Hidden Gems - Digital Treasures, November 2016
These days we have access to so many amazing digital TV offerings, whether paid for like Netflix, Amazon Prime or NowTV; or free or advertising supported like BBC player, All 4 or the recently relaunched ITV Hub. With so much choice it can be hard to decide between all the offerings, there's sadly no cross-platform search or recommendation engine. So, here at The Digital Fix we've decided to unearth some of hidden gems of the streaming TV world, for your viewing pleasure. Every month we'll pick out the best, or most interesting, from what's new, old or obscure.
Billy Bob Thornton stars in this surprisingly good legal noir from Amazon's Studio, that also stars William Hurt and House of Cards' Molly Parker. Thornton is a disgraced lawyer who takes on a case too big for him, in an attempt to bring down an arms company, and his former legal firm, now managed by a scarred William Hurt. This David & Goliath battle is surprisingly effective, breaking from some of the tediously overused tropes of the legal drama genre.
Parks and Recreation
Origin of a thousand memes, Parks & Rec was an early stomping ground for Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari and, of course, Chris Pratt. If you've never heard of it, this absurdist sitcom uses The Office's fly-on-the-wall format, following a small town's Department of Parks and Recreation on their endearing mission to make their town a better place. 20 minutes at a time, all seven seasons, Amazon has treated us with this one.
Black Mirror is back with season three, which we're currently reviewing here on the site. But as each episode stands on its own, there's nothing stopping you watching, or rewatching, all the previous ones at any time. Charlie Brooker's critically acclaimed series of modern society and its relationship with modern technology is always worth investing time in. My particular recommendation would be the third episode of season 1, The Entire History of You, starring Tony Kebbell and the excellent Jodie Whittaker. Robert Downie Jr. has optioned the rights to this episode to potentially make it into a movie.
Bonnets. What is it about British period dramas set in bonnet eras? Still, if you're going to watch some bonnet TV, you could do so much worse than watching the excellent Aiden Turner in Poldark. Netflix only have season 1 of this adaptation from novels by Winston Graham, but it's a good place to start if you've seen all the advertising for the current season on TV.