We watch entirely too much TV. Help us watch more.
January 1, 2023 3:54 PM   Subscribe

My spouse and I have recently finished watching (or are about to wrap up) a number of terrific series, and find ourselves at a bit of a loss as to what comes next. Our shared sweet spots are generally crime drama and dark comedy/dramedy—somewhere between literary fiction (more my style) and genre fiction (more his). For example, I particularly love historical drama and espionage, while he loves sci-fi, superheroes, and fantasy (my interests in these are more limited). We just started The English, but we need more suggestions!

Not interested in horror, zombies, Star Trek/Battlestar Galactica (he watches all of that on his own, but I am uninterested), teen-oriented shows, or the worlds of Joss Whedon or Aaron Sorkin. Moderate sex and violence is OK, but not unrelentingly intense or brutal (Game of Thrones was really too much on both counts). We have Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple, HBO Max, and Paramount+.

Recently finished or wrapping up soon:
Bad Sisters
The Crown
For All Mankind
The Ipcress File
The Serpent Queen
Slow Horses
The White Lotus

Abbott Elementary
Dead to Me
Derry Girls
Only Murders in the Building
Our Flag Means Death
This Fool
What We Do in the Shadows

Have also enjoyed in the past:
The Americans (my all-time favorite show, if that gives you an idea of my tastes)
All Creatures Great and Small
Babylon Berlin
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul
The Bureau
Call the Midwife (though I think I faded out around season 5)
Downton Abbey
Escape at Dannemora
The Flight Attendant (season 1 only)
Halt and Catch Fire
Hell On Wheels
House of the Dragon/Game of Thrones (though just hate-watching GoT by the end)
Jessica Jones (seasons 1-2)
The Knick
Mad Men
Mare of Easttown
Money Heist
Orphan Black
Queen’s Gambit
The Sandbaggers
The Sandman
The Sopranos
Stranger Things (seasons 1-2 only)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (BBC series)
Tokyo Vice
True Detective
A Very British Scandal
Westworld (seasons 1-3)
Wolf Hall

30 Rock
American Vandal
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Call My Agent! (French original; would consider British remake)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Documentary Now
Eastbound and Down
Flight of the Conchords
The Good Place
The Great
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Made for Love
The Office (both UK and US)
Parks & Recreation
Party Down
Righteous Gemstones
Schitt’s Creek
Ted Lasso
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Started but didn’t finish/didn’t like for various reasons:
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
House of Cards (US only; haven't seen original)
Kevin Can F*** Himself
Killing Eve
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The Morning Show
Peaky Blinders
Russian Doll (but maybe should give this another try?)
Tulsa King
posted by paper scissors sock to Media & Arts (62 answers total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
Check out Brockmire! It starts out like it's going to be vile people doing bad things, but even into the firdt episode undermines that and I think it ends.up with a lot of.heart, even aas its very funny.
posted by Carillon at 3:58 PM on January 1, 2023 [3 favorites]

The Wire. Give it a couple of episodes to get used to the pace, the language and the way it doesn't spoon-feed you.
posted by Superilla at 3:58 PM on January 1, 2023 [3 favorites]

Friday Night Lights
posted by miles1972 at 4:04 PM on January 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

Happy Valley has just started s3 on the BBC and is incredible - if you can access s1&2, get them watched! Stars Sarah Lancashire as a police sergeant in the north of England, amazing performance by her, with James Norton as her criminal nemesis, and a superb script by Sally Wainwright.
posted by penguin pie at 4:19 PM on January 1, 2023 [6 favorites]

Jane the Virgin has comedy and mystery!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:21 PM on January 1, 2023 [3 favorites]

If you love The Americans, and your partner likes sci-fi, you should definitely check out Andor.
posted by firechicago at 4:21 PM on January 1, 2023 [15 favorites]

posted by showbiz_liz at 4:22 PM on January 1, 2023

I thought the TV adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell was really excellent and might hit that drama-meets-genre sweet spot.
posted by babelfish at 4:25 PM on January 1, 2023 [2 favorites]

They are all relatively short series, but I would enthusiastically recommend Years and Years, It‘s a Sin and A Very English Scandal, all by Russell T Davies.
posted by sueinnyc at 4:31 PM on January 1, 2023 [3 favorites]

Andor - it may take 3 episodes to get into it, it’s a slow burn and then suddenly everything is on fire. Espionage thriller set in a Star Wars universe. Fantastic performances. Disney+.

