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Under the Radar Shows to Stream

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MiamiBuckeye's picture
June 9, 2020 at 1:13pm
171 Comments

This is a thread for recommending shows to other people, preferably shows that are readily available through common streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+) and shows that aren't exactly household names (so please withhold your Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones recs). 

I'll start with a few that I've watched recently and can recommend. A lot of these are foreign made, so if you're in the "I can't watch anything with subtitles" crowd, some of these may not be for you. 

Into the Night (Netflix)

1 season (so far) (6 episodes) 

A Belgian series that launched last month. It's primarily in French, but since it has a very diverse cast there's also lots of scenes in English and some in Italian and Dutch/Flemish. The premise is simple and terrifying: an unknown solar event is causing the sun to spew gamma radiation, which will kill all life on Earth. An Italian soldier working at NATO HQ in Brussels finds out (he wasn't supposed to overhear his superiors discussing the impending apocalypse) and promptly goes to the airport, intending to fly to America, which should buy him some time before the sun rises there. Instead, he hijacks a plane that's supposed to be flying to Moscow. Once in the air, the other passengers and flight crew find out he's not crazy and that the world really is about to end. They must now work together to keep flying into the night, outrunning the sun while trying to find a safe place to shelter. 

The Boys (Amazon Original) 

1 season (so far) (10 episodes) 

Have you ever asked yourself "what would it be like if I, a normal person, lived in a world with superheroes?" The answer that Garth Ennis furnishes in his satirical adaptation of his comic series of the same title is "It would be terrifying." The basic setup is that normal guy Hughie Newton is having an ordinary date with his girlfriend when all of a sudden superpowered speedster A-Train runs through his girlfriend, turning her into a bloody paste. Not only is no criminal prosecution forthcoming, but the heroes and their corporate masters Vought refuse to apologize, and even worse try to pay Hughie off to sign an NDA. Enter disgruntled former CIA operative, Billy Butcher, who offers Hughie a chance at payback against the powerful heroes known as "The Seven." 

Black Spot (Netflix) 

2 seasons 

A French-Belgian production. It's an episodic police procedural set in a remote woodland village called Villefranche, called a "Black Spot" (Zone Blanche, in French) because cell phone signals don't really work there. The village is also notable because it has a murder rate obscenely higher than the rest of the country, despite seeming like a quiet, old fashioned rural town. This show is beautifully shot and has a number of strong performances by its central cast, and in terms of subject matter and tone, I'd say its closest American equivalent is Twin Peaks, although it's not quite as playful or Lynchian. 

Kingdom (Netflix) 

2 seasons (and more on the way) 

A Korean period piece drama with zombies. The setup is that during the 16th century, the King of Korea suddenly dies, although the family of his young bride cover it up and pretend the king is merely sick. The king's only son, Crown Prince Chang, smells something fishy but isn't allowed into the palace by the Queen or her powerful father, who is essentially the real power in Korea (think of him as this show's Tywin Lannister). Crown Prince Chang has no idea though that it's much worse than he thought: not only is his father dead, but he's been resurrected as a flesh-hungry zombie in order for the queen to keep up the ruse that he's alive. As a zombie epidemic sweeps across Korea, Prince Chang must fight for his birthright and save his nation from the zombie plague at the same time. This show has beautiful costumes, a gripping story, and likeable leads, plus interesting zombies that are a bit different from what you usually see (I won't spoil how). 

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