A word I think I would like to reclaim is “basic” and I blame gen-z for the demonisation of this very simple word. It is okay to be BASIC, in fact, in can be quite fun. When it comes to my choices and general TV viewing, you could call my taste, just that, BASIC (but yes, just to clarify I did start watching kdramas before they became the phenomenon that they are now – a point that MUST be noted.)
Sometimes, though, I like to veer off the beaten path and in my own corner of the internet, I find the most magical series that deserve to be shared with everyone, even if it is not for all intents and purposes basic and in fact happen to be Emmy nominated shows.. You might know these and be rolling your eyes, thinking that I think have such unique taste, but truly these shows are just underrated and I have decided to give them some promo, I, however, cannot afford the Netflix level billboards, but these shows DESERVE to be basic.
The story of Marianne and Connel penned by Sally Rooney will forever remain imprinted on my heart. It follows the typical cliche, a quiet unlikable girl who comes from immense wealth but is clouded by a coldness and the popular but poor boy who is seemingly good at everything and just finds himself drawn to the wallflower, but normal people goes beyond the cliche. Marianne and Connel grow and change over their respective journeys leaving their small Irish town and attending Trinity College. Their love is not easy, it is turbulent, it is flawed but it is beautiful. Normal People is a testament to fantastic writing, directing and acting, you get lost in the rawness of the story and its empathetic story-telling. You can find normal people on Hulu and Showmax. I really do also want the give the book a try and thank the show for introducing me to our new brunette screen darling Daisy Edgar-Jones who will likely be stunning us for years to come.
THE SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS
With the way this show is marketed, a show by the glorious Mindy Kailing, following four college freshman who are exploring their sexuality at a fictional IVY League University, I expected there to be more hype. Of course our main characters end up forming and even stronger bond of friendship and all the #womenempowerment jazz that can be expected from Mindy, but in a delightfully TASTEFUL way. The show is earnest, funny and does not try to hard to force cliche plot lines. Also your fave Timothee Chalamet has a beautiful (with a terrrrrible haircut) sister who is one of our main leads!
I binged this show when omicron finally caught me and it was an extremely fun watch. I cannot wait for season two! You can stream this on HBO MAX.
The backdrop is dystopian, set in Derry in Northern Ireland during the final years of the “Troubles” (a good wiki read on this will you have you covered). It follows a group of teenage girls attending a rigid catholic school and then there is James who is himself a derry girl. The group gets up to a whole bunch of wildly hillarious situations, but the show still manages to touch on the historical elements and include the very real conflict between IRA (IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY) and the United Kingdom. Somehow, the formula of this show works, despite the very serious subjects it covers, you will find yourself in genuine stitches from laughter, and it doesn’t hurt having to hear The Cranberries iconic song “ZOMBIES” during the end-credits. Binge watch it before the much anticipated release of season 4 on Netflix! (there might also be a very large Bridgerton cameo)
If you happen to be a bit of a weirdo like me and have an interest in TRUE CRIME and the very unseemly minds of Serial Killers, Mindhunter will be right up your alley. Acclaimed movie director and producer David Fincher also plays a very pivotal part in the development of the show and, once again he does not miss. Mindhunter is based on the book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit written by a retired FBI agent who chronicled his encounters with the most fascinating minds. The show can be a little slow to get into at first, but once you’re in, well buckle up for a literal minding bending dive into the darkest depths of humanity. Some notable features if you will include Ed Kemper (The CO-ED Killer), David Berkowitz (THE SON OF SAM) and Charles Manson. The term serial Killer was even coined by this specific unit in the FBI and the interviews with these killers have helped develop the skills we now use to identify and catch killers today.
I am nothing if not a hoe for British TV and am 100% enamoured with the ever-so talented Phoebe Waller-Bridge(creator of Killing Eve). She both writes and stars in the show which is modelled off of her one woman show. It chronicles the terrible decisions of our titular character, fleabag (yes, that is her name to US) and how she deals with love, grief and family in her own twisted way. The best part are the not so subtle fourth wall breaks, that in season 2, we have a break in the fourth wall break and it is sheer genius. Sadly, there will never be a season 3 and I might actually be okay with it. The story that needed to be told unfolded in 12 short episodes on our screen and we had to make peace that we should leave fleabag to decide her own fate and make terrible decisions without any onlookers, because she had grown as a character. Also #hotpriest (just watch the show).
THE MARVELOUS MRS MAISEL
Amy Sherman-Palladino, of Gilmore Girls fame, brings to our screens a new story that is actually a nuanced portrayal of a fictional female comic in a very male dominated 1950’s. Our lead Midge is falling apart, her perfect illusion of the 1950’s housewife is crumbling as her husband is leaving her for his secretary and she finds some comfort and release in sharing her woes at a downtown comic club. She ribs on her Jewish Culture, strict upbringing and extremely Vanilla life. You fall in love with the underground world of the 1950’s New York comedy scene, the decadently tailored outfits, dry wit and surprisingly emotionally gripping story. It is fun, dramatic, probably very insensitive towards Jewish culture (but I am assuming Sherman-Palladino gets a pass for that) and housewives in general but oh well. I highly recommend it as a show with SUBSTANCE, although I will admit, I am not always in the mood for substance.
If you happen to be a fan or casual viewer of any of the above-mentioned shows, congratulations on NOT BEING LIKE OTHER GIRLS, just kidding you are pretty basic and just have some taste, sometimes!