Station Eleven. Post-post apocalyptic, thoughtful drama. Based on the book. There’s a light sci-fi element and I think it’s a bit literary. HBO Max.
posted by hooray at 4:40 PM on January 1, 2023 [9 favorites]

Don’t Hug me I’m Scared - dark and often hilarious British show done in the style of children’s TV.

Rita: Danish show about a teacher who is very competent but who still retains many of the manners of a teen. Each episode is a lesson.
posted by rongorongo at 4:40 PM on January 1, 2023

The Expanse is probably one of the best science fiction things to ever grace a screen; my partner is lukewarm on sci-fi (in favor of many of the things you outline) but ended up heartily enjoying it. The tone of the show changes a little bit after the first season, but not in a bad way. She enjoyed it much more after the first season. It is a supremely well done political/war drama, that just happens to be set in the future. The casting is phenomenal, the writing is good, the worldbuilding is subtle and great, the special effects are plenty good (ie, they don't 'take you out' of the drama), and it is just very compelling TV.

High Maintenance fits into some of what you have enjoyed. The soundtrack kicks fucking ass.

Hulu has had a couple really good series that have come out that I don't feel have gotten nearly as much attention as they should have. Reservation Dogs is some of the best TV that's happened in the last few years for sure. the remake of High Fidelity was also really good (it is probably better if you enjoyed the movie, but stands on its own for sure). The Bear is also quite good.

I bounced off Russian Doll's first season pretty hard, but we circled around back to it during a lull and I really ended up enjoying it. I have not seen the 2nd season though.

While I like science fiction and am pretty 'meh' about star wars at this point but Andor is a very well done story.

His Dark Materials just wrapped its last season, and while the last season itself was kinda weak, the first two seasons were more than good enough to warrant a viewing.
posted by furnace.heart at 4:43 PM on January 1, 2023 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Oh wow, great recommendations already! These are all going on the list!

(I forgot to mention that we also liked Barry, Black Bird, Under the Banner of Heaven, The Old Man, Dark Winds, The Bear, and Loki)
posted by paper scissors sock at 4:43 PM on January 1, 2023

Mythic Quest on Apple TV.
posted by pdb at 4:57 PM on January 1, 2023 [4 favorites]

Station Eleven is excellent and definitely literary.

Fleischman is in Trouble is very good and also has a literary flair to it.
posted by mmascolino at 5:08 PM on January 1, 2023 [2 favorites]

Homecoming, at least the first season, but I liked the 2nd, too.

Vice Principals, Danny McBride and Walter Goggins.


British Utopia may be too violent, but was great.

Black Sails, not high art, but entertaining.

Mr. Robot

2nding Andor, His Dark Materials, Station Eleven, Reservation Dogs and The Wire.

Give Russian Doll another shot.
posted by snofoam at 5:13 PM on January 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

I just watched the first season of The Recruit (this is new) and I thought it was great. (I also really liked The Americans, so our tastes might be similar). I also really liked Burn Notice and Covert Affairs a lot but they are not as intense as The Americans. I also loved The Good Wife.
posted by gt2 at 5:15 PM on January 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

BoJack Horseman (Netflix). Yes, some folks have animal heads. Once you get over that, it's a very witty and engrossing series about the price of celebrity.

Lovecraft Country (HBO). If you liked Watchmen, you'll probably find this entertaining.
posted by SPrintF at 5:16 PM on January 1, 2023 [2 favorites]

Somebody Somewhere on HBO Max. Lovely dramedy with a female protagonist and great supporting characters.
posted by holborne at 5:17 PM on January 1, 2023 [10 favorites]

Fleishman is in Trouble is short, but excellent., The writing is great, the acting is outstanding. I won't spoil it, but it's definitely a journey, and not at all what it seems on the surface, and the payoff is brilliantly done.
posted by OHenryPacey at 5:18 PM on January 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

Also maybe The Resort and Outer Range.
posted by snofoam at 5:19 PM on January 1, 2023

Avenue 5 on HBO - by the creator of Veep, about a space cruise gone terribly wrong. Outrageously hilarious.
posted by General Malaise at 5:19 PM on January 1, 2023 [3 favorites]

Oh and if you liked Veep, check out his first series The Thick of It on Hulu. It's about a bumbling UK cabinet agency.
posted by General Malaise at 5:21 PM on January 1, 2023

Black Mirror wasn’t on your list, varies a lot from episode to episode.

