If your crowd is anything like my crowd, your current TV landscape is pretty solidly focused on “OMG GAME OF THRONES” and “OMG DEFENDERS” right now. But in case those aren’t your jam, or if you’re the type who likes to wait until a season or the whole series ends and then glut-watch the entire thing over a couple of stupendously lazy potato-chips-and-ice-cream weekends? Here’re couple of faves that should be pretty solid contenders for you if you haven’t already seen them — and which have the added bonus of “whoa the clothes in this are amazing.”
PREACHER (AMC, first season is available on Hulu) is based on a series of graphic novels I haven’t read but now I kind of want to. It’s got a dusty Texas town, a vampire, evil corporate chicanery, mysterious flashbacks to a mysterious Old West killer, and all kinds of supernatural shit, including a pair of “agents” whose relationship rather reminds me of Crowley and Aziraphale (raise your hand if you get that reference) (actually just make a note in the comments because I can’t actually see you raising your hand). It’s also got the preposterously gorgeous Ruth Negga, and her preposterously fabulous wardrobe. Watch this show and you’ll be entertained AF (and those who have read the graphic novels inform me that this whole mind-blowing first season is just the set-up and shit hasn’t even gotten real yet, wthhhhh) AND you’ll suddenly find yourself wanting to buy a bunch of circle skirts and tight leather jackets.
HALT AND CATCH FIRE (AMC, first three seasons are on Netflix) is a Grade-A drama chronicling the early days of the PC revolution, from the first IBM clones to the first Apple Macintosh to the beginnings of the internet, and it’s WAY more engaging than that description probably sounds unless you’re a nerd like me. The writing is fantastic, and has actually managed to both make that subject matter fairly riveting AND address issues of work versus relationships, gender roles, and sexism…without sounding like a Very Special Episode after-school special. The cast is stellar, and the costumes of Mackenzie Davis’ grunge-punk Cameron and Kerry Bishé’s 80s business-dame Donna are making me SUPER nostalgic for stealing my dad’s plaid shirts, taking a sharpie to my jean jackets, and going to the mall and accidentally wandering out of the Esprit section and into the land of peplum blazers and pussy-bow blouses.
THE THEN :
MR SELFRIDGE (ITV, all four seasons are on Amazon Prime Video) Yeah okay so Jeremy Piven is pretty weird, but this fictionalized story of Selfridge’s department store in London at the turn of the 20th century has a lot of charm, AND it’s got Amanda Abbington, Frances O’Connor, Anna Madeley, Polly Walker, Zoe Wanamaker (you might know her as Madam Hooch; I know her as Ariadne Oliver). It’s also got a lot of really smashing outfits, ranging from Gibson Girl day dresses to grand gowns to Ziegfield Follies tarty flash.
PENNY DREADFUL (Showtime, all three seasons are on Netflix) I just got Finch hooked on this one, and she concurs on the two main points : older Timothy Dalton >>>>> younger Timothy Dalton, and Eva Green is EVERYTHING. If you’re at ALL into 19th century costume dramas with SUPERNATURAL and MONSTERS but suuuuper well-written and with an A+ cast (Billie Piper! Rory Kinnear! Helen McCrory! Christian Camargo! Perdita Weeks!) then what on earth are you waiting for? And, holy cow the clothes.
Love ’em? Hate ’em? Got a favorite show that stands on its own merits but ALSO makes you want to overhaul your wardrobe like rightnow? Discuss!