By Emma Grimes
If you’re a TV addict like me, or if you just like watching good television then you’ve definitely seen (or heard of) at least one HBO show. Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Big Little Lies, Game of Thrones, True Detective, The Wire and Six Feet Under. HBO have been responsible for some of the best television of all time. However there are so many other shows they’ve made that have gone under the radar for one reason or another or were cancelled before their time. There are so many amazing things to watch now especially thanks to Netflix, but sometimes it’s good to go back and see what you may have missed.
Enlightened is the creation of Mike White and Laura Dern, who also wrote and starred in it. It ran for two seasons back in 2011. The talented cast led by Laura Dern also includes her real life mother, Diane Ladd, Luke Wilson, Dermot Mulroney and plenty of other familiar faces. After suffering somewhat of a nervous breakdown, Laura Dern’s self-obsessed and neurotic character Amy Jellicoe is sent to a new age treatment centre in Hawaii where she becomes “enlightened” and returns to her every day life with a new outlook. She struggles with her zen attitude when faced with all the difficulties and stresses of her daily life. The writing and performances are second to none alongside some amazing guest directors such as Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) and Todd Haynes (I’m Not There).
Bored to Death
Bored to Death is a comedy that ran for three seasons from 2009-2011. It was created by writer and actor Jonathan Ames (who also wrote You Were Never Really Here which was recently made into a film starring Joaquin Phoenix). It stars Jason Schwartzman as Jonathan Ames, a struggling novelist living in New York who moonlights as a private detective. Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson play Jonathan’s best friend and father figure respectively, and there are many delightful and familiar guest stars over three seasons.
The Life and Times of Tim
The Life and Times of Tim is an animated series that ran for three seasons. It was created by Steve Dildarian who also plays the title character, a twenty something New Yorker who continuously gets himself into the most awkward situations. This is one for people who like dry humour and don’t mind the cringe factor. If you’re a fan of Bojack Horseman on Netflix, you’ll probably enjoy this.
Eastbound and Down
Eastbound and Down is a comedy series created by Danny McBride, Jody Hill and Ben Best. Danny McBride plays Kenny Powers, a professional baseball player whose career has hit a down point so he returns to his hometown in North Carolina and ends up having to teach P.E. in his old high school. It has a great supporting cast and lots of well-known guest stars. Danny McBride’s performance makes this show one of the funniest I’ve ever seen. Their follow-up series Vice Principals, is also wonderful but I don’t think anything could top the hilarious ridiculousness of Eastbound and Down.
Togetherness is one of those shows that was cancelled way before its time after only two seasons. It was created and written by Mark and Jay Duplass and Steve Zissis; all three excellent writers and actors who have made some great films and tv shows. It has a stellar cast of both Mark Duplass and Steve Zissis as well as Melanie Lynskey (who is one of the best actresses of her generation) and Amanda Peet. Togetherness is essentially about the complexities of all kinds of relationships (couples, friends, siblings, colleagues). It’s both funny and dark and deals with the mundane and bigger issues people are faced with every day. Two seasons wasn’t enough, you will definitely be left wanting more but it’s worth watching regardless.
If you’re still in need of more entertainment, check out Emma’s little-known Netflix picks and Colette’s guide to a nineties Irish teen punk all-girl band that you have probably never heard of…