A Touch of Cloth is a very silly police procedural spoof series that manages to have some really hilarious moments.

Somehow both of these are from Charlie Brooker.
posted by snofoam at 5:27 PM on January 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

Justified (Hulu)
posted by susandennis at 5:52 PM on January 1, 2023 [10 favorites]

This is much more lowbrow than what you might want but as a couple with nearly identical TV tastes I can tell you that we watched and loved every damn episode of Chuck.
posted by athirstforsalt at 6:10 PM on January 1, 2023 [4 favorites]

The Danish political drama Borgen (the OG version which aired from 2010-2013) and the followup Borgen - Power & Glory from 2022, both on Netflix.

My Brilliant Friend on HBO is stellar. You don’t need to have read the books.

These will probably be more in your wheelhouse than your spouse’s, but I had to mention because I love them and my very favorite show is The Americans. I love novelistic TV with complex themes and story lines.
posted by SomethinsWrong at 6:13 PM on January 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

Oh, and Yellowjackets! which I think you will both enjoy (sorry, edited to say this is only on Showtime as far as I know)
posted by SomethinsWrong at 6:17 PM on January 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

Mo on Netflix. I just binged this over the course of two-days, and it was one of the best shows I've seen in a bit (and I like many of the same shows you do). It is a dramedy from the perspective of an undocumented Palestinian American in Houston. Not surprisingly, it touches on some pretty dark material, but the creator/star is a stand-up comedian, and so there are also moments of levity. I couldn't recommend it more.
posted by coffeecat at 6:33 PM on January 1, 2023 [2 favorites]

If you love both crime shows and dramedies then you should watch Veronica Mars if you haven't already. (At least the original three seasons; I can't speak to the revival.) It will scratch many of the same itches that Only Murders in the Building scratches.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:47 PM on January 1, 2023 [2 favorites]

I will also second The Expanse and BoJack Horseman, though both of them really take most of their first season to get their feet under them.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:49 PM on January 1, 2023

Wednesday (Addams) is fantasy, dark humour and a murder mystery.

New Tricks is a British police procedural on cold cases with a bunch of banter. I haven't watched above three or four episodes, but I enjoyed what I saw. Probably a little dated at this point; I didn't see any overt sexism/other stuff in what I watched, but I can't promise it's perfect in that regard. (I would also consider Life on Mars, which is police/70s time travel. Definitely has sexism and is very aware of the fact.)
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 6:55 PM on January 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

posted by Wild_Eep at 7:00 PM on January 1, 2023 [2 favorites]

Spirited, a ghost/human, punk/prim, whimsical love comedy. Tightly written, full of elegance and chemistry, on Prime.
posted by Thella at 7:25 PM on January 1, 2023

2nding Andor [...] Station Eleven, Reservation Dogs and The Wire.

I am TOTALLY burnt out on Star Wars stuff (please no more force-users related who are surprise! related to other force users) but Andor is a great series that just happens to be set in that universe.
posted by jeoc at 7:35 PM on January 1, 2023 [3 favorites]

"The Patient" on Hulu, from the creators of "The Americans"
posted by tomjoadsghost at 7:46 PM on January 1, 2023

Yes my dudes you have GOT to watch Andor. I don’t care much about Star Wars and I still think it’s the best series I watched in 2022.

