10 Shows From This Year That You Could Binge On If You Already Haven’t
The series explores the origins of the drug war in Mexico in the early 1980’s. Starring as drug lord Felix Gallardo and DEA agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena are Diego Luna and Michael Pena. Right from the start, the show tells a story that’s delicately layered and takes its own time to unfold. There is no one better than Diego Luna to portray a drug lord hungry for power, and yet believing in limited violence. The show uses aspects of comedy, crime and drama to deliver a compelling story of the drug war.
Who Is America?
It’s the political comedy to watch this year. Sacha Baron Cohen, a genius in his pomp, disguises himself as various characters to interview diverse individuals from the USA’s political and cultural spectrum. The end goal is to test the gullibility of these individuals by making them say regrettable things. The hair and makeup department for Cohen make him look totally unrecognisable, and he delivers a frightening yet funny performance.
Inspired by the book of the same name, this crime drama series takes the viewer around the world and documents mafia organisations that exist today. Created by Hossein Amini and James Watkins, actor James Norton as Alex Godman fits the part and does complete justice to it. The character depictions, soundtrack, and locales in London, Dubai, Mumbai and Prague all make it a well-executed and compelling watch.
The show marked India’s entry into a truly international TV space. Sartaj Singh, played by Saif Ali Khan, and Ganesh Gaitonde, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, find themselves helping each other even after belonging to opposite sides in life. From Radhika Apte and Neeraj Kabi to Kubra Sait and Rajshri Deshpande, the show has a stellar cast, with gripping performances right from the start.
It’s rare for a comedy drama to hold a plot that’s just too good to give away. The show revolves around the lives of a married couple, Oscar and June, played by Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph. Their so-called predictable life takes a turn when the couple goes on a skiing trip. What unfolds next makes them question the purpose of their relationship, and everything in general. Rudolph’s brilliance is just an addon to the satire of the year.
Barry is the story of a hitman who moves to Los Angeles to carry out a murder and finds himself joining the local arts scene. If you enjoy crime, or comedy, or both (even better), then this show should be your priority binge watch. Barry, played by Bill Hader, finds himself doing things he had never planned, and the unusual mix of comedy and dark crime is what makes the show unique, and honest.
The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
The popular story of designer Gianni Versace’s murder by Andrew Cunanan became the hottest TV event this year, purely because the true story was so much more fascinating than any fiction. Darren Criss and Edgar Ramirez deliver career-defining performances as Cunanan and Versace, ably supported by Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz. With three Emmy wins this year, the show depicts Versace’s triumphs in building a brand from scratch.
The psychological thriller stars Amy Adams as Camille Preaker, sent back to her hometown in Missouri by her boss to cover the murder of two young girls. The show is completely carried by Adams, and it’s undoubtedly her best performance yet. The character’s internal issues run parallel with the unfolding of the murder mystery, which finally leads to a brutal ending.
Wild Wild Country
Controversial guru Bhagwan Shree Rajnesh tries to build a utopian society in the USA, and his vision puts him directly in conflict with local residents. Wild Wild Country documents the emergence and fall of Rajneeshpuram and has fascinating first-hand accounts from his personal assistant Ma Anand Sheela. The show has everything from drugs, homicide, fraud, poisoning, illegal weapons and bombs to genuinely moving accounts from former residents of Rajneeshpuram. The documentary of the year, undoubtedly.
Melrose, played by a brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch, is a rich, spoiled Englishman trying to overcome his drug addictions, which he claims are due to his abusive relationship with his parents in the past. The show accommodates five novels by Edward St Aubyn, and delivers till the very end. Cumberbatch’s range is on full display, as he plays a druggie hanging on to a thin line between sanity and madness.