The Movie Guru: A second chance for missed TV gems
It’s easy to miss good TV shows.
Maybe you hear about it too late. Maybe it’s on a channel you don’t get. Maybe you were just too busy with all the other TV shows you were watching. Whatever the reason, streaming platforms give you a second chance to binge-watch some of the best TV shows you might have missed the first time around.
“The Good Place“ (Netflix)
The first episode introduces us to Eleanor Shellstrop, a not-so-great woman who mistakenly gets into heaven and has to pretend she belongs there. This ends up being the plot of the show for maybe half a season, at which point it transforms into a hilarious, heartwarming and surprisingly beautiful look at what it means to be good, what it means to be human, and what we can do for each other. It’s the only comedy I’ve ever seen where a solid underpinning of philosophical thought actually makes the fart jokes funnier. The last few minutes of season 1 and the beginning of season 2 is when it really goes off the rails in the best possible way, and though there are some uneven spots throughout the rest of the four seasons, it’s a strange, wonderful ride.
“The Musketeers” (Amazon Prime)
This is one of those shows that make me deeply jealous we Americans don’t get BBC. If you’re at all a fan of “Three Musketeers” adaptations, this is one of the finest — great acting, engaging romances, plenty of intrigue, exciting fight scenes and costumes that will make you stand up and applaud. Luke Pasqualino (D’Artagnan); Tom Burke (Athos); Santiago Cabrera (Aramis); and Howard Charles (Porthos) are both iconic and completely adorable as the Musketeers themselves, enough that you’ll probably have real trouble picking a favorite. On a more serious level, it’s one of those rare shows that actually rewards your investment in the characters. If you stay for the entire three-season journey, the show makes sure you don’t regret it. (Note: The third season is also available for free on Pluto.tv.)
“Schitt’s Creek“ (Netflix)
You may remember the show from its string of wins at the 2020 awards, but it’s probably best that I remind you that particular string of wins came at the end of the show’s six seasons. A Canadian export that found its original home on the little-known channel Pop, “Schitt’s Creek” is the kind of show that ages like fine wine. At the beginning, this show about a filthy rich, deeply shallow family who loses all their money and has to move to a small town is more like grape kool-aid, but even by the start of season two the show develops an oddly addictive quality. You will see the characters grow, deepen and blossom while somehow remaining completely ridiculous, and once you’ve watched enough it’ll be surprisingly hard to stop.
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“Gravity Falls” (Disney+)
Yes, this is technically a kid’s show. But it’s also a fun, engrossing, slightly scary romp with the weirdest family you’ve ever met in the kind of place that would consider X-Files amateur hour. There are genuinely silly episodes, there are heartbreaking episodes, and the show’s two seasons culminate in the kind of wonderfully written, deeply satisfying payoff TV writers have forgotten how to do. Most important of all, it’s really all about love.
Jenniffer Wardell is an award-winning movie critic and member of the Denver Film Critics Society. Find her on Twitter at @wardellwriter or drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.