Nthing Station Eleven as well. A perfect show.
posted by rodneyaug at 7:48 PM on January 1, 2023

Also The Leftovers !!!
posted by rodneyaug at 7:50 PM on January 1, 2023 [4 favorites]

Ghosts, which airs on CBS but is also available on Paramount+. I've heard the British original is good too, but all I've seen is the US one, and it's delightful.
posted by pdb at 8:31 PM on January 1, 2023

Blacklist! FBI crime thriller with a case-of-the-week set-up but a much larger conspiracy arc story. James Spader is the lead anti-hero, and he is amazing in the role.
posted by virve at 8:57 PM on January 1, 2023

Also two British offerings: Flack -- a dramedy, kind of in the Fleabag vein in the most general sense, and Starstruck which is lovely and delightful.
posted by virve at 9:05 PM on January 1, 2023 [2 favorites]

If you are into crime drama, allow me the privilege of offering to you The Sinner, starring the stellar Bill Pullman as a cranky and somewhat eccentric detective, Harry Ambrose, who happens upon mysterious cases with beautifully done characters and twisting plots. It is one of my top 2 favorite television series of all time (the other being Nurse Jackie with Edie Falco which you may also like as it is both hilarious and darkly sad with amazing characters.) The Sinner has four seasons, and each season is an entirely different mysterious case all investigated by Bill Pullman's character. I do recommend watching them all and in order though, as the audience gets to know Harry Ambrose more deeply as the show continues. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to watch.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 9:32 PM on January 1, 2023 [2 favorites]

I've been posting weekly for Welcome to Chippendales on Fanfare because I like it so much--it's a way more fascinating story than I ever expected it to be and Kumail Nanjiani is just knocking it out of the park every week. Final episode airs this week on Hulu.

(Also on Hulu, if you never saw Better Off Ted, I highly recommend it. Just brutally funny about corporate America.)
posted by kitten kaboodle at 10:38 PM on January 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

Lodge 49
Reservation Dogs
posted by vunder at 11:09 PM on January 1, 2023 [2 favorites]

Seconding Reservation Dogs, Borgen, Somebody Somewhere, BBC Ghosts, and Station Eleven.
  • Dogs of Berlin (German crime drama)
  • Occupied (Norwegian political/crime drama)
  • Kim’s Convenience (Canadian comedy)
  • Little Drummer Girl (UK espionage)
  • The Bodyguard (UK crime drama)
  • Stranger (Korean political/crime drama)
  • The Afterparty (US crime comedy-drama)
  • Deutchland 83 (German espionage; subsequent seasons are called Deutchland 86 and 89)
Also, we watched the UK version of Call My Agent after having watched the full French series, and enjoyed it quite a bit.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:59 PM on January 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

The Tourist - man wakes up in the Australian outback with no memory
State of Happiness - About the discovery of oil in Norway in the early 70s.
Mayflies - Short series about the friendship between some friends who grew up in mid 80s Scotland.
Fais pas ci, Fais pas ça - a little like French version of "Modern Families".
Le Chalet - Group of friends found themselves cut off from the world in the French Alps.
Quicksand - School based murder mystery from Sweden
This is Us - A well crafted series about families which I suspect people love or hate.
posted by rongorongo at 4:18 AM on January 2, 2023

Seconding Chuck. I watched it again, immediately after finishing it.
I somehow found myself hooked on Warrior Nun, around the 3rd episode.
posted by Enid Lareg at 8:17 AM on January 2, 2023

Wallander. Original starring Krister Henriksson i (Swedish) and remake starring Kenneth Branagh (British). Note: avoid Young Wallander.
posted by desert exile at 8:46 AM on January 2, 2023

Teenage Bounty Hunters (Netflix - a lot of fun!)
Maniac (Netflix - Emma Stone and Jonah Hill sci fi thriller type thing)
posted by knownfossils at 9:30 AM on January 2, 2023

I am surprised no one has yet recommended Kleo on Netflix. It ticks a lot of your boxes: crime, historical dramedy, espionage. The first episode of the series leans a little more toward drama but the humor really starts to come out in Episode 2.
posted by rednikki at 12:03 PM on January 2, 2023

penguin pie recommended Happy Valley, which I second. An excellent gritty drama, though violent at times. Last Tango in Halifax, an earlier show, was also written by Sally Wainright and also starred Sarah Lancashire. Although a bit soapy at times, it's a very funny family drama.

Seconding rednikki's mention of Kleo.
posted by Agave at 2:49 PM on January 2, 2023

Seconding "The Thick of It". Maybe the greatest comedy of all-time.
posted by jtothes at 3:29 PM on January 2, 2023 [1 favorite]

nthing Justified, it really hits the crime-dramedy, and it's pretty good all the way through (although Timothy Olyphant jokes that their even seasons are the best), AND there's a re-boot coming this year.

Sneaky Pete (amazon) hits some of the same notes... it's not as good, but it was definitely entertaining.

oh, and, in a completely different genre, I love The OA but ymmv
posted by pjenks at 5:12 PM on January 2, 2023 [1 favorite]

Los Espookys is an HBO show that's its own weird thing, but very charming and fun.

Another rec here for Reservation Dogs, with the caveat that while it's not especially violent (beyond the occasional fistfight) it's sometimes pretty heavy.

I enjoyed a Netflix show called The Irregulars that only ran one season and is kinda-sorta a Sherlock Holmes riff (it's about the Baker Street Irregulars) and also The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell, which is hard to categorize, but is like spooky Martha Stewart with puppets? Both of those are low-commitment because they're only like 10 episodes.

Ms. Marvel is a complete delight, the best of the recent Marvel things in my opinion.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 7:08 PM on January 2, 2023 [1 favorite]

Treme is good, I'd say great if you like funky original music, the soundtrack is awesome.

The Get Down is Baz Luhrman's disco/hip-hop epic. I think it's genius.
posted by ovvl at 9:15 AM on January 3, 2023

Ghosts, which airs on CBS but is also available on Paramount+. I've heard the British original is good too

It is, and HBO Max has it. It's a little whiplashy going between UK vs US versions, in the same way that The Office was, but I feel the US version has settled into its own groove now.

A few not mentioned above:
* Chernobyl, HBO Max; horrifying but riveting
* No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, HBO Max; comfort food in the All Creatures vein
* The Terror S1, Hulu; slow-burn Antarctic horror; S2 went the anthology route with a different story, have not seen it yet
* Legion, Hulu; Noah Hawley so if you liked Fargo worth a go; wobbles a bit in the last season
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:55 AM on January 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

posted by mygothlaundry at 12:20 PM on January 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

Comedy: South Side (Invidious, YouTube). Very funny.
South Side is an American sitcom created by Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle. Filmed and set in the Englewood area of Chicago, it follows two friends (portrayed by Sultan Salahuddin and Kareme Young) who recently graduated from community college and are seeking business success while working at a rent-to-own shop. (Wikipedia)
Thriller: A Spy Among Friends (Invidious, YouTube). I'm always on the lookout for great espionage stuff, and this one was very nice.
In England in 1963, Nicholas Elliott (Lewis) works for MI6 as an intelligence officer but is left in turmoil when he learns his close friend and colleague Kim Philby (Pearce) had been secretly working as a double agent for the KGB and has defected to the Soviet Union. (Wikipedia)
posted by chinesefood at 8:10 AM on January 7, 2023

Are Vexed and Spotless still on Netflix? Vexed is a comedy about two very attractive London detectives who will never, ever date, and Spotless is a darkly-comic drama one-season wonder about a man with a crime-scene cleaning business and a ne'er-do-well brother who falls afoul of a crime lord who needs many, many crimes scenes cleaned and also has a ne'er-do-well brother. Both are outlandish fun, for realsies.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:39 PM on January 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

Midnight Diner - Japanese drama/comedy, but not so dark though....
posted by storybored at 8:40 PM on January 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

I think my favorite dark comedy of late is Craig Robinson's Killing It, which can be found on the NBC streamer Peacock. You probably don't have Peacock -- a friend of mine is a reality TV obsessive, and shared her password, which is why I saw it -- but you could subscribe for a month and easily knock out a season. Seconding The Resort recommendation (also on Peacock). It's not a White Lotus thing! It's...gosh, it is a funny, genre-adjacent drama with lovely character interactions tied around a mystery. And everyone is quite grown up in both shows, which is great. Seconding Deutschland 83 (and the subsequent seasons, though I found them less compelling), which is great but old enough that people have stopped talking about it.
posted by grandiloquiet at 1:22 PM on January 9, 2023

Response by poster: Belatedly following up to thank EVERYONE for your amazing suggestions (and in some cases, reminders to re-watch something I'd previously loved: hello, Deutschland 83 and BoJack Horseman!). We just finished Fleishman is in Trouble (phenomenal) and are happily bingeing Mythic Quest, while eagerly awaiting A Spy Among Friends. Thanks, all!
posted by paper scissors sock at 3:25 PM on February 7, 2023 [2 favorites]

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