some must watch shows that you recommend? Comment below!
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