Ron P. Jaffe/Warner Bros, MTV
Like This? Watch That: Underrated TV Recommendations for Your Winter Viewing Doldrums
Ah, winter break. That magical time when school is out, work is slow and you can’t seem to escape your family no matter how hard you try. Luckily, your good friend TV is there to help you out.
But what’s a TV addict to do when they’ve cleaned out their DVR and completed Netflix’s newest offerings? All of broadcast television may be on hiatus at the moment, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t hidden gems out there, just waiting to be found. We’ve rounded up a few under-the-radar shows that we’ve got a feeling you’re going to love discovering—and not just because it means a few more hours spent on the couch. You can thank us later.
Like Veronica Mars? Watch Sweet/Vicious
If you’re like us, you still miss sardonic teen sleuth Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) and the shady goings on in Netptune, Calif. If so, we’d suggest your give your attention to MTV’s newest series Sweet/Vicious. Centered on Ophelia (Taylor Dearden) and Jules (Eliza Bennett), a pair of college students and unlikely friends-turned-campus vigilantes, the show takes a look at heady topics like sexual assault, consent, and PTSD all while somehow still making us laugh thanks to its wickedly funny dialogue. Trust us when we tell you this will scratch your VM itch.
Sweet/Vicious returns with new episodes Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 10 p.m. on MTV. Catch up on the first five on iTunes or OnDemand.
Like Outlander? Watch Versailles
While you wait out what feels like an eternal Droughtlander, there’s another sumptuously lush historical drama out there for you to feast your eyes upon. Trading in Outlander’s Scotland for Louis XIV’s France, Versailles tells the story of the young king’s radical decision to move his court from Paris to Versailles. Filmed on location at the Chateau de Versailles, the Ovation series holds the record for being the most expensive drama ever filmed in France. Come for the gorgeous locations and costumes, stay for the delicious political maneuvering.
Season one of Versailles is available to stream on Netflix.
Like Harry Potter? Watch The Magicians
What would Harry Potter and his pals have been like if they were American college students, did drugs, had sex, and had their hands chopped off from time to time? Probably a lot like the grad students at the center of The Magicians, the Syfy series based on Lev Grossman‘s novel of the same name. The series follows Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph) as he enrolls at Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, where he soon discovers that the magical world from his favorite books growing up is very real—and very dangerous. There are plenty of beasts to be found here—though not all are fantastic.
Catch up on season one on Netflix before season two premieres Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 9 p.m. on Syfy.
Like Mad Men? Watch Good Girls Revolt
For those who watched Mad Men and found themselves the whole thing was being told from Peggy’s POV, Good Girls Revolt has come to save the day. Based on real events, the Amazon series tells the story of a group of young female researchers at News of the Week (a magazine modeled after Newsweek) in 1969, who begin to realize just much less they’re being paid than their male counterparts and decide to do something about it. Unfairly canceled rather quickly after premiering on the streaming service, the series remains a one-and-done for now—though it is being shopped elsewhere.
Catch season one on Amazon Prime now—while you can.
Like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? Watch Chewing Gum
From one lovably clueless virgin to the next, Netflix’s Chewing Gum follows in the footsteps of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt—only if Kimmy were black, lived in London public housing, and owed her remarkable naïvety to a strict religious upbringing by her evangelizing mother rather than being held in captivity for all of her adolescence by an evangelizing monster of a man. Chewing Gum may not have the rat-a-tat joke rate that UKS has (there is only one Tina Fey and one Robert Carlock, after all), but creator and star Michaela Coel has created a fantastic collection of characters all her own, who manage to feel both real and cartoon-y at the same time. And we mean that as a compliment.
Season one of Chewing Gum is available to stream on Netflix.
Like Girls? Watch Search Party and Fleabag
The wait for the final season of Lena Dunham‘s HBO comedy may feel endless, but we’ve got not one, but two comedies that ought to help you bide your time until February. First up is TBS’ stellar Search Party, which, much like Girls, centers on four astonishingly self-centered friends led by the divine Alia Shawkat‘s Dory. Upping the ante is the first season’s central mystery: the disappearance of Chantal Witherbottom. As Dory drags her Brooklyn hipster friends down rabbit hole after rabbit hole on a quest to find a girl she barely knows, you won’t be able to look away. Consider this 2016’s most binge-able series.
In the other corner is Fleabag, a stark black comedy about one young woman’s attempt to navigate life in London. As the eponymous Fleabag, creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge delivers a singularly remarkably performance, one able to have you in tears laughing just before breaking your heart. You will want to shake Fleabag at times, but as you come to understand the tragic blow she’s (just barely) coping with, you can’t help but fall in love with her